Tag: Graphic Novels

Week of Geek: A Good Old Fashioned Comic Binge

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Hiya Geekings!  How’s the summer going?  Getting in those Teen Challenges?

Speaking of which, as I mentioned, this week’s theme is comic books.  Not only is that a favorite topic of mine but I’ve also been reading some new comics lately, so I thought I’d highlight some books so we can all enjoy them.  Yay!

NimonaNimona by Noelle Stevenson – FINALLY got around to reading this one.  Set in a fantasy realm where science and magic mingle, known villain Lord Ballister Blackheart (who, BTW, may be one of my new all-time favorite characters of any genre) just got an unpredictable shape-shifting hot-headed sidekick named Nimona.  Nimona’s past is mysterious, but she’s eager to take a bite (sometimes literally) out of Blackheart’s nemesis, the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics.  Their main champion, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, has a history with Blackheart.  I won’t give too much away, but I would wholeheartedly recommend giving Nimona a read.  The characters are compelling, the dialogue is great and the setting is cool.  Loved it!  (BTW, it’s not due until 2020, but Nimona is getting a movie).

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LadycastleLadycastle by Delilah S. Dawson – A fantasy series featuring princesses, lady kings and lady knights.  But none of them started out that way (well, except for the princess).  You see, the women in this kingdom couldn’t really do anything when King Mancastle and his knights were around, as he made sure all women were firmly oppressed, even locking up his eldest daughter in a tower.  When the king and his knights get eaten by a dragon and a curse falls on the kingdom that will draw more monsters to them the women decide to handle things themselves, learning how to fight, how to build and how to run the kingdom together.  With great artwork and some great song references, this was fun and empowering.

Brave Chef BriannaBrave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes – If you like cooking, this is one to check out.  Brianna is the only girl out of 16 children, and her famous and ailing father has a proposition; whoever opens the most successful restaurant will inherit his cooking empire.  One rule though is only one of the 16 kids can have a restaurant in each city, and Brianna ends up in Monster City – which, as you may guess, is made up almost entirely of monsters.  Though Brianna is eager to prove herself quite a few things stand in her way, such as city ordinances, monsters who aren’t keen to have her there and her own really negative inner monologue.  But some unexpected friends and some good food may just turn the tide.

Heavy VinylHeavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin – This one is set in 1998, which already appeals to me as I was a teen during the 90s.  17-year-old Chris has just started a job at Vinyl Mayhem, the local record store, and as a huge music fan she’s ecstatic to be working there… and the fact that her crush, Maggie, also works there is a huge bonus.  But then a favorite singer disappears just before her band is set to do a show at Vinyl Mayhem, and that’s when Chris discovers the truth; everyone at the shop isn’t just sorting out albums, they’re also a teen girl vigilante fight club!  What?!  One complaint I have is that volume 1 ends pretty abruptly.  But, aside from that, you’re going to enjoy these girls and how much butt they kick.

Misfit CityMisfit City by Kirsten Smith – In the Oregon town of Cannon Cove, not much happens.  The town’s biggest claim to fame is that it was the setting for a cult kids classic film called The Gloomies (yeah, I think we all know what film that’s a stand in for), and it’s a tourist spot for Gloomers (the fans) but not much else is going on.  But just when Wilder, Macy, Dot, Karma, Pip the dog and their friends think they’ve seen it all in Cannon Cove, a deceased sea captain, an uncovered treasure map, a legend of a pirate named Black Mary and people willing to do anything to get their hands on that treasure all pull the girls head first into an adventure all their own.  Like Heavy Vinyl, volume 1 of Misfit City ends pretty abruptly, but it’s pretty darn fun.  And we’re going to see if we can get volume 2 in to our collection.

Gotham City Garage Vol. 1Gotham City Garage by Collin Kelly – It’s your favorite DC characters as you’ve never seen them before, and a lot of them ride souped-up motorcycles!  In the spirit of DC Bombshells and taking cues from film series like Mad Max, GCG takes familiar characters and puts them in a new scenario, and this time we’re getting post-apocalyptic.  Decades ago Governor Lex Luthor turned Gotham City into the Garden, an oasis under a dome protected from the Wasteland outside.  But the citizens of the Garden are not free, as Kara Gordon knows all too well when the electronic brainwashing every citizen experiences doesn’t affect her.  But when she’s forced to flee the dome she meets up with the women of Gotham City Garage, who ride their bikes all over the Wasteland and who look for every opportunity to take Luthor and his system down.  Some villains are heroes, some heroes are villains, some heroes are heroes and some villains are villains.  You never know what you’ll get with this series.

Just having typed this, I’ve noticed a pattern; a lot of girl power in these comics.  I think I’m on a bit of a kick.

Anything you guys have read recently that you’d recommend?  Post in the comments or write about it on WriteIt.  Have a great week, keep trying those challenges, and until next time, End of Line.

TEEN CHALLENGE – Week 3

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Hi Everybody!  Welcome to Week 3 of the Teen Challenge!

This week’s theme is a personal favorite of mine; Graphic Novels and Comics!  If you’re looking for some new reads, might I suggest Misfit City?  It’s a story of a group of girls who live in an Oregon town where a film very similar to The Goonies (in their case, The Gloomies) was filmed, and then they end up on their own treasure-hunting adventure.  Perfect for the summer.  Or maybe The Lumberjanes series?  Summer camp and more adventures!  We have a lot to choose from, is what I’m saying.

You’ll find the challenges either online or at your local library.  Get your names in those draws and don’t forget to vote on a Summer Party.  Rock on!

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Week of Geek: Pride Month Recommendations Part 1: Graphic Novels

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Hi again Geeklings!  Happy June!

And of course, June means Pride Month!  That magical time of rainbows and love and equality and being who you are.  Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, there is something for everyone this month, and plenty to celebrate and to contemplate as we all move forward.

Last year I wrote a few posts about favorite LGBTQ+ characters in fandoms (you can read the posts here, here, here and here).  This year I thought I’d tweak that format a little bit and focus on just recommending the heck out of our collections, because we have A LOT of pride friendly reading, watching and listening materials.  Like, a lot.  So let’s break it down these next few weeks and show you what we’ve got.

This week, let’s start with graphic novels, because they’re awesome.  Graphic novels have often explored people of all colors of the rainbow.  Like other forms of media it can be slow to catch on (hello Comics Code), but unlike others it often doesn’t get quite as much scrutiny as movies or TV shows, so it can take a few risks now and then.

Let me start you off with a few personal favorites…

Jem and the Holograms Jem and the Holograms Vol. 1: Showtime by Kelly Thompson – I’m biased on this one, because I’m a kid of the 1980s and I watched the original Jem TV series, so of course I was stoked that they were getting a reboot (the live-action film doesn’t count).  And I was not disappointed with Thompson’s new take.  Smart, funny, oh so colorful, dramatic in all the right ways, and with great characters and family themes.  It was a blast to read.  It makes the list because they did a new take on one of the band members, Kimber, who in this version is gay.  Not only that but she and Stormer, from rival band The Misfits, are crushing on each other.  *gasp*

Jughead Jughead Vol. 1 by Chip Zdarsky – One of the orientations that still hasn’t had a lot of representation (and that’s saying something) is asexuality.  When Archie comics decided to relaunch itself back in 2015 with new series and new takes on characters, Zdarsky officially confirmed that everyone’s favorite burger-loving, crown-wearing sardonic teen was indeed ace.  Honestly, it was obvious throughout the character’s 77 year history that dating is not a priority for him, so it was a natural evolution.  The series is funny, zany and plain fun.  Volume 2 was especially interesting, as we find Jughead unwittingly on a ‘date’ with a certain teenage witch.

Batwoman Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka – Batwoman was always a bit player in DC Comics until the New 52 Relaunch in the mid 2000s, when the new improved Kate Kane was revealed to be a lesbian.  This volume is a great place to start, as it goes over Kate’s history and how she came to be a caped crusader in her own right.  She lost a lot by coming out, but she also gained a lot, and has been cleaning up the streets of Gotham ever since.  Another series to try is DC Bombshells, which has Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy (who are both queer themselves) and a whole host of other DC superheroes fighting during WWII.  It’s retro and exciting.

AvengersAvengers: The Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg – No list of LGBTQ+ graphic novels would be complete without the Young Avengers.  As their name implies, they’re a group of younger Marvel superheroes.  Two of the biggest standouts in the group are power couple Wiccan and Hulkling, longtime boyfriends and teammates, but their roster soon grows to include America, who is a butt kicking Latina lesbian.  I’m going to recommend The Children’s Crusade as a starting point, because it’s a really interesting story and features a lot of cross over with teams like the Avengers, the X-Men and X-Factor (who also have their own gay couple).

So there are a few personal recommendations, but for a broader look check out the list below…

I really want to read Moonstruck, Nimona, Bingo Love, Midnighter and Apollo and Secret Six.  Time to pull out my summer reading supplies (lawn chair, hat, sunscreen and footrest), I won’t be moving for a while.

Stay tuned all through June for more lists and more great reads and watchables.  Have an awesome month, remember summer break is coming (and the Teen Challenge), and until next time, End of Line.

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