Alphabetical Index of First Second

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey

One of the most amazing things about the explosion of graphic novels in the current era is how many great non-fiction comics have come out. One might argue whether or not book publishers are too focused on “graphic memoir” these days, but if I can read more stories like this bizarre true-life story of Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer, I don’t mind. The early 1900s was the “heroic age of Antarctic Exploration”, where daring men struggled to find out more about […]

Read more

The Zoo Box

First Second reaches out to younger readers with the just-past-a-picture-book The Zoo Box, written by Ariel Cohn. It’s a simple story — Erika and Patrick are left home to tuck themselves into bed, but they wind up opening the zebra-striped zoo box in the attic instead — so the lasting appeal is the simple, charming art of Aron Nels Steinke. The kids love animals, and they’re promised a trip to the zoo tomorrow if they behave. After the events of […]

Read more

This One Summer

This One Summer beautifully captures the feel of a lazy, timeless summer, as written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. The season portrayed also quietly marks a transition for Rose, a girl just entering adolescence. Rose and her parents have gone to Awago Beach, on the shore of a lake, as they do every year. It’s a tradition for them, as is Rose hanging out with the slightly younger neighbor girl Windy. But this time, we can tell […]

Read more

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

Review by KC Carlson Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown is wonderfully small story about a wonderfully giant man. Andre Rousimoff was born with a rare condition called acromegaly, a syndrome often associated with gigantism. Unfortunately, besides just being large, other symptoms that affected Andre included aging prematurely, his brow and jaw growing more pronounced, and his heart, organs, and joints not being able to keep up with his growth. After finally being diagnosed as a young […]

Read more

The Cute Girl Network

The Cute Girl Network looks like a modern romance novel, but there’s more to it than just a love story. Jane and Jack meet when she wipes out in front of him in a hipster-stocked town. Jack is something of a clumsy loser, selling soup from a food cart. Jane has recently moved to town, working at a skateboard shop and putting up with stupid guys who think she can’t skate because she’s a girl. The two slowly grow on […]

Read more

Genius

Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen, the creative team behind the moodily engrossing House of Secrets and the “meditation on creativity using Superman” book It’s a Bird…, have reunited for a look at Genius. First Second puts out so many great books for kids and teens that I think of them as an all-ages publisher, but Genius is clearly for adults. Not for any naughty content, but because the themes and fears expressed here aren’t going to resonate with younger […]

Read more

Feynman

Even though I had heard many of the incidents in the life of physicist Richard Feynman, I found this graphic novel biography by true-science comic writer Jim Ottaviani and accomplished cartoonist Leland Myrick surprisingly affecting, particularly when it came to the story of his wife Arline. Much of the material will be familiar to readers of Feynman’s biographies, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?, but seeing the incidents play out visually gives […]

Read more

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

I sure hope Faith Erin Hicks doesn’t get typecast as only being able to handle teenagers in school because she does such an excellent job with these kinds of stories. I love reading her young people (in such books as The War at Ellsmere and Friends With Boys), but then again, I’d read any work she does regardless of the age of the characters. In Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, Hicks adapted a story by Prudence Shen (she’s posted online […]

Read more
1 2 3 4 5 6