Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.
This is part of a series of posts reviewing categories in this year's Hugo ballot. I'll be discussing the entries, the voter packet, and my ballot. I've nominated and voted most years since 2011, when I figured out that all I had to do was join Worldcon to get to do so. Not only that, but if you participate in one year, you still get to nominate the next year. This year, thanks to a rule change, we nominated up to 5 entries, and the final ballot included the top 6.
Graphic novel is a category I've gotten more familiar with over the years. I don't think I nominated anything the first 3 years since this format just wasn't part of my regular reading and what few I did read tended to be too old to be eligible. This year, I had read 2 before getting the packet, and owned a 3rd that I just hadn't gotten to yet. I've reviewed each entry as a post on this blog already and will include those links. Below are this year's finalists, listed in the order they appeared on the official announcement, with my notes on each.
Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze (Marvel) - I rated this 4 stars. Basically my criticism is a construction issue, not a plot or art one.
Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image) - This is the one I owned, but hadn't gotten to, and I rated it 4 stars as well. I'll definitely read the next volume. This also had the worst issues with the watermarking applied to all the graphic stories in the packet. I'm glad I had a physical copy for reference.
Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa (Marvel) - This one I read before getting the voter packet. I also rated it 4 stars.
Paper Girls, Volume 1, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image) - I nominated this, because I fucking love this series. 5 stars.
Saga, Volume 6, illustrated by Fiona Staples, written by Brian K. Vaughan, lettered by Fonografiks (Image) - As discussed in my review, I'd stopped reading this series, but this volume is so good, I may go back. 4.5 stars.
The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man, written by Tom King, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Marvel) - This one just did not work for me. Nothing bad about it besides not being for me, though. 3.5 stars.
So, in summary, Paper Girls will go at the top, obviously. Followed by Saga. Even though I rated each 4 stars, I think Black Panther will be in slot 5 with the other two a close call for 3rd and 4th. And Vision will be at the bottom of my ballot, but, again, not because it isn't good. I just liked everything else better.