Tuesday, June 12, 2007


So, I was really, really, really looking forward to coming home from class tonight and reading Sons of Empire. But it wasn't waiting for me on my doorstep. Publication is getting pushed back to August. UGH. Don't the good people at Vertigo know that I was counting on that to hold me over until Love Is a Many Trousered Thing comes out in early July? Which was in turn holding me over until THE BIG ONE?


Well, to commemorate my misery, here's a post of graphic novels and similar...

Jack of Fables Vol. 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape by Bill Willingham

Jack is a new Fables spin-off series. Jack was too big for Fable Town and was living the high life in LA, but now he's been kidnapped and forced into retirement by Mr. Revise-- the head librarian. Mr. Revise doesn't like Fables that are too big for their britches and holds them in his compound until the Mundies forget them, thereby stripping them of their power. This is where Mother Goose now lives. But, we know Jack, and nothing can hold him.

If you like Fables, you'll like Jack. It's along the same lines with the same new spin and smart humor.

I also want to add that I spent the entire book trying to place Sam the maintenance main. It wasn't until the end, when he did his thing with the tigers, that it clicked.

Miki Falls: Spring Mike Crilley

I don't read a lot of manga. It tends to not be my thing, but there was a question about this at work, so I picked it up. Now I can't wait until Miki Falls: Summer

So, it's Miki's first day of her senior year in high school when she meets the new boy in town, Hiro. Hiro pushes everyone away and doesn't want to make friends, or fit in. Miki knows there's something behind his tough exterior and wants in. Slowly, she starts chipping down his walls, only to find a really deep, big secret.

I was kinda blase on this until I found out what the secret was. Which I can't say, because that would totally ruin the book. But it's a really interesting concept that has me enthralled. Definitely on the girly side of things, I'm hooked.

Chicken with Plums Marjane Satrapi

I fell in love with Marjane Satrapi's work this spring
. Chicken with Plums is a short book looking at an Iranian musician's final days. After his wife breaks his tar during an arguement, Nasser Ali Khan can not find a new one he likes the sound of. Eventually, being unable to find a new instrument to play, he loses the will to live, and decides to die. In the eight days until his death, Satrapi (his great-niece) chronicles his dreams and hallucinations, illuminating his past and the future of his family.

The same elements that make Satrapi's previous works great are at play here, with the element of mystical realism, and heartbreak. Her art tends to be stark, which adds to the bleakness that Nasser Ali, and the reader, feels as he waits for Death to come to him.

You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons - The World on One Cartoon a Day Mo Willems

Those of us who are hep to kidlit best know Mr. Willems from such fantastic titles as Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and Leonardo, the Terrible Monster. That last one is one of my favorites for storytime-- especially that temper tantrum bit in the middle. I really get into that one.

Anyway, back in the day, before he started writing hilarious children's books that adults enjoy almost as much as children, but on a whole different level, back when Willems was just a recent college grad not entirely sure what to do with this life... he took a trip around the world. Instead of keeping a traditional travel journal, at the end of each day, Willems drew one cartoon. His cartoons tend not to cover the big tourist things, or the splendor of a country, but rather those little moments that make travel so awesome and perfect. Most cartoons had a caption and Willems has added modern day captions and commentary as well.

Some of my favorites were from December 9th, "While ordering lunch, make a mental note to learn the Thai word for 'chicken'" or July 3, "Old enough to smoke, young enough to play hide and seek."

Dave Barry's introduction is also hilarious and sets the book up perfectly.

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl Barry Lyga

Donnie's the geeky scrawny kid who's always getting picked on in dodgeball with the gym teacher never noticing, or caring. His best friend is a super-cool jock, so they can't hang out together at school (even though I got the feeling this is mor Donnie's imagining of an unspoken rule that his friend really didn't care about). His mother is pregnant and won't let anyone come over to the house, and he hates his stepdad. The only real comfort he gets is from reading comic books and drawing his own. Then, one day, the goth girl, Kyra enters his life and everything changes.

Boy meets amazing/weird girl who changes everything has been a trend I've noticed a lot in YA books recently. Maybe this is the boy equivelent of the girl story of girl cruches after hott popular guy and never realizes until the end that her best guy friend is her prince charming after all...

I liked this book. Donnie's voice is sharp and authentic. And Lyga's love of comic books shows through, which is why I'm including it in this post, even though it's not a graphic novel.

Also, I have 17 books checked out from the library and another 6 borrowed from other people. So, the first part of my "read what you own, doofus" challenge is to, well, read those 23 titles. I'm halfway through the biggest, slowest going one, Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for recommending my book, Miki Falls! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and really appreciate you spreading the word!

Mark Crilley

Jennie said...

It's a great book Mark, so I'm glad to do it. I'm really looking forward to the next one!