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Nimona Paperback – May 12, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This celebrated webcomic, a mash-up of medieval culture with modern science and technology, is now available in print. Lord Ballister Blackheart, a knight, has assumed the role of a supervillain in order to expose the nefarious schemes of the kingdom's front organization, The Institute of Law Enforcement. The kingdom's champion is Lord Blackheart's nemesis and former best friend, Sir Ambrose Goldenloin. Blackheart's prickly relationship with Goldenloin further explores the limits of their friendship. Enter the title character, a brash young shapeshifter who doggedly follows Ballister until he agrees to take her on as a sidekick. Nimona's skills as a shapeshifter up the ante in the ongoing rivalry between Ambrose and Ballister. Despite her anger management issues, the teen becomes Ballister's invaluable ally and together they form an alliance of mutual trust and dependence. Action scenes dominate as Nimona shifts with Hulk-like ferocity from frightful creatures such as a fire-breathing dragon to a docile cat or a timid child. Dialogue is fresh and witty with an abundance of clever lines. A complementary color palette of Blackheart's muddy browns contrasts with Goldenloin's fresh transparent yellow-greens. Both color schemes highlight Nimona's intense reds. Readers will note subtle visual differences in webcomic images. The print edition includes an exclusive epilogue not available online. At its core, Nimona is a story of rescue. Each of the main characters rescue allies, friendships, the Kingdom, and ultimately, themselves. VERDICT A vibrant solo work from "Lumberjanes" (Boom!) cocreator.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Noelle Stevenson has a knack for capturing the humor and heart in a situation in just a few panels.” (Rainbow Rowell, New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor and Park)
“If you’re going to read one graphic novel this year, make it this one.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Sharp visuals, a nifty amalgam of fantasy and science fiction elements, and relationships drawn with complexity, wit, and depth create a world worth returning to again and again.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“At its core, Nimona is a story of rescue. Each of the main characters rescue allies, friendships, the Kingdom, and ultimately, themselves… A vibrant solo work.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“[Stevenson’s] voice is clear and precise, her drawings confident, her use of color growing in depth and assurance as the story progresses.” (New York Times)
“Nimona…is beautifully flawed and refreshingly unstereotypical in a book that is both darkly witty and surprisingly touching. And Nimona is a protagonist to both love and fear.” (The Horn Book)
“Over the course of the collected Nimona, it’s possible to watch artist Noelle Stevenson blossom from a student to a superstar.” (NPR.org)
“Nimona, with all her flaws, breaks away completely from what women are allowed to be in popular fiction.” (Vanity Fair)
“Graphic novel fans will finish the book in a gallop and then want to start right back at the first page.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
“Awesome and adorable.” (Ryan North, author of Dinosaur Comics)
“Funny and vibrant, with wonderful energy in Stevenson’s illustrations and a wicked wit in her storytelling.” (Slate)
“Those of you who haven’t read Nimona yet are lucky, because you can buy the fantasy comic in book form instead of waiting for Noelle to post an update twice a week. Seriously, that wait was always excruciating.” (Bustle.com)
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Top Customer Reviews
Although it’s set among knights and battles, it’s a very modern-feeling story, because Nimona is a very young and current character. She’s a shape-changing teenager with all the attitude and lack of respect for authority that goes along with that. Stevenson’s art does a terrific job of capturing those feelings visually, without needing to spell out for us everyone’s motivations textually.
We meet her as she meets one-armed supervillain Lord Ballister Blackheart. She’s a fangirl, and in spite of her abilities, Blackheart is a bit suspicious of her youth, enthusiasm, and drive. He’s also got a grudge against Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. The two were young heroes together before their battle led to his loss of limb.
Nimona’s fascinating because Stevenson doesn’t make her stereotypically feminine. She doesn’t feel the need to prominently signify “this is a girl”, which is a refreshing take on these kinds of comic projects. In fact, the first thing we see Nimona turn into is not a cat or something fluffy or cute, but a shark. She’s also fond of being a dragon. (When she does turn into a cat, it’s to jump on someone’s head.)
There’s plenty of adventure and action here, portrayed in a way you’ve likely never seen before. Stevenson also humanizes the traditional bad guy type by giving him significant motivation and personal ethics, while Nimona doesn’t seem to take much of anything seriously. I figured her sympathies are as changeable as her physical state; plus, as we learn more about her background, she’s got good reason to ignore her past.
As the story continues, some items appear that will be familiar to readers, from documents revealing a secret conspiracy by a reputable source of authority to distrust of financial institutions. There’s a pending epidemic and discussions of how to reconcile science and magic. What appeals to me most, though, is the little family Nimona and Blackheart make and the fatherly way he treats her, particularly on board game night. (The publisher provided a review copy. Review originally posted at ComicsWorthReading.com.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If I am the first person to recommend NIMONA to you, drop whatever you’re doing and check out the three first chapters,...Read more