Tag Archives: graphic novels

New Events!

I’ve added an event (and hints of events) on my EVENTS page! I’ll be doing quite a bit of traveling in the fall. Only to Oregon and Idaho, but still!

In the meantime, I’m hard at work finishing up that YA I’ve mentioned a few times. I’d like to finish it by the end of August, so posts may be smaller and more sporadic.

I also went to San Diego Comic Con this year, which was a lot of fun. Met with a lot of great people, ate a lot of great food, saw a lot of great costumes, and sold a lot of great books. In fact, you should totally pick them up if you’re into comics at all:


I WAS THE CAT by Paul Tobin, illus. Benjamin Dewey – ever wonder if your cat is actually plotting something sinister while it sits there and licks its paws? This book is for you. (It’s even for you if you don’t LIKE cats.)


ARCHER COE & THE THOUSAND NATURAL SHOCKS by Jamie S. Rich, illus. by Dan Christensen – I was telling people at San Diego that this book is like all the best parts of THE PRESTIGE. Great mystery paired with fantastic art, this book tells the story of Archer Coe, The Mind’s Arrow, a hypnotist who may be losing his mind.


THE BUNKER by Joshua Hale Fialkov, illus. by Joe Infurnari – I’m so proud of this book. It looks sharp, the story keeps you guessing, and I love how deliciously flawed every character is. The art takes this book to a whole new level – Infurnari’s subtle lines and color choices tell the story so perfectly. Great for time travel enthusiasts.


LETTER 44 VOLUME 1 by Charles Soule, illus. by Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque, colored by Guy Major and Dan Jackson – imagine if there was actually a conspiracy so large that only the United States President and a handful of people knew about it. Such is the premise in LETTER 44. I read the first issue script over a year ago, and when I finished, I emailed Jill, the book’s original editor, and demanded all the rest of the scripts. This is an intricately-plotted story, drawn with amazing detail.

Of course, these are all adult-ish books, so I wouldn’t read these unless you’re at least thirteen. Okay, time to go write. Happy Friday!

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My favorite comics of 2013

This could be the year I read more comics and graphic novels than middle grade and YA. 114 out of the 163 books I read this year were graphic novels. I blame it on my job. Besides, it takes a lot less time for me to read a graphic novel. I can often finish them in one sitting.

Also, I just really like comics.

I had quite a few favorites this year (how couldn’t I?) that I wanted to share here. (Non-Oni Press titles, natch. I’m biased!)



Kimi Ni Todoke by Karuho Shiina

A really sweet shojo manga about creepy outsider Sawako “Sadako” Kuronuma and her quest to make friends, inspired by the popular, gregarious boy in her class who begins talking to her. Sawako’s attempts to be more social can be comedic (like when she doesn’t realize how weird or creepy she’s coming across as to her classmates) and touching (like when she tells off a group of mean girls for spreading rumors about her two best friends). I really love the supporting cast as well, especially Sawako’s two best friends, Yano and Chizu. Probably because they remind me of my own best friend.

I’ve actually started buying volumes of this as they come out, as the series isn’t over yet. Next volume is out this month! AAAAH!

Cross game

Cross Game by Mitsuru Adachi

I read the final volume in January and I cried. Partly because it was really touching, and partly because it’s over. (The first volume ALSO made me cry, by the way.) Comedy, romance, really cool sports sequences – just because I hate sports doesn’t mean I hate comics about sports, after all.

kitchen princess

Kitchen Princess by Miyuki Kobayashi and Natsumi Ando

Another shojo manga, a bit predictable and derivative but still great. It takes the trope of a poor, talented orphan who goes to a boarding school where she is bullied by her rich classmates and gives it new life. Also, it has adorable recipes at the end of every volume! These are available in omnibus form now, and I’m looking forward to buying the whole series once I get another bookshelf.


A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori

Kaoru Mori also wrote and illustrated Emma, a manga about a romance between an English maid and a rich bachelor. Mori’s art is so incredibly detailed, I can’t help but wonder how long certain panels take her to draw. She’s amazing. A Bride’s Story takes place in the 19th century in Central Asia (some characters travel around widely), focusing on Amir, a woman in an arranged marriage to 12-year-old Karluk. What I really like about this series, and what I think separates it from a lot of historical fiction with female protagonists, is that Amir does “male” tasks like hunting, and she also does “female” tasks like weaving and cooking, and they’re all treated with equal importance. Amir never bemoans the weaving or the cooking or the housework, and these things are woven into the plot as much as her hunting is. This is another series I’ve begun to buy as volumes become available. (Normally I’d wait until my library gets a copy.)

wandering son

Wandering Son by Shimura Takako

This series is problematic in its very one-sided portrayal of transgender characters, but I also think that portrayal is believable. Shuichi is a fifth-grade girl, assigned male at birth, while Yoshino is a fifth-grade boy, assigned female at birth. These children have a lot to learn about themselves, their gender, and gender in general, which is why I think the portrayal (and their misconceptions) is believable. However, I don’t think any of that is intentional on the author’s part, so it’s still problematic. But I recommend it anyway, not as the end-all be-all transgender story, but as a transgender story, period. (I’d actually recommend it as a coming-of-age story, period, that happens to star transgender characters.)



Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson

Sometimes you read a book from cover to cover in one sitting. You put it down and realize it’s the best book you’ve read since… you can’t even remember what the last book was that was this good.

Anyway, this was that book. Beautiful art, brilliant characterization, compelling plot, SIMPLY AMAZING ALL AROUND.


Broxo by Zack Giallongo

This title had been on my to-read list since it came out, and after I read it, I only had one regret: that I didn’t read it sooner! A beautifully-illustrated story about a girl named Zora and a boy named Broxo, members of different clans, though something unspeakable seems to have happened to Broxo’s clan, and Zora needs to find out what it was.


Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples

This book defies description. Sci-fi/fantasy romance full of action and intrigue. That’s the best way I can think of to describe it. Also: LYING CAT.

captive prince

The Captive Prince by Scott Chantler

I have a confession to make: I was “meh” on the first two volumes of this series. And then I read this, the third volume, which was clear and compelling all the way through. Which made me change my mind about the first two volumes, after I’d gone back and re-read them. Just goes to show you that sometimes your first impressions of books can be wrong, wrong, wrong. (The same thing happened with me and Because of Winn-Dixie.)


Aya: Love in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie

Another favorite series of mine, I eagerly awaited the release of this title. This is an omnibus of three Aya stories, and if you haven’t read any Aya, you should fix that immediately. A really cool comic about life in Cotê d’Ivoire (aka Ivory Coast), Africa. While the comic deals with some heavy issues (unplanned pregnancy, infidelity, attempted rape, sexism), there’s good doses of light-heartedness and comedy to even it out. It’s a view of Africa different from what the media tends to portray. The people of Côte d’Ivoire are modern, nuanced, and downright captivating.

Marguerite Abouet is now writing children’s books as well, and I couldn’t be happier about that. She’s a skilled writer, nailing casual dialogue.


Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

I love this graphic novel because it reminded me of high school. It reminded me of being young and foolish, and not caring enough about consequences unless they specifically affected me. Also, I think Hicks NAILED the comedy in her art.

I’m really looking forward to comics this year. There are going to be a lot of great graphic novels coming out, and I’m looking forward to reading as many of them as I can!


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