By Noelle Stevenson
Nimona was a webcomic... but as part of the publishing deal with HarperCollins most of the webcomic was taken down, leaving only the first three chapters on-line as a teaser for the graphic novel.
The good news is, the graphic novel is quite good. For the most part the novel contains the same content as the webcomic, although some of the early art and dialogue have been tweaked to look more polished and to reflect Stevenson's current artistic abilities.
As a young child Nimona was bewitched into a super-powerful shapeshifter and, coincidentally, her family was killed by raiders. Left alone with no one to care for her, she naturally hunts down the premier evil villain in the land, and demands that he take her on as his sidekick. He is dubious, but is intrigued in her ability to turn into a talking, bipedal shark... and also, dragons and stuff. They team up, on the condition that she stop trying to kill everyone (and that he try to be less boring). Wacky hi-jinks ensue.
There is a fairly involved plot, with the good guys turning out to be bad guys turning out to be... well no spoilers. Very few things are as they initially seem, and the characters are well-developed and pleasingly shifty. The story walks a fine line between silly, dark, and intriguing, and does it well.
Being a graphic novel at just 256 pages in length, this is a fairly quick read. The art is clearly comic art, but it is detailed and well composed, and the dialogue is well balanced to the medium, without large chunks of text and without skimping on the story. The book includes a few bonuses (Christmas specials as they appeared on-line and some sketches), but I don't believe that it includes anything that wasn't originally available on-line.