by Shannon Watters, Branden Boyer-White, and Berenice Nelle (Illustrator)
Publisher: Boom Box!
Publication Date: October 4, 2022
Izzy Crane is the new kid in the titular town of Sleepy Hollow. There is no relation between her and Ichabod Crane of the famous tale, but there is a relation between Vicky Van Tassel and the female character of that story. Izzy soon discovers that this town takes the legend very seriously, that she’s moved here just in time for all the annual festivities, and that the Headless Horseman is making another appearance! But has he been misunderstood all this time? Is he there to protect Vicky or harm her? And why does Izzy feel like her new friendship with Vicky could be more than she thought? The clock is ticking and Halloween is right around the corner! Will Izzy and her new friends be able to solve the mystery and keep Vicky safe?
Hollow is a fun and spooky story that plays on an older legend, but knowledge of it is not necessary to enjoy this title. The artwork is enjoyable to look at and the coloring of the fall landscape is vibrant without stealing the show. The characters are well-defined and multi-faceted as well as being likable and funny. There is great diversity in the characters’ backgrounds as well as queer representation that is part of the story but not the basis for it.
Hollow will appeal to readers who enjoy not-too-spooky stories, beginning relationships and friendships, being a new kid in school when everyone knows everyone else, and even stories set in the fall. Hand this to readers who are fans of Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu, Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, and The Girl from the Seaby Molly Knox Ostertag.
Other Nominated Titles
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.
For pet owners, their beloved animal companions can be loyal friends, family members, and a never ending source of humorous stories. All of these characteristics make them great characters for comic books, so it is no surprise that many authors have chosen to write stories about them. Below are just a few great fictional and nonfiction reads about pets and the role they play in our lives.
Graphic novels can offer a wide range of perspectives on a shared topic, from extremely personal biographies and autobiographies to historical fiction to journalism. In the case of books about refugees, graphic novels offer the opportunity to tell deeply personal stories from a variety of perspectives while also sharing compelling images that bring the reader into the story in a way that is hard to do with words alone. The books in this list can be a powerful way of teaching young readers about the real lives of refugees around the world and throughout history.
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui – Weaving together the stories of multiple periods in the lives of Thi Bui’s family members, this graphic memoir is simultaneously a story of war, the refugee experience, and parenthood. The book opens with the author in labor with her son. Her experience of becoming a new parent serves as a jumping off point for a reflection on her parents’ experiences growing up in Vietnam during a time of turmoil and multiple wars, culminating in her family’s escape to a refugee camp in Malaysia when Bui was a child. Through her consideration of her own childhood and those of her parents, Bui shows the long shadow that these traumatic experiences can cast and offers a window into one type of refugee experience.
Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution by Julia Alekseyeva – Julia Alekseyeva tells the story of her great-grandmother Lola interspersed with biographical segments about her own life growing up as part of an immigrant family. Starting with her childhood as a poor Jewish child outside Kiev, this book traces Lola’s life through the Bolshevik revolution, her time working for the Soviet government, and her decision to move to the U.S. as a refugee. The book covers her time in the Red Army and her work as a secretary for the predecessor to the KGB, which will offer readers a peek into a fascinating part of history. Continue reading Women in Comics – Refugee Experiences
Given the popularity of comics, it isn’t surprising that many works originally created and released as books and films have been adapted into comics and graphic novels. Not only does this bring these stories to a new audience, but in the process of adapting and illustrating these stories, the creators of the comics are able to add their own take on the original version. In the past, I’ve written about Hope Larson’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time and Leigh Dragoon’s adaptation of Legend by Marie Lu in my post on science fiction comics, but this list offers even more options for thought provoking adaptations of some popular works.
The 2017 Eisner Award nominees are here and once again they include a number of female creators. Though there are too many to list, below are some noteworthy nominees that you may want to add to your reading list or library collection.
Beasts of Burden returns this year in a standalone story named What The Cat Dragged In, which earned a Best Single Issue/One-Shot nomination for Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, and Jill Thompson. In addition to being a good new story in this universe, it is a great starting place for those who haven’t read Beasts of Burden in the past. This is also a great recommendation for any horror fans you may know.
Not surprisingly, Fiona Staples has two personal nominations (for Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team and Best Cover Artist) and a nomination with Brian K. Vaughan for Best Continuing Series all for her great work on Saga. If you don’t already have this series in your library, you should definitely consider it for your older comic fans.
Creativity can mean many different things in different contexts. While artists usually spring to mind as the most obvious examples of those who engage in creativity, they are certainly not the only people for whom creativity is central. This list includes several graphic novels about artists but also a biography of Einstein and a book about the creative process generally. Hopefully this list will help inspire readers to jump start their own creativity.
Isadora Duncan: A Graphic Biography by Sabrina Jones – Though her name may no longer be familiar to everyone, Isadora Duncan was a revolutionary figure in the dance world during her lifetime. In this biography, Jones captures Duncan’s philosophy of dance and manages to use her illustrations to convey the type of motion and movement that Duncan pioneered in the art world. She also dives into the controversy that Duncan’s personal life and political activities caused during a period when women were not often thought of as powerful figures in their own right. This book is sure to fascinate those with an interest in both dance and the strong women of history. Continue reading Women in Comics: A Spark Of Creativity
A truly great mystery that can keep you guessing until the last page is tough to create but very satisfying to read. While this genre isn’t particularly common in recent comics, there are some great examples of mystery stories and a biography of one of the most famous authors in this genre that will appeal to mystery fans who also love comics.
Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie by Anne Martinetti and Guillaume Lebeau with art by Alexandre Franc – In addition to writing a long list of famous mystery novels, Agatha Christie led a fascinating life that involved world travel, a stint as a wartime nurse, and multiple archeological trips. This graphic novel tells the story of her life with her most famous creation, Hercule Poirot, popping in several times to provide commentary on her choices and life events. This is a great read for those interested in an introduction to Christie’s life, though at some points the book jumps through time in an abrupt manner that leaves the reader wanting more. The book includes a timeline of Christie’s life and a bibliography of her books. Continue reading Women in Comics: Mysteries
Comics may not necessarily seem like a natural fit for music fans, but in reality there are a number of great (and in some cases, even iconic) bands in comics. Best of all, many of these comics feature female musicians and are written or illustrated by women. This list collects a few of the best of these and offers a little something for everyone.
Jem and the Holograms Volume 1: Showtime by Kelly Thompson with art by Sophie Campbell – Jerrica is a skilled singer but she also has a serious case of stage fright. When the band that she and her sisters have formed has an opportunity to play as part of a video contest, she finds that she can’t even record their song due to her shyness. While struggling to live up to her sisters’ expectations, she discovers that her father has left her the technology to create a hologram to sing in her place. This is all just the background though for a story that is really about relationships of all kinds including fans, friendship, family, and romance. The story features a great and diverse cast and it will please both readers who are fans of the 1980’s Jem cartoon series and those who have never met these characters before.
Josie and the Pussycats by Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deordio with art by Audrey Mok – Starting in the Fall of 2016, Marguerite Bennett, Cameron Deordio, and Audrey Mok reinvented the classic story of Josie and the Pussycats. Built on the same foundation as the classic comics, this new incarnation has a brand new origin and a great focus on the importance of friendship to the band’s success or failure. This is a great read for musicians, Archie fans, and those who want to read a great story about fame and friendship. The first volume won’t be out until August, but you can start catching up on individual issues now.
Zebrafish by Peter H. Reynolds and Sharon Emerson with illustrations by Renee Kurilla – This comic, which is perfect for younger fans, tells a cute story about a bunch of friends who want to launch a band. Unfortunately, only one of them can play an instrument. They’re hardly going to let that stop them though! The book incorporates a message through a discovery that the band members make about one of their new friends, but this isn’t presented in a heavy-handed manner and doesn’t limit the focus of the story. The cartoon-inspired drawing style is engaging and entertaining. Readers will really enjoy this lighthearted book, which also has a sequel entitled SPF 40. Continue reading Women in Comics: Let The Music Play
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.
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
As October begins, Halloween is once again around the corner, making this a great time to explore the mystical in the comic book world. When it comes to magic in comic books, witches have long been a popular option with creators because they offer so many possibilities. Here are some recent comics that have witches as their main characters.
Toil & Trouble by Mairghread Scott with illustrations by Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews – Have you ever wanted to know more about the witches in Macbeth? This comic retells the classic tale from their perspective, offering a completely new take on Shakespeare’s work. See what happens when these three sister fates delve into Scottish politics. This is a fresh take on a work that many have read in English class and is a great way to get comics fans more interested in the story of Macbeth. It is also a strong work of horror in its own right, making it a good option even for those who aren’t fans of Shakespeare.
Scarlet Witch Vol. 1: Witches’ Road by James Robinson with illustrations by Vanesa R. Del Rey, Marco Ruby, Steve Dillion, Chris Visions, and Javier Pulido – With her inclusion in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, Scarlet Witch has been introduced to a whole new group of fans. This comic offers the perfect continuation for both long time and new fans. In this volume, Scarlet Witch must travel across the globe in an attempt to save magic and witchcraft from a mysterious figure who would destroy it. The series combines compelling artwork by a strong group of artists with an exciting story, resulting in a great reading experience. Continue reading Women in Comics: Witchcraft in Time for Halloween