May 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox
Johanna

About Johanna

Johanna Draper Carlson has been reviewing comics for over 20 years. She manages ComicsWorthReading.com, the longest-running independent review site online that covers all genres of comic books, graphic novels, and manga. She has an MA in popular culture, studying online fandom, and was previously, among many other things, webmaster for DC Comics. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Review: ‘The Beatles Story’

The Beatles Story Written by Angus Allan, illustrated by Arthur Ranson Rebellion, $17.99 It’s an amazing period we live in, one where great comics from all eras are reprinted in book format and much more easily available than they used to be. The flip side of that boom in collected format is that a lot […]

Review: ‘The Altered History of Willow Sparks’

The Altered History of Willow Sparks by Tara O’Connor Oni Press, $19.99 Ages 13 and up The classic idea of a magical transformation, and the lesson of being careful what you wish for, is revisited in this high school-set graphic novel that does a terrific job with individual moments but doesn’t fully assemble them into […]

Free Comic Book Day Comic Highlights

As Esther previously wrote, this coming Saturday, May 5, is this year’s Free Comic Book Day. There are 50 different comics that could potentially be available at participating stores, so this is necessarily a brief rundown of the Gold Sponsor All Ages titles. Also, please remember that this national holiday for comics is free to […]

Free Comic Book Day Comic Highlights

As Esther previously wrote, this coming Saturday, May 5, is this year’s Free Comic Book Day. There are 50 different comics that could potentially be available at participating stores, so this is necessarily a brief rundown of the Gold Sponsor All Ages titles. Also, please remember that this national holiday for comics is free to […]

Review: ‘Fence Volume 1′

Fence Volume 1 Written by C.S. Pacat, illustrated by Johanna the Mad BOOM! Studios, $9.99 To attract fans of the boys-love sports series Check, Please! and Yuri!!! on Ice, BOOM! has released a manga-like comic about competitive boys at a fencing academy. Nicholas is the scrappy, disadvantaged up-and-comer with natural talent and insufficient training. In […]

Review: ‘Batman & Robin Crime Scene Investigations’

This set of four hardcover storybooks makes up a new series in which the famous caped crimefighters use forensic investigation techniques to solve crimes. It’s a clever way to encourage scientific thinking and understanding the real-life background behind superhero adventures. The Felon’s Fowl Flames: Batman & Robin Use Fire Investigation to Crack the Case The […]

Review: ‘Colonial Comics: New England, 1750-1775′

Colonial Comics: New England, 1750-1775 Edited by Jason Rodriguez Fulcrum Publishing, $29.95 For ages 12 and up This anthology of 18 historical comic stories aims “to focus on the people and events that tend to get ignored in American history classes.” It’s an admirable goal, and one that succeeds, opening readers’ eyes to lesser-known but […]

Review: ‘Bolivar’

Bolivar by Sean Rubin Archaia, $29.99 For ages 8 and up It seems lately that there’s been a mini-boom in books about how great New York City is. For the adults, there’s Roz Chast’s Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York and Julia Wertz’s Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of […]

Review: ‘Newsprints’

Newsprints By Ru Xu Graphix, $12.99 (softcover), $24.99 (hardcover) Ages 8-12 years, grade level 3-7 It’s a wonderful thing when someone’s first graphic novel is so jam-packed with big ideas realized so well on an individual character level. Blue is an orphan newsboy who’s found an adoptive family of those who work for the paper. […]

Review: ‘The Little Particle That Could’

The Little Particle That Could Written by Jason Rodriguez, illustrated by Noel Tuazon Tiny Quasars, $14.95 Ages 3-6 Wandering away a little from our site title—but format debates are boring!—The Little Particle That Could is an adorable educational children’s book with plenty of distinctive, charming illustrations. It’s a board book, but it’s the size of […]

Review: ‘GFFs: Ghost Friends Forever’ Volume 1

GFFs: Ghost Friends Forever Volume 1, “My Heart Lies in the 90s” Written by Monica Gallagher, illustrated by Kata Kane Papercutz, $9.99 (softcover), $14.99 (hardcover) Ages 10-14 years There’s a lot going on in GFFs: Ghost Friends Forever, but it’s all good-hearted. This supernatural mystery romance feels like a modern Nancy Drew, except in this […]

Review: ‘Mega Princess’

Mega Princess Written by Kelly Thompson, illustrated by Brianne Drouhard KaBoom! (Boom! Studios), $14.99 Ages 8 and up Kelly Thompson (Jem and the Holograms, Hawkeye) brings her energetic, aware writing style to a wide-ranging fantasy adventure for kids. The mega princess of the title is Maxine (who prefers Max). It’s her tenth birthday, which means […]

Review: ‘Star Scouts’

Star Scouts by Mike Lawrence First Second, $14.99 Ages 8-12 Avani doesn’t get along with the other girls in the Flower Scouts troop in her new neighborhood. They only want to talk about boys and makeup, while she’s interested in rodeo, which means they put her down with country wisecracks. Then Avani is abducted by […]

Review: ‘Audubon: On the Wings of the World’

[Editor’s Note: Today we are happy to welcome Johanna Draper Carlson as a regular blogger at Good Comics for Kids. Johanna has been reviewing comics for over 20 years. She manages ComicsWorthReading.com, the longest-running independent review site online that covers all genres of comic books, graphic novels, and manga. She has an MA in popular […]