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Trapped on an island off the coast of Maine, the people of Hopeless find life a little darker and more dangerous with every day that passes. The number of orphans rises continually, but who can say what happens to their parents? Plenty of the bodies are never found. This is not the stuff of happy, careless childhoods, it is instead fertile ground for personal demons. In Ho Trapped on an island off the coast of Maine, the people of Hopeless find life a little darker and more dangerous with every day that passes. The number of orphans rises continually, but who can say what happens to their parents? Plenty of the bodies are never found. This is not the stuff of happy, careless childhoods, it is instead fertile ground for personal demons. In Hopeless, the demons are not always abstract concepts. Some of them have very real teeth, and very real horns. The island has been isolated for a very long time. Partly because of being small and forgotten, partly because the rocks and currents do not encourage visitors, Hopeless is surrounded by fog and overrun with nightmarish creatures, from small things with tentacles to demons and vampires. It's a peculiar place. Here, almost anything can happen, from the weird and unsettling to the darkly funny. With a cast of freaks, nutters and the odd power crazed psychopath, life in Hopeless is seldom dull. Hopeless is also about who you choose to be. The tale is a protest against apathy, and against the small evils that everyone takes for granted. The worst monsters frequently aren't the ones with the obvious teeth--who are merely dangerous by nature--but the apparently ordinary people who choose to do hideous things.


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Trapped on an island off the coast of Maine, the people of Hopeless find life a little darker and more dangerous with every day that passes. The number of orphans rises continually, but who can say what happens to their parents? Plenty of the bodies are never found. This is not the stuff of happy, careless childhoods, it is instead fertile ground for personal demons. In Ho Trapped on an island off the coast of Maine, the people of Hopeless find life a little darker and more dangerous with every day that passes. The number of orphans rises continually, but who can say what happens to their parents? Plenty of the bodies are never found. This is not the stuff of happy, careless childhoods, it is instead fertile ground for personal demons. In Hopeless, the demons are not always abstract concepts. Some of them have very real teeth, and very real horns. The island has been isolated for a very long time. Partly because of being small and forgotten, partly because the rocks and currents do not encourage visitors, Hopeless is surrounded by fog and overrun with nightmarish creatures, from small things with tentacles to demons and vampires. It's a peculiar place. Here, almost anything can happen, from the weird and unsettling to the darkly funny. With a cast of freaks, nutters and the odd power crazed psychopath, life in Hopeless is seldom dull. Hopeless is also about who you choose to be. The tale is a protest against apathy, and against the small evils that everyone takes for granted. The worst monsters frequently aren't the ones with the obvious teeth--who are merely dangerous by nature--but the apparently ordinary people who choose to do hideous things.

30 review for Personal Demons

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Lawrence

    So... I've read a lot of graphic novels over a lot of years. This isn't like those. For one thing, it's night time. Seriously. They could have saved a lot of ink if the whole thing were printed on black paper. Things unfold at a gentle pace. There's a charm to it. It's a graphic novel at right-angles to current trends, and all the better for it. This work of art is about mood. That's not to say there isn't an interesting story and character - because there are - but this isn't the slick and graphic So... I've read a lot of graphic novels over a lot of years. This isn't like those. For one thing, it's night time. Seriously. They could have saved a lot of ink if the whole thing were printed on black paper. Things unfold at a gentle pace. There's a charm to it. It's a graphic novel at right-angles to current trends, and all the better for it. This work of art is about mood. That's not to say there isn't an interesting story and character - because there are - but this isn't the slick and graphic violence of Preacher, or the clever pop-culture of Zenith, the both-of-those-together of Watchmen, or the reaching weird goodness of Sandman, it's a curio, some dark gothic dream bottled and painted in shades of night. The artwork has a stronger voice than the words - though the dialogue fits perfectly - and is a curious mix of manga-like characters in a strange gothic world. At night. And it works. Obviously art is personal (as are demons) but I love it. Come into Hopeless, Maine with your eyes open. Check out the website. If you like what you see there then you will devour this book. Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes ...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Disclaimer: Recieved copy via Netgalley What is it about Maine that invites horror stories? Scratch that. There is something about those cold places – Maine, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia and so forth – that leads to dark tales, be it horror or personal demons. Maybe it’s the long nights. But at least you know why it has the title it does. This graphic novel is very, very good. The only question is whether the art work or the story is better. The answer is that the art and story are tied. The s Disclaimer: Recieved copy via Netgalley What is it about Maine that invites horror stories? Scratch that. There is something about those cold places – Maine, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia and so forth – that leads to dark tales, be it horror or personal demons. Maybe it’s the long nights. But at least you know why it has the title it does. This graphic novel is very, very good. The only question is whether the art work or the story is better. The answer is that the art and story are tied. The story concerns Salamandra, a young girl whose parents have gone missing, maybe. Salamandra is a tough girl, though she isn’t a Goth. She acts like a loner, but it seems that this trait is more learned than bred. And she isn’t a witch, though she isn’t quite human either. She has a teddy bear and a crow. In some ways, Salamandra might be the offspring of those tough loner chicks that you see in all the urban fantasy novels right now. Yet she’s not. She is far more human. She loves her teddy bear. The book is good in so many ways. From the double meaning of the title – there is more than one demon here – to the stunning artwork, a cross between Rackham and Anime. The story works because it can be read on more than one level and while Salamandra might not win our sympathy, the reader likes her because she is believable, because she grows and changes. More importantly, unlike some other heroines I can think of she knows when to ask for help. Salamandra is not a darker version of Harry Potter. She is more like a mutant from the Marvel Universe, albeit one without the triple D bra size. Yet even that comparison is flawed. The stories are far more adult, though it seems this graphic novel is marketed for young adults. It’s great that smaller publishers are coming out with more female oriented comic books, and make the heroines real instead of fashion models with powers.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    I was charmed by this comic from the first few pages. I love the art style: the sepia-tinted pages, the level of detail, and the slightly manga-inspired characters. The island itself is fascinatingly mystical, with demons and ghosts and witches, among other things. Our main character, Salamandra, is one of those other things. She's also a likeable, believably written girl. The dialog, especially hers, feels very natural under the strange circumstances of the island. The main antagonist of this b I was charmed by this comic from the first few pages. I love the art style: the sepia-tinted pages, the level of detail, and the slightly manga-inspired characters. The island itself is fascinatingly mystical, with demons and ghosts and witches, among other things. Our main character, Salamandra, is one of those other things. She's also a likeable, believably written girl. The dialog, especially hers, feels very natural under the strange circumstances of the island. The main antagonist of this book, the invisible frenemy, is certainly threatening. And while this is a complete storyline, there's enough unsettled questions at the end to keep the series moving. Hopeless, Maine is available as a free webcomic, but I read this in the hardcover release. It's a nicely produced book, but I'd still suggest reading it online if you can't get the paper copy from the library.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    A different sort of graphic novel -- a mood piece. Innovative artwork consisting of sepia-tinted pages, significant detail, and manga-esque characters. The island off Maine itself is a mystical place, complete with demons, ghosts, and witches. The main character, Salamandra, is something else, but is likable and very real, with many of the common problems of orphans and loners. I liked this one, but am disappointed that none of the local libraries has a copy of the sequel.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adela Cacovean

    English review followed by Romanian translation of the review. - Recenzia în engleză e urmată de traducerea ei în română. "Trapped on an island off the coast of Maine, the people of Hopeless find life a little darker and more dangerous with every day that passes. The number of orphans rises continually, but who can say what happens to their parents? Plenty of the bodies are never found. This is not the stuff of happy, careless childhoods, it is instead fertile ground for personal demons.In Hopel English review followed by Romanian translation of the review. - Recenzia în engleză e urmată de traducerea ei în română. "Trapped on an island off the coast of Maine, the people of Hopeless find life a little darker and more dangerous with every day that passes. The number of orphans rises continually, but who can say what happens to their parents? Plenty of the bodies are never found. This is not the stuff of happy, careless childhoods, it is instead fertile ground for personal demons.In Hopeless, the demons are not always abstract concepts. Some of them have very real teeth, and very real horns." Despite this description and what I am going to write, the story isn't all about demons, monsters and evil, but more about promoting values like courage, trust and compassion. Salamandra is a girl gifted with magic, whose soul is very sad because she is liked by nobody around her. "My mother wants to drink me." she says nonchálantly about the woman that killed her brother. (Her father conjures demons.) Annamarie Nightshade finds the scared girl, who is hidding behind the furniture of her home, and takes her from home to an orphanage. She there encounters the same problem - no one wants to be her friend, except a mysterious mean blonde girl who seems to find great pleasure in Salamandra's suffering. The only confort she finds is in a baby crow that has fallen out of its nest. It is great how a person that has not known love from her family can be so compassionate towards something so little and fragile! For me, Salamandra was a very intriguing character that continuously amazed me through her actions. She demonstrates a lot of bravery by trying to face evil and, despite having so little, she is willing to give it all up for the sake of another. One of my favourite moments is when, on being named a "witch", she stumblingly replies "I'm not a witch, I'm a... a... something else". The dialogue flowed nicely, the gothic-style illustrations were amazing with their colour tones, and, though simple, the character design suited the story very well. I would have liked this graphic novel to have been a little longer, but this series has great potential and I am looking forward to the next issues. I definitely recommend this to any gothic/graphic novel lovers. *I received an e-book copy of this book from NetGalley. _________________________________________ "Blocaţi pe o insulă din apropierea statului Maine, oamenii din Hopeless au vieţi din ce în ce mai periculoase şi mai întunecate cu fiecare zi care trece. Numărul orfanilor creşte continuu, dar cine poate spune ce se întâmplă cu părinţii lor? Multe trupuri nu mai sunt găsite. Nu e loc pentru copilării fericite, lipsite de griji, ci e un "teren fertil" pentru demonii personali. În Hopeless, demonii nu sunt mereu concepte abstracte. Unii dintre ei au dinţi şi coarne foarte reale." (traducere neoficială) În ciuda acestei descrieri şi a celor scrise de mine în continuare, acest roman nu e doar despre monştri, demoni şi rău, ci se concentrează mai mult pe promovarea valorilor precum curajul, încrederea şi compasiunea. Salamandra e o fată ce are darul magiei, al cărei suflet e foarte trist deoarece nu o place nimeni din jurul ei. "Mama mea vrea să mă înghită" spune ea cu nonşalanţă despre femeia care i-a ucis fratele. (Tatăl ei invocă demoni.) Annamare Nightshade găseşte fata speriată, care se ascunde în spatele mobilei din casă, şi o duce la un orfelinat. Acolo se înfruntă cu aceeaşi problemă - nimeni nu vrea să-i fie prieten, cu excepţia unei blonde rele şi misterioase care pare să găsească satisfacţie în suferinţa Salamandrei. Singura alinare pe care o găseşte e într-un pui de cioară care a căzut din cuib. E grozav cum o persoană care nu a cunoscut iubire din partea familiei poate avea compasiune pentru o fiinţă atât de mică şi fragilă! Salamandra mi s-a părut a fi un personaj foarte interesant, care m-a uimit neîncetat cu acţiunile ei. Dă dovadă de mult curaj înfruntând demonii şi, deşi are foarte puţine lucruri, e dispusă să renunţe la toate pentru binele altuia. Unul din momentele mele preferate e când, numită "vrăjitoare", ea răspunde ezitând "Nu sunt vrăjitoare, sunt o... o... altceva." Dialogul curge uşor, ilustraţiile în stil gotic sunt uimitoare prin tonurile de culori şi, deşi simplu, designul personajelor se potriveşte foarte bine cu povestea. Mi-ar fi plăcut ca acest roman grafic să fie puţin mai lung, dar această serie are un mare potenţial şi de-abia aştept numerele următoare. Recomand această carte tuturor iubitorilor stilului gotic şi al romanelor grafice. *Am primit o copie electronică a acestei copii de pe NetGalley.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mitriel

    I can't recall ever starting to read with a nice cup of tea, rose scented candles on the table and soft Celtic melodies playing in the background. But there was something about this cover. A hint of magic as I touched it. Hauntingly beautiful, a friend said earlier, which is all true, although you don't truly understand the meaning of these words until you let the book open you and whisper its dark, adorable little secrets inside. Don't let the enchanting drawings deceive you, there are wild powe I can't recall ever starting to read with a nice cup of tea, rose scented candles on the table and soft Celtic melodies playing in the background. But there was something about this cover. A hint of magic as I touched it. Hauntingly beautiful, a friend said earlier, which is all true, although you don't truly understand the meaning of these words until you let the book open you and whisper its dark, adorable little secrets inside. Don't let the enchanting drawings deceive you, there are wild powers at work here with unpredictable side-effects. Forces, that made me smile and cry at the same time as I was blown back in time into being a little girl again, someone, who I have forgotten a long time ago. It was a time where the most important things of my days were to be read by my great grandmother and let my fantasy open its wings and take me to lands I created and beyond. As my life happened, I grew up too fast, leaving this little girl behind on one of these far-away, mysterious lands. And tonight I smiled and cried at the same time as I was taken back and found, that she was still there.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    The art in this graphic novel is absolutely amazing. I was completely blown away by the beauty of of Hopeless, Maine! This volume centers around a girl named Salamandra. Salamandra lives on an island that is dark and creepy, she has been taking care of herself for some time because her mother tried to kill her. Throughout the novel Salamandra has to figure out who she can and can’t trust, all the while she is also trying to learn how to manage her own powers that make her different from everyone The art in this graphic novel is absolutely amazing. I was completely blown away by the beauty of of Hopeless, Maine! This volume centers around a girl named Salamandra. Salamandra lives on an island that is dark and creepy, she has been taking care of herself for some time because her mother tried to kill her. Throughout the novel Salamandra has to figure out who she can and can’t trust, all the while she is also trying to learn how to manage her own powers that make her different from everyone else. I really enjoyed the friendship that is growing between Salamandra and Owen. Owen is the son of the reverend who runs the orphanage were Salamandra lives. I hope in volumes to come I get to see more of Owen and Slamandra together, they make quite a pair. After reading this all I want is the next volume! I want to know more about Salamandra’s family, Why is all this paranormal activity happening on this island, and what the heck is happening to all the parents??? Happy Reading, Rebecca www.bendingthespine.blogspot.com

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy (Other Amy)

    I don't read many graphic novels. This was very well done - lovely artwork and a story that retains its mystery for the next volume, which I am now really looking forward to reading. I don't read many graphic novels. This was very well done - lovely artwork and a story that retains its mystery for the next volume, which I am now really looking forward to reading.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Makenzie

    I don't usually read comics, but the artwork is what caught my eye. The story is roughly 3.5-4 stars, but I'm rating this with 5 stars because i loved the gothic atmosphere! I can definitely see some influence from Neil Gaiman here. Overall I'm extremely glad I decided to pick this one up! I don't usually read comics, but the artwork is what caught my eye. The story is roughly 3.5-4 stars, but I'm rating this with 5 stars because i loved the gothic atmosphere! I can definitely see some influence from Neil Gaiman here. Overall I'm extremely glad I decided to pick this one up!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maxine

    Hopeless, Maine is a dreary and desolate island off the coast of Maine The nights are full of demons, monsters, and all kinds of things that go bump and the days are just a slightly lighter shade of night. The population of Hopeless is small and dwindling and the only thing it produces is orphans. Salamandra is one such orphan. She is perfectly capable of taking care of herself and hates being forced to go to the orphanage. She doesn't like the other kids and they don't like her so she decides to Hopeless, Maine is a dreary and desolate island off the coast of Maine The nights are full of demons, monsters, and all kinds of things that go bump and the days are just a slightly lighter shade of night. The population of Hopeless is small and dwindling and the only thing it produces is orphans. Salamandra is one such orphan. She is perfectly capable of taking care of herself and hates being forced to go to the orphanage. She doesn't like the other kids and they don't like her so she decides to run away. As she is leaving, she meets a beautiful but frightened little girl who begs Salamandra to take her with her. At first, Salamandra is thrilled to have a friend but soon she notices that no one else can see this girl and her new 'friend' seems to constantly try to make Salamandra feel bad about herself. Salamandra also notices that she is not the only one with an invisible and nasty 'friend'. With the aid of the Orphanage master's son, she sets out to discover who this girl really is. Turns out that not all demons are ugly; some, perhaps, the worst, are small and blonde and beautiful and very, very personal. I loved this graphic novel of Hopeless, Maine. The story is deeply and wonderfully disturbing and the illustrations are amazing. They are mostly in shades of brown and blue and match perfectly the sense and feel of Hopeless. They reminded me of the beautiful anime of Spirited Away with just the right split between beauty and creepy. Like all graphic novels, Hopeless Maine is a quick read. However, you should really take your time and absorb the atmosphere. After all, Hopeless isn't just a place to lay your head and horns; it is also a state of mind.

  11. 4 out of 5

    crypticat

    the artwork is beautifully done and elaborately detailed, and an interesting blend of Lovecraftian atmosphere, American cartoon, and Japanese anime. fans of the Mushishi manga or anime might take particular notice of the random little aniplant creatures that float through various scenes. [yes, i made up the word aniplant. if Shakespeare, Joyce, and cummings can do it, i can do it. language is malleable in all hands.] also very interesting is that the main character, because of the way her face i the artwork is beautifully done and elaborately detailed, and an interesting blend of Lovecraftian atmosphere, American cartoon, and Japanese anime. fans of the Mushishi manga or anime might take particular notice of the random little aniplant creatures that float through various scenes. [yes, i made up the word aniplant. if Shakespeare, Joyce, and cummings can do it, i can do it. language is malleable in all hands.] also very interesting is that the main character, because of the way her face is drawn, could equally pass for White or Black, and in some panels Asian or Native American. the story is a little fragmented in places, literally and figuratively dark, with a gradual and moody pace. i'm not sure if this book is partly aimed at a young audience or not, but the story is rooted in loneliness, isolation, false and true friendship, and personal independence, which seem to be decent ingredients for an early teen book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nico

    Really, I'm sorry, I just didn't love it! I definitely appreciated the ambiance the art portrayed, but the plot seemed a little simple, straightforward and predictable. I don't know, I just didn't see what others saw I guess. Which is quite a pity, I was really looking forward to a 'blow me away' graphic novel. ALSO, something else that distracted me. You know when somebody points something out that should've been so obvious, and once you've seen it, it cannot be unseen? Do you also remember tha Really, I'm sorry, I just didn't love it! I definitely appreciated the ambiance the art portrayed, but the plot seemed a little simple, straightforward and predictable. I don't know, I just didn't see what others saw I guess. Which is quite a pity, I was really looking forward to a 'blow me away' graphic novel. ALSO, something else that distracted me. You know when somebody points something out that should've been so obvious, and once you've seen it, it cannot be unseen? Do you also remember that episode of Star Trek: TNG where that random girl starts to be obsessed with this other girl no one else can see? (Imaginary Friend, 5x22) I'm sorry to go so incredibly geek on this, but I made that relation and then the plot seemed so easy and overdone: evil imaginary friend. *sigh* Just not for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sunny

    This author and illustrator have a new fan. I devoured this short comic in probably 30 minutes. I could not put it down. It was absolutely fantastic and was almost like a fairytale, albeit a dark one. I could definitely see allowing my kid to read this because though dark, it was still a good triumph over evil story. I fell in love with the main character who became surer of herself as the story progressed. Even though she stood out and was a bit different in a world that was strange to began wi This author and illustrator have a new fan. I devoured this short comic in probably 30 minutes. I could not put it down. It was absolutely fantastic and was almost like a fairytale, albeit a dark one. I could definitely see allowing my kid to read this because though dark, it was still a good triumph over evil story. I fell in love with the main character who became surer of herself as the story progressed. Even though she stood out and was a bit different in a world that was strange to began with; she got past it with the help of a personal demon. Such a fantastical story that was vivid and slightly terrifying but it was a delicious read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    Enter the dark and eerie world of Hopeless, Maine. You may notice that there are an awful lot of orphans for such an isolated place. You may also notice a girl named Salamandra who refuses to stay put in the orphanage that she's been placed in. While this is going on, you're probably trying to squint through the enveloping fog to see if there really are monsters crawling through the shadows. Hopeless, Maine is the type of town where anything can happen and where the most monstrous of the monster Enter the dark and eerie world of Hopeless, Maine. You may notice that there are an awful lot of orphans for such an isolated place. You may also notice a girl named Salamandra who refuses to stay put in the orphanage that she's been placed in. While this is going on, you're probably trying to squint through the enveloping fog to see if there really are monsters crawling through the shadows. Hopeless, Maine is the type of town where anything can happen and where the most monstrous of the monsters may not even look like monsters at all. Beautiful, atmospheric artwork and a dark sense of humor make this a comic series to watch.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bogdan

    YES, definitely this is more a graphic novel where the ambiance and the art portrayed has a bigger role than the plot. Because really, the plot is kinda childish and predictable. Even the art has some touches that you could think this is going to be for teens not a book with mature content. Because it has some deamons and other creatures depicted here... For the art I guess I will also try the second one...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    The artwork in this book was gorgeous, but the storyline feels underdeveloped, probably due to the lack of prose. It's a stylistic choice for the artist, having the male and female characters look so similar. It gives the characters an otherworldly beauty that is rather feminine on the whole. Not a dealbreaker--just interesting to me. I loved the dark Gothic feel. I'll pick up the next volume at my library. The artwork in this book was gorgeous, but the storyline feels underdeveloped, probably due to the lack of prose. It's a stylistic choice for the artist, having the male and female characters look so similar. It gives the characters an otherworldly beauty that is rather feminine on the whole. Not a dealbreaker--just interesting to me. I loved the dark Gothic feel. I'll pick up the next volume at my library.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Washor

    I'm new to reading graphic novels so I can't compare, but I can say that I loved this! The artwork is amazing, the story imaginative, the characters captivating. It's really refreshing to sit down and read an entire story in half an hour! I see more graphic novels in my future and definitely more Hopeless Maine... I'm new to reading graphic novels so I can't compare, but I can say that I loved this! The artwork is amazing, the story imaginative, the characters captivating. It's really refreshing to sit down and read an entire story in half an hour! I see more graphic novels in my future and definitely more Hopeless Maine...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Lyle

    This is the dark story of a little orphan girl called Salamandra who is desperately unhappy in the orphanage. I tells how she finally deals with her own personal demons. I can happily read this little graphic novel again and again! It is a beautiful concept with outstanding illustrations. Even the cover has a beautiful textural feel to it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Watts

    3.5 stars! I finished this in less than 2 hours. The art work was beautiful. I fell in love with it from the very beginning. I loved the concept of witches, demons, ghosts and the world where it took place. It was dark and mysterious which is something I love every now and then. I'm hoping to get the second one very soon. 3.5 stars! I finished this in less than 2 hours. The art work was beautiful. I fell in love with it from the very beginning. I loved the concept of witches, demons, ghosts and the world where it took place. It was dark and mysterious which is something I love every now and then. I'm hoping to get the second one very soon.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Missie Kay

    First Look: Beautifully creepy. I love this cover art so much: it gives me the shivers, but in a really good way. Read more on my blog: http://thebookfix.wordpress.com/2013/... First Look: Beautifully creepy. I love this cover art so much: it gives me the shivers, but in a really good way. Read more on my blog: http://thebookfix.wordpress.com/2013/...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charn Singh

    Gothic decay, stupendous art work, and grotesque ambience pulsates the macabre heart of Hopeless, Maine. The books derives nearly a perfect amalgam of originality, and inspiration from the works of Poe/Lovecraft.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ardis

    this graphic novel is somewhere in between kids and teen. Its pretty dark for a kids' book, but the protagonist is a young girl. The illustrations are gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, and creepy. this graphic novel is somewhere in between kids and teen. Its pretty dark for a kids' book, but the protagonist is a young girl. The illustrations are gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, and creepy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aby Irving-isom

    I absolutely adored the art work, really beautiful, and a great setting with lots if potential to expand. A few titbits for the future already dropped in to give us an idea of what is to come.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Read digital version. Very creepy & mysterious, but the illustrations were wonderful.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Just picked this up for fun at the library, not too bad.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mercedes McLean-Wheeler

    Art was very beautiful and I loved the setting, but the plot was a bit predictable and vague.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    Gorgeous and Compelling It is a rare treat indeed when you find a graphic novel with gorgeous artwork, a creepy well told tale, and a hint of knowing deadpan humor. Well, here it is. Many of the panels on these pages could stand alone as featured artwork. There is a great deal of stylish embellishment that frames and focuses very expressive character representation. Each character in the novel has a distinctive and consistent look and presentation, and that is not easy to do when some characters a Gorgeous and Compelling It is a rare treat indeed when you find a graphic novel with gorgeous artwork, a creepy well told tale, and a hint of knowing deadpan humor. Well, here it is. Many of the panels on these pages could stand alone as featured artwork. There is a great deal of stylish embellishment that frames and focuses very expressive character representation. Each character in the novel has a distinctive and consistent look and presentation, and that is not easy to do when some characters are ghosts or demons or just shapeless suggestions. The pages drip with atmosphere and always match the mood of the narrative, (sometimes a bit darker; sometimes a bit lighter; sometimes helping to clarify; sometimes obscuring). It's just very rich and satisfying. But, I've seen a lot of graphic novels with great artwork that strains and works and tries to illustrate and support what turns out to be just an incoherent story. When that happens you just end up with pretty, basically abstract pictures. Well here, the story makes sense and has a beginning, a middle and a satisfying conclusion. We have the orphan Salamandra, a helpful young witch, an orphanage, a demonic imaginary friend, and a young boy friend, Owen, (note, not "boyfriend"), for Salamandra. The story starts confusingly, and it's not clear who is who until we get Salamandra to the orphanage. Then the plot comes in to focus and takes off. So, persevere through the first dozen or so pages, wait for things to start to fall into place, and then go back and start over again. It will all make sense, and I must say I prefer a story that clears up as it goes along over a story that gets more confusing and incoherent as it goes along. And here's an extra treat. As Salamandra and Owen develop a friendship you start to get some very witty and deadpan humor. Some is humor that arises from the story and the relationship between the characters, but some of the humor is sort of very sly and subtle humor about the fact that this is a horror story that jokes a bit with the horror conventions. So sometimes it feels like the author and the illustrator are kidding around with you, the fellow conspirator reader. That's especially cool considering that most of the graphic novels I've read recently have taken themselves a bit too seriously. Not so here. So, read it as straight gothic horror or read it as a valentine to the horror tradition, either way this book is a real find. Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to the author or the publisher of this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathy (Kindle-aholic)

    I am not a graphic novel expert, but I do like to grab one now and then as a change of pace. I've tried some of the newer Wonder Woman's, Locke & Key, and of course The Sandman. I find myself drawn to the darker fantasy works. This one is closer to a YA dark fantasy. The horrible occurrences in Hopeless, Maine, were just right. Creepy, kid-centered, there is violence but not to the extent of those geared for older audiences. I absolutely fell in love with the illustrations (a must with a graphic I am not a graphic novel expert, but I do like to grab one now and then as a change of pace. I've tried some of the newer Wonder Woman's, Locke & Key, and of course The Sandman. I find myself drawn to the darker fantasy works. This one is closer to a YA dark fantasy. The horrible occurrences in Hopeless, Maine, were just right. Creepy, kid-centered, there is violence but not to the extent of those geared for older audiences. I absolutely fell in love with the illustrations (a must with a graphic novel, of course). Terrible things have been happening in Hopeless. The orphanage is full, people keep dying, and there are demons everywhere. A strange girl named Salamandra has been found living alone. She says her mother wants to drink her and her father has some very interesting acquaintances. She is sent to the orphanage where she encounters a dangerous enemy, finds a friend, and also shows what she can do. Salamandra might be small, but she is not helpless. I liked the atmosphere and the little taste of Hopeless we get in Book 1. I'll keep an eye out for future installments. [Received an ARC to review.]

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This was a quite enjoyable read. The illustrations were awesome and very fitting for the Halloween period. Hopeless, Maine - Personal Demons - says it all. Salamandra is a little girl that seems orphaned. She is taken in and then it's discovered she has these unusual powers. So off to the Orphanage with her. All alone and friendless, Salamandra feels awful and takes off. She sees a little girl, beautiful with blonde hair and ribbons everywhere. Salamandra is excited but sceptical about this littl This was a quite enjoyable read. The illustrations were awesome and very fitting for the Halloween period. Hopeless, Maine - Personal Demons - says it all. Salamandra is a little girl that seems orphaned. She is taken in and then it's discovered she has these unusual powers. So off to the Orphanage with her. All alone and friendless, Salamandra feels awful and takes off. She sees a little girl, beautiful with blonde hair and ribbons everywhere. Salamandra is excited but sceptical about this little girl wanting to become her friend. The little girl wants Salamandra to do bad things and she won't do it. Other children in the Orphanage seem to be talking to themselves and Salamandra worked out that they are speaking with the little blonde girl. Salamandra chooses to help get rid of the naughty little blonde girl and find some real friends. This is a great graphic novel, with fantastically dark illustrations fitting to the story. Can't wait to read the next one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mjhancock

    Abandoned by her parents, Salamandra is shipped to the local orphanage. Her burgeoning magic powers attract a friend that she doesn't really want. There's clearly a bigger story going on, in terms of Salamandra's parents, and the mystery of what's happening in Hopeless, but the authors keep things down to a manageable scale for this first volume. It's Salamandra, a small cast of supporting characters, and the city. It's wonderfully drawn, with a kind of gothic manga sort of feel; very atmospheri Abandoned by her parents, Salamandra is shipped to the local orphanage. Her burgeoning magic powers attract a friend that she doesn't really want. There's clearly a bigger story going on, in terms of Salamandra's parents, and the mystery of what's happening in Hopeless, but the authors keep things down to a manageable scale for this first volume. It's Salamandra, a small cast of supporting characters, and the city. It's wonderfully drawn, with a kind of gothic manga sort of feel; very atmospheric. The broadstrokes-plot--unusual girl gifted in magic feels alienated and fends off threat that attacks her mentally--and the style reminded me of Ted Naifeh's Courtney Crumrin series. Salamandra doesn't quite have the same presence as Courtney, but Naifeh's locations aren't as eerily well-defined as this book.

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