Heroines #1: Ted Naifeh Does Superheroes

I’m always surprised to find out what Ted Naifeh’s going to do next. My first awareness of his work was when he was exploring goth identity and gender fluidity. Then he took a sarcastic approach to the fantasy genre starring a young girl discovering her family history of magic. He’s also put out a female version of the running away to become a pirate boys’ adventure type of story, and my favorite, a twisted take on princesses that throws a […]

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Jem: The Misfits #2

I’m late talking about this — issue #3 of the Jem: The Misfits is already out — but I keep coming back to this issue and being struck by the honesty of the struggle it portrays. The Misfits, after various schemes and shenanigans, have been dropped by their record label, so the next best option open to them (and it isn’t good) is to film a reality show. The band is staying in Pizzazz’s beach house, surrounded by cameras. The […]

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Marvel Water Bottles From Nalgene

Now that we’re starting to be able to think about being outdoors again, you may want to consider a water bottle to take with you on activities. Nalgene Outdoor has created an entire line featuring many favorite Marvel superheroes: Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and the Avengers. They gave me one of the 32-ounce wide-mouth Black Widow bottles to evaluate, and I took it with me on my road trip to visit family over the winter holidays. […]

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Nothing Better 3: Great Expectations Part 1

I was concerned, when I talked about the Kickstarter to publish this series installment, that I would have lost track of the story, given the time since I’d last read it. (The first collection, No Place Like Home came out in 2007; the second, Into the Wild, in 2009.) That wasn’t a problem. While there’s a large cast to keep up with, Tyler Page does a great job of clear storytelling. Plus, college students struggling with relationships and big questions […]

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Tonoharu Part Three

While I can intellectually appreciate the amount of work that goes into such a heavily detailed book, particularly given the artist’s comments on the subject — the style feels woodcut-influenced, with tons of crosshatching — I’m afraid that the third and final volume of Tonoharu didn’t fix the problems I saw in the first book. In short, I don’t care to spend time with the protagonist, Daniel, who’s teaching English in Japan but bored and lonely most of the time. […]

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Brave Chef Brianna #1

Brianna’s part of a cooking family. But with a celebrity chef father and a bunch of accomplished older brothers, she doesn’t feel good enough. Then dad announces he’s dying, and to establish his legacy, he tells his children to go start their own restaurants, and the one who is most successful will inherit it all. The first few pages set up the premise well: Only Brianna isn’t particularly competitive, and her youth is a disadvantage. She jumps at an invite […]

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Slam! #4

Must be something in the water recently, as this is the second Boom! comic I’ve read that explains how to play roller derby. Of course, since that’s the setting of Slam!, it’s essential information, and it leads into something of a change-of-pace chapter. You can see the opening pages here: Now that we’ve gotten to know the characters, particularly the core duo of Jennifer and Maisie, this issue switches to action, showing the reader what it would be like to […]

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Giant Days #24

As in the previous issue, Giant Days #24 continues exploring what it means to be an adult and take care of yourself, this time through contrast. Susan’s terribly sick and has lost her voice. Her dad, a handyman from Northampton, comes to take care of her. He winds up staying, as the girls like being taken care of, perhaps too much. He cooks for them, takes them to the movies, and helps them figure out what’s happened to the next-door […]

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