The Family Trade

I found The Family Trade, written by Justin Jordan & Nikki Ryan and illustrated by Morgan Beem, a fairly standard story about a teen assassin working to save her fantasy world. It’s distinctive only due to its art and coloring. The Free Republic of Thessala, aka the Float, is an independent city-state in the middle of the ocean, a center of commerce and diplomacy. Jessa is a young orphan member of the Family, a loosely related gang of thieves and […]

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Tony Stark: Iron Man Volume 1: Self-Made Man

I know why many comic publishers aren’t very good at selling books to movie fans. There are a whole variety of reasons, ranging from selfishness (“I want comics like I read when I was a kid!”) to idiocy (“why would we want more women and other people reading comics?”) to simple inertia (“the way we’ve always done things is good enough”) and fanboyishness (“we’ve already told that story so let’s do something unusual!”) and greed (“why have one comic title […]

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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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Wild Ocean: Sharks, Whales, Rays, and Other Endangered Sea Creatures

The Wild Ocean anthology, edited by Matt Dembicki, was produced with PangeaSeed, an ocean conservation organization, so it’s got an obvious message — ”to showcase 12 iconic endangered ocean animals” in order to encourage changes in human behavior when it comes to pollution and overfishing — but the following 12 stories are inspiring, all the same. “Tortuga, the Island That Swims” by Jay Hosler, about a hawksbill sea turtle’s life cycle and the other creatures that live on its shell […]

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Action Presidents: George Washington! and Abraham Lincoln!

The team behind Action Philosophers! — writer Fred Van Lente and artist Ryan Dunlavey — have returned with an entertaining look at key men and events in American history, beginning with the two most famous Presidents. The attitude behind the series is apparent from the beginning. As narrated by Noah the Historkey (a history turkey), the George Washington! book begins with the best-known fable about Washington, which is promptly denounced as both “boring” and told by a “well-known liar.” Instead, […]

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Jim McClain’s Solution Squad

Jim McClain, a middle school math teacher, loves comics, so he made his own super-team to teach mathematical concepts. The first Solution Squad comic story introduces the team members: La Calculadora – fast computation and team leader Absolutia – changes temperature to demonstrate absolute value Equality – duplicates the abilities of others The Ordered Pair twins – Abscissa (runs fast horizontally) and Ordinate (flies and dives vertically) Radical – a time-lost kid from the 80s who surfs invisible triangles They […]

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Maker Comics: Bake Like a Pro! and Fix a Car!

I adore First Second’s Science Comics line. Most all of them are terrific true-life graphic novels about interesting topics. Not only are they educational, they’re entertaining, and well worth reading. Now the publisher has expanded their non-fiction line with the new Maker Comics, which are similar, but focused on craft and skills instead of intellectual knowledge. The first two books are very different in topics, but both are equally informative and practical, covering things most people would benefit from learning. […]

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One Day a Dot: The Story of You, the Universe, and Everything

Almost no subject is too much for a children’s storybook, with the right approach, and One Day a Dot: The Story of You, the Universe, and Everything is proof. It tackles the formation of the universe in simple, understandable terms, with lovely images following from the Big Bang through the evolution of humanity and civilization. It’s written by Ian Lendler and illustrated by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. A dot bursts into light and life. It’s given feelings by the […]

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