PAGE BY PAIGE

A sweet coming-of-age graphic novel about an artistic introvert. Sixteen-year-old Paige Turner (a product of writer parents, though that still doesn’t forgive the somewhat cruel moniker) is a recent transplant to Brooklyn from rural Virginia. Lonely and aloof, she decides to take her passion—art—to a new level and follow the rules that her grandmother (also an artist) lived by. Paige luckily falls in with a group of similarly artistic kids, and they become a tight circle. In this bunch, Paige meets Gabe, a handsome young writer whose love for the written word rivals her love for art. The group spends their days wandering the city, improvising thoughtful, random acts of art that they hope will touch those around them. In a story-within-a-story, readers are made privy to Paige’s sketchbook, exposing with her innermost thoughts, even as they join her quest for identity and belonging. Paige’s sketches are soft and expressive, and Gulledge does an admirable job of providing insight into Paige’s musings, creating a very intimate ambiance for this well-fleshed-out character. The artist masterfully commands her piece, creating a cohesive and fluid work that cascade smoothly along. Teens are sure to relate to this wallflower who blooms—gloriously. (Graphic fiction. 13 & up)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8109-9721-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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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

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A sure winner for any reader with a yen to become permanently terrified. Brilliant.

THROUGH THE WOODS

A print and Web comics artist offers five creep-out chillers (four new) with folk-tale motifs and thoroughly disquieting art.

Well-placed lines of terse, hand-lettered commentary and dialogue reinforce narrative connections but are also as much visual elements as are the impenetrable shadows, grim figures, and stark, crimson highlights in Carroll’s inky pictures. Making expert use of silent sequences, sudden close-ups and other cinematic techniques to crank up the terror, the author opens and closes in a dimly lit bedroom (much like yours), bookending the five primary stories. In “Our Neighbor’s House,” a trio of sisters are taken one by one by a never-seen smiling man. In the next, a bride discovers that “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold”—as are the other pieces (seen in close, icky detail) of her husband’s dismembered but not entirely dead former wife. Two cases of supernatural possession (“His Face All Red” and “My Friend Janna”) follow. The collection is capped by a true screamer in which a teenager’s memories of her mother’s tales of a cellar-dwelling monster with a “sweet, wet voice” segue into a horrific revelation about her pretty new sister-in-law. Lonely houses, dark woods and wolves? Check. Spectral figures with blood-red innards? Check. Writhing tentacles bursting from suddenly inhuman mouths? Check!

A sure winner for any reader with a yen to become permanently terrified. Brilliant. (Graphic horror. 13-18)

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-6595-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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