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Review: Kahlil #11

There’s always that part in every superhero’s story where someone either finds out who they are or comes close to doing so. The number of times the Joker came close to finding out who Batman really is, are too numerous to count. There’s always the example of Superman’s identity being hidden by a pair of glasses. There’s an ambivalence of the story and lack of believability that readers today will see through almost immediately.

The most prominent example that readers and popular culture fanatics alike, usually point to, is the relationship between Superman and Lex Luthor. As the bond between these archetypes is often used to as an example to describe problematic relationships and is probably the most realistic of all the relationships within the DC comics universe. They show a real relationship where sometimes your friend can be your worst enemy and sometimes can be the exact opposite as in All-Star Superman. In the 11th issue of Kahlil, our hero finally meets someone who looks to rival him.

In the first few pages, we meet a mysterious figure, Bhai, who is well connected, and is experimenting on animals to create the perfect being. As his plans are bigger than anything anyone in Pakistan, as he gets with some shadowy characters to unleash his plan. We also catch up with Maryam, as she is trying to understand more about Kahlil, by having dinner with his family. BY issue’s end, as Kahlil and Maryam are about to have a family dinner, a monsoon hits the city.

Overall, this is the issue where we meet the classic villain, one both enigmatic and alluring. The story by Kumail Rizvi is action packed, intelligent, and at times funny. The art by Rizvi is beautiful and rich. Altogether, a landmark entry in this superbly told superhero tale.

Story: Kumail Rizvi Art: Kumail Rizvi
Story: 9.7 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

SDCC – First Second Books

Official Press Release

First Second: Awards, Authors & Programs at San Diego Comic-Con

First Second, the book industry’s premier publisher of graphic novels, is excited to announce our spectacular line-up for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

In Brief:

–          Eisner Awards: we’re up for four of them!

–          Authors: we’ve got them!  Including Eisner Nominated Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Prime Baby, Level Up) and debut author Vera Brosgol (Anya’s Ghost).

–          Programs: interested in non-fiction, teens, schools, or libraries?  Read on for more.

–          2011 is First Second’s Fifth Anniversary.  We’re excited about this milestone event.

First Second graphic novels are up for FOUR Eisner Award this year.

The Unsinkable Walker Bean, by Aaron Renier – an ABA Independent Bookstore Bestseller!

  • “Everything you want from a rip-roaring adventure: Exciting, deep, funny, and scary, with tremendous villains and valor galore.” — Booklist

Prime Baby, by Gene Luen Yang

  • “Delightful.” – BoingBoing

Zahra’s Paradise, by Amir and Khalil

  • “A heartbreaking story . . . not just about tyranny, loss, and grief, but a celebration of the will to live.” – Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

And Hilary Sycamore, First Second’s colorist, receives a nomination for her work on the First Second titles City of Spies, Resistance, Booth, Brain Camp, and Solomon’s Thieves.

Interested in authors?  Some of First Second’s best will be at this year’s SDCC.

Leland Myrick: Myrick’s first graphic novel, Missouri Boy, was a Booklist Best of the Year.  Also a contributor to the Flight anthology series, he follows this up with a new graphic nonfiction work, a biography of Richard Feynman.  Feynman will be in stores in August; get an advance look at this stunning new work at the San Diego Comic-Con.

  • Signing: Thursday, 4:30; First Second Booth 1323

Dave Roman: New York Times-Bestselling author Dave Roman presents his first work as author/illustrator, Astronaut AcademyABC’s Good Morning Connecticut calls it “hysterical.” And Comic Book Resources says, “Astronaut Academy is wonderful, and you should read it.”

  • Signing: Friday, 11:00; First Second Booth 1323
  • Signing: Saturday, 2:00; Autographing Area 2
  • Signing: Sunday, 11:30; First Second Booth 1323

Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham: Two-time Eisner Award Winner, Printz Award winner, and National Book Award Honor recipient Gene Luen Yang returns to San Diego for his third Eisner nomination and with a new book (with art by Thien Pham): Level UpWired calls this entry in the Tiger Mother debate, “A fascinating look into the tension between parents with high (and rigid) expectations and kids who have their own ideas about how to live.”

  • Signing: Friday, 3:00; First Second Booth 1323
  • Signing: Saturday, 2:00; Autographing Area 2
  • Signing: Sunday, 2:00; First Second Booth 1323

Vera Brosgol: Brosgol’s debut graphic novel, Anya’s Ghost, has been getting rave reviews from around the industry – from Neil Gaiman’s declaration: “A masterpiece,” to The New York Times: “Remarkable. . . . with an attitude and aptitude reminiscent of Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), Brosgol has created a smart, funny and compassionate portrait of someone who, for all her sulking and sneering, is the kind of daughter many parents would like to have. And the kind of girl many of us maybe once were.”  Anya’s Ghost is an Amazon Best of the Year graphic novel, the only teen graphic novel to be so recognized.

  • Signing: Friday, 2:00; First Second Booth 1323
  • Signing: Saturday, 2:00; Autographing Area 2
  • Signing: Sunday, 3:00; First Second Booth 1323

First Second is sponsoring the following programs at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

THURSDAY 3:30 – 4:30 True StoriesChester Brown (Paying For It), Tom Devlin (Art Director of D&Q), Peter Kuper (Stop Forgetting to Remember), Leland Myrick (Feynman), and Thomas LeBien (Publisher of Hill & Wang’s Novel Graphics line) discuss the ins and outs of non-fiction graphic novel stories.  What are the lines between truth and fiction when images are involved in a story? Room 26AB

THURSDAY 4:30 – 5:30 Comics for Teens – Teen comics creators Cecil Castelluci (Plain Janes), Hope Larson (Mercury), Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole), and Gene Luen Yang (Level Up) come together for a discussion of what make a comic fit a teen audience.  Do books for teens have something special that books for kids and adults don’t have?  Moderated by Scott Westerfeld (New York Times Bestselling Teen Author). Room 26AB

FRIDAY 4:30 – 5:30 Comics in the Library – Librarians Gene Ambaum (Unshelved) Candice Mack (LA Public Library), Mike Pawuk (Cuyahoga County Public Library), and Eva Volin (Alameda Library) come together for a discussion of the place of comics in the library.  Which ones should you buy, where do you shelve them, and how do you convince the people you work with that comics have a real place in the library?  This panel will tell you all this and more.  Moderated by Gina Gagliano (First Second Books). Room 26AB

SATURDAY 5:30 – 6:30 Comics in the Classroom – Teachers Anastasia Betts (UCLA), Christina Blanch (Ball State University), Thien Pham (Bishop O’Dowd High School), and Cheryl Wozniak (San Francisco Public Schools) discuss the place of comics in the classroom.  Moderated by Chris Duffy (Nursery Rhyme Comics). Room 26AB

SUNDAY 10:00 – 11:00 Teen Comics Workshop – Teens!  Join teen comics creators Vera Brosgol (Anya’s Ghost), Thien Pham (Level Up), Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), and Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) for the interactive comics workshop adventure of your lives.  Learn exciting new things about storytelling!  Character development!  Drawing!  And so much more. Room 30CDE

First Second Fifth Anniversary

2011 marks First Second’s fifth anniversary.

Says Newsarama, “It’s hard to believe it’s been half a decade since First Second Books debuted in the spring of 2006, but the calendar doesn’t lie. In those five years, First Second established itself as one of the comic book industry’s most versatile, forward-thinking and critically acclaimed houses in memory.”

With a list that includes National Best-sellers, YALSA Great Graphic Novels, National Book Award Honor titles, Printz Award winners, First Second has been a source for change in the graphic novel industry, inspiring authors, illustrators, and publishers to raise the standards of graphic novel publishing.

First Second publishes such titles as American Born Chinese (Gene Luen Yang), The Photographer (Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefevre), Adventures in Cartooning (James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost), The Fate of the Artist (Eddie Campbell), Robot Dreams (Sara Varon), Laika (Nick Abadzis), and Drawing Words and Writing Pictures (Jessica Abel and Matt Madden).  See more at www.firstsecondbooks.com.

Almost American