How to Win the War on Truth: An Illustrated Guide to How Mistruths Are Sold, Why They Stick, and How to Reclaim Reality

How to Win the War on Truth: An Illustrated Guide to How Mistruths Are Sold, Why They Stick, and How to Reclaim Reality covers, with copious illustrations, propaganda — what it is, well-known examples, and how to understand and avoid it. Related topics, such as public relations, implicit biases, and underlying economic motivations, come into play as well. It’s written by Samuel C. Spitale and illustrated by Allan Whincup. There’s a lot of information here. It’s all about showing readers […]

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History Comics: Rosa Parks & Claudette Colvin

I’ve been impressed by the majority of the History Comics line for their modern, sensible approaches to stories, well-known or not, that younger readers will find interesting. The tale of Rosa Parks, whose refusal to be sent to the back of the bus kicked off the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott and eventual desegregation of transit, is fairly well-known. By incorporating the earlier resistance of the Claudette Colvin, who wasn’t as respectable and photogenic a figurehead for a movement, this story […]

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Fence’s Return to Serialization Successful, Plus a Preview

Fence launched at the end of November 2017. It’s the manga-like story of a bunch of boys competing at fencing, dealing with rivalries, and romancing their teammates (even if they don’t realize it yet). It’s written by C.S. Pacat, illustrated by Johanna the Mad, and published by Boom! Studios. Here’s an interview with the creators I did back then. I found it “addictive soap opera“, particularly once it went from single issues, after the release of #12, to a graphic […]

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Ride On

It’s a sign, I think, of how accepted comics for young women have become (in contrast to the bad old days of a couple of decades ago, when comics were superhero stories for young men) that we finally have a horse book. The horse book used to be a staple of fiction for girls. But horses are generally acknowledged to be easier to write about than to draw, which may be one reason it’s taken so long to get a […]

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Heartstopper Volumes 1 and 2

If you haven’t heard about Heartstopper by now, you clearly don’t know many young people. It’s a successful Netflix TV show, with some of the best, most absolutely faithful casting I’ve ever seen in a comic book-based project. But first, it was a charming graphic novel about two cute boys falling in love. That’s the quiet way this series is so revolutionary, and how it demonstrates how much times have changed. The angst, minor as it is, is typical of […]

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The DC Book of Pride

The DC Book of Pride is subtitled “A Celebration of DC’s LGBTQIA+ Characters”, and it is. However, for those who want more than a pretty volume for a coffee table that shows they appreciate queer superheroes, the book isn’t nearly as useful as it could be. The short character descriptions are written by Jadzia Axelrod. I assume the introduction, which gives a short history of how the Comics Code Authority banned queer characters and how since then there’s been a […]

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Besties Work It Out and Besties Find Their Groove

Kayla Miller’s Click series (five books so far, the latest being Crunch) has a spinoff. That’s the benefit of writing about kids in school — there are more stories to be told about Olive Branche’s sixth grade classmates. Particularly if you bring in a co-writer (Jeffrey Canino) and another artist (Kristina Luu). Besties Work It Out stars Beth and Chandra, best friends. Chandra’s struggle is parents who consider her older sister near-perfect. She needs them to see her as responsible […]

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Distressed Beeping: Andi Watson’s Single-Page Comics

I’ve been a fan of Andi Watson’s work since the mid-90s, when he came to attention with the Skeleton Key series. In the 200s, his Breakfast After Noon and Slow News Day were wonderful examples of how comics could tell stories of everyday lives. More recently, his kids’ fantasy graphic novels Glister and Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula I found adorably creative. I was a little worried when his latest book for adults, The Book Tour, didn’t click for me. […]

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