Tag Archives: graphic novel

Preview: Adventure Time With Fionna & Cake OGN Vol. 1 SC

Adventure Time With Fionna & Cake OGN Vol. 1 SC

Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Kate Sheridan
Artist: Vivian Ng
Cover Artist: Chrystin Garland
Colorist: C.R. Chua
Letterer: Mike Fiorentino
Price: $9.99

It’s a very special day in the Land of Ooo: Fionna the Human’s birthday! To surprise her, Prince Gumball and Marshall Lee have Cake distract Fionna with an adventure as they prepare the biggest surprise party in history. But when Prince Gumball’s experimental serum turns Fionna’s birthday cake into a monster, everyone must work together to save the Candy Kingdom…and maybe a friendship, too!

Join writer Kate Sheridan (Fallow Time) and artist Vivian Ng (Nickelodeon The Legend of Korra – Turf Wars) on a brand-new adventure in the incredible world of Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time™.

Adventure Time With Fionna & Cake OGN Vol. 1 SC

Emei Burell Reveals Her Mother’s Unforgettable True Story in We Served the People: My Mother’s Stories

BOOM! Studios has announced the new original graphic novel We Served the People: My Mother’s Stories, available in April 2020, from Eisner-nominated cartoonist Emei Burell as she breathes new life into the stories her mother shared of growing up in mid-1960s Communist China and discovers a connection to her family history and heritage.

In China, an entire generation’s most formative years took place in remote rural areas when city kids were sent to the countryside to become rusticated youth and partake in Mao’s mandated Great Leap Forward. In an inspiring tale, Emei’s mother, Yuan Ye Ping, recounts how she ended up as one of the few truck-driving women during the Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside Movement, which sought to increase agricultural outreach and spur social and ideological change amongst youth.

Burell’s stunning illustrations honor her mother’s courage, strength, and determination during a decade of tremendous political upheaval and introduces us to a young woman in a new era of self-discovery. 

We Served the People: My Mother's Stories

From Puerto Rico Strong to Strange Encounters, a New Kickstarter

Strange Encounters

Strange Encounters is a 64-page comic book Anthology about magic, mystery and the Strange Encounters that happen when you meet beings of the supernatural kind.

The graphic novel is from the team that brought you the Eisner Award-Winning and Diamond Gem Award-nominated, Puerto Rico Strong Anthology, Marco Lopez, Derek Ruiz, and Neil Schwartz

The anthology is made up of original tales, and stories adapted from some of the most popular novels and novellas from some of the most talented female authors in the supernatural prose genre today.

The team is aiming to bring you the next must-have anthology and it’s coming from the brand-new boutique label, King Skull Comics.

Just look at some of the talent involved.

Brett Booth variant cover
Brett Booth variant cover

Brett Booth is illustrating a KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE variant cover.

Mentioned earlier were prose authors. We’re talking Rue Volley (Hellhound, 13 Ways to Midnight), Kim Alexander (Pure, The Demon Door Series), JD Brown (Athena’s Oracle, The Ema Marx Series), and Rachel Rawlings (The Maurin Kincaide Series, Rotten Luck). Excited yet?

Let’s talk about some of the other artist’s and creators involved. We got Jose Marono, Ally Cat (Spread, Spook House), Jess Taylor (Catalyst Prime Summit, Adventure Time), Puis Calzada (Hatchet: Vengeance, Zorro: Rise of the Old Gods), Jamie Jones (The Baboon, Kicking Ice), DC Hopkins (IDW, Lion Forge, DC, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite) and Bryan Arfel Magnaye (Titan Comics, Chido Comics).

And if that’s not enough here are some character sketches from two of the stories in the anthology.

Hellhound Character Designs by Jose Marono
The Institutes Character Designs by Puis Calzada

The Kickstarter campaign offers a softcover trade in print and a digital PDF. Prints of both covers to hang on your wall and the option to be drawn in the short story, I Hate the South (From the Case Files of Izzy Desoto) as a monster of your choice. And for the amazing retailers out there because they love retailers, they’re also offering a Strange Encounters Retailer Pack at a fantastic discount.

But wait there’s more!

There are STRETCH GOALS! If the goals are met everyone that pledges will get a bookmark, a Strange Encounters Pin, a King Skull Comics Pin, mini prints by the incredible Leila Leiz (Alters, Horde) and Ariela Kristantina (Mata Hari, Adora and the Distance), a BOOKPLATE by Sweeney Boo (Marvel Action Captain Marvel, Eat and Love Yourself) signed by the prose authors and last but not least a PREMIUM sketch card by Brett Booth of his variant Kickstarter Exclusive cover. It’ll feel like the 90s all over again when holding that card in your hand.

Marie Spénale’s Wonder Pony Transforms Student into Superhero in April 2020

BOOM! Studios has announced a brand new original graphic novel, Wonder Pony. Acclaimed writer and artist Marie Spénale presents a charming new adventure for anyone who’s ever wished they had the power to save the day, available in stores April 2020.

For Louison, going back to school for sixth grade looks set to be eventful to say the least . . . not only is it time to face the terrifying world of boarding school and make friends, but it turns out she has superpowers! Thanks to her friend Jean-Pierre – who happens to be a pink pony – Louison gains the ability to transform herself into a super-heroine: WONDER PONY

Her mission? To keep watch over the school, and protect her classmates and friends from any dangers that might arise . . .

Wonder Pony

Preview: Ryuko Vol. 1

Ryuko Vol. 1

Creator: Eldo Yoshimizu
Publisher: Titan Comics, Hard Case Crime
Softcover, 256pp, $14.99, £12.99
ISBN: 9781787730946
On sale in bookstores: August 6, 2019
On sale in comic shops: August 7, 2019

Ryuko is a hard-hitting, motorcycle-riding, high-ranking member of the Japanese mafia stationed in the Middle-East. After a fierce battle with the government, she becomes embroiled with the Chinese and an unknown terrorist organization. Everyone has their own agenda, but it becomes personal for Ryuko when her mother is kidnapped and she was forced to kill her father. What is the right thing to do in this morally complicated situation? Ryuko has a choice to make, but it’s tough when good and evil appear to be two sides of the same coin…

Ryuko Vol. 1

Rockwell Museum to Host an Evening with Art Spiegelman


The Rockwell Museum will host an evening with Pulitzer-Prize Winning artist Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman will discuss his groundbreaking Maus graphic novel and its place in current global conversations in this culminating program of The Rockwell’s Year of Questioning Identity.

The event begins at 7 pm on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 and this Rockwell event is located at The Corning Museum of Glass Auditorium, 1 Museum Way, Corning, NY.  After an hourlong discussion, Spiegelman will engage with the audience for a question and answer segment. General admission is $20, while student tickets are $10. Rockwell members are admitted free for this event.  More details and tickets are available online.

Art Spiegelman’s impressive accomplishments have helped secure comics’ place as an important part of literature. In 1992, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his masterful Holocaust narrative, Maus—which portrayed Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. Maus II continued the remarkable story of his parents’ survival of the Nazi regime and their lives later in America. In 1999, he was inducted into the Eisner Award’s Hall of Fame.

As a pioneer in underground comix, Spiegelman, along with publisher Francoise Mouly, co-edited RAW, which helped launch the careers of Chris Ware, Gary Panter and Charles Burns. His boundary-breaking career stretches from his artwork in The New Yorker to creating The Garbage Pail Kids for Topps.

His other books include In the Shadow of No Towers, Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stretched to Their Limits and MetaMaus.  His comics are best known for their shifting graphic styles, their formal complexity and controversial content. 

Spiegelman currently advocates for greater comics literacy.  As an editor, a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and a lecturer, Spiegelman has promoted better understanding of comics and has mentored younger cartoonists.

Review: Drawing From Memory

Drawing From Memory

When it comes to Prince, no one could deny his genius. His early demise made many music fans truly appreciate just how skilled he was, and how underrated he was as a guitarist. He was one of the main architects of the “Minneapolis sound”.

His magnetism was further amplified in the semi-autobiographic Purple Rain. It was a movie that is known as much for its theatrics as is it is for its music. The struggle between him and his father was probably one of the few times a novice actor pulled off a believable portrayal. Some of it he actually drew from in his personal life. His father was a musician and a major influence on his life but never was a mentor. In Allen Say’s Drawing From Memory, we find a creator who is reexamining his life through his relationships with his father and his mentor.

We meet the author as we find about his upbringing in Yokohama, Japan, near a fishing village, where the sea called for most, but not him. As his attraction to drawings, specifically comic books, that grabbed on to him, and before his family knew it, he was drawing everything and everywhere. Then in 1941, World War II broke out and everyone around him were affected, as his family left the area, as bombs started to fall on their city. Four years later the war was over, American allied forces occupied the country and his family moved to Sasebo, where his father found work and the first teacher to see his talent, Mrs. Morita, encouraged his work. After they moved, his parents would get divorced, and he would live with his grandmother until his family saw he can live on his own, where they rented him his own apartment. Soon his work would catch the attention of Noro Shinpei, one of the famous cartoonists in Japan at the time. He would move to Tokyo and learn under Shinpei, where he drew every day and everything he saw, as he would learn to draw in every style imaginable. By book’s end, his father and his new family would move to America, taking Allen with them, and leaving behind everything he knew and loved.

Overall, a beautiful coming of age story showing how cartoonists actually learn their craft. The story by Say is heartbreaking, true to life, and powerful. The art by Say is gorgeous. Altogether, a heart rendering story of love through art and the sacrifices most readers never get to see from their favorite creators.

Story: Allen Say Art: Allen Say
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Diary of a Tokyo Teen

Diary of a Tokyo Teen

If your parents are from a different country, your existence somehow feels incomplete until you have been where they came from. Throughout popular culture, there has always been some iteration of what happens when one comes home. In one of Billy Crystal’s stand-up specials for HBO, he went back to his grandparents’ Russia, which was both heartfelt and hilarious. One of my all-time favorite versions of this story was in the book and movie The Namesake.

It was a movie that is heartbreaking to watch now because it’s too close to home but gave readers and viewers what it means to live in that “hyphen.” The main character struggled at first with his name and eventually his identity. It wasn’t until he went to where his parents grew up, that his struggle became even more visceral. In Christine Mari Inzer’s Diary Of A Tokyo Teen, we find a Japanese American girl whose visit to the place where her mother was born becomes a series of adventures.     

We meet the author right before she is set to stay with her grandparents in the summer of 2013, as it was her first trip without her parents. As she arrives in Japan, her grandmother, whom she affectionately calls Baba, greets her and the first thing she wants to do is to go to her favorite burger chain, Mos Burger, one which she exclaims is the best burger in the world. Soon after arriving, she goes shopping with her Baba, and realizes that everyone there is fashion-forward making her the odd duck.  She also meets her cousins, Karen, and Taiga, who are both fluent in Japanese, making Christine even more of an outsider. What becomes the centerpiece of the book is her observations of popular culture, from the different television shows to high tech toilet, and even a store only sells condoms. As some of these places, she experiences “ vuja de”, seeing the same experiences, places, and people through different eyes and are completely different involvements, as her memory of when she saw it with her mother and now as she travels by herself, reinforces the fact she still is just a kid. As her time there with her Baba, experiencing everything Japan has to offer, has been transcendental. Even when her family comes, her time there becomes even more genuine.

Overall, a relatable graphic novel that is sure to connect with any reader of any age. The stories by Inzer are funny, sad, and relatable. The art by Inzer is beautiful. Altogether, a book which gives a tourist view of Japan while accomplishing that all-important “search for self”.

Story: Christine Mari Inzer Art: Christine Mari Inzer
Story: 10 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Angola Janga

Angola Janga

As Americans whether we admit to it or not, we tend to think and look at things in a monolithic way. This attitude has caused quite a stereotype of us around the world. We’re often seen as self-interested for good reason. One of those things that usually get wrapped in the American narrative is the issue of slavery. It was and still is a worldwide trade. One where many people lost their lives and one which has fractured the black race since its inception.

What is not normally talked about are the many countries which benefited from the slave trade and how it has affected how we interreact as humans on a daily basis. Here in America, we talk less about the runaway slaves, as Harriet Tubman’s and Frederick Douglass’s names are usually brought up but rarely are talked about the Seminole Nation in Florida which not only took in slaves from other tribes but black slaves as well. As is the case, the Seminoles were not the only one nation taking in runaway slaves. There were many all over the world, including Brazil. In Marcelo D’Salete’s brilliant Angola Janga, he tells the story of one of Angola’s greatest runaway slave dominions. One that thrived despite constant threats.

We’re taken to the deathbed of a dying slave owner, who has promised our protagonist, Soares, his freedom but once he realizes that the overseer will deny her wish, he takes matters into his own hands. This is where he hears about Angola Janga, as he and another slave, Osenga, travail the dense forest, dodging slave catchers and whatever hazards the forest poses on anyone who travels there. Eventually, war breaks out between the Portuguese, the Dutch, kingdoms like Angola Janga and other kingdoms of the same ilk, which would be known to history as the Palmares War. It was a conflict that would go on for almost 100 years. As the colonial powers feared slave revolt, the villages that comprised Angola Janga had infighting over whether or not negotiations with the different governments would serve their interests. By book’s end, one of our protagonists ultimately betrays his fellow runaways, a scar that D’Salete brilliantly explores in a scene in present-day Brazil.

Overall, a powerful and well-researched graphic novel that does what most books about bondage rarely do, humanize all the players involved. The story as told by D’Salete is brilliant, scrupulous, and ultimately, heart-wrenching. The art by D’Salete, is awe-inspiring. Altogether, a book that not only stays with you but will open your eyes to other parts of the world.

Story: Marcelo D’Salete Art: Marcelo D’Salete
Story:10 Art:10 Overall:10 Recommendation: Buy

The True Story of Four Days That Changed The Course of History in Big Black: Stand at Attica

BOOM! Studios has announced a brand new original graphic novel, Big Black: Stand at Attica, written by Frank “Big Black” Smith and Jared Reinmuth and illustrated by Améziane, available in stores February 2020. This is an unflinching look at the true story about the price of standing up to injustice in what remains one of the bloodiest civil rights confrontations in American history, told for the very first time from the man at the center of it all – Frank “Big Black” Smith. 

In the summer of 1971, New York’s Attica State Prison was a symbol of everything broken in America – prisoner abuse, rampant racism and a blind eye turned towards the injustices perpetrated on the powerless. But when the guards at Attica overreacted to a minor incident, the prisoners decided they’d had enough – and revolted against their jailers, taking them hostage and making demands for humane conditions. 

A natural leader, Frank “Big Black” Smith found himself at the center of this uprising, struggling to protect hostages, prisoners and negotiators alike. But when the only avenue for justice seemed to be negotiating with Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Big Black soon discovered that a peaceful resolution for the prisoners in Attica was unattainable.

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