June 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Review: 2018’s DC/Hanna-Barbera crossover specials

Last spring, DC Comics released a series of four one-shot crossovers between their own characters Green Lantern, Adam Strange, Booster Gold and The Suicide Squad with some fairly random Hanna-Barbera characters: Space Ghost, The Flintstones, The Banana Splits and Jonny Quest and others. While the major comics publishers are notoriously reticent to discuss sales data, […]

Review: ‘Silver Spoon’ Vol. 1

Silver Spoon Vol. 1 Writer/artist: Hiromu Arakawa Yen Press; $15 Rated T for Teen Phenomenal success can present difficult challenges. For example, say you created a manga series that ran for nine years, filled 27 collected volumes and was adapted into a pair of television shows, two feature-length animated films, a live-action film, a handful […]

Review: ‘Star Wars: Lost Stars’ Vol. 1

Star Wars: Lost Stars Vol. 1 Writers: Claudia Gray and Yusaku Komiyama Artist: Yusaku Komiyama Yen Press; $13 Rated T for Teen This is a manga adaptation of Claudia Gray’s 2015 prose novel of the same name, and as I read, I couldn’t help but wonder if Crossed Stars might not have been a better […]

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: ‘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: ‘Mechaboys’

Mechaboys Writer/artist: James Kochalka Top Shelf Productions; $19.99 The unbelievably prolific cartoonist James Kochalka has a new original graphic novel, this one leaning more in the direction of his adult work, like SuperF*ckers and American Elf, than his kids comics, like SpongeBob Comics, Johnny Boo, and Dragon Puncher. The premise is a solid, grabby and […]

Review: ‘The Prince and The Dressmaker’

The Prince and The Dressmaker Writer/artist: Jen Wang First Second; $16.99 Ages 12-18 There is a point late in Jen Wang’s The Prince and The Dressmaker in which Prince Sebastian is at his absolute lowest, his worst fears having been realized, and it genuinely seems like his life as he knew it is over, like […]

Teens, Graphic Novels, and Mental Health: An Interview with Dr. Jennifer Jenks

I recently wrote an article on graphic novels and mental health for School Library Journal, and one of the people I spoke to while researching it was Dr. Jennifer Jenks, MD, a psychiatrist who treats teenagers as well as children and adults. She had many interesting things to say about the broader issues of teens, […]

A guide to the Black Panther comics for fans of the Black Panther movie

If you saw Black Panther in theaters last month—and, based on the film’s box office haul to date, there’s a pretty good chance you did—then you may find yourself wondering how closely the Marvel comics that the film is adapted from reflect that experience and, more importantly for our purposes here, which of those comics […]

Preview: ‘Archival Quality’

Out this week from Oni Press, Archival Quality is a YA graphic novel about librarians, ghosts, and mental illness, as well as about seeking justice. It looks interesting, and it got a nice review in Kirkus, so we thought we’d share a sample. Enjo…

Review: ‘Avengers & Champions: Worlds Collide’

Avengers & Champions: Worlds Collide Writer: Mark Waid Artists: Humberto Ramos, Jesus Saiz, Victor Olazaba and others Marvel Entertainment; $17.99 Rated T+ for teens 13 and up When writer Mark Waid took over the main Avengers title in 2015, the conceit for his All-New, All-Different Avengers was a team line-up neatly divided between adult heroes […]

Review: ‘Avengers & Champions: Worlds Collide’

Avengers & Champions: Worlds Collide Writer: Mark Waid Artists: Humberto Ramos, Jesus Saiz, Victor Olazaba and others Marvel Entertainment; $17.99 Rated T+ for teens 13 and up When writer Mark Waid took over the main Avengers title in 2015, the conceit for his All-New, All-Different Avengers was a team line-up neatly divided between adult heroes […]

Preview: ‘Dodge City’ #1

We’re filling our weekend with previews, because there’s plenty of cool comics coming out right now. Here’s a look at Dodge City #1, a new series from BOOM! Studios about competitive dodgeball. This is not your gym teacher’s dodgeball. Here’s the 411: Josh Trujillo (Adventure Time) and Cara McGee (Over the Garden Wall) team up […]

YALSA Releases Great Graphic Novels for Teens List

The Young Adult Library Services Association, a.k.a. YALSA, has posted its 2018 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. This year’s list includes 115 titles, selected from 190 nominations, and it’s quite wide-ranging. Here’s the top ten: The Backstagers, by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh (BOOM! Studios) Black Hammer, vol. 1: Secret Origins, by Jeff […]

30 Realistic & Historical Fiction Books with Black Main Characters

A bevy of 2018 YMA winners and forthcoming 2018 middle grade and YA titles to excite readers.

Review: ‘Losing The Girl’

Losing The Girl Writer/artist: MariNaomi Graphic Universe; $29.32 Ages 14 and up Writer and artist MariNaomi’s career as a cartoonist has thus far been dedicated to autobiographical comics, spread across four books published since 2001. Losing The Girl, the first book in a planned trilogy, marks her first official foray into fiction. It has the […]

Review: ‘Iceman Vol. 1: Thawing Out’

Iceman Vol. 1: Thawing Out Writer: Sina Grace Artists: Alessandro Vitti, Edgar Salazar, Ibraim Roberson and others Marvel Entertainment; $15.99 Rated T+ for teens 13 and up There have been two big announcements regarding Marvel’s Iceman ongoing monthly comic book since the release of the first trade paperback collection of the series. One was that […]

Review: ‘The Golem’s Mighty Swing’

The Golem’s Mighty Swing By James Sturm Drawn and Quarterly The Golem’s Mighty Swing is a story set in an earlier, simpler time, when old men lounged on the porch of the general store, kids wore knickers and newsboy caps, and people lived in small towns where everybody knew everybody. You can almost smell the […]

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: ‘Generations’

Generations Writers: Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Cullen Bunn and others Artists: Mahmud Asrar, Matteo Buffagani, Ramon Perez and others Marvel Entertainment; $50 Rated T+ for teens 13 and up Superhero comics are founded on the principle that if something works once, one should do that very thing over and over again. Heck, the superhero […]