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No time to read for fun? Try these new comics!

School is starting and cutting into crucial Reading for Fun time.

Nicolas Cage Cat is sad without Fun Reading Time via nickcagecats.tumblr.com

Luckily, there are lots of new comics to read – comics can often be quicker to read, and there are some good ones that just arrived in a library near you.

New takes on the Paranormal:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32233450&isn=1561637343&size=large&upc=&oclc=818318336&category=&format=

Zombiellenium V.1: Gretchen by Arthur De Pins

Gretchen is witch and an intern at Zombiellenium – a scary theme park staffed entirely by real supernatural beings under contract for life. She stops a guy from robbing a convenience store while picking up stuff for her co-workers, and he promptly walks out into traffic and gets hit by a car driven by a vampire – who then resurrects him. He becomes the new staff member at Zombiellenium, and his powers are yet to be realized.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32093597&isn=9781401237639&size=large&upc=&oclc=796761419&category=&format=

The New Deadwardians V.1 by Dan Abnett

 

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32128186&isn=9781620100844&size=large&upc=&oclc=821701914&category=&format=

Bad Machinery V.1: The Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison

Shauna. Charlotte. Mildred. Three schoolgirl sleuths. Jack. Linton. Sonny. Three schoolboy investigators. Tackleford. One mid-sized city with a history of countless mysteries. Is there enough room at Griswalds Grammar School for two groups of kid detectives?

Adaptations:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32027515&isn=9781423134466&size=large&upc=&oclc=757484342&category=&format=

Blue Bloods by Melissa De la Cruz & Alina Urusov, adapted by Robert Venditti

For this elite group of teenagers, New York is all about parties, fashion…AND BLOOD. Schuyler Van Alen is a loner, and happy that way. But when she turns fifteen, her life dramatically changes. A mosaic of blue veins appears on her arms, and she begins to have memories of another time and place. When a classmate is found dead at a night club, the mystery deepens. Most surprising of all, Jack Force, the hottest boy in school, starts showing a sudden interest in her. Schuyler wants answers, but is she prepared to learn the truth…especially when she discovers her part in it?

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b31940432&isn=9780316182713&size=large&upc=&oclc=794711915&category=&format=

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl and Cassandra Jean

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32063118&isn=9781616550547&size=large&upc=&oclc=836886897&category=&format=

Avatar the last Airbender: The Search, Part One by Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru

Last year brought The Promise Parts 1-3, where the gang tries to unite all the nations, only to meet resistance and unrest – especially from Fire Nation. Now Fire Lord Zuko is rethinking his stance and wants to learn about his mother and his past. And he’s taking his sister with him…

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b31998598&isn=9781613775790&size=large&upc=&oclc=815381093&category=&format=

Doctor Who V.1: The Hypothetical Gentleman by Andy Diggle, Mark Buckingham, Brandon Seifert, et al.

Three Dr. Who adventures with the eleventh Doctor.

Non-fiction:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32076526&isn=9781554514892&size=large&upc=&oclc=811407112&category=&format=

War Brothers by Sharon McKay and Daniel LaFrance

Based on a true story, it will be hard to put down this recounting of a kidnapped boy forced to go to war in Joseph Kony’s twisted child army.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32132980&isn=1596438657&size=large&upc=&oclc=810122872&category=&format=

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks

It’s hard enough breaking into primatology if you’re a woman, and it’s also hard to produce groundbreaking scientific work. But these three women did both things, and got to live in the wilderness with the great apes.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32043533&isn=9781595585417&size=large&upc=&oclc=818461909&category=&format=

Race to Incarcerate by Sabrina Jones & Marc Mauer

The United States’ rate of incarceration is the highest in the world. This is the  complex story of four decades of prison expansion and its corrosive effect on society.

Manga:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b3206245x&isn=9781770461109&size=large&upc=&oclc=795174353&category=&format=

Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki

Meet Kitaro. He’s just like any other boy, except for a few small differences: he only has one eye, his hair is an antenna that senses paranormal activity, his geta sandals are jet-powered, and he can blend into his surroundings like a chameleon. Oh, and he’s a three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old yokai (spirit monster).

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b31982773&isn=9780316245326&size=large&upc=&oclc=834540321&category=&format=

Durarara! Drrr!!: Saika Arc by Ryogo Narita

Ikebukuro, Tokyo-a neighborhood where twisted love prowls!! A series of street slashings in Ikebukuro begins to connect total strangers: A teenage girl with no personality of her own; a beat writer for a third-rate tabloid; a teacher suspected of harassment; an informant based in Shinjuku…and a headless rider straddling a pitch-black motorcycle!! Meanwhile, the slasher continues to terrorize the night, all in search of…”him”!?
http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32082587&isn=9781935654872&size=large&upc=&oclc=806016050&category=&format=
It is the year Universal Century 0079, in a space colony the Earth Federation is storing and testing a new piloted robot for use in the battle against the Principality of Zeon. The experimental RX-78 Gundam mobile suit is scheduled to be transported to Federation command in Jaburo, deep within the Brazilian jungles. Unfortunatley, before the transporter would arrive, the Federation would come under attack from Zeon. With few resources available against the Zeon’s most mobile mechs, Federation forces strike back using their new weapon, the mobile suit Gundam. Caught in the crossfire is a young teen named Amuro Ray. Not willing to see innocent people die like this, Amuro crawls into the cockpit of the closest machine around him.
http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32076976&isn=9781421555614&size=large&upc=&oclc=839682709&category=&format=
Veteran hero Wild Tiger has years of experience fighting crime, but his ratings have been slipping. Under orders from his new employer, Wild Tiger finds himself forced to team up with Barnaby Brooks Jr., a rookie with an attitude. Overcoming their differences will be at least as difficult for this mismatched duo as taking down superpowered bad guys.
http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32132906&isn=9781612623559&size=large&upc=&oclc=847658273&category=&format=
For Shion, an elite student in the technologically sophisticated city No. 6, life is carefully choreographed. School, study, and the occasional visit with his friend and classmate Safu. One fateful day, however, he takes a misstep, sheltering an injured boy his age from a typhoon. Known only as Rat, this boy is a VC – a fugitive living outside the computerized tapestry of city control – and helping him will throw Shion’s life into chaos and start him down a path to discovering the appalling secrets behind the superficial perfection of No. 6.

Adventure!:

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b3209761x&isn=9781608863242&size=large&upc=&oclc=837660472&category=&format=  http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32166023&isn=9781608863235&size=large&upc=&oclc=816030891&category=&format=  http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32166035&isn=9781608863174&size=large&upc=&oclc=813010879&category=&format=

Adventure Time V. 1 – 3 by Ryan North and Shelli Paroline

The Lich, a super scary skeleton dude, has returned to the Land of Ooo, and he’s bent on total destruction. Luckily, Finn and Jake are on the case–but can they succeed against their most destructive foe yet?

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32215782&isn=9781603091008&size=large&upc=&oclc=822893078&category=&format=

Crater XV by Kevin Cannon

An intoxicating tale of swashbuckling adventure, abandoned moon bases, bloodthirsty walruses, rogue astronauts, two-faced femme fatales, sailboat chases, Siberian pirates, international Arctic politics, and a gaggle of orphans.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32235380&isn=9781596438132&size=large&upc=&oclc=825733940&category=&format=

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff

Delilah Dirk is an Indiana Jones for the 19th century. She has traveled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she’s picked up on the way, Delilah’s adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople.

Realistic fiction:

Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge

Will is dealing with some heavy stuff. She pushes it to the back of her mind and focuses on her favorite things: building artsy lighting devices, and hanging out with her friends. They discover an art carnival being planned in their town and get in on the action. It’s all great until a Hurricane Whitney lives Will in the dark without distractions from her thoughts.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b31877369&isn=9780375865909&size=large&upc=&oclc=494980888&category=&format=

Peanut by Ayun Halliday & Paul Hoppe

Sadie has the perfect plan to snag some friends when she transfers to Plainfield High–pretend to have a peanut allergy. But what happens when you have to hand in that student health form your unsuspecting mom was supposed to fill out? And what if your new friends want to come over and your mom serves them snacks? The situation can only get worse before it can get better.

http://vufindplus2.einetwork.net/bookcover.php?id=.b32109192&isn=159643659X&size=large&upc=&oclc=810122869&category=&format=

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks

How to steal a high school election, build a battlebot, and run away from home on Thanksgiving.

A Few of my Favorite Webcomics

By now, I hope you are all familiar with the graphic novel/manga section of your library (and the wonderful subject heading of graphic novels.)  If you’re not, and feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of comics and graphic novels out there, these lists are a good place to start.  But that’s not really what I want to talk about today.  I’d like to talk about the weird and wonderful world of webcomics (WaWWoW) (that’s not a real initialism).

illustration by flickr user opensourceway

When I first stumbled on webcomics RSS feeds were just being invented, so I had to go back to my favorites every day and check to see if they’d been updated.  Since anyone can make and post a webcomic online for not very much money (or free if you don’t use much bandwith and free blogging software), the number of comics was huge and the quality hit or miss. The best way that I found to find new webcomics was to look at the links on the pages of my favorite author/artists.  At a certain point this became recursive, since they all linked to each other.  I still read some of these comics today – they’re still going strong and have gone through who knows how many plotlines and name changes and drawing styles.  That’s one of the great things about webcomics – you can see an artist’s style evolve and become better and better.

Webcomics from the old days of the new millennium!

1. Bad Machinery (formerly Bobbins, then Scary-Go-Round)

The current cast is a group of (British) kids solving mysteries and it’s so good.  John Allison (the writer & artist) is also the reason that I learned about Kate Beaton, history comics funny lady extraordinaire, so he obviously has good taste.

by John Allison

 

2. Questionable Content

This comic is like if Friends were set in hipster post-college Massachusetts and everyone was more awkward.

by Jeph Jacques

 

3. The Adventures of Dr. McNinja

Exactly what it sounds like. You can also get it collected on paper from your library

by Christopher Hastings

 

4. Dinosaur Comics :

Clip-art style dinosaurs being absurd.

by Ryan North

by Ryan North

Of course, nowadays,

it’s easier to find an even vaster variety of comics online.  Comic big-name Warren Ellis serialized his science-fiction story Freakangels, about a group of teenagers whose strange telekinetic powers destroy the UK, for free, online, and published it so it could be bought by people and library systems like our own.

Now there are sites devoted to groups of serialized comics, like Study Group, with indie/underground style artists, Activate Comix, founded by Dean Haspiel, Saturday Morning Webtoons, aimed at younger readers, and ShiftyLook, with more superhero-themed offerings.

yes, it is rad.

Comics veterans like Sam Hurt have uploaded their archives online, while artists of the digital age like Derek Kirk Kim, Hope Larson, Bryan Lee O’MalleyKrystal DiFronzo, Peter Quatch, and Amelia Onorato have a blog or tumblr as a matter of course.

Amelia Onorato

 

Peter Quatch

 

Derek Kirk Kim

 

Comics blogs like the Comics Alliance will link to webcomics of note, like Rigby the Barbarian by Lee Leslie (“Rigby is just another disgruntled archaeology student when she finds a magical sword that provides her with a one way ticket to medieval fantasy camp, and the responsibility of delivering her new neighbors from the clutches of the wizard known only as The Fate-Maker”)

By Lee Leslie

 

Family Man by Dylan Meconin (“Hundreds of miles away, a small University is stranded in the woods along the Bohemian border.  It boasts some impressive assets, including a library fit to stun the neediest scholar.  But amongst the thousands of volumes purporting to provide light and understanding, there are quite a few lingering shadows. Nowhere is it darker than between the University’s benevolent dictator of a Rector and its remarkable and elusive Librarian…except for perhaps in the woods outside, where human nature is forfeit to a much more brutal contract than any philosopher-king could devise.”),

by Dylan Meconin

 

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman (“a story about Charlie — a queer 13 year old girl who finds herself stranded in a dangerous place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp.”)

by Melanie Gillman

 

and Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel (“Step back then, to 1887, and board the steamboat Lorelei for mystery, intrigue and romance on the Hudson in the Gilded Age.”) – a serialization ahead of publication in the vein of Doug TenNapel’s Ratfist and Faith Erin Hicks’ Friends With Boys

by Mark Siegel

 

And if that’s not enough, you can find links of award winning webcomics like Boulet’s Darkness –a funny, originally French story about a manga-level broodingly-attractive man that won the 24-hour comics award. (More info about 24 Hour Comics Day is here.)

by Boulet

 

Or in the Outstanding Online Comic category of the Ignatz Awards which will be decided at the Small Press Expo in Maryland.

Jillian Tamaki’s excellent Supermutant Magic Academy was nominated!

I’ll be attending this year to find new and old favorites, because I can’t get enough. Neither can you? Then start clicking on the links and read on!(All the images will go to the webcomics cited).  There are so many that I’m sure I missed a ton – what’s your favorite?

– Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

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