Puts the dark in comedy and sheds some light on an addict’s circuitous path to uncertainty.

JULIAN IN PURGATORY

The drug addiction, unemployment, homelessness, near death, and fractured search for self-worth of a deceptively cute comic cat.

Julian (an anthropomorphized cat) is the son of a former two-term mayor, wearer of expensive shirts, and addict of his coffee-table drug buffet. After his levelheaded girlfriend kicks him out, Julian dredges his list of next-best friends hoping to find money, new digs, and someone who will understand why the world is against him. Though he hates his haters, he can’t help but think that maybe there’s some truth to what they’re saying. Julian’s interpretation of lemons to lemonade: steal a bag of drugs from his dealer and try to make a financial go of it without getting caught. Except he does. The panels per spread alternate from one per page to four, an intentionality of variation that keeps the visual narrative flowing. Close-ups have an ad campaign graphic quality to them (sharp and chic). Speech bubbles have easily digested text (even spacing, linear execution). An absence of scratchy texture to the art makes for a smooth, black-and-white creaminess that supports the seemingly innocuous world of adorable animal characters (you nearly forget you’re witnessing weighty material like attempted murder, a dead drug dealer in hell, or two girlfriends getting drunk while bashing bad boyfriends).

Puts the dark in comedy and sheds some light on an addict’s circuitous path to uncertainty. (Graphic fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-945820-74-8

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Iron Circus Comics

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A heartwarming, funny story filled with richness and complexity.

PUMPKINHEADS

Autumn loving, they had a blast; autumn loving, it happened too fast.

Having worked together in the Succotash Hut at the pumpkin patch for years, best friends and co-workers Deja and Josiah, who goes by Josie, ditch work and find love on their last night, heading out in search of Josie’s unrequited love, the girl who works in the Fudge Shoppe. Deja, a witty and outgoing girl who attracts—and is attracted to—boys and girls alike, is set on helping the shy, rule-following Josie move out of his comfort zone before they part ways for college. Deja encourages Josie to take a chance and talk to the girl of his dreams instead of pining for her from afar. Not to be dissuaded by his reticence, Deja leads Josie to multiple stops in the Patch in search of the almost-impossible-to-find Fudge Girl, with every stop taking them in a new direction and providing a new treat. As they journey through the Patch—chasing a snack-stealing rascal, dodging a runaway goat, and snacking their way through treats from fudge to Freeto pie—they explore the boundaries of their friendship. Visually bright and appealing in autumnal reds, oranges, and yellows, the art enhances this endearing picture of teenage love. Deja is a beautiful, plus-sized black girl, and Josie is a handsome, blond white boy.

A heartwarming, funny story filled with richness and complexity. (Graphic fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-162-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more