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Shadoweyes Volume One Paperback – July 13, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Shadoweyes Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* It would be insufficient to say that Shadoweyes is the most realistic graphic novel ever produced about an African American teenage girl in a future dystopia who mutates into a manga-style creature, becomes a superhero, and ends up rescuing a young girl from a zombie. Far out on the surface, the plot touches on many teen-relevant issues, such as politics, friendship, adolescence, responsibility, and loneliness. It also features a predominantly female African American cast and, with surprisingly comfortable ease, a transsexual character as well. The significance of that would be empty, of course, without the weight and believability of the story’s characters and relationships, and the heart-tugging emotions they sometimes produce. Most convincing is the sharp dialogue, which speaks with such familiar rhythms and sentiment that teens will swear it came out of their own mouths. The art, too, balances a sleek manga technique, credible future looks and grunge fashions, the grotesquerie of zombie flesh, and inventive page composition to sell a grimy future where crime and poverty have run rampant. Campbell (Water Baby, 2008) has combined many familiar elements into a unique whole, and though the ending satisfies, it promises a second volume that will be much anticipated. Grades 8-12. --Jesse Karp

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Product Details

  • Series: Shadoweyes (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: SLG Publishing; 1st edition (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593621892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593621896
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When it comes to drawing women, no one can compare to Ross Campbell. His characters are diverse in size, race, personality, etc. He writes these angsty teens but that's just the first layer. You look deeper and you see that he's doing so much more. He's questioning gender, sexuality, race, the boxes we willingly and unknowingly put ourselves into. And he's playing with the idea of the "superhero".

In Shadoweyes, Ross subtly pushes those boundaries yet again. I won't give anything away but pay close attention. Look at his character Sparkle. Look at Shadoweyes. Look at Kyisha. Look closely. Notice your own assumptions and how Ross toys with them.

On top of this, this book is a dystopia graphic novel. It touches on water scarcity, pollution, violence, government authority, vegetarianism, community responsibility.

Oh and I love the fact that most of his main characters are people of color. When does that ever happen? :-D

This book is brilliant.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll be the first one to admit that I'm not a big reader of graphic novels. In fact, this is probably the first comic type book I've read in about two decades.

That said, I have to say I'm a little disappointed in the quality of the storyline here. The protagonist, Scout Montana, lives in a futuristic dystopian society where crime runs rampant and justice is not often quick to be dispensed. In this world, Scout does everything in her power to help the downtrodden. It's after just one of these attempts that she begins to transform into a super-human creature, possibly as a result of an injury she sustained trying to defend a helpless victim against violence in her city.

Okay, cool. She's a big blue (undeniably cute) creature who can now fight crime even more easily. What's more, there comes a time when she's unable to change back.

Sounds cool, right? The only problem is everything seems really half-assed. Again, this might just be the limited scope of a graphic novel, where pictures are supposed to have a larger impact than words. The problem is that most of these pictures don't. That's not to say they aren't lovely pictures. I actually really enjoyed the artwork in Shadoweyes (even when it left me wondering exactly what the crap was going on from time to time). It's just that there are so many themes that get touched upon too briefly to really leave an impact on the reader/viewer.

We've got Scout's friend, who we discover is a transgender woman (meaning, born in a male body but presenting/identifying as female). We've got Scout even touching on her own identity when she speculates that maybe her blue form is her true self. It would have been fantastic if either of these issues had been explored in greater depth.
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Format: Paperback
i wasn't sure what to expect from SHADOWEYES, the new graphic novel from ross campbell, one of my favorite modern comics creators. i've been a big fan ever since he was a student of mine back at the savannah college of art and design. mind you, ross was already very much in command of his drawing and storytelling abilities even then, so i doubt he learned all that much from me.

anyhoo, ross' other comics, including the long-running WET MOON series, have already shown the rest of the world just how talented ross is. but when ross told me his newest project was his take on superheroes, well, i was more than a little nervous. i figured the art would rule, as always, but...

as it turns out, i was worried for nothing. SHADOWEYES very easily stands up to comparison to everything else ross has done so far. on top of that, it is one of the best superhero stories i have ever read...and i've read far more than my fair share. SHADOWEYES comes across like an unpublished gem thrown together by stan lee, alan moore, frank miller, and steve gerber (equal parts SPIDER-MAN, WATCHMEN, SIN CITY, and OMEGA THE UNKNOWN). SHADOWEYES utilizes plenty of classic superhero tropes (cool powers, costume, exciting action, secret identity), while simultaneously featuring one of the most original protagonists ever. scout montana is a young girl "of color" and she is another in a long line of ross' non-sterotypical female characters. the relationship between scout and her mother is rivaled only by the relationship with her best friend, kyisha.

to reveal more would rob you of the wonderful surprises in store for you should you decide to do yourself a favor and experience the beautifully realized world of SHADOWEYES. great artwork, great story, and great storytelling...what more do you need to know? if you're already a fan of ross campbell, you will NOT be disappointed by SHADOWEYES. if you're not a fan yet, this is a great book to see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
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Format: Paperback
The thing that struck me the most about Shadoweyes is how much space Campbell gave the characters' emotions to evolve throughout the story. Events fly fast and furious, like drive-by snapshots of the lives of the main character -- Scout -- and her friends (plus mom!). And even though things may whiz by as you read (which I think is a good thing), the emotions of the characters are always expressed in poignant ways -- through dialogue, facial expressions, and body language. There's a lot of nuance like that in Campbell's storytelling.

It's first and foremost a vigilante story, with superhero elements and lots of teenage drama to boot. It's subtly set in an alien world not unlike our own, just more retro-futuristic in a Total Recall meets Blade Runner type of way. The sci-fi and superhero themes are like the drapes on a window of troubled teen vigilante angst -- the character wants to fight crime in her unusual neighborhood before she ever gains her altered appearance and extra abilities.

To top it off, the story's got a wonderfully diverse and sensitive cast of characters. So if you're sick of reading superhero comic books about whitewashed men and women who look like they've gone through rigorous plastic surgery just to try on their costumes, this is the book for you! It features complicated, interesting characters set in a fun, creepy retro-future urban wasteland. IT'S AWESOME!
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