Graphic Novel Review 283/365: Nimona

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or search #365GN on Twitter.

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Today starts Hero Week, a week of cool/colorful heroes in preparation for Infinity War, opening tonight!  Hero Week Day Four brings us a title about a few different types of heroes and begs the questions…what does it mean to be a hero?

Title: Nimona 

Author(s): Noelle Stevenson

Publisher: Harper Teen (2015)

Age Rating: 10+

In the spirit of upcoming major national graphic novel awards (The Eisner Awards in July and the EGL Awards in June), Nimona, which was a National Book Award Finalist, a Harvey Nominee for “Best Online Comics Work,” winner of Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize for “Best Web Comic,” and 2018 Illinois High School Abraham Lincoln Book Award Selection…is my epic choice for today’s review!

Nimona is a thrill for the entire 266 pages.  It’s unique aesthetics, idiosyncratic characters, and unmistakable humor make this book a modern classic.

Bound to a life of villainy from an unfortunate accident in his youth, Lord Blackheart lives his life in a quest for revenge against the “hero” that took his arm, his pride, and his life as he knew it.  One day visited by a young girl hell-bent on becoming Blackheart’s assistant in evil, Blackheart gives Nimona a chance to prove herself, and their relationship plays out in many unexpected ways.

This book is about so much more than revenge, friendship, and adventure.  This book is about the delicate nature of relationships and the things we do/sacrifice to help/appease those in our lives that we find important, regardless of misgivings.  Also packed with a clever humor, Nimona forces itself to not take itself too seriously, even in the face of trauma and heartache.

The story and characters here overshadow the simple, bold art.  After reading this uncommon tale, you will for sure be discussing the story over the art; however, that does not mean that their aren’t some cool visual gags in the book.  Yes, it does, in parts, get heavy, but the levity in the art balances the weight in a wonderful way.  This is a thinker to be enjoyed by most.  It does ask tough questions about the nature of heroism and relationships.

Perfect for most classrooms and any home library!

Happy reading!


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