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Trade Paperback

Take the First Steps. Please!

Dark comedy gets dark with Julian In Purgatory, a new black & white funny-animal graphic novel written and illustrated by Jon Allen. This is from Kirkus Reviews: “Julian (an anthropomorphized cat) is the son of a former two-term mayor, wearer of expensive shirts, and addict of his coffee-table drug buffet. After his levelheaded girlfriend kicks him out, Julian dredges his list of next-best friends hoping to find money, new digs, and someone who will understand why the world is against him. Though he hates his haters, he can’t help but think that maybe there’s some truth to what they’re saying. Julian’s interpretation of lemons to lemonade: steal a bag of drugs from his dealer and try to make a financial go of it without getting caught. Except he does.” Available this February in trade paperback from Iron Circus Comics.

image c. 2021 Iron Circus Comics

The Wizard of Dis-e-ney Place?

So let’s end the year with… more of The Mouse. They keep bringing it! Wizards of Mickey: Origins, Volume 1 is a new full-color graphic novel that just came out. “When a sorcerer steals a powerful magic crystal from the ancient wizard Nereus, apprentice Mickey Mouse travels to the capital of Grandhaven to reclaim it before Nereus realizes it’s gone. His search leads him to the Grand Sorcerers Tournament, which he enters with two young wizards he meets along the way – Goofy and Donald Duck. Little does he know, a far more sinister plot is unfolding in the shadows of the competition…” Look for it in paperback from Yen Press. [And with that, we wish you all a happier and healthier 2021. Be There With Fur On!]

image c. 2020 Yen Press

Attraction Is Magic?

Now and then you’re just going to stumble across a title that grabs your attention… something like Unicorns Aren’t Horny, a new black & white manga series by Semi Ikuta. “A hilarious inter-species comedy about a modern virgin and her roommate: A virgin-loving unicorn. Emuko is a twenty-something virgin – in fact, she’s never even had a boyfriend. Her roommate, a unicorn named Uni, adores her purity, but sometimes Emuko yearns for the romance she’s been missing. And does Uni love Emuko a little too much?” Okay, color us intrigued… Look for it now from Seven Seas Entertainment.

image c. 2020 Seven Seas Entertainment

Little Dog and Big… Thing

Another graphic novel for young folks, this one from Razorbill. Mellybean and the Giant Monster is written and illustrated by Mike White. “Melly loves to play games. All her feline friends want to do, though, is take a nap. So when she doesn’t leave them alone, the cats trick her into burying a shoe in the backyard. But the small prank turns into a big problem when Melly falls down the hole . . . and is magically transports her to another world! Melly lands smack-dab in the middle of a scuffle between a group of knights and a huge monster. But Melly soon befriends the grumpy giant, learning he isn’t as scary as he seems.” There’s also a sequel, Mellybean and the Wicked Wizard. Look for them both over at Barnes & Noble, in hardcover or trade paperback.

image c. 2020 Penguin Young Readers

Little Fox Went Up In A Tree One Day

More interesting European comics being brought to our shores by Magnetic Press. Now it’s Pistouvi, a new black & white graphic novel written by Merwan and illustrated by Bertrand Gatignol. “Jeanne is a little girl who lives with Pistouvi, a young fox, in a charming little cabin at the top of a giant tree, surrounded by a prairie tended by a giant ‘tractor-man’ and the wind-spirit he loves. Together they spend days frolicking without responsibility, but soon, adulthood creeps into their lives…” The Magnetic Press web site has a preview.

image c. 2020 Magnetic Press

Maybe Not ALL Unicorns Want Friendship

Joey Spiotto certainly has an interesting sense of humor. Among his creations is one Grumpy Unicorn, who put out a book of philosophy and observations called Why Me? Well now the grumpy one has returned with his first graphic novel, Grumpy Unicorn Hits The Road. “Everyone’s favorite magical grouch returns in a graphic novel all about adventure! In this collection of laugh-out-loud stories, Grumpy introduces us to his friends like Sassy the Sasquatch and Jack the Jackelope, takes us camping and on road trips, causes a major dust-up at a museum, and more!” It’s available now in paperback from Scholastic.

image c. 2020 Scholastic, Inc.

A Home For Kitties

And here’s another interesting graphic novel we found out about from Harper Collins: A Cat Story is a new full-color work written and illustrated by Ursula Husted. “Cilla and Betto are two friends who need a place to call home. The docks in Valletta are too wet, and the scraps of food too scarce. The city’s streets are too busy, and the humans too unreliable. But what about the quiet garden from old kitten tales—a place where all cats are welcome, and the humans are always kind? Could the stories really be true? As Cilla and Betto embark on a grand adventure to find out, they begin to spin a tale of their own—one that will take them through the art and stories of many journeyers who came before, and that will bring them to a surprising destination.” It’s available now — and hey, at the moment it’s on sale!

image c. 2020 Harper Collins

Not Her Kind of Magical Land

There are some interesting graphic novels for young readers coming soon from Random House. First up is Pacey Packer: Unicorn Tracker, written and illustrated by J. C. Phillipps. They describe it like this: “Pacey’s little sister, Mina, has always said her stuffed unicorn, Slasher, is real – but seriously? He’s a stuffed toy! Then again, he does seem to be leading Mina outside her room and to . . . some kind of weird magical unicorn land? Pacey may not believe in unicorns, but she’s not about to let her little sister be kidnapped, so she does the only thing she can: Follows them to unicorn land (that she totally does not believe in). And for the record, it’s NOTHING like the stories. First off, what’s up with Slasher’s attitude? It’s not Pacey’s fault he’s trapped in a ridiculous stuffed body. And that Alpha Unicorn guy? Not. Nice. Pacey will just be grabbing Mina and taking her home, thankyouverymuch . . . that is, if she can work with the grumpiest unicorn stuffy ever to outsmart the Evil Alpha Unicorn and find the way out – preferably without stepping on any poisonous killer flowers.” Nothing complicated about that set-up, right? The book is out now.

image c. 2020 Random House

Call the Wolf Momma

Previews let us know about Lupina, the new full-color graphic novel from Legendary Comics, written by James F. Wright and illustrated by Liana Buszka. “In the coastal town of Kote, recently brought under the yoke of the Addalian Empire, four-year-old Lupa spends her days getting bullied by her older sister and hiding behind her mother’s skirts. But when tragedy strikes, Lupa finds herself alone in a new world… alone until she’s found by the she-wolf, Coras, and sets off on a journey of discovery… and revenge.” It’s been serialized, but now it’s collected together in one place. Bleeding Cool has a preview from last year.

image c. 2020 Legendary Comics