Never Trust Appearances

Never Trust Appearances

So there I was in the library, wandering around like I often do. I start first in the video games, cause yeah, I like to find if they have gotten some new xbox stuff for me to wish my xbox was working again. And then the movies to see if anything new is in. And finally I wander over to the graphic novel section. My main library has two sections, one in adult fiction where the young adult and older ones reside and then the one downstairs in kid’s fiction where all the super heroes hide.

I don’t know if you ever noticed this but the way this stuff and so much more is classified boggles the mind at times. Just because the books feature super heroes doesn’t mean they are meant for children. Just because the protagonist of the story is a child or young adult, doesn’t mean that the book is suitable for specific age groups. But I never really read what I am supposed to according to society anyway…

Where was I? Oh yeah, graphic novels…

So found an interesting one upstairs, sometimes you have to dig through the manga to find something a bit off the beaten path. I am not certain what about this one stood out for me. The art on the cover isn’t spectacular (yes, I know, subjective. It isn’t the stuff that makes me salivate and what to explore). Even the title was a bit… eh… Nimona, see nothing to it really.

Never Trust AppearancesBefore I get too far into it, a little background. Nimona is the collection of strips from the website Gingerhaze written by Noelle Stevenson. You can still read some of the strips at the site but the majority have been moved to the graphic novel that came out early 2015.

So, like I was saying it all seems kind of ho hum and typical. At first glance you are faced with what looks like pretty much every teen drama that comes out in the world of mainstream. The teen ager (Nimona) is angsty and the world is against her. There is an evil corporation that is acting as a strong arm of the government. Her mentor is the villain with a heart of gold, fighting against the corrupt government and what not. Did I mention that this all takes place in a semi fantasy setting?

If we take it at face value, all of that is there. But this storyline is a bit more than that. To go quote something that has no bearing on this story in anyway shape or form, the storyline is like an onion. It has layers.

Overall the story is a quick read and you do get used to the art style overtime. There is a bit of dark humor throughout between the bantering of Nimona and her mentor Ballister Blackheart. He spends most of his time trying to control her and tone her down and she spends her time causing general mayhem and spreading death where ever she goes. If you have teenagers, you can see the correlation between dad and child.

Mind you if you scoff at the silliness of his name it gets better when you consider his nemesis, Ambrosious Goldenloin. The relationship between the two of them is something akin to Professor X and Magneto. They share similar ideals but pursue different paths to achieve them. The history of betrayal though doesn’t really help their relationship.

In the end, we are left with a story that has moments of complexity that the initial impression doesn’t give credence to. This is one that is a good afternoon of exploration. I haven’t dug through yet to see if there are any other series to explore on the website but if other stories pop out of the ether they will be a welcome read.


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