Raina Telgemeier Is the Most Important Comic Creator of the Current Age

Why not state the obvious? Brian Hibbs’s yearly BookScan sales review column is now up, looking back at the top-selling graphic novels of 2016 through the bookstore market. The obvious fact is this: of the top seven, six are by Raina Telgemeier (and the seventh, Dork Diaries, isn’t a comic). Between her illustrated memoirs, her fiction, and her Baby-Sitters Club adaptations (reissued recently in color), she has sold over 1.3 million books in just the last year. As Hibbs says, […]

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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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Behind the Scenes!! Volume 3

The wacky adventures of the group of special effects artists in college continue with just as much entertaining escapism in volume three. This time, they’ve taken over a house to film a horror story starring a creepy young boy. The problem is that the child actor is spoiled and demanding. While he’s ordering everyone around, Art Squad leader Goda is hiding from him, because he doesn’t like kids. This makes for a difficult film camp experience, but I enjoyed the […]

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Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Volume 16

After several volumes that explored the food business, I thought Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma volume 16 was a distinct step backwards, from the exploitative fan-service cover to the repetitive plotlines. Soma’s once again facing off against a high-ranking school council member. This time the competition involves running a booth at the school festival. There are a number of rules in place (established in the previous book) that mean Soma risks leaving school if he loses. There’s nothing new here, […]

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IDW and Hasbro Team for a Clue Comic

IDW and toy company Hasbro have had a productive relationship in the past. Hasbro owns My Little Pony and Transformers, among other properties, which have been successful comics from IDW. Now, IDW has announced an upcoming comic based on a Hasbro property that’s a bit more of a stretch. The five-issue Clue series launches in June. I’ll be very curious to see what approach they take with this. Will it be an actual deducible mystery? Or will they put more […]

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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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Elementary, She Read

There’s nothing new about bookstore owner mysteries, but I was drawn to Elementary, She Read because of its subtitle: “A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery”. And I was entertained by how Vicki Delany gives an appropriate set of characteristics to her lead character. Gemma Doyle is English but living in Cape Cod so she can manage her uncle’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. She’s not a huge fan, but she likes the seaside town and her life there after leaving behind […]

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