Tag Archives: first second books

Review: Decelerate Blue

Outsiders in literature usually are some of the best characters for a reader to follow.  As they usually feel like voyeurs to the story, assuming certain perceptions while experiencing others.  This is something all teenagers deal with at some point, where no one understands them. This is even more prevalent in young adult fiction, where teen angst dances in the pale moonlight of the apocalypse.

This is what makes the Mortal Instruments books so fascinating to both teenagers and adults, as the story is written with such clarity that the believability is easy for most readers. Another good example is Warm Bodies which the film doesn’t do justice to the writer’s inner monologue of the main character. Growing up in a dystopian future, is never easy one that would break most adults but makes teenage lives thrive. In Adam Rapp and Mike Cavallaro’s fascinating story Decelerate Blue , we get to see the Armageddon through the eyes of one such teenager.

We meet Angela a teenager who notices how certain things are not normal, such as everyone being implanted with a chip to track their every move, an unhealthy obsession with the use of language and real food has been replaced by cement like material which has yielded some fatal incidents. As she struggles her awareness of the shadowy organization known as the Guarantee Committee, it is only spurred by a book written by a famous theorist who predicted the reality Angela lives in. Through a series of mishaps, she finds an underground movement where mostly teenagers live, and they can eat real food and even take in oxygen from a can. This is also where she meets kindred soul in Gladys, someone who finally sees Angela for who she is, at the same time, she envelopes herself in what the world was before Guarantee Committee took over the world. Eventually she meets the author of the book, who her favorite teacher, just so happens to take care of, as everything comes full circle for our heroine. By book’s end, the underground falls apart, and Angela becomes part of GC society once again until she finds liberation in all its glory.

Overall, an excellent graphic novel that is a mirror portrait of society’s obsession with technology and order. The story by Rapp is bleak, engaging,and commanding. The art by Cavallaro is luminous and vivacious. Altogether, a story that will have readers assessing their own obsession with “staying connected”.

Story: Adam Rapp Art: Mike Cavallaro
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Secret Coders Vol. 5 Potions & Parameters

Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes is a fantastic all-ages graphic novel series that not just entertains but also educates. Blending fun story as well as lessons to teach computer coding, the graphic novels are a perfect way to learn!

This fifth volume is out in comic and book stores now. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW (Hardcover) or TFAW (Softcover)

 

 

First Second provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Be Prepared

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the new graphic novel by Vera Brosgol!

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores April 24. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

 

First Second provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: The Divine

Transitioning to a new life is always difficult for anyone who has been accustomed certain comforts. I remember one of the more trivial things I had to get used to once I got out the military was figuring out what to wear to work every day. The transition for most can be difficult. Civilian life is not like what we left. And what we are coming back to is something different. This not only true for the military but also those leaving prison.

In the new television show The Last OG, Tracy Morgan portrays an ex-convict who finds himself at odds with changing his course and not falling back into his old life. This is a tamer version of what happens as the transition is tougher than most would ever hope to acknowledge. What transitioning for both the military and the prisoners do have in common is the pursuit of normality. In the brilliant drama The Divine, we meet two such veterans who must work as contractors in a country torn by civil war.

Mark and Jason are two old military friends who find it difficult to translate their skills into civilian life. Mark is newlywed with a baby on the way. His job prospects are not what he hoped for. Jason offers him a prospect of working for the same government contractor who has a job in a country called Quanlum, one where there are armed hostiles throughout. Before long Mark is back in the mix in a foreign country. Jason left out a few important details that make Mark regret his decision. Everything is not as it seems in. By book’s end, Mark has been changed once again by his exploits. It gives him a whole new understanding of the fragility of life.

Overall, an action packed and emotional rollercoaster that leaves readers almost breathless but ultimately grateful. The story by Boaz Lavie is suspense filled, well developed, and fervently mooring. The art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka is stunning, expressive, and tethers to the story well. Altogether, a story that is very much of its time. It leaves readers to ruminate on what is most important

Story: Boaz Lavie Art: Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

As a young boy growing up in a family where the women outnumbered the men, my understanding of the world came from them. I understood sexism form the stories my mother and my aunts used to tell of how often less qualified men would get promotions over them. They did not merely take these things, they often stood up because of being slighted, being overlooked and for the mere assumption that they should accept such inequity. The women that Pénelopé Bagieu writes about in Brazen, remind me so such of the fire that the women in my family often shown in my upbringing.

 In “Clementine Delait”, we find out exactly who the “bearded Lady” was and though she has been immortalized many times including Hugh Jackman’s most recent movie, that her life was not as sad, as the stories surrounded usually implored. In” Nzinga”, we find out about the queen of present day Angola, how she ruled it with an iron fist, and was more of a warrior than any other ruler during her time. In “Margaret Hamilton”, the actress best known for playing the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz, was more prolific than any male actor during her time but with less acclaim. In” Las Mariposas” Minerva Maribal and her sisters, fight “the patriarchy” by refusing the advances of the dictator in in the Dominican Republic, which leads to the jailing of their family but leads to public outrage which leads to eventual replacing of the country’s dictator, Rafael Trujillo.

In “Josephina Van Gorkum”, a woman whose marriage challenges society’s ideas of coexisting between Catholics and Protestants. In  ”Lozen”, an Apace chief,  who vows to never marry  and breaks centuries of tradition within the tribe,  but becomes of one of the tribe’s fiercest warriors. In “Annette Kellerman”, we find about a swimmer in Australia, who used the sport to build muscles due to her contraction polio at a young age and would go on to break world records and make movies. The last story that caught my eye” Delia Akeley”, who becomes one of the world’s first prominent researchers in ethnography.

Overall, these stories and the many more included that I did not speak of are each equally entertaining, enlightening, and important. The stories by Bagieu, is at times, heartbreaking, melancholy, hopeful, but at all times masterfully told. The art by Bagieu, is beautiful, engaging and breathtaking. Altogether, this book is not only of our time but for all times, as these women deserve as many or more pedestals. Their accomplishments have changed the world.

Story: Pénelopé Bagieu Art: Pénelopé Bagieu
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got some amazing women!

Brazen is by Pénélope Bagieu.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores March 6. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW

:01 First Second provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker

I remember viewing movies with my grandparents in our family home in New York. We did not only watch what was considered family friendly movies, like the King and I, but just about every movie that came on HBO. One of those movies, was Victor/Victoria, with Julie Andrews, James Garner, and the guy who played Webster’s dad, Alex Karras. This was the first time as a kid, I saw someone who I closely associated with a certain character, Julie Andrews in Sound Of Music, play a character nowhere near who they were in that particular film. That was not the part of the movie, that changed my view, is how a woman could dress as a man, which is something I asked my parent about soon after the movie was over.

They tried to explain in their most PC way, which further confused me. It was not until I saw Rocky Horror Picture Show, that I even begin to understand what transvestitism is, and I only recently found out how different it is from being transgender, thanks to Transparent. As the world forges to become more accepting of all sexualities and gender identities, it still feels as though the world is stuck in a time warp, and that is why the world needs more stories, not only to educate but for them to empathize. Jen Wang’s The Prince and The Dressmaker is one of those stories that does both and does quite enchantingly.

We are in Enlightenment era Paris, and the prince of Belgium Prince Sebastian, is holding court to find a wife or more accurately his parents are looking to marry him off, to secure more power. We also meet Frances, a low-level seamstress, who makes a beautiful dress one night, which changes her life forever as she is secretly hired to be a personal seamstress. This is where our two protagonists meet, and a rare friendship is sparked, one where trust knows no bounds and the one secret they share liberates them both. By book’s end, this newly found freedom, leads to their happiness, one which shows the and the world, it’s okay to be who you are.

Overall, a magical book that shows how the world handles perceptions, and how acceptance starts with person struggling to find it. The story by Wang is touching, funny, deep, and charmed. The art by Wang is breathtaking and alluring. Altogether, a story that will make you root for both of the protagonists, and understand that the love of one’s self is  one of the keys to life.

Story: Jen Wang Art: Jen Wang
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

First Second provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman

It’s Tuesday which means it’s new comic book day at book stores! This week we’ve got Andy Kaufman?!

Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman is by Box Brown.

Get your copy. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

:01 First Second provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and team GP is dealing with Super Bowl hangovers, the flu, and preparing for tonight’s episode of Graphic Policy Radio! While you count down for that brand new episode, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Onion – Man Prefers Comic Books That Don’t Insert Politics Into Stories About Government-Engineered Agents Of War – The Onion nails it as usual.

AndroidGuys – Best apps for reading comic books and visual novels on Android – Some helpful tech info.

Jakarta Globe – New Comic Books to Bring Young Indonesians Back to Museums – Very interesting and also wondering how well it’s going to work.

The Beat – Calista Brill and Gina Gagliano promoted at First Second – Congrats to both!

The Beat – IDW’s San Diego Comic Art Gallery Reopens to Big Changes – Great to see this still going.

 

Reviews

Comics Bulletin – Abbott #1

Talking Comics – Dark Nights: Metal #5

Talking Comics – Eternity #4

Talking Comics – Phoenix Resurrection #5

Review: Is This Guy For Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman

Growing up as a child of 1980s, I am old enough to remember shows like MASH and Barney Miller. As I get a little misty-eyed thinking about those times, not only the people in my life, but how these shows shaped me and particularly, my sense of humor. I don’t think I would understand the joy of pulling pranks if it was not for Alan Alda’s Hawkeye in MASH. I would never understand sarcasm if was not Mark Linn-Baker’s cousin Larry in Perfect Strangers.

As these shows not only elevated what we thought comedy was supposed to be and into several different iterations of what it is now. Another show that came during that era, was TAXI. Like anybody who grew up during that era, that theme song plays in your head like a gentle breeze, a years later, it still leaves the viewer at ease. One of the stars that came out of that show, is Andy Kaufman, an indelible genius whose life was cut too short.

We meet Andy, as a child growing up in Long Island, New York, who loved television and from that, create his own characters, and much like the rest of us, shaped his sense of humor. He reader gets a purview of his many obsessions, from wrestling, to Elvis, to finally, comedy. In a stroke of genius, he combines all three and becomes the person who the world loves then and still now. By book’s end, we do find out how he dies but how many people he touched.

Overall, an excellent book, which reminds me so much of how much of a virtuoso Kaufman truly was. Kaufman’s story as told by Box Brown is told in the spirit of Kaufman. The art by Brown is always vibrant. Altogether, if you are of this era and a fan of comedy in general, this book is a must buy.

Story: Box Brown Art: Box Brown
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

First Second provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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