A story with potential that’s unfortunately marred by blatant racial stereotyping.

READ REVIEW

THE LONESOME ERA

The tricky dance of coming out and coming-of-age.

Camden is a cat, an astronomy enthusiast, and totally into his best monkey friend, Jeremiah. Camden is only comfortable writing about his attraction within a journal (one that his sister eventually finds, hinting that she knows and is very supportive). An encounter with an out rabbit selling T-shirts at a death metal concert nudges Camden toward a more open approach to living. He eventually kisses Jeremiah (blaming it on the dreadful cocktails they guzzle in the basement) and is also kissed by a girl who mistakes Camden’s politeness as flirtation. Camden ultimately finds his stride as a gay cat, even if he starts by mangling his ankle in a winceworthy accident. A slather of well-placed, well-paced humor (death by exploding testicles, barfing up hot dogs gone bad) gives some relatable grit and grime that make this less out-and-proud proselytizing and more slice-of-life hilarity. Unfortunately, the aggressive, lascivious, delinquent, drug-dealing, casually homophobic character of Jeremiah reflects negative tropes of black people thinly veiled by the form of an anthropomorphized monkey. The black-and-white illustrations in this compact graphic novel feature heavy lines and simple cartoon-style images that evoke the retro 1990s setting.

A story with potential that’s unfortunately marred by blatant racial stereotyping. (Graphic humor. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-945820-38-0

Page Count: 424

Publisher: Iron Circus Comics

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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?

No Comments Yet

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