Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2025) Featured Review: Gachiakuta, vol. 1 by Kei Urana (story) and Hideyoshi Andou (graffiti design)

  • Gachiakuta, vol. 1
  • by Kei Urana (story) and Hideyoshi Andou (graffiti design)
  • Kodansha Comics
  • Publication Date: January 16, 2024
  • ISBN-13: 979-8888770207

Rampant consumerism is encouraged in a particular floating town, and affluent citizens discard valuable items instead of repairing them. Rudo lives in the slums and sees use in what gets thrown away. Exiled into the Pit when he is wrongly accused and convicted of murder, Rudo finds more than garbage in this eerie wasteland. The careless wastefulness of the townspeople has created literal monsters that the Cleaners battle. Rudo must join them to discover the truth and fight for freedom.

Kei Urana’s dystopian world-building is impressive, painting a vivid picture of a society that values trash more than people. Hideyoshi Andou’s design brings this world to life; from the towering megacities to the barren wastelands below, every aspect of the world feels meticulously crafted and brimming with detail, inviting readers to lose themselves in the bold art style that captures the kinetic energy of the multiple conflicts. Beyond its immersive world-building, this story tackles weighty themes with intelligence and nuance. Questions of ethics, morality, and the nature of humanity weave into a compelling narrative.Fans of Chainsaw Man will see Rudo as a similarly flawed hero who must fight a rigged system to free himself from subjugation. Urana’s dynamic battle scenes will delight readers of Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama. Readers can find similar stories and themes in Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro and Chris Gooch’s Under-Earth. Volume 2 will be released on April 30, 2024.

Patricia Jimenez

Other Nominated Titles

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2025) Featured Review: Mall Goth by Kate Leth

  • Mall Goth
  • by Kate Leth
  • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Publication Date: September 26, 2023
  • ISBN-13: 9781534476943

Malls make a comeback in this early 2000s-inspired book about a teen looking for community and a place to be herself. Liv Holme is a high school student who moves to a new town while her parents struggle in their marriage, and she discovers the mall as solace. Trying to find her place at school, Liv slowly befriends two classmates who share similar interests and aesthetics and captures the attention of one of her teachers. Little does she know that the new-found validation from an authority figure at school may devolve into something sinister. 

Mall Goth explores the intricacies of being a teen in a new school and trying to find one’s place. The book presents common scenarios teens struggle with, particularly the possibility of falling victim to predators. The characters are authentic, relatable and likable. They are representative of different body sizes, and even if there isn’t much cultural diversity present, it feels like it channels a small town’s energy. The art is compelling, and the color palette fits the story’s mood and the characters’ quirkiness. 

People interested in Mariko Tamaki will find it enjoyable, as it has similar vibes to I Am Not Starfire and Skim, as well as those that loved Netflix’s Wednesday. As a bonus, for those who loved or enjoyed the 2000’s rock music scene, a recommended playlist for the book would definitely include Linkin Park, Evanescence, Korn and Deftones.

–Verónica Muñiz-Soto

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: September 5, 2023
Release Date: November 4, 2022

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2025) Featured Review: Bunt!: Striking Out on Financial Aid by Ngozi Ukazu and Mad Rupert

  • Bunt!: Striking Out on Financial Aid
  • by Ngozi Ukazu and Mad Rupert
  • First Second
  • Publication Date: 2/13/2024
  • ISBN-13: 9781250193513

Molly Bauer is thrilled to be starting freshman year at PICA, the (expensive) art school that dominates her hometown of Peachtree, Georgia. But when she shows up for the first day of orientation, she finds her full-ride scholarship has vanished due to a bureaucratic mix-up. Desperate to fix the issue without letting her moms find out, Molly stumbles upon the perfect solution – a little-known athletic scholarship that will pay for a full year of tuition. The only requirement? She’ll need to assemble a rag-tag group of softball players and win a single game. 

Bunt! is a charming and laugh-out-loud funny mix of sports and romance, as well as an acknowledgement of the complexities of navigating scholarships, student debt, and institutions of higher education. Mad Rupert’s art style is bold and vibrantly colorful, contributing to the fun and fast-paced energy of the story. Characters display a wide range of skin tones and body types, and multiple queer identities are represented. 

Fans of Ngozi Ukazu’s previous series Check, Please! will be sure to enjoy the similar mix of energetic humor, college sports, and queer romance. Readers looking for more of the quirky group dynamics and unlikely-sports-team-made-up-of-art-kids antics of The Avant Guards will find much to enjoy in Bunt!. Bunt! will also appeal to watchers of the TV series A League of Their Own who enjoy sapphic romance and queer characters and are willing to make the jump from baseball to softball. 

-–Meg Bowie

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2025) Featured Review: Lunar New Year Love Story by Gene Luen Yang and LeUyen Pham

  • Lunar New Year Love Story
  • by Gene Luen Yang and LeUyen Pham
  • First Second 
  • Publication Date: January 9, 2024
  • ISBN-13: 9781626728103

Valentina Trần has always loved Valentine’s Day, making homemade valentines for all of her friends and classmates. But when she moves to high school, her romantic view of true love is shattered when her grandmother tells her the family is cursed in love, and that Val’s own mother is not dead, as she has always believed, but in fact abandoned her family when Val was a baby. But Val isn’t quite ready to give up on true love. Hoping to avoid her family’s curse, Val makes a deal with St. Valentine—if she can’t find true love in the next year, she’ll turn her heart over to him. 

Yang pushes the rom-com trope of true love as he explores love in a variety of relationships, from friends to family. He even develops the love of one’s culture through characters that come from a diverse mix of Asian backgrounds, each bringing a unique, rich heritage to the shared celebration of the Lunar New Year. Pham supports this with expressive illustrations that show a wide range of emotions. Mostly monochromatic panels with pops of color are full of details, and highlight the drama and humor of the story.

Fans of Yang’s previous works will not be disappointed in this latest offering. Readers who enjoy sweet romantic comedies with a touch of angst, like Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy or Super Fake Love Song will find plenty to adore in this charming romance. Those who appreciate a good love triangle will enjoy Val’s struggle to choose between two lion dancers. Recommend this to fans of lighthearted comics with colorful, expressive illustrations like Pumpkinheads or Crumbs.

-Heather Christensen

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: February 13, 2024
Release Date: October 3, 2023

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 feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2025) Featured Review: Cooking with Monsters: The Beginner’s Guide to Culinary Combat by Jordan Alsaqa and Vivian Truong

  • Cooking with Monsters: The Beginner’s Guide to Culinary Combat
  • by Jordan Alsaqa and Vivian Truong
  • IDW Publishing
  • Publication Date: September 5, 2023
  • ISBN-13: 9781684059836

Cooking with Monsters takes place in a world filled with food-based monsters. Hana Ozawa and her friends are first year students at the Gourmand Academy of Culinary Combat, training to become warrior chefs. Hana faces self-doubt as her rival and love interest, Olivia, seems to be a step ahead of her, and she feels her mentor Chef Graham isn’t teaching her enough to succeed. But with the support of her friends, as well as her desire to be like the warrior chef who saved her as a child, Hana is determined to get through this first year.

Alsaqa incorporates action, adventure, and romance to provide a fast-paced and fun read. The colorful palette and anime-style art complement the action-packed storyline. Truong’s art style, mixed with Alsaqa’s descriptions, emphasizes the flavor and spices of the food. A well-developed and diverse set of characters will appeal to a wide range of readers.

Fans of Delicious in Dungeon will enjoy Alsaqa’s monster fighting and cooking graphic novel with a similar style of humor. This is also a perfect book for fans who like action-packed storylines and colorful illustrations such as The Witch’s Throne. If you are a foodie fan of such books as Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma then you will enjoy the food displayed in this book. If you are a fan of My Hero Academia then you may enjoy Cooking With Monsters as they share similar heroes’ journeys.

-Kyler Wesner

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: December 12, 2023
Release Date: February 13, 2024

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2025) Featured Review: Ink Girls by Marieke Nijkamp and Sylvia Bi

  • Ink Girls
  • by Marieke Nijkamp and Sylvia Bi
  • Greenwillow Books 
  • Publication Date: November 21, 2023
  • ISBN-13: 9780063027107

Maestra Aronne is already 11-year-old Printer Apprentice Cinzia’s hero when she gets imprisoned for publishing a story about corruption their city’s government doesn’t want told. Cinzia’s determination to free her maestra is bolstered by the companionship of the other young folks she meets while trying to evade the authorities. Together they hunt down the citizens who can clear Aronne’s name and bring the city towards the justice it deserves.

The color palette is vivid and the illustration style is expressive; both add immensely to the feel of the adventure and intrigue that unfold through the book. Nijkamp and Bi both have a firm grip on the necessity of a fictional world still offering an accurate reflection of the real world in terms of representation. Visible and invisible disabilities play a part in the narrative, variation in gender expression and sexuality are normal parts of life, all sorts of bodies are present, and a variety of ways to feel and build family are depicted throughout the suspenseful twists and turns. Ink Girls will appeal to a wide breadth of readers—intrigue and mystery abound, harrowing escapes are frequent and sometimes hilarious, making it a lovely offering for folks that enjoy a serious plot accompanied by some levity. Fans of Dog Knight and Cardboard Kingdom are sure to enjoy this cross of adventure, friendship, and the power of stories to bend the world towards justice.

-M’issa Fleming

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: October 10, 2023
Release Date: November 14, 2023

Great Graphic Novels for Teens: Top Ten Comic Book Companions of 2023!

The votes are in and YALSA’s 2024 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list will be coming to you during Lib Learn X later this month! While you wait, the 2024 GGNT Committee are delighted to share with you our annual, and very important, TOP TEN COMIC BOOK COMPANIONS OF THE YEAR!

1st Place: Two (aka Marumi, aka Meowguin)

Insomniacs After School
 by Makoto Ojiro
VIZ Media

Companion Description: A (stray?) cat who wanders the school and steals lettuce from sandwiches.

Reason for Nomination: While Two comes and goes to various school clubs, he always has time for a cat nap in the astronomy tower with our two protagonists in this slice-of-life manga series.

2nd Place: Opossum

Cursed Princess Club 
by LambCat
Webtoon Unscrolled

Companion Description: This companion attaches to Princess Gwendolyn’s head via chomping. Typically found upon waking in the morning.

Reason for Nomination: While her sisters attract songbirds and cute forest creatures, Princess Gwendolyn can’t seem to shake these creatures of the night… literally; they’re stuck to her head!

3rd Place: Masaru

Dinosaur Sanctuary
by Itaru Kinoshita
Seven Seas Entertainment

Companion Description:  Masaru is a triceratops who is missing one horn. His keepers need to boost his popularity or he may be transferred to another facility!

Reason for Nomination: A dinosaur who sits like a kitty! One committee member claims that she “cares more about Masaru than any other character (human or dino) in the series.”

4th Place: Daisy

Danger and Other Unknown Risks 
by Ryan North and Erica Henderson
Penguin Workshop

Companion Description: Daisy is a talking dog!

Reason for Nomination: Daisy is a floofy, steadfast companion to our hero, Marguerite, and is a great source of comic relief in this perilous, wacky adventure from the creators of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

5th Place: El Jefe

Frontera 
by Julio Anta and Jacoby Salcedo
HarperAlley

Companion Description: A solitary jaguar

Reason for Nomination: El Jefe has a connection with teen Mateo and saves him from some truly bad actors. Your heart will break for El Jefe, based on a real jaguar in the Sonoran desert, a victim of the border wall separated from his pack.

6th Place: All the Familiars!

Unfamiliar 
by Haley Newsome
Andrews McMeel Publishing

Companion Description: Winston (a bunny), Marlow (a one-eyed cat), Ari (a bird), and Edgar (???)

Reason for Nomination: This quartet of adorable, opinionated, and sassy familiars will make you want to start practicing witchcraft.

It’s a Tie! 7th-10th place:

Percy

Cosmoknights 
by Hannah Templer
Top Shelf Productions

Companion Description: A fluffy space cat.

Reason for Nomination: Percy is an excellent judge of character when humans are not, and can transform into a giant warrior cat his princess can ride at the sound of a whistle.

Sena

The Infinity Particle 
by Wendy Xu
Quill Tree Books

Companion Description: An AI companion beloved by the MC, Clementine.

Reason for Nomination: SENA is the tiny, sassy AI caretaker every human needs.

Moby

Pearl of the Sea 
by Anthony Silverson,
Raffaella Delle Donne and Willem Samuel
Catalyst Press

Companion Description: Moby is a scrappy one-eyed dog who accompanies Pearl on her adventures

Reason for Nomination: Moby is up for all kinds of adventures and will defend Pearl if needed. He is not afraid to stand in Pearl’s way when she does questionable things… which is often.

Haley (aka Bitewing)

Nightwing
 by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo
DC Comics

Companion Description: Haley, otherwise known as Bitewing, is an adopted puppy with three legs.

Reason for Nomination: This is Bitewing’s second year on the list, and GGNT committee members are fiercely protective of this adorable blue-nosed pitbull puppy.

Stanley

Doughnuts and Doom
 by Balazs Lorinczi
Top Shelf Productions

Companion Description: Stanley is a snake who acts like a dog.

Reason for Nomination: Watch with delight as this steadfast and slinky companion steals doughnuts while humans are distracted.

Members of the 2024 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team are: Kelley Blue (Coordinator); Meg Bowie; Jean Broughton; Jacqueline Bush; M’issa Fleming; Patricia Jimenez; Rachel Johannigmeier; Kaileigh Oldham; Ness Shortley; Mariela Siegert; Scot Smith; Cheyenne Sons; Lee Stokes; Adam Wheeler

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Insomniacs After School by Makoto Ojiro

  • Insomniacs After School, Vol. 1
  • by Makoto Ojiro
  • VIZ Media
  • Publication Date: March 21, 2023
  • ISBN-13: ‎9781974736577

Ganta Nakami is a grumpy and unfriendly high schooler with few friends but it’s primarily because he’s an insomniac and hardly ever sleeps. This causes him to also fall asleep at school and, while trying to find a good place to nap, he comes across the abandoned astronomy club room. Only it’s not so abandoned when he finds a fellow insomniac, outgoing Isaki Magari. After some forced proximity bonding, they discover that they can get some rest together and become secret friends.

Insomniacs After School, vol. 1 is the beginning of a heartwarming series about two unlikely high schoolers becoming closer as they are plagued by their shared disorder. The story addresses friendship, healing, and the power of dreams while also giving the reader cute banter and lightheartedness. Each character in Insomniacs After School is distinct, not only in their design but also in their personalities, allowing readers from various backgrounds to find a character they resonate with. The magic of the abandoned astronomy tower is captured in detail by Makoto Ojiro, but it is the beautiful renderings of abandoned nighttime streets that really pack an atmospheric and emotional punch.

Those who like stories about teenage friendship and unconventional bonding should read Chion-san of the Cat Temple, also by Makoto Ojiro. For manga readers who like the coming-of-age, finding-yourself vibes, I recommend Blue Period by Tsubasa Yamaguchi. Teens who enjoyed the unlikely friendship and emotional themes of the novel Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell may also enjoy this new manga series.

Cheyenne Sons

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: June 6, 2023
Release Date: June 6, 2023
Release Date: June 13, 2023
Release Date: September 12, 2023

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 feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Cursed Princess Club, Vol. 1, by LambCat

  • Cursed Princess Club, Vol. 1
  • by LambCat
  • Publisher: Wattpad WEBTOON Studios
  • Publication Date: January 3, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781990259791

Cursed Princess Club is a fun twist on traditional fairy tales. The usual rivalries of palace life do not plague the royal family of the Pastel Kingdom. The princesses and prince, along with their father, King Jack, are so warm, supportive, and loving that Princess Gwendolyn doesn’t realize she is a bit different–with green-tinged skin and a possum munching on her hair–from her beautiful siblings until she overhears the Plaid Kingdom’s youngest prince, Frederick, tell his brothers that she is “very ugly.” This shock puts Gwen on the path to meeting the titular club and all of the cursed princesses (and one prince) who live in the nearby forest.

This webcomic turned graphic novel combines manga-like illustration with quirky, offbeat humor. Misunderstandings of the Shakespearian variety keep the story moving, and the shattered fairy tale tropes amuse throughout. The storytelling is both heartwarming and hilarious. The cursed princesses are endearing and relatable, each with their unique curse, which serves as a clever metaphor for real-life insecurities. The witty dialogue and well-crafted character development keep readers engaged and emotionally invested in the story.

One of the standout elements of this webcomic is its beautiful artwork. LambCat’s illustrations capture the whimsical nature of the fairy tale world while also precisely conveying the characters’ emotions. Color and scenic detail add depth to the narrative and enhance the reading experience.

Cursed Princess Club is more than just a fun twist on classic tales; it celebrates self-acceptance, friendship, and embracing one’s uniqueness. The story’s positive message is delivered with a light-hearted touch, making it suitable for readers of all ages. Teen readers who enjoy stories that play with well-established norms, such as The Witches Throne by Cedric Caballes or ND Stevenson’s Nimona, will appreciate Cursed Princess Club.

Patricia Jimenez

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: February 7, 2023
Release Date: April 25, 2023
Release Date: August 15, 2023
Release Date: September 26, 2023

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 feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Nominations Round-Up, Fall

Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See the full list below.

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the officially nominated titles to date. These titles have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple team members, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, each team will choose the final list of nominations and determine the Selected List’s Top Ten from these titles. For brevity, we have not included official nominations of subsequent volumes in ongoing series in this round-up, only first volumes and standalone titles. Missed our Spring/Summer Round-Up? Check it out here.

–Kelley Blue, GGN Coordinator

Akane-banashi, vol. 1. By Yuki Suenaga. Art by Takamasa Moue. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736485). General Adult. 741.5952.

Motivated by revenge, 17-year-old Akane sets out to conquer the world of rakugo, a traditional Japanese storytelling art.

Ay, Mija! My Bilingual Summer in Mexico. By Christine Suggs. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Little, Brown Ink, paper (9780316591928). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973/920.

Christine recounts a summer trip to Mexico to visit extended family. As a biracial teen who doesn’t speak fluent Spanish, she grapples with faith, sexuality, body image, and cultural identity.

Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. By Steve Sheinkin. Art by Nick Bertozzi. 2023. 256p. Roaring Brook Press, paper, $17.99 (9781250206749). Gr. 4-6. 623.45119.

A graphic adaptation of Sheinkin’s award-winning work of nonfiction, Bomb explores the history, intrigue, and impact of the race to build the world’s first atomic weapons.

A Boy Named Rose. By Gaelle Greniller. Art by the author. 2023. 212p. Fairsquare Comics, paper, $29.99 (9798985927863). General Adult. 741.

1920s Paris: Rose is a boy who wants to dance with the girls at Le Jardin, the cabaret owned by his mother.

Break of Dawn. By Tetsuya Imai. Art by the author. 2023. 528p. Kodansha, paper, $22.99 (9781646518159). General Adult. 741.5952.

In 2038, Yuma and his friends are embroiled in a space mission when his family’s robot is taken over by an alien ship in need of help.

Brooms. By Jasmine Wells. Art by Teo. 2023. 248p. Levine Querido, paper, $18.99 (9781646142682). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

In a 1930s infused with magic, broom racing is a sport for the privileged. Billie May, Loretta, and Cheng-Kwan compete in underground races, taking two young witches under their wings.

Catwoman: Lonely City. By Cliff Chiang. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. DC Comics, hardcover, $29.99 (9781779516367). General Adult. 741.5973.

Just out of prison, Selina Kyle sets out on one last, big score with her fellow Gotham villains, but the past won’t let Catwoman escape its claws.

Clock Striker, vol. 1: I’m Gonna Be a Smith! By Issaka Galadima with Frederick L. Jones. Art by Issaka Galadima. 2023. 224p. Rockport Publishers, paper, $13.99 (9780760381571). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

A new shonen-style adventure series about a young girl, Smith’s apprentice, in a world where science and engineering are used for combat.

Codex Black, bk. 1: Fire Among Clouds. By Camilo Moncada Lozano. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. IDW, paper, $16.99 (9781684059591). Gr. 7-9. 741.5972.

Itzcacalotl, a teen with wings, and Donaji, a teen with a god-possessed poncho, find themselves in a world of magic and adventure in Mesoamerica.

The Cursed Princess Club, vol. 1. By LambCat. Art by the author. 2023. 288p. Webtoons Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259791). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Beloved by her eccentric family, Princess Gwendolyn has never thought of herself as ugly, until her betrothed prince says she is. Enter the Cursed Princess Club!

Daemons of the Shadow Realm, vol. 1. By Hiromu Arakawa. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. Square Enix Manga, paper, $12.99 (9781646091867). General Adult. 741.5952.

Separated at birth, twins Yuru and Asa are unaware of their shared destiny: to rule over powerful daemons and save the world.

Danger and Other Unknown Risks. By Ryan North. Art by Erica Henderson. 2023. 208p. Penguin Workshop, paper, $16.99 (9780593224847). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Marguerite and her talking dog Daisy are on a quest to save the world in this standalone sci-fi romp from the creators of Squirrel Girl.

The Dog Knight, vol. 1. By Jeremy Whitley. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 224p. Feiwell & Friends, paper, $14.99 (9781250756725). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Nonbinary middle school student Frankie saves a dog from bullies and is given the chance to become The Dog Knight, a magical pact between humans and dogs.

Dreamer: A Graphic Novel Memoir. By Akim Aliu and Greg Anderson Elysée. Art by Karen De la Vega. 2023. 128p. Graphix / Kaepernick Publishing, paper, $14.99 (9781338787603). Gr. 4-6. 741.5971/B.

Former NHL player Akim Aliu recounts the difficult path he took in his youth to achieve his dream in a sport traditionally dominated by white players.

Dreams, vol. 1: Visions of the Crow. By Wanda John-Kehewin. Art by Nicole Marie Burton and Kielamel Sibal. 2023. 80p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920459). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

High school senior Damon Quinn has a lot to feel angry about, and he doesn’t need a vision-causing crow following him around on top of everything else.

The Faint of Heart. By Kerilynn Wilson. Art by the author. 2023. 304p. Greenwillow Books, paper, $18.99 (9780063116221). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

If you could, would you remove your heart? Never feel stress, anger, fear or hurt? June has kept her heart and navigates a world where most have had it removed.

Frontera. By Julio Anta. Art by Jacoby Salcedo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063054943). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

After unfortunate events, Mateo must rely on a ghost he isn’t even sure exists to complete his journey across the Sonoran Desert to the United States.

The Girl That Can’t Get a Girlfriend. By Mieri Hiranishi. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. VIZ Media, paper, $16.99 (9781974736591). General Adult. B.

The artist details her journey entering the w/w dating scene, covering her first relationship and heartbreak in this humorous and reflective memoir.

Goodbye, Eri. By Tatsuki Fujimoto. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. VIZ Media, paper, $12.99 (9781974738939). General Adult. 741.5952.

Ostracized by his classmates after making an insensitive documentary film, Yuta contemplates suicide. He then meets Eri, a mysterious girl harboring secrets.

Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day. By Dan Nott. Art by the illustrator. 2023. 272p. Random House Graphic, paper, $17.99 (9781984896049). Gr. 7-9. 509.

An in-depth look at the technological, historical, and social aspects of water, electricity, and the Internet, demonstrating the urgent need for systems change.

The Hills of Estrella Roja. By Ashley Robin Franklin. Art by the author. 2023. 400p. Clarion Books, paper, $21.99 (9780358567028). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Mari and Kat arrive in Estrella Roja for different reasons, and together they investigate the small town’s strange happenings, developing feelings for one another along the way.

If You’ll Have Me. By Eunnie. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Viking Books for Young Readers, paper, $17.99 (9780593403235). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Opposites attract when shy, sensitive college freshman Momo meets the cool, popular PG in this sapphic romance.

The Lonesome Hunters, vol. 1. By Tyler Crook. Art by the author. 2023. 120p. Dark Horse Comics, paper, $19.99 (9781506731018). 741.5973.

An old monster hunter and a young teen set out on a supernatural road trip together on a quest to destroy ancient evil forces.

Is Love the Answer? By Uta Isaki. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Kodansha, paper, $14.99 (9781646516490). General Adult. 741.5952.

First year university student Chika explores the spectrum of asexual identities with the help of new friends, classmates, housemates, and old fashioned research.

The Knight Blooms Behind the Castle Walls, vol. 1. By Masanari Yuduka. Art by the author. 2023. 162p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781638589563). 741.5952.

Rose leaves her old life behind and takes on the role of squire in her quest to become a knight.

Mage and the Endless Unknown. By SJ Miller. Art by the author. 2023. 152p. Iron Circus Comics, hardcover, $15.00 (9781638991199). General Adult. 741.5973.

Delightful and fanciful turn dark and sinister in this mostly wordless graphic novel about a mage and their companion exploring different lands.

Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story. By Sarah Myer. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250268808). Gr. 10-12. 302 / B.

Korean-American transracial adoptee Sarah works through her anxiety, anger, and identity issues via the world of art and anime fandom.

My Special One, vol. 1. By Momoka Koda. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736706). General Adult. 741.5952.

All her friends are fangirls falling for pop idols but never Sahoko! Will that change when an idol wanders into her family’s restaurant?

Night and Dana. By Anya Davidson. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. Graphic Universe, paper, $18.99 (9781728430362). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

When horror-loving teens Dana and Lily go too far in a prank at school, they get assigned to a film class at a local community college.

Northranger. By Rey Terciero. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063007383). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey meets American Gothic meets Heartstopper in this romantic and atmospheric retelling set in rural Texas.

The Ojja-Wojja: A Horror Mystery, or Whatever. By Magdalene Visaggio. Art by Jenn St-Onge. 2023. 192p. HarperTeen, paper, $13.99 (9780062852427). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Best friends Val and Lanie dig too deep into their town’s folklore, unleashing an ancient demon. Now it’s up to them to save their community from certain destruction.

The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics. By The Kao, Min Christiansen and David Daneman (editors). Various artists. 2023. 176p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $16.99 (9781524880125). General Adult. 741.

A collection of mini-comics assembled by trans and nonbinary creators featuring vibrant and affirming autobiographical stories about identity.

Paper Planes. By Jennie Wood. Art by Dozerdraw. 2023. 216p. Maverick, paper, $14.99 (9781952303548). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

Two former friends are sent to camp after an incident at school. As the summer unfolds, will they be able to fix their relationship?

Pearl of the Sea. By Anthony Silverson, Raffaella Delle Donne and Willem Samuel. Art by Willem Samuel. 2023. 168p. Catalyst Press, paper, $19.95 (9781946395740). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Pearl works many odd jobs to help her father. One day while diving in a restricted area, she befriends a sea creature with secrets.

Poison Ivy, vol. 1: The Virtuous Cycle. By G. Willow Wilson. Art by Marcio Takara. 2023. 200p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779518491). General Adult. 741.5973.

Having lost most of her powers, Pamela Isley leaves Gotham and Harley Quinn behind in a quest for vengeance for herself and the planet Earth.

The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. By Deya Muniz. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Little, Brown Ink, paper, $17.99 (9780316538725). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Lady Camembert disguises herself as a man in order to inherit her father’s title without marrying, but falling for beautiful activist Princess Brie wasn’t part of her plan.

Project Nought. By Chelsea Furedi. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Clarion Books, paper, $18.99 (9780358381693). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Teenager Ren is yanked forward in time to 2133 for a time travel exchange program where everything seems good… until it seems it isn’t.

Roaming. By Mariko Tamaki. Art by Jillian Tamaki. 2023. 444p. Drawn & Quarterly, paper, $34.99 (9781770464339). General Adult. 741.5971.

During their first year of college, high school friends Dani and Zoe meet up in NYC for a long-planned adventure, but Dani’s classmate Fiona interrupts their happy reunion.

The Sea in You. By Jessi Sheron. Art by the author. 2023. 210p. Iron Circus, paper, $15.00 (9781638991113). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

This modern graphic retelling of The Little Mermaid ventures into dark new waters while maintaining the timeless themes of transformation, empowerment, and true love.

Season of the Bruja, vol. 1. By Aaron Durán. Art by Sara Soler. 2023. 128p. Oni Press, paper, $19.99 (9781549308161). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

A young bruja works to keep paranormal beings and magic safe, but loses her mentor and grandmother to a religious sect determined to destroy her.

Side Effects. By Ted Anderson. Art by Tara O’Connor. 2022. 112p. Aftershock Comics, paper, $17.99 (9781956731088). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952.

Starting college is overwhelming for Hannah. When she begins a medication prescribed by the school psychologist, she ends up experiencing side effects best left in superhero comics.

Stars in Their Eyes. By Jessica Walton. Art by Aśka. 2023. 224p. Graphix, paper, $15.99 (9781338818796). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Maisie, an above-the-knee amputee, meets Ollie at her first ever FanCon, and the two bond quickly over movies, shows, and comics.

The Summer Hikaru Died, vol. 1. By Mokumokuren. Art by the author. 2023. 180p. Yen Press, paper, $15.00 (9781975360542). General Adult. 741.5952.

High school student Yoshiki has an unsettling feeling about his lifelong friend Hiakaru. Though he looks, talks, and acts the same, Hikaru is not Hikaru anymore.

Tegan and Sarah: Junior High. By Tegan Quin and Sara Quin. Art by Tillie Walden. 2023. 304p. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paper, $14.99 (9780374313029). Gr. 4-6. 741.5971.

A fictionalized version of twin musicians Tegan & Sara Quin’s early teen years, featuring new friends and new tests to the bonds of sisterhood.

Tiger, Tiger, vol. 1. By Petra Erika Nordlund. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $19.99 (9781638584193). Gr. 10-12. 741.94897.

Ludovica is a sheltered royal who yearns to study sea sponges, so she steals her brother’s identity and sets sail, though the high seas hold much more than she anticipated.

True Beauty, vol. 1. By Yaongyi. Art by the author. 2022. 288p. Webstoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259890). 741.5951.

Jugyeong Lim navigates self-esteem and a love triangle through her love for (and reliance on) the art of makeup in the first print volume of this popular web series.

Two Tribes. By Emily Bowen Cohen. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Heartdrum, paper, $15.99 (9780062983589). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Mia is both Jewish and Muscogee, but living with her mom and stepfather means she only knows her Jewish heritage, so plans to secretly visit her father.

Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, vol. 1. By Osamu Nishi. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. Vertical Comics, paper, $12.95 (9781647292423). General Adult. 741.5952.

After Iruma Suzuki’s parents sell his soul to a demon, he must do his best to survive high school in the underworld.