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Collecting Comics: Comics take on addiction, STEM, space and more in October, by Ally Watkins

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Here are some great October comics your teens and tweens will be clamoring for!

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Secret Coders: Monsters and Modules by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes (First Second, October 2). In this sixth and final volume of the wildly popular Secret Coders series, the coders must travel to another dimension to save humanity! They must write their most complicated code yet to save the day.

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden (First Second, October 2). Tillie Walden’s latest graphic novel is about a girl on a crew in the deepest reaches of space, working to rebuild the broken down past. The newest member of the crew, Mia, might just have an ulterior motive for being there. Told in alternating timelines and flashing back to Mia’s years in boarding school where she fell in love with another student, this epic love story will enthrall your readers.

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Graphic Memoirist Grapples With Family Addiction In ‘Hey, Kiddo’ : NPR

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix, October 9). This powerful graphic memoir from popular cartoonist and children’s author Krosoczka has already been longlisted for the National Book Award. It tells the story of young Jarrett, who dealt with a drug addicted mother and was raised by grandparents with larger than life personalities. As he grows up, he finds solace in his art.

Lost Soul, Be at Peace by Maggie Thrash (Candlewick, October 9). In this follow-up to Thrash’s acclaimed graphic novel Honor Girl, she returns to her teenage life a year and a half after the summer that changed her life. Young Maggie is grappling with depression and parents that don’t understand, and she only cares about her cat, who then disappears somewhere in the walls of her house. This story writes about depression and families with brutal honesty.

Lafayette! (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales #8) by Nathan Hale (Amulet, October 16). The latest Hazardous Tale from Nathan Hale takes on the story of the Maquis de Lafayette, the young Frenchman who became an American Revolutionary War hero, fighting alongside Alexander Hamilton and George Washington.

Science Comics: The Brain: The Ultimate Thinking Machine by Tony Woollcott, illustrated by Alex Graudins (First Second, October 16). The newest work of nonfiction in the Science Comics series takes on the human brain. In it, young Fahama must learn about the brain as quickly as possible in order to escape from the clutches of a mad scientist and his zombie assistant! Your young readers will learn about the brain along with Fahama!

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Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill (Oni Press, October 16). O’Neill’s two previous graphic novels, Princess Princess Ever After and The Tea Dragon Society have been award-winning and very popular. In her next book, she dives into a story about the responsibility of being a guardian to who and what you love. When Lana and her father return to their hometown to help with cleanup after a big storm, Lana grows closer to her aunt and finds something magical: a colony of Aquicorns, magical seahorse-like creatures that live on the reef. Lana and her aunt slowly begins to realize that for the humans and the sea life to coexist together, something must change.

Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass by Lilah Sturgess, illustrated by Polterink (BOOM! Box, October 23). This is the first original graphic novel set in the world of the Lumberjanes made wildly popular by the comic book series. In this story, the girls of Roanoke cabin get separated during orienteering thanks to a mysterious compass, and Molly is becoming more and more insecure about her relationship with Mal and the other girls.

Runaways Volume 2: Best Friends Forever by Rainbow Rowell, illustrated by Kris Anka (Marvel, October 30). Your fans of Rainbow Rowell will be thrilled to read the next collected trade editions of Runaways. In this arc, the team welcomes a new friend, Gert tinkers with technology that may be over her head, Karolina’s celebrity past catches up with her, and everyone tries to be a family again! (Collects issues #7-#12 of the comic book series).

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Crush by Svetlana Chmakova (JY, October 30). This book, the follow-up to the popular Awkward and Brave, Jorge has it all together…until he encounters his crush. He’s great when he’s with his group of friends…until those dynamics start to shift. Will he be able to balance expectations versus what he really wants?

The Hidden Witch by Molly Knox Ostertag (Graphix, October 30). This follow-up to the popular The Witch Boy, shows Aster and his family adjusting to his new life working in witchcraft, unlike the other shapeshifter males in his family. Meanwhile, Aster’s nonmagical friend, Charlie, is having trouble–a curse has tried to attach itself to her. Now they must find the source of the curse before magical and nonmagical people start to get hurt!

BONUS NONCOMIC: Lumberjanes: The Good Egg by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Brooklyn Allen (Amulet, October 30). This third in the series of Lumberjanes novelizations follows fan favorite Ripley, who finds an abandoned egg. She’s determined to take care of it until the parents return, but will she be foiled by poachers, who want the egg for themselves?


Collecting Comics: March 2018 with Ally Watkins

Check out these March-releasing comics that your teens and tweens will love!

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Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir, illustrated by Steenz (Oni Press, March 6). Cel starts working as an archivist at the Logan Museum, but the job may not be everything she’s hoping for. Cel starts to dream of a woman she’s never met, and as she tries to learn more about her, strange things start happening–misplacing things, losing time–but she can’t seem to let go. Who’s the mysterious woman and why is Cel so drawn to her?

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The Altered History of Willow Sparks by Tara O’Connor (Oni Press, March 6). Willow is just about as low on the popularity scale of her high school as you can be. Until she finds a mysterious book that has the power to literally change her life. With each entry in the book, she becomes more popular, but her old life and friendships get farther and farther away. Willow is starting to discover that every action has a reaction and that this social experiment might not turn out the way she thinks it will.

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Brazen: Rebel Ladies who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu (First Second, March 6). Bagieu compiles a comic biography of a variety of women who have rebelled and changed the world in various ways. Some of the women are well known, and some aren’t, but all are rebels. Great nonfiction title for teens!

Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart: Volume 1: Riri Williams by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by Stefano Caselli (Marvel, March 6). Riri Williams has her own Iron Man suit and the newest, best technology, and she’s ready to try her hand at this superhero thing. But she’s got a lot to deal with: super villains, super-teams trying hard to recruit her, and her adventures going viral. Is she ready for this? Collects issues #1-#5 of the comic book series. Your superhero fans will love the introduction of a new teenage superhero character!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 7: I’ve Been Waiting for a Squirrel Like You by Ryan North, illustrated by Erica Henderson (Marvel, March 13). Doreen and Nancy enter a programming contest and they don’t expect the prize to be a trip to The Savage Land. Will Squirrel Girl get to fight a dinosaur?? Collects issues #22-#26 of the comic book series.

The Unstoppable Wasp, Volume 2: Agents of G.I.R.L. by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Elsa Charretier (Marvel, March 13). The Red Room wants Nadia back, and they’re gunning to get her there. This means the geniuses of G.I.R.L. are taking on their first real science challenge! Can they outsmart the Red Room, or will Nadia be forced back into captivity? Collects issues #5-#8 of the comic book series.

Giant Days Volume 7 by John Allison, illustrated by and Max Sarin and Liz Fleming (BOOM! Studios, March 27). Susan, Daisy, and Esther continue their second year at university and this semester includes: protests, family reunions, and an MMORPG wedding. Collects issues #25-#28 of the comic book series.

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Secret Coders: Potions and Parameters by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Mike Holmes (First Second, March 27). In the fifth Secret Coders book, The Coders have found Hopper’s dad–but he’s not the same. He’s had some of Professor One-Zero’s “green pop” concoction that makes him obsessed with the color green. The Professor won’t stop until the whole town is in a green stupor! Can the Coders stop him? Your younger comics readers will love this series!

BONUS NON-COMIC:

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy 2 Furious by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (Marvel Press, March 6). Doreen Green, age 14, also happens to be Squirrel Girl, a middle school superhero! In this next installment of her adventures, a new mall is opening up between two neighboring towns, and everyone gets to vote on the mascot! But soon the two towns are at war over the election, and Doreen begins to wonder if there isn’t something shady going on in Shady Oaks.

Collecting Comics: February 2018 by Ally Watkins

Happy February! Here are some comics and graphic novels that your teens and tweens will be asking for this month.

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Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Emily Carroll (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 6). This is a graphic novel adaptation of the award-winning novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Melinda is working through something that happened to her over the summer, but no one will talk to her, much less listen to her after she got a party busted up by the cops. Through her work on an art project, she starts to come to terms with what happened to her. Carroll is an Eisner-award winning illustrator.

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Scales & Scoundrels Volume 1: Into the Dragon’s Maw by Sebastian Girner, illustrated by Galaad (Image, February 13). Treasure hunter Luvander is tired of being a penniless adventurer, so she sets off on a journey to a fabled labyrinth of a dungeon, at the end of which is rumored to have endless wealth…or certain doom. Along the way, she collects a merry band of companions, each of whom have their own motives and secrets. Collects issues #1-#5 of the comic series.

The Backstagers, Vol. 2 by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Ryan Sygh (BOOM! Box, February 13). Jory and the rest of the Backstagers only want to put on the best show possible, but that’s hard when weird things are happening backstage. When an actor goes missing, the Backstagers must band together and keep the balance of the theatre! Collects issues #5-#8 of the comic series.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (First Second, February 13). Frances is a dressmaker pulled into a dazzling world–making dresses for the Crown Prince Sebastian of Belgium as he spends his nights dazzling Paris as Lady Crystallia! But Frances is Sebastian’s secret, which means she can’t pursue her own dreams. Will they ever be realized?

Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 4: Two Ships in the Night by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Xenia Pamfil (Action Lab Entertainment, February 20).  A night of revelry takes a sharp turn and Raven and her crew are taken off guard. Can they fight off invaders and keep their ship on course?

Lumberjanes, Vol. 8 by Shannon Waters and Kat Leyh, illustrated by Ayme Sotuyo (BOOM! Box, February 20). The Roanoke cabin Lumberjanes are distressed to find that their Zodiac cabin pals have all been turned to stone! Can they find out what caused it without looking the wrong thing in the eye and turning to stone themselves?

Cucumber Quest: The Ripple Kingdom by Gigi D.G. (First Second, February 27). After a surprise attack at sea, Cucumber finds himself in the Ripple Kingdom, where a giant terrible squid monster is holding his friends hostage! Can he save them?

Collecting Comics: December 2017 Edition, by Ally Watkins

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Welcome to the December 2017 edition of Collecting Comics! Here are a few suggestions of things coming out this month that your teens and tweens will enjoy!

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Gotham Academy, Second Semester, Volume 2: The Ballad of Olive Silverlock by Brendan Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, and Karl Kerschl, illustrated by Adam Archer (DC Comics, December 5). In this final volume of the popular Gotham Academy series, we learn the fate of Olive, who has been possessed by her ancestor, Amity Arkham, who wants nothing more than to destroy Gotham City. Will the rest of the Detective Club be able to save her? Collects issues #9-#12 and #4 of the comic book series. This one features a lot of Gotham references, so give it to your Batman fans.

I Am Groot by Chris Hastings, illustrated by Flaviano (Marvel, December 5). When the Guardians of the Galaxy get stuck in a wormhole, a small Groot finds himself on his own in an alien world where no one can understand him. He must make a journey to the center of the world if he wants to find his family again! Collects issues #1-#5 of the comic book series.

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Star Wars: Rogue One Graphic Novel Adaptation by Allesandro Ferrari (IDW Publishing, December 12). This graphic adaptation of the popular Rogue One film features Jyn Erso, daughter of the Death Star’s creator, who is trying to save her father from Imperial control and steal the plans for the Death Star. Leads directly into the opening scene of Episode IV. All of your young Star Wars fans will be lining up for this one.

Lumberjanes Volume 7: A Bird’s-Eye View by Shannon Waters and Kat Leyh, illustrated by Carey Pietsch, Ayme Sotuyo, and Maarta Laiho (BOOM! Box, December 12). The High Council is coming to camp for inspection and everyone is trying to make everything perfect, even though there’s a storm brewing and kittens from the boy’s camp are manifesting magic powers. The multiple Eisner-award winning series is back with a new trade volume! Collects issues #25-#28 of the comic book series. Lumberjanes is perfect for fans of summer camp adventures and friendship stories.

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Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes, illustrated by Selina Espiritu (BOOM! Studios, December 12). Brianna has big cooking dreams. She wants to open her own restaurant. But the only place she can afford to do it is in Monster City…where she’s the only human. Will her restaurant succeed?? Collects the entire limited series.

Misfit City Volume 1 by Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Kurt Lustgarten, illustrated by Naomi Franquiz (BOOM! Box, December 19).  Nothing fun has happened in Wilder’s hometown since they filmed a cult classic movie there in the 80s. But then she and her friends happen upon a centuries-old pirate map…and they discover their town might not be so boring after all! Collects issues #1-#4 of the comic book series. Give this one to your adventure readers.

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Ms. Marvel Volume 8: Mecca by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona (Marvel, December 26). An old enemy resurfaces and begins to target those closest to intrepid teenage hero Kamala Khan. She begins to suspect that something even more sinister is at work. Collects issues #19-#24 of the comic book series. Your superhero fans will love Ms. Marvel, the Pakistani-American teen trying to balance family, friends, and superhero-ing in her hometown of Jersey City.

See you in 2018!