Lenni Reviews: "Watersnakes" by Tony Sandoval

*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is suggested for mature readers

While Mila is out playing, she meets a strange but beautiful girl named Agnes who believes ghosts live in her teeth. As they spend more time together, Mila realizes Agnes is far from a normal girl as otherworldly forces spill into Mila's life.

This is what I was expecting from Likely Stories; a trippy, thrilling, scary, bloody, fantastic fantasy story that's beautiful to look at. The art takes some getting used to but if you can appreciate the likes of Roman Dirge or Dave McKean, this will be a treat to read through. If you like dark fantasy where fairy tale nightmares bleed into real life, this is a cool book to read and I'd like to see more from this creator. 4.7 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "Sheets" by Brenna Thummler

*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

After her mother's death, Marjorie is holding down the family laundromat all by herself and raising her little brother as her father is still mired in his grief. She has typical outsider problems at school but she also has to deal with the conniving Nigel; who is after the laundromat to demolish the building and replace it with a resort. Feeling disconnected and helpless, things change for Marjorie when a ghost named Wendell sneaks into her shop.

This is a beautiful story about a young woman dealing with loss the best way she can. The laundromat is a perfect setting after such a deep shock since, after the death of a loved one, you do feel like you're spinning and being tossed about beyond your control; feeling transparent and lost, just floating through life.

Not too much time is spent on the "mean girls" schtick, as that can get old real fast. The idea of ghosts being actual sheets could be stupid if not for the amazing art. The whole book is in such a soothing palate, it's a pleasure to the eyes. Wendell and his friends are delightful as well but if I had to nitpick (and of course I do) this is another of those awesome graphic novels that feels like it ended too soon. I wanted to know more about everyone; even that dipshit Nigel: He of the Punchable Face.

Also, and this is spoiler territory here, something about the ending didn't quite sit right with me. SPOILERSSS!!!

Marjorie starts using Ghosturizer - basically ghost detergent/stain remover - to save her failing business, which seems a bit exploitive to me. I get that do misadventures it was Wendell's fault in part that Marjorie got into some extra trouble but unfettered access to otherworldly cleaning products? Seems highly suspect.

Other than that, awesome book. It's meant for kids but I recommend to anyone who needs a daily dose of DAWWWW!! 4 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "The Ghost, The Owl" by Franco and Sara Richard

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

One night, an owl spies the ghost of a young girl skipping across the swamp and goes to investigate. Despite the advice of his fellow owls, he decides to help the lost ghost figure out why she is lost and the mystery of how she died.

Despite being predictable, this is a beautifully drawn, sweet story. The art is a treat for the eyes; soft and flowing when it needs to be and crisp and scary when it needs to be. The detail is fantastic so, even though this is a pretty standard 'find out why the ghost died so they can move on' story, it's so pretty, it should be seen. 

The ending is a bit abrupt and I would say this is too dark for very young kids but I enjoyed it and give it a 3.9 out of 5!

Lenni Reviews: "Bettie Page" Vol. 1 by David Avallone

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for older readers.

In this collection of "secret diaries," we follow our femme fetale, Bettie Page, as she dodges the cops, secret agents, and cult members all while trying to make a living as a model and movie star of B movies with aliens... All while helping beat the bad guys.

This book is a whole lot of cheese and I kinda love it for that. I am an absolute sucker for pin-up art and all the guest art and the comic itself is lovely to look at; even with the batshit crazy ideas. However, there's this sensation of being in a glitter bomb; shiny, pretty, but confusing in all it's bright colors and movement. At the end, I had to re-read it all because I didn't remember what exactly happened. Gotta give it a 3 out of 5 for that but it sure is pretty.

Lenni Reviews: "Streak of Chalk" by Miguelanxo Prado

Raul lands on a tiny, nearly deserted island where the only other non-resident there is a mysterious woman named Ana; who claims to be waiting for someone. 

To quote the book: "This island predisposes you to believe in things that you wouldn't believe in under ordinary circumstances." Therefore, we can't be sure what we're seeing take place in the book is real. The art style does a great job of projecting that mysterious atmosphere; looking like oil or acrylic paintings. Some of the panels are REALLY dark, though; making it hard to make out some details.

Raul isn't exactly the most likable of the small cast of characters. He's pushy and arrogant; thinking because a female is near him, obviously, she must want to get with him and just can't understand why she doesn't fall into bed with him. Then the only other male characters introduced are also sexist assholes. Then it's over.

While lovely, this is not a book for me. It felt like it was trying to hart to mean something and as a result, it didn't feel like it meant anything. But man, is it pretty. 3 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "Taproot" by Keezy Young

*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review

Hamal works at a flower shop but the owner and customers think he's crazy because he can hear, see, and speak to ghosts. This ability is bitter sweet as the ghost, Blue is his best friend and Blue is in love with Hamal. But lately, Blue has been unexpectedly vanishing and all the ghosts are afraid of what's going on.

I am such a fan of all these calm, multi-cultural, creative, and beautiful graphic novels I'm seeing these days. The cool, soft color palette and relaxed writing make this story about an accidental necromancer an amazing and wonderful read. Even when dealing with death, reapers, and ghosts, Taproot never takes itself too seriously; remaining sweet and grounded the entire time. I was a little confused because the terms 'necromancer' and 'ghost hunter' are used interchangeably when I'd always believed them to be very different things. Perhaps if given more time to develop, we could get Hamal's powers clearly defined, learn where they came from, and get some backstory on the other ghosts around him. As it stands, this book was an overall pleasure. 4 out of 5.