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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Bullet

Bullet is a sweet little superhero story that’s almost done crowdfunding. It’s (accurately) described as follows: After college student Dale DeSouza suddenly develops super speed, he splits his time between fighting villains and courting one of the researchers helping him find out more about his powers. Story is by Randy Stone and Jordan Alsaqa with art & color by Kath Lobo. It’s a forty-page stand-alone, professionally done. There are a few fights, a few romantic moments, and a life-changing choice. […]

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Alice in Leatherland

Out in early November is the collected Alice in Leatherland. It’s the story of a children’s book author who finds satisfaction and love by moving to a big city and working in a sex toy store. As written by Iolanda Zanfardino and illustrated by Elisa Romboli, Alice is almost too good to be true. She’s optimistic and romantic and believes in happy endings. Her innocence makes people want to protect her — except for her girlfriend, who belittles her and […]

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Allergic

One way to have success is to identify a moment or an event or a condition that everyone can relate to, or at least understand, but no one has yet crystallized. Think, for example, of Semisonic’s “Closing Time”. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s a good song or not — it’s an instant anthem, something people can play to sum up that specific moment. Allergic is something of an equivalent. Writer Megan Wagner Lloyd and artist Michelle Mee Nutter […]

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Unicorn Famous

Unicorn Famous is the thirteenth book in the series, collecting the ongoing Phoebe and Her Unicorn comic strip by Dana Simpson. I was surprised to see that it opens with a lengthy sequence about being able to be what you want when you grow up, even if that thing is a unicorn. Of course, they’re magical creatures, so maybe that makes sense, but to a human reader, it’s encouraging, reminding us that we have options and choices. It’s all handled […]

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Virtual Unicorn Experience

The latest Phoebe and Her Unicorn collection from Dana Simpson, Virtual Unicorn Experience, is as fresh and funny and entertaining as any of the previous. It’s the twelfth book in the series, so that’s a pretty impressive track record. Since the unicorn Marigold is a magical creature, her sometimes use of spells makes for entertaining visuals, but the realistic elements of this strip are where it excels. In Virtual Unicorn Experience, the friendship between Marigold and the odd but admirable […]

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