Mini Reviews: May-July Graphic Novel


Manga Yokai Stories

by Sean Michael Wilson

eARC, 136 pages

Expected publication: September 15th 2020


This thrilling collection of seven Japanese ghost stories will captivate lovers of yokai stories!

Manga Yokai Stories includes:

  • Nuke-kubi: A masterless samurai is trapped in a house haunted by headless goblins
  • The Screen Maiden: A young man develops an obsession with a woman in a painting that almost kills him
  • Corpse Rider: A woman’s unburied corpse cannot rest until she has taken her revenge on the man who divorced her
  • A Dead Secret: A young mother terrifies her family when she returns as a ghost, unable to find peace until she puts to rest a shocking secret she has left behind

These classic Japanese ghost stories are based on those written by famed author Lafcadio Hearn between 1890 and 1904. Here, they are retold by award-winning comic book writer Sean Michael Wilson, who has garnered a worldwide fan base for his manga adaptations of works of Japanese literature, including such classics as The Book of Five Rings and The Demon’s Sermon on the Martial Arts. Wilson’s skillful adaptation of Hearn’s ghostly tales—along with superb manga illustrations from UK-based Japanese artist Inko Ai Takita—make these fascinating stories come to life.

This book is in traditional Japanese reading order—from back to front—so that fans and manga lovers can enjoy an authentic reading experience.

I received an eARC from edelweiss plus in exchange for an honest review.

This is a fantastic read that reminds me how much I miss reading yokai stories and manga format. The illustration reminds you if manga and the stories managed to capture the Japanese values and the characters emotions really well. Reading this, it felt like I’m immersed into the story. My favorite is Reconciliation, Before the Supreme Court, and Nuke-kubi.

Some stories may feel too short that you feel like you don’t understand what’s going on due to its abrupt end, but overall it’s really good.

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Snow, Glass, Apples

by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran

Kindle Edition, 64 pages

Published August 20th 2019 by Dark Horse Books


A chilling fantasy retelling of the Snow White fairy tale by New York Times bestselling creators Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran!

A not-so-evil queen is terrified of her monstrous stepdaughter and determined to repel this creature and save her kingdom from a world where happy endings aren’t so happily ever after.

From the Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, Nebula award-winning, and New York Times bestselling writer Neil Gaiman (American Gods) comes this graphic novel adaptation by Colleen Doran (Troll Bridge)!


This book is just brilliant. The illustration are dark, vibrant, with a lot of intricate details, it’s like looking at a stained glass. I don’t know how to describe it, apparently it’s inspired by Harry Clarke and Aubrey Beardsley, but I love this style SO SO MUCH. The story? Magnificent. It’s dark and sensual and twisted and it’s just something I really really love. This is the perfect retelling: it’s the same but also different.

Basically: this is one of my favorite it just blew me away!!!

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Moonstruck, Vol 2: Some Enchanted Evening

by Grace Ellis

eARC, 136 pages

Published March 19th 2019 by Image Comics


Werewolf barista Julie and her supernatural friends try to unwind at a party, but a conniving fraternity of fairy bros has other plans for our heroes. With one of their friends trapped in the frat house and the winter solstice (a notable night of magical mischief) looming ever-closer, it’s up to the amorous werewolves and gregarious centaur to save the day.

Collects MOONSTRUCK #6-10

I received an eARC through Edelweiss Plus in exchange for an honest review.

As with the first installment, this volume of Moonstruck is a conflicting one for me. I love the world building, where humans and magical creatures just live together side by side in peace and fun. It feels comforting to read, it feels normal how they’re barista, playing games, going on dates and go to college parties. I love the characters- Chet is still my favorite with their sense of humor and dramatics and I love Julie and Selena together. I also love how this installment basically brings all the cast together and introduced us to the fairies. And of course, there’s the gorgeous art and color palette.

However, the plot is still meh for me. It’s light, yes, but also not engaging enough and felt… silly? 😬 This is a light and fluffy book but the plot just seems to go past “light” to silly enough to be meh. I think the conflict between Julie and Selena is better this time, but honestly still unnecessary 😅

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The Tea Dragon Tapestry

by Katie O’Neill

eARC, 140 pages

Expected publication: September 2nd 2020 by Oni Press


Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series!

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

Told with the same care and charm as the previous installments of the Tea Dragon series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry welcomes old friends and new into a heartfelt story of purpose, love, and growth.

I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It’s always a delight reading THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY series because it’s just so wholesome and pure, and this book is no exception 😭💖 There’s just something gentle and uplifting about these books, whether it’s due to the beautiful art and bright but soft color palette, or the well-developed characters and representation, or just themes explored, this series just never failed to cheer me up.

I think TEA DRAGON TAPESTRY has a sadder storyline since its explore change through grief, finding oneself, losing passion, but this is not a sad book at all. Reading this at this moment where things are unpredictable and unstable, the story hits right at home and yet it feels… comforting. It’s like a hug or a warm soup. It’s just…. nice. Maybe it’s the fact that all the characters are just so uplifting and supportive and love each other. Maybe it’s the peace and memories brought by the tea dragons. Or maybe it’s something else. Either way, these feelings transcends through the page and made me really, really happy.

I also love the notes on tea dragons at the end of the book, it felt so scientific and real!

Apparently this is the final book in the series and now I’m sad because I’m in love and can’t get enough 😭

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SFSX, Vol 1: Protection

by Tina Horn

eARC, 184 pages

Published July 28th 2020 by Image Comics


From notorious kink writer TINA HORN and featuring a diverse group of artists comes SFSX (SAFE SEX), a social thriller about sex, love, and torture. It’s SEX CRIMINALS in Gilead, Hustlers with a SUNSTONE twist.

In a draconian America where sexuality is strictly bureaucratized and policed, a group of queer sex workers keep the magic alive in an underground club called the Dirty Mind. Using their unique talents for bondage and seduction, they resolve to infiltrate the mysterious government Pleasure Center, free their incarcerated friends, and fight the power!

Collects SFSX (SAFE SEX) #1-7

I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger warning: explicit sex and nudity, torture, sexism, racism

SFSX is set in the near future where a puritan party has take control of America and policing people sex behaviour. Our protagonists are a group of sex workers who worked together in the Dirty Mind, but when the place was raided, some stay in the world while others “conform” to the Party. Years later, they reunited and put their differences aside to infiltrate the Party’s Pleasure Center and free their captured and brainwashed friends.

This book is very sex positive, the Dirty Mind being a haven for sex of any kind and our protagonists talking about sex as something empowering, but it also emphasizes on consent and getting checked. However this book is also very graphic; there were many explicit depiction of sex and torture so be warned, because it took me by surprise in the first few pages and made me almost DNF it 😶

I’m glad I didn’t though because aside from the graphic nature of the book, I really enjoyed it! The pacing was fast, the stakes were high, and the action was thrilling. I mean, we got Avory stabbing someone with a stiletto within the first chapter! The plot was also full of twists and turn, the ending was totally unexpected. This might be the most mature graphic novel I’ve ever read and it’s worth the read!

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4 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: May-July Graphic Novel

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