An appealing mixture of 95 percent humor and 5 percent horror perfect for fans of John Allison’s graphic-novel series Giant...

GRIM BEGINNINGS

From the Kim Reaper series , Vol. 1

Two girls attending university crush on each other and fight supernatural creatures in this charming graphic novel for teens.

Uni student Becka has a thing for goth girls. Brown-haired, brown-skinned, curvy, and femme, she works in a bakery and spends her art-history class daydreaming about her classmate Kim: “a 100% cutie with a booty.” Kim is pale with a purple bob and cat’s-eye eyeliner. When Becka finally works up the nerve to ask Kim out, she follows her out of class—and accidentally stumbles through a pink portal surrounded by skulls and swirling purple ghosts. Kim, casually carrying a portal-creating scythe, is on her way to reap the soul of a cat, her current assignment in her new job as a part-time grim reaper (to pay her way through uni). Becka’s arrival disrupts the process, sending them on a whirlwind adventure-turned-date to save Kim’s job and get home safely. Zombies, ghouls, and skeletal reapers all make appearances, but Graley’s humorous dialogue and cute cartoon illustrations (featuring Gravity Falls–esque oversized eyes and bubble-gum colors) keep things light.

An appealing mixture of 95 percent humor and 5 percent horror perfect for fans of John Allison’s graphic-novel series Giant Days and the web series Carmilla. (Graphic fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62010-455-2

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Oni Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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A warm, sweet, lovely tale of a world readers will want to live in.

ALWAYS HUMAN

In a not-so-distant future where changing one’s physical features is as easy as purchasing nanobot mods, Sunati falls for Austen, a girl who always looks the same.

Since Austen never changes, Sunati admires what she assumes is her bravery and confidence. As Sunati and Austen chat more, Austen bluntly asks Sunati if she only wants to get to know her more because of her medical condition, which prevents her from using mods. As they gradually grow closer, Sunati learns how to interact more respectfully with those who have overactive immune systems as well as to share her feelings more honestly. Austen, in turn, learns to trust Sunati. This beautifully illustrated slice-of-life tale that shows two young women of color getting to know each other and creating a relationship is so warm and charming that readers will hardly notice how much they are learning about how to better interact with folx who are different from themselves and the importance of not making assumptions. The story also successfully weaves in agender, genderfluid, and asexual characters as well as the subjects of parenting and colorism into the natural arc of Sunati and Austen’s developing story. The soft, romantic artwork evokes hazy watercolors. The speech bubbles are predominantly pink and blue, and the varied layout will maintain readers’ interest.

A warm, sweet, lovely tale of a world readers will want to live in. (Graphic romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1110-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 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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