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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Amelia Rules!: The Whole World’s Crazy

These all-ages color stories about a girl and her group of friends are funny and touching with enough bite to keep them from being too “kiddy”. Amelia’s parents have just gotten divorced, and she and her mom have moved in with her Aunt Tanner. Like many kids, she sees herself as the only normal one, surrounded by crazy friends and relatives. She hangs out with a varied group of misfits — some of whom really are weird, like Pajamaman, a […]

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More History on the Groping Scandal

Here’s a list of key links. Ronee Garcia Bourgeois reveals Taki’s name and announces the FOL Fund. L.R. Jonte nicely summarizes some of the reaction to the fund announcement while Katherine Keller lists key questions that needed to be answered (as well as pointing out that a messenger should pay attention to how she presents herself when representing a group) and discusses potential conflicts with the group’s charter. Jane Irwin writes a terrific piece about how she’s conflicted in supporting […]

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