Nicnevin and the Bloody Queen

Cover:             Jock
Written by:  Helen Mullane
Artists:           Dom Reardon
                        Matthew Dow Smith
Colorist:         Lee Loughridge

 Nicnevin is the first graphic novel written by Helen Mullane.  First impression was the cover, created by Jock, of Batman fame.  As usual, it is a quality image, very strong, and well drawn.  Jock is a hit or miss artist with me (hangover from the Batman Who Laughs debacle), but this is definitely an eye catcher.

The story is actually pretty good.  Nissy (Nicnevin), her brother Gowan, and her Mum take a summer holiday to visit her grandmothers house.  (Apparantly she’s dead)  While the mum is doing all the work around the house, Nissy had to go shopping, which allowed her brother to meet friends to play football (soccer for us cretins), and develop a plot point later on.  No matter where Nissy goes, they know exactly who she is, because it’s a small village.

Nissy goes to a lecture, where the dreamy Reggie is giving a talk on ancient cultures, blaming the Romans and Celts for basically whitewashing the history of Europe.  Though true, it sounded striking familiar to today’s rhetoric in the US.

Nissy finds out from him a few things.  Firstly, her family were witches.  She also knew about the folklore (elves, gnomes, faeries, etc…), but he let her know more about the history.

As you guys know, I am really vague about stories, and I’m going to stop here, mainly because I can’t give it justice, without giving it away.

Story wise, I liked it.  Honestly, fleshed out, this would make a pretty good movie, that Sara K would watch, love, and then review.  A nice build, a smattering of information that comes in handy in the end, and a big finish.  My one complaint, this should have been spread out some, because when I finished, It felt rushed, and could have been fleshed out better, thus adding to the suspense.

The characters were the weakness.  Nissy, though wrote by a woman, came across as overly bitchy.  Her overdoing it came across as cliché.  Maybe I’m old, but if I’d have talked to my mom like she did in the comic, I would have been spitting teeth.  I think that Nissy definitely

Gowan was good for introducing a plot point, but mainly worthless.

I though the mum was a good character.  You could feel her being overwhelmed with what a bitch her daughter was.  She moved the story, filled in some history, and overall, a good character.

Reggie would have definitely benefited from a fleshing out of the story.  He was a good character, but felt jammed in there.  He ended up being a gumbo of a character, but written as tomato soup.  I feel this was because of the page constraints.

The art and coloring was good.  It is a style that isn’t really unique, but not bad by any means.  Is it awe inspiring?  No  Can I draw this?  Yes  As fast as they did?  No.  I enjoyed it nonetheless.  The style fit the book.  You didn’t get emotion that well visually through the characters, but they weren’t so unpleasant that you ended up hating it.  With two artists working on it, there were no seams, and you couldn’t tell who did what, or a difference.

My extensive review of the book showed a ranking of 3.8/5 for the book, and that’s fair.  It’s in my wheelhouse, so I might even go 4.0, but the difference is minimal.

If they collaborated again, I would probably check it out as well.

Mista J

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