Alphabetical Index of First Second

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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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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Science Comics: Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield

The most recent Science Comics entry in the First Second line of excellently readable educational graphic novels is Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield by Falynn Koch (who also wrote and drew the Bats volume). It uses the framework of scientists working within a computer simulation to personalize various cells, germs, and processes when the human body gets infected, including Yellow Fever, Bubonic Plague, and a white blood T-Cell. Scientists are trying to enlist harmful germs in attempts to develop new vaccines. […]

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The Stone Heart: The Nameless City Volume 2

The Stone Heart begins with hope of peace and a new era for the many inhabitants of the Nameless City, but new ways of interacting with people not like you threaten the privileged. It only takes one spoiled heir to make things terrible in Faith Erin Hicks’ fantasy adventure. As can be seen from the description, although the setting of this trilogy is inspired by ancient China, there’s plenty relevant to learn while getting caught up in the events. I […]

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Science Comics: Dogs: From Predator to Protector

I knew the latest installment of the Science Comics series, Andy Hirsch‘s Dogs: From Predator to Protector, would be cute. With his art (as also seen in The Baker Street Peculiars) and the subject, how could it not be? What I didn’t expect was just how much science was packed into it, looking at how dogs came to be “man’s best friend” and why they do what they do. A charming mutt named Rudy chases his ball from the dog […]

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Making Scents

Making Scents does something substantial with a silly premise, demonstrating the value of comics. As written by Arthur Yorinks, Mickey was found as a baby by Barney and Barbara Spitz, who raised and trained bloodhounds. So he was raised right along with these “brothers and sisters”, including scent training, making his eventual entry into another culture somewhat difficult. That happens after an accident, with Mickey taken by his aunt and uncle to their home. They’re older, and they never particularly […]

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Shattered Warrior

Shattered Warrior is an affecting portrait of life during wartime occupation, a story of a young woman fighting the alien race who’ve stolen her world that demonstrates real emotional depth in life-and-death situations. Colleen was the privileged daughter of a great estate until the aliens came. They destroyed the city and her home and killed her family (and stole her Bible! just kidding, Romancing the Stone fans). Now, she works a tiring, assembly-line job sorting minerals for the occupiers to […]

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