She-Hulk: Single Green Female

She-Hulk: Single Green Female collects the first six issues of the acclaimed superhero comedy series. Writer Dan Slott does a great job balancing jokes and character bits while exploring how a citizen of a superhero universe deals with life. Jennifer Walters is an accomplished lawyer who’s also the super-strong She-Hulk. She’s become something of a party girl, dating models, winning cases, and saving the world with the Avengers. Her new boss, though, the head of a prestigious law firm, wants […]

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Smut Peddler #3

Smut Peddler #3 is a minicomic anthology of tasteful but titillating erotica. 48 pages of diverse sex-inspired stories for adults for only $5! I’m the Submissions Editor (which means that the folks who do all the real coordination and assembly work — Trisha L. Sebastian, Sean Bieri, and Carla Speed McNeil — ask me what I think during the selection period, and I’m quite honored to participate). That means this is NOT a review! This is me telling you why […]

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The Dead Boy Detectives

Jill Thompson brings together Sandman characters and shôjo manga in The Dead Boy Detectives. Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine are two British schoolboys who happen to be ghosts and who love investigating mysteries. They’re asked for help by Annika, a student at a prestigious Chicago boarding school, when her roommate goes missing. There’s a ton of entertainment in this packed original graphic novel, with jokes, character work, clues, and atmospheric illustration. Thompson does a terrific job capturing elements of the […]

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Human Target: Living in Amerika

Writer Peter Milligan uses human chameleon Christopher Chance to explore the nature of identity. Chance is the world’s best impersonator, and he takes the place of people in danger. In the first story in Human Target: Living in Amerika, he’s pretending to be Father Mike, a priest whose charity work among America’s undesirables — HIV patients, the homeless, immigrants — has made him a target. Next, in the book’s longest story, Chance is required to take the place of someone […]

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Doctor Who: The Tides of Time

Doctor Who: The Tides of Time says it’s the “complete run of Fifth Doctor comic strips from the pages of Doctor Who Monthly“. I can’t argue with that, but I had a bunch more questions after reading it. Since it started as serialized, it’s a dense read. I finished the first seven-part, 50+ page story feeling as though I’d completed a typical graphic novel, and I had six more stories to go. (I didn’t like any of them quite as […]

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The Awakening

The Awakening is a slasher film on paper. Lonely student Francesca starts attending a prestigious boarding school only to fall into a coma after she discovers another girl killed late at night. It takes the book a third of its length to get to this point, and that setup section was the part I enjoyed most. There are some well-executed character bits, so I found it even more of a shame that little of it was necessary or had any […]

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Owly

Using animals to comment on the human condition is a tradition with a long history in comics. Andy Runton is the latest to use it to its full potential, creating this generation’s Winnie the Pooh in his stories of Owly and his worm friend. The first book, The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer, contains two mostly wordless pieces. The first story shows how Owly rescues a worm from drowning during a rainstorm. After recovery, and although the two species […]

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Last Exit Before Toll

Charles is driving south for a business trip but finds himself killing time at a small-town coffee shop when his car overheats. That summation of the premise of Last Exit Before Toll is too simple and almost irrelevant. This thought-provoking little book isn’t about what happens; it’s about the search for authenticity and a simpler way of life in an overly busy world. To fully enjoy it, you have to be willing to accept and experience a different pace, just […]

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