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Graphic Novel

It’s Not Fair Penguins Can’t Fly

An unusual new graphic novel from Fantagraphics Books: Penguins by Nick Thorburn. “Told almost entirely without words, Penguins is one of the most playfully original graphic novels in recent memory… relying on visual expression and the physical movement of his penguin characters, as well as the formal properties of sequential drawings (with penguins routinely moving within and without each page’s panel borders), Penguins is a series of interconnected short strips that, without words or human characters, does more to showcase the breadth of emotion we as humans experience than most prose novels.” It’s available now in hardcover from Amazon.

image c. 2018 Fantagraphics Books

I Want a Monster to Be My Playmate

Monster Mayhem is a new full-color graphic novel written and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos.Zoe’s favorite thing to do—besides invent and build robots — is watch classic monster movies. She has never been comfortable with kids her own age, and so she pretends she doesn’t need friends while inside she’s longing for connection. And then one day, Zoe finds a mysterious ring on her way home from school. She puts it on, gives it a twist, and — FRZAAKK! There’s a massive burst of light! The next morning, a familiar monster appears at Zoe’s window. He’s from one of her favorite kaiju movies, and he likes Zoe — he wants to be her friend. Has her secret wish been fulfilled? But it turns out that Zoe’s ring has brought more than just this friendly monster to life. More monsters have arrived, and they are hungry! Now she’ll need to reach out to other people to help her save her town from destruction. Good thing she’s a robotics genius!” Got all that? It’s available now in hardcover from Dial Books.

image c. 2018 Dial Books

 

I Don’t Care If It Stunts My Growth

A Furry Fandom favorite moves further into the eye of the mainstream, thanks to AMP! Comics For Kids. Now they bring us the Ozy and Millie Graphic Novel Volume 1 — written and illustrated by Dana Simpson, of course. “From the creator of the enormously popular Phoebe and Her Unicorn series comes Ozy and Millie, a playful comic exploring the friendship between two foxes. Meet Ozy and Millie, two middle-grade students in Seattle who also happen to be foxes. This comic centers around these two best friends as they take on the everyday challenges all middle-graders face-bullies, tests, and the dread of going back to school after a surprise snow day. Ozy is a young male fox whose adoptive father happens to be a dragon and frequent presidential candidate. Ozy’s calm and thoughtful demeanor is constantly tested by Millie’s rambunctious and rebellious pursuits.” Find out more over at Previews. Available now from Andrews McMeel.

image c. 2018 Andrews McMeel Publishing

A Man About the House

Quite frankly, the publisher explains this better than we ever could! “In this hilarious graphic novel, the roles of cats and humans are reversed, putting humanoid felines in charge of tiny, dimwitted little man-pets. Manfried is a stray taken in by Steve Catson, a slacker with a dead-end job and nonexistent love life. Soon Manfried becomes the Garfield to Steve’s Jon Arbuckle: Lazy, selfish, and sometimes maddening in his weird human behavior. Yet the pair depends on each other to get through life’s troubles. When Manfried runs away, Steve musters his meager resources to find his best man-friend and bring him home safe.” Manfried the Man (written by Caitlin Major and illustrated by Kelly Bastow) is out now.

image c. 2018 Quirk Books

My Not-So-Little Unicorn

New from Papercutz, the folks who bring us the Geronimo Stilton series of books. Melowy is a graphic novel digest series for young readers, written by Cortney Powell and illustrated by Ryan Jampole. “When flying unicorns called Melowies turn fourteen they go to school at Destiny, a legendary castle hidden somewhere in the clouds. Here they develop their special power, which lies dormant in them until they finish school and discover their place in the world. What lies ahead for the impressive group of Electra, Selene, Cora, Maya, and Cleo, each destined for their own paths? Dreams, adventure, and friendship around every corner!” Yep, sounds familiar — but hey, even Equestria Daily gave it a review. The series is available now in hardcover.

image c. 2018 Papercutz

Space and Time, Dog and Cat

Catching up with something we had not heard about before. Kids Can Press describe Gordon: Bark To The Future like this: “It’s all up to Gordon now. His partner has been captured. His superior officer has been neutralized. And his distress calls to P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) have gone unanswered. That means he must fight the aliens alone! But Gordon’s not a fighter — his deadliest weapon is his mind. So what’s a genius dog to do? Time travel, of course!” The publisher goes on to say, “This laugh-out-loud junior graphic novel is part of Ashley Spires’s hugely popular P.U.R.S.T. Adventure series. Gordon the dog is a favorite character from Spires’s companion series about Binky the cat.” Got all that? Good!

image c. 2018 Kids Can Press

Golden Boy of the Water World

Here’s something else we missed.  Goldfisch is a new-ish black & white manga from TokyoPop. “Say hi to Morrey Gibbs! A fisher-boy in a flooded world overrun with mutated animals known as “anomals”, he’s got more problems than just giant fish to deal with. Namely, how everything he touches turns to gold! Sure it sounds great, but gold underpants aren’t exactly stylish… or comfortable. Together with his otter buddy Otta and new inventor friend Shelly, Morrey’s on a quest to rid himself of his blessing-turned-curse, and try to find a solution for the tragedy he unwittingly caused…” Hardly a complicated plot is it?  Here’s an interesting fact: The artist and writer, Nana Yaa, is from Germany.

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Kung Fu Fighting. Well, Not Exactly.

Somehow we missed this when it came around last year. Team Taekwondo is a black & white graphic novel series for younger readers, published by Rodale Kids. The first volume is called Ara’s Rocky Road to White BeltIt goes like this: “Ara is the odd turtle out in his family, preferring his rock collection to new or wild adventures—until he meets Baeoh, a confident tiger who practices martial arts. Unsure if he has what it takes to join Baeoh’s taekwondo team, Ara must learn how to come out of his shell, persist through failure, and accept the help of his new friends to complete the Tiger Fitness Challenge.” They go on further to say, “The Team Taekwondo series combines the appeal of graphic novels and martial arts to deliver action-filled, character-building stories. Each book also includes one free lesson at any participating licensed ATA Martial Arts location.” Each book in the series is written by Master Taekwon Lee and Jeffrey Nodelman, and illustrated by Ethen Beavers. Now the second volume, Baeoh and the Bully, was just released to stores as well.

image c. 2018 Rodale Kids

The Bird Pays Him Back

The King of Birds is a new hardcover graphic novel, written and illustrated in full color by Alexander Utkin. It’s published by Nobrow Press: “The King of Birds has victoriously defeated the King of Animals, but he is left gravely injured. He promises a merchant a great reward if he can nurse him back to health. Upon his recovery, they travel far across the land to the domains of the King’s three sisters to claim the merchant’s prize… but can his sisters overcome their greed and give up that which is most precious to them?” This is the first story in the new Gamayun Tales series of Russian folk tales — hosted by the titular Gamayun, a human-faced bird who tells stories. Check out the review over at Broken Frontier. The book is available now.

image c. 2018 Nobrow Press