Tag Archives: Luke Howard

Oni Press Reveals Their Fall 2019 Lineup!

Sharpen your pencils and grab your notebooks, the Oni Press Fall 2019 lineup is here! We are proud to announce Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to RelationshipsBodies, and Growing Upby Heather Corinna and Isabella Rotman (Limerence Press); Kriss: The Gift of Wrath by Ted Naifeh and Warren WucinichMorning in America by Magdalene Visaggio and Claudia Aguirre; and Unplugged & Unpopular by Mat Heagerty, Tintin Pantoja, and Mike Amante. These awesome original graphic novels will begin release in September 2019, and fit perfectly in any good reader’s backpack!

Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up by Heather Corinna and Isabella Rotman; colored by Luke Howard (Sept. 3rd, Middle Reader)

This Limerence Press title from Scarleteen founder Heather Corinna and sex educator Isabella Rotman is a fun and inclusive comic guide that covers essential topics for preteens and young teens about their changing bodies and feelings.The perfect complement to any school curriculum.

Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up

Kriss: The Gift of Wrath by Ted Naifeh and Warren Wucinich (Sept. 17th, Young Adult)

For fans of The Graveyard Book and Through the Woods comes a different kind of YA fantasy graphic novel, in which a teen boy’s search for his destiny leads him into darkness.

Lean, ghostly pale, and permanently grim-faced, Kriss has always been an outsider in his small village. Not even his adoptive parents love him. Only Anja, the blacksmith’s daughter, brings kindness and friendship into the life of the sullen teenager. But Kriss is haunted by dim memories of his true father, Erikk Iron Tooth, the king of Darkovia.

When Anja’s mother is killed by a wild sabercat from the far north, the young girl’s world is shattered, and Kriss determines to avenge her. Armed with only a pitchfork, the skinny teen sets out to kill the beast, only to learn that it’s actually a dark spirit from Darkovia, come to bring him his destiny. The spirit grants Kriss the power to vanquish the mightiest foes, and commands him to reclaim his father’s kingdom. But his gift of power comes with a price, uncontrollable rage. And leaving the village would mean leaving Anja, the only person who’s always been there for him. Kriss must choose between his destiny and Anja, who needs his friendship more than ever. But his growing power, and the fiery anger that comes with it, threatens to make the choice for him, and burn everything he holds dear.

Kriss: The Gift of Wrath

Morning in America by Magdalene Visaggio and Claudia Aguirre (Oct. 8th, Young Adult)

Created by powerhouse team Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl) and Claudia Aguirre (Kim & Kim), Morning in America follows the Sick Sisters, a group of friends and small-time delinquents who may be the only people standing between their suffocatingly small town and complete apocalyptic destruction. The Sisters know there’s something wrong in Tucker, Ohio—and they also know that the authorities aren’t doing anything about it. When the girls take the investigation into their own hands, they run into wild conspiracy theories, abandoned homes… and something that screeches in the night. At the end of the world, four girls with bikes and baseball bats are there to stand in the way.

Morning in America

Unplugged & Unpopular by Mat Heagerty, Tintin Pantoja, and Mike Amante (Oct. 15th, Middle Reader)

After Erin Song’s parents ban her from using her phone, TV, Internet and all her screens, she soon discovers mysterious, strange creatures and must foil their plot to take over Earth in this hilarious sci-fi graphic novel for tweens. 

Erin Song lives in a digital world. Everyone has a phone, a tablet, a computer—more screens than you can count. Even with a world of information at her fingertips, Erin can’t figure out the secret to popularity at her clique-y junior high school. So when uber-popular Wendy asks for help on a test, Erin jumps at the opportunity. This could be her big break! Unfortunately, she gets caught, and her parents ban her from all her devices. Suddenly, Erin Song is the only girl in the world who’s not allowed to look at a screen.

And that’s when Erin notices something funny: small, furry aliens making humans disappear with a weird device Erin’s never seen before. No one else notices them, though—except Erin’s grandmother and two old men who run the local library. They’ve discovered that the aliens are using screens to control the human race, tricking them into thinking they aren’t really there—and that anyone who’s been abducted never existed. 

Now it’s up to Erin and her grandmother to save the day! But without technology on their side, do they stand a chance?

Unplugged & Unpopular

Review: Our Mother

our_20mother_20cover_20small_originalOur Mother is a comedy about growing up with a parent who has an anxiety disorder. Luke Howard mixes genres to tell an utterly open personal reflection about his childhood and his relationship with his mother. Jumping between noir, giant robots, fantasy adventure, and even scientific animal research, Luke brings a very intimate story to life with humor and cartooning experimentation.

Our Mother begins with what feels like a bunch of sets of short stories, vignettes that don’t have much to do with each other though may share a theme. As the comic progresses, Howard impressively brings everything together in a world of weird, and rather humorous events.

It’s hard to describe the comic as a whole except take the choppy storytelling made famous by Tarantino, but mix that with an experimental tale. Things such as depression, being trapped in a loop, and more are touched upon in the 40 pages. It’s an interesting reflection on relationships that comes together with humor and an honesty that unveils itself as the story progresses.

The art by Howard is great with a style that is hard to describe. It’s so clean and looks great. Howard seems to have a knack at focusing on the details needed per panel framing each scene in a way that enhances the storytelling. What’s interesting is even with the change in genres and settings, it all, the story, the art, seems very personal. Yes, giant robots somehow feel personal.

Retrofit again shows off that they’re a leader of indie comics and continue to impress with each release. This is a publisher that deserves your attention as their releases rarely disappoint and almost always entertain. If you’re new to the world of indie comics, seek out Retrofit and expand your mind and reading pile.

Story: Luke Howard Art: Luke Howard
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Talk Dirty To Me

AD.TALKDIRTY.CVR72ASex is such a weird topic to talk about. Not the “who is doing what with whom” aspect of it, but rather how society approaches topics surrounding sex. Issues of consent, masturbation, sexuality spectrums, sex work, and a whole host of other topics often get left behind, leaving people to struggle with processing it later in life. Sometimes unsuccessfully.

Talk Dirty To Me by Luke Howard is a book about one of those unsuccessful moments, where the views on sex of the main character are tied up in how she’s currently processing her life.

The book follows Emma Barns, a young woman who has moved to a new city from St. Louis with her husband. Not really sure what direction to take her life, Emma ends up applying to work at a phone sex hotline unbeknownst to him. Which leads to a lot of internal thoughts about her relationship with sex and how it plays into the kind of person she is now.

Emma’s story is probably one that will be familiar to a lot of readers of a particular age range, especially women. Discovering pornography through erotic manga and hentai fan art, discouraged from masturbation at a young age without her elders ever explaining what it actually was, her friends in high school encouraging her to perform oral sex on a boy she was interested in only to turn around and call her a slut after she did so, and processing her emotions towards that via over the top fantasy. While the story is nowhere near a one for one of my own, I hadn’t been so affected by a book talking about sex so honestly since reading Sex Criminals for the first time. The scene where Emma imagines talking about her future book about being a phone sex operator to Terry Gross and the gamut of late night hosts was especially relatable.

However, the book isn’t just immersed in Emma’s fantasies and her past, but rather how it all culminates in a cruel reality where Emma’s struggles with sex play directly into her struggles with a future uncertainty. The way Howard writes this compare and contrast is stark and heartbreaking, but again, all too familiar. Instead of being the bold woman who uses being a phone sex operator to come to terms with her sexuality and launch her future, she ends up being on the receiving end of one man’s addiction and breakdown, which causes her to retreat further back into her shell and stay afraid of the risks. It never feels shameful of sex work, but rather how this one particular character realizes that she may not be cut out for it for a myriad of reasons.

Howard’s art for the book walks that border between minimalistic and surreal, with no borders between panels, the linework and color being done only in pinks and blues, and no real designation of when the book trips from reality to fantasy. It feels natural, like a story being relayed back from the person who lived through it, all mushed together that even the fictions seem real and that the thought processes were all spoken aloud. The way Howard uses the pinks and blues to tell the story is especially beautiful and vibrant to the point it can sometimes be easy to forget that there are only two colors involved in the entire story.

Talk Dirty to Me is a story that even with the minimal colors and surreal art feels painfully real. Between the very honest and real way Emma correlates her relationship with sex with how she moves through life and how Howard uses the art to convey that, Talk Dirty to Me is resonant, even with how quickly the book reads.

Story: Luke Howard Art: Luke Howard
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy