Phoebe and Her Unicorn in Unicorn Theater

The eighth book in the imaginative series by Dana Simpson about a girl and her unicorn best friend is also the second original graphic novel (after Phoebe and Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm; the others reprint comic strips), making it a never-before-seen longer story. In Unicorn Theater, Phoebe is headed to drama camp. The unicorn Marigold accompanies her but is distracted by a visit from her sister, making Phoebe jealous and a little lonely. All of her other friends […]

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Book Love

I wasn’t familiar with the work of Debbie Tung until I read and enjoyed Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story. Next week she has a followup coming out. Book Love is what it sounds like, a collection of cartoons for those who love reading. The single-page strips aren’t particularly punchline-driven — the appeal comes from the familiarity. Anyone whose favorite activity is enjoying a good book or anyone who always has trouble figuring out what book to […]

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Zen Pencils: Inspirational Quotes for Kids

The quotes in Zen Pencils: Inspirational Quotes for Kids by Gavin Aung Than are oddly chosen. The second is about training to avoid bleeding in battle, attributed to an Armed Forces motto, a strange choice to lead off a book of advice for youngsters. The meanings of several are still argued over by adults, so the “inspirational” nature is questionable. And several are mini-essays, trying the patience of a younger reader trying to understand the point. While a few of […]

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Herding Cats: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection

This third collection of Sarah Andersen’s webcomics (after Adulthood Is a Myth and Big Mushy Happy Lump) adds a bonus: a section with some smart advice for aspiring artists. Herding Cats: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection can be enjoyed whether or not you’ve read the previous books. The topics are similar — including feelings of inferiority, how much she loves her cat, engaging in the wrong choice even though she knows better (particularly when it comes to spending time), dealing with […]

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Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story is exactly what it says, in comic strip form. It’s charming and insightful and adorable. Debbie Tung’s comics are deceptively simple, mostly one-pagers of standard panels, but her self-figure is so cute and relatable. She uses dot eyes and a few lines for features, but I both know what she’s feeling and want to hug and protect her. I like that she has friends and later, a perfect-sounding boyfriend she appreciates […]

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Breaking Cat News

You’ll know from the subtitle of Breaking Cat News whether it’s something you want to read or not: “Cats Reporting on the News That Matters to Cats”. Georgia Dunn draws her three felines — Lupin, Puck, and Elvis — as if they were news anchors focused on such topics as sun spots and eating plants and seeing another cat outside the window. The joke is the same throughout, rung out with changes of topic, and best aimed at cat lovers […]

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Adulthood Is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection

I wasn’t familiar with the strip Sarah’s Scribbles, collected as Adulthood Is a Myth, but I can certainly see why it was popular enough to make it into a book. Sarah Andersen has put together a collection of semi-autobiographical strips about feeling unable to cope. These are not unique observations — not wanting to get out of bed, not feeling able to communicate or socialize well, feeling unattractive — but they are deep, discouraging feelings most people can relate to, […]

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Unicorn on a Roll

Unicorn on a Roll is the followup to Phoebe and Her Unicorn. Dana Simpson continues the whimsy, charm, and comedy of her strip with more kid/fantasy creature adventures. The book begins with a reaffirmation of the friendship between Phoebe and Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, as they reflect on how they met almost a year ago. That conveniently sums up the premise and appeal of the strip for new readers, too, as we see Marigold’s vanity and Phoebe’s crankiness (often spurred by […]

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