Graphic Novel: The Witcher Vol. 1 – House of Glass

graphic novel review

The Witcher Vol. 1Source: Library
Publisher: Dark Horse
Series: The Witcher #1-5
Edition: Paperback, 120 Pages
Genre: Dark Fantasy Comic
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Rating: 3/5 Stars

Travelling near the edge of the Brokilon forest, monster hunter Geralt meets a widowed fisherman who’s dead and murderous wife resides in a eerie mansion known as the House of Glass, which seems to have endless rooms, nothing to fill them with, and horror around every corner.

I picked this book up for two reasons, despite one very big issue. The issue is that I have yet to find an instance of The Witcher that doesn’t make me roll my eyes and sigh, I have tried to read the books but never made it very far and the games have been very middle ground in terms of enjoyment. So why pick it up? Well one, I was getting some books ready to be shelved and it was right there, it literally required no effort to check it out, and two because of the artist. I really like Hellboy’s style, and since this has the same style I figured I’d at least enjoy that portion.

So did House of Glass do anything to change my overall opinioin of the franchise? In short, no. However it also didn’t do anything to bring it down farther, so that in itself is a win! House of Glass sets us directly in the middle of the overall Witcher world and story, which unfortunately means that there is almost no backstory on what a Witcher s or who Gerelt is. I do have some of that info thanks to other the other media, but I don’t think this would not be a good introduction to the world at large for someone unfamiliar. That aside the story itself is fairly contained and easy to follow, and you can suss out the basics of what a Witcher does. I will say I really love dark fantasy and I love that the Witcher franchise takes ideas that are not typically grimdark and makes them something that would haunt you. So in that aspect it is pretty good, I love the weird creatures that are in this one and am all for more fantasy like this. I think where this sort of fails is the lack of characterization for Gerelt. This is a running issue for the Witcher franchise with me. I just want him to have a personality, but he just doesn’t. All through out this he just relies on the fact that he is a Witcher and therefore different than most humans, which is fair since Witcher’s apparently are lacking in the emotional range department but damn that doesn’t mean he has to be a cardboard cutout either. It’s just hard to get into a story when the main character is one that you don’t feel anything for and already know will be fine, because he’s just the basic outline of a man’s man hero.

The artwork, however, is a solid win for me. I love Joe Querio’s work on the Hellboy books and think it works well for this one. It has really hard outlines and lots of condensed shadow work that just makes the details pop and really hones in on that creepiness that the heart of the story.

Overall, I don’t really feel too much one way or the other for this one. It’s perfectly fine, but it definitely could have been better. I’ll definitely be moving on to the next volume with the hopes of some added character depth.

3 star

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Tell Me Tuesday #96

tell me tuesday

Hosted by La La in the Library

I have actual updates this week! Life has been mostly the same, which is a good thing as I think I’m settling back into enjoying reading a little more. At this point, I am 12 books behind on my Goodreads challenge, which I can make up with no issue at some point this year but it’s a bit startling how little I’ve been reading in the past few months.

Last

  • The Final Empire by Brandon SandersonGoodreads4 Stars – This is the first book in the Mistborn series. I really enjoyed it! It has some issues here and there, as this was one of his earlier works and he hadn’t quite polished out some of his issues with pacing and characterization yet but he has always had a gift for world building and magic systems.
  • The Witcher Vol. 1: House of GlassGoodreads 3 Stars – This series was a random grab for me because of the cover art on this volume, the art inside is by different artists but so far that’s the best part of the entire thing. This one is fine overall and much more tolerable than the video game iteration of Geralt and the Witcher media.
  • The Witcher Vol 2: Fox ChildrenGoodreads2 Stars –  And this started to fall prey to the same issues that I have with the video games. Not to mention Geralt is a cardboard cut out of a man. Where these stories shine is the odd creatures and lore that the characters are faced with, the rest of it is a take it or leave it kind of fare though.

Now

  • Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin – Goodreads – This a seriously massive book! I have the audio, but when the hardcover was returned at the library I scooped it up to follow along in it. I mostly just wanted to have the illustrations on hand to look at but it’s been great to kind of “read” a bit and get back into it slowly.
  • The Witcher: Killing Monsters – Goodreads – I have these in a large bindup from the library and figured since I have it for another week or so I would just read the next two in there despite not really caring about it one way or the other. This one is mention to be a tie into The Witcher 3 I think.
  • Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia A. Mckillip – Goodreads – This was a random grab for me because the cover art was stunning and it’s a collection of fantasy short stories which seemed like a good idea to ease back into things with. The first story was fantastic but I’ve yet to move on to the next one.

Other Updates

D&D Group 1 – We had a fantastic battle heavy session on Thursday, which was mostly serious…and then we had three people shank one zombie repeatedly in a panic, and someone turn into a T-Rex to defeat some wights. It’s a magic heavy group where only one of us has any protection against being hit for serious damage, so we tend to go overboard in order to protect ourselves.  We have a Wizard, Bard, and Warlock so armor is barely a thing for us, but throwing insane spells definitely is.

D&D Group 2 – We did a hard reset on this group and had a DM change. So Sunday evening was spent helping the newer players create characters and give them ideas on crafting backstories and personalities. I’m playing a Triton Fighter (think mermaid but with legs), and we will have a Tiefling Rogue, Asaimar Paladin (angel-like but only has wings when called on), and a Warforged Barbarian (organic robot basically…)

Gaming – I’ve been hooked on the new game Anthem since it came out and I’m really enjoying it. It’s so different for Bioware but it’s definitely got that same charm to it, even if the gameplay is wildly different. It’s been fantastic to play with other people as well, and I really dig the different ways you can customize your suits to fit your play style.

 

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