Collecting the entirety of Kit Roebuck‘s webcomic into two print novels, Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life mostly works as a tangible product. That said, it does lose a bit of lustre without the infinite canvas it was originally projected on, and some of the comic’s faults are much more noticeable in this more traditional form.
Noah Van Sciver‘s sequel improves upon the original in every way, although it does make that first volume feel even slighter in retrospect. With fuller characters, a more complex narrative arc and an increased dose of humor, Fante Bukowski 2 is a much more satisfying read than its predecessor.
There are some works of art that are beyond criticism. In most cases the work in question is a timeless classic, having either:
A) Been analyzed so many times that there are no words left unapplied to it.
B) Simply aged itself out of the discussion; sort of a statute of limitations for critics.
Other works are just so incredibly bereft of talent and purpose that trying to somehow apply a sense of logic to them is impossible. You can’t evaluate something when you’re not sure what value it even holds. The daily newspaper comic Six Chix is one of those works.
Sikoryak‘s adaptation of Apple‘s lengthy user agreement is less a graphic novel than an art experiment based around the one-note joke “lol now you HAVE to read the iTunes terms and conditions lol”. Ironically, most people won’t read the text and just flip through the book in search of the homage to their favourite comics.
Bold and direct, Gene Luen Yang‘s tale about growing up as a Chinese youth in America works as both an illuminative coming-of-age story and a parable about self-identity. With its multi-pronged approach it delivers a seldom heard point of view without ever coming off as preachy. It’s also woefully short. Spoilers ahead.