Incredible Doom, vol. 1 by Matthew Bogart and Jesse Holden
HarperAlley / HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Set in the 1990s, four teens navigate the early, dial-up days of the Internet through the use of BBS or Bulletin Board System. Allison uses BBS as an escape from her emotionally abusive magician father and meets Samir, another teen connected to the local BBS. When they meet in person, they begin to build a relationship, but conflict arises when Allison runs away from home. In a different town, Richard is in a new school and far away from his former BBS friends. He is the target of bullies until Tina, teenage anarchist and fellow BBS user, connects him with her crew, EVOL, who rebel against social conventions. Richard finds himself becoming more and more involved with this new crew, but becoming friends with the crew is more of a challenge for him.
Incredible Doom is a coming-of-age story that also incorporates technology of the past, which could be compelling to those interested in retro technology. While BBS and dial-up Internet are a thing of the past, the friendships formed online are comparable to the connections made on the Internet today. It especially resonates now, as teens adjust to virtual learning and change the way they interact. For readers who have felt like outcasts or dealt with difficult relationships, they will find common ground with the characters’ struggles. The art is very clear and appealing, and each character is identifiable by design choices and expressions that convey the characters’ personalities. The colors of white, black, and blue also help set the mood throughout the story.
Recommend this to fans of books with a focus on coming-of-age stories set in the past such as the graphic novel Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook and Ryan Estrada, My Riot by Rick Spears and Emmett Helen, Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, and the Netflix series Derry Girls.
Other Nominated Titles
- Seen: Edmonia Lewis by Jasmine Walls and Bex Glendining (September 29, 2020)
- Cheer Up!: Love and Pom Poms by Crystal Frasier and Val Wise (August 10, 2021)
- A Quick and Easy Guide to Consent by Isabella Rotman and Luke Howard (October 27, 2020)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams will feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation will be listed as well. At year’s end, the team will use that list of nominated titles to select a final list and Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are also made available on The Hub.