Showing posts with label Tony Sandoval. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tony Sandoval. Show all posts

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval

Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

This was an entertaining fantasy story - which had a hint of gothic horror to it - and the irresistible call of the sea. I really enjoyed it.

Mila is out swimming one day when she hears someone call out a warning, "Water snakes!" and realizes that this new girl, Agnes, has played a joke on her. The two are immediately attracted to one another despite Mila's slight shyness and Agnes's definite weirdness. She claims her teeth - the selfsame teeth which completely fascinate Mila - are really ghosts that go out on adventures every night.

The two begin spending time together and Mila has an odd feeling of repulsion and attraction at the same time. It does not help to stabilize things when she discovers that Agnes is a soldier trying to protect her king, and that there is an army of Angnes-like soldiers and an opposing army they must fight.

I though this was fresh, original, engaging, well illustrated by the author, and entertaining, and I commend it as a worthy read.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Glance Backward by Pierre Paquet

Title: A Glance Backward
Author: Pierre Paquet (no website found)
Publisher: Magnetic Press
Rating: WORTHY!

Illustrated on average by Tony Sandoval.

This graphic novel tells the story of an eleven year old boy evidently living in Europe who somehow manages to garner for himself a passage through a time warp into another realm. This is somewhat confusing at the beginning, but it makes rather startling sense at the end when we discover what the author's agenda was. I was quite taken with this, and was very pleasantly surprised and found that I liked it all the more for this revelation.

The bringing of hourglasses into the story for me recalled Sandman from the Spider-Man comics - the kid is even wearing a shirt reminiscent of the one which Sandman wore in the third of the initial Spider-man trilogy.

In this new realm in which the boy finds himself, there seems to be a series of mini-realms: this house has many mansions! The boy considers, since he feels he is inside a wall of his own home, that each realm is one of the bricks. This is how we know for certain that this is taking place in Europe rather than the USA - no one has brick walls in the US! Lol!

The boy discovers that he has super powers, after a fashion. At least, he can bust through what appear to be solid walls either with his head (accidentally!) or his fist (in desperation). Each time he breaks through, he finds a different kind of world. Some are all dark, and in more than one of these, he encounters a man carrying a candle, and wearing a hat and rain coat, rather like a private detective from popular fifties fiction. The man always quickly speeds away from the boy.

Other realms are different again. One is frozen, one contains some unspecified animal which seems to be hostile. Another is a gorgeous garden. Most of the realms are unpopulated, but in some the boys finds others people, but there is usually only one in any one realm. In one, he encounters a pleasant young woman waiting for a train. In another he finds African tribesmen dancing for rain. In another, there's a man reminiscent of Abe Lincoln who is all but bi-polar. None of these people seem able to help him, and some worlds are downright hostile towards him.

The question is, is this real or is the boy merely using his youthful imagination? Or is something else going on here? Or is it maybe a mix of all three possibilities? I recommend this graphic novel highly. It was touching and engaging, although I have to say that the artwork didn't appeal to me!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Doomboy by Tony Sandoval

Title: Doomboy
Author: Tony Sandoval
Publisher: Magnetic press
Rating: WARTY!

Translated by Mike Kennedy

I could not get into this story at all, which is sad because I'm usually good at making choices with graphic novels, and I typically end-up liking them, but I seem to have picked several in a row here which failed to make a good impression on me! Maybe I'm losing my touch?! At any rate, this one didn't do a thing for me. I'm not sure what it was about this exactly, but I can suggest a few candidates.

The drawing was really scrappy and amateurish, and too simplistic, while at the same time being really busy and messy - scruffy-looking without even being a nerf-herder! It turned me off, so I know that was part of it, but the dialog wasn't very stimulating either. Indeed, some of the early dialog was simply squiggles in balloons, and completely unintelligible.

I know this was intended to convey random, unimportant conversation, but it was distracting and combined with the very many panels where there was no speech at all - or any kind of communication other than purely visual about what was happening, it made me wonder if the entire book was going to be as vague as this.

Frankly it made me feel like the writer didn’t really care what was going on, so then I'm asking myself "If that's the case, then why should I care?" and it was quickly downhill from there. I didn’t feel any interest or investment in any of the characters, or any growing desire to find out how this story went.