Star Scouts: The League of Lasers

I enjoyed Mike Lawrence’s Star Scouts when it came out last year, so I was thrilled to see that there’s a sequel. Star Scouts: The League of Lasers opens by reminding us of Avani and her interstellar friends. She’s been invited to join the League of Lasers, an elite club for star scouts. While on a try-out mission for membership, Avani gets to put all her scout skills into practice when her smart-aleck spaceship crash lands. Those skills include patience […]

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Science Comics: Robots and Drones: Past, Present, and Future

The Science Comics series of non-fiction educational graphic novels is usually outstanding, but I found Robots and Drones: Past, Present, and Future (written by Mairghread Scott (Transformers) and illustrated by Jacob Chabot (SpongeBob Comics)) a rare misfire for the line. Perhaps it’s a reflection of my relative lack of interest in the topic, but I didn’t find this installment as entertaining, informative, or frankly, good as many of the others. It’s narrated by Pouli, a mechanical bird and “the first […]

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Spectacle

There are good mash-ups, and there are great ones, ones that make you wonder “how terrific! why haven’t I seen this combination before?” Megan Rose Gedris’s Spectacle is great, combining life in the circus, steampunk touches, a ghost sibling, and a murder mystery. Anna is the practical twin, creator of a steam-driven conjecture engine that can predict future events using statistics to 78% accuracy. Ironic, then, that she tells fortunes, knowing that they’re trickery. Kat is the twin liked by […]

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New Shoes

Many comic artists have moved into creating children’s books, including Ivan Brunetti, Kate Beaton, and Andy Runton. There’s not that much difference between the two formats, mostly a matter of whether the words appear in balloons or as captions. Children’s books tend to be shorter and focus on the images. Sara Varon has also put out children’s books, which isn’t surprising, since her style is so welcoming and she tends to draw humanoid animals or ambulatory treats. Her newest book, […]

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Gothic Tales of Haunted Love

Gothic Tales of Haunted Love is Hope Nicholson’s (The Secret Loves of Geek Girls) latest Kickstarted anthology, now available for order through your local comic shop. And it’s a great concept — inspired by the short-run early 70s comic genre of gothic romance, which featured spooky old houses, tragic young women in danger, and the potential of ghosts, a variety of creators have created new stories with today’s attitudes. There are 20 stories included, co-edited by S.M. Beiko, plus some […]

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Sleepless #2

It’s not really fair to judge a comic by its first issue. That’s the one everyone spends extra time and effort on to make a great first impression. So when I find a great second issue, that bodes well for enjoying a comic for the long run. Sleepless #1 set up the basics of the premise; in this second issue, Sarah Vaughn and Leila del Duca expand on the premise by showing us Princess Poppy trying to find out who’s […]

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Audubon: On the Wings of the World

Audubon: On the Wings of the World — written by Fabien Grolleau and illustrated by Jérémie Royer — is a handsome historical hardcover that gives a stunning portrait of the American wilderness in the early 1800s. It also reminds us what artists may suffer when driven by creativity, as well as the sacrifices of those around them. John James Audubon is still known today for his gorgeous paintings of the birds of North America. Instead of the stiff scientific art […]

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Sax Rohmer’s Dope

What a luscious cocktail of naughtiness! In the early 1980s, Trina Robbins adapted and serialized a terrible pulp novel from 1919 by Sax Rohmer (who created Fu Manchu, and whose ridiculous ideas about foreigners corrupting the English are similarly on display here). This collected edition of Sax Rohmer’s Dope is the first reprint of the work. It’s the story of a young actress who becomes addicted to drugs provided by a racist Asian caricature and his wife, Mrs. Sin, a […]

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