Another crowd-pleasing, compulsively readable entry in this divine series.

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HERMES

TALES OF THE TRICKSTER

From the Olympians series , Vol. 10

The most mischievous of the gods presents some of his most outrageous pranks and exploits.

Seeking shelter for himself and his dog, a seemingly ordinary, dark-skinned traveler regales a many-eyed watchman with tales of the trickster god’s infancy (“Hermes was not a good little baby”), introduction to Olympus (“Where is that miserable, thieving, lying, little @#&?!?!”), and such unusual (even for gods) offspring as Hermaphrodite and Pan. Though it all leads up to an awesome climactic battle between Zeus and the humongous, ravening monster Typhon, readers are likely to find even more memorable a hilarious earlier episode involving doggy petitioners who repeatedly fail to complete their mission on behalf of all canine kind because every time they lay eyes on Zeus they “void their bowels.” In any case the storyteller turns out to be Aesop, his dog the great trickster in disguise, his listener Argus the All-Seeing, and the whole frame story another mythological episode that will lead in to another volume in this exemplary series. As usual, in O’Connor’s neatly framed panels the Olympians are ripped if male, poised and graceful if female, individual in features and skin color. Also as usual, he enhances his richly entertaining retellings with a massive family tree at the beginning, summary profiles of his main characters, notes, and discussion questions at the end.

Another crowd-pleasing, compulsively readable entry in this divine series. (bibliography) (Graphic mythology. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-524-9

Page Count: 82

Publisher: Neal Porter/First Second

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Readers in search of unalloyed wish fulfillment thickly layered with melodramatic posturing and gore-free, comics-style...

TYRANNOSAURUS RALPH

A bullying victim saves Earth after his brain is transferred into the body of a T. Rex.

Stomped flat by a huge green foot in the wake of a humiliating encounter with aptly named white classmate Melvin Goonowitz, Ralph, a nerdy boy with light-brown skin, wakes to discover that thanks to local handyman/superscientist Professor Overdrive, he’s not dead but inhabiting a toothy, if tiny-armed, dinosaur brought from the distant past. Why? Because Earth is commanded to send a champion to join 10,000 other gladiators in the interstellar Coliseum of Crunch to fight one another for the continued existence of their planets. Next to the wildly diverse array of glowering, garishly hued, mightily thewed aliens filling the graphic panels, Ralph looks like Barney’s little green brother—but with pluck and luck he not only bumbles his way to an epic win, he rescues a blue-skinned new friend from a sexual predator. Back to Earth in triumph he goes to scare Goonowitz into peeing his pants, then switch into a boy again (in a cloned bod courtesy of Professor Overdrive) with an ongoing new mission to protect little guys from getting picked on. A note about real gladiators of the ancient Roman sort is tacked on at the end.

Readers in search of unalloyed wish fulfillment thickly layered with melodramatic posturing and gore-free, comics-style violence need look no further. (Graphic fantasy/science fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4494-7208-5

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Andrews McMeel

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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A visual stunner that covers new ground.  (panel discussions, bibliography, suggested reading) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-14)

ANNIE SULLIVAN AND THE TRIALS OF HELEN KELLER

The story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan is given new life in an imaginative graphic novel.

This volume from The Center for Cartoon Studies focuses on the trials both Annie and Helen struggle with in their lives. If Helen was a trial for her family and Annie over the years, she is literally put on trial at the Perkins Institution. The final third of the book is devoted to this “trial,” not nearly as well known as the famous scene at the well, where Helen finally makes the mental connection that water is always water, whether in a cup, in a pitcher or running from a pump. Having gone on to learn to write, she is accused of plagiarizing her story “The Frost King,” which was published in the Perkins Institution’s alumni magazine. Interrogated for two hours, Helen was so devastated that she never wrote fiction again. The incident allows Lambert to go beyond the famous well scene to further explore the nature of words, language and ideas. “If your ideas don’t come from teacher, where do they come from?” Helen’s interrogators ask. It’s a sophisticated, sometimes overly abstract, presentation, but the volume, like its predecessors, is visually appealing and daring. Helen's perspective is powerfully communicated in dialogue-free black panels in which she is represented as only a gray silhouette.

A visual stunner that covers new ground.  (panel discussions, bibliography, suggested reading) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 27, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-1336-2

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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