The World’s Strongest

The World’s Strongest debuts on Wednesday as one of Action Lab’s “digital-first” (which may or may not mean it ever comes to print) titles. It’s $3 for 24 pages, which makes it a short read, but it touches on some insightful points. It also widens the superhero genre from its traditional focus, both in its black female hero and in the concerns it addresses. It’s written by Juan Ponce with art by Matthew Gallman, colors by Jon Yuen, and the […]

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Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Lucy Knisley with a baby carriage. Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos captures the graphic memoirist’s experiences with pregnancy and childbirth — which went about as not smoothly as you could fear, since she almost died during the process. From reading her previous autobiographical graphic novels, I knew she’d dreamed about having children for a long time. As she says in her illustrated introduction, the book covers two years of “what […]

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Pumpkinheads

Author Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl) and artist Faith Erin Hicks (The Nameless City, Friends With Boys) team up for a lovely seasonal story about friendship and crushes and moving on to a new stage of life in Pumpkinheads. Josiah and Deja are working their last night at the Pumpkin Patch (which is more like a minor amusement park, with food booths and attractions and a giant corn maze). It’s Halloween, after which the patch shuts down, and they’re getting ready to […]

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Breaks

Emma Vieceli writes (with co-writer Malin Ryden) and draws the webcomic Breaks, which can be described as “what if Archie and Jughead starred in a boys’ love manga?” It’s been running for four and a half years and is still going, updating weekly. The first storyline has been collected by Soaring Penguin Press, which is how I was introduced to the series. I was glad to meet these characters, but I found the book not quite as satisfying as I […]

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Stage Dreams

We’re living in a bonanza period for graphic novels — there are comics for everyone, including those who might be interested in, in this case, a young adult Western with queer and trans characters. Stage Dreams is an historical adventure in which Flor, a legendary outlaw with a trained hawk, robs a stagecoach and kidnaps Grace, a trans lady running away from having to become a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. Grace wants to make it from Georgia to […]

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Adler #1

Although I wanted to give Adler #1 a fair shot, the reliance on cliche and overly familiar elements made it just another forgettable action thriller. It’s written by Lavie Tidhar and illustrated by Paul McCaffrey, and I previously posted some preview pages and covers. I liked the idea of teaming up a bunch of women who transcend the expectations of their era, but I object to most of this first issue actually being about Jane Eyre, who’s pulled from watching […]

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The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television

I’ve enjoyed the relatively recent boom in graphic memoir and biography, particularly those stories that cover the lives of artists and creative people. Unfortunately, too often we see that those who make long-lasting works struggle personally, and The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television by Koren Shadmi is no different. What sets it apart, though, is its setting in the relatively modern era. The book has four major sections, tied together with a framing story that will […]

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Maker Comics: Draw a Comic!

Continuing the excellent Maker Comics line, JP Coovert’s Draw a Comic! is a fun celebration of the love of comics, both as reader and creator, with a surprising amount of technical guidance. There’s a story, too. Maggie and her (talking) dog Rex (it’s a comic) are putting together a new comic library in honor of her grandfather, who used to read Tintin to her and wanted to share the love of comics with everyone. This open acceptance is a hallmark […]

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