Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer

Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer was recommended to me for a reason that should become obvious shortly. Jamila Waheed is new to the neighborhood. She wants to play basketball, but her mother is forcing her to go to summer science camp. The local basketball court is too far away for her to go by herself, her mom thinks. Shirley Bones is incredibly observant, to the point of scaring people with what she finds out about them. She comes up […]

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The Valley of Fear

The Valley of Fear is the least-known of the four Sherlock Holmes novels, and I’m not sure why that is. It was written late, first appearing in 1914, but it’s a good mystery. Like most of the other novels, there’s a lengthy digression where Arthur Conan Doyle writes an adventure story to explain the modern-day murder. In this case, it’s loosely based on the Molly Maguires, a secret society amongst Pennsylvania coal miners that controlled through violent intimidation and murder. […]

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The Hound of the Baskervilles (Usborne Graphic Classics)

After reading all of the comic adaptations of The Hound of the Baskervilles I could find — nine of them, all told — for an upcoming article in Sherlock Holmes magazine, I was beginning to despair at finding a classic, faithful presentation. So many of them were “punched up”, made more dramatic in ways that didn’t serve the story. SelfMadeHero had a faithful adaptation, to go with its other Sherlock Holmes graphic novels, but it’s hard to find in print […]

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Bullet

Bullet is a sweet little superhero story that’s almost done crowdfunding. It’s (accurately) described as follows: After college student Dale DeSouza suddenly develops super speed, he splits his time between fighting villains and courting one of the researchers helping him find out more about his powers. Story is by Randy Stone and Jordan Alsaqa with art & color by Kath Lobo. It’s a forty-page stand-alone, professionally done. There are a few fights, a few romantic moments, and a life-changing choice. […]

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Mr. Bride Volume 1

Mr. Bride volume 1 by Natsumi Shiba establishes a simple premise as a way of getting two people together in an “opposites attract” situation. Hayami is a successful career woman who’s a slob at home. Co-worker Yamamoto discovers the mess and cleans up for her. The two end up rooming together, complicated by their feelings for each other. She needs someone to take care of her, and he appreciates being allowed in her presence (and benefits from her greater earning […]

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Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Volume 10

The Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju series concludes with volume 10. It came out almost three years ago, and this volume — along with some of the others in the series, apparently — may be currently out of print. But I still wanted to talk about it because as a wrap-up, it’s beautifully in tone with the theme of the series. I’ve enjoyed reading about these practitioners of rakugo (monologues/ storytelling) because the manga stories combine personal drama with […]

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Conventions in the Age of COVID

Less than a month until New York Comic Con! Are people ready? Should be interesting to see what this is like, as I can’t find any information on publishers setting up there. Guests — of whom the biggest names are William Shatner, George Takei, John Cena, and Chris Claremont — are appearing, but photo ops have no touching. Guest and attendee will be separated by plexiglass. Proof of vaccination is now required for attendees. Under 12 years of age will […]

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Alice in Leatherland

Out in early November is the collected Alice in Leatherland. It’s the story of a children’s book author who finds satisfaction and love by moving to a big city and working in a sex toy store. As written by Iolanda Zanfardino and illustrated by Elisa Romboli, Alice is almost too good to be true. She’s optimistic and romantic and believes in happy endings. Her innocence makes people want to protect her — except for her girlfriend, who belittles her and […]

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