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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Graphic novels, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Misadventures of Grumpy Cat

The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat and Pokey, vol. 1 Ben McCool, Royal McGraw, Elliott Serrano, Ben Fisher, Steve Uy. 2016. Dynamite Entertainment. 104 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I didn't enjoy reading The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat (and Pokey!), at least not as much as I was expecting to--wanting to. I hoped my love of Grumpy Cat would outweigh my dislike of comic books. That wasn't the case at all. The portrayal of Grumpy Cat didn't really live up to my expectations either. More often than not, my reaction to a comic was: so what?

I wasn't expecting the weirdness in the collection: a couple of ghost stories, a time travel story, an alien encounter, and one about ancient Egyptian mummies.

Treasure Map--Grumpy Cat exerts a lot of energy in this one to set up Pokey for a trick: she buries a treasure map, pretends to be disinterested, refuses to cooperates, reluctantly agrees, dresses up as a ghost or two, etc. A "real" ghost ends this strip. I was less than enthused by this first comic.

Grumpy in HD--Grumpy gets Pokey and a dog into trouble with the humans in this one. It is about the remote control and how to "make" it work. It felt shorter and less annoying--which is a good thing.

Super-Pokey & Grumpy Cat in Paws of Justice--Pokey convinces Grumpy Cat to be his sidekick. Pokey having been inspired by watching superheroes on tv. There are costumes and everything. Can this duo prove heroic in the local neighborhood. This one is a bit over-the-top in a purely silly way. If I had to pick a favorite to like, it, might accidentally be this one.

Grumpy Cat Goes to Comic-Con--just one page, and, definitely one of the 'so what????' strips.

Cell Phone--Grumpy Cat and Pokey get into some trouble with a cell phone. At first Grumpy Cat was don't *try* to answer the phone, leave it alone, it's nothing but trouble waiting to happen. Then, she changes her mind when the human on the other end of the phone starts talking about bringing treats.
It doesn't end well for the cats.

Vincent Van Grump--In an effort to become famous, Grumpy tries her hand at singing, writing, and painting. Perhaps one of the better ones in the collection. At least it isn't otherworldly.

Grumpy Birthday to You--Grumpy Cat is grumpy about her birthday.

Detective Cats--Grumpy Cat and Pokey become detectives to solve a case--a case about missing food or missing treats or something like that. It was okay.

A Grump in Time--weird from start to finish and not in a good-weird way or a funny-weird way. Just weird-weird as in--so what????

Close Encounters of the Grumpy Kind--Pokey and Grumpy meet aliens. At this point I was ready for the book to be done already.

I Know What You Did Last Summer...I Just Don't Care--Fortunately there was just one more story. Unfortunately it was Halloween-themed. This one features the haunted house (again) and an Egyptian mummy-cat.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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2. Fresh Graphic Novel Picks

Image from Penguin Random House.

Image from http://bit.ly/1StCQOy.

Hurrah! Spring has officially arrived- at least for the most part.  Although it seems to be a daily surprise here in my part of the country whether or not we will have spring or winter temperatures, I thought it was a great time for sharing some fresh, new graphic novels with you! Below are a few of my favorite titles that have been published so far this year. I’m sure you and your patrons will enjoy them!

Complete Chi’s Sweet Home: Part 2 by Konami Kanata. Vertical Comics; 2016.

Cat lovers of all ages will adore this manga series! This recently released title collects volumes four through six from Kanata’s original series. Follow Chi in her adorable adventures as she learns how to live with her adoptive family, the Yamadas, and searches for her mother.

Unicorn Vs. Goblins: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson. Andrews McMeel Publishing; 2016.

The third volume in the Phoebe and Her Unicorn series delivers plenty of laughs, just like the previous two titles. Readers will follow Phoebe and her narcissistic unicorn best friend, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, on some goofy adventures. The pair visit summer music camp, hangout with Marigold’s sister, Florence Unfortunate Nostrils (ha!), and encounter a goblin queen. An especially great pick for tween readers.

The Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson, Henry Holt and Co.; 2016.

The amazing creator of Newbery honor book Roller Girl has now given us this gem! Have you ever wondered what classroom pets do once the students and teachers have went home for the day? Jamieson gives us a hilarious look at the after-hours antics of the pets of Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary as they attempt to escape, get into a food fight, and more. Younger readers in kindergarten through second grade will be cracking up, I know I was!

The Nameless City: Volume 1 by Faith Erin Hicks. First Second; 2016.

Image from http://bit.ly/21fQDus.

Image from http://bit.ly/21fQDus.

This title is slated to be the beginning of a new series from Hicks and it is filled with adventure and intrigue. Two kids from opposite sides of a long-held conflict become friends in the City. It remains nameless due to the constant invasions by other nations, seeking to control the only passage through the mountains to the ocean in this well-developed fictional world. Recommended for older tween readers, this graphic novel takes on more serious issues of identity while providing plenty of fun action.

What are some of your favorite graphic novels published this year so far? Happy reading until next time!

The post Fresh Graphic Novel Picks appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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3. Review: Aama is intelligent, mind-bending science fiction with a core of humanity

Taking the idea of awareness and screwing with it from multiple vantage points — self-awareness, awareness of the space around you, familial awareness, scientific awareness, societal awareness — Aama addresses, among other things, the notion of a hive mind and presents mankind as a damaged entity, one in which each part is out of sync […]

2 Comments on Review: Aama is intelligent, mind-bending science fiction with a core of humanity, last added: 4/12/2016
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4. It’s Time To Rethink About How Graphic Novels Are Read

watchmen-coverThe audience migration from monthly comics to graphic novels (tpbs, if you prefer) has always been a fairly contentious thing. There’s not a lot of point in denying that the book format is continuing to make gains and a lot of new readers prefer it. When Paul Levitz writes about graphic novels being “a clear majority of sales,” it’s probably time for a wider range of people give up the ghost and talk about that format as an end game.

10 Comments on It’s Time To Rethink About How Graphic Novels Are Read, last added: 4/7/2016
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5. Interview: Tales from the Loop’s Simon Stålenhag—Swedish Sci-Fi Inspiration and Why Alien is a Perfect Bedtime Story

Simon StålenhagRoaming around Austin during SXSW is a perfect way to stumble into discoveries. One such find this year was the Nordic Lighthouse—a showcase of Nordic startup tech, cinema, music, food, and design. Lucky for me Simon Stålenhag, the author of Tales From The Loop, was part of that showcase. I managed to get some time where he talked about inspiration, Swedish countryside, the eighties, why his dad's bedtime story was Alien, and poetry.

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6. Events: Singapore’s Sonny Liew Visits SF’s The Isotope and Many More

The Isotope - Sonny LiewI'm flying out to cover Image Expo and Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, but if I was sticking around San Francisco you'd be certain to see me at Sonny Liew's book release tour stop at The Isotope. Sonny Liew's The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye has already been declared "2016's first superalitve graphic novel" by our own Kyle Pinion, great review from NPR's Fresh Air, and it's already part of the discussion for what is 2016's first comics masterpiece. What's happening and where else can you see him?

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7. Review: Michael DeForge’s ‘Big Kids’ tells us something about ourselves

Millennials are often portrayed by the older generation – my own, to be clear – as a generation of victims. Like most cross-generational proclamations, this is a self-righteous pile of bull built from Gen Xers’ and Boomers’ stumbling reading of Millennial discourse, as well as some resentment for our own repression and the ability of […]

1 Comments on Review: Michael DeForge’s ‘Big Kids’ tells us something about ourselves, last added: 4/6/2016
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8. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume Two

cover artIt is so hard to get any reading done with the Dashwoods! Not that they are intrusive or anything they are just so gosh darn cute I want to sit and watch them all day. So reading on the weekend, not much happened between the Dashwoods and cycling and me giving Astrid a nice spring cleaning. But I did read volume two of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! I must say I came very close to admitting that squirrels were kind of almost awesome. But I stopped short and veered left and laid the awesome on Squirrel Girl instead.

Volume two sees Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl, meeting a few new friends — Chipmunk Hunk and Koi Boy. Koi Boy is kind of weird, but Chipmunk Hunk is hilarious. He has a little puffy tail! This comic is so oddball but in such a charming and exuberant way I can’t help but like it. Squirrel Girl has such an upbeat attitude, and while she gets in the punches as good as any other superhero does, most of the time she solves problems by talking and since she is a squirrel girl she knows how to chatter and not shut up! So you could kind of say she wears her enemies down with her unceasing chit-chat.

The main story arc through volume two is the arrival of Girl Squirrel who actually turns out to be Ratatoskr, a Norse squirrel god with a unicorn horn? Ratatoskr is actually legit. S/he is a squirrel that runs up and down the world tree Yggdrasil. Apparently even world trees need squirrels!

In Squirrel Girl, Ratatoskr is bent on destroying Midgard (Earth) by stirring up trouble and playing on peoples’ insecurities causing them to get angry and go rioting and other destructive mayhem. With the help of her non-superhero roommate, Nancy, Chipmunk Hunk, Koi Boy, Lady Thor, former Thor, and Loki who shapeshifts into Cat Thor to annoy his brother, Ratatoskr is defeated and Midgard is saved.

It is all great rollicking fun and the tiny commentary at the bottom of the page adds extra entertainment as do the letters fans have sent in with photos of themselves with baby squirrels or doing Squirrel Girl cosplay.

So you can get the flavor of Squirrel Girl, here is part of a speech she is shouting through a megaphone at a crowd that Ratatoskr has sent after her:

Envy isn’t about the person you are jealous of: it’s about yourself. It’s your mind telling you exactly what you want, and you know what that is? That’s friggin’ self-knowledge, and it’s the first, most valuable thing in the universe. It’s how we tell ourselves what we need to work on in order to make ourselves the better, happier, more awesome versions of us that we deserve to be … Let’s be the change we are insecure and jealous about in the world!!

Heh. Oh and Buffy fans, there is a scene in which roommate Nancy breaks down over the fact that all her friends have super powers and she doesn’t and she moans, “I’m the Xander.” That one cracked me up!

If you have read the first volume of Squirrel Girl, get yourself the second. If you have not read Squirrel Girl and are looking for an offbeat, fun and positive comic, you’d be hard pressed to find something better.


Filed under: Books, Graphic Novels, Reviews Tagged: squirrels

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9. Thursday Review: THE NAMELESS CITY by Faith Erin Hicks

Synopsis: If you keep up with Finding Wonderland, you'll know I already have plenty of awe and amazement for graphic novelist Faith Erin Hicks. (See reviews here, here, and here, and interview here.) Her latest contribution—officially to be... Read the rest of this post

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10. Review: New York Review of Books’ new comics line is off to an amazing start

It was a fantastic day for artful, intelligent comics when the New York Review of Books added comics to its publishing line. The focus so far is on making obscure graphic novels available again, and the March 22 release of Mark Beyer’s riotous Agony sets an interesting tone for the line. Beyer’s work, which is about the size […]

5 Comments on Review: New York Review of Books’ new comics line is off to an amazing start, last added: 3/31/2016
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11. Monday Review: SCIENCE COMICS: CORAL REEFS by Maris Wicks

Synopsis: First Second Books' new series Science Comics is no doubt something that I would have loved as a kid. There wasn't nearly the selection of graphic novels or educational comics in the 1980s, though. I had a pretty good collection of Charlie... Read the rest of this post

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12. New Graphic Novels Reading Lists!

Download your own Graphic Novel Reading Lists!

Download your own Graphic Novel Reading Lists! (Image courtesy of ALSC)

ALSC has released three new Graphic Novel Reading Lists. These lists are offered in the ranges of kindergarten to 2nd grade, 3rd to 5th grade and 6th to 8th grade. Each of the Graphic Novel Reading Lists are available for free download on ALSC’s website.

Graphic novels on this list are defined as a full-length story told in paneled, sequential, graphic format. The list does not include book-length collections of comic strips, wordless picture books or hybrid books that are a mixture of traditional text and comics/graphics. The list includes classics as well as new titles that have been widely recommended and well-reviewed, and books that have popular appeal as well as critical acclaim.

The titles were selected, compiled and annotated by members of the ALSC Quicklists Consulting Committee.

The post New Graphic Novels Reading Lists! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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13. The Rise of Graphic Novels: A Ten Year Celebration of First Second Books

To celebrate First Second Books and the rise of graphic novels, we thought it would be fun to have graphic novelist veteran, Leland Myrick, who has been with First Second from the beginning, and Andy Hirsch, a 2016 debut graphic novelist, interview each other.

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14. Just what is 2016’s first comics masterpiece???

pukeforce.jpgControversy! The title of "First Great Comic of 2016" is hotly contested this year!

2 Comments on Just what is 2016’s first comics masterpiece???, last added: 3/11/2016
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15. A Happy Day for Graphic Novel Readers


Andrews McMeel Publishing is going to make my graphic novel readers VERY happy. Not one new book for our classroom library...not even two or three. FOUR new graphic novels, and I can't even imagine how over-the-moon they'll be to see the newest Big Nate! We'll start there.


Big Nate: Thunka, Thunka, Thunka
by Lincoln Peirce
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016
review copy provided by the publisher

Last week one of my readers had to remove himself from his table group because he was in hysterics over the Big Nate book he was reading. Big Nate is a character who resonates especially with my 5th grade boy readers. I'm just hoping there won't be an outbreak of boys emulating Big Nate by banging an empty plastic water bottle against their heads -- thunka, thunka, thunka!



Li'l Rip Haywire Adventures: Escape from Camp Cooties
by Dan Thompson
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016
review copy provided by the publisher

I have just the reader for this book. He's struggling to make the transition from graphic novels to books with all text, and this blend of graphics and text will be the perfect support for him. Plus, a boy who has to survive an all-girls summer camp is sure to be a hit!


These two will have to wait to meet my readers because I'm a little picky about having the first book in the series for other readers like me who HAVE TO read the first book first! But these both be fun series to have for boy readers who are willing to cross over to a book that has a girl character (with a unicorn no less), and girl readers who might not go for Li'l Rip Haywire or Big Nate.


by Paige Bradock
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016
review copy provided by the publisher




by Dana Simpson
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016
review copy provided by the publisher


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16. Past the Cape: Quirky Graphic Novels

I began reading comic books in elementary school, checking out issues of Spider-Man along with my stacks of Goosebumps books. I eventually broadened my horizons past the amazing web slinger and onto the X-men, Batman and the rest of the Marvel and DC Universes. I mostly read this way until my late high school and early college years, during which I discovered Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics and all the interesting stories Vertigo was publishing that didn’t involve characters in spandex. Now I will occasionally pick up a superhero book but typically gravitate towards stories outside of the caped universe.

The amount of interesting, quality graphic novels and comic books that are published for young readers today is impressive and exciting to see. I often think of how young readers can be exposed to the world of comics without feeling their only choice is a caped crusader. Of course, there is nothing wrong with loving and reading those stories but it’s important to have other choices in your collections for kids who are looking for something different.

I’ve highlighted three of my favorite quirky and fresh graphic novels for young readers, all published within the past 5 years, that will add something special to your shelves and make great choices for elementary school students in grades 1-5.

Hotel Strange by Florian and Katherine Ferrier. Illustrations by Katherine Ferrier. Translated by Carol Burrell. Graphic Universe; 2015.  This is indeed a strange story with odd characters and more dialogue than action, but both volumes #1 and #2 of Hotel Strange are charming and fun to read.

Image from http://lukepearson.com/Hilda

Image from http://lukepearson.com/HildStrange

Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson. Nobrow Press; 2012. I loved all of the Hildafolk books but Hilda and the Midnight Giant is probably my favorite. Pearson’s stories are a great mix of creepy moments, humor and modern fairytale magic. And his rich color palette- sigh. It is so beautiful you might just gaze at the pictures and forget to read the words!

The Only Child by Guojing. Schwartz and Wade; 2015. This book was heralded as a best book of last year from establishments like Entertainment Weekly, and rightfully so. It really is a wonderful piece of art and narrative. This wordless graphic novel is a bit nontraditional in it’s size and format, but is a touching story about a child’s loneliness and imagination that kids and adults will enjoy.

There are many other great titles that I would put into my quirky category, but I wanted to keep this post brief. What are some of your favorite non-superhero graphic novels? Do your young patrons seek out these types of comics or does Marvel rule your stacks? What comic books did you read as a child?

The post Past the Cape: Quirky Graphic Novels appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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17. 10 Years of Great Graphic Novels

Can you believe it's been TEN years since First Second Books began publishing high-quality graphic novels for kids, teens, and adults? It's incredible but true. And at Finding Wonderland we're proud to have done our part in supporting their efforts... Read the rest of this post

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18. Three graphic novels | Class #5, 2016

boxers & saints    tamaki_thisonesummer

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2013)

The One Summer by Mariko Tamiki and Jillian Tamaki (First Second 2014)

While teens have been devouring graphic novels, or comics (as Gene Luen Yang calls all such works) for years, they are also enjoying a surge of interest and attention from critics and educators, winning awards and finding their way into high school classrooms.

How might students learn from these texts? Should they be paired with more traditional texts to be meaningful, or can a graphic novel study stand alone? Common Core Standards require students to be able to “Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats, including visually” (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7).  How important is visual literacy for our students?

The post Three graphic novels | Class #5, 2016 appeared first on The Horn Book.

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19. The First DNF of the Year

cover artOne of the books I currently have from the library is a graphic novel called The Explorer’s Guild. I borrowed it because one of the co-authors is the actor Kevin Costner. I wouldn’t call myself a huge Costner fan, he is a good actor but I haven’t seen all of his movies and have no plans to do so. I borrowed the book because I was curious.

The book looks really nice and sets the mood for the story. A heavy chunkster with an old-timey looking adventure story cover, when you open it the paper is a pleasant creamy “old book” color slightly darker around the edges than in the middle of the page. And the drawings a sort of monochrome palette and highly detailed laid out in a comic book fashion. There are also pages of text, usually one or two, integrated between the comic panels with little illustrations. It is a pleasing look and feel.

However, after one chapter I am not so sure I want to keep reading because I don’t really care for the story. It is made clear from the start that the Explorer’s Guild is made up of all men, mostly of the gentlemanly sort. And while the story takes place during WWI, I don’t know why the Guild has to be all men. Paging through the book there is a woman who appears much later, an actress known to have many affairs, so I am not certain what sort of role she has in the story.

Also, the story is set, at least in the beginning, in “Arabia” and the company of British soldiers is worried about being attached by two thousand “Turkmen” and angry looking “Mohammedan” armies wearing turbans and carrying scimitars. Um…

That this adventure story is set during a time of racism and colonialism is one thing, that it plays into it is bothersome to me. If I keep reading, maybe the story redeems itself in some way, but then it might not.

When I started writing this I thought perhaps it would end up convincing me to keep going for at least one more chapter. But now, I think I am going to mark it down as DNF and return it to the library. I fell better already.


Filed under: Books, Graphic Novels Tagged: DNF, Kevin Costner

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20. Thursday Review: SECRET CODERS by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

Summary: I've been meaning to review this one for an embarrassingly long time. I had looked forward to reading it ever since first hearing about it—we are huge fans of our own (relatively) local Gene Yang here at FW and have not only interviewed... Read the rest of this post

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21. D&Q to republish three Lynda Barry masterpieces

The Lynda Barry renaissance that’s been underway at D&Q for the last few years with What It Is, Syllabus and reprints of her early comics strips now comes to its crowning moment with new editions of three books that can justly be called masterpieces: The! Greatest! Of! Marlys!, a colelction of comics featuring barry’s signature […]

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22. ANNOUNCEMENT: How Charise Harper’s CRAFTY CAT Will Teach Kids to Embrace Their Inner Strength Through Art!

2From First Second Books comes a new series about a young girl and her artistic alter ego!

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23. Review: Nick Drnaso gives us 2016’s first great work with ‘Beverly’

Nick Drnaso’s fictional world is a particularly joyless one where even coming together doesn’t much help the human condition. It might even make things worse. As depicted in the Drnasoverse, each human has their own internal monologue that other humans are shut out from, and this creates distance, alienation, and confusion. Since one of us […]

2 Comments on Review: Nick Drnaso gives us 2016’s first great work with ‘Beverly’, last added: 2/17/2016
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24. Review: Julia Wertz’s thoughtful and healing style of self-deprecation

Julia Wertz’s Eisner-nominated Drinking At The Movies, originally from 2010 but here with a handsome reissue from Koyama Press, is renowned for its humorous self-deprecating pile-on. At its root is the suggestion that beating yourself up is probably just part of personal growth. And that’s not just meant to make you feel better, but an […]

1 Comments on Review: Julia Wertz’s thoughtful and healing style of self-deprecation, last added: 2/23/2016
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25. Review: Tommi Musturi shows that hope isn’t easy

Finnish cartoonist Tommi Musturi’s The Book Of Hope is as mysterious and elusive as the human being it examines. Set in a family cottage following retirement, Musturi settles into his narrator position calmly in order to scribe, without judgment or even much push for clarity, the experience of one man as he inhabits the time […]

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