You go, girl.

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FAITH

HOLLYWOOD AND VINE

From the Faith series , Vol. 1

Fat and fierce superhero Zephyr—aka Faith Herbert—leaves the Harbinger Resistance to fly solo.

On her own in LA and with her secret identity blown in a previous adventure, blonde, white Faith goes Clark Kent with a pair of glasses, a red wig, and a new name—Summer Smith—to complement her role as a mild-mannered content writer for online outlet Zipline. She works hard to get over ex-boyfriend and rising reality TV star Torque and continues to fight crime. Investigating the disappearance of a young black teen, a possible psiot like her, soon leads her to the evil Vine, who are experimenting on psiots as part of a plot to (of course) take over the Earth. Faith is an enormously likable character, an unapologetic geek and fangirl. Dialogue and internal monologues are both strong in banter (“I can do this,” she thinks to herself as she prepares to write a puff piece on Torque. “I’m a freakin’ superhero”) and reflective of an unflinching moral code. Portela’s and Sauvage’s classic superhero stylings accommodate Faith’s size with ease and respect. Readers unfamiliar with previous Harbinger storylines will flounder a bit as they catch up, but the willingness to suspend disbelief and go with the superhero flow will take them far. This volume compiles the first four issues of her solo comic.

You go, girl. (Graphic fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68215-121-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Valiant Entertainment

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times...

ROMEO AND JULIET

From the Campfire Classics series

A bland, uninspired graphic adaptation of the Bard’s renowned love story.

Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times oddly psychedelic-tinged backgrounds of cool blues and purples, the mood is strange, and the overall ambiance of the story markedly absent. Appealing to what could only be a high-interest/low–reading level audience, McDonald falls short of the mark. He explains a scene in an open-air tavern with a footnote—“a place where people gather to drink”—but he declines to offer definitions for more difficult words, such as “dirges.” While the adaptation does follow the foundation of the play, the contemporary language offers nothing; cringeworthy lines include Benvolio saying to Romeo at the party where he first meets Juliet, “Let’s go. It’s best to leave now, while the party’s in full swing.” Nagar’s faces swirl between dishwater and grotesque, adding another layer of lost passion in a story that should boil with romantic intensity. Each page number is enclosed in a little red heart; while the object of this little nuance is obvious, it’s also unpleasantly saccharine. Notes after the story include such edifying tidbits about Taylor Swift and “ ‘Wow’ dialogs from the play” (which culls out the famous quotes).

Pub Date: May 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-93-80028-58-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced...

MACBETH

From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

A pairing of the text of the Scottish Play with a filmed performance, designed with the Shakespeare novice in mind.

The left side of the screen of this enhanced e-book contains a full version of Macbeth, while the right side includes a performance of the dialogue shown (approximately 20 lines’ worth per page). This granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play, which is rich in irony, hidden intentions and sudden shifts in emotional temperature. The set and costuming are deliberately simple: The background is white, and Macbeth’s “armor” is a leather jacket. But nobody’s dumbing down their performances. Francesca Faridany is particularly good as a tightly coiled Lady Macbeth; Raphael Nash-Thompson gives his roles as the drunken porter and a witch a garrulousness that carries an entertainingly sinister edge. The presentation is not without its hiccups. Matching the video on the right with the text on the left means routinely cutting off dramatic moments; at one point, users have to swipe to see and read the second half of a scene’s closing couplet—presumably an easy fix. A “tap to translate” button on each page puts the text into plain English, but the pop-up text covers up Shakespeare’s original, denying any attempts at comparison; moreover, the translation mainly redefines more obscure words, suggesting that smaller pop-ups for individual terms might be more meaningful.

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students . (Enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: The New Book Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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