Alphabetical Index of NBM / Papercutz

GFFs: Ghost Friends Forever

There’s a lot going on in GFFs: Ghost Friends Forever (written by Monica Gallagher, illustrated by Kata Kane), but it’s all good-hearted. This supernatural mystery romance feels like a modern Nancy Drew, except in this case, ghosts are real. Sophia is living with her father after her parents split up. Her brother Felix lives with Mom on the other side of town. The family business is ghost-hunting, and Sophia’s eager to join in. Mom is more scientific, while Dad makes […]

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Geeky Fab 5: It’s Not Rocket Science

Geeky Fab 5 has an explicit purpose — to show girls taking part in STEM activities. I support that, and this book achieves its goal, although it’s more about determination and teamwork than actual math or science. We hear about girls coding, for example, but don’t see much of the actual practice. Lucy and her sister Marina have just moved to the town of Normal. Lucy’s new school friends are Zara, Sofia, and A.J. Between them, they have a variety […]

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Monet: Itinerant of Light

There have been a number of European-published graphic novel biographies about artists translated into English, but Monet: Itinerant of Light, written by Salva Rubio and illustrated by Efa, is the best of them I’ve read. For one thing, this book doesn’t require you already knowing about the protagonist’s life to understand what’s going on. All of the basics are laid out clearly, and the significance of other important figures is either presented or understandable through context. Monet’s art is also […]

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Pride of the Decent Man

Pride of the Decent Man is the kind of quiet, literary graphic novel that’s too easily overlooked, because it doesn’t have a high concept with a catchy hook. As told by T.J. Kirsch, it’s a simple story, but one with great resonance, about a life full of struggles and poor choices made, culminating in being in the wrong place at the wrong time out of the best of motives. Life can be nasty, this book tells us, with entire lives […]

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The True Death of Billy the Kid

Out next month is Rick Geary’s latest murder exploration, The True Death of Billy the Kid. It’s in keeping with his popular Murder Treasury series, in that it explores a famous, historical, violent death, but it’s larger in format, and a little shorter (64 pages), which makes the hardcover oddly reminiscent of a picture book. That’s about all the space needed to cover, though, who killed the outlaw, why, and under what circumstances. Originally crowdfunded on Kickstarter three years ago, […]

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The Joe Shuster Story: The Artist Behind Superman

Out in April is a graphic novel biography of a key superhero comic creator. The Joe Shuster Story: The Artist Behind Superman is a comprehensive overview of his life, driven by the creation of one particular hero. Perhaps too comprehensive, as I fear only the most dedicated, old-school comic fan will want to wade through the 160-plus pages here, particularly given how downbeat this gentleman’s life was. If you’re looking for evidence that “comics will break your heart”, this could […]

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The Wendy Project

One of the more unusual releases this past year uses the well-known story of Peter Pan to explore survivor’s grief. The Wendy Project is written by actress/screenwriter Melissa Jane Osborne and illustrated by Veronica Fish (Archie). Its black pebbled cover and rounded corners give it the feel of a sketch-filled notebook, fitting its concept. Wendy was responsible for a car accident in which she skidded off a bridge and her brother Michael drowned. That’s what they tell her, anyway, but […]

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A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium Volume 1

Rick Geary’s classic series A Treasury of Victorian Murder becomes more approachable and affordable with this paperback reprint of the previous hardcover collection. As that earlier release (now out of print) did, A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium Volume 1 contains two of the most famous cases from the era plus four additional tales. “Jack the Ripper” is the most obvious choice once you’re talking about unsolved Victorian murders (thus the cover), while “The Beast of Chicago” is about H.H. […]

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