Fans will be breathing down Bosma’s neck for the third.

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THE BANDIT OF BARBEL BAY

From the Fantasy Sports series , Vol. 2

Just as its predecessor, Fantasy Sports, Vol. 1, did, this manga-inspired volume features Wiz-Kid, a brown-skinned young female wizard apprentice, and Mug, a barbarous tomb raider.

When Mug and Wiz are thrown off route on their way to the Archmage and land in a ramshackle town populated by what look like walking fish, Mug’s injured, and Wiz hasn’t enough magic to take them to their destination. Soon after meeting a cunning healer who tells them it was mages who ruined Barbel Bay, their bags of treasure are stolen. Conjuring the minimal magic to which she has access, Wiz produces a spell to find the treasure. Following it, the pair navigates seemingly abandoned streets until they reach the shore, where everyone has gathered for a volleyball tournament—at which their treasure has been added to the prize. In the process of their saga, Wiz starts to question their missions. What truly does the Order of Mages mean to do with all the treasure? Why are they raiding cities and leaving them ruined? Bosma could have simply mirrored Wiz’s first, successful outing, but instead he introduces Wiz’s back story, moral complexity, and mystery and leaves the ending unresolved, making this second volume more substantial than the first. Bosma’s anime panels are polished, with movement and the right amount of intricate action-adventure frames.

Fans will be breathing down Bosma’s neck for the third. (Graphic fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-910620-10-6

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Nobrow Ltd.

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced...

MACBETH

From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

A pairing of the text of the Scottish Play with a filmed performance, designed with the Shakespeare novice in mind.

The left side of the screen of this enhanced e-book contains a full version of Macbeth, while the right side includes a performance of the dialogue shown (approximately 20 lines’ worth per page). This granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play, which is rich in irony, hidden intentions and sudden shifts in emotional temperature. The set and costuming are deliberately simple: The background is white, and Macbeth’s “armor” is a leather jacket. But nobody’s dumbing down their performances. Francesca Faridany is particularly good as a tightly coiled Lady Macbeth; Raphael Nash-Thompson gives his roles as the drunken porter and a witch a garrulousness that carries an entertainingly sinister edge. The presentation is not without its hiccups. Matching the video on the right with the text on the left means routinely cutting off dramatic moments; at one point, users have to swipe to see and read the second half of a scene’s closing couplet—presumably an easy fix. A “tap to translate” button on each page puts the text into plain English, but the pop-up text covers up Shakespeare’s original, denying any attempts at comparison; moreover, the translation mainly redefines more obscure words, suggesting that smaller pop-ups for individual terms might be more meaningful.

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students . (Enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: The New Book Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times...

ROMEO AND JULIET

From the Campfire Classics series

A bland, uninspired graphic adaptation of the Bard’s renowned love story.

Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times oddly psychedelic-tinged backgrounds of cool blues and purples, the mood is strange, and the overall ambiance of the story markedly absent. Appealing to what could only be a high-interest/low–reading level audience, McDonald falls short of the mark. He explains a scene in an open-air tavern with a footnote—“a place where people gather to drink”—but he declines to offer definitions for more difficult words, such as “dirges.” While the adaptation does follow the foundation of the play, the contemporary language offers nothing; cringeworthy lines include Benvolio saying to Romeo at the party where he first meets Juliet, “Let’s go. It’s best to leave now, while the party’s in full swing.” Nagar’s faces swirl between dishwater and grotesque, adding another layer of lost passion in a story that should boil with romantic intensity. Each page number is enclosed in a little red heart; while the object of this little nuance is obvious, it’s also unpleasantly saccharine. Notes after the story include such edifying tidbits about Taylor Swift and “ ‘Wow’ dialogs from the play” (which culls out the famous quotes).

Pub Date: May 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-93-80028-58-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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