Alphabetical Index of First Second

Science Comics: Bats: Learning to Fly

The next Science Comics release (after volumes educating us about Coral Reefs, Dinosaurs, and Volcanoes) tackles those misunderstood mammals, Bats, as written and illustrated by Falynn Koch. There’s not much story in this volume, to make more space for a thorough visual overview of all kinds of bats and their methods of nutrition. The loose framing structure features a Little Brown Bat who’s injured by humans during a night wildlife hike. He’s taken to an animal hospital with a vet […]

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Science Comics: Volcanoes: Fire and Life

First Second launched its Science Comics line this past spring with Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers and the excellent Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean. Now comes a new installment, Jon Chad’s Volcanoes: Fire and Life, and it’s fun and exciting, using a science fiction story to convey its lessons. Aurora lives in the future, on an Earth where the surface has completely frozen. She’s part of a learning group trying to find sources of fuel among the abandoned houses and […]

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Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride

Lucy Knisley’s latest autobiographical tour-de-force expands beyond the food memoirs and travelogues she’s known for by tackling one of the biggest events in many women’s lives: her wedding. Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride takes a very modern approach. As is true of many young women, Knisley is ambivalent about the many traditions around the ceremony and the costs involved. In this graphic memoir, she works through her qualms about the history of the ceremony as marking women as […]

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The Sculptor

It’s no fun to be Scott McCloud, when it comes to creating comics. He came up with the bedrock work of popular comic theory, Understanding Comics, over 20 years ago. It revolutionized how people thought and talked about the medium, but it sets a very high bar for him when he sets out to simply tell a story. His earlier series, Zot!, was fun retro science fiction adventure, moving into more poignant slice-of-life stories by the end, but that was […]

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The Nameless City

Now that I think of it, Faith Erin Hicks may be the most consistent comic creator I’ve known. Every one of her written and drawn graphic novels, I’ve enjoyed (even the zombie one), and half of the ones she drew but didn’t write. That’s a remarkable track record, since, depending on how you count, this is her 11th book. To be honest, I feared that this one might break the streak. The Nameless City is a fantasy adventure in an […]

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Science Comics: Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers

After enjoying Science Comics: Coral Reefs, I had high hopes for the second launch volume, Science Comics: Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers. Writer MK Reed and artist Joe Flood previously worked together on The Cute Girl Network, and here, they present not so much an explanation of dinosaurs but the history of paleontology. Unfortunately, I already read that comic (Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards, which is cited in the bibliography). I misunderstood what this comic would be, and as a […]

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Science Comics: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean

Science Comics: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean is one of two debut books in a new non-fiction graphic novel line from First Second, and it’s wonderful. Just as she did in Human Body Theater, Maris Wicks takes a complex scientific subject and makes it both understandable and beautiful. Our narrator is an adorable cartoon of a glasses-wearing fish who wants to show us its home in the coral reef. Five chapters cover what coral is, the different types, how […]

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Hippopotamister

Coming out in May is a charming children’s book by John Patrick Green (Quicken Forbidden, Teen Boat). Hippopotamister sends its title character, a hippopotamus from a run-down zoo, out into the world to try on different hats as he works to find the right job. Now, although the story is aimed at younger readers, this is something I can certainly relate to, from needing to find a new occupation to a past-its-prime business making its “employees” unhappy to the way […]

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