Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
or: AHHH ITS SO CUTE AND BAD ASS AND AWESOME
Synopsis:The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic.” Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones. Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
So… I’ve decided…. When I grow up, I want to be an Evil Villain. NO MUM THIS IS NOT A PHASE! THIS IS WHO I REALLY AM.
*clears throat* sorry about that… got a bit carried away.
In my recent quest to try graphic novels and comic books, I finally purchased Nimona, a story that I had been eyeing off for quite some time. The whole premise of the story really interested me, plus by buying it, I would be investing in Stevenson who had started the story as a web comic series. I love when people from the internet can break out and do their own thing. I try and support them where possible because they deserve all the luck in the world.
Nimona had a lot of hype surrounding it, and for a good reason. This graphic novel is excellent. Coming from someone who had never bought into the graphic novel world before, this is extremely high praise. I prefer stories based on words, as that is more in tune to how my mind works. I adored this book though. I loved Stevenson’s style of story telling. I loved the story and characters. I ADORED the artwork.
Stevenson presents an amazing story with Nimona, and the story is as beautiful as it is interesting. Centering around a villain and his unusual sidekick Nimona, the story goes in directions you’ll never expect and it’s nice to empathize with a classic villain archetype without removing his villainy at all. We are given the reasons behind Blackheart’s vendetta and his hatred of the “hero” without the story or his character becoming cheap and down played. Stevenson’s skill in presenting all her characters is admirable, but her shinning lights in this series are Blackheart and of course, the titular character Nimona.
Nimona is one of those beautiful ambiguous characters that you rarely find in stories. From the beginning you know she’s strange and keeping secrets, but you can’t help but become attached to her. We never solve the mystery of Nimona in this novel, something that only adds to the complexity and the beauty of the story. This may bug some people, but I love the fact that we never really know Nimona. I like Nimona’s salty humor and her innocent bumbling. Nimona is truly a reflective character of the modern age, with the reader able to see part of themselves in Nimona, enough to truly unsettle them.
I honestly recommend this story to everyone. It’s a chunky book but a super quick read (I read it- stopped and started- within 2 1/2 hours). Even if you don’t often read books of this style, I still really recommend this book. It’s an absolute blast to read and there’s something in this story for absolutely everyone. It’s one of those rare books that caters to an extremely wide audience; everyone can read and enjoy this no matter their age, sex, religion or orientation.
I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on Stevenson, and will follow whatever she does next faithfully. Her work truly won my heart.