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


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


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.


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!


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).


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: September 2018 edition with Ally Watkins


Here are some great September comics your teens and tweens will enjoy!


SLAM! The Next Jam by Pamela Ribon and illustrated by Marina Julia with Brittany Peer and Veronica Fish (BOOM! Box, September 11). Knockout and Can Can have broken one of the biggest rules in roller derby…not to mention some actual bones. When they get back to practice, can their teammates trust them? Collects all four issues of the limited run series.

Star Wars: A New Hope Graphic Novel Adaptation by Alessandro Ferrari (IDW Publishing, September 18). Faithfully bringing the film to the page, this graphic novel adaptation of Episode IV will thrill both your comics fans and your star wars fans. This volume is the first in a planned trilogy of adaptations of the original Star Wars series.

the unwanted

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (HMH Books for Young Readers, September 18). In this full-color, nonfiction graphic work, Brown explores the realities of the Syrian refugee crisis and the life the Syrian people live while living in and fleeing a war zone.

Science Comics: Solar System: Our Place in Space by Rosemary Mosco, illustrated by Jon Chad (First Second, September 18). The wildly popular Science Comics series is back, this time exploring Earth and its neighbors in our solar system. Your nonfiction readers will love the art and the facts!


Check, Please! #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second, September 18). The extraordinarily popular webcomic comes to print!  Eric is a former figure skater who scored a spot on the Samwell University hockey team his freshman year, but nothing could prepare him for the experience he’s about to have–or for Jack, his moody and attractive team captain.

Supernova (Amulet #8) by Kazu Kibuishi (Graphix, September 25). Kabuishi’s thrilling Amulet graphic novel series continues! In this installment, Emily has lost control of her amulet and must find a way to fight back.  Meanwhile, Navin is having his own problems as the Resistance prepares to do battle. Both siblings must fight their hardest to save themselves and planet Alledia.


Collecting Comics: June 2018 Edition by Ally Watkins


Check out these June-releasing comics that your tweens and teens will be clamoring for!


The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (Knopf Books for Young Readers, June 5). A neighborhood full of kids use ordinary boxes to create amazing costumes and transform their street into the cardboard kingdom! Come along for the ride this summer as these kids have quests and adventures before school starts.

Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Joëlle Jones (DC Comics, June 5). Kara Danvers crash landed to Earth as a child and has all these amazing powers: but she just wants to be a normal teen. Until an earthquake hits her small town. Suddenly, her powers are on overdrive and secrets about her past are coming to light. Who can she trust? And can she save her town? Collects issues #1-#4 of the limited comic book series.


Mech Cadet Yu, Vol. 1 by Greg Pak, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa (BOOM! Studios, June 5). Once a year, giant robots from outer space bond with cadets from the Elite Sky Corps Academy to help keep the planet safe. But this year, the wrong kid was picked. Stanford isn’t a cadet. He and his mom have been working as janitors at the academy. He’ll have to convince a LOT of people he’s worthy of his new bond. Collects issues #1-#4.

Science Comics: Rockets by Anne Droyd and Jerzy Droyd (First Second, June 12). In another installment of the popular Science comics series, this nonfiction graphic work tackles a topic that’s sure to thrill your kids: rockets! Starting with Newton’s Laws of motion and working its way up to rockets we may see in the future, this book will fly off your shelves into the hands of your nonfiction lovers.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 8: My Best Friend’s Squirrel by Ryan North, illustrated by Erica Henderson (Marvel, June 26). Doreen Green is back for another adventure! When her friends Nancy and Tippy-Toe find themselves on an alien world, Doreen must get herself to the other side of the universe to save them! With appearances by fan favorite Loki! Collects issues #27-#32.

Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book Five: Get Lost Together (Action Lab Entertainment, June 26). Six weeks have passed since the attack on the ship and the loss of Sunshine. The crew is convinced she’s dead, but she’s actually alive on a mysterious island where not everything is as it seems. Meanwhile, back on the ship, Ximena has been putting off confessing her feelings. But is it too late to make this relationship work?


Giant Days: Extra Credit by John Allison, illustrated by Jenn St-Onge, Lissa Treiman, and Canaan Grall (BOOM! Studios, June 26). This volume of Giant Days contains shorts and bonus material from university pals Esther, Daisy, and Susan. Includes a special “what if” story in which they never became friends! Your fans of Giant Days will be so excited for bonus stories.

Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart Vol. 2: Choices by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by Stefano Caselli (Marvel, June 26). Riri Williams AKA Ironheart is back! She’s determined to take on the world in this second volume of the Ironheart series. Can she defeat villains who have it out for her and an AI that thinks it knows what’s best? Collects issues #6-#11 of the comic book series.


Collecting Comics: April 2018 with Ally Watkins

collectingcomicsCheck out these April comics that your teens and tweens will love!


34499251Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter by Marcus Sedgwick, illustrated by Thomas Taylor (First Second, April 3). Scarlett is from a long line of monster hunters, and she’s determined to keep her family’s legacy alive, even if she’s too young to be licensed by the monster hunters’ union. With the help of a friend and a bunch of cool gadgets, Scarlett is fighting monsters and hunting down the corrupt monster hunter that killed her parents…


61xGBkW-RtL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks by Various (BOOM! Box, April 3). This volume is a collection of short tales involving our five fearless Lumberjanes scouts and their pals. This trade paperback collects all of the Lumberjanes Special Issues, including Beyond Bay Leaf, Making the Ghost of It, and Faire and Square. Your kids that love Lumberjanes will be thrilled to have more stories from this world!


Paper Girls Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson (Image Comics, April 10). The paper delivery girls are back! Tiffany is launched from prehistoric times into an alternate version of the year 2000 where Y2K went very differently. Collects issues #16-#20 of the comic book series.


Science Comics: Sharks: Nature’s Perfect Hunter by Joe Flood (First Second, April 17). This nonfiction graphic work in the popular Science Comic series is all about sharks. Filled with amazing illustrations of undersea creatures and facts about everything from hammerheads to great whites to nurse sharks, this volume will amaze your animal lovers and your nonfiction lovers!


Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 2: Most Wanted by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Juan Frigeri and Adam Kubert (Marvel, April 24). Peter is back in his neighborhood, but he finds himself to be under suspicion by the police. Is Spiderman a friend or a threat? This trade features stories with Black Panther, the Tinkerer, and the Mason. Collects issues #297-300 of the comic book series.


Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin, illustrated by Nina Vakueva (BOOM! Box, April 24). Chris is super excited–she’s just landed her dream job: working at her local record store. She’s dealing with getting adjusted into her new job, and maybe even a crush on her coworker Maggie, when something weird happens: her favorite singer disappears the night of a show. That’s when Chris finds out that her coworkers are more that just record store employees: they’re a vigilante fight club! Collects the entire limited series, previously called Hi Fi Fight Club.


9781626724570The City on the Other Side by Mairgread Scott, illustrated by Robin Robinson (First Second, April 24). Isabel is a good girl from high society San Francisco, and her life is very quiet, until she accidentally breaches a wall between two worlds and into the war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. Only Isabel can stop the war and the destruction of the fairy world, and her own.


61NPpbJ08JL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol (First Second, April 24). All Vera wants to do is fit in–but that’s not easy for the Russian daughter of a single mom. The one thing they can afford is Russian summer camp. Vera is sure she’ll fit in there, but nothing has prepared her for the drama that she finds.

Bonus Non-Comic:


The Flash: Johnny Quick (The Flash Book 2) by Barry Lyga (Amulet Books, April 10). In this second book of The Flash middle grade series, Barry Allen continues to protect Central City from Hocus Pocus, but a new evil may be lurking beneath the streets.

Collecting Comics: January 2018, by Ally Watkins


Welcome to the January 2018 edition of Collecting Comics! Here are some comics to put in your collection for your teens and tweens for the New Year!


Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, Volume 2: Masks by Kelly Thompson, illustrated by Leonard Romero (Marvel, January 2). Kate Bishop aka Hawkeye (not that Hawkeye) finally gets a lead on the case that brought her out to LA in the first place, but to solve it, she’ll have to take a good, hard look at who she is and where she came from. Is she ready for that? Collects issues #7-#12 of the comic book series. Your superhero fans will love this one.

Gwenpool, the Unbelievable, Volume 4: Beyond the Fourth Wall by Christopher Hastings, illustrated by Gurihuru (Marvel, January 2). Gwen Poole is everyone’s favorite character from the “real” world. But the longer she’s in the Marvel Universe, the more her powers seem to fade. Maybe she needs a trip back to her world to recharge–but if she does that, will she be able to make it back to the MU? Collects issues #16-#20 of the comic book series. Give this to your patrons that are a fan of meta storytelling and humor.


Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Volume 4: Girl-Moon by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder, illustrated by Natacha Bustos (Marvel, January 9). It’s Lunella Lafayette’s biggest adventure ever as she and Devil Dinosaur venture through the cosmos. And if they make it back, they may find their Earth a little bit..changed? Who are Devil Girl and Moon Dinosaur and what have they done to her neighborhood??? Collects issues #19-#24 of the comic book series. Lunella is great for a wide variety of readers!


Elsewhere, Volume 1 by Jay Faerber, illustrated by Sumeyye Kesgin (Image Comics, January 9). The thrilling story of what really happened to Amelia Earhart. Transported to a mysterious new world filled with alien creatures and flying animals, Amelia tries desperately to return home! Along the way she makes friends and finds herself in the middle of a rebellion against an alien warlord. Collects issues #1-#4 of the comic book series.

BOOM! Box Mix Tape (BOOM! Box, January 9). A collection of short comics from fan favorites and BOOM! Box stars. Inludes both original comics and new stories from BOOM! favorites like Lumberjanes, Goldie Vance, Giant Days and The Backstagers.


Dream of the Butterfly, Volume 1: Rabbits on the Moon by Richard Marazano, illustrated by Luo Yin (Lion Forge, January 23). Tutu is blown away from her home by a giant blizzard, and she finds herself in a strange village filled with talking animals. It’s always winter here and the rabbits of the secret police find her guilty of a horrible crime: being a little girl! Nominated for the Angoulême Festival Youth Prize.

Olympians: Hermes: Tales of the Trickster by George O’Connor (First Second, January 30). O’Connor is back again with another installment of his wildly popular series based on Greek mythology. In this tenth volume, he delves into the myth of the trickster god Hermes who bewitches animals to bend them to his will, steals herds of animals, and generally causes chaos wherever he goes. Your patrons that like mythology, wit, and great storytelling will eat this one up!


Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin (Feiwel and Friends, January 30). The second installment of Wires and Nerves picks up where the Lunar Chronicles left off as Iko, Cinder, and the gang fight against rogue soldiers to try and unite Earth and Luna. Fans of the Lunar Chronicles will be delighted that there’s more to the story! These books will especially delight fans of Iko.



Black Panther: The Young Prince by Ronald L. Smith (Marvel Press, January 2). T’Challa is the young prince of the nation of Wakanda and he likes nothing more than getting into trouble with his best friend M’Baku. But as conflict brews in Wakanda, his father the king announces he’s sending T’Challa and M’Baku to school in the United States. Will they be able to survive both the ins and outs of middle school and also solve the strange things that start happening all while hiding T’Challa’s true identity?


Runaways: An Original Novel by Christopher Golden (Marvel Press, January 2). Nico, Karolina, Gert, Chase, and Molly are on the run again, hiding out and trying not to get killed. But kids with superpowers and abilities don’t get to have normal lives.


Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu (Random House Books for Young Readers, January 2). Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. And he makes some bad mistakes. Sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, he meets a girl. Who will only talk to him. Who has a strange connection to the nightwalkers terrorizing the city. Is he convincing her to help him, or is she just using him to destroy the city’s elite? And is he next on her list?

Collecting Comics: December 2017 Edition, by Ally Watkins


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!

C2: Collecting Comics for September and October 2017 with Ally Watkins

Today, librarian extraordinaire Ally Watkins begins her new monthly feature where she talks to us about comics and graphic novels to help us all with our collection development. Thanks Ally!


Do your young students and patrons love comics? Are you constantly on the hunt for more? Here are some suggestions for comics and graphic novels coming out in September and October that your tween and teen friendos will inhale!


Older Than Dirt by Don Brown and Michael Perfit (HMH Book for Young Readers, September 5) A one of a kind, wild, nonfiction history of the earth by Sibert Honor medalist Don Brown and scientist Dr. Michael Perfit. Booklist’s starred review says: “Brown and scientific consultant Perfit provide an astonishingly comprehensive overview and manage to humanize it with witty asides from the woodchuck and worm who serve as surrogate teacher and student.” Your middle school nonfiction readers will check this one out instantly.


All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books, September 5) From the author/illustrator of the widely loved and Newbery Honor book Roller Girl comes a new graphic novel! Impy has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire and she’s excited that she’s old enough to train as a squire herself. But first comes a new adventure: she’s going to school for the first time after being homeschooled her whole life. Her new friends seem really nice…until they don’t. How will Impy handle her new life? TLT’s review can be found here.

Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice (First Second, September 12) Check out the steampunk adventure that Booklist calls “a rollicking good time”! What if the world developed space exploration in 1869 instead of 1969? A son on the hunt for his missing mother, spies, royal drama, and more!


Spinning by Tillie Walden (First Second, September 12) For years, figure skating was Tillie Walden’s entire life—practices for hours a day and on weekends, competitions, and more. But as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love for the first time, she began to question—was this what she really wanted? A moving teen graphic memoir, TLT’s review can be found here.

Jonesy Volume 3 by Sam Humphries, illustrated by Caitlin Rose Boyle (BOOM! Box, September 19) Jonesy is back at it again in the third trade paperback of her comic adventures. Jonesy is a normal teen except for one thing: she has the power to make people fall in love! The catch is, it doesn’t work on herself. Collects issues #9-12 of the comic book series.



Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (First Second, October 3) Priyanka Das has a lot of unanswered questions, about her mother’s former life in India, about her father, and about her own identity. All Pri’s questions might be answered when she finds a magical pashmina scarf that transports her to the India of her dreams. But is it the real thing? And can it be as good as it seems? Check out the graphic novel that SLJ called a “dazzling blend of realistic fiction and fantasy.”

Cucumber Quest: The Donut Kingdom by Gigi D.G (First Second, October 10) A pun-filled MG graphic novel about, well, mostly bunnies. Cucumber the magician and his little sister Almond, a knight-in-training, set out to find the Dream Sword, the only thing powerful enough to defeat the Evil Queen Cordelia’s Nightmare Knight! Give this to your kids who love adventure, humor, and fantasy.


I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings (Tu Books, October 15) In this YA graphic novel, Alfonso Jones is killed by an off-duty police officer. This story is about his afterlife, where he meets other victims of shootings, and also his family, who are fighting for justice. Kirkus calls it “painfully important.”

Giant Days Volume 6 by John Allison, illustrated by Max Sarin, inked by Liz Fleming (BOOM! Box, October 24) Giant Days is an excellent crossover title that your older teens will love. Esther, Susan, and Daisy have started their second year of university and they’re now living in their own off-campus housing! But does that really make them grownups? Collects issues #21-24 of the comic book series.

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña (Getty Publications, October 24) A personal graphic memoir of the life of renowned Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, written by award winning YA author Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña. Gorgeous black and white illustrations help tell the story of Iturbide, whose career has taken her all over her native Mexico and the world. May be of special interest to the budding artists in your classrooms and libraries.


The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill (Oni Press, October 31) The author/illustrator of the adorable Princess Princess Ever After is back with The Tea Dragon Society. After discovering a lost tea dragon, Greta learns about the old art of caring for tea dragons. As she meets the owners of the tea dragon shop and the people in their lives, she begins to understand how lives can be enriched by these creatures. Gorgeous art will make your kids want their own tea dragons and might even inspire some fanart.

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag (Graphix, October 31)  A middle grade graphic novel about a world in which the boys become shapeshifters and the girls become witches. Period. Anyone who crosses these line is exiled. But Aster is 13 and still hasn’t shifted. And he’s fascinated by witchery. This story has already been optioned for feature film by Fox Animation.

Riverdale Volume 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, illustrated by Alitha Martinez and Joe Eisma (Archie Comics, October 31) Not published specifically as YA, this comic will have a lot of crossover appeal for your young fans of the show. The first trade paperback collection of the comics that are set specifically in the universe of the popular CW show.


BONUS NON COMIC: Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Brooklyn Allen (Amulet Books, October 10). The Lumberjanes are crossing over into middle grade novels! The five Scouts of Roanoke Cabin–Molly, Jo, Ripley, Mal, and April–are ready for a new adventure climbing the tallest mountain they’ve ever seen! Of course, it doesn’t exactly go as planned. Hijinks ensue; also unicorns. Your Lumberjanes-loving readers will be so thrilled to see their faves in a new format!

TPiB: Comic Book Creations

Today I am hosting my first Teen program for this year’s super hero themed program. This is hands down my favorite SRC theme to date. So many cool, easy and fun things to do. Today I’m just having a kind of informal comic themes Maker program where we will cut up discarded graphic novels/manga/comic books to make a wide variety of crafts.

1. Upcycled Bottle Cap Crafts

Bottle cap crafts are quick and easy. You can make magnets. You can hang a washer with a magnet on a string and make easily interchangeable necklaces. And since we’re using GNs and comics we can use pictures or catchy phrases.


To make the bottle cap crafts you need:

  • Some type of pictures (here I used discarded GNs)
  • A 1 inch hole punch
  • Bottle caps
  • 1 inch circle epoxy stickers
  • Some type of glue to glue the picture into the bottle cap
  • Magnets

To make the necklace: tie a washer to a string long enough for a bracelet or necklace. Attach a magnet to the washer. You can then easily interchange bottle caps to change out your jewelry.


I also bought a variety of comic book and super hero themed duct tape which will work really well for making button crafts as well. In addition, I bought photo mats and my goal is to have the teens use the duct tape to cover photo mats and frame their GNs pages with it.


2. Upcycled Buttons

Buttons are actually really popular with my teens. Cutting up GNs and comics to make them is quick and easy.


3. Turn an old GN into a new (and personalized) GN

I cut up a bunch of discarded GNs to make my own GN. You could glue it to a piece of paper. I happen to have a bunch of various size acrylics to decorate my teen area so I went ahead and made it into a mural/wall art.


4. Make collages

The above wall art came about actually quite by accident. I started making a simple collage to frame because we have a ton of smaller acrylic frames that were donated and I knew they would make a fun craft for teens to take home. Then I just kind of got carried away and made it into a wall panel. But a basic collage works as well.


5. Make your own comic strips & gn pages

I am going to be doing this portion of the program in two ways.


comiccrafts8On Amazon I was able to order a few different comic book creation tools that had long comic strip sheets for teens to fill in and graphic novel templates. You can find them here and here.


comicbk3I made the above comic page using an iPhone and the ComicBook app. I wrote previously about comic book creation tools here.

Take 5: Comic Book/Strip Creation Tools

Take 10: Christie’s Favorite Villains

Christie tries on some villain hair!

If you take a look in my office at work, or if you take a look at my work nook at home, you will see that it overflows with villains. It’s not an accident- I LOVE villains. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I think that villains MAKE the hero. Think about it for a minute. It’s the biggest revelation in Mystery Men that without Casanova Frankenstein there IS no Captain Amazing. If not for Ursula, there was no way Ariel would get to Erik. Without Jafar, Aladdin would never have found Genie or Jasmine. The VILLAINS make things possible, and make things interesting. There would be no NEED for the Avengers if there were no villains, no need for a HERO to be a HERO if there wasn’t someone to fight.

So, in honor of my love of comic books, I came up with my top 10 mainstream villains in comics.

If you’ve only seen him in the movies, he was pretty nasty enough- being the force behind the hatred of mutant kind, yet pumping Logan full of Adamantium and making him Wolverine AND making him forget everything. (If you don’t know the references, see X-Men 2 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine). If you follow the comics, he’s even creepier- he’s a full-out believer who thinks that mutants are the work of the devil, and actively works to destroy them from the face of the Earth. There is nothing like a true believer when you’re actively questioning your place in the world- he has some wonderfully devious plots and twists within the canon.

Karen (Left) and Christie (Second from Left) Talk Free Comic Book Day at ALA 2013


I grew up watching the Adam West Batman series, so my first experience of The Riddler was Frank Gorshin running around with really bad riddles and puns that Batman, Robin, and Batgirl would get immediately while the Commissioner and Police Chief would marvel at their intelligence. I loved that he loved the puzzles, and would skywrite things, and just have fun causing mischief. Later in the comics and the video games, I loved all the puzzles and riddles and tricks, and how he could foil things again and again. I really admire how the game makers with the current Batman video games use him as a way to earn points and trophies throughout the games.
Poor Harry. He was cursed into his legacy no matter what he would have done. Blamed for the death of his mother, Harry always tried to earn his father’s love and never succeeded, and is in fact lashed out upon multiple times while he tries to earn that approval- something that a lot of teens can relate to. He falls into drugs while his father turns into the Green Goblin, and while discovering that his BFF is Spider-Man and trying to kill his dad, takes on the mantel of New Goblin and goes bonkers for a while. I mean, really, what better way to take out stress?  In the new movie, they have Harry fighting against a genetic disease that will eventually kill him, and he ends up mutating into the Goblin. I’ve always really liked Harry just because I felt for him- he was always stuck between the father that hated him (that Harry always wanted love from) and the seemingly perfect Peter. Can’t we all relate somehow?
These things just creep me the hell out, and I’m on edge waiting for the movie at the end of the month. I’ve read a little too much AI sci-fi and watched too many movies (Terminator and SKYNET, anyone?) not to be wary of robots, even as I have a Roomba sweeping the living room floor. The Sentinels always creeped me out- killer robots designed to hunt down anyone with a mutant gene and either imprison or kill (depending on the storyline), I always had it in my head that they could be out there SOMEWHERE. Didn’t help that we had a garage full of computer equipment, either. Then when the storylines in the comics went to where they went rogue and started killing off EVERYONE, yea, that was the stalker part.

I fell in love with Ivy when I read one of her storylines and she used the plants around her to take out Batman and Robin. No guns, no bombs, PLANTS. How awesome is that?!?!?! Yea, she might be an eco-terrorist, but she she has a really good cause (save the Earth, people- we only have one), and she might be a bit twisted, but she has really good ideas. If we gave her direction she might… well….  no….  She is wonderful girl power, and if you get her and Harley together, it is completely wonderful mayhem. I adore the fact that she was originally modeled after Bettie Page, as well.
We need some super readers to defeat some super villians!
 My first exposure to Lex was with Gene Hackman in the 70’s in the Christopher Reeve movies. I adored Gene Hackman. He was a misunderstood genius, having to put up with all these idiots around him who couldn’t understand his vision, and yet he was able to trick Superman AGAIN and AGAIN, through the movies and the TV cartoons and the comics. And nothing ever really happened to him! It was amazing! Yes, his hand got cancer because he wore a kryptonite ring at some point, and his clone turned good and hooked up with Supergirl, but he’s STILL AROUND! And since there are rumors of a Justice League movie, they’re going to have to have villains, and Lex lead the Legion of Doom…..

I adore me some Harley. She is one of the few that started in an animated series, then made her way into the comic canon, and now life cannot be imaged without her. She lives for her DOC-TOR J (think HUGE Brooklyn accent) and will do anything and everything to help- yet she realizes that he can be abusive and he needs to treat her better. Between 1992 and today, she has become her own person and her own villain. The short story that told her background in the comics won an Eisner Award, and she is beloved not only for her personality but for her mayhem as well. She’s been placed into the recent Batman games as well as the short-lived Birds of Prey series. DC Comics hit some series backlash when they had a Break into Comics with Harley contest which requested artists to draw her in one of four different suicide attempts- DC backed off, but it drew massive attention to the way they were treating their characters, especially since everyone in the Batman canon of villains gets locked in Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. 

Not the Joker, just someone playing at it!
I don’t think anyone could do a Top 10 list of Mainstream Villains without having The Joker in here at some point. Played on the big screen by Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson, he’s THE nemesis for Batman, and quite the mastermind for ol’ Batsy. Always with a joke or a trick or an angle, the former mobster turned arch-villain is one of the most recognizable characters around. His viciousness is always tempered with his desire to get The BAT. The green gas that will turn people smiling and his trademark purple and green colors are everywhere. While I know a lot of people who were turned off clowns due to Stephen King’s It, THIS would be the clown face that would haunt me.

The Scarecrow really can be a sympathetic villain if you know his backstory. Bullied all his life, raised by a fanatically religious grandmother who hated him, called Ichabod because of his resemblance to the main character of Sleepy Hollow, and the most beat-upon kid at school, he throws himself into the study of fear. He makes chemicals and an alter-ego for himself so that he can fight the bullies, and the alter-ego comes out during the high school Prom. Studying psychiatry during college, he lands a job at Arkham and does fear studies on the inmates- and loses his day job at Gotham College when the gun in his briefcase goes off and kills another professor. Taking revenge, he kills the rest of the faculty and the Scarecrow is born:  using fear toxins and gases to release long-buried phobias and fears in his victims. He had been little known outside of the comics until the most recent Batman trilogy of movies- he was one of the central villains in the first, then had recurring roles in the second and third movies which made the tie-ins and the lack of control in Gotham all the more apparent.
Christie “with” Loki at the Thor: The Dark World premeire
 For all their powers and craziness, none can take my heart for Loki has had it for years. Born in Norse mythology, Loki is the trickster god, and as such wreaks havok for Thor and the Avengers all along the timelines. According to the comic tales, Odin’s father Bor was felled in battle and when Odin found him, Bor begged Odin to find a sorcerer to save him. Odin refused, and Bor cursed Odin that he would take in the son of a fallen king. Not a week later, Odin felled the Frost-Giants, and found Loki and took him, knowing that he was one of the enemy. Loki would always be the black sheep of Asgard- he could never match the values that they held, but would surpass everyone in sorcery, and would learn everything…including the black arts. He’s been made lovable to everyone else by Tom Hiddleson in the recent Thor and Avenger movies, and I can’t wait to see where they’re going with them- because there are a number of different ways they could go, including some female possessions.
Who are your favorite villains?  Share in the comments!