Mr Doyle’s Class Presents A Study in Scarlet

This charming graphic novel aims to present “the original Sherlock Holmes story reimagined for a modern audience,” and it succeeds wonderfully. Mr Doyle’s Class Presents A Study in Scarlet is adapted by Matthew Hardy, illustrated by Russell Mark Olson, and published by the Portsmouth City Council, who also maintains the Richard Lancelyn Green collection. The goal is to introduce the novel, originally written in Portsmouth, to readers of all ages. A group of present-day schoolchildren are learning about A Study […]

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Love and Capes in the Time of Covid

I can’t claim to have read all the pandemic-era time capsule comics, but my favorite is Love and Capes in the Time of Covid, because I think, looking back, a sense of humor really helps. I’ve enjoyed the superhero rom-com approach of Love and Capes for a long time. This latest one-shot collects the webcomics Thom Zahler put out on Patreon. Having his superhero characters face the challenges of something you can’t punch into submission is an ideal choice for […]

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Dinosaur Therapy

I adore Dinosaur Therapy. This small, square hardcover collects webcomics from Dinos and Comics, written by James Stewart and illustrated by K Romey. They’re simple but refreshingly blunt. In three- or four-panel comics, simply styled dinosaurs — they look like they’re loosely molded out of play-doh — talk honestly about the difficulties of life. A similarly frank introduction by the writer explains that he began creating these webcomics as a reaction to an ADHD diagnosis and a desire to “find […]

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Wife Gets Smart, Makes Husband Happy: Supermarket Comic Strip Ads of World War II

The American comic industry has always had a space for small, independent publishers, and I’m glad, because it means you can sometimes stumble across something like this. Wife Gets Smart, Makes Husband Happy: Supermarket Comic Strip Ads of World War II, compiled by Nat Gertler and published by his About Comics, is odd but strangely readable. Oh, not all at once — the messages are simple and repetitive. Yet there’s a compelling charm to how some anonymous advertising writer managed […]

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Cold War Correspondent (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales)

The eleventh in the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series — an impressive run!– covers the most modern period yet. Cold War Correspondent is the story of Marguerite Higgins, a reporter who found herself trapped in Korea when the Communists took Seoul in 1950. The cast of series narrators has expanded. Captured spy Nathan Hale, telling historical adventures to hold off his hanging, and the Hangman and the Provost (a stuffy British soldier) have been joined by Bill Richmond, the real-life […]

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Dork Tower: The Tao of Igor

It’s been forever since I’ve thought about John Kovalic’s Dork Tower. I read the comics in the early 2000s, when they were coming out as issues and collections, but it’s been more than 15 years since then. (I liked that they, for being a gamer comic, were still understandable to non-gamers. They were typical of the era, a bunch of guys with a token girl, but they talked about interpersonal interaction, not just collectibles, and they were likable enough. And […]

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The Secret Garden on 81st Street

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a classic young adult novel, written over a hundred years ago. There’s something beautiful to the story about an orphan girl finding new family and friends through resurrecting a forgotten garden, but it’s also quite dated. (A bereaved child ignored? Someone sick and disabled simply being shut away? The foreboding housekeeper? Magical healing? The class issues?) Ivy Noelle Weir (Archival Quality) does a brilliant job adapting the familiar story into the modern […]

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What Unites Us: The Graphic Novel

What Unites Us: The Graphic Novel is an adaptation by Tim Foley of Dan Rather’s best-selling prose book (written with Elliot Kirschner). Since the appeal of the comic format was recognized by larger, more traditional publishers, resulting in the graphic novel boom, there have been any number of non-fiction comics released. Some of them focus on education to the exclusion of anything else. That makes for dry, unappealing works that don’t take full advantage of the medium, or worse, illustrated […]

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