Wynd vol 2 by James Tynion IV
Book 2: The Secret of the Wings, illustrated by Michael Dialynas
Wynd and his friends have escaped Pipetown, but what they've found outside the walls is a world unlike what they were told. The King of Pipetown makes an unexpected alliance with the Vamps, specifically the sister of his dear hunter, the Bandaged Man. He wants her to scare his son, but bring him back to Pipetown alive. General Zedra of the Vamps seizes on the opportunity to sew more chaos into the world and potentially settle some very old scores between her people and some of the other inhabitants of Esseriel. After the Vamps decimate the Duke's small fleet of ships, Wynd, Yorik, Oakley, and a gravely injured Thorn find themselves in the Faery city of Escalon. But, they aren't safe there for long either.
Killer queens by david m Booher
Illustrated by Claudia Balboni, Harry Saxon, and Lucas Gottoni
Alex and Max are Reformed Assassins for Hire who scuttled away from their employer after a job included killing children. Now, they take odd jobs doing dangerous things so they can get paid and eat tacos. They take a highly dangerous job from one of Alex’ old flames to sneak into a fascist country on the planet Antigone and rescue two kids who have been taken as political prisoners. But Bieti, their former employer and a very fluffy monkey, demands his ship back. He follows the two towards Antigone and causes them to crash land, giving up any sort of element of surprise they might have had. Now, they have to escape a high-security prison and break into an even higher-security prison to get the job done. That is, if Max can stop hitting on everything long enough to formulate an escape plan.
Jin makes a bold move to try and get the Boys shirts in a trendy store, but it fails miserably. This means the young entrepreneurs have to get part-time jobs to support their supply budgets. This is especially daunting for Ryo who is looking for a place to fit in within a very binary Japanese society, a society that wants him to wear girls’ uniforms to work or perform tasks around the workplace that girls are “better” suited for. After several hurtful job interviews, Ryo decides to go into the next one as a girl, but he finds a workplace where every employee dresses the same, and everyone is expected to do the same basic workload. His co-workers seem to accept him for who he really is, or they at least don’t ask questions or box him into the wrong gender. That is until they decide to go out together for a Welcome celebration, and one of the male workers hits on Ryo. While still recovering and figuring out who he’s attracted to, a popular YouTuber gets involved in the Boys line and wants to promote their brand online. With a new and improved website design, the stage is set, but the video may turn out to do more harm than good for Ryo.
Timiko’s mom continues her internal monologue, most likely addressing her husband, on ways she’s noticing Tomoko is probably gay but not ready to tell anyone yet. She and the younger son, Yuri, both have figured it out by now but try to support Tomoko so that one day he will be comfortable. Yuri is kinda grumpy and finds the most interesting ways to support his older brother. Mom tries to support Tomoko through his first crush, and often realizes too late that she may have said something to put Tomoko in an awkward position, but she quickly back-pedals and offers way for Tomoko to save face. She accidentally suggests Tomoko ask his crush to spend the night, but realizes and quickly corrects that the thought of being alone that long would make Tomoko uncomfortable. She briefly muses about the family and life that Tomoko could have if he were straight, but she comes to accept that the future she imagined for Tomoko probably won't look the way she thinks, and she hopes for happiness for her son.
Mogumo just wishes they could have some friends to truly understand them. When Tetsu seems this wish from his classmate, he invites Mogumo to work at his family’s cafe. The workers there are otokonoko - they are boys who dress as girls, maids on this instance. After some initial consternation about introducing themselves as an otokonoko, the staff conclude that everyone can identify how they wish, and Mogumo doesn't have to offer up any gender in their introduction. Tetsu and the rest of Mogumo's coworkers work towards understanding Mogumo's feelings about gender, and this prompts a few others to start exploring their own identities -- maybe it's not just as simple as dressing up in clothes of the opposite gender ... maybe there's a bit more to the feeling they get from wearing these outfits.
Wonderful women of the world
Edited by Laurie Halse Anderson
This collection of stories is modeled after some other versions that celebrated Wonder Women in the real world. Anderson and DC Comics have brought together women creators to pay homage to powerful women who are inspirational. Some of the tributes include Beyonce, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Serena Williams, Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, and so many more. Several of these stories are shedding light on amazing women who may not have been in the spotlight in their time. There are engineers and scientists who are heading programs to encourage girls to get into the science fields; there are disabled activists who fought for the rights that eventually became protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act; and, there are LBGTQ+ activists who fought for marriage rights and the right to exist on the streets of New York.
Mari has been stuck in a classroom by herself, forced to practice reviving things, while havoc goes on around her. Miriam and the demon she summoned, whose name is also Alice, apparently have a long history together. Lady Alice the demon sets things in motion between two other countries to spark a war, and the country they’re all in must decide which of their alliances are strongest. The countries then discover that it was the witches who started everything in their quest to get back at the humans for generations of abuse. The country starts attacking the school they’re all in just as Alice discovers Mari’s mother is in the witch’s crypt below the school. Lady Alice dares Mari to try and resurrect everyone she’s killed, but it turns out that everyone has misunderstood Mari’s powers from the beginning.
Hanako's love for her favorite author moves her to travel from Japan to England in the early 1900s, in search of more information and potentially studying under him. To her disappointment, the author is extremely secretive, and the publisher won't release any details. Alice Douglas, a noblewoman, takes pity on Hanako's plight and offers her a job as her personal maid. They both share a love for this hermit of an author, so Alice offers Hanako a place to stay and employment while she waits for the author to make contact. Alice is also betrothed to a kind English gentlemen, but that doesn't stop the rumors from flying. Many warn Alices' fiancé to intervene between Alice and Hanako before there becomes a repeat situation - Alice becoming too close and too friendly with her maidservant.
Taichi is a struggling college student, trying to juggle working enough to afford food with going to his classes. One day, he literally stumbles upon the lunch spot of Kōhei, who mysteriously hands Taichi his bento box before taking off, wordlessly. Later, Taichi discovers that Kōhei is partially deaf, and his hearing loss has left him removed and detached from society. Kōhei’s hearing began to deteriorate after a sickness he suffered as a child. Taichi sees that Kōhei is looking for a note-taker to assist during classes, but it's an unpaid service. Taichi accepts, so long as Kōhei pays him in delicious lunches. Taichi is a pretty loud talker, so Kōhei finds he can hear his voice, and it soothes him. When Kōhei realizes he likes Taichi more than a friend, and his hearing loss starts to get worse, he pulls away from Taichi, but Taichi's also too attached to his new friend to let him slip out of his life.
Monstress vol 6 by Marjorie Liu
Vol 6: The Vow, illustrated by Sana Takeda
In the aftermath of the attack on Ravenna, Maika has been badly burned, many Arcanics were killed, but the Federation forces have stopped their attacks, for now. Maika and Zinn have a bit of a heart-to-heart about facing their pasts, so Maika decides it's time to stop running from hers. She summons her grandmother, the Ancient Wolf Queen, which also brings her face-to-face with her aunt - the Warlord - who is none to happy to finally have her hands on her deadly niece. Maika and the Baroness of the Dusk Court are finally reunited, but it's not a happy occasion. The Federation begin another assault on Ravenna, this time with canisters of gas that turn Arcanics into raging zombie-type creatures, and Maika decides to call on the power of the Mask fragments she's been collecting to try and save everyone in the city.
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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