Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Himawari House by Harmony Becker

Himawari House Cover Art

Himawari House by Harmony Becker
First Second / Macmillan
Publication Date: October 19, 2021
ISBN: 9781250235565

A young American, Nao, travels across the globe to attend school in Japan and to reconnect with her Japanese heritage. There, she discovers that her desire to fit in is complicated by her Americanness but finds a makeshift sense of belonging with other foreign exchange students Hyejung and Tina, who are also forging their own paths far away from home.

This coming-of-age story accurately captures the joys and pangs of young adulthood and the uncertainty of being caught between two worlds. Teens will find Nao, Hyejung, and Tina’s search for belonging, friendship, and identity both timeless and familiar. The art is at turns humorous and tender, and every character feels fully realized. A strength of this book is Becker‘s effective use of language (often phonetically described) to dismantle reductive and stereotypical ideas of bilingual speakers or speakers with accents. Instead, characters that speak in dialect, with accents, or with uneven syntax are shown to be just as deeply human, complex, and radiant as native or majority language speakers.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani

Jukebox Cover Art

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani
First Second / Macmillan
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
ISBN: 9781250156365

Follow this enchanting time-traveling jolt through history with Shaheen and her cousin, Tannaz, as they search for Shaheen’s missing father. One moment, Shaheen is involved in an endless discussion with dad about his timeless vinyl collection (though partly tuning him out). The next moment, she is wondering when he will be home and why he isn’t answering calls. Shaheen and Tannaz decide to pretend they are solving a Nancy Drew case as they whisk through town visiting shops such as Otis Street Records. It is here that they are confronted with the “Jukebox.” Could this be the timeless classic involved in Shaheen’s dad’s missing case? Or could this be a dead end?

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh

Thirsty Mermaids Cover Art

Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh 
Gallery 13 / Simon & Schuster 
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781982133573

After running out of shipwreck wine, three drunk mermaids—or actually two mermaids (Pearl and Tooth) and a sea witch (Eez)—decide to transform themselves into humans to find more alcohol. Unfortunately, when they wake up with massive hangovers, Eez realizes she doesn’t know how to turn them back. Now they are stranded in the human world and have to deal with things like housing and jobs until they can find a way home.

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2018 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

In case you missed it, The Great Graphic Novels for Teens list was recently announced! Check out the top ten below!

  • The Backstagers. By James Tynion IV. Illus. by Rian Sygh. 2017. BOOM! Studios, $14.99 (9781608869930). Jory, a new student at an all-boys school, feels left out of school life until he stumbles upon the backstage crew of the drama club and the mysterious tunnels they keep watch over.
  • Black Hammer, Volume 1: Secret Origins. By Jeff Lemire. Illus. by Dean Ormston. 2017. Dark Horse, $14.99 (9781616557867). Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Madame Dragonfly, and Barbalien are trapped! In their old lives they were superheroes, but because of a strange occurrence in their multiverse they are thrust into life in a rural town from which they cannot escape.
  • Brave. By Svetlana Chmakova. Illus. by the author. 2017. Yen Press, $11.00 (9780316363189). Jensen, a daydreaming artist obsessed with sunspots and NASA, navigates middle school, bullies and math!
  • I Am Alfonso Jones. By Tony Medina. Illus. by Stacey Robison and John Jennings. 2017. Tu Books, $18.95 (9781620142639). Fifteen year old Alfonso Jones is shot by the police while shopping for a suit, and his loved ones and classmates are left behind to address his death and the larger issue of police brutality.
  • Jonesy. By Sam Humphries. Illus. by Caitlin Rose Boyle. Jonsey’s superpower is that she can make anyone fall in love with anything… except herself!
    • v.1. 2016. BOOM! Studios, $9.99 (9781608868834).
    • v.2. BOOM! Studios, $14.99 (9781608869992).
    • v.3. BOOM! Studios, $14.99 (9781684150168).

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Women in Comics: Looking Ahead to 2017

Though it may be tough to believe that a new year has begun, 2017 is here and it brings with it some great comics by women! Below are some exciting comics that will be released in the coming months. Take a look and find something fun for this brand new year.

Mighty Captain Marvel coverSquirrel Meets World coverBatgirl and Birds of Prey cover

2017 is going to be a great year for superhero comics written by women. Marvel has a number of options coming up that are both by women and about women, with three debuting next August. Over the span of just a couple of weeks, we’ll see The Unstoppable Wasp, Vol. 1: Unstoppable! by Jeremy Whitley with art by Elsa Charretier, The Mighty Captain Marvel by Margaret Stohl with art by Ramon Rosanas, and Sif: Journey Into Mystery by Kelly Sue Deconnick and Kathryn Immonen with art by Ryan Stegman, Valerio Schiti, and Pepe Larraz. Versions of all of these character tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe or will in the future, so they are great options for those who love the movies and want to start reading the comics too. There will even be options for those who aren’t fans of comics, with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World novel by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale coming out at the beginning of February. Continue reading Women in Comics: Looking Ahead to 2017