Tag Archives: graphic novels

Yen Press and JY to Release Two New Disney Titles Kingdom Hearts III and Wizards of Mickey

Yen Press and JY announced the acquisition of two series featuring iconic Disney characters – Kingdom Hearts III (manga) and Wizards of Mickey. Kingdom Hearts III (manga) will be published under the Yen Press imprint and Wizards of Mickey will be published under JY, the Yen Press imprint for middle-grade readers.

Kingdom Hearts III (manga)

Created by Tetsuya Nomura
Art by Shiro Amano

A manga retelling of Kingdom Hearts III, the latest in the iconic franchise and one of the best-selling video game releases of 2019.

As the one chosen by the Keyblade, Sora travels once again with his friends Donald and Goofy in order to reclaim his lost power!

Released in early 2019 after more than a decade since Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts III was one of the most anticipated video games in history. Kingdom Hearts III (manga) is drawn by Shiro Amano, the fan-favorite artist who worked on all previous Kingdom Hearts manga.

Kingdom Hearts III (manga)

Wizards of Mickey

Story by Stefano Ambrosio
Art by Lorenzo Pastrovicchio

A beautiful full-color graphic novel series featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy in a fantasy setting—an original story about Mickey’s pursuit of magical artifacts and greatness as a wizard.

Originally published in Italy in Topolino, a digest magazine which included Disney comics, Wizards of Mickey is a fun, adventurous fantasy that has been published worldwide in several languages and adapted into a video game and trading card game. JY is thrilled to publish these exciting graphic novels, introducing young readers to a fresh take on the world’s most iconic and beloved Disney characters!

Wizards of Mickey

Kingdom Hearts III, Vol. 1 (manga) and Wizards of Mickey, Vol. 1 are scheduled for a November 2020 release.

Preview: Fence: Rivals

Fence: Rivals

(W) C.S. Pacat (A/CA) Johanna the Mad
In Shops: Jul 15, 2020
SRP: $14.99

The GLAAD Award nominated series

Fence returns as a graphic novel series as best-selling novelist C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince) and popular online sensation Johanna The Mad present the next all-new thrilling chapter of the Kings Row fencing team!

Just as Nicholas, Seiji and the fencing team at the prodigious Kings Row private school seem to be coming together, a deadly rival from their past stands in their way once more. MacRobertson is the school that knocked Kings Row out of the State Championships last year – but unless Nicholas and Seiji can learn to work together as a team, their school is doomed once again! And maybe those two can learn to be something more than teammates too…

Fence: Rivals

Preview: A Thief Among the Trees: An Ember in Ashes Graphic Novel

A Thief Among the Trees: An Ember in Ashes Graphic Novel Vol. 1

(W) Sabaa Tahir, Nicole Andelfinger (A/CA) Sonia Liao
In Shops: Jul 15, 2020
SRP: $19.99

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir joins writer Nicole Andelfinger and artist Sonia Liao for an all-new original graphic novel revealing a stirring standalone chapter in the bestselling? An Ember in the Ashes book series. Elias, Helene, and Tavi are Fivers; in training to become elite military recruits for the Martial Empire at Blackcliff Academy. When they’re sent on a dangerous mission to steal a heavily-guarded poison on Isle South, they soon find themselves up against surprising enemies-including other recruits. As the true horror of their assignment is revealed, these three will begin to confront the harrowing realities of Martial rule, their place in the system…and the choices they must make to survive.

A Thief Among the Trees: An Ember in Ashes Graphic Novel Vol. 1

Preview: It’s Your Funeral

It’s Your Funeral

WRITER: Emily Riesbeck 
Ellen Kramer, Matt Krotzer
TRIM: 6 x 9
GENRE: Paranormal / Humorous / Depression
SRP: $15
FORMAT: Trade Paperback
PUB DATE: July 21, 2020
ISBN #: 9781945820526

When we first meet our hero, Marnie, she has just departed this plane of existence, but she’s not too broken up about it; her struggles with misery in life were getting too exhausting. Her first stop is the Department of Spectral Affairs, a bureaucratic nightmare of office politics and terrible filing systems in the Great Beyond, staffed with case workers who help spirits stop lingering on Earth. But Marnie’s case worker, Xel, can’t find any deep connections or unfinished business left behind by Marnie, so she can’t diagnose the closure she needs to pass on. And that’s when she hits upon a brilliant idea: hire Marnie instead! 

The touching and hilarious cases that follow showcase a broad spectrum of humanity, the ties that bind, and the many complicated things that can keep us mired in place instead of evolving. Along the way we follow Marnie through her own dawning mental health awareness. When she first comes to the DSA she expects them to fuss over and then abandon her just like everyone had in life, but Xel isn’t giving up so easy. Marnie’s slow journey towards being accepted (and accepting that) is just as sweet and life affirming as it sounds. As interdimensional co-worker V’qttyr says at a key moment, “Look at us! We’re a hot mess, but at least we still try every day.”

It’s Your Funeral

Grateful Dead: Origins is Being Released August 4 for Jerry Week 2020

Grateful Dead Origins

In 2019, Z2 Comics entered into its largest partnership to date chronicling the history of the iconic Grateful Dead. Grateful Dead Origins takes an in-depth and personal look at the formation of one of the most important American rock bands of all time, exploring the early days of Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Pigpen, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart. The story of the band’s transformation from a bar band performing as the Warlocks to becoming the creators of their own sound and forefathers for the jamband culture is depicted in the original story written by Chris Miskiewicz and illustrated by Noah Van Sciver. The team behind the book will appear on the publisher’s Comic-Con @Home panel on July 23 at 3pm PST, via the official Comic-Con YouTube channel!

Grateful Dead Origins will be available in a strictly limited collector’s deluxe edition to be released on August 4. The standard softcover edition will feature an exclusive download of rare selections from the early years of the band. The limited-run collector’s deluxe edition will come in a hardcover, oversized, individually-numbered coffee table edition featuring exclusive prints and autographed by the comic creators, along with an exclusive vinyl LP of an unreleased recording from an August 1968 performance at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. The deluxe edition is available for pre-order. Pre-orders are now available for all configurations of Grateful Dead Origins to in time for this year’s celebration of Jerry Garcia.

This previously unreleased show includes the first known West Coast live rendition of “St. Stephen,” and the first known performance of its “William Tell Bridge,” which would join “St. Stephen” to “The Eleven.” The show was recorded to 8-track analog tape, and was mastered by Grammy-winning engineer David Glasser at Airshow Mastering in Boulder, CO.

Marvel and Scholastic are Launching Original Graphic Novels for Young Readers

Miles Morales: Shock Waves

Marvel and Scholastic have announced a multi-year Original Graphic Novel program featuring some of Marvel’s most iconic Super Heroes including Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, Shuri, and more! These new stories will launch as part of Scholastic’s Graphix Media line, building from the success of Marvel and Scholastic’s prose collaboration program that kicked off earlier this year.

Next spring, Marvel and Scholastic’s new OGNs will make their debut with Miles Morales: Shock Waves, written by bestselling author Justin A. Reynolds with art by Eisner Award-nominated artist Pablo Leon! Following one of Marvel’s most popular characters, Miles Morales: Shock Waves will introduce readers to a riveting new story that will thrill both new and well-versed comics readers alike.

In Miles Morales: Shock Waves, Miles Morales is a normal school kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man. After a disastrous earthquake strikes his mother’s birthplace of Puerto Rico, Miles springs into action to help set up a fundraiser for the devastated island. But when a new student’s father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles’ fundraiser. Who is behind the disappearance, and how does that relate to Spider-Man?

Following Miles Morales: Shock Waves, Marvel and Scholastic will debut all-new adventures following Kamala Khan, written by rising graphic novel writer Nadia Shammas, and Shuri, written by New York Times bestselling author Roseanne A. Brown! More details on these new OGNs will be released in the coming months.

Earlier this year, the collaboration between Marvel and Scholastic launched to critical acclaim with Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone; soon to be followed by Avengers Assembly: Orientation by popular middle-grade author Preeti Chhibber this August. In addition to releasing new OGNs starting in 2021, Marvel and Scholastic will continue its prose collaboration with new and sequel novels for readers everywhere.

Enter the House of the Devil with El Muerto: Casa Del Diablo on Kickstarter

Discover the world of El Muerto with Javier Hernandez‘s Kickstarter for El Muerto: Casa Del Diablo Preview Edition. With it, you’ll get an early look at the next El Muerto graphic novel with exclusives.

Born on Dia de Los Muertos, Juan Diego de La Muerte finds himself completely unprepared for what he undergoes on his 21st birthday. A fateful car accident sends him to the Aztec Land of the Dead, where he becomes a pawn at the hands of Mictlantecuhtli, the god of death, and the great trickster god Tezcatlipoca! Thus begins the miraculous odyssey of El Muerto the Aztec Zombie!

El Muerto debuted in 1998 and the independent saw a film adaptation in 2007 and now it has launched its first Kickstarter campaign.

Casa Del Diablo has 26 pages completed, drawn and lettered, and they’re being made available in a special preview comic, the first part of the complete graphic novel.

Rewards include a $5 digital edition along your backer’snames on an appreciation page, $10 print copies, and up. Awards include original art and more.

The projects wraps on July 19, 2020 at 9pm ET.

Review: All We Ever Wanted: Stories of a Better World

All We Ever Wanted

When it comes to how the future will look, most creators these days only show us how worse the world can get. This direction may be attributed to the decline of the environment and the primal predilection of man. Things don’t exactly look all that great for us. The stories usually involves zombies like The Walking Dead or the widening of the gap between the poor and rich like The Hunger Games. Rarely do they involve utopias as dystopias create the more interesting conflicts that drives our entertainment.

The thing is there was a time and place where we looked to the stars and though of the possibilities. This is why Back to The Future II was one of the most indelible movies of 1980s and probably most talked about out of that franchise. It gave us hope of what the world could be. Utopias for some reason seem out of reach to the modern imagination. In the latest anthology form A Wave Blue World, All We Ever Wanted, we get several different visions of life in the future where life can be better.

In “The Pilot,” a pilot controls a ship her VR glasses only to encounter an alien queen and her earthbound ally. In “The Weight of Time,” one scientist uses time travel to try and wipe out anti LGBTQ backlash but instead realizes the problem is actually ahead. In “Una,” an alien wins the hearts and minds of the citizens she protects, eventually becoming a citizen because of it. In “Seventeen Souls,” one hero risks it all to save one girl from certain death. In “It Looked like Our Dreams,” two siblings wonder about a future where humanity does save itself. In “Gaea,” mother nature and technology defeat an alien invader in which one protagonist uses to her advantage.  In “Bombs Away,” a world is imagined where violence no longer leads to advantages or problem solving but unity as it was always intended.  In “And The Rest Was Magic,” one woman finds out how it is when one doesn’t buy into the propaganda of a dire future. In “Everything I Own,” one self-admitted pariah slowly builds a community around herself while at the same time, evolving. In “The Inventor’s Daughter,” one woman reunites with her mother after death and returns her to the essence. In “Blackstar,” one man helps people see their future for a cost. In “Life’s A Devil’s Bargain,” one woman shows how hate is more of a choice than one realizes. In “Chat Room,” one awkward girl finds solace with a friend that met online. In “Can you See it Now,” one couple finds out an evil corporation is behind a friend’s death. In “Just Like Heaven,” one young man’s defiance leads to him finding out the secret to the utopia he is living in. In “Alternica,” a man wakes up from being frozen to a world where money doesn’t exist. In “Owning Up To The Past,” one man admits to his daughter, the unjust violence he committed. In “Good Time,” one man’s wish is to see his daughter years after he is released from jail. In “Day At The Park,” a young girl teaches a robot how to fly a kite. In “Choice,” one man designed a robot to have the power of free will, to only regret his decision immediately. In “Seeds,” the grim reaper reminds a retired superhero that there is more to life than regrets.  In “Two Left Feet,” two thieves steal for the love of dance.

Overall, the anthology is an excellent collection of stories that shows that the future can be bright and we all should wear shades. The stories are as diverse and extraordinary as each contributor showing off a wide range of voices and visions. The art by each creator is magnetic, alluring, and vivid. Altogether, the world needs more visions of utopias and this book more than proves it.

Story: Matt Miner, Eric Palicki, Tyler Chin- Tanner, Lucia Fasano, Tess Fowler, Eliot Rahal, Jason Copland, Jennie Wood, Vasilis Pozios, Chris Visions, Lela Gwenn, Alex Paknadel, Chris Peterson, Alisa Kwitney, Mauricet, Josh Gorfain, Matt Lejuene, Howard Mackie, Dean Trippe, Justin Zimmerman, Wendy Chin-Tanner, Toby Cypress, Paul Allor, Jarrett Melendez, Taylor Hoffman, Jonathan Brandon Sawyer, Rich Douek, James Maddox, Gavin Smith, Nadia Shammas, Erik Burnham, Kay Honda, Maria Frohlich
Art: Dean Trippe, Danica Brine, Chris Peterson, Robbi Rodriguez, Michael Wiggam, Maria Frohlich, David Stoll, Ryan Lee, Juan Romera, Tony Gregori, Tess Fowler, Chris Visions, Ethan Claunch, Jude Vigants,  K.R.Whalen, Matt Horak, Jeff McComsey,  Gavin Smith, Ryan Cody, Liana Kangas, Anthony Marques, Jason Copland, Eryk Donovan, Micah Meyers, Josh Jensen, Nick Wentland, Taylor Esposito, Matt Krotzer, Zakk Saam
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

A Wave Blue World provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle

Review: Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, Moonage Daydreams

Michael Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred’s graphic biography Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams is a love letter to musical legend and bisexual chameleon, David Bowie. The book mainly focuses on his Ziggy Stardust period with the Allreds beautifully illustrating a montage of live shows as Bowie’s creation and the Spiders from Mars come to vivid life in Europe, North America, and Asia. Horton and Allred use the Spiders’ final gig at London’s Hammersmith Odeon as a framing narrative. Because Bowie had a six-decade recording career, this narrative strategy is effective and also turns the comic into a history of a certain period of pop music when peace beads and flower headdresses were replaced with elaborate makeup, big guitars, and all things glam.

Although the ever-shifting image of David Bowie himself is always at the center of Bowie, Horton and Allred tell their story in what is basically a series of montages. There will be a beautiful dream sequence with a trippy color palette from Laura Allred that visually shows the inspiration of hit songs like “Space Oddity”, “Life on Mars”, or “Rock n Roll Suicide” to name a few, and then we’ll get a list of various celebrities at a Ziggy Stardust show or a check-in on what’s happening with his contemporaries like T. Rex’s Marc Bolan or Lou Reed.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

For the most part, Horton uses minimal captions and lets Mike Allred’s art and Laura Allred’s tell the story. But when the comic calls for it, he can inject moments of humor like Bowie’s reaction to his son Zowie (Now director Duncan Jones) destroying his record collection or poignancy when Bowie reflects on his family’s history of mental illness or begins to articulate the idea of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars to his band. Horton and Allred draw parallels between both Ziggy and Bowie’s hubris as he turns a blind eye when his corrupt lawyer is paying long term band members three times less than relatively new keyboard player, Mike Garson. Although they’re iconic images, there is an air of ego to Bowie’s famous Aladdin Sane photo shoot with Allred’s use of negative space crowding the Spiders from Mars out of the frame even though guitarist Mick Ronson was a vital part of his music and helped keep him focus when he was too busy flirting with his lover-turned-wife, Angie.

However, what will stay with me most from Bowie are the Allreds’ ability to capture the energy of live music while still doing spot-on likenesses of historical figures performing. When Mick Ronson and Bowie harmonize on “Starman” or (controversially) embrace on a Top of the Pops performance, there is a camaraderie and almost sexual chemistry between the two men that makes the later “breakup” scene emotionally resonant. Although Allred mainly puts Bowie at the center of the frame, he makes sure to cut to the audience and their hands as they are inspired and reaffirmed that it’s okay to be a little strange or non-heterosexual by this benevolent, iconic alien before them. The Allreds add some flourishes like Kirby Krackle every time Bowie does something that is especially extraterrestrial like floating in space in an early film that was a companion to “Space Oddity”.

Underneath the heavily researched and striking fashions and celebrity cameos, Bowie is about creating an identity out of the things one is passionate about. For example, Bowie and his band mates saw A Clockwork Orange when it was first release, and it immediately impacted the costuming, visual design, and even the intro of the Ziggy Stardust live show. Basically, he was a huge nerd for pop and folk music, high fashion, literature, and film, and it shown out in both his art and the way he approached the world. Bowie is filled with moments where Horton and Allred (And by extension, David Bowie) respects their fellow artists like a full page splash homage to Bob Dylan and Elvis, bringing up Lou Reed on stage, running around Detroit with Iggy Pop, and inspiring the young Morrissey and Bruce Springsteen during his concerts. It shows that art can lead to friendship, lifelong influences, and sometimes tragedy like the aforementioned tension between Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, and Moonage Daydreams is a highly stylized, yet infinitely human look at an important period in David Bowie’s career from Mike Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred. The graphic biography captures the feeling of the music of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane through dreamlike visuals as well as adding historical context to these songs and albums and personal anecdotes that add both vulnerable and mystique to Bowie’s story. Its epilogue also kind of made me want a sequel featuring the Thin White Duke and some of Bowie’s later personas. This book truly feels like a passion project and transported me to a bittersweet day six years when a closeted, sad teenager listened to the CD of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stars and the Spiders from Mars and felt “not alone”. It’s a must read for any Bowie fan, especially those who love his early-1970s work the best.

Story: Steve Horton and Michael Allred
Art: Michael Allred Colors: Laura Allred
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Insight Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Amazon (Regular Edition)Zeus Comics

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