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Tag: John Allison

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, September 19 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Ronin Island, vol. 1 by Greg Pak and Giannis Milonogiannis
Boom! Studios
Publication Date: December 10, 2019
ISBN: 978-1684154593

In Feudal times, on an island off the China Sea, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese refugees live harmoniously together after the great wind that left their lands and families devastated. Japanese Kenishi, the descendant of a great samurai, is graduating from his warrior training along with his chief rival, Hana, a Korean orphan. Though Kenishi and Hana are at odds when it comes to just about everything, they must learn how to work together when an emissary of the new Shogun demands fealty from the island and support in fighting an even greater threat to both the peaceful island as well as the entire mainland.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, June 20 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

By Night, Volumes 1 & 2 written by John Allison and illustrated by Christine Larsen and Sarah Stern
Boom! Box
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
ISBN:  978-1684152827

In Volume 1, we meet Jane and Heather who used to be high school besties, but after a falling out have found themselves finding each other again where they grew up in Spectrum, South Dakota. What starts out as a casual hang session at the bar turns into a multi-dimensional travel journey that will either bring Jane and Heather together, drive them apart or keep them together forever…in another dimension!

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, May 2 Edition

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Illustrated by Renee Nault
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
ISBN: 978-0385539241

In a dystopian near-future, fertile women are enslaved for their reproductive abilities by wealthy families in the newly formed Republic of Gilead. One such woman, named June but now called Offred, clings to her memories of her previous life in rebellion and finds ways to keep her own identity alive within the oppressive structure of her new life.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, April 11 Edition

Man-Eaters, Vol. 1, written by Chelsea Cain and illustrated by Kate Niemczyk and Lia Miternique
Image Comics
March 5, 2019
ISBN: 978-1534311435

In the future, girls exposed to toxoplasmosis from their pet cats turn into flesh-eating wildcats when they get their period. Maude is twelve. As her detective dad investigates a series of strange mauling attacks, Maude worries she may be the killer.

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#GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, November 8 Edition

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-328-81015-1

Don Brown’s latest graphic novel gives a basic description of the war in Syria that has caused millions of Syrians to flee the country and become refugees in neighboring countries and Europe along with the war’s political, geographic, and cultural implications. Through quotes from refugees the book shows how they have suffered in their home country and how they are suffering as refugees in other countries. Resources include a thorough bibliography and footnotes.

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OUTspoken: Teen Graphic Novels for Pride Month

Though Pride month recently wrapped up, the need for these titles lasts all year. These positive, inclusive graphic novels span many genres (contemporary, fantasy, mystery, memoir) and include LGBTQia* characters just going about their business, whether that be going to school, finding love, solving crimes, rescuing princesses, or reaping souls. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list – add your favorites in the comments below!

*lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersexual, asexual

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Women in Comics: 2016 Eisner Award Nominations

eisnerawards_logo_13It’s that time of year again! The 2016 Eisner Award nominations have been announced and the list includes a ton of great female creators. So many, in fact, that there are too many for a single post. Rather than try to talk about all of these great comics, this post focuses on the nominees that will have the greatest appeal among teens and other fans of young adult literature.

BandetteBandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover has once again earned a double nomination in both Best Digital/Webcomic and Best Continuing Series. This is an extremely fun series that follows a thief with a heart of gold on her adventures. Two volumes are currently available, Presto! (which was on YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels 2014 list) and Stealers Keepers! Also on the list for a second year in a row is Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, which is nominated in the Best Graphic Album-Reprint. This one also qualifies for the currently ongoing 2016 Hub Challenge, so check it out now if you are participating!

Squirrel GirlAlso nominated in the Best Continuing Series category is Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin, a series that follows a group of friends through their lives at college. The irreverent and off-beat stories are hugely entertaining and have so far been collected in two volumes. For more college adventures, but with a superhero twist, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, which was nominated for Best New Series, follows Doreen Green as she tries to balance her life as a secret superhero with college life.

SuperMutant Magic AcademyThis year’s nominees in both the Best Publication for Kids (9-12) and the Best Publication for Teens (13-17) include a wealth of great titles by women, all of which are well worth checking out. Of particular note, Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola with art by Emily Carroll is an updated take on the Baba Yaga folk tale and is sure to appeal to those who enjoy creepy artwork and a modern take on familiar stories. Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova is also a great book that will have wide appeal. It tells the universal story of trying to fit in and make friends at a new school. Fans of This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki will also be excited to see that Jillian Tamaki’s newest work, SuperMutant Magic Academy has been nominated. These offbeat comics are all set at a boarding school that is slightly reminiscent of Hogwarts, but even more weird and hilarious.

silent_voice_1In the category of Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia, both A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima and A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori made the list. These series have both earned YALSA recognition in the past as well and should definitely be in your Manga collection. As an added bonus, A Silent Voice qualifies for the 2016 Hub Challenge, so you have no excuse not to start reading it now!

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Women in Comics: Back To School Edition

Frontier Classroom by Corey Leopold. CC BY 2.0.
Frontier Classroom by Corey Leopold. CC BY 2.0.

Sad as it may be for some, summer has come to a close and the new school year is upon us. In honor of this time of the year, here is a list of great comics by women that focus on back to school, whether this means starting college, transitioning to middle school or starting over at a new institution. The books range from realistic to fantastic, but they all capture the emotions of the start of a new school year.

Giant Days by John Allison with art by Lissa Treiman – Susan, Daisy, and Esther are three university students facing all of the typical problems of relationships, school work, and living away from home. Though it is set in Britain, the themes are universal and will have appeal both for those who fondly remember college and those who are looking ahead to it. This new incarnation of the webcomic by the same name follows the same three characters as John Allison’s original series, but this time with Lissa Treiman’s artwork. Designed to be a self-contained 6 issue series, it doesn’t presuppose any knowledge of the earlier series, but it will likely leave many interested in finding those earlier stories as well.

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Back to (Realistic, but Fictional) School

School Room by Rob Shenk
School Room by Rob Shenk

It’s getting to be that time of year; the temperatures are falling, the edges of the leaves are crisping, football is revving up, baseball is winding down, and many of us are getting used to new teachers and new classes.

To help take the sting out of the end of summer (goodbye till next year, reading on the beach with an iced tea…), I like to throw myself into celebrating the beginning of fall (hello again, curling up in an armchair with a hot chocolate while the rain falls outside!). For me, this means: new notebooks, adding apples to pretty much every meal, and diving into books that highlight all the little rituals of the school year. The following are some of my favorite titles with strong school settings, to help us all get excited for the new semester (even if we can’t actually enroll at Hogwarts, which would, let’s be honest, be the ultimate in back-to-school excitement).

Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Frankie is really smart (and unaccustomed to hiding her smarts in front of guys, even though sometimes they seem more comfortable if she does), dislikes accepting the status quo, is impatient with her dad’s secretive pride about his own halcyon days at her boarding school, and is (maybe) on the path to becoming a criminal mastermind- an idea she finds morally…ambiguous. A 2009 Printz Honor Book, Teens Top Ten pick, and National Book Award finalist, plus a 2013 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults title, this is one of those books I’m always bothering everyone I know to read.

Never Let Me Go
Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Speculative fiction disguised as a coming-of-age story, Never Let Me Go was an Alex Award winner in 2006, and has quickly become a modern classic. Following a trio of students through their years at a seemingly traditional boarding school, Never Let Me Go is about the complex hierarchies and subtle competitions between friends, but it’s also about how to get the truth from adults, and how to live with truths that are shockingly, fundamentally painful to process.

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