Okay, I have to admit: I’m not much of a graphic novel person. I love them, but I always hesitate spending on them because I feel like I fly through them so quickly, and I always feel like I’m not getting my money’s worth of enjoyment/time spent on the work.
Does that make sense? I feel like that makes me sound a little snooty. I’m not!
However, after reading Fangirl and adoring the illustrations, and realizing that Noelle Stevenson did some work for a collection of Adventure Time stories I have (yay Fionna and Cake!), I couldn’t resist Nimona.
First, a synopsis from Amazon:
Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel has been hailed by critics and fans alike as the arrival of a “superstar” talent (NPR.org).
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
Nimona is a lovely little story. I especially loved the past narrative involving Lord Blackheart and Sir Goldenloin.
Nimona is sassy — unexpectedly showing up one day to Lord Blackheart’s compound declaring herself as his sidekick. She delights in destruction and death — he does not.
I really liked the relationship between the two characters, but I feel that it developed rather quickly. However, I had to remind myself that I was reading this in one sitting — many people read it over days and weeks in its original online form, and the relationship may not have seemed to develop so quickly then. Kind of like when you’re binge-watching a television show: ten episodes in two characters end up together, and you’re kind of left gaping like “That was fast!” Whereas if you had watched it over the ten weeks, it would have been agonizingly long and you would have been shipping those characters HARD.
This is a fun, somewhat light read. Definitely not as heavy as my first graphic novel experience (Maus by Art Spiegelman). The illustrations are gorgeous, and as Nimona is a shapeshifter, you really do have fun trying to pick her out in some panels.
I enjoyed this, but I’m not sure if I would pick it up again unless another volume was released and I needed a refresher. I will definitely continue following Noelle Stevenson’s work, though!
Her webpage can be found here.