A comic horror tour de force.

THE LAST HALLOWEEN

THE CHILDREN

When nightmarish creatures attack, the fate of humanity rests in the hands of a 10-year-old girl.

It is Halloween night, and all young Mona wants to do is trick-or-treat, but her parent is unable to take her. In the dark and gloom of night, monsters descend, and Mona finds herself absorbed into a motley but friendly crew of creatures: tween vampire Ringley, creepy living doll Robert, teenage ghoul Shirley, and Banjo the wereopossum. The nightmarish monster scourge has been unleashed by the presumed death of the Phagocyte, a magical being who keeps the balance between worlds. Can Mona and her friends find the Phagocyte’s heir before the monsters devour all of humanity? In this spectacularly wrought graphic offering, writer and artist Howard’s illustrations are unquestionably striking, utilizing a perfect mood-setting black-and-white pen-and-ink scheme and grabbing its reader with both the scope of its imagination and its clever use of perspective, including fish-eye shots. Despite its prepubescent protagonist, this is not a middle-grade tale; Howard has a keen eye for creative gore that may deter the squeamish, however, those who forge on will be utterly captivated by its unexpected heart and dark humor. Although Howard’s first volume in a proposed series is a hefty doorstop at nearly 450 pages, expect readers to blaze through it at wildfire speed and absolutely demand more. Mona’s parent is nonbinary; most characters appear to be White.

A comic horror tour de force. (character list, reader questions, guide to making a comic) (Graphic horror. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-945820-66-3

Page Count: 442

Publisher: Iron Circus Comics

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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THE ODYSSEY

Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar.

LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME

A 17-year-old struggles to navigate friendship and finding herself while navigating a toxic relationship.

Biracial (East Asian and white) high schooler Freddy is in love with white Laura Dean. She can’t help it—Laura oozes cool. But while Freddy’s friends are always supportive of her, they can’t understand why she stays with Laura. Laura cheats on Freddy, gaslights and emotionally manipulates her, and fetishizes her. After Laura breaks up with her for a third time, Freddy writes to an advice columnist and, at the recommendation of her best friend Doodle, (reluctantly) sees a psychic who advises her that in order to break out of the cycle of her “non-monogamous swing-your-partner wormhole,” Freddy needs to do the breaking up herself. As she struggles to fall out of love and figure out how to “break up with someone who’s broken up with me,” Freddy slowly begins to be drawn back into Laura’s orbit, challenging her relationships with her friends as she searches for happiness. Tamaki (Supergirl, 2018, etc.) explores the nuances of both romantic and platonic relationships with raw tenderness and honesty. Valero-O’Connell’s (Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks, 2018, etc.) art is realistic and expressive, bringing the characters to life through dynamic grayscale illustrations featuring highlights of millennial pink. Freddy and her friends live in Berkeley, California, and have a diversity of body shapes, gender expressions, sexualities, and skin tones.

A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar. (Graphic novel. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-259-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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