Sanity & Tallulah

“The future is female,” they say, and nothing demonstrates that better than Sanity & Tallulah, a science fiction adventure by Molly Brooks about two smart, daring girls living on a space station. Super-creative Sanity has genetically engineered a three-headed kitten named “Princess Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds”. Having a pet is a rule violation in such a tightly controlled environment, particularly one that’s a science experiment created using untested equipment, and Tallulah’s mother, the senior scientist on the station, grounds them […]

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Science Comics: Polar Bears: Survival on the Ice

Science Comics: Polar Bears: Survival on the Ice, another installment of First Second’s excellent non-fiction graphic novel series, dives deep into the life of one of the world’s most distinctive animals. It’s written by Jason Viola and illustrated by Zack Giallongo. Anik and Ila are sibling polar bear cubs. As they spat with each other and follow Mama around the Arctic, the reader learns in great detail the nature of life in such a harsh environment. The book covers types […]

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Sleepless Volume 2

I was heavily disappointed to hear this wonderful fantasy romance would end after only 11 issues. However, looking on the bright side, that makes for a complete story in two collections, a tidy but not over-committed read. It does mean, though, that events move very quickly in Sleepless volume 2, the second half of the series by Sarah Vaughn and Leila Del Duca. Poppy is dealing with a number of substantial challenges. With her father no longer king and her […]

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The Avant-Guards

The Avant-Guards was my answer to a friend asking the question of whether there was any American comic that could be described as sports yuri (which is manga about girl-girl attraction). It’s written by Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl), illustrated by Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer), and this collection reprints the first four-issue storyline. (There are 12 issues planned in total.) The dynamic go-getter Olivia is determined to create a basketball team at her all-female drama school “The Georgia O’Keeffe […]

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Invisible Kingdom

There’s plenty of science fiction in comics, particularly if you lump many of the superheroes in that genre, but it’s rare to find science fiction (in any medium) that deals with religion, particularly one that does it well (as opposed to using it as a cliche). Invisible Kingdom, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Christian Ward not only does this, but it does so gorgeously. It’s clear that the world we’re shown here has been well-thought-through, with the […]

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The Pineapples of Wrath

One of my favorite TCAF discoveries was The Pineapples of Wrath by Cathon from Pow Pow Press. I knew nothing about artist, publisher, or book, but it was a fun, escapist read with a distinct, unusual sensibility. Once I checked it out, I kept sending other people over to get some pineapples. In a small Quebec city with the “world’s largest Hawaiian neighborhood”, Marie-Plum bartends at a tiki bar but keeps getting distracted by the latest mystery she’s reading. She […]

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Bad Luck Chuck

Bad Luck Chuck caught my attention due how interesting the premise was. It kept my attention by wrapping the concept in intriguing layers of story. It’s written by Lela Gwenn and illustrated by Matthew Dow Smith. Chuck Manchester has really bad luck. Like “the building burns down around her” bad luck. So she’s made a business, “Disaster on Demand”, out of it, hiring herself out as, for example, an untraceable arsonist. She’s just been hired to bring a daughter back […]

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Just Jaime

The third in Terri Libenson’s series of connected middle school graphic novels, Just Jaime tackles the difficult question of how to react when “friends” decide they don’t want to hang around you any more. As with Invisible Emmie and Positively Izzy, the format is unique, with interspersed chapters alternating between the illustrated diary format and full-out comics. (The lead characters from the first two books also appear here, tying the three together into a richer picture of young teen life.) […]

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