A melancholic but multicolored apocalyptic tale told with originality.

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EVER AFTER

Seeking a friend and forgiveness at the end of the world.

It’s been two years since the zombielike outbreak started, but life in the walled city of Weimar, Germany, is relatively safe. The hospital warden dotes on once-blond Vivi, even obtaining pink hair dye for her, but nevertheless sends her to the barricade to help fend off the hungry hordes. After a bite puts a sudden end to a fleeting new friendship, Vivi ends up on the run with irritated (and now infected) fellow fighter Eva. Caught in the wilderness beyond the walls, auburn-haired Eva repeatedly and reluctantly saves the hapless Vivi. Opposites in lethality, both are haunted by the dead—Vivi by those she couldn’t save and Eva by those she’s killed. The palette is vivid and warm, an unusually cheerful choice for a typically bleak subject, with hints of a manga influence. Although the undead—here, blank-eyed biters, some sprouting vines and tendrils—follow the usual zombie behaviors, the tale deviates from some standard tropes, beginning in media res, with characters aware of the infection but not all-knowing, and throwing a curveball of a conclusion. Offering minimal history and concrete context, Vieweg offers an art-house take on a normally gory and typically action-packed subject and focuses on the now, rather than the how, of the apocalypse. Main human characters are white.

A melancholic but multicolored apocalyptic tale told with originality. (Graphic horror. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-8392-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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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 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

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