Review: The Last Dragon

Cover © Dark Horse Comics

Time for a graphic novel review. Because graphic novels are cool. Well, good ones like The Last Dragon are, at least.

Graphic novels are great for several reasons: (1) They are easier to read, since they have less words, (2) they have cool pictures, and (3) they go quick, so you can get right into reading something else!

However, for the authors and illustrators, I think creating a great graphic novel is much harder than creating a novel. The latter is just story, but the former requires not just a strong story, but engaging art, as well.

Can a graphic novel be great if the story is good but the art is average? Hmm… It would have to be a really good story. And if authors can’t find a good artist for their great story…well…maybe they should just write a novel.

Can a graphic novel be great if the story is average but the art is good? I think the same applies. And maybe artists wouldn’t even sign on if the story isn’t great. Though I guess sometimes they just might need work.

Anyway, it seems to me that what we really need to have a great graphic novel is to have a good story and good art.

TLD fits this pretty well, I think. Jane Yolen is the author of well over a hundred books. In fact, she wrote a story that is in our 4th grade Open Court, “The Girl Who Loved the Wind.” That story actually reminds me of TLD. A classic feel, whimsical and fantastical. Yolen’s story for TLD is good. The only thing I thought could maybe be improved was that sometimes it was a bit wordy. I think the best graphic novels balance storytelling-through-words and storytelling-through-art; TLD is a bit word-heavy. Luckily, it’s a good story.

© Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay

I found the art to be very pleasant. It reminded me of tapestries or color plates from old books. You know how sometimes old books make the first letter on a page into an elaborate piece of art? I sort of felt like Rebecca Guay’s art was something like that, but expanded out into a whole novel. It was very nice.

I would definitely recommend The Last Dragon. Both guys and girls would enjoy it. Female main characters, but plenty of action, interesting characters, great art. We’ll see if we can get Mrs. B to order it. I’ll also try to get it onto the graphic novel shelf in Room 3.

Keep reading!

The Last Dragon

Story by Jane Yolen, art by Rebecca Guay

144 pages

Releases either September 21 or October 11. We’ll see.

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