Literary Life Revisited

I discovered recently that one of my favorite cartoonists, Posy Simmonds, had a book out I didn’t know about. (This is common, as not many of her works have been published over here. Thank goodness for easy overseas ordering these days.) Literary Life Revisited is an expanded edition of the 2003 Literary Life, a savagely funny collection of cartoon pages about authors, publishers, and booksellers. The revisited edition is well worth it, as it has the occasional color cartoon, and […]

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Maker Comics: Build a Robot!

I was curious to see what kinds of projects we’d find in Maker Comics: Build a Robot!, as the subject is a bit more ambitious and unusual than the other comics in the line. Many people think they could, with a little guidance, plant a garden or bake cookies or draw a comic, but few people think about building their own robot. The projects in this book, though, seem very achievable and, as a bonus, serve as an excellent introduction […]

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The Dark Matter of Mona Starr

Laura Lee Gulledge has never shied away from telling stories of young women artists struggling with difficult issues. In Will & Whit, it was grief and finding one’s community. In Page by Paige, it was loneliness in a new place. In The Dark Matter of Mona Starr, it’s depression. The result is a welcome addition to the growing list of graphic novels for young people suffering big challenges. Mona has never had many friends, and her best just moved away. […]

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A Thing Called Truth #1-2

The five-issue miniseries A Thing Called Truth promises to be a strangers-to-lovers road trip. It’s written by Iolanda Zanfardino (Midnight Radio) and illustrated by Elisa Romboli (Alice in Leatherland, also with Zanfardino). In issue #1, we meet Dr. Magdalene Traumer, who has created world-changing medical technology that has been stolen from her. I felt for her. She’s sacrificed a lot — personal life, relationships, particularly — for her work, but she’s been impractical about it, which has allowed others to […]

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Oddball: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection

Oddball: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection is the fourth book — after Adulthood Is a Myth, Big Mushy Happy Lump, and Herding Cats — for these autobio/observational webcomics by Sarah Andersen. It was my favorite yet, perhaps because I’d already seen some of the comics online and loved them. I’m a particular fan of how Andersen captures fandom behavior in ways I’ve seen. She’s also very good at showing cats (which are from hell) and introverted behavior (and yet friendship). I […]

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Maker Comics: Create a Costume!

Create a Costume! is another outstanding entry in the Maker Comics line. Kids these days want to dress up for conventions and other gatherings, and the emphasis here is very much encouraging do-it-yourself. Guided by the Costume Critter, a hamster in a hat and cape, Bea and Parker learn how to decorate, modify, and repurpose secondhand clothes into outfits that can be used for a magical girl or boy a witch or wizard a space traveller a superhero (including a […]

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The Beechwood Helm

A friend turned me on to this short but gorgeous comic by Letty Wilson from the small, UK-based Quindrie Press. Two knights, friends, are returning from a skirmish when they encounter a mysterious knight in red armor who challenges them. That’s the panel that won me over. (It helped that I had the tiniest whiff of being reminded of Good Omens.) The resulting battle has unforeseen consequences. The story is about obsession and friendship and memory and fear and identity. […]

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Friday Foster: The Sunday Strips

I really love this job. I get to check out books I would never have otherwise seen and learn about little-known but impressive work. Take, for example, Friday Foster: The Sunday Strips, a reprint collection due from Ablaze next month. Friday Foster was a comic strip created and written by Jim Lawrence and illustrated by Jorge (aka Jordi) Longarón. It was explicitly brought about to address the lack of Black comic leads in syndicated comics and ran from 1970-1974. Friday, […]

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