Tag Archives: graphic novels

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe This October – Your First Look!

It’s a story so HUGE, Marvel needed an entire Original Graphic Novel to tell it! Yes she’s unbeatable. Yes she talks to squirrels. But this October, she becomes something entirely new – the star of her very own OGN! But first, get a brand-new look inside The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe! OGN – coming at you from the award-winning team behind the monthly Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series – Ryan North and Erica Henderson!

She’s beaten Thanos. She’s bested Galactus. She’s thwarted Doctor Doom (twice, but who’s counting?). But in this all-new graphic novel, she’ll take on her most dangerous, most powerful and most unbeatable enemy yet: HERSELF! Specifically, an evil duplicate created through all manner of mad science (computer and regular type). So what happens when two Unbeatable Squirrel Girls clash? You’ll have to wait to find out, but believe us – it’s going to be NUTS!

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Drawn & Quarterly Reveals Their Winter 2017 titles!

Last week at San Diego Comic-Con Drawn & Quarterly announced Guy Delisle’s Hostage and Brigitte Findakly and Lewis Trondheim’s Poppies of Iraq, to be published in Spring and Fall of 2017 respectively.

But, before those two books are released there’s still a lot of other graphic novels coming out. D&Q’s winter list features two biographies of very different and very fascinating people (Peter Bagge’s take on Zora Neale Hurston and Joe Ollmann’s take on William Seabrook); a graphic-novel-adaptation of the iTunes terms and conditions agreement by R Sikoryak; reprints of fantastic and iconic works by Vanessa Davis and Lynda Barry; a graphic novel that blends autobiography, biography, and hagiography by Michael DeForge; a literary work about urban burnout from Yeon-sik Hong; and of course, further entries in our Kitaro and Moomin series.

Check out the full set of releases below!

JANUARY

THE ABOMINABLE MR. SEABROOK
Joe Ollmann

In stores January 24, 2017! $23.95 US & $26.95 CDN / $26.95 CDN / 6″ x 9″ / 316 pages / two-color / paperback / 9781770462670

THE ABOMINABLE MR. SEABROOK

FEBRUARY

UNCOMFORTABLY, HAPPILY
Yeon-Sik Hong, translated by Hellen Jo

In stores February 14, 2017! $29.95 US & $32.95 CDN / 8″ x 6.1″ / 576 pages / black and white / trade paperback / 9781770462601

UNCOMFORTABLY, HAPPILY

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
R. Sikoryak

In stores February 28, 2017! $16.95 US & $19.95 CDN / 9.5″ x 6.6″ / 108 pages / full color / trade paperback / 9781770462748

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

MARCH

SPANIEL RAGE
Vanessa Davis

In stores March 7, 2017! $16.95 US & $19.95 CDN / 9″ x 6.8″ / 124 pages / black and white / trade paperback / 9781770462564

SPANIEL RAGE

FIRE!! : THE ZORA NEALE HURSTON STORY
Peter Bagge

In stores March 14, 2017! $21.95 US & $23.95 CDN / 6.5″ x 8.8″ / 104 pages / full color / hardcover / 9781770462694

FIRE!! THE ZORA NEALE HURSTON STORY

STICKS ANGELICA, FOLK HERO
Michael DeForge

In stores March 21, 2017! $21.00 US & $24.95 CDN / 5.8″ x 10.9″ / 96 pages / two-color / hardcover / 9781770462700

STICKS ANGELICA, FOLK HERO

APRIL

KITARO: THE GREAT TANUKI WAR
Shigeru Mizuki, translated and edited by Zack Davisson

In stores April 4, 2017! $12.95 US & $14.95 CDN / 7.5″ x 5″ / 176 pages / black and white / trade paperback / 9781770462595

KITARO THE GREAT TANUKI WAR

ONE! HUNDRED! DEMONS!
Lynda Barry

In stores April 11, 2017! $21.95 US & $24.95 CDN / 6″ x 9.5″ / 224 pages / full color / hardcover / 9781770462779

ONE! HUNDRED! DEMONS!

MOOMIN BEGINS A NEW LIFE
Tove Jansson

In stores April 25, 2017! $9.95 US & $12.50 CDN / 6″ x 8.5″ / 40 pages / full color / flexicover / 9781770462717

MOOMIN BEGINS A NEW LIFE

Review: Cardcaptor Sakura

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A magical girl that fights using magical cards to fight even more magical cards while also dealing with her 6th grade nonexistent love life? Well, if that isn’t a CLAMP storyline then I don’t know what is. Yes, everyone, today we’re covering CLAMP’s Cardcaptor Sakura, one of the groups most famous and influential series. It definitely shows in the group’s later work considering Tsubasa and xxxHolic, as well as the new series that follows Cardcaptor’s lead in middle school. The original manga ran from 1996 to 2000 under the Japanese publisher Kodansha and the English Publishers Madman Entertainment and Dark Horse Comics. The anime under the same name ran from 1998 to 2000 and was made by Studio Madhouse. Recently, this month actually, the sequel series Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Edition began serialization in the magazine Nakayoshi.

Now the story follows Sakura Kinomoto who accidentally releases the magic cards, called Clow Cards, across the city when she’s messing around in her basement. After this, she is chosen by the mascot character and guardian of the cards to find them. And all she wanted to do was work up the courage to confess her feelings to a boy and get by in school alongside her best friend. Along the way she goes through some over the top adventures and grows up, I guess? It’s a show that started with the monster of the week vibe before going into long arcs in the span of like 70 episodes. It’s also a genre that CLAMP had never tried out before and it shows.

The main character Sakura, as stated above, who is a ten-year-old school girl who is just too sweet to be real. She tries super hard despite struggling to understand all the magic and adventure going on around her. In the beginning of the series she pretty openly has a crush on her older brother’s best friend Yukito, this is important I swear. Altogether, Sakura isn’t really anything beyond a strong willed girl doing her best? And that’s not bad, not at all, but it feels like they never let her really be more. She’s there to smile and be sweet because the plot demands for it. She’s always trying her best and stays positive in almost every situation, which is endearing but somewhat unrealistic.

Kero or his formal name Cerberus is the mascot character who is the guardian of the Clow Cards and ends up making Sakura find them again. You’d think he’d be this cool and mature figure cause of the whole guardian thing, but he’s just… Not? Mascot character syndrome I swear. He likes eating and playing video games and is sort of annoying as most mascot characters are. He does genuinely care about Sakura though and wants to help her get the job done. In his true form he looks like a lion with wings while his fake form looks like a stuffed animal with wings.

Then there’s Tomoyo Daidouji, Sakura’s best friend. She’s a kind rich girl who grew up around maids and bodyguards. She is someone who just wants to be with Sakura forever as a friend or something more, anything really. She also ends up filming most of Sakura’s adventures while supplying cute magical girl outfits for the other to wear. She mostly does that for her own enjoyment, but she genuinely cares for Sakura and wants the other to be happy.

Finally, there’s Syaoran Li who is a lot different from the character he is in Tsubasa. In this series, Syaoran is a descendant of the creator of the Clow Cards, which makes him believe he’s the only one who should be hunting for them. This makes him initially volatile towards Sakura as he forces his way into her business and life. Along the way though, he does begin to respect her as a cardcaptor and friend. He is originally from China, but moves to Japan in response to the cards being released to gather them. Basically, he’s a mean little kid who starts to get nice because friendship fixes everything.

There’s a whole lot of other character’s but for spoiler’s sake I’ll leave them be. The one thing I will say is that CLAMP does a lot with characters here, things you’d expect and things you wouldn’t. For instance, the group really likes writing forbidden or “taboo” relationships, something that shows up in many of their series. They do this in multiple ways in Cardcaptor, some that are really interesting and beautifully done, such as the openly LGBTQ+ relationships that we can see in the background and characters who are deeply connected to Sakura. And all of this is being viewed through Sakura who loves everyone no matter how they identify. This was something that I really enjoyed about the series, that CLAMP was giving representation and showing it to a young audience and presenting the LGBTQ+ in such a positive way to said audience. Plus, they continue to do that with much of their later work, they keep giving representation in their own way and helping many young people see themselves in popular media.

But then it gets to the relationships that are actually… Really questionable? Like, very young underage girl with a 20+ teacher questionable, which they end up romanticizing. I’m not gonna get into it though, because most of these relationships or subjects don’t really appear in the anime, instead they’re mildly hinted at compared to being out and open in the manga.

Animation wise this is an older series, but it’s actually not that bad. It holds up pretty well in comparison to a lot of other series that were produced at the time. It was produced by Madhouse, known also for Chobits and One Punch Man, a company that only got better with time. I would say that it really is similar a lot of series that were produced at the same time. It has a similar line style to that of many other magical girl series being produced at the time or even series like Battle Athletes that had heavy outlines on characters. It has extremely thick lines and for the anime was very subject to the “moe blob” face. You know the one, where the mouth is a little too close to the eyes, but honestly proportion wise, compared to other CLAMP series, it’s well done. This is a visually appealing series. It’s bright and full of color. I would say that the manga seems a lot softer in art style comparatively, everything seems softer or more gentle in how it appears. Which really works with a lot of the underlying themes in the series, because the characters stay soft despite everything that is thrown at them. The manga itself was serialized in Nakayoshi then collected in 12 books by Kodansha which would then be licensed by Tokyopop here in America. I will say that the manga has gorgeous art. CLAMP does beautifully in this genre, especially when you inspect each separate Clow Card and see the detail. Which, is something compared to how lackluster the sound of the anime is.

Sound wise, the anime is a bit forgettable. I wouldn’t say any of the opening or ending music is iconic or that the voice acting is outstanding, I’ve also only seen the Japanese version. Still, the shows score was composed by Takayuki Negishi alongside Masafumi Mima. The score itself works really well for the shojo genre and is pretty to listen to. It just isn’t… That notworthy? It doesn’t have the same feel that other CLAMP scores have, at least not for me personally, but that could be because it is such a specific genre. For voice acting, like I said it’s a good, but it’s not outstanding like many people like to claim it is. Every actor does a good job, especially Sakura Tange as Sakura, who hasn’t done much other work and Motoko Kumai who plays Syaoran, know also for her work in Chobits as Sumomo and MAR as Ginta.  I haven’t seen the English dub and from what I’ve heard I don’t want to.

You see, this series was also dubbed during the day and age of localizing the character’s name and taking huge liberties with their characters. Tomoyo became Madison for instance. They got rid of a lot of things that they felt would be inappropriate or not reach the English audience. Ocean Studios did the English dub in works with the series American licensor Nelvana and actually got rid of the original musical score and replaced it with their own. There was another dub done by Omni Productions that was a lot more faithful to the Japanese version. This series was also aired out of order to appeal to male viewers more than the intended female audience. So basically, this series was butchered when it aired here in America originally and everything I’ve heard and looked up implies that the dub and editing of said dub was panned universally with how bad it was.

I would say Carcaptor is maybe worth a watch, despite anything I said above, or maybe even worth a read? I personally have only read a few chapters of the manga, after watching the entirety of the anime in like the span of two weeks, because magical girl as a genre is not my personal favorite. It is a series that tries to do a lot of fun things with the genre itself! If you like this type of storytelling or even are just looking to try something out, I would completely suggest looking into this show. I may not have enjoyed the series to its fullest, but someone else out there might adore it. What matters is that the series is fun and tries new things but remains true to CLAMP as a group of creators.

Cardcaptor Sakura: 7/10

Preview: The Cloud HC OGN

The Cloud HC OGN

Publisher: Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer: K. I. Zachopoulos
Artist: Vincenzo Balzano
Cover Artist: Vincenzo Balzano
Price: $24.99

From Archaia, the publisher of fine fantasy stories like Mouse Guard and Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, comes a grand adventure story filled with unexpected allies and enemies alike.

The Cloud is an original graphic novel that beautifully examines themes of strength, bravery, love, and loss. Fans of Kazu Kibuishi’sAmulet or the beloved children’s fantasy The NeverEnding Story will delight in The Cloud.

“What is a wish?” That is the question the boy must answer for himself as he and his loyal wolf, Cloud, embark on a grand voyage to find the boy’s father and return the wish that was stolen from him.

The Cloud is a beautiful, and at times, heartbreaking journey of a reluctant hero forced to outwit a cast of colorful characters: a thieving girl, bizarre creatures from the Great Before, and the Mad King. It’s a quest of self-discovery where the boy will learn that not all wishes can or should come true.

TheCloud_HC_Cover

Review: March: Book Three

MarchBookThree-CoverBy the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death. The only hope for lasting change is to give voice to the millions of Americans silenced by voter suppression: “One Man, One Vote.”

To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative campaigns, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and an all-out battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television.

March: Book Three is the finale of writers Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and artist Nate Powell‘s trilogy of graphic novels chronicling the early years of Congressman Lewis’ life and his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

As I read the graphic novel from cover to cover, I found myself filled with emotions, as Lewis’ life was there in print for those to see and read. The story is a complicated one, but it’s presented in a way that feels honest and open, both good and bad. This is an inside look at one of the most important, and turbulent times in American history from not just someone that was there, but a leader of the movement. And that’s a fascinating part of this third book, is its focus on Lewis’ role as a leader.

At 25 years old, John Lewis and his friends were looked at as radicals trying to grasp power from the establishment. The graphic novel chronicles Lewis’ meeting with Malcolm X who advised him and the movement to focus on class, not race. And all of that spoke to me like nothing I’ve read before, because over 50 years later, that exact same conversation is being had. The young radicals within the Democratic party (and politics in general) are being dismissed. The idea of focusing on class instead of race is still debated. For all the victories, what was accomplished, so little has changed. From issues of inequality to Black Lives Matter, the themes and struggle of this third graphic novel echo and repeat to today. While the graphic novel book ends itself with the election of President Obama, the graphic novel forces the reader (whether on purpose or not) to think about what that means in today’s society. Where we are from where we’ve been.

This third chapter to makes the whole stronger and for as much as I thought the second graphic novel was an emotional whirlwind, this third one left me fighting back tears at times. The whole is easily one of the greatest graphic presentations of all time, and absolutely some of the best literature to have been produced in recent years. It may seem like exaggeration but this graphic novel again brings real history “to life” in a way that is educational and entertaining. It accomplishes amazing things and will easily find its way on to book shelves as well as the classroom.

This third volume somehow leapfrogs the other two. Whether it’s due to learning or the material within, something about it created an emotional reaction I haven’t felt by any media in quite some time. And most importantly it got me to think about where we as a people and nation have been, where we are, and where we’re going.

This is easily the best graphic novel of the year so far.

Story: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin Art: Nate Powell
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Semiautomagic TPB

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Professor Alice Creed doesn’t have tenure. And she never will, as long as she keeps ditching her lectures to kill monsters. But when a dark force from between universes begins seducing young souls through an innocent computer game, she packs her occult relics, holy water, and iPad to kick eldritch ass!

Semiautomagic is modern monster hunting featuring a professor with a gift for the occult. Except this particular professor is often heading for trouble with a shotgun in hand, instead of teaching. Written by Alex de Campi the graphic novel has a well-written script that has terrifying moments and bleak humor. Alice reminds me some of Giles from Buffy if he was the one headed into the action instead.

Artist Jerry Ordway manages to capture this strange almost psychedelic inspired artwork, mixed with elements of surreal horror in a superb manner. Ordway manages to keep the sense of action flowing as panels are subtlety broken up. The larger monstrous creatures look like something out Lovecraftian themed fiction. While the smaller monsters are an equal mix of disgusting, and terrifying.

Story: Alex de Campi Art: Jerry Ordway
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Ian Fleming’s Original James Bond Novels Get Graphic Novel Adaptations

Dynamite Entertainment has announced the first-ever graphic novel adaptations of Ian Fleming‘s original James Bond novels, beginning with his seminal debut, Casino Royale, slated for release in November. The first book in the newly announced series will be adapted by Van Jensen, with art by DC and Marvel veteran Matt Southworth.

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Dark Horse to Publish Original Graphic Novel “Muhammad Ali”

Dark Horse Comics is set to release Muhammad Ali, the story of an icon in a graphic novel from writer Sybille Titeux and artist Amazing Ameziane.

Published for the first time in English, this critically acclaimed French graphic novel celebrates the life of the glorious athlete who metamorphosed from the young boxer Cassius Clay to the legendary three-time heavyweight champion, activist, and provocateur Muhammad Ali, and focuses on key figures in the civil rights movement.

Cassius Clay is a kid who rushes into boxing by chance after his bike is stolen. His talent for the sport is proven when he wins an Olympic gold medal. The world heavyweight champion never takes a hit without fighting back. Clay becomes Muhammad Ali, a Civil rights activist, contemporary of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century.

Not only a titan in the world of sports but in the world itself, he dared to be different and to challenge and defy through his refusal to be drafted to fight in Vietnam, his rejection of his “slave” name, and ultimately his final fight with his body itself through a thirty-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Witness what made Ali different, what made him cool, what made him the Greatest.

Muhammad Ali debuts on October 26, 2016.

Dark Horse to Publish Original Graphic Novel “Muhammad Ali” 1

Preview: Love Addict: Confessions of a Serial Dater

Love Addict: Confessions of a Serial Dater

Koren Shadmi (w & a & c)

LONELY? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT. Reeling after a breakup, young animator “K”

is pushed by a friend to join the popular dating site Lovebug. His journey begins as a search for true love, but soon awakens a relentless craving for novelty and sexual conquest.

With the touch of a button, K embarks on a dating spree, browsing a digital marketplace of the flesh. Who can stop when Lovebug offers an endless stream of prospective mates, sorted by algorithms and stored on a distant server, ready on demand like TV episodes or Chinese takeout? And in the face of this addiction, can K hold on to his friends, his job, or even his humanity?

The acclaimed author of In the Flesh and The Abaddon presents an evocative tale of modern love… in a world where even full bars can lead to a bad connection.

TPB • FC • $24.99 • 232 pages • 6.25” x 9” • ISBN: 978-1-60309-393-4

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Preview: The Adventures of Dieter Lumpen

The Adventures of Dieter Lumpen

Jorge Zentner (w) • Ruben Pellejero (a & c)

The first English translation of the entire Adventures of Dieter Lumpen series, the most famous work of the Angoulême award-winning team of Jorge Zentner and Rubén Pellejero!

Dieter Lumpen is a man of the world, an adventurer who wants no part of adventure. Nonetheless, he is swept along to exotic locations from Turkey to the Caribbean, from China to Venice. He is not quite so hard-boiled as the typical adventure hero. As written by Zentner, Dieter’s irony is gentler, more subtle, more reflective, and more tongue-in-cheek than hard or bitter. Pellejero is quite simply one of Europe’s top comics artists, who was chosen for the plum job to illustrate the new adventures of Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese. Dieter Lumpen began in 1981 and continued until 1994.

This definitive omnibus collects all eight short stories and the three graphic novels with a foreword by Tim Sale.

TPB • FC • $49.99 • 264 pages • 8.5” x 11” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-606-5

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