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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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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If Found… Please Return to Elise Gravel

Drawn & Quarterly has a unique project now available for order. If Found… Please Return to Elise Gravel isn’t a comic or an art book. It’s a reproduction of a sketchbook by a children’s book illustrator, full of colorful, imaginative creatures and doodles that inspire readers to think about what they can create. Gravel’s introduction calls this “complete nonsense”, but in a way that lets the brain roam free to see what comes out. “I give myself the right to […]

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Wonder Woman: The True Amazon

Wonder Woman: The True Amazon is a beautifully illustrated book that doesn’t need to exist. It’s yet another retelling of the heroine’s origin, but that’s not my biggest complaint, since it does a lovely job of actually establishing a believable society for the Amazons. My biggest objection is that this book by Jill Thompson is yet another example of a story that shows how a hero became a hero by doing a bad thing first and seeing how rotten it […]

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A Treasury of XXth Century Murder Compendium

I’ve already reviewed the three books reprinted in A Treasury of XX Century Murder Compendium: The Lindbergh Child The Terrible Axe-Man of New Orleans Madison Square Tragedy so I was surprised at how much I was affected by re-reading them. They’re perhaps the most outstanding of the many volumes in Rick Geary’s Twentieth Century Murder series, although all of the books are informative and thought-provoking. Geary tackles famous murders, obviously, but each case sheds light on more than just who […]

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Spencer and Locke #1

Writer David Pepose’s high concept for Spencer and Locke is “what if Calvin and Hobbes grew up in Sin City“, and that’s pretty much all you need to know about the comic. Faux tough-guy narration comes from a jaded detective with anger issues who drags around a blue stuffed animal, a panther that he calls his partner Spencer and only he sees as a living, talking, full-size being. In a kid, it’s cute. In this comic, I’m just waiting until […]

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Something’s Fishy

With this third book by Kevin McCloskey about everyday wildlife, publisher Toon Books has tagged the series “Giggle and Learn”. After We Dig Worms! and The Real Poop on Pigeons! comes Something’s Fishy. Since this is a Level 1 comic, aimed at grades K-1, the book is light on the kind of substantial, encyclopedic educational content adults expect, but if you like to look at fish, there are a whole bunch presented here, and in an entertaining way. There’s one […]

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