Heartstopper

Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper is an absolutely wonderful coming-of-age romance between British schoolboys. Charlie is a runner and drummer, known to be gay. Nick is the human equivalent of a golden retriever, a rugby player and outgoing everyday guy. They meet when assigned seating together in class and develop an unexpected friendship as Nick recruits Charlie to the team. Nick also helps Charlie shake off Ben, another rugby player who dates a girl while sneaking around making out with Nick. There’s […]

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I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf

I adored I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider. If you liked You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack or Book Love, you’ll love this. The cartoons are all about being a reader or a writer or both. Overall, the message is how books can and will change your life. I alternated among thinking “how wise”, “how inspiring”, and “how surprising”. Starting with this opening spread. I thought it was a manifesto for the book — which […]

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British Ice

It’s been so long since I’ve been surprised by the existence of a graphic novel that I think that was part of the appeal of reading British Ice, which came out earlier this year from Top Shelf. I hadn’t previously heard of the book, but I came across an old promo email and it sounded interesting, particularly since I’d just been telling someone else about Whiteout. The two have some situations in common. Although author Owen D. Pomery makes clear […]

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Revisiting Watson and Holmes

As many readers know, I’m a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes in many of his incarnations. That includes one of the recent comic reworkings, which I reread this weekend. Watson and Holmes was a modernization that revamped the characters as Black men in modern-day New York. That makes a lot of sense for Watson’s Army background, as a war vet returned from Afghanistan. He’s meant to be the main character, working with a Holmes who refuses to be called Sherlock. […]

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Virtually Yours

Virtually Yours is what I want more of in comics — a romantic comedy with a unique premise. Eva is living at home looking for a journalism job. To get her parents off her back, at her sister’s suggestion, she gets a fake boyfriend from Virtually Yours. The company exists to provide proof of relationships for people in similar situations; it’s an anti-dating app. This way, she can focus on her career without her parents worrying. Max is a former […]

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Department of Mind-Blowing Theories

Department of Mind-Blowing Theories is the latest collection of Tom Gauld’s cartoons. I’ve loved his literary-themed comics, because they’re funny and smart. (Drawn & Quarterly has put out two previous collections, You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack and Baking With Kafka.) There are plenty of cartoons out there about family life, for instance, but Gauld really emphasizes the life of the mind, whether it’s writers and their solitary pursuits or gags that require knowledge of literature (or at least […]

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Cassandra Darke

Thank goodness we have global internet commerce, because it’s the only way I can keep up with the work of one of my favorite artists, Posy Simmonds (Tamara Drewe, Gemma Bovery). I think someone mentioned on Twitter that she had a new book out at the end of last year, so I eagerly ordered Cassandra Darke. The title character is thoroughly unpleasant. She used to run an art gallery with her ex-husband, whom she feels wronged by, until her cheating […]

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Maker Comics: Grow a Garden!

The purpose of the Maker Comics line is admirable: to teach readers essential or entertaining skills in illustrated form. Unfortunately, while I was very interested in the topic, Maker Comics: Grow a Garden! by Alexis Frederick-Frost was the first series entry that disappointed me. It’s overwhelming. There’s too much background information provided too technically. Instead of feeling encouraged, as though I could try these processes myself (as I did after reading Maker Comics: Fix a Car!), I was frightened away. […]

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