DC has announced that Teen Titans: Raven, the fan-favorite young adult graphic novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia and popular Instagram artist Gabriel Picolo, will go back to press for a third printing.
Originally released on July 2, the book will go to print for the third time following high demand from readers and rave reviews from critics! Garcia and Picolo recently wrapped a 5-city book tour that ended at San Diego Comic-Con, selling out of copies in multiple locations.
Teen Titans: Raven is the debut graphic novel from Garcia and Picolo, and the first installment of a multi-part series that follows the coming-of-age journey of 17-year-old Rachel Roth. When a tragic accident takes the life of her foster mom—and Raven’s memory—she moves to New Orleans to live with her foster mother’s family. Raven remembers how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can’t remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. Her past and present begin to collide when more strange things happen during her final year of high school.
Garcia and Picolo are continuing their Teen Titans adventures as they work on the second installment in the series: Teen Titans: Beast Boy, set for release in Summer 2020. Fans can find a sneak peek of the forthcoming release in Teen Titans: Raven. Readers can find Teen Titans: Raven in their local comic stores, traditional booksellers, and on digital book platforms.
Image Comics has announced an original graphic novel, Bog Bodies, by writer Declan Shalvey, artist Gavin Fullerton, colorist Rebecca Nalty, letterer Clayton Cowles, and editor Heather Antos coming to Image Comics in March 2020.
A cold, poignant story of crime, survival, and regret, Bog Bodies follows an Irish gangster on the run after a job gone wrong who encounters a young woman lost in the Dublin mountains. Injured and unarmed, the unlikely pair must try to evade their pursuers and survive the desolate bog that has served as burial grounds for unspeakable murder throughout history.
Bog Bodies original graphic novel (ISBN: 978-1-5343-1330-9) will hit comic book shops on Wednesday, March 4 and bookstores on Tuesday, March 10.
One of my favorite genre mashups is Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It’s a movie that still holds up despite its age. The movie revolved around a washed-up detective who now works as a private eye, played luminously by the late great Bob Hoskins. As a major figure of the cartoon town that borders the town where he works passes away, a cartoon idol, Roger Rabbit, gets framed for his murder.
The movie took everything everyone loved about the Crime Noir genre and mashed it up with the all ages cartoon feature. Essentially, taking the flair of Robert Towne’s Chinatown and the subversive humor of Monsters Inc. Frank N. Stein, Private Eye is another genre mashup in the spirit of that iconic film, but this time with monsters.
We are taken to Monstertown, where Frank N. Stein, the local private eye, whose ex-wife has been a nightmare at the very least to him, as she has been more than unfaithful when they were married. In “Alife in The Night,”, we the dissolution of his marriage and how his line of work can be dangerous for all the reasons no one can see. In “A Strange Visitor,” an alien toddler crash lands into Monstertown, where a human helps take custody. In “A Red-Hot Mess,” Little Red Riding Hood hires Frank to find out who chopped up her grandmother, only to find out who killed her, was not the person everyone thought it was in the first place. In “Riverdale Jumpstreet,” we see frank going undercover in Archie’s Riverdale, where he finds out that Reggie has been behind all the hijinks happening Archie’s friends. In the last story, we get “The Sailor Man,” where Frank finds a nasty love triangle between Popeye, Olive Oil and Pluto.
Overall, the comic is a fun if not cheeky set of stories that aims to both honor and poke fun at all these classic storybook legends. The stories by Keith Champagne are funny and engaging. The art by Dev Madan is diverse and vivid. Altogether, a great collection of stories that will entertain readers and remind them of how amusing mashups can be.
Story: Keith Champagne Art: Dev Madan Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
The world is filled with people not on the winning side of history. Howard Zinn’s books are filled with many of these histories of the unjust thriving and the beleaguered masses suffering. What happens when those downtrodden fight back and get that “sweet revenge”? In the second issue of Blackjack, our hero begins his trail of retribution but not without cost.
We find Arron as he stares death in the eyes with a Bengali Tiger looking to end his life, but he narrowly escapes, as his learned skills, has given him a few tricks and a few old friends come to help. As he ruminates on his next moves, he reminisces on his time in Cairo as a child and what brought his family there in the first place. While he and Maryam recuperate, he’s approached by a local entrepreneur about a warlord who is hurting his business and would like Arron’s helps in neutralizing this threat.
Overall, an exciting continuation of this mercenary’s tale. The story by Alex Simmons is well told and well characterized. The art by Joe Bennett is stunning. Altogether, a series that gets better with each issue.
Story: Alex Simmons Art: Joe Bennett Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy
On September 3, the newest young adult graphic novel from DC’s Books for Young Readers Collection, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, will be available in comic and book stores nationwide.
To promote its release, DC has launched its trailer, giving fans a sneak peek of Harleen Quinzel and her family as they attempt to take down the Kane corporation. With themes around found family, gentrification and justice, the high-anticipated title is penned by Eisner Award and Caldecott Honor-winning author Mariko Tamaki and Eisner Award-nominated artist Steve Pugh.
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is a coming-of-age story about choices, consequences, fairness, and progress and how a weird kid from Gotham’s poorest part of town goes about defining her world for herself. Harleen is a tough, outspoken, rebellious kid who lives in a ramshackle apartment above a karaoke cabaret owned by a drag queen named Mama. When the cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harleen is faced with two choices: join high school friend Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.
To celebrate the upcoming launch, Tamaki will host signings in various cities, including the recently announced San Francisco book signing event at Dr. Comics & Mr. Games on August 31. The fan-favorite writer is also scheduled to attend New York Comic-Con in October.
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is available to preorder now and will hit stores everywhere books are sold on September 3, 2019.
Dreamers of the Day, the self-published graphic novel from cartoonist Beth Barnett (Hallo Spaceboy) is a strange, yet beautiful beast. It’s one part travelogue/diary comic, another part a teaser trailer for her upcoming trilogy of graphic biographies of T.E. Lawrence, and another part a look into how archival research is conducted with a focus on emotions rather than technicalities. The comic is about Barnett’s solo research trip to Oxford to learn more about T.E. Lawrence for an upcoming graphic novel and also does an excellent job of sketching the points of his life and work that she is most interested in. (Throughout this review, I will be calling the protagonist of the comic, Beth, and its creator, Barnett.)
Dreamers of the Day is a comic powered by emotion and enthusiasm, and you can see it in the heart eyes, stars, and smiles every time that Beth finds something cool about T.E. Lawrence or finds something helpful for her research. Barnett also does a good job of setting up Lawrence’s importance to history, and that he was a polymath with interests ranging from Crusader castles and nation-building to motorcycles and book design. I learned a lot about the Middle East during and after World War I from this comic like how Lawrence wanted to help establish an Arab country called the Kingdom of Hejaz, but was co-opted by French and British imperialism and later the Sauds, who annexed Saudi Arabia. Barnett does an excellent job of connecting centuries-old history to contemporary times by connecting the Sauds’ actions to Saudi Arabian human rights violations as well as her frank and beautiful discussions of Lawrence’s possible asexuality.
The art of Dreamers of the Day is rendered in an approachable way veering towards the iconic side of Scott McCloud’s picture plane. Barnett draws her figures like Herge, and it fits the tone of the story as Beth runs from college/library/museum to college/library/museum and follows Lawrence’s exploits from his college and childhood days in Oxford to his travels around the world, especially the archaeological dig in Carchemish, Syria. A recurring theme in the comic (Especially in the early going.) is Beth getting lost and being afraid about being late to various things like a lecture or archives consultation. These panels make the comic relatable and give it nervous energy towards the beginning. Barnett balances these scenes of extreme passion with drawings of flowers that are a reminder of Lawrence’s interest in design, beauty, and Islamic art and are the spoonful of sugar that make the exposition go down.
Even though she uses simple, vivid images, Oxford and its confusing geography and lack of modern signage become almost a character in the comic. I especially love the heavy inking that Barnett uses after a page of normal, boring English countryside becomes Gothic architecture, windows, and genuine bastion of learning. The early days that Beth spends in Oxford are some of my favorite parts of the comic with plenty of positive reaction shots, especially when she has to take an oath to protect the famous Bodleian Library before she does research there. Beth (and Barnett’s) passion for her topic of study is infectious, and there are many parallels between her and Lawrence, who was a lifelong learner and even started bringing artifacts to Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum as a young boy.
Barnett uses these heavy blacks any time there’s a big point she wants to drive home or is feeling especially emotional in Dreamers of the Day. For example, all the windows in TE Lawrence’s childhood home are black, not just because it’s an empty old house, but because of his sad childhood where his mother and father took him and his brothers from town to town so people would forget that they were illegitimate.
Barnett also does a lovely trick of white text on a black background for a few scenes like ones pertaining to Lawrence’s death, the death of his best friend in Carchemish, and the aforementioned Saudi Arabian human rights violations. These could have been prevented if Lawrence and the Kingdom of Hejaz is succeeded, but Barnett doesn’t spend much time on hypotheticals instead talking about how much she has to learn about the world around her and how things work.
Dreamers of the Day is an enjoyable and educational read from Beth Barnett, who by inserting herself and her own enthusiasm in the narrative as well as using a minimalist, yet heavy on the emotions art style, makes the life and work of TE Lawrence accessible and inspiring in 2019.
As a fan of alternate worlds and alternate history, it’s always refreshing to come across something brand new. I remember the first time I read Man In The High Castle, Philip K. Dick’s magnum opus and ultimately a masterclass in an alternate history. The television show revealed to the world just how well he developed characters and how exquisite his worldbuilding was.
Which is why when I heard Amazon was adapting Garth Ennis’s The Boys, I knew that their deft hand at adapting work would be greatly utilized. It took the humor of The Incredibles, with the dark heart of Watchmen, and fused it with the evils of corporate America to craft a sharp and twisted story. In the first collected volume of Gun, we find a world where there are superheroes and the villains who look to make the world theirs.
Welcome to the world of Gun, where superheroes are called capes and villains are called guns like our protagonist, Trevor Werner. We find out that his boss, and the man who thought him everything about this world, Captain Bedlam, is the man responsible for making him ruthless. We’re taken to present day where Trevor, aka Captain Vertigo, is looking to get out of the life by attending Villainon meetings. He eventually becomes part of a heist to steal from a local pawn shop, but when a “cape” gets knocked unconscious, Trevor and his crew plot to exploit the situation. They put the hero up for bid to the wealthiest of supervillains, to be bought and tortured. Trevor and his crew are double-crossed and a call goes out to the superheroes about what they’ve done which forces them to go on the run.
Overall, a suspenseful mile a minute comic that’ll draw readers in with its grit and style but will get them to appreciate the execution. The story by Jack Foster is engaging, smart and well characterized. The art by Foster is captivating. Altogether, a story, a world, and characters, that pierces the reader’s minds in such a satisfying way.
Story: Jack Foster Art: Jack Foster Story: 9.7 Art: 9. 5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy
Publisher: Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios Writer: David Jesus Vignolli Artist: David Jesus Vignolli Colorists: Leela and David Jesus Vignolli Cover Artist: David Jesus Vignolli Price: $29.99
New World weaves the stories of three characters from unique backgrounds—an indigenous warrior seeking revenge against those who invaded her land, an African musician fighting for freedom against those who enslaved him, and a Portuguese sailor in search of redemption—who come together on a heroic quest to free the world from an encroaching darkness.
Written and illustrated by David Jesus Vignolli (A Girl in the Himalayas), New World intertwines the cultures of his personal heritage to explore the European discovery of the Americas with a vibrant blend of fantasy and history.
Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios Writers: Charles M. Schulz, Vicki Scott, Shane Houghton, Jeff Dyer Artists: Charles M. Schulz, Bob Scott, Vicki Scott, Paige Braddock, Matt Whitlock, Mike DeCarlo, Scott Jeralds, Justin Thompson, Robert Pope, Colorists: Whitney Cogar, Nina Taylor Kester, Lisa Moore, Alexis E. Fajardo Letterers: Donna Almendrala, Alexis E. Fajardo, Steve Wands Cover Artist: Charles M. Schulz Price: $14.99
Linus Van Pelt. The benevolent, blanket-clutching philosopher always has a kind word for everybody, especially his best friend, Charlie Brown, and even for his bossy older sister, Lucy.
This hardcover collection includes stories from across all eras of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts, so grab your favorite blanket, and get ready to share some laughs as you await the Great Pumpkin!
Publisher: KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios Writer: Kiernan Sjursen-Lien Artist: Shadia Amin Colorist: Lesley Atlansky Letterer: Mike Fiorentino Cover Artist: Alessandra Patané Price: $14.99
A big ol’ storm has set its sights on Elmore but the Watterson family isn’t going to let some bad weather spoil their day, at least not until everything starts going wrong! After a power outage forces Gumball and Darwin to figure out how to have fun without video games—not an easy task—Richard leads a catastrophic attempt to fix a leak in the ceiling so one measly puddle will cease driving his household absolutely crazy. It’s one calamity after the other as the Watterson’s try and make it to bluer skies!
It’s is a downpour of good-hearted humor and fun from writer Kiernan Sjursen-Lien (Over the Garden Wall™) and artist Shadia Amin!