Illustrated by Robin Robinson
While Isabel's upbringing among the elite of San Francisco in wake of the Great Fire may have some considering her fortunate, neither of her parents particularly know how to interact with her, and she is often told to be "seen, not heard." While visiting her sculptor father in Carmel for the summer, Isabel mysteriously traverses the veil between the fairy realm and the human realm, and she immediately gets pulled into a life-or-death quest that will determine the outcome of a brutal war between the two halves of fairydom: seelie and unseelie. She quickly makes a few friends who also want to see her quest fulfilled, and she'll have to rely on them and her strange magical abilities to deliver a stolen necklace to the princess of the seelie.
History Comics: The National Parks: Preserving America's Wild Places
Follow Bigfoot and Eagle through an historical look at the founding of America's National Parks. Bigfoot embodies the spirit of National Parks and explains to Eagle, the embodiment of the American People, how they all came to be. We start off with Yosemite and Yellowstone, and take a look at what acts of Congress and presidential actions made pieces of the country into National Parks. We also take a look at the founding of Park Rangers, and what their role was in preserving the parks from human disruption. As the idea of parks changed, activists were able to argue that land of historical significance, not just natural beauty, could become a National Park, as is the case with Mesa Verde National Park.
Vol 4: The Crystal Kingdom by Clint, Griffin, Justin, and Travis McElroy, illustrated by Carey Pietsch
The trio is on another mission to bring back another relic, a transmutation stone that is acting kind of like King Midas. It's currently on a floating laboratory that is slowly being consumed by pink crystal that transforms everything it touches. With their favorite team of Regulators (including Killian and Carey), they travel to the laboratory in special space suits to keep out any crystal particles that might transform them. They have to find the transmutation stone and save the laboratory before it's engines can't handle the weight and it crashes to the planet below, which will turn all of that into crystal too. Just in case that isn't all too complicated, Kravitz, an agent of Death, tags along to try to right the wrongs of people escaping death, which includes most of the people on the laboratory!
Vol 12, Dionysos, The New God
Dionysos is the child of Zeus and yet another mortal, who was tricked into death by jealous Hera. Hermes delivered Dionysos to the Satyrs to be raised, where he learned to be boisterous and have lots of fun. As an adult, Dionysos discovered the beauty of fermenting grapes and drinking it, and he brought his madness-inducing liquid to several mortal cities. He wasn't always thanked for sharing his drink, though! Tragedy also seems to follow Dionysos and many people around him die unexpectedly, prompting a trip to the Underworld.
Vol 3: Petals to the Metal! by Clint, Griffin, Justin, and Travis McElroy, illustrated by Carey Pietsch
The trio is back on another assignment, this time to find the Gaia Sash, which has been put to use by a thief named Raven who has holed up in a vault in the city of Goldcliff. The three meet a local cop, Hurley, who has a connection with Raven and might be able to help them slow her down. Hurley and Raven were racing teammates in the highly dangerous Battlewagon races that are super popular (and super illegal) in Goldcliff. Raven escapes the tower, but Hurley knows Raven will be in the next Battlewagon race. The only way to get to Raven is for the three heroes and Hurley to form a new battlewagon team and try to take her down in the race, and watch out for the twelve other teams trying to take down and beat them!
Illustrated by Cyril Pedrosa
In a distant kingdom that feels very much like medieval France, the king has just passed, and the coronation of his daughter, Tilda, is soon. The greedy barons want to tax peasants more and blame everything else for their poor yielding fields, but Tilda isn’t about to have her people suffer even more. The coronation doesn’t even have a chance to start when Tilda is usurped and betrayed, then thrown into exile. Flanked by her only two loyal retainers left, Tilda decides to head to the Peninsula, where there is one more loyal man left in her kingdom, one more hope for taking back her throne. Filled with intrigue, secret societies, and treasure, Tilda’s adventure is just getting started.
Illustrated by Tim Foley
Dan Rather's original prose book, What Unites Us, is a collection of essays, musings and observations with lots of autobiographical details, about American history and political climate. This graphic novel adapts many of the essays from the prose version. The historical events are not told in any sort of chronological order. Instead, Rather uses his perspective on key historical moments to illustrate bigger ideologies; things like "courage", or "patriotism." Rather attempts to explain what is special about America, what brings us together as a nation, but also what has worked to separate us, especially partisan bickering and political turmoil.
Illustrated by Jen Wang
Anda gets invited by a guild runner to join up playing a MMORPG (Massive-multiplayer-online-roll-playing-game), Coarsegold Online, as a female avatar in an all female guild. She makes a friend in game and they take on missions that pay real money. Their missions are to exterminate gold farmers who sell in-game gold to players for real money. It’s a lucrative system that is a real part of most MMORPGs. Anda makes a friend with one of the gold farmers and finds out he’s a teen named Ah Duo (Raymond in English) from China. Raymond is the same age as her, but he's farming gold online as an actual paying job in China. He has health issues, and Anda convinces him that he needs to stand up for himself with his boss, but things don’t turn out well for Raymond. Anda discovers a darker side of world economics played out in her game, and struggles with how to really help her new friend.
Yasmina is an aspiring young chef who fills her dad’s lunchbox with delicious and fresh foods. He works at a French fry eatery, but she insists on fresh ingredients that she often obtains from a neighborhood garden. That is, until a big conglomerate comes in, buys the land, and razes the gardens to plant potato fields. Yasmina resorts to stealing veggies and herbs from a neighbor’s garden on the roof of her building, but she’s eventually caught and made to stop. She tries to spend her meager savings on some fresh foods from the market, but she instead finds all the fresh ingredients have been replaced by potato crisps in bags, and her fellow townspeople are going nuts for them! Yasmina and her friends from the garden must get to the bottom of the mystery of these potato crisps and why they’re turning the townspeople into crazy animals, and her upstairs neighbor may have something to do with it all.
Vol 4: A Frenchman on Mars
Seraphin and his aethership make it to Mars and find a world teeming with strange life forms and weird versions of aetherite that solidify after you walk through a seeming puddle. Searching for the previous Prussian expedition turns up no survivors, including Seraphin’s father. But Gubbard reveals the true nastiness of his plan to get Seraphin and the others to agree to go to Mars in the first place, and it is steeped in deception! Seraphin is wounded and wakes up abandoned by his fellows. He stumbles upon what he thinks is a winged beast, badly injured, but still he feels the need to save the creature from being a feast to other beasts. The creature ends up being a prominent figure in a fractured Martian society, one half dying out, the other exiled to the desert.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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