The Con Artist — Death at San Diego Comic-Con

Fred Van Lente knows comics. He’s been writing them for over a decade, with credits that include Action Philosophers, Marvel Zombies, Cowboys & Aliens, and The Comic Book History of Comics. Now, he’s written The Con Artist, a murder mystery set at the San Diego Comic-Con. Need a thriller to read on the plane to the show? Or something to remind you why you’re actually glad to not be attending this year? This is the book for you! Mike Mason […]

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The Little Particle That Could

The Little Particle That Could is an adorable educational children’s book with plenty of distinctive, charming illustrations. It’s a board book, for ages 3-6, the size of an elongated pack of index cards. As written by Jason Rodriguez, it’s the story of a happy particle who “spun all day and pulled, pulled, pulled things down to Earth.” This is about a graviton, in parental words, happily bopping along until the day she sees a light photon, which never stops moving. […]

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RetroFan #1

TwoMorrows has launched RetroFan magazine, with issue #1 now available. It’s edited by Michael Eury, the man behind Back Issue, so I had hopes I’d enjoy it, but I’m afraid that the particular subjects of the first issue didn’t resonate with me. And that’s the determining factor, since the pitch is how the quarterly publication “spotlights the crazy, cool culture we grew up with”. If you feel like part of the “we”, unlike me, you may love this, since it’s […]

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Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian

Out September 4 is a kids’ book with a concept that tickles me by a talented artist. Vera Brosgol (Be Prepared, Anya’s Ghost, Leave Me Alone!) is illustrating Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian, written by Jacob Sager Weinstein. Described as a “delightfully silly superhero tale”, the plot of the picture book aimed at ages 4-7 is: When an evil genius has a diabolical plan to destroy every book on the planet, who has the tome-toting page power to thwart his dastardly […]

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Lumberjanes: The Moon Is Up

The second Lumberjanes young adult novel, Lumberjanes: The Moon Is Up, is now available, and like the first, Unicorn Power!, as written by Mariko Tamaki, it captures the feel of the series well for fans. (Particularly with the few but significant illustrations by Brooklyn Allen.) The camp is preparing for Galaxy Wars, a week-long contest involving a scavenger hunt, trivia contest, and obstacle course, all about the planets. That means we also get to see, in this book, Barney and […]

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Manga Art: Inspiration and Techniques from an Expert Illustrator

I haven’t seen an art book quite like Manga Art: Inspiration and Techniques from an Expert Illustrator before. I’ve enjoyed Mark Crilley’s work for a long while, both his fiction comics (dating from Akiko) and his how-to-make-comics volumes. This is the book that comes closest to giving a good idea of what he really likes and wants to do. It’s simply a book of illustrations, all relating to manga in some way. In his introduction, Crilley praises the “atmosphere of […]

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Enough Is Enough

This cute little picture book by Barney Saltzberg features two siblings who happen to be sheep and a playful approach to page structure. Enough Is Enough demonstrates both the need for alone time, sometimes, and the pleasure of interacting together at other times. Olive wants to read, but younger brother Will wants to play. So she tears a hole in the wall (as shown on the cover) and visits some imaginative landscapes in a series of double-page spreads. But after […]

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Read Herring Hunt

The sequel to The Plot Is Murder by V.M. Burns is just as much a pleasant, undemanding diversion. I won’t remember much of Read Herring Hunt, but I didn’t regret spending an hour or so with the characters. There’s not as much in the bookstore this time around. Instead, Sam (the owner and our protagonist) and her overactive grandmother Nana Jo help Sam’s assistant Dawson when he’s accused of murder. He’s the quarterback for the local college football team, and […]

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