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Graphic Novel

Cat Nibbles

And more stuff for young folks, this time from the First Second imprint at MacMillan: Kitty Sweet Tooth, a full-color graphic novel written by Abby Denson and illustrated by Utomaru. “There’s just one thing Kitty Sweet Tooth loves more than going to movies, and that’s eating delicious desserts. Now that Pop-Pop’s movie theater has fallen on hard times, Kitty decides that only dessert can keep it from closing its doors. With a coat of paint, a tasty new menu, and a lot of hard work, Kitty and her friends transform this ramshackle theater into the Taste-O-Rama, a combination movie house restaurant. At the Taste-O-Rama, special film screenings are paired with custom-made dishes. But when you have a mad scientist and a witch working in the kitchen, recipes can go awry! On opening night, the theater is flooded with magical jelly that grows out of control. How can Kitty Sweet Tooth and her friends save the day?” The MacMillan web site has a preview and a trailer video.

image c. 2021 First Second

So Deadly and So Cute

Don’t look now, but Stan Sakai’s world has gone pear-shaped — almost literally! It’s time for Chibi-Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis, a new full-color graphic novel premiering this month from IDW. “Stan Sakai’s beloved rabbit samurai has won countless fans over his 35 year history, thanks to a clever blend of thrilling action, heartwarming characters, and realistic portrayal of Japanese culture. Chibi-Usagi brings these fun and thoughtful stories to middle-grade readers as a original graphic novel packed with adorable art and captivating energy. While fishing for freshwater eels, Chibi-Usagi, Tomoe, and Gen rescue a Dogu, a clay creature from Japan’s prehistory. The Dogu’s village has been enslaved by the Salamander King and his Heebie-Chibi minions and are forced to work in their mines. Chibi-Usagi and his friends must rescue the Dogu people and eliminate the threat of the Salamander King forever in this feature-length story of adventure, humor, and slippery eels.” It’s written by creator Stan Sakai, of course, with art and more writing by Julie Fujii Sakai. In trade paperback.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

The Rat Returns

Nearly three years ago we told you about Solo: Survivors of Chaos, the premier graphic novel from award-winning cartoonist Oscar Martin (Tom & Jerry comics). Well this summer, Mr. Martin returns with Solo Volume 2! “Warner Bros Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Oscar Martin, creates a unique dystopian world of chaos, where every day is a fight to survive. In a future ravaged by nuclear wars, the Earth has given birth to an array of new mutated species, which have grown and repopulated the land. But this new world is far from peaceful, and life in it is often short and brutal…” Find out more when Solo Volume 2 hits the shelves this June, in hardcover from Titan Comics.

image c. 2021 Titan Comics

Cream. Shaken, Not Stirred.

The creator of Bird & Squirrel and Gabby & Gator is back with a new graphic novel for young readers — with a sense of adventure! “The Super-Secret Spy Service’s mission is to keep the world safe from maniacal villains. And Agent 9 is one of its best operatives. Although Nine always manages to complete the mission, there is occasionally some collateral damage (like the priceless Pigasso painting that was destroyed while foiling an art heist). So Agent 9 is now on probation. But when bumbling supervillain King Crab manages to overtake S4 headquarters, there is no one else to turn to. Nine — along with a robotic partner named FiN — is all that stands between King Crab and his diabolical plans to melt the polar ice caps and build a massive water park.” Agent 9 Volume 1: Flood-A-Geddon by James Burks is available now from Penguin. Appropriate!

image c. 2021 Penguin Random House

Showing His Stripes

Boy, here’s something we haven’t heard from in a while: The Wolf In Underpants series of graphic novels by Wilfrid Lupano and Mayana Itoiz. The latest one is The Wolf In Underpants: At Full Speed. “It’s race day in the forest—but someone has ruined the posters for the big event! When other animals ask the Wolf to investigate, he discovers a chickadee with a chip on its shoulder. After learning why the little bird feels left out, the Wolf hatches a plan to launch it to victory . . . A plan that just might involve the Wolf’s trademark striped undies.” Got that? The whole series is available now from Lerner Publishing and Graphic Universe.

image c. 2021 Lerner Publishing Group

Friendship is Yummy

Have you noticed that people who create stuff for young readers love to name characters after food?  Well here we go again… Blue, Barry & Pancakes is a new hardcover graphic novel from First Second. It’s written and illustrated by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson, creators of the animated TV series Rocket Monkeys for Nickelodeon. “One day, when the gang goes to the beach, Barry and Pancakes lose Blue’s beloved beach ball. They come up with a plan to get it back, but things go way off course. Now, these pals will have to go inside a giant whale’s stomach, crash a pool party on an alien spaceship, and survive Duckzilla’s volcanic birthday bash if they ever hope to see Blue’s beach ball again!” Got that? The bunny, frog, and snake are available now.

image c. 2021 First Second

Danger, Mickey Mouse! Danger!

IDW Publishing continues to present some unusual Disney-themed comic book entertainment. Listen, you’re going to notice someone who creates a story called The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, right? Well now writer Tom Angleberger brings us Disney’s Doorways To Danger, a new full-color graphic novel. “Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Uncle Scrooge, and all their friends are contestants on a reality TV game show called Doorways to Danger! As they scramble to be the first to collect the magical keys that lead them to their prizes, their grinning game show host might have plans of his own! And what are Pete and Trudy up to?!” As you can see from the cover by artist Jeff Harvey below, Mr. Angleberger isn’t the only one with a… unique take on well-known Disney characters! Doorways To Danger is available this June in hardcover.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing

Winging to Your TV

Ava DuVernay, director of Selma and A Wrinkle In Time, has a new series in the works — with dragons. Wings of Fire was a novel series, then a graphic novel — and now, a new animated series on its way to Netflix. “Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner Ava DuVernay has landed her animated family series, Wings of Fire, at Netflix. Based on Tui T. Sutherland’s #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling book series, the epic fantasy saga will be produced by Warner Bros. Animation… Published by Scholastic, with 14 million copies in print, the Wings of Fire book series tells the story of a bitter war that has raged for generations between the dragon tribes who inhabit the epic world of Pyrrhia. According to prophecy, five young dragons will rise to end the bloodshed and bring peace back to the land. Raised and trained in secret from the time they were hatched, the Dragonets of destiny – Clay, Tsunami, Glory, Starflight, and Sunny – embark on an evolving quest that will bring them face to face with their true selves and the overwhelming scope of this savage war they are destined to bring to an end.” Stay tooned for more news about a planned release date!

image c. 2021 Scholastic, Inc.

Righteous Rodent

And one more from Simon & Schuster and the Glass House Graphics people, before we get away from that. Super Turbo is a new full-color graphic novel series written by Edgar Powers. Volume 1 is Super Turbo Saves The Day! “Turbo the hamster is the official classroom pet of Classroom C at Sunnyview Elementary… and he has a top secret identity as Super Turbo, crime-fighting superhero! He can’t believe it when he finds out he’s not the only superpet in town (or in school)! As he meets fellow superpets, such as Angelina the guinea pig (a.k.a. Wonder Pig) and Frank the rabbit (a.k.a. Boss Bunny), he also encounters a super villain: A rat who goes by the name of Whiskerface. Can Turbo and the Superpet Superhero League save the school from Whiskerface and his rat pack?”

image c. 2021 Simon & Schuster