Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews as I quest for 365 in 365 days here.
Dark Horse Week continues with Gene Ha’s Mae.
Author: Gene Ha
Publisher: Dark Horse (2016-17)
As someone that works at and networks at a lot of conventions, especially here in Chicago, I’m very surprised I have not met Gene Ha until this past ALA conference in June. Gene had a table in artist alley right across from our Pop Culture Classroom/Comics Education Outreach table. He was there promoting the graphic novel Mae Vol. 1, and I made sure to officially meet him and get a copy of the beautiful book.
Rich in purple and reds with a very exciting art style, Mae is the story of a girl that travels between worlds and her older sister that gets dragged along to dangerous adventures. The family aspect to the story is interesting, but like Manifest Destiny (see review 27), this book excels in the interesting cast of characters that Gene creates to both help and harm our protagonists. The book is overflowing with goblin-like, bird-like, cat-like, robot-esque, etc. creatures that guarantee that once the story gets moving, visually, you will not be disappointed. The trade of Mae Vol. 1 consists of issues 1-6 which as you might be able to tell based on some of my other trade reviews, is a good amount of story. You will not feel slighted by the amount of story for your buck!
You do not only get six issues worth of story; the back matter here is rich as well with artists’ take on Mae‘s central characters, mini-stories, and character design notes. I do tend to find this amount of back matter a bit much, but since the art is one of the main things that draws me to Mae, I do not mind. Actually, I think I had just as much fun with this back matter as I did the story.
I’m ordering a handful of copies of Mae for my Graphic Novel class. I always have a group of kids that love sci-fi/fantasy-type books, and this will be right up their alley. If you have loved ones or friends that are into sci-fi/fantasy books but don’t want all of the blood, gore, and sex that often comes along with them, check this book out. Fun for most ages, appreciated by 13+.
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