A melancholic but multicolored apocalyptic tale told with originality.

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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A sweet romantic fantasy that tackles the uncertain future.

CRUMBS

A seer (with limitations) experiences first love as she tries to navigate her future.

Unlike traditional seers, Ray can only see a person’s present, not their future. Despite the frustrating limitations of her gift, Ray studies at the Council Academy, hoping to join the Grand Council of Sorcerers. As a weekly reprieve, she visits Marigold’s Bakery, where the pastries possess spells to help manifest desired emotions or outcomes; Ray always chooses “romance.” It is there she meets barista Laurie, the owner’s nephew and an aspiring musician. The pair grow closer after Laurie invites Ray to an open mic night with his friends. As Ray contemplates whether the future she’s been working toward is truly the right one for her, Laurie is learning how to overcome rejection after rejection in his musical career. Despite life’s curveballs, each learns to look inward for answers but also lean into the other. Stirling’s graphic novel, adapted from a webcomic, presents readers with an enthralling new world brimming with magic. The bright pastel palette makes it all the more inviting. Steady pacing allows the story to blossom as Ray and Laurie grow as a couple and navigate the disappointments that come with chasing dreams. Brown-skinned Ray is fat with wavy brown hair; racially ambiguous Laurie has straight black hair, black eyes, and light skin. The supporting cast is diverse in race, sexuality, and body type.

A sweet romantic fantasy that tackles the uncertain future. (Graphic fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: July 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-358-46779-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Etch/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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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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