A short and somewhat wistful coming-of-age with a paranormal twist.

GHOSTED IN L.A.

From the Ghosted in L.A. series , Vol. 1

A new girl finds friendship with old souls in this graphic novel.

After following her boyfriend, Ronnie, from Montana to Los Angeles for college, Daphne Walters finds herself ghosted, then dumped. Tan, dark-haired, Jewish Daphne can’t find companionship with her roommate, Michelle, a moody white girl who locks her out of the room when her Bible group meets. Adding to her isolation, she is fighting with Kristi, her BFF, who is studying in Santa Cruz. Stumbling upon Rycroft Manor, with its old Hollywood elegance (and swimming pool), Daphne finally feels at home…even though all the other residents are ghosts. While a slew of ghosts are introduced, only a few get flashback sequences in this installment, leaving the manor residents’ histories and mysteries mostly unexplored. Free of flourishes and trippy sequences, the clean lines, limited palette, and crisp, realistic artwork focus on Daphne’s emotional journey, the loneliness of life in Los Angeles, the fear of being friendless as a college freshman, and the larger existential dread of dying without fully living first. The ghosts died in different decades and include a black woman and a gay white man; all are haunted by their pasts, and not all are friendly. Some living characters bring racial diversity to the cast, and sexual orientation is explored in depth.

A short and somewhat wistful coming-of-age with a paranormal twist. (Graphic novel. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68415-505-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: BOOM! Box

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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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

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A solid introduction for budding lovers of the Bard.

HAMLET

From the Campfire Graphic Novels series

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

The timeless tale of the young and disaffected Danish prince who is pushed to avenge his father’s untimely murder at the hands of his brother unfolds with straightforward briskness. Shakespeare’s text has been liberally but judiciously cut, staying true to the thematic meaning while dispensing with longer speeches (with the notable exception of the renowned “to be or not to be” soliloquy) and intermediary dialogues. Some of the more obscure language has been modernized, with a glossary of terms provided at the end; despite these efforts, readers wholly unfamiliar with the story might struggle with independent interpretation. Where this adaptation mainly excels is in its art, especially as the play builds to its tensely wrought final act. Illustrator Kumar (World War Two, 2015, etc.) pairs richly detailed interiors and exteriors with painstakingly rendered characters, each easily distinguished from their fellows through costume, hairstyle, and bearing. Human figures are generally depicted in bust or three-quarter shots, making the larger panels of full figures all the more striking. Heavily scored lines of ink form shadows, lending the otherwise bright pages a gritty air. All characters are white.

A solid introduction for budding lovers of the Bard. (biography of Shakespeare, dramatis personae, glossary) (Graphic novel. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-93-81182-51-2

Page Count: 90

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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