Comic Crush Saturday: February 8th, 2020
Welcome to Comic Crush Saturday, our bi-weekly feature focused on the graphic elements of the book world. Comics became a huge part of my life a few years ago when I started reviewing them (and comic related TV shows) on Forever Young Adult. I’ve maintained a pull list through my local comic shop, Isotope Comics, and even got Kelly to start one ;). You’ll find mini-reviews, what we’ve read recently, and more so check it out!
Featured Reviews of the Week
The Runaway Princessby Johan Troïanowski
Published by: Random House Graphic
on January 21, 2020
This princess can't resist the lure of adventure, but her parents aren't quite on board in this fantastical graphic novel perfect for fans of Princess in Black and Phoebe and Her Unicorn!
Robin? Robin? Robin?! Where are you?
She couldn't have gone far. . . .
Princesses don't run away to have their own adventures. Right?
Princesses stay quietly and obediently at home. They would never want mermaids and swamps and pirates and getting kidnapped to be a part of their lives.
Not this princess!
Adventures await when Robin (bored of princess-ing all the time) embarks on the best adventure of her life--meeting friends along the way as she travels through the magical landscape of her country. But her parents aren't so pleased--and they're coming to find her and bring her back to the castle, no matter how she feels about it!
The Runaway Princess is a colorful, whimsical, interactive adventure that will keep readers turning pages to see what the Princess and her friends are up to. Two stories in one, the colorful art jumps off the page while the story breaks the fourth wall. The Runaway Princess will have readers returning to the story time and time again. RHKG absolutely furthers its mission of a graphic novel for every shelf with this debut!
Shadow of the Batgirlby Sarah Kuhn, Nicole Goux
Published by: DC Comics
on February 4, 2020
Cassandra Cain, teenage assassin, isn't exactly Batgirl material...not yet, at least. But when Batgirl goes missing from Gotham, can Cassandra defy her destiny and take on a heroic mantle of her very own?
Cassandra Cain is the daughter of super-villains and a living weapon trained from birth to be the ultimate assassin. But that doesn't mean she has to stay that way, right? She'll have to go through an identity crisis of epic proportions to find out. But how do you figure out who you're supposed to be when you've been trained to become a villain your entire life?
After a soul-shattering moment that sends Cass reeling, she'll attempt to answer this question the only way she knows how: learning everything she possibly can about her favorite hero--Batgirl. But Batgirl hasn't been seen in Gotham for years, and when Cass's father threatens the world she has grown to love, she'll have to step out of the shadows and overcome her greatest obstacle--that voice inside her head telling her she can never be a hero.
Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Complex and I Love You So Mochi, takes on her favorite hero of color for a new audience of readers. Featuring the edgy art style of Nicole Goux, Shadow of the Batgirl tells the harrowing story of a girl who overcomes the odds to find her unique identity.
My foray back into the DC ‘verse continues with the latest DC graphic novel, Shadow of the Batgirl. These non-continuity novels allow our favs to explore new stories with long-standing (and new, too!) characters without taking their (sometimes complicated) history into account. Cassandra Cain is known for being the first Batgirl to star in her own series and she’s part of DCEU with Birds of Prey!
Sarah Kuhn is a beloved writer around these parts so this was an auto-buy for me. Couple that that with the gorgeous art by Nicole Goux and this book is a win-win for me. Oh, and it’s also fucking amazing so there’s that.
Sarah left her orphan backstory intact, setting the story in the library where Cassandra learns to speak, read, rest, trust, and become the hero of her story. Trained as an assassin from birth, you can imagine this girl is bringing some heavy issues into her hero training. Sarah and Nicole explore this trauma and the supports Cassandra receive in (infamous) Batgirl/Oracle, Babs Gordon, and the sweetest caretaker who feeds her and knows when to press forward and when to give Cassandra space. She also dresses Cassandra in an outfit plucked right out of Sarah’s Instagram.
I mean, just look at the transformation she goes through on the page.
I loved this story a lot and I hope it finds its way into the hands of everyone this spring!
Goodreads Choice Graphic Novel Challenge
As you likely know, Goodreads announced the Goodreads Choice of 2019 across many categories, including graphic novels. I had already read 7 of the 15 choices that made it to the final round and have decided to read all of the others (provided they are not in the middle of a series I have not started – this leaves 5 off the list).
I kicked off this challenge with Die, Vol 1. Die is meets D&D with a side of Stranger Things. Since then, I’ve also read The Handmaid’s Tale: A Graphic Novel, Book Love, Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations, and Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos. I loved each of them and highly recommend. Handmaid’s is a faithful adaptation that adds the use of color to tell a classic story, Good Talk will have you thinking about it for days after, Book Love is the book every book lover NEEDS in their life, and Kid Gloves is the perfect glimpse in the chaos of parenting that even people who are child free will find fascinating.
I finished the challenge with They Called Us the Enemy and oh, my gosh was it so good. A look into the shameful Japanese American internment in WII through the lens of a child was not what I expected, and it was better than I could have imagined. Highly recommend.
Now, to give my brief thoughts on how I would have voted differently if I had read all of the graphic novel picks before I actually voted. I have come to realize how flawed the GR Choice awards are. Books will win that are not truly the best, simply because they are popular. Pumpkinheads won this year – I voted for it! Every time! I thought it was the perfect fall graphic novel and so damn cute. Even though I had read half of the choices.
But did it deserve my vote? No. Yes, it checked a lot of boxes for me (cute! [some] good rep! creative team I enjoy!) but graphic novels are a medium that has quickly become a go-to for reluctant readers and young adults. It’s a space that gives a different lens to storytelling you can’t find in text alone. Pumpkinheads was enjoyable and I still wish I had voted for one of the non-fiction stories I read too dang late. I won’t make that mistake again!
What We Can’t Wait For
Doctor Chelli Aphra is back! Take an exclusive look at the cover for Doctor Aphra #1 and read our interview with writer @crashwong on what lies ahead for the galaxy’s shadiest archaeologist: https://t.co/k3LKQ8A0Du pic.twitter.com/itseIwClU5— Star Wars (@starwars) January 23, 2020
I was debating catching up on the last series but it’s getting a reboot (and is already on my pull haha).
Best News of the Week
Highest selling comic of 2019…and it released two weeks before the year ended. No surprise because it’s GREAT and we are all Kylo obsessed after TROS.
The Rise of Kylo Ren issue 1 is the @TheBigBang_ s no. 1 selling comic of 2019. How class is that?— Will Sliney (@WillSliney) January 14, 2020
Best selling of the entire year and it only came out on Dec 18th! Seriously, thank you everyone in Ireland who picked up a copy. It always means so much when I’m supported at home. pic.twitter.com/ChnBBDEPNC
I like my comic movies a little darker so Morbius might just hit the spot…
Green Lantern is getting the DC Zoom treatment – and the trailer is finally here!
Kelly kept teasing us with this announcement and it’s FINALLY HERE AND FAB.
So, yes. Here is the big announcement…I have been trying to get to write Nat for years now and I’m SO EXCITED. I hope you guys love it. https://t.co/m4wLbXuNuC— KELLY THOMPSON (@79SemiFinalist) January 20, 2020
Our favs continue to write in DC Comics and I continue to fill my shelves…
One of my fav creative teams is back with the next installment of Sabrina!
MOAR STAR WARS
ANNOUNCEMENT:— Michael Moreci (@MichaelMoreci) January 23, 2020
I’m writing a brand-new Star Wars series–
CLONE WARS: BATTLE TALES
5 issues (from @IDWPublishing) of your favorite clones telling war stories.
Join me and a some *amazing* artists this April–just in time for Clone Wars’s return!https://t.co/WXyHMRWcxN
DYK Ember is getting a graphic novel!?
Meet us at the #alamw20 PopTop Stage at 1pm today for our BOOM! Studios: Creating Bold New Worlds panel, featuring @sabaatahir @kierongillen & @JamesTheFourth! https://t.co/OYCP18IefG pic.twitter.com/jY7mfSCWAz— BOOM! Studios (@boomstudios) January 25, 2020
Laura Dean out here winning all the awards.
The awards at ALAMW20 were full of graphic novels. Who else fist pumped as they were announced?
The Odyssey Award for the Best Audiobook winner goes to…”Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction”! Written by @StudioJJK— Mackin Educational Resources (@MackinLibrary) January 27, 2020
Congratulations!!! ?#ALAyma #alamw20 #alamw2020 @MackinVIA pic.twitter.com/XKd6taUDCm
The APALA Award for Children’s Literature goes to ‘Stargazing’ by Jen Wang #ALAyma— Children’s Bookshelf (@PWKidsBookshelf) January 27, 2020