Rumble Girls: Silky Warrior Tansie

In Rumble Girls: Silky Warrior Tansie, Lea Hernandez mixes a prep school soap opera with fighting girl manga and forward-looking science fiction to skewer popular culture and media manipulation. Raven Tansania Ransom is in training to be a rumble girl, the pilot of a hardskin, a robotic fighting suit. She’s reached that age where she’s starting to pay a different kind of attention to her coach, and she doesn’t even know yet that he’s also media phenomenon Crimson August, the […]

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Blue Monday: Painted Moon

Blue Monday: Painted Moon picks up after Absolute Beginners, with Bleu caught in the fallout of rumors about the videotape of her nude. (A short introductory comic makes fun of this order, and the actual plot points are explained inside the story in case the reader needs a memory nudge.) She’s crushing even harder on her substitute teacher, perhaps to try and forget about the other rotten things going on. Victor’s trying to do nice things for her to make […]

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Blue Monday: Inbetween Days

Inbetween Days reprints various holiday-themed stories with the Blue Monday characters by Chynna Clugston. “Dead Man’s Party” is set at Halloween. When the lights go out at a holiday party, the gang entertain themselves by telling horror stories. Since they’re realistic teenagers, they come up with ideas by inserting themselves in their favorite movies and books. The wide range of influences used adds to the entertainment, though. There aren’t many comics that range from zombie films to Gothic vampire romances […]

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Bones: The Superhero in the Alley

A body is found in an alley. It’s a badly decomposed skeleton that indicates a fall or push from a high building, and next to it is found a maggot-ridden graphic novel. (“It’s a comic book” explains one of the resident geeks on the investigative team.) I typically watch Bones anyway, because I enjoy the interplay between Emily Deschanel’s straightforward forensic anthropologist (nicknamed “Bones”) and David Boreanaz’s FBI agent. This one, though, had friends at work asking me the day […]

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Blue Monday: Absolute Beginners

Absolute Beginners is the second book in the Blue Monday series (after The Kids Are Alright), and the kids are going in costume to a 1930s-style mystery party. After some spilled wine, Bleu winds up caught naked on videotape, and the rest of the story explores her conflicting emotions. It’s hard enough being a teenager without feeling literally exposed to your entire high school. Her reactions nicely round out her character, showing her to be more than just a foul-mouthed […]

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Blue Monday: The Kids Are Alright

Chynna Clugston’s Blue Monday tells tales about post-punk, hormonally driven teenagers. Bleu Finnegan loves music, especially Britpop, and movies, especially silent films. She’s boy-crazy about pop stars but can’t stand the local dorks. She doesn’t fit in with the popular crowd, so she’s made her own, with friends Clover and Erin and a couple of boys who have crushes on them. This first book in the series revolves around trying to win tickets to an Adam Ant concert, a crush […]

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Astro City: Life in the Big City

Astro City: Life in the Big City is a Valentine to classic Silver Age comics, collecting the original six-issue miniseries. Each story stands alone, but together they make up a tapestry of a new world with a long history. The threads are familiar, evoking other universes and heroes, but with a modern, knowing twist. It’s written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Brent Anderson with covers by Alex Ross. The series attracted attention from the start by capturing feelings many […]

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Halo and Sprocket

Halo, an angel, has been assigned to help robot Sprocket learn about humanity from Katie, their regular girl roommate. The simple premise of Halo and Sprocket: Welcome to Humanity has immediate appeal. Kerry Callen uses it to create modern fables that explore philosophical issues in a very entertaining way, resulting in one of the funniest comics I’ve ever read. The first story is a great example, discussing optimism and pessimism using the traditional question of whether a glass is half […]

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