Tag Archives: libraries

Ten Comics & Graphic Novels, and Manga You Should Check Out! July 2017 Edition

Holy crap, it has been seven months and I haven’t even shared some new comic, graphic novel or manga recommendations. The crazy part is I’ve read SO MANY new and awesome things that I need to share with everyone. Here’s ten new recommendations that you need to go out, RIGHT NOW and check out. Buy them, get them from the library, borrow from a friend, just NOW.

But before I get into recommending some great comics, graphic novels and manga, I thought I’d share a few ways on how I get my fix. First off, I work for my public library and public libraries are a great source for getting graphic novels/comics/manga, and if there’s a series you want to read and your library doesn’t have it, ASK THEM TO GET IT! We love recommendations on how to make our collections better! Or if you want to show your support because you have the cash, buy comics and graphic novels from your local book store or comic shop and show that this is worth the investment.

Another good source is Comixology, which constantly has sales on all the popular publishers that it houses. It also has one of the best digital panel viewers to make it easier to read comics as well. If you don’t have a lot of money, but want to read comics digitally, see if your library has OverDrive or Hoopla, as both those services carry a wide variety of comics and graphic novels, and they are all free with your library card.

And now, without further ado, some new recommendations!

Hawkeye: Kate Bishop, Vol. 1: Anchor Points by Kelly Thompson et al.

I was a huge, huge fangirl for both the Matt Fraction and Jeff Lemire runs of Hawkeye, but Kelly Thompson my have them beat with her amazing rendition of Kate Bishop. Stylish, sassy, and just a heck of a lot of fun, Kate is best Hawkeye, and you’ll learn how she really gives Clint a run for his money. Also the art is phenomenal and it never looks inconsistent either. Just, omg I need more nao.

Chew Vol 1. Taster’s Choice by   John Layman & Rob Guillory

I realize this series has been around since 2009 and I am only just getting to it now, but it’s REALLY GOOD and I wish I had started it sooner. I am a huge iZombie fan, and this is a comic where you really see some parallels between the two works. Tony Chu is *hilarious* as a protagonist and his partner is… special to say the least. This is easy a series I will whip through as my holds come in from work, but a really fun read, though not for a faint of heart.

Welcome to the Ballroom Vol 1 by Tomo Takeuchi

While dabbling in my love of Haikyu!! one of my dearest friends had talked about getting into Welcome to the Ballroom. Then I saw another friend on Goodreads enjoying it, even giving every volume out so far five stars, and I knew I needed to check this out. With such a silly premise and adorable characters, I feel like the anime for this can’t come soon enough. Plus the art is beautiful looking as you progress through the volumes. I can’t wait to read more. Poor Tartara never catches a break. 😦

Spell on Wheels Vol 1 by Kate Leth et al.

One of my author friends, Vikki VanSickle read and raved about how fun this series is. The saw week she said this, was the same week it was on sale on Comixology. 99 cents per single issue? How can I go wrong? Well, now I need more of it. This is a very inclusive comic series about three young witches, two which are dating, as they attempt to retrive their stolen belongs by going on a road trip. Very fun and feminist, with very loveable characters. I want more.

Roughneck by Jeff Lemire

I make no bones about being an insane Jeff Lemire fangirl. Both my husband and I are huge fans of his work. While his art style is very unique, the man is a fantastic storyteller. During the month of June, I binged all of Lemire’s works that I hadn’t read, from catching up with Descender, reading Trillium and Essex County, but the book that spiraled me into that binge read was Roughneck, his latest effort. Roughneck left me with so many emotions, from sadness, to anger, to fear. A good storyteller should do that effortlessly, and by the end of the story my heart was in a million pieces and I was cleaning it up with a dustpan. Curse your talents, Jeff Lemire. Curse them.

Fetch: How A Bad Dog Brought Me Home by Nicole J Georges

I recently reviewed this! You can read the full review here. The short version: for animal lovers who are okay with some intense uglycrying.

One Punch Man by ONE et al.

As many of you know, I work in a public library, and more specifically, I have the task of working with middle graders and teens when it comes to Reader’s Advisory. It was my Branch Librarian who’s recommendations I trust that led me to One Punch Man, a series I didn’t know I needed in my life. All the teens at my branch were reading and loving it, and it was one of those mangas I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy. Then I read the first volume and fell down the rabbit hole and have been unable to get out of it since. Saitama and friends are doofy and I LOVE THEM. It is like a more hilarious version of Dragon Ball Z, and that alone makes it fabulous.

The March trilogy by John Lewis et al.

Easily one of the most important graphic novels to date, the March trilogy explores the life of Senator John Lewis during some of the most important events in the American civil rights movement. It chronicles a young John Lewis beginning his days as an activist, and moving towards the march on Selma. You see how some of his most important relationships form, as well as how he takes responsibility for the lives that have been lost in many of these non-violent protests. Each volume paints each event in such a vivid way, and it reminds us that even now we still have a long way to go to making things better for PoC. Escellent stuff here, and one I need to get for my shelves (I borrowed the trilogy from my work). A must read for those who not only love graphic novels, but love seeing history in a different way.

SuperCakes by Kat Leyh

This is an adorable comic about two ladies who are madly in love with each other, and are both super heroines. I picked this up on a whim at this year’s TCAF, and it made my heart so so happy. May and Mo are SO DAMN CUTE, and I appreciate that Leyh showcases many of the women in the story in varying shapes and sizes. Yay for big girls! Yay for small girls! Yay for girls! While this is just one adventure, you can still read SuperCakes online by going to this link!

Princess Jellyfish by Akiko Higashimura

In my quest to rediscover manga, I remember I was watching a recommendation video by the amazing Elena @ Elena Reads Books‘ Channel, and this was a title that popped up. The name didn’t click with me right away, but it was also a series my husband had recommended as well. Princess Jellyfish is a wonderful series about women, friendship and fashion. I love those first two themes, though fashion is one I maintain I still couldn’t give a crap about. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out and the drama in it is pretty… crazy at times. Really been enjoying this series and loving that it’s one my work carries in the giant bind-up editions!

And there you have it! I am so sorry I went so long without sharing some new recommendations. I’ve had folks asking and I feel terrible with how long it took. All of the titles above are A+ and worth reading. Hopefully I’ll have another batch of recommendations soon!

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ARC Review – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Title: Strange the Dreamer

Author: Laini Taylor

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

Huge thank you to Hachette Book Group Canada for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I want to preface this review by saying that Strange the Dreamer is a fairly difficult book to read. There are moments where you will feel lost, confused, and swept away. These issues will be problematic for some readers, as this is not an easy story to engage with in the slightest. This feels like such a departure from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone I trilogy, and that’s not a bad thing. While this book is a slow burn, I really enjoyed my time with it.

The issue with Strange the Dreamer is that to me it felt like more of an experience than a novel. Taylor’s prose is gorgeous, it leads you into a majestic world of The Weep, and it is such a rich realm ripe with exploration, darkness. Taylor does this fantastic job of blending dream and reality, making the reader feel as though at times they are in a dream-like state or inhabiting a nightmare. There is so much to this book that at times it feels overwhelming and I feel like in a lot of ways that is the experience Taylor is providing to the readers.

I think there is a beautiful world in this book, but I admit, I wish I liked the characters more. I felt that they weren’t the most well developed or even the most memorable. I found myself so drawn into the picture she was painting, but I didn’t find myself attached to anyone in particular. Perhaps that is both the strength and weakness of this book: there is so much happening in this story and yet it also feels like there’s something missing that stops it from being perfect for me. This is also very much a mood read for me: I’d have have moments where I was super into reading this book, and some days where I picked it up, felt overwhelmed and said NOPE.

And that’s just it — if you are a fan of Laini Taylor, you’ll likely adore this book because it has everything that makes her books special — fantastic and poetic writing and very vivid worlds. I think this is definitely a book I am going to have to reread before the sequel comes out just too see if my opinion on it changes, because part of me feels like if I had been in a different frame of mind this book would have easily been a win for me. Still, there’s a lot to like here, but if you don’t like feeling overwhelmed by intense world building, or feeling confused until the pieces of the puzzle are given to you, this might not be the book for you.