Spell on Wheels #1-3

Spell on Wheels is one of those genius concepts that seems so obvious when you see it but it took the creative imagination of its writer, Kate Leth, to bring it about. Here it is: Three witches are robbed, so they go on a road trip to recover their lost items, which have been sold online by a vengeful ex. Jolene is a technopath. Claire is psychic and reads tarot cards. Andy handles spells and potions. They’re a terrific trio, […]

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #2

Writer Christos Gage has done it again with this new run. He does an amazing job of making these well-known characters and their challenges relevant to today’s concerns. Instead of having them refight old battles, he’s putting them in involving situations that the reader can find scary in deep, substantial, mature ways. In the previous issue, a dragon attacked San Francisco, causing terrible destruction and loss of life. This issue explores the government response — which includes forced registration for […]

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Brief Histories of Everyday Objects

Andy Warner’s Brief Histories of Everyday Objects provides capsule four-page histories of a wide variety of everyday objects. But he also covers more than just “did you know who invented the microwave or the sports bra?” I previously wrote about the book’s description, but now I’ve read and enjoyed it. The contents are arranged by the likely location where you’d find the objects discussed — kitchen, living room, bathroom, but also coffee shop, office, and grocery store. History is tricky. […]

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Newsprints

Out at the end of this month is an exciting debut graphic novel by Ru Xu. Newsprints stars an ingenious newsboy in a steampunk coming-of-age story with a modern take on gender. It’s wartime in Nautilene, and Blue, on the run from rival newsboys, has stumbled into a secret lab inhabited by an absent-minded inventor. Blue’s part of a patchwork family held together by the mayor, who also runs the paper. The inventor takes on the irrepressible orphan as an […]

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Mega Princess #2

Maxine is well on her quest to find her baby brother, started in issue #1, which gives writer Kelly Thompson and artist Brianne Drouhard a chance to explore some of the more imaginative lands in their modern fairytale. This time out, it’s the Tiny Kingdom, with a shrunken Max and an even tinier pony Justine. She’s clever enough to outfit a fox — teaching the reader about the riddle about getting the fox, chicken, and food ferried across a river […]

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Black Dahlia (A Treasury of XXth Century Murder)

The latest Treasury of XXth Century Murder (following Madison Square Tragedy) by Rick Geary tackles what’s perhaps the most famous unsolved Hollywood mystery: who killed Elizabeth Short, the 22-year-old wannabe actress nicknamed the Black Dahlia? In January 1947, Short’s bisected body was found in a vacant lot. As with all the other stories in this series, her killer was never conclusively identified. That means the source of satisfaction isn’t knowing the answer to the mystery of her murder; instead, there’s […]

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Awkward

It’s an amazing time for graphic novels for kids, and Svetlana Chmakova’s Awkward is only the latest astoundingly good one I’ve read. It’s the story of Peppi, who’s just started at a new school. In order not to stand out in the wrong ways, she does something early on she’s ashamed by, something to avoid bullies that hangs over her memories and keeps her from being her full self. She finds the art club, though, and she enjoys her time […]

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Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!: Hooked on a Feline

I’ve been reading comics a long time, so sometimes I feel like I’ve met my lifetime quota for superhero tales. Then a fresh, modern approach comes along that makes me appreciate even more the talent involved in telling good comic stories. Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!: Hooked on a Feline reprints the first six issues of the series by Kate Leth, Brittney L. Williams, and Megan Wilson. (Issue #6 had art by Natasha Allegri instead of Williams and Wilson, which makes […]

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