Wordplay: Ivan Brunetti’s Children’s Book

Ivan Brunetti, a cartoonist whose early works’ titles included Misery Loves Comedy and Schizo, is now reaching a new audience. (It’s not his first redirection: he’s also done covers for The New Yorker.) Wordplay is a hardcover comic for grades K-1 guaranteed to show how fun playing with language can be. In its 30 pages, children (with perfectly round heads, a quirk of Brunetti’s style) learn from their teacher and parents about compound words. The grammar lesson takes full advantage […]

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Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger Doesn’t Look Like a Superhero Show

Marvel has released the first trailer for the upcoming Cloak and Dagger TV show, airing next year on Freeform, the Disney cable channel aimed at teenagers and young adults. It’s very atmospheric, speaking more to a drama about troubled teens than superpowers, an approach I welcome. (If I remember correctly, Tandy/Dagger gets the ability to make solid light spears and Tyrone/Cloak becomes a portal to a dark dimension.) The background of “he saved her when she was a child” also […]

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Win Split on Blu-ray!

M. Night Shyamalan’s Split came out on Blu-ray last week, and I have a copy to give away to readers. Now, I haven’t seen it. (As frequent readers know, I avoid horror because I’m squeamish.) But I’m intrigued, both because it stars James McAvoy (known to comic fans as young Professor X in the X-Men films) and because it twists the typical “young girl hostage” thriller by adding a complicating factor: the villain has multiple personalities. It did surprisingly well, […]

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Duels & Deception

Like Jane Austen and thrillers? Wondering what a mashup of the two might look like? You need to read Cindy Anstey’s Duels & Deception, a rollicking adventure with a headstrong heroine trying to protect her inheritance of the family estate from a controlling drunk uncle, a man-crazy cousin, the spendthrift noble next door she’s expected to marry, and her own surprising feelings for Robert, the visiting new law clerk. Lydia and Robert sparkle as their relationship develops — and then […]

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The Amazing Crafty Cat

My preconceptions of The Amazing Crafty Cat led me down the wrong path. I thought I’d get a craft-focused story of an animal who made things. Instead, this is a lightweight tale of a girl struggling to recover from a bad birthday at school. There are a few crafts included, with templates in back, but most are just gluing bits of paper together. I expected more, and more imaginative, things to make. The simplicity of Charise Mericle Harper’s book is […]

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Win MST3K Glasses From Comet TV!

The new Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes are now available on Netflix, but the classics air on Comet TV on Sunday evenings. To promote them, Comet TV is giving away the following prize package: 2 Limited Edition MST3K Pint Glasses A Moon Stress Ball (because everyone has stress these days) A Custom MST3K Flyer Later this month, Comet is also airing The Crow, Gattaca, and Cherry 2000. To enter to win this contest, leave a comment below. A winner will […]

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Mega Princess #5

The adventures of Princess Maxine, wannabe detective, conclude for now with a happy ending. (Did you expect anything else?) For the previous four issues, accompanied by her talking pony, she’s been visiting fun, fantastic kingdoms while searching for her missing little brother. Kelly Thompson uses classic ideas about princesses in fresh new ways, particularly in this issue, with a twist on the Frog Prince story. And I have to praise Brianne Drouhard’s art — she does a wonderful job drawing […]

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Time Shifters

Time Shifters by Chris Grine could have been a lot of fun, but there’s a disturbing mismatch in tone between the opening and the majority of the content that overshadowed the rest of the book for me. Spoilers follow for the first twenty pages of the graphic novel. Luke and his older brother Kyle head through the woods to a pond. They’re confronted by bigger bullies, and the result, after Kyle tries to protect his brother, is tragic. There’s an […]

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