Tag Archives: top shelf

Review: Doughnuts and Doom

Doughnuts and Doom

Doughnuts and Doom is a delightful queer romantic comedy with witches, music, mishap, and of course, donuts. It’s a slow-burn storyline from cartoonist Balazs Lorinci about a witch/online potion seller named Margot and a musician/donut store employee named Elena. A mishap at the local donut store brings them together as Margot accidentally curses Elena while feeling a little hangry after failing her spell license test, and like any good rom-com, they keep bumping into each other and become good friends and maybe more. The story explores the pitfalls of relationships and being a young person with good humor and energy complemented by Lorinci’s soft lines and color palette. It also indulges in quite a few romantic comedy tropes like meet cutes, absurd misunderstandings, inability to read signals, and of course, a show-stopping musical number, but the charm of Balazs Lorinci’s art style and the depth that he gives the two leads make it go over like popcorn and facemasks instead of stale bread crumbs.

Another enjoyable thing about Doughnuts and Doom is that Elena and Margot get their own lives and arcs outside of their budding relationship. Lorinci immediately creates empathy for both characters by putting obstacles in their paths. Elena’s band is struggling to find an audience, and she’s burning the candle on both ends trying to create music and also pay the bills by working at the donut shop. This situation is definitely relatable to anyone who has worked multiple jobs or had to balance creative work and the day job, and it’s really rewarding when Margot listens to Elena’s band’s music on and connects to it, honestly, getting a part of her soul handed to her on a platter. Balazs Lorinci writes lyrics for Elena’s band (A two-piece, like the White Stripes, but swap the genders and more mishaps at gigs), and it adds to the comic’s themes of loneliness and finding that special connection in an unexpected place.

As a witch, Margot’s struggles are more rooted in the supernatural as Doughnuts and Doom opens with her failing her spell license test. (Thankfully, she has potions to fall back on especially in the financial department.) Later, in the book, she opens up to Elena about her fear of performing in front of people, and as a person who is deathly afraid of appearing on video, public speaking, and doesn’t listen to their own podcasts, I can definitely relate and smiled big-time at her big, let’s say, shining moment towards the ends of book. Margot’s issues with magic set up much of the plot of Doughnuts and Doom as she accidentally curses the donut Elena eats on her break leading to her get electrocuted at her gig. This sets up another meeting of the two where Margot cooks up a potion to remove the curse, but it ends up being a lot more complicated than that. Margot struggles with something that should be second nature to her, but it isn’t portrayed as a moral failing by Balazs Lorinci even though it’s a huge source of tension throughout and leads to personal troubles and with the powers that be/bureaucrats of the witching world.

Along with lovely character arcs for its two lead characters, Doughnuts and Doom features a unique visual style. I love the crackles of color that Lorinci includes any time something magical or musical happens in the comic, and that extends to the sparks that fly between Elena and Margot. There are also random little things I like about the art like that he draws cute noses and over the top facial expressions that especially work in the misunderstanding era of Elena and Margot’s relationship when Margot kind of came off as a Karen when she wanted a specific kind of donut. (But, honestly, no one’s perfect, and flunking a hard test plus being hungry is not a bad combination.) During the concert sequences, Balazs Lorinci uses wider panels and split screen compositions to show the energy from Elena and her drummer Tyler, and how it ebbs and flows in the crowd, and especially Margot.

All in all, Doughnuts and Doom is an eminently relatable and fiercely queer romantic comedy graphic novel that will warm your heart like the “Hot and Ready” sign at your local donut shop coupled with your favorite track on your “yearning” playlist. (It pairs nicely with “Silk Chiffon” by MUNA, or “Pang” by Caroline Polachek.)

Story/Art: Balazs Lorinci
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

IDW/Top Shelf provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Bend of Luck

Bend of Luck

(W) Peter Hoey (A/CA) Maria Hoey
In Shops: Aug 03, 2022
SRP: $19.99

Imagine a world where Luck, the most ephemeral of ideas, has a physical form. Precious stones of luck, mined like gold, are worn as bringers of fortune. But luck breaks both ways. While the blue gems may grant advantage to those who wear them, their blessing is fickle and unpredictable. In the blink of an eye, good luck can turn to bad. We follow the life of a man who comes into possession of some powerful stones – but the success enjoyed by the father goes awry when he tries to pass this luck onto his son. In alternating scenes between the two generations, The Bend of Luck follows felicity’s course, like an arrow, through a family’s destiny.

Bend of Luck

Radical: My Year With a Socialist Senator– Graphic Novelist Sofia Warren

NY’s 1st Socialist State Senator in 100 years, get’s the graphic novel treatment in Sofia Warren‘s new graphic memoir — Radical: My Year With a Socialist Senator

New York, Socialism, community organizing and COMICS are near the top of my list of interests so I’m excited to have cartoonist Sofia Warren on the show to talk about her book. Reading this graphic memoir might make you feel a little more hopeful and inspired and certainly a lot more well informed about how political organizing can win change for the better at the local level — no matter where you are.

Here’s Sofia’s instagram.

And here’s the Opertation Save Abortion online event July 17 I promotes in my intro.

Review: Radical: My Year With a Socialist Senator

Sofia Warren follows first-year New York State Senator Julia Salazar on her journey from organizer to elected official. The graphic novel perfectly captures the experience of working in politics.

Story: Sofia Warren
Art: Sofia Warren

Get your copy in comic shops! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
comiXology/Kindle
TFAW
Bookshop


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Preview: Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

(W) Sofia Warren (A) Sofia Warren
In Shops: Jun 15, 2022
SRP: $24.99

In early 2018, cartoonist Sofia Warren was not paying attention to New York state politics. But that summer, her Brooklyn neighborhood began buzzing about Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old democratic socialist running for state senate whose grassroots campaign was inspiring an army of volunteers. When they beat the odds and won, Warren found herself wondering what would happen next. How does it work when an outsider who runs on revolutionary change has to actually do the job? So she decided to find out. Using the graphic memoir format, Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator is a remarkable first-hand account of Warren’s experience embedded with Julia Salazar and her staff during their first year in office.

Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator

Wednesdays (and Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

A Calculated Man #1 (AfterShock) – A math genius who used to run the numbers for a crime family enters Witness Protection and goes in the run after turning state’s evidence.

Albatross Exploding Funnybooks #1 (Albatross Funnybooks) – A new anthology series featuring some of Eric Powell’s fan favorite creations!

Best Archie Comic Ever #1 (Archie Comics) – A series of short stories shaking up the Archie we know with a fantastic group of creators.

Bill & Ted Roll the Dice #1 (Opus Comics) – The time-traveling duo are back in a monthly series of most excellent adventures! The duo are back and having a nice renaissance and we’re excited to see how that translates to comics!

Blue, Barry & Pancakes Vol. 4 Enter the Underground Throwdown (First Second) – The series is a lot of fun for kids and adults and solid lessons… for both really.

Bone Orchard Mythos: Passageway (Image Comics) – The first book in the horror shared universe from Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. With those two involved, we’re absolutely in for this release.

Bunny Mask: Hollow Inside #2 (AfterShock) – The horror series has us guessing what’s going to happen next and this new primordial force has us intrigued as to exactly that.

Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #1 (Marvel) – Steve Rogers gets his own Captain America series and we’re intrigued how the two will work together and stand apart from each other.

Clementine Book 1 (Image Comics/Skybound) – The popular character from The Walking Dead video game comes to comics in a young reader graphic novel series!

Deadpool: Samurai Vol. 2 (VIZ Media) – The manga take on Marvel’s popular character has been interesting. We were a bit mixed on the debut but still want to see where the second volume goes.

Do a Powerbomb #1 (Image Comics) – Wrestling gets hardcore when a necromancer asks Lona Steelrose to join the grandest pro wrestling tournament ever.

Eight Billion Genies #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue was a lot of fun as everyone in the world gets a genie to make a wish.

G.I. JOE: Saturday Morning Adventures #4 (IDW Publishing) – Perfectly capturing the 1980s cartoon, the comic is perfect nostalgia and a hell of a lot of fun.

Grim #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue was a hell of a lot of fun focused on a grim reaper who has things go really sideways for her. It left us scratching our heads wanting to see what happens next.

Marvel’s Secret Reverse Vol. 1 (VIZ Media) – Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi takes on Iron Man and Spider-Man!

The Ocean Will Take Us #3 (AfterShock) – The series has a great mix of mystery and teenage drama.

Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator (IDW Publishing/Top Shelf) – Dive into the world of politics with this graphic novel about true experiences during a political campaign.

Undiscovered Country: Destiny Man Special (Image Comics) – The mysterious villain gets a special issue focused on him!

Why the People: The Case for Democracy (First Second) – Is democracy still the best form of government? This graphic novel attempts to answer that question!

Preview: Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

(W) Sofia Warren (A) Sofia Warren
In Shops: Jun 15, 2022
SRP: $24.99

In early 2018, cartoonist Sofia Warren was not paying attention to New York state politics. But that summer, her Brooklyn neighborhood began buzzing about Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old democratic socialist running for state senate whose grassroots campaign was inspiring an army of volunteers. When they beat the odds and won, Warren found herself wondering what would happen next. How does it work when an outsider who runs on revolutionary change has to actually do the job? So she decided to find out. Using the graphic memoir format, Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator is a remarkable first-hand account of Warren’s experience embedded with Julia Salazar and her staff during their first year in office.

Radical, My Year with a Socialist Senator

Preview: The Girl and the Glim

The Girl and the Glim

(W) India Swift (A) India Swift, Michael Doig
In Shops: Jun 08, 2022
SRP: $12.99

Starting out at a new school is tough, and Bridgette isn’t having much luck, seeing as, well, she’s not great at making a first impression. Or, maybe, any impression. Ugh, all these nervous feelings! Will she fit in? Will she make new friends? Will they still like her once they get to know her better? Nope. For now the best she can manage is… awkward. This is not going great. The Girl and The Glim is about accepting the fact that fear is okay, and that while letting other people see your vulnerabilities can be scary, it can also lead to closer friendships in the end.

The Girl and the Glim

Preview: Free Pass

Free Pass

(W) Julian Hanshow (A/CA) Julian Hanshow
In Shops: Jun 08, 2022
SRP: $19.99

Huck and Nadia are enjoying their twenties: working in Big Tech and developing an adventurous sex life. Together they fantasize about opening their relationship with a “free pass” to sleep with certain friends or celebrities. It’s all in good fun.

But Huck is leading a double life. As a national election looms, he grows more and more uncomfortable with his company’s unelected authority over internet discourse.

When the couple receives a bizarre gift -a cutting-edge humanoid sex AI that can morph into anyone -their worlds of fantasy, trust, and consent are thrown into blissful chaos.

In a society growing more divided each day, Huck struggles with the pressure to uphold boundaries at work… while everything is collapsing at home.

Julian Hanshaw follows his acclaimed graphic novels Tim Ginger and Cloud Hotel with an intoxicating new tale of liberty, privacy, and shame, set in the sticky place where sex, politics, and technology come together.

Free Pass

Preview: Glork Patrol Vol. 2 Glork Patrol Takes a Bath

Glork Patrol Vol. 2 Glork Patrol Takes a Bath

(W) James Kochalka (A/CA) James Kochalka
In Shops: Mar 09, 2022
SRP: $9.99

Guess who’s back for even more wacky outer-space adventures? The Glorkian Warrior and his crew! It’s a sticky, soapy, messy delight from the award-winning creator of Johnny Boo and Banana Fox!

What a mess! It all started when Glorkian SuperGrandma told the Glork Patrol they could eat candy for breakfast… now their “Dada,” the Glorkian Warrior, has a lot of cleaning up to do. Super Backpack gets a robot super-suit made of candy wrappers and takes Baby Gonk on the adventure of a lifetime, while Glorkian Warrior stays behind and tries to help the uncontrollable Baby Quackaboodle take a bath.

Families come in all kinds… even in outer space. This kooky, colorful adventure will feel hilariously relatable and have kids giggling through story time and bath time alike!

Glork Patrol Vol. 2 Glork Patrol Takes a Bath
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