Mini Reviews: Graphic Novels – The Nightmare Before Christmas, Morning Glories Vol. 1, iZombie Vol. 1


In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Christmas comes to Halloweentown… and vice versa. In Morning Glories Vol. 1, some kids get recruited to an evil boarding school. In iZombie Vol. 1, a zombie girl tries to figure out how to avenge the murder of the last man whose brain she ate. Enjoy my mini reviews for these three graphic novels!

Disney Manga Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka

Graphic Novel Review: Disney Manga Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka | reading, books, book reviews, graphic novel, fantasy
Title: Disney Manga Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas
Author: Jun Asuka
Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Pages: 176
Rating: 4 stars

*This is an updated review because I originally had a copy from NetGalley that was just a preview, but now I've borrowed the ebook from Hoopla and read the whole thing.*

This was literally the graphic novel version of the movie, minus the singing, but, as someone who loves the movie, I can definitely see the appeal of owning this if you're a Nightmare fan. The artwork was gorgeous and detailed, and the black and white gave the story less of a whimsical feel and more of an elegant one. I also found it interesting that this was more like Sally's story than Jack's as it focused a lot on her and her thoughts. It wasn't anything you couldn't figure out from watching the movie, but it was still nice that it seemed to give her a little more attention (unless I'm not remembering the movie quite correctly). So overall, I don't think there's anything really new here, but it would be great for people who love the movie and like owning related merchandise.


Morning Glories Vol. 1: For a Better Future by Nick Spencer, Joe Eisma

Graphic Novel Review: Morning Glories Vol. 1 by Nick Spencer & Joe Eismas | reading, books, book reviews, graphic novel, fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult
Title: Morning Glories Vol. 1: For a Better Future
Publisher: Image Comics
Series: Morning Glories
Book Number: Volume 1
Pages: 188
Rating: 2 stars
It was funny, but that was the only thing I really liked. The main characters were all stereotypes. The antagonists were just over-the-top cartoon villains, being evil for the sake of being evil. The evil boarding school thing was also way over-the-top, trying too hard to be mysterious, and never had any explanations or seemed to make much sense. No one reacted very realistically to anything. And the art on the inside didn't look like the art on the outside---every character looked alike, they all had "perfect" bodies (even the prisoner in a hospital gown who had clearly been experimented on and probably malnourished), and of course the women were always dressed sexily in short dresses/skirts and skin-tight clothes (including the aforementioned prisoner girl who was wearing the most flattering hospital gown ever created).

iZombie Vol. 1: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson, Michael Allred

Graphic Novel Review: iZombie Vol. 1 by Chris Roberson & Michael Allred | reading, books, book reviews, graphic novel, fantasy, urban fantasy, zombies
Title: iZombie Vol. 1: Dead to the World
Publisher: Vertigo
Series: iZombie
Book Number: Volume 1
Pages: 144
Rating: 3.5 stars
I thought this was really cute and fun. All the different types of supernaturals in the story were fun to read about, the characters were likeable, the premise was interesting, and I LOVED the artwork. I even liked the explanations for the different types of supernaturals with oversouls and undersouls. Not a whole lot happened in this volume, but it was a good intro. Also, that mummy sure was a snazzy dresser :-P

Talk to me!

Have you read any of these graphic novels?
Are you a Nightmare Before Christmas fan?
Do you like funny graphic novels?
Have you ever read a book that had a mummy as a character?


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  1. Greg

    Ooh mini reviews- I always like these. I loved Nightmare Before Christmas so I would probably like that one. I haven’t seen it in so long though… I didn’t know there was a GN…

    Morning Glories I read a few months back, up through Vol. 4 I think. I wanted to like these, and to some extent I did, but after 4 volumes they just kept adding more mysteries and gotcha moments and nothing ever got resolved. When I realized I would need to take copious notes just to keep track of all the twists, I gave up.

    iZombie just seems… weird to me. I guess I’m not into the whole zombie thing even though I will discuss The Walking Dead at length. lol but other than that… still I’ve heard a lot of good things. Lots of supernatural and good artwork… maybe I should give this a try.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s my first time doing mini reviews, thought I’d start giving them a try 😀

      Yeah, I mean, I do have lots of Nightmare merch (board games, little figurines, etc.), so I think it’d be nice to have the graphic novel just to have it, but as I said it doesn’t seem to have anything new, so it just depends on what you’re looking for.

      I think you might’ve been the one who got me interested in Morning Glories because I saw that you read it or reviewed it or something? But yeah, it just didn’t work for me, and I’m glad I didn’t continue if it just gets more and more convoluted. I can’t stand when nothing gets resolved like that!

      I really liked iZombie though! Shambling zombies vs. thinking, feeling MC zombies are definitely different. I say you should try at least one book or graphic novel about an MC zombie lol.

  2. sjhigbee

    It sounds like a mixed experience. The artwork makes all the difference and I get so TIRED of busty Barbie-girl females barely wearing anything as they leap around, performing all sorts of insanely dangerous stunts. Where are the grazes, scabs and bruises that would be patchworking all that expanse of skin?? Erm… rant over. Sorry. Not that I get a tad riled about this issue. Hardly at all… Have a great week-end:)

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, artwork does make all the difference when it comes to graphic novels. That’s why I don’t understand why they’d put such different art on the cover vs. the inside, since people use the cover to get a feel for whether they’ll like it or not. But yeah, I agree, for one thing, it would just make a lot more sense to wear clothes that cover more lol. They would definitely be covered in scrapes and bruises. I also get annoyed when women always have their long hair down for fights. Never in a million years would I go into a fight or even do anything remotely athletic with my hair down because I wouldn’t even be able to see!

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    I don’t typically read graphic novels (although I did pick up Saga Vol 1 at your recommendation and loved it!) but like you, I can see the appeal of owning The Nightmare Before Christmas if you’re a fan of the movie. (which I am) I’m sorry Morning Glories was pretty much a dud. One-dimensional characters…ugh! iZombie would be a hard sell for me as I don’t like zombies all that much. *ha* But I’m glad you found it a fun read with great artwork. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh, yay! I didn’t realize you picked up Saga on my rec, I’m glad you loved it! But yeah, I’ve got other Nightmare stuff, so this book would fit right in! And Morning Glories, definitely not for me. You and me, we like our complex characters lol. I do kinda like zombies as MCs though, they can be interesting, like other supernatural creatures. Thanks!

  4. roro

    I love that mummy lol. iZombie has a piece of my heart. iLove Gwendolyn ( the comic book character) and Liv equally ( the Tv show character). The iZombie show is loosely based on the comic book. I can’t wait for the third season in early 2017. It’s on the CW. . If you like your spunky female zombie leads i suggest giving White Trash Zombie series by Diana Rowland a try . .

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol the mummy (totally forgot his name) was my favorite character until the last volume. I’ve never watched the TV show, partly because I don’t get that channel, but also partly because it just doesn’t look as interesting to me? It does seem to be extremely *loosely* based on the comic. White Trash Zombie is another one of those books/series I really want to read but just can’t afford right now! One day I will finally read all these books and then be able to discuss them with you, haha.

  5. Lola

    The first time I heard of the Nightmare before Christmas was in the game Kingdom Hearts, the movie felt slightly disappointing after that. But it’s still a fun movie and I can imagine the art style would work great for graphic novel. Manga’s usually are only in black and white, so it is possible that’s how the whole book is. I mainly have read manga’s, so I am always impressed when a graphic novel is in full color. My sister loves the movie, I imagine she would love to own the graphic novel as well. Might keep it in mind as present for her one day.

    Too bad the second one wasn’t so good. I can see why you didn’t like this one with the stereotypical characters and it trying to hard to be mysterious but no explanations. And as far as most books I have ever read hospital gowns aren’t flattering at all.
    The iZombie one sounds pretty good and like this one was a good intro. I’ve heard of izombie before, but not sure if that was the graphic novel. I think there’s also a movie about? Not 100% sure.

    Now I am feeling slightly nostalgic as this post reminds me of a time during high school and university when I read a lot of manga’s as I had way too much money to spend and my sister as well and we both bought a lot of them and them swapped them out. They were great to read, you usually could read one manga in an hour or so and I often read them in between studying. I still own all of them, but only have a few completed series, Kobato and Hikaru No Go if I remember correctly which were two of my favorites. I’ll have to do a re-read of some of them once.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh no! I have no idea what it’s like in Kingdom Hearts, but I’m sorry the movie was disappointing :-/ I’ve never read a manga before, so I didn’t know they were black and white, I’ll update my review later if I remember since I’m sure you’re right. But yeah, I feel like this would make a good present for fans because as I said it doesn’t seem to have anything new, but it’s still nice to look at.

      Hospital gowns are most definitely not flattering lol. That’s why it was so ridiculous in the novel. But I just had lots of issues, clearly.

      There’s an iZombie show, so you were close 😛

      Those sound like great memories! I never even read graphic novels at all until last year, so like I said I’ve never read manga. But it’s nice having pictures to look at sometimes!

  6. Ashley G.

    Ugh, I can’t stand it when a story is full of stereotyped characters. It’s so irksome.

    Confession: I’ve never seen Nightmare Before Christmas. But, but at my new workplace EVERYONE apparently loves it? One of my co-workers has a Nightmare Before Christmas shirt and I’m sure she wears it at least once a week. So maybe I’ll have to watch it?

    1. Kristen Burns

      Agreed, I don’t want to read about stereotypes.

      *GASP* Yes, everyone does love it! Lol. I’ve got a few different Nightmare things like a shot glass, a board game, etc., but no clothes oddly enough 😛 You should definitely watch it though!