Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of The Well by Jake Wyatt and Choo

The Well by Jake Wyatt and Choo
First Second / Macmillan Publishers
Publication Date: May 24, 2022
ISBN-13: 9781626724143

Li-Zhen (Lizzy) lives a simple life: helping her grandfather raise goats, flirting with the woman who runs the ferry, and selling cheese and milk at the market. But she finds her life upended when she steals coins from a magical wish-granting well in order to cover a debt. Now Lizzy must find a way to pay the well back—but it won’t be satisfied with just coins. Instead, it needs wishes. Lizzy will have to find a way to grant the wishes she stole and break the curse, lest she be dragged down into the deep.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle

The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle
First Second
Publication Date: February 8, 2022
ISBN-13: 9781250297235

Winifred begins a lonely tenth grade year without her two best friends, who have moved away. In photography class, she meets Oscar and April, and the three form a fast friendship over art, zines and fashion. Though she still talks to her old friends, has a strong relationship with her mom, and finds new joy with Oscar and April, Winifred struggles with depression, self-harm and disordered eating, which eventually escalate. Will Win sabotage herself and her support system, or will she find the strength to tell the truth and ask for help?

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Feelings: A Story in Seasons by Manjitt Thapp

Feelings Cover Art

Feelings: A Story in Seasons by Manjitt Thapp 
Penguin Random House
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
ISBN: 9780593129753

Feelings: A Story in Seasons is an autobiographical work of graphic nonfiction by illustrator Manjitt Thapp. As she works towards an important creative deadline, Thapp takes the reader through one year of her life via the structure of six seasons (high summer, late summer, monsoon, autumn, winter, and spring). As the seasons change and progress, seasonal anxiety and depression rise and fall, impacting the artist’s creative abilities. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, July 25 Edition

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

Cosmoknights, vol. 1 by Hannah Templer
Penguin Random House/Topshelf Publishing
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
ISBN:  978-1603094542

Pan’s life isn’t anything to brag about. She works in her dad’s shop, hangs out with her best friend, Tara (who happens to be a princess), and occasionally stares up at the stars, wondering about other worlds. Then, one day, Pan’s whole world turns upside down when Tara runs away off-planet to escape an arranged marriage. And when a pair of space-knights land on Pan’s doorstep, finally SHE has the chance to see the world—and the darker side of some of her world’s traditions. Also, maybe, just maybe, Pan will have the chance to make some changes…

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#GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, April 26 Edition

Is This Guy for Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman by Box Brown
First Second
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-1626723160

This cultural biography documents comedian Andy Kaufman’s life, from his early childhood fascinations with Elvis and professional wrestling to his untimely death. Andy’s obsession with verisimilitude launched him into a career as a professional Elvis impersonator before he became better known as “that guy on Taxi” and somewhat well-known for a professional wrestling career.

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Women in Comics: Some Love Stories for February

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this month is a good time to consider the comics and graphic novels that you have on your shelf that will appeal to to fans of romance and love in all its forms. These books are just a few options for these readers.

Cover of The Prince and the DressmakerCast No Shadow coverI Love This Part cover

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang – Set in Paris in what seems to be La Belle Époque, Prince Sebastian is stuck between the wishes of his parents and his own wishes. His parents desperately want him to find a wife and have been setting him up on ever more pointless dates. He, on the other hand, wants to continue his life as it is, including his secret practice of periodically dressing in traditionally feminine clothes. When he meets Frances, who is an incredibly talented fashion designer and dressmaker, he quickly moves to employ her full time under the guise of having her serve as his personal tailor. Together they develop the fashion and persona necessary for him to take the city by storm as the daringly dressed Lady Crystallia. But, the pressure of his secret increasingly impacts both Sebastian and Frances and will test their friendship and their working relationship. Told with beautiful drawings and a fun-loving spirit, this is a great story about the pressures that society puts on people to conform and on the sorrow of having to hide your true talents and self.

Cast No Shadow by Nick Tapalansky and art by Anissa Espinosa – Greg is used to his quirky life in his off-beat town. He may not have a shadow, but that doesn’t bother him nearly as much as his town’s continual attempts to find the perfect tourist trap. What he isn’t expecting is to find a mansion nestled in the woods just outside his little town where he meets and falls for a beautiful girl. But, it wouldn’t be Lancaster if things were that simple. She may be funny and sweet and cute, but she’s also very definitely dead. As their relationship grows, he’ll not only learn why he is the only person who can see her, but also resolve some of his personal issues along the way. This is a story not only of a budding new relationship, but also a story about the power of family, friendship, and remembering those who have died.

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin with art by Jenn St-Onge and Joy San – This new comic is a love story across the years. After meeting and falling in love in the 1960’s, Hazel and Mari are pulled apart by the demands of society. They marry men, have families, and find a certain type of happiness. But when they find themselves at a church bingo evening when they are grandmothers, they find that the spark has not extinguished even after all of these years. Now they have a second chance for love and the opportunity for the happiness they always wanted.

Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt with art by Isabelle Arsenault – This comic tackles a lot of tough topics, including divorce, alcoholism, being siblings, and first love, but it approaches them all with a deft hand. The story follows Louis as he moves back and forth between his parents’ homes. Louis is in the throes of his first serious crush on a girl in his class named Billie. As they move between his father’s house and his mother’s apartment, he and his brother, Truffle, must confront the realities of their father’s struggles with alcohol. Throughout it all, Louis is also consumed by his efforts to work up the courage to speak to Billie. The story is a relatable and heart wrenching one about both family love and first love that will keep readers rooting for Louis throughout.

I Love This Part by Tillie Walden – Told with spare language and illustrations in black, white and shades of greyish purple, this story shows moments in the lives of two girls as they bond over music, make their way through school, and develop a relationship that shakes both of them. Despite the limited use of text, Walden conveys powerful emotions and makes the reader empathize with both of these characters as they struggle to make sense of their emotions. By the end, readers will be invested in the journey of the two characters and wishing for more of their stories.

What are your favorite comics and graphic novels about love and romance? Let us know in the comments!

– Carli Spina, currently reading A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Women in Comics – The Wonderful World of Sports

Though comic books may not be the first place you consider looking for sports, the way that they combine powerful stories with powerful artwork makes them a great vehicle for telling sports stories. Many creative teams have taken advantages of what the format has to offer to tell exciting stories of athletes, competition, and teamwork. This list highlights just a few of these comics that are perfect for fans of sports and the competitive spirit.

Play Ball CoverSpinning CoverSlam Cover Continue reading Women in Comics – The Wonderful World of Sports

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