Past Lies

Trevor Schalk was an aviation millionaire who was murdered 25 years ago. Before his death, his hypnotherapist tried to make it so he’d remember his previous life in his next. Now, an up-and-coming closeted actor thinks he has Schalk’s memories, and aspiring private eye Amy Devlin is hired to find out what’s going on in Past Lies, a mystery graphic novel written by Christina Weir & Nuncio DeFilippis and drawn by Christopher Mitten. The situation allows for the dynamite line […]

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Borrowed Time

I knew the concept of Borrowed Time going in — a reporter goes to the Bermuda Triangle and returns to find his life changed and his girlfriend missing — and I thought it had potential. Unfortunately, this first book of a planned series pretty much establishes just that, and the reader is required to take a lot on faith. I very much appreciate Oni trying new things: in this case, attempting to establish a format for the serialized graphic novel. […]

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Case Closed Volume 11

Volume 11 is a great place to sample the Case Closed series by Gosho Aoyama, since this volume contains three complete cases and the solution to a fourth, with no cliffhangers. The first chapter shows boy detective Conan concluding a case from the last book. Like many of his stories, it’s Encyclopedia Brown-like — if you can find the single wrong item or recall the obscure knowledge that forms a clue, you’re well on your way to solving the case […]

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Stuck Rubber Baby

Stuck Rubber Baby tackles two of the most challenging struggles America has faced over the past half-century: equal rights regardless of race and regardless of sexual orientation. Like author Howard Cruse, Toland Polk is a white boy growing up in Alabama during the 1960s, and this novel covers his coming of age during the civil rights movement. As he observes and experiences the fear and justice of that time, he also comes to accept that he’s gay, sending him through […]

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Josei Manga

As a big fan of Tramps Like Us, I would love to see more manga aimed at women, not girls. Publishers Weekly points to an upcoming title that sounds very promising, Kiriko Nananan’s Sweet Cream and Red Strawberries from Central Park Media. (Strangely, although PW says it’s out this month, I can’t find information on the book on CPM’s site, and Amazon has no release date listed.) MangaBlog also noticed the article and adds some comments about pricing and library […]

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Voices of a Distant Star

In the near future, an interstellar war separates two teens in love in Voices of a Distant Star. This short anime, while competently created (apparently by one guy on his home computer) appeals not because of the visuals — the character designs are familiar and uninspired, and the cross-cutting choppy — but because of the mood. I describe the two as “in love” because it’s the closest I can get to describing them (and “lovers” sounds silly, because it’s not […]

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Love and Capes #1

Thom Zahler has an appealing, cartoon-influenced style that’s just right for the romantic superhero comedy Love and Capes. Mark is the Crusader, a Superman-like hero. Abby is a detail-oriented bookstore owner who somehow has missed figuring out his secret identity. They’re in love, so he decides to stop hiding things from her. I love the way he shares his secret with her — when taking off his clothes to reveal his costume, she ignores what it means until he sits […]

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Amelia Rules!: What Makes You Happy

What Makes You Happy, the second book in the Amelia Rules! series, features a story in which a music magazine does a cover feature on Amelia’s Aunt Tanner, and Amelia becomes the center of attention for the wrong reasons. She isn’t very comfortable with this popularity by proxy, nor does she understand why Tanner isn’t more excited about the recognition. Amelia isn’t ready to deal with the idea of her aunt as a “hottie” or the adult reasons that Tanner […]

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