It’s that time of year again. A new school year is beginning! And while some may be excited and others sad, a new year of classes is no reason to stop reading comics. Why not make some time this Fall to try a new comic that will give you a different perspective on high school?
Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey by Özge Samanci – Özge Samanci’s memoir of growing up in Turkey is simultaneously about school and about far more than that. As a child growing up in Turkey, Özge felt immense pressure, which she brings to life in this memoir in a way that will be relatable to all readers. The artwork and design of this book is particularly noteworthy, as Özge uses multiple art styles and techniques throughout the story. This is a great read for budding artists and those with an interest in graphic memoirs. Continue reading Women in Comics: Comics For a New School Year
First appearing in 1941, Archie Andrews is a classic comic figure. In the years since his debut, a community has developed around him, made up of his friends and family in Riverdale as well as an array of famous figures Archie has bumped into, from the band KISS to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This long and storied history includes a huge list of authors and artists who each bring something different to the characters and settings that are iconic for Archie comics, but this month’s post will focus on a few of the talented female authors and artists who have contributed to the world of Riverdale over the years.
Science has always been a subject that I gravitate towards, so it is no surprise that I love science-related comics. Many of these books are biographies of famous scientists, but there are also wonderful comics about specific scientific subfields that offer a fun way to learn about a new topic and can help to inspire readers to continue reading about previously unknown topics. Here are just a few enjoyable comics for those with an interest in science.
Charles Darwin’s On The Origin Of Species: A Graphic Adaptation by Michael Keller and Nicholle Rager Fuller – You likely have heard about Charles Darwin before and you may have even heard about his seminal work, On The Origin of Species, but did you know that a graphic adaptation of it is available? With artwork by skilled science illustrator Nicholle Rager Fuller, this book brings a whole new side to Darwin’s classic work. It is a great way to get readers who might find the original a bit dry to give this influential piece of scholarship a chance. And, the artwork is sure to clarify many of Darwin’s points. This book also goes beyond the original text to put Darwin’s work into a broader context and to provide more details on Darwin’s place in the scientific field. Continue reading Women in Comics: Science
As summer begins, it is a perfect time to celebrate comics about all aspects of summer vacation, whether this means camp, family vacations, or lazy days with friends. Hopefully these books will make the ideal companion during your summer travels, reading on a beach, or at your local park.
It’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.
Bandette 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!
Also 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.
This 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.
In 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! Continue reading Women in Comics: 2016 Eisner Award Nominations
If there has been one feature of every book that I have discussed in this series of posts, it is a focus on artwork. Even the one non-comic work included in these posts focused a significant amount of text on the artwork of Wonder Woman. But, this month, I am branching out from volumes focused on artwork to discuss an emerging trend – prose novels that are based on comic book characters.
While this concept is hardly a new one, recently DC and Marvel have greatly expanded their offerings in this regard to include new adult (albeit not promoted by that name) and young adult novels. These novels can serve the dual purpose of introducing comic book characters and storylines to readers who aren’t comfortable with comics and graphic novels and encouraging comics fans to read works by leading young adult authors. Even more importantly, these novels are just a lot of fun! Right now, there are only a limited number available, but many more are appearing on the publishing horizon. Continue reading Women in Comics: Young Adult & New Adult Novels
Spies and assassins have been big at the movies this year. The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Spectre, Spy, Hitman, Kingsman, Mission Impossible, the year has been full of these stories. If they have sparked your interest in characters of this sort, you can continue exploring them through an array of comics ranging from classic characters to more modern offerings.
Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary by Chelsea Cain with art by Joelle Jones – Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, is a top agent at S.H.I.E.L.D., but a murder means that her work as an agent has to take a backseat to ensuring that justice is done. This one-shot is a great introduction to the character and is perfect for anyone who was curious about her when she popped up in Hawkeye.
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin by Kieron Gillen with art by Marguerite Bennett – Though she grew up in the Tenth Realm, Heven, and was trained to hate Asgard completely, Angela is secretly Thor’s sister. When she can no longer live in either realm, Angela is left to find her own path in life even while trying to determine what everyone wants from her. Fans of Thor and Loki will want to read this series to learn more about Asgard’s children. Continue reading Women in Comics: Spies and Assassins
For November, I am focusing on nonfiction graphic novels written or illustrated by women. Often an overlooked subsection of the graphic novel market, nonfiction graphic novels can be a great way to learn more about new topics, particularly if you prefer your information illustrated by amazing artists. This list includes just a few of the many nonfiction graphic novels that women have created over the years, but hopefully it will help you find a perfect new read that will teach you about a completely new subject.
Pain Is Really Strange by Steve Haines with art by Sophie Standing – Written by Steve Haines, a healthcare worker who specializes in pain management, this nonfiction book brings together research on how people experience pain to create a book that not only explains how pain is felt, but also cites research on the topic. Sophie Standing’s artwork is instrumental to the success of this volume. She has a distinctive and engaging style that brings to life text that could be dull or overly technical without this visual element. This is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in biology or medicine and it works extremely well in the graphic novel format. Continue reading Women in Comics: Read Some Nonfiction In November
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. Continue reading Women in Comics: Back To School Edition
Steampunk continues to be a popular genre with its combination of fantastical steam-based technology, elements of science fiction, and alternate history. With all of these elements, it is a style that can appeal to fans of a wide array of genres. It is also well suited to the graphic novel format since imaginative design is such a core component of these stories. Whether you are already a fan of steampunk or haven’t yet given it a try, these books are fun reads that will pull you into fascinating worlds.
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare and HyeKyung Baek – Fans of Cassandra Clare’s works will be excited to know that the prequels to her Mortal Instruments stories have been adapted for the graphic novel format. The series is set in Victorian England as many steampunk stories are, but in a somewhat less common twist, follows a sixteen year old girl from America who finds herself alone in the city. As she discovers the world of shadowhunters, the book has a chance to come into its own with artwork that brings to life every piece of the secretive world that Clare imagined. This is a must read for fans of the Mortal Instruments series, but will also appeal to a wider audience. Continue reading Women in Comics: Steampunk