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Top Ten Graphic Novels for Kids 2017

This year, I was honored to be one of the judges putting together the “Top 10 Graphic Novels 2017” list for School Library Journal (since I blog for their Good Comics for Kids site). Here is their list of this past year’s top ten (with links to my reviews where I’ve covered them). Brave by Svetlana Chmakova Mega Princess by Kelly Thompson and Brianne Drouhard The Time Museum by Matthew Loux Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham Louis […]

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The Wendy Project

One of the more unusual releases this past year uses the well-known story of Peter Pan to explore survivor’s grief. The Wendy Project is written by actress/screenwriter Melissa Jane Osborne and illustrated by Veronica Fish (Archie). Its black pebbled cover and rounded corners give it the feel of a sketch-filled notebook, fitting its concept. Wendy was responsible for a car accident in which she skidded off a bridge and her brother Michael drowned. That’s what they tell her, anyway, but […]

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SP Baby Volume 1

I thought the short, silly SP Baby would be a fun read. After all, I liked the similar Flower in a Storm, which also combined romance with comedy violence. But SP Baby never came together for me. I should have paid attention to the creator. Maki Enjoji was also responsible for Happy Marriage?!, a silly, smutty shojo with sex about an arranged marriage with a dippy lead girl. That approach to characterization continues here. Tamaki needs to find a full-time […]

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First Year Out: A Transition Story

This is the hardest kind of review to write. First Year Out: A Transition Story means well and supports a great cause, but it’s not very good comics. Sabrina Symington’s graphic novel covers key events in the first year of Lily’s life as a woman. She goes through laser hair removal to lose her beard, struggles to explain her change to her mother, narrates techniques for looking more feminine, reminds friends her pronouns have changed, and demonstrates voice training. She […]

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Steven Universe Getting a Full Season 1 DVD Set

Now maybe I will understand all the gem-related fan art I see on Twitter! Steven Universe, created by Rebecca Sugar, is about a little boy who lives with three magical aliens, the Crystal Gems — Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst. Steven’s mother was Rose Quartz, who left him her gem. There have been five seasons so far since the show debuted on Cartoon Network in 2013, and finally, the first season is coming to DVD. The four-disc set of Steven Universe: […]

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Freedom Fighters: The Ray Now Available on CW Seed

The animated series Freedom Fighters: The Ray now has six episodes (most only six minutes) available on the CW Seed digital network. It opens in a post-apocalyptic-looking Nazi-controlled city, a prequel to the recent superhero TV show crossover Crisis on Earth-X. (Similar to the way Vixen was a cartoon that explained that hero’s origin.) The first episode sets the stage and shows the team of heroes — the light-powered Ray (Russell Tovey), the dark-casting and sometimes invisible Phantom Lady (Dilshad […]

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Sleepless #1

I’m going to give one of those backhanded compliments. Sleepless, a new fantasy comic by Sarah Vaughn (Alex + Ada) and Leila del Duca (Shutter), was interesting enough to overcome my antipathy towards the genre. I know there’s nothing wrong with fantasy stories — and goodness knows I understand why they might be attractive in today’s culture — but I just don’t care much for knights and quests and wizards. Sleepless puts a fresh spin on at least the first […]

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Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story is exactly what it says, in comic strip form. It’s charming and insightful and adorable. Debbie Tung’s comics are deceptively simple, mostly one-pagers of standard panels, but her self-figure is so cute and relatable. She uses dot eyes and a few lines for features, but I both know what she’s feeling and want to hug and protect her. I like that she has friends and later, a perfect-sounding boyfriend she appreciates […]

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