Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith

Flung Out of Space: Inspired by the Indecent Adventures of Patricia Highsmith is an impressively good comic. Which is funny, because much of the book shows us Ms. Highsmith writing comics and hating it. Yet this story of some of her life is easily one of the best graphic novels of the year. Highsmith was a lesbian but despised herself for it. She smokes but says she’s quitting. She writes comics but refuses to put her name on them, calling […]

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Bright Family

The familiar idea of an inventive family —- similar to the Fantastic Four -— having space adventures is told with heart and charm in Bright Family. It’s written by Matthew Cody with Carol Klio Burrell and illustrated by Derick Brooks. Nia works hard at her academic accomplishments, but her classmates assume her smart, famous parents help her out. Her younger brother Jayden is imaginative but bored at school and underachieving. The parents are busy doing amazing things, which means they’re […]

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Lucy in the Sky

It’s 2012, and 12-year-old Lucy is coping with seventh grade. Her mother travels the world, and her grandmother is undergoing treatment for cancer. Her friend Vanessa is worried about which boys like her, and her friend Rupa is being pressured by her parents to overachieve and set her future already. Lucy in the Sky, written by Kiara Brinkman and illustrated by Sean Chiki, is a year in the life of an uncertain young woman who loves music. She’s a drummer, […]

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Captain Carter #1

It’s always a pleasant surprise when I find a superhero comic I enjoy these days. It’s mostly my fault — I’ve read so many of them, and I find many of the expectations of the genre (mostly the idea that anything can be solved by punching) no longer to my taste. But Captain Carter #1 does many things I like. It stars a woman, for one thing, and one who’s allowed to be physical, instead of having vague point and […]

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Trespassers

Breena Bard’s Trespassers starts with Gabby and her family heading to the lake house for the summer, continuing a long tradition. She’s a fan of classic mysteries; we see her reading Agatha Christie and The Westing Game. Her older sister and brother think she shouldn’t spend so much time with books. Gene, the neighbor, is an older man who recently lost his wife. He fills them in on the new family, a couple from Chicago and their children. The kids […]

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Let’s Make Dumplings!

Let’s Make Dumplings!, the comic book cookbook by Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan, is incredibly thorough, which makes it ideal for a deep dive into a cuisine almost everyone loves: Asian dumplings. The book, illustrated in simple style but brimming with detail, is friendly in tone, as though the authors are keeping you company in the kitchen. The reader will learn legends, ingredients, equipment, and techniques, including how to fold different shapes and how to eat them. The recipe section […]

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Black Heroes of the Wild West

The three exciting stories James Otis Smith tells in Black Heroes of the Wild West — those of Mary Fields, Bass Reeves, and Bob Lemmons — represent only a small part of the variety of Black experience on the American frontier. All three people were born into slavery but used their skills to set their own paths. These tales are told to refute the popular assumption that cowboys and other Wild West denizens were white. Mary Fields was a stagecoach […]

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The Poorcraft Cookbook

The Poorcraft Cookbook is an outstanding addition to the Poorcraft series. The original volume, which came out in 2012, had a handful of recipes (focusing on rice, beans, pasta, potatoes, and a roast chicken) in the food chapter. This volume, by Nero Villagallos O’Reilly, expands greatly on the idea. It takes a while before we actually get to the recipes, as advice on buying and cooking comes first. Penny (the one with the practical advice) and her dog Nickel help […]

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