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Trade Paperback

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

Bear and Butterfly

Jim Benton is a comic creator known for titles like Dear Dumb Diary, It’s Happy Bunny, and other titles for younger readers with a sense of humor. Now IDW is previewing his latest graphic novel, simply titled Clyde. According to Comics Beat: “Arriving in February from IDW / Yoe Book, Jim Benton’s Clyde is an original graphic novel that follow Clyde the Bear as he moves from Cubville to Grizzly City (with an ex-juvenile delinquent butterfly) to see if The Bad Life is for him”. It’s a ways off still, but look for it in paperback next February.

image c. 2018 IDW Publications

Beware the Cat with an Imagination

Another find from Comic Con, this time over at Humanoids. Nancy Peña is a French writer and cartoonist with several books to her name. Her latest is called Madame Cat, and this particular kitty is quite a character. From the publisher: “Madame means mischief in this series of slice-of-life vignettes that present the private love, laughter and frustrations of a pet who thinks she’s an owner! Whether she’s tearing up clothes, spilling ink on the carpet or filling the air with stinky tuna-breath, Madame is both wonderfully frustrating and endearingly whimsical.” Meanwhile Comics Beat has a preview, which also includes a look at the exclusive Madame plushie that’s available.

image c. 2018 Humanoids

When the Teacher’s Away…

And look: Here’s a whole new series of novels for young readers by Bruce Hale. The first book in the Class Pets series is called Fuzzy’s Great Escape. “Fuzzy is the ambitious and unfortunately named guinea pig of class 5B. He has big plans for this year — namely, to be president of the Class Pets Club. Then the cutest, most charming new bunny shows up and spins Fuzzy’s plan like a hamster wheel. There’s only one way to topple the adorable new club president: Fuzzy is taking the pets on a field trip!” Follow up that fun with Fuzzy Takes Charge and Fuzzy Freaks Out. All of them are available now from Scholastic Press.

image c. 2018 Scholastic Press

The OTHER Reptile Into Pizza

We came across this: Pizzasaurus Rex, a new graphic novel for teens written and illustrated by Justin Wagner (with inks and colors by Warren Wucinich). “Meet Jeremy Duderman, the most extremely awesome scientific mind of his generation. Too bad everyone’s too busy bullying him or just generally disliking him to realize it. But that all ends today. Jeremy has invented the Reality Alternative Dimensionator (R.A.D. for short), a device that allows Rex Raditude, the Pizzasaurus, to enter our dimension. He’s a guitar-shredding, pizza-loving party animal with only one thing on his mind: BEING TOTALLY RAD, DUDE. But is that enough to stop Emperor Buzzkill and his horde of hapless minions who are bent on ending pizza parties, skateboarding, and all things rad? And can poor, pitiful Jeremy Duderman, quite possibly the dorkiest dude in the universe, help Rex in defeating them?” It’s all available now from Oni Press.

image c. 2018 Oni Press

Plushies to the Rescue!

Here’s a new one-shot full-color comic book from Alterna Comics: The Fear Diaries.A dangerous threat to children across the world has returned. In the depths of The Nightmare Realm, The Dark Mistress has bode her time, waiting for the right moment to strike. Theodore Bearsly and his ragtag team of stuffed heroes face the greatest battle yet as they encounter The Dark Mistress’ army of evil toys who will stop at nothing to collect the fear of every child on earth.” Written by Garrett Gunn and illustrated by Jim Callahan, Ulises Grostieta, and Nicolas Touris, this new compilation brings together issues #1 – #3 of the original comic from last year. Check out the reviews over at Comic Book Round Up.

image c. 2018 Alterna Comics

Learning to Live with Change

Some of you may recall the Eisner-nominated anthology comic Island, which looked at LGBTQ issues from a variety of perspectives through a variety of artists and writers. Well now Image Comics have taken one selection from Island, called The Pervert, and expanded upon it to full graphic novel length. “A surprisingly honest and touching account of a trans girl surviving through sex work in Seattle, The Pervert is an unflinching debut graphic novel that is preoccupied with work — what we put into our work and what it takes from us.” Needless to say, this is Adults Only material — and by that, we mean grown-ups. Written by Michelle Perez and illustrated by Remy Boydell (Emergency!, Recovery Blogger), it’s available in trade paperback now. Image has a detailed preview (with reviews) at their web site.

image c. 2018 Image Comics

Don’t Be A Lonely Hunter Anymore…

At BLFC this year we came across an ad for The Dragon Tax, a new fantasy novel by Madison Keller. “When the King of Thima Island hires Sybil Dragonsbane, the last thing she expects is to be collecting taxes. Sybil has misgivings, but gold is gold. However, tax collecting isn’t as easy as it seems. When a defenseless and handsome dragon begs her for help, Sybil discovers there is more to the tax than simple gold. Now wanted and on the run together, she must protect the dragon while untangling the truth. Worst of all, she may be falling in love.” The book is available now at Amazon.

image c 2018 Hundeliebe Publishing

Start Your Kids on a Fantasy Adventure

And speaking of the young folks… We came across this at a book store. (Remember those?) The Last Firehawk is a new illustrated fantasy series for beginning readers, written by Katrina Charman and illustrated by Jeremy Norton. Here’s what they say about the first book, The Ember Stone, over at Scholastic: “A terrible darkness is spreading across Perodia. Thorn, a powerful vulture, is using dark magic (and his dark army of spies!) to destroy the magical land. A young owl named Tag may be the only one who can save it! Tag dreams of one day becoming a brave warrior, but he is small . . . In this first book, Tag and his best friend — a squirrel named Skyla — meet the last firehawk. Together, the three friends learn about a magical stone. Could this stone be powerful enough to defeat Thorn? This action-packed series makes a great introduction to fantasy and quest stories for newly independent readers. Realistic black-and-white artwork appears on every page!” Already there are four books available in the series.

image c. 2018 Scholastic