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7,000 Views and Updates

March 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Yesterday I hit 7,000 views. Yay! I feel like it’s a great accomplishment.

At the same time I acknowledge I haven’t been as productive lately in a meaningful way. These new views are mostly coasting off prior postings and not recent ones. So, while I said I was going to make an effort to post regularly-that didn’t happen. It’s hard to juggle this being a grad student and the various other little parts of my life. Basically, I need to rethink how I go about this.

First off, I’m interested in working with others who want to produce written or in other media formats. Also, linking this more with the work I do in grad school so that way it feels less as a distraction. But, I’m open to suggestions and I’d love to hear from you.

 

Otherwise, I am planning (and hoping) to have a video out over the break. 

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Accidental Hiatus and Updates

December 15, 2012 2 comments

For those who more routinely follow this blog you would’ve noticed that there haven’t been any posts for a good while. And you would be right. I’m still adjusting to working graduate school in my schedule and thus haven’t paid as much attention to my blog as I should have been. Because of my new lifestyle the postings of this will change with the new year. In the meantime here’s some updates:

 

*I have now reached over 5k page views! And well on the way to 6k. 

*No new posts until next year. In the future there will also be no more comic reviews, instead posts will be more general themed.

*However, I’m continuing my third annual quick review of all year-end Billboard Hot 100 pop songs. This will be posted this year.

*There will hopefully be more videos next year.

*A facebook page for ‘Nalvic Reviews’ is being considered for the future.

 

If you have any comments, suggestions, or feedback of the direction this site should take please let me know. I’d love to hear them.

Categories: Uncategorized

September Updates

September 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Hello all!

I wanted to make some quick updates. I know I have been posting irregularly in the past few months. I’ve been in a state of transition as I just finished my Bachelor’s Degree a few months ago and I’m starting grad school in a week, as well moving in a few weeks. But that doesn’t mean I forget about this site!

Things that will happen soon:

*Dropping the .wordpress.com bit. It’ll soon be nalvicreviews.com. Maybe a new layout soon.

*Several videos are in production.

*Lots of comics for me to review. 

*The ‘About’ section has been updated. You can find more detailed info there.

 

I’m looking for title card artists to produce a title card for my video series’. If you’re interested, or know somebody who would be, you can contact me at nalvicreviews@gmail.com. I can pay you!

 

Hope to get something out to you all soon!

Nalvic

 

Categories: Uncategorized

New Blog: Clotting the Issues

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment

I created a new blog to address social and political issues. Something I really wanted to start working, but only now starting to do so. I will still continue to post reviews, articles, and videos (whenever I get around those) too.

 

You can find said site here.

 

Thanks!

Categories: Uncategorized

Update

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello all. I just wanted to give a quick update. First off, I won’t be posting another review for a few days. Though, next time it will be a review for a full series rather than an individual issue or volume. So, it’ll be longer than the usual review. It will also be written. I want to keep video reviews for this blog contained to comic adaptations in film. I know the video quality of the last was poor, so any suggestions on cameras or anything else regarding the video reviews would be great. I want to keep doing them, but I do want to up the quality. Lastly…I NEED REVIEW SUGGESTIONS. Please. I have my own backlog of comics/graphic novels to read, but I’ll catch up to that sooner or later. I want to focus on recommendations rather than what I personally read. I will also start up a new set of comic analysis soon called ‘Between the Lines,’ which is generally a more comedic over-analysis of comics. These will be more infrequent than the regular reviews (like every 2-3 weeks on average). So, if you leave a suggestion you may also say if you want a straight up review or a ‘Between the Lines.’ That’s about it for now.

Categories: Uncategorized

‘How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less’: A Graphic Novel Review

April 25, 2011 2 comments

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less is the first graphic novel work by Sarah Glidden, a Brooklyn based artist who is part of the cartoonist studio known as Pizza Island (who notably includes Meredith Gran and Kate Beaton). Glidden has had other comic work done before, mostly in comic anthologies. With that let’s dive into How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.

Writing:

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less (from now on will be mentioned as Israel 60 Days) is a memoir of Sarah Glidden’s own journey to Israel through Birthright Israel, which sends those of Jewish religion/ethnicity to Israel for free in a tour. Glidden approaches the journey as an individual critical of Israeli policies, on the part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I came to this work as somewhat unaware of the conflict itself, beyond what I’ve read minimally. It’s somewhat nice that the work doesn’t make itself a testament towards the conflict, but rather Glidden’s cultural exposure to contemporaneous Israel. I think this works well for narrative purposes, because of the reader’s own perceptions regarding the present conflict, the focus is maintained on Glidden’s own experience and not a political message.

The reader only learns a few things about Glidden in the course of the narrative. Beyond her defined perception of Israel prior to her journey and a few other life details there isn’t much given about her. While it is a memoir, it is more a capsule of her experience in Israel and little else. The reader gets to know her thoughts which help cement her personality. The work is chronological and avoids mundane details, but rather focuses on ‘moments’ in Glidden’s and possibly the reader’s own understanding of Israel. A lot of this moments are emotional and it can become easy for the reader to project themselves in the situation.

All in all, Glidden chose a very appropriate subject to write/draw a memoir on. It also becomes easy to believe that she now works on comic journalism (an awesome field), working herself subjectively into the work. She does have a bias, but that’s part of understanding her journey, and I feel it’s easy for most to grasp despite their leanings.

Design:

The comic design is fairly simple. 9 panels per page with roughly drawn boundaries for each panel. Because Glidden uses watercolors for color it occasionally breaches the boundaries of each panel. But I don’t really feel like that hurts the work or makes it seem sloppy. I’m going to go over this in further detail in the next section. Again, this comic is fairly simple and there’s not much too write about here.

Art:

In the case of ‘Israel 60 Days’ I feel like the art is just as important as the subject matter and lends itself towards creating an effective narrative. As mentioned in the above section Glidden uses watercolor paints as her medium of color. This is done as the third stage, a sketch, and then inked and then finally painted. I recently met her, while the work, at a comic festival and she drew in my copy of the book and she did a sketch and it literally took her seconds (maybe twenty-30 tops) to draw herself. Considering that most of the panels have fairly basic designs (though for the larger scaled places like Jerusalem are more fleshed out) with a focus on particular scene in the panel. Based on this and the relative quickness of her sketches (based on my experience) I imagine the majority work is spent on inks and watercolors.

Her color palette is made up mostly of soft colors. While this might be because of the medium, I imagine that a great deal of this comes at lending itself to accessibility of the work. The softer colors make the world seem more approachable for the reader and quickly to identify and sympathize with Glidden. And when the more emotional moments happen it definitely effects your own experience. The watercolors may at time to seem sloppy, but again, I feel this adds intimacy to the work. It’s obvious that Glidden has a strong control over her medium and using it effectively to strengthen her narrative. Finally, it was nice to see the use of watercolors. It’s refreshing to know that Glidden cares enough about her subject to sketch, ink, and paint it by hand. It’s nice also to see the medium in the comics world at large.

Camels in the desert. A good example of Glidden's use of color.

A sample page

Final Opinion:

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less is a refreshing change of pace in the world on comics, mainstream or independent. Her subject matter is an important topic, and her subjective narrative, based on her own experiences approachable, unique and emotional. I became more interested in learning about Israel because of this work. The use of watercolors is definitely unique and nice change of pace. While you may not always agree with Glidden’s own opinions, her approach is commendable by attempting to formulate her own opinion directly without middle sources or accounts. I receommend How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less to anyone who likes journalism, memoirs, interested in the Middle East, or the concept of forming their own opinion directly. On my part I greatly enjoyed this work, and as I said several times already, this work is unique, a nice change of pace and helped stimulate interest in Israel.

Sarah Glidden has recently created a work called The Waiting Room, regarding Iraqi refugees in Syria. This work is journalistic and done in the same watercolor medium. It can be found here:

http://www.cartoonmovement.com/comic/10

She has a website that has images and information regarding other works:

http://www.smallnoises.com/

How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less belongs to Sarah Glidden and is distributed by Vertigo.

Intro

April 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello everybody. I decided to start up this blog as a means of reviewing comics/graphic novels/zines that I casually read. I read a mixture of independent/creator-focused works (I’m a strong advocate for creator’s rights), as well as the occasional Marvel or DC superhero comics. I intend to go over the issues/collected volumes in terms of their writing, art and design. If it’s an older comic (depending upon the age), I’ll go over how well it holds up to this day, as well the context (to my best ability) of when it was produced. Reviews aren’t based a score standard, but rather my own opinion, which may be disputed in the comments (I encourage this).

I had debated upon creating this, while I thought it would be neat to go about reviewing comics, but I thought it would be limiting to review only the comics that I read. So. If anybody has suggestions for comics, ‘good or bad,’ and fairly cheap (I’m a poor college student, okay) and accessible, just leave it in the comments section or send a message somehow. I’m strongly attached to my anonymity, so that’s why I don’t have any e-mail posted (most have some semblance of my name in there), and if you do know me, great, but please don’t put my name in comments. Make something witty. I’m also not going to go back in a series that I’m reviewing, unless I go back and read them on my own time, or there is just a strong demand for it. You’re just going to have to deal with me starting reviews mid-series sometimes (since I had read those comics prior to this blog’s conception).

I have two works ready to be reviewed, and hopefully they should be up by the end of the week. Until then!

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