01 July, 2012

Book/Graphic Novel Review: CO2: The Mendoza Files (Preview)

Title: CO2: The Mendoza Files (preview of complete book)
Author: Paul Tobin
Artist: David Morris
Publisher: Corvus Press
Publication Date: N/A
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Rating: 4.5

My expectations: High. I'd read some of the author's posts about CO2 and was quite intrigued by them. Graphic novels don't always agree with me, but if done well they can offer more than your usual all-text book.

I can safely say those expectations were surpassed.

About the book: Kudos to the creators of this graphic novel preview. It is unique and unusual, particularly due to the setting and format. Instead of the comic-style panels and speech bubbles, this is presented in colorful pages that contain police files, magazine articles, photographs, and illustrations of the characters that add further visual details to the writing.

The writing itself is clear and the style changes appropriately to fit the different contexts mentioned above. If the writing and graphic design weren't as good, I suspect the format would have been a problem, since it jumps around so much--but the preview maintains its integrity through visual continuity and a strong setting.

And the setting is fascinating. There are seven parallel worlds in CO2; furthermore, history has been so dramatically altered that "the Church of the Holy Footprint" is taking over the world and, during the time period that the preview takes place, conquering "the Dragon Empire", i.e. the remains of China. The perspective on sweeping social/global change (and its contrast to today's world) is very interesting.

Characters and plot did not seem to be the focus in the preview, and I assume that's due to its length (it is, after all, only a preview). However, there were brief and interesting glimpses of individuals involved in certain cases that provided further insights into the world and the different kinds of people in the universe.

Content: Some swearing; references to prostitution; violence.

Other: Disclaimer: I received this preview free from the author. That did not in any way affect the opinions expressed in this review.

Do I recommend CO2? I haven't read the entire book, but based on the preview, I would definitely recommend checking it out once it is released.

-----The Golden Eagle


Anonymous said...

This one sounds/looks pretty cool! The only graphic novel series I've read/collected are Dark Tower and Firefly, and I've enjoyed both (in different ways).

Pat Hatt said...

Have to agree it does look/sound great. Like the artwork.

Jamie Gibbs said...

Sounds like a winner! I like the use of case files and that instead of standard speech.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've been reading quite a few graphic novels lately but this one looks pretty different from most of what I've looked at. I'll check it out.

Lauren said...

I've given you the Open Horizons award. Accept no limits on your journey to publication.

Come to my blog for the details.


Brinda said...

I'm not sure I would like it, but maybe that's because it's so different from anything I've heard of before. It does sound interesting!

Jemi Fraser said...

That sounds pretty cool!

Matt said...

Sounds great, I'll check it out. I have high expectations too.

Lynda R Young said...

Oh, this sounds intriguing. I like that it's in a different format to the standard comics.

Anonymous said...

Looks interesting, GE. I'm curious as to why you're not a fan of "normal" sequential art (graphic novels/comic books)?

....Petty Witter said...

Alas not a read for me but then I'm no fan of graphic novels. Glad you were impressed by the preview though, I look forward to reading of what you thought of the book as a whole.

Anonymous said...

I like the sound of parallel worlds. I read graphic novels from time to time and I'd like to read this.

nutschell said...

I do enjoy a good graphic novel every now and then. THanks for recommending this!

michelle said...

I've never read a graphic novel. It sounds interesting though...

Ciara said...

This is so different from anything I've ever read. I might have to check it out. I've never seen a review done on a preview before. Interesting.

cleemckenzie said...

I'm intrigued by the artwork and the concept. Even if I'm not much a graphics novel reader I'd be tempted to take a look. Thanks for introducing him and his work I just popped over to his site and read more about him.

Natasha said...

Wow, this actually sounds really good. I've not read many graphic novels and I really want to start, so I'll have a look for this when I next go to the library :) xxx

laughingwolf said...

i think 'heavy metal' is still around, a pretty good graphic novel; others, like '1984', seem to be long gone...

co2 sounds worth looking up, thx

The Golden Eagle said...

Milo: Never read those. Is Dark Tower an adaptation of Stephen King's book(s)?

Pat: I did, too. :)

Jamie: It was definitely unique.

Charles: Cool!

Lauren: Off to pick up the award!

Brinda: It is. :)

Jemi: From the preview, it seems like the book will be.

Matt: I can never decide if I like having high expectations or not. It's great when they're fulfilled, but rather disappointing when they're not. :P

Lynda: That's one of the main things I enjoyed.

Stuart: I'm not really sure. Maybe it's because I read so many text books that I'm unaccustomed to them; but I find graphic novels make it harder to connect with the story beyond the art. Though there are some amazing illustrators.

Petty Witter: I may not get the chance the review the entire book, but if I do I'll be sure to post the review of it. :)

Medeia: I love books that explore them; multiple universes can be overwhelming to think about, but they're fascinating.

Nutschell: You're welcome!

Michelle: I don't tend to read them often, either.

Ciara: The complete book is still a work in progress, as I understand it. Looking forward to the release date here. :)

Cleemckenzie: You're very welcome! Glad you found the link to Paul's blog useful.

Natasha: The full version of CO2 isn't out yet, actually; I hope you find another good graphic novel at your library, though. :)

Laughingwolf: Didn't know they'd made a graphic novel out of 1984; too bad it's not still in print.

You're welcome!

Shelley said...

Neat cover! I don't usually like graphic novels, but this one does sound quite intriguing! :)

Susan Roebuck said...

It looks wonderful - lucky you getting a preview. And you've done an excellent job with the review, covered every aspect. I've never read a graphic novel...but maybe this time...

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Anonymous said...

This is a very clever way to put a book together. I would definitely check it out just on your descritpion alone.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hi G.E., I wondered if you would kindly feature my ebook free promotion giveaway, two children's books on your blog? for the 6th to 9th and the 12th to the 13th July please? Don't worry if that is a problem. Kind regards, Carole.

The Golden Eagle said...

Shelley: I like the cover, too.

Susan: Thank you! I'm glad you like my review style.

WLCI School: Thanks for coming by.

Stephen: It's great to see content creators using different techniques.

Carole: I'd be happy to promote your ebooks. Let me just figure out when those days are . . . would it be all right with you if I posted about your books next Sunday within the first set of dates?