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Graphic Novel Book Clubs' May Discussions

The Comic-Con International Graphic Novel Book Clubs met once again in early May to discuss two more great books. Here’s what happened …

Downtown Central Library

The downtown group read Bandette, vol. 1: Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover for their May book. Everyone agreed the art was absolutely charming and had a real sense of movement and motion and a great portrayal of body language. Some readers found the book delightful, whimsical, upbeat, refreshing, and enjoyed the various literary references (H.P. Lovecraft and William Shakespeare were both discussed). And everyone loved Pimento the dog, who was featured in one of the stories written by Tobin but drawn by other artists. But some discussion was generated on the book being too cheerful and not “gritty” enough and a long talk ensued on what kind of female character Bandette was, using her “urchins” and the people around her for her own purposes. Some found it too lightweight for their own tastes. The lesson learned here is simple: even a book like Bandette, which is fun, carefree, and what the movies used to call in the 1960s “a light-hearted romp,” is still going to generate a discussion that is engrossing, enlightening, and provide a look at what people really think.

The downtown group will be reading Locke and Key, vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft next … which our sister club in Mission Valley (the ones that not only discuss books, but excel in baked goods and artsy items … see the photos below) read this month:

Mission Valley Branch Library

This month’s graphic novel for Mission Valley was Locke and Key, vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Not only was the meeting kept very spoiler-free, as some people had read the entire series, but this update will be spoiler-free as the downtown book club has Locke and Key coming up next! Book club member Yvonne moderated and brought homemade Locke and Key themed coasters to give away. Four lucky people took one home and everyone was very jealous! Lea also added to the festivities by bringing apple muffins with a Nutella topping, which were a very delicious treat; each was adorned with art from the novel. Although several people did not enjoy this book due to its violence, most agreed that it was a great graphic novel to read, and even those that did not enjoy the violence agreed that the premise was an intriguing one. This book definitely led to a great deal of questions and one of the most fun questions led to everyone inventing his or her own key! There was also some great discussion (and laughter) about who everyone’s favorite character was. It was a great meeting and probably could have lasted twice as long with all there was to discuss. Credit goes to the two members who had read the complete series for having great poker faces (or knowing when they should hide behind their hats)! Many of the members will continue the series and hope to discuss the ending of the series when everyone is caught up.

Next up for the Mission Valley book club: Fables vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham and Lan Medina

Locke and Key muffins by Mission Valley Book Club member Lea, and homemade coasters by this month's moderator, Yvonne!

Photos by Laura Jones © 2014 SDCC