A buoyant undersea adventure.

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MAKING WAVES

From the Mermin series , Vol. 5

Humans and sea people teeter on the brink of war over diminishing resources.

For years, the human inhabitants of Atlantis have lived peacefully alongside Mer, their green, gilled sea-people neighbors. They shared in the bounty of the precious energeodes, which powered their cities. However, as energeode supplies dwindle, tensions between the once-harmonious peoples become strained. With the escalating stresses, both the Atlanteans and the people of Mer start to suspect one another of even more wrongdoings. Mermin, the small, wide-eyed, and eternally cheery heir to the Mer throne and friend of Pete, a human kid with light-brown skin, finds himself in the middle of the conflict and must learn to summon the power of the sea to save his friend and his kingdom. Weiser has assembled a wholly enjoyable cast of characters and crafted a zippy tale perfectly suited to graphic storytelling. His rounded, bubbly, and altogether eye-catchingly cute marine inhabitants are awash in a pleasing blend of cool oceanic hues. Although this is the fifth and final volume in the series, it’s a fine jumping-in point for new readers, as it encapsulates a complete-feeling arc—explaining the Mer/Atlantean conflict from its beginnings and progressing through its battles to its resolution—and offers enough back story about characters to satisfy those unfamiliar with previous escapades.

A buoyant undersea adventure. (Graphic fantasy/adventure. 6-11)

Pub Date: April 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62010-394-4

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Oni Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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Visually lavish and unforgettable.

LOVE

THE FOX

From the Love series , Vol. 2

A one-eyed fox must fight its way through a dizzying array of dangers to return to what it holds dear.

In the midst of an unnamed wild, the seasons are changing from a blazingly rubicund autumn to a strikingly pallid winter. With a scar running vertically through one eye, a fox skulks along, hunting prey and avoiding other animals. However, when a volcano suddenly and violently explodes, the lone vulpine hero must now contend with the scorching lava as well as larger beasts, among them a killer whale, a Kodiak bear, and an albino Alaskan brown bear (according to the backmatter; it looks an awful lot like a polar bear). The crimson fox is continually making its way to something or someone, and against all odds, with love as a driving force, it eventually reaches its destination. Without use of words, Brrémaud and Bertolucci evince a visually arresting tale of survival and reunion. Bertolucci's illustrations are nothing short of breathtaking, portraying both the beauty and destruction of nature. Although the book is gorgeous and the panels, breathlessly paced, readers must account for a dash of poetic license in a landscape that changes climate so swiftly and completely and that the fox traverses in apparently so little time. This fallacy aside, this is a visceral offering whose beauty can’t help but dazzle.

Visually lavish and unforgettable. (Graphic adventure. 6-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-942367-06-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Magnetic Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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Though this effort has some eerie moments, it’s too abbreviated to offer more than sketches of plot or character.

GOLEMCHIK

From the 17 x 23 series

A boy’s dull summer turns exciting, to say the least, when he acquires a large and temperamental companion in this entry in a new series of graphic short stories.

Kevin’s friends have all gone off to camp or elsewhere, but before boredom can set in, an overnight accumulation of bugs and worms somehow transforms a pile of rocks and miscellaneous junk left in the woods into a mountainous, misshapen figure with a tiny cap atop its faceless head. As Kevin happily looks on, the monster proceeds to build and then violently smash a raft and a series of increasingly elaborate lean-tos made from broken branches or other found materials. One night it leaves a trail of destruction in town, and when, in trying to help it hide from an angry mob, Kevin takes off its cap, it suddenly reverts into a heap of rocks. Along with the abrupt ending (not to mention the never-explained title), readers may both question Kevin’s instant acceptance of the expressionless, mercurial monster and find much of its behavior hard to understand. Exley’s panels of loosely drawn orange and gray-blue cartoons add to the confusion, as many are wordless and some are close-up visual jumbles. Furthermore, the pacing is jerky, and occasional panels seem to exist just to fill a space or to hold a balloon full of Kevin’s chatter.

Though this effort has some eerie moments, it’s too abbreviated to offer more than sketches of plot or character. (Graphic short story. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-907704-79-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Nobrow Ltd.

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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