Reiji is trapped in his small town life. His brother is a shut-in who constantly berates their mother; his grandmother is suffering from dementia and is the main reason his mother is so tired; and his mom sets him up with a construction job for after high school, effectively killing any aspirations he had of leaving. One night, while out buying food, Reiji realizes that the shop clerk is actually Nagi Aoe, a famous idol singer from a band he enjoys escaping to. She asks him for a tour around town, which he gives her on the back of his bike. At one point, while stopped in a bridge overlooking the town's river, she asks Reiji if he’ll enter a suicide pact with her, similarly to the heroes in a tragic story based on the town. They wind up back at her house where she takes his virginity. Afterwards, Reiji can’t stop thinking about her, her wish to die, and whether he would be better off dead as well.
One year for his birthday, Yuta's mother gives him a smartphone and requests that he record her often, as she is dying and won't know which moment will be her last. Yuta complies and tries to capture as many memories as he can, but he can't bring himself to go into the hospital to see her last breath. Then, he runs from the building just in time for it to explode. Then, we realize we are in a theater and have been watching a movie Yuta put together of all the footage of his mother, and he's debuting it in front of his classmates. Most of them are horrified, and Yuta takes their criticism very harshly. He runs to the roof with the intention of killing himself, but instead meets Eri, a girl who loved his film but believes he can make a better one. The two of them spend many days in Eri's secret hideout, watching movies together, until Yuta gets the inspiration to make his second film. This film also has a surprise twist, as Yuta can't help himself.
Illustrated by Luca Panciroli & Ryan Showers, colored by Pamela Poggiali & Heather Breckel, lettered by Joel Rodriguez & Jacob Bascle
Lawrence, a professor of theology, loses his son to a drug overdose. He finds the grief too much to bear, and he has a nagging feeling that his son's soul is lost, that he needs his father on the other side to help guide the way. As Lawrence crosses over, he meets with his departed father who tries to counsel Lawrence away from seeking vengeance on those he feel is responsible for his son’s death. Lawrence's father gives him a staff that he hopes he will use for good, but he instead uses it for revenge. Along the way, he gets a companion - a fierce wolf who follows his lead and seems to want revenge as well.
Illustrated by Hippolyte
A young man and his younger sister flee their home in The Low Country, which is being ravaged by violent bandits, and try to immigrate to the High Country and on to another place they call The Other World. Along the way, they are kidnapped by an ogre who forces them to work in his factory or risk being eaten. Upon escaping the factory, the siblings and two other refugees travel together, all trying to make it to a better life. The story is told through the interview of the Older Brother, who is being evaluated for whether he can enter a country or not, and he is surrounded by the shadows and memories of his loved ones who he’s lost along the way.
Willow loves to be out in nature, especially in the woods behind her house. This is where she finds herself after an episode of anger directed at her big sister. While wandering, trying to contain her little monsters of emotion, she runs into Pilu, who has also run away from home, and isn't sure she wants to go back. With some careful questioning, Willow discovers Pilu is actually a tree spirit, and she lives in the magnolia grove that was so special to Willow and her mother. Willow decides it's better for both of them to go home, so she agrees to lead Pilu back to the grove. While journeying, a terrible storm rages, and Willow loses control of her little monsters and has to exert a control over them she never knew she had in order to save herself and her new friend.
After the death of his mother, musician Erik travels back home for her funeral and stumbles upon a mystery of her past. Erik enters his mother’s study late at night and finds a ghoulish figure clutching a photograph of a strange musician. The man in the photo captivates him, and he chalks the ghost up to grief. Erik begins to dig into who the musician could be, and his search leads him to the former owner of a jazz club in New York. A room full of mementoes from the club give Erik some clues into the man’s identity, but furthers the mystery of the ghoul who now haunts him.
Illustrated by Chris Wildgoose, colored by Andrew May
Three teens named Sam - Samir, Samuel, and Samantha - all stumble upon a budding alien life form in the woods on their way to school. The alien links their minds and is hungry to devour human psyches. Each of the three Sams is struggling with their own demons, especially their acceptance amongst their peers. Samuel runs a vlog that pleads with other teens not to be brainwashed by the acceptable narrative. Samir struggles with being the "perfect" Muslim and keeping his family together. Samantha is trying to get out of this small town and craves the fresh start where everyone won't know her past. And Chip, as they name the alien life form, feels their pains, their struggles, and is manipulated into carrying out their selfish agendas on friends, foes, and family.
Teenager Marjorie Glatt is running her family's laundromat after a tragic accident took her mother's life. Her dad glides through life from his room to the table for food, then back to his room again. Marjorie is basically in charge with keeping the business afloat and making sure her brother does everything he's supposed to do. Marjorie dodges bullies at school and unruly customers at home, all while trying her best to fend of Mr. Saubertuck, who wants the laundromat so he can finally open his luxurious spa and yoga studio. Then there's Wendell, a ghost in the Land of Ghosts who is dissatisfied with going to his group therapy sessions. He sneaks his way back to the land of the living and finds himself in a ghosts' playground - a laundromat. His midnight playtime unknowingly is making Marjorie's life more difficult. The two come together to hopefully solve both their problems.
Illustrated by Dean Ormston, David Rubín, and Max Fiumar
Presented in this oversized, library edition is two stories from the universe of Black Hammer: Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil, and Doctor Andromeda and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows.
The first story follows Lucy Weber as she tries to piece together what happened with her dad. Ten years ago, her father, Black Hammer, and many other heroes, disappeared when they were fighting "Anti-God." Most believe the heroes were killed in the explosion, but Doctor Andromeda and Lucy have reason to believe that the heroes were transported somewhere else, and she uses her journalism experience to put together clues. Her trail leads her to needing to find Sherlock Frankenstein, one of the major super-villains of Spiral City.
The second story details how Doctor Andromeda discovered the Para-Zone and was able to harness its energy to give him super power. The U. S. Government was particularly keen on his development as a potential weapon to help in the fight against Hitler. One day, Doctor Andromeda discovers that there is intelligent life out there, and he rushes off to meet it. He makes a huge mistake that costs him his family, and he many years trying to right the wrongs he's committed against his wife and only son.
Illustrated by Joëlle Jones
This story sets down a new origin story for Kara Danvers, also known as Kara Zor-El, and her life looks an awful lot like another famous Kryptonian. Kara's pod crash lands in a corn field outside Midvale, a farming community somewhere in the United States. Kara is taken in by a couple and raised as their own. Now, Kara's a teenager, battling normal Earth-teenager things like zits and homework, but it's all compounded with her secret powers and trying to figure out who she is. She keeps having this strange dream of people saying goodbye to her. Luckily, she has two amazing best friends, Jen and Dolly, who keep her grounded, even if they don't know about her abilities. Then, at a track meet, a powerful earthquake brings tragedy to Kara's life. Kara must overcome her grief, and figure out her powers, in order to stop a much more sinister plot from destroying her town, and everyone she loves.
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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