March 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Fall Graphic Novels Take a Walk on the Dark Side

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Vampires, zombies, robot policemen—this fall’s graphic novels don’t shy away from the dark side. You’ll find plenty of humor as well, to lighten things up.

GIALLONGO, Zack. Broxo. First Second. October 2012. pap. $16.99. ISBN 9781596435513.

Gr 5 Up—Tough-talking Princess Zora arrives in a strange land hoping to negotiate with the local tribe and unite them with her kingdom. But the tribe has been reduced to man-eating zombies, and Zora must team up with the sole survivor, a boy named Broxo, to fight them—and assorted other monsters.

ROSCA, Madeleine. The Clockwork Sky, vol. 1. Tor. September 2012. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9780765329165.

Gr 6 Up—A feisty girl teams up with a robot policeman to solve the mystery of a spate of missing children in a steampunk version of 1890s London. Rosca, the creator of Hollow Fields, has a knack for creating convincing characters—and machines.

YOLEN, Jane. Curses! Foiled Again. Illustrated by Mike Cavallaro. First Second. January 2013. pap. $15.99. ISBN 9781596436190.

Gr 8 Up—In Foiled, fencing student Aliera Carstairs was swept away into a fantasy world when she put on her mask in Grand Central Station. In this sequel, she’s off on more adventures, this time with her wheelchair-using cousin Caroline by her side.

NORDLING, Lee, et al. Once Upon a Time Machine. Dark Horse. October 2012. pap. $24.99. ISBN 9781616550400.

Gr 7 Up—An anthology of traditional stories such as John Henry, Snow White, and The Last Leaf, retold in a sci-fi setting by an array of up-and-coming creators.

MACK, Stan. Taxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels. NBM. September 2012. Hardcover. $14.99. ISBN 9781561636976.

Gr 7 Up—An accurate but irreverent retelling of the American Revolution and the events that led up to it. Mack’s colonists talk like real people—with attitude—which helps bring the facts of history down to earth in a way modern readers can relate to.

POMPLUN, Tom, ed. Halloween Classics. Eureka Productions. October 2012. pap. $17.95. ISBN 9780982563052.

Gr 7 Up—Scary stories from Washington Irving, Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and H. P. Lovecraft, plus a comics adaptation of the silent film The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, adapted by a variety of creators and tied together by a narrator who’s straight out of EC Comics. This is volume 23 of the Graphic Classics series of anthologies.

RUSSELL, Gary, et al. Doctor Who Omnibus, vol. 1. IDW. January 2013. pap. $29.99. ISBN 9781613773482.

Gr 7 Up—This 420-page omnibus collects several story arcs that have appeared as individual comics and in trades, all featuring the Tenth Doctor: “Agent Provocateur,” “Through Time and Space,” and “The Forgotten.”

SUENOBU, Keiko. The Limit, vol. 1. Vertical. October 2012. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781935654568.

Gr 8 Up—The Limit has the look of traditional shoujo manga, but the story is closer to Lord of the Flies: A busload of high school children goes over a cliff, killing most of them and upending the social order. It’s a dark book with quite a bit of violence, but it’s also an unsparing look at bullying and cliques. Suenobu is the author of Life, a manga that dealt with cutting and was published by Tokyopop.

YAZAWA, Ai. Paradise Kiss, vol. 1. Vertical. September 2012. pap. $19.95. ISBN 9781935654711.

Gr 11 Up—A group of fashion students recruit a dutiful, overworked high school student to be their model, and she begins to question her choices in life. Tokyopop released this as a five-volume series in the mid-2000s; Vertical’s three-volume edition has a larger format and a new translation. Sexual situations and innuendo make this a better choice for older teens.

RICE, Anne. Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story. Ill. by Ashley Witter. Yen Press. November 2012. $19.99. pap. ISBN 9780316176361.

Gr 11 Up—A retelling of Rice’s classic vampire novel Interview with the Vampire through the eyes of Claudia, one of the characters in the original, who has an adult personality but is trapped in a child’s body.

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Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.

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