The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #7

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #7 is exactly what I want from a superhero comic — adventure, humor, and a refusal to take itself too seriously. (I understand that that is not a popular approach these days, but I know what I like.) It’s rare for me to laugh out loud at one, but there’s a joke on the first page that had me doing so — Daphne’s butler Jenkins has come to reminisce about his time in butler school […]

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Stuck Rubber Baby 25th Anniversary Edition

Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby, I have no doubt, has changed lives. It changed mine. It’s the semi-autobiographical story of Toland Polk, a young man hiding from his homosexuality in the southern US in the 1960s, as the civil rights movement becomes more important. Toland is raised by well-meaning racists, but he hangs out with people more on the fringes, dating a politicized folk singer and going to parties with a gay former sailor and a drag queen and people […]

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Scenes From Isolation

Cathy Guisewite is back cartooning! Scenes From Isolation is a collection of single-panel cartoons she originally put on Instagram capturing frustrations and annoyances during pandemic quarantine. As with any book of this type, some of the recurring themes, particularly the compulsive baking and germophobia, I didn’t relate to at all. Some of the other images, though — especially unhealthy eating, too much online shopping, and having trouble focusing — perfectly captured my feelings. Readers of her previous comic strip, Cathy, […]

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The Death of Doctor Strange #1

I’m not crazy about the concept behind The Death of Doctor Strange #1, a five-issue miniseries written by Jed MacKay and illustrated by Lee Garbett. The more events promote a morbid ending that readers already know won’t stick, the less it means, and the cheaper the gimmick becomes. Admittedly, this is one of the characters, given all the magic, that is more reasonable to take the approach with. (With the slim possibility that Disney, Marvel’s owners, won’t pay off Steve […]

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Aquaman: The Becoming #1

I don’t know why I believe any more that any superhero comic will be a good starting point. They’re all so invested in their universes that it’s nearly impossible to join in without a lot of work and investment. I haven’t read DC comics for a while — I have so many other things to read these days, with stories that are more inclusive and welcoming. (Plus, I feel as though I kind of filled up my lifetime quota for […]

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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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