Backderf's latest novel is a meticulous account of the events of May 1-4, 1970 at Kent State University. The storyline follows Jeff, Allison, Bill, and Sandy, the four students who were killed during anti-Vietnam-war, anti-military conflicts on Kent State's campus, as well as several of the wounded students and a few of the soldiers of the National Guard. Rising tensions between student protestors and National Guardsmen were stoked by sleep-deprived soldiers and commanding officers, a governor infused with law-and-order politics, and persistent student protests that were unrelenting for several days. Throughout, there are pages of exposition offering insights from Backderf's extensive research.
Illustrated by Pedro J. Colombo, colored by Aintzane Landa
This story is based on true events of the life of Francisco Boix, a prisoner of war interned at Mauthausen.
Boix is a Spaniard and a newspaper photographer and communist who is captured in France and sent to several camps before ending up at Mauthausen. For a while, Francisco works as a translator, tasked with translating the insults German soldiers hurl at the prisoners. Later, Francisco is moved up to working in the photography lab at the camp, where he discovers that the SS are meticulously documenting the deaths of prisoners, but staging them and classifying them as suicides or escape attempts. Despite the dangers to his life and the life of those in the camp, Francisco decides it is exceedingly important to get the negatives of these photos out of the camp to show the world what the Nazis were really doing in these extermination camps. After the war, Francisco participates as a witness in the Nuremberg trials, but he finds that most people cannot fathom the photos so many risked their lives to save.
Vol 1: Opening fire, illustrated by Leandro Fernández, colored by Daniela Miwa, lettered by Jodi Wynne
Andy and her team of super soldiers are nearly immortal. Some have been alive for centuries, others, millennia. They don’t know why they haven’t died yet, despite repeated attempts to kill them, most of the time in fairly violent way. They often discover their immortality by coming back to life after being killed on the battlefield. When they start dreaming about a new girl, they have to find her or they’ll just keep dreaming about her. Andy recruits Nile Freeman, a U.S. Marine, after she returns to life from having her throat slit. After their latest job goes south and their secret gets exposed, they must go on the run and figure out how to put things back to normal. The team begins to fracture, and it’s team leader Andy’s job to figure it all out and keep the team together.
Just as it seems all hope is lost, as the Sigurdian soldiers surge on the fort, the Horned Warriors of Leren, an old foe of Sigurd, emerge from the wilds and attack the Sigurdian forces. Freya tries to recruit them as allies, but the Leren warriors’ only motivation is to cause harm to Sigurd, not to become friends with anyone. Freya realizes that Sigurd has made many enemies in its path to dominating the continent, and joining forces with them may be the only way Tyr will survive against this Goliath. Freya and her brave royal guard set out to invoke old alliances and gather enemies of Sigurd.
Freya’s anger is overwhelming, and she needs a productive outlet. She decides to help the men protecting the fort on the edge of Tyr, currently under siege from Sigurd. She hopes to keep their spirits up until the reinforcements can arrive, which might be days away. With their superior numbers, well trained archers, and deadly trebuchets, it will take a miracle, or a thoughtful plan, to save the fifty remaining soldiers from the Sigurdian forces and keep the fort from breach. But, working against them is a spy who is feeding the Sigurdians information on their weaknesses. Which of these brave souls could be betraying their prince?
Volume two picks up right where we left off, with Freya continuing her pursuit of the carriage escaping her castle. She finds a terrible passenger inside. Mikal, one of the prince's royal guards, tries to save his prince (Freya) and is astonished at how good natured the prince (Freya) is about everything, having had previous run-ins with accidentally getting dirt on the prince and not having a favorable outcome. A scuffle in the forest forces Freya to overcome her fear of swords and wounding others. The group of royal guards comes to the castle of Lord Lars, a smarmy, severe man. Here, Freya befriends a scullery maid, and comes to her rescue when her integrity, and life, are questioned. It turns out, the entire thing was a distraction to pull Freya’s attention away from an invading force at a nearby fort. Freya and her retinue rush off to offer any assistance to the soldiers as they can, but this decision proves to have dire consequences for Freya.
Freya is an overly-emotional (re: crybaby) country girl living in Tyr, trying to get by and get enough food for her sick mother. A visit from her adopted older brothers, who are both knights serving the Prince, leaves Freya worried about Sigurd, the neighboring kingdom, invading. When she overhears of a Sigurdian plot to kill her older "brother," Freya rushes to the palace to warn them. Here, she learns the true reason her knights came to visit - the prince is dying from Sigurdian poison, and Freya resembles the prince almost identically! She agrees to take on the persona of the prince, but how can she hope to embody a confident, cunning prince when she can't stop crying?
Illustrated by Ian Bertram, colored by Matt Hollingsworth
Little Bird's village comes under attack from the American Empire, but her mom has a great plan: squirrel her away until the violence is over, then set her on freeing a great warrior named Axe. Axe will save the people, and save the North, aka Canada, the last bastion of resistance against the Empire. Little Bird's family lineage is not what she was originally led to believe, and the Bishop who's coming after her now has more secrets than all of them combined.
Illustrated by Michael Sloan
In the Fall of 2016, the Aldabaan family receives word that they have been approved to travel from Jordan to the United States. Brothers Ibrahim and Issa are able to emigrate with their families, but they are leaving behind their mother and another brother and family. This is after they have all fled war-torn Syria. The eldest son, Naji, can't wait for the family to start their new lives in the United States, but the political climate has Ibrahim and his wife, Adeebah, unsure of what they're going in to. Once in Connecticut, they receive help from IRIS, a refugee resettlement agency, and told that they need to become self-sufficient within four months. The whole family adjusts to oddities of America, such as basements and Life Alert. Naji and his sister, Amal, start school and are treated as outcasts. The family constantly wonders if they've really left behind the worse life.
We begin with the conclusion of Iku's parents visiting, in which Iku finds an advocate in an unlikely place. Next, we are introduced to Marie, a young woman who has a condition that is destroying her hearing. She is friends and neighbors with Instructor Komaki, and he always finds the right book to recommend to her. In her latest visit, Komaki recommends a book with a heroine suffering from the same condition. Bystanders at Marie's school report Komaki because they think he is cruel for giving her a book that focuses on her deafness, and officials forcibly remove Komaki for questioning and investigating into the alleged "abuse" of a disabled person. Of course, Iku can't wait for the rest of the squad to come up with the plan to save Komaki, so she puts things in motion for herself. In the Bonus manga of this volume, there is a story of a Publisher Party where the Library forces are providing security. Iku ruins her clothes, so she has to borrow a dress and get all dolled up, and she doesn't understand why all the men are hitting on her!
I've been reading Manga and comicbooks for years. Now, it's time to share my knowledge with you.
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