An evocative meditation on personal pain and dreams deferred.

A 30-something woman must reckon with judgments from her 15-year-old self.

In 2013, Luisa Arambol, a commercial food photographer, lives in the Paris apartment left to her by her late Aunt Aurelia, a woman she barely knew. Luisa has little contact with her mother, unsatisfying short-term relationships with men, and an irresponsible relationship with alcohol. In the 1990s, Luisa pops a cassette into her Walkman, hops on a bus to her home near Chartres, and nods off, waking up in Paris. She is rescued by Luisa’s neighbor Sasha, who deposits her with Luisa senior, and the two work out their connection—as well as a cover story about a long-lost cousin. Teen Luisa is horrified, regarding her older self as a sellout who compromised on artistic integrity. Even more painful to confront is both Luisas’ feelings about her sexuality and her treatment of a teenage friend who was a target of homophobic bullying. Lesbian Sasha becomes a lightning rod for adult Luisa’s conflicted feelings. As the two Luisas spend time more together, they experience greater conflict as well as a melding of sorts. The golden-hued illustrations vividly evoke the Parisian setting, with flashbacks rendered in sepia tones. The realism of the art accentuates the surreal dislocation both women experience. The story is told honestly, with no sugarcoating of painful truths, and will hold strong appeal for teen and adult readers alike. Main characters are white; there are secondary characters of color.

An evocative meditation on personal pain and dreams deferred. (Graphic fantasy. 15-adult)

Pub Date: June 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59465-643-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Life Drawn

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2020


A clever and timely conversation on reclaiming identity and acknowledging one’s full worth.

Superman confronts racism and learns to accept himself with the help of new friends.

In this graphic-novel adaptation of the 1940s storyline entitled “The Clan of the Fiery Cross” from The Adventures of Superman radio show, readers are reintroduced to the hero who regularly saves the day but is unsure of himself and his origins. The story also focuses on Roberta Lee, a young Chinese girl. She and her family have just moved from Chinatown to Metropolis proper, and mixed feelings abound. Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane’s colleague from the Daily Planet, takes a larger role here, befriending his new neighbors, the Lees. An altercation following racial slurs directed at Roberta’s brother after he joins the local baseball team escalates into an act of terrorism by the Klan of the Fiery Kross. What starts off as a run-of-the-mill superhero story then becomes a nuanced and personal exploration of the immigrant experience and blatant and internalized racism. Other main characters are White, but Black police inspector William Henderson fights his own battles against prejudice. Clean lines, less-saturated coloring, and character designs reminiscent of vintage comics help set the tone of this period piece while the varied panel cuts and action scenes give it a more modern sensibility. Cantonese dialogue is indicated through red speech bubbles; alien speech is in green.

A clever and timely conversation on reclaiming identity and acknowledging one’s full worth. (author’s note, bibliography) (Graphic fiction. 13-adult)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77950-421-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Feb. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020


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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