Whether sports fans, fantasy enthusiasts, or just comics lovers, readers will be eager for more adventures with this...

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FANTASY SPORTS

From the Fantasy Sports series , Vol. 1

A young wizard apprentice and a brutish tomb raider rebound from a deadly pickup game.

Wiz-Kid, a teenage intern, has learned that her reassignment request has been denied; she is mandated to continue assisting Mug, a temperamental, muscle-bound tomb raider. Each at odds with the other, they are sent out into the field to acquire magical artifacts, coming face to face with He of the Giant Steps, a cunning guardian mummy. In order to get the job done, they have to consent to the “ancient law,” which in this case requires Mug to best Giant Steps in a game of basketball. Seldom does Wiz produce her wand—once to light dark areas and again to distract Giant Steps during the match. She may be an intern, but she serves as the lead, an astute and agile heroine who gives readers a new, strong female character in the comics world. A scene in which she steals the ball from Giant Steps and flips him the middle finger is hilarious, albeit a tad out of character. Bosma’s manga-inspired panels toggle among fiery orange-reds (for hotheaded, muscle-bound Mug), cool hues (for smart, collected Wiz), and neon yellow-greens (for foul, ancient Giant), representing each athlete. Bosma successfully blends fantasy, myth, and sports to kick off this new modern comic(al) series.

Whether sports fans, fantasy enthusiasts, or just comics lovers, readers will be eager for more adventures with this unlikely duo . (Graphic fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-907704-80-2

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Nobrow Ltd.

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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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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