19 March 2012

19 March 2012–News and a Review

giants beware

Image Courtesy :01 Second Books

Written by: Jorge Aguirre, Illustrated by Rafael Rosado.

:01 Second 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59643-582-7 (paperback)

$14.99 Ages 7 & Up


All Claudette wants to do is battle giants. Unfortunately, everyone is dead-set against her leaving the town, much less battling mythical creatures. Taking matters into her own hands, Claudette tricks and aspiring pastry chef (her little brother, Gaston) and her friend and aspiring princess Marie into sneaking out of town under the pretext of training for princesses and pastry chefs. Now, with these three “heroes” on the adventure of a lifetime, the entire town hot on their heels in an effort to rescue them, and a giant discovery in store, Claudette may have gotten herself into a problem she can’t get out of.


Aguirre and Rosado are veterans of children’s entertainment, and their latest offering is no different. The characters are all well defined and unique, not only through the artwork, but through their personalities. Claudette is hell-bent for leather on making a name for herself, while Gaston has absolute faith in his cooking, and Marie is princess in everything but title. Even the mass of villagers have their own unique foibles, adding color to a potentially boring mass of extras. Rosado’s artwork is cartoony, but instead of detracting from the story, it accentuates the frenetic and fun pace of Aguirre’s storytelling.

Final Thoughts

Aguirre and Rosado are professionals, and it shows. I had such a difficult time getting through this book – not because it’s a bad book, or difficult to navigate, but because I was laughing so much. I had to stop every couple of minutes to compose myself, and explain to my family what was causing my mirth. This is a brilliantly executed, beautifully illustrated, and thoughtfully written story that needs to be in everyone’s library. It’s one of those rare stories that needs to be placed in the canon of children’s graphic novels and be celebrated for generations to come.



In industry news, it appears that Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane have finally settled their dispute over ownership rights regarding several characters created back in the 1990s. A comprehensive timeline cane be located here. Special thanks to Pádraig Ó Méalóid, who slaved over many, many documents (physical and digital) to bring some semblance of order to the whole shebang.


Jimmy Gownley has sold the rights to an as-of-yet unnamed graphic novel series. He’s keeping a tight lid on the specifics, but if it’s a tenth of what he’s done previously, it’s going to be great stuff.


Dan McGuiness, author and illustrator of the popular graphic novel series Pilot & Huxley (which was my very first review I ever did, and then lost – I’m still kicking myself over that one Dan!) has just signed a deal to bring an animated version of his series to American Audiences. Scholastic is behind this move, so be expecting something concrete within the next year (this is complete conjecture! Do not quote as fact!). McGuiness is also working on a new series. He’s only graced us with one image so far, but knowing McGuiness, it’s going to be interesting. Latest news from McGuiness cane be found here.


Finally, I don’t usually talk about web comics, but this one is just too good to pass up. Steve Conley has started a new web comic based off of his character “Bloop” an adorable green space monkey. Bloop started out as comic relief in Conley’s Astounding Space Thrills comics, and has been nagging Conley ever since. This is definitely a series to keep an eye on, and promises to be a huge delight to readers. Check out Bloop’s page here.

13 March 2012

13 March 2012–Earthquakes!


Image courtesy Capstone Press

Written by Renée Gray-Wilburn, Illustrated by Aleksander Sotirovski
Capstone Press 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4296-7950-3 (paperback)
$5.95 Ages 5 - 8
A new title in the First Graphics Series, Earthquakes! explains how this terrifying natural phenomena happens, how we track them, and how we can stay safe when they occur.

The books in the First Graphics Series are always solid choices, and this one is no different. They also serve a two-fold purpose: first, they teach emergent readers the proper way to read graphic novels, and second, they also impart real world knowledge about specific subjects.

Final Thoughts
Solidly written, well presented and illustrated in a kid friendly way. These are always a good choice for classrooms, science minded kids and and school libraries.

07 March 2012

7 March 2012–Weekly Top 5 from Top 5 Comics


So Steve over at Top 5 Comics has updated his weekly picks for new titles coming out this month. You can view the list here.

06 March 2012

6 March 2012–An Unfortunate Series of Events

Well, first off, I don’t want everyone thinking I reviewing anything Lemony Snicket (although that would be really cool to see those in graphic novel format).

I’m sorry faithful readers, but I’m on the losing end of this fight with a head cold currently, and as such, I ‘m in no shape to do a review this week, which makes me extremely sad, because I’ve been digging around and finding some really, really cool stuff. Hopefully, I’ll be all better by this weekend, because I’m planning on traveling to Denver (the Mile-Hi City!) to discuss the Denver Comic Con with the Powers That Be. Believe me, if I wasn’t sick right now, I would film myself doing a happy dance and post it here.

As it stands, I’m looking to give you guys a idea of what to expect this summer at this most awesome of events.

So, just hang in there folks, I didn’t forget about you!


P.s. Almost forgot to let you guys know, I’ll be speaking at the DCCLC this summer prior to the Comic Con itself. My presentation is going to be about the idea that by using comics and graphic novels geared towards younger audiences, not only do emergent readers learn to read in traditional forms (i.e. picture books, prose, etc.) but also learn to interpret the juxtaposition of words and images in a meaningful way. So, be on the look out for that!