Crosstalk

A new Connie Willis novel is a terrific gift, and Crosstalk does not disappoint. It’s a romantic comedy (similar to her early story “Blued Moon”) with a setting focused on a hot cultural topic (which reminded me of Bellwether) and a whole flock of female Irish family members. Briddey works at a cellphone company eager to develop the next communication breakthrough. She’s dating a promising young executive there, and he’s just proposed to her that they get the new operation […]

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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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How Much of Your Work Should Be Sacred? Tips on More Efficient Work

Lars Martinson has finally finished his Tonoharu trilogy. (I reviewed the first volume when it came out in 2008.) All told, it took him 13 years to make the three books, and he’s now put out a video discussing that process and some of the lessons he’s learned. It’s great seeing an artist do a post-mortem of a significant project, particularly since his key lesson is realizing that time is a limited resource, so you need to keep that in […]

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DC: The Big Book of Girl Power and The Big Book of Superpowers

Want to indoctrinate your favorite child into superheroes? Get them one or both of these large children’s picture books aimed at ages 3 and up. For a focus on powerful women, you want The Big Book of Girl Power, emphasizing how “DC’s super heroines… have the courage to fight for peace and justice.” Each character (with three exceptions) gets a two-page spread with an image (many drawn by Scott Kolins) and a brief explanation of her origin and abilities. The […]

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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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Yotsuba&! Volume 13

Although Yotsuba&! volume 13 came out this past spring, this time of year feels better suited to the series for me, since it’s as warming and comfortable as a cup of cocoa. And waiting an extra six months or so is nothing, since it’s been three years since the previous volume. Any new Yotsuba&! is a gift. Her wide-eyed, accepting attitude to the world and the new experiences she has, as portrayed by author Kiyohiko Azuma, is a tonic. In […]

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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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