Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang
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Shadow Hero Review

The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny LiewThe Shadow Hero (2014)
by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew

The Shadow Hero is based on golden-age comic The Green Turtle, whose hero solved crimes and fought injustice. But this masked crusader was hiding more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity…The Green Turtle was the first Asian American superhero.

Seventy years later, Gene Luen Yang revives this nearly forgotten, pioneering character and creates an origin story for the golden-age Green Turtle.

Pin for laterAdd The Shadow Hero to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Recommended
4 Stars - Recommended

Graphic Novel Review

Shadow Hero is a fun superhero story with great family dynamics and a lot of humor. Hank’s mom is a powerful force, and her prodding to make Hank a superhero keeps the story moving at a fast clip. Their interactions will make you laugh, as will the quiet reactions of Hank and his dad in the background.

Shadow Hero reclaims a little known figure from golden age comics and brings his story into the limelight. Yang and Liew bring us the origin story of the first Asian American superhero. The comic works in details from immigrant life at the time, and Hing’s artwork provides a vivid vintage feel. It’s a fascinating look into the history of comics, containing an excerpt from the original Green Turtle comics and research notes. We need more kinds of stories in the comic world, and Shadow Hero is a welcome addition.

Recommended for:
Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang* Light, funny superhero story
* Charming family relationships
* Cultural reclaiming of golden age comics

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Read for the 2015 Eisner challenge
2015 Eisner Nominee: Best Publication for Teens

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Rocket Raccoon Review

Rocket Raccoon by Skottie YoungRocket Raccoon, Vol. 1: A Chasing Tale
by Skottie Young, art by Filipe Andrade (2015)

Rocket Raccoon has been a hero to the weak, a champion of good, a heartthrob to many intergalactic females, but his high-flying life of adventure may be a thing of the past when he’s framed for murder. And the authorities aren’t the only one on his tail! (Get it? Tail?)

The real killer is an imposter who seems to be one step ahead of Rocket at every turn. It’s up to our hero and his best pal Groot to find the truth!

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Recommended
4 Stars - Recommended

Graphic Novel Review

If you loved the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, you’ll love Rocket Raccoon too. It delivers everything: action-packed combat, epic space battles, snark galore, and an unrestrained sense of lighthearted fun that makes it a joy to read. You can’t take it too seriously, but it’s the perfect book to keep you going on a hot summer day.

Rocket Raccoon features cameos from Starlord, Drax, and Zamora, but for the most part it’s Rocket and Groot off on their own adventures. (And really, who doesn’t want that?) Groot fans will get a special treat – the last issue is from Groot’s point of view, with every dialogue bubble and visual text filled with I. Am. Groot. It works surprisingly well, and is the perfect bit of irreverent humor to finish off the volume.

I Am GrootRecommended for:
* Marvel fans
* Anyone seeking a light, fun read
* Comics newcomers looking for an entry point

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Read for the 2015 Eisner challenge
2015 Eisner Nominee: Best New Series

The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker
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Fade Out Review

The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean PhillipsThe Fade Out, Volume 1
by Ed Brubaker, Art by Sean Phillips (2015)

Brubaker and Phillips’ newest hit series, The Fade Out, is an epic noir set in the world of noir itself, the backlots and bars of Hollywood at the end of its Golden Era. A movie stuck in endless reshoots, a writer damaged from the war and lost in the bottle, a dead movie star and the lookalike hired to replace her. Nothing is what it seems in the place where only lies are true.

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Enjoyable
3 Stars - Enjoyable

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Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer
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Kill My Mother Review

Kill My Mother by Jules FeifferKill My Mother
by Jules Feiffer (2014)

Our story begins with Annie, an out-of-control teenager in the 1930s, who dreams of offing her mother, Elsie, whom she blames for abandoning her for a job soon after her husband, a cop, is shot and killed.

Now, employed by a perpetually soused private eye, Elsie finds herself covering up his missteps as she is drawn into a case of a mysterious client, who leads her into a decade-long drama of deception and dual identities sprawling from the Depression era to World War II Hollywood and the jungles of the South Pacific.

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Only recommended to my enemies
1 Star - Only recommended to my enemies

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Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
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Lumberjanes Review

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. AllenLumberjanes, Volume 1 (2015)
by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen

At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Recommended
4 Stars - Recommended

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Bandette
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Bandette Review

 Bandette Volume 1: Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen CooverBandette, Volume 1: Presto!
by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (2013)

The world’s greatest thief is a costumed teen burglar by the nome d’arte of Bandette! Gleefully plying her skills on either side of the law alongside her network of street urchins, Bandette is a thorn in the side of both Police Inspector Belgique and the criminal underworld. But it’s not all breaking hearts and purloining masterpieces when a rival thief makes a startling discovery. Can even Bandette laugh off a plot against her life? 4 Stars - Recommended
My result: Recommended

Add Bandette to Goodreads or see more reviews OR Read the 1st issue free

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Bird Cat Dog by Lee Nordling

Reading Challenge – 2015 Eisner Challenge

Come Hither Books reads the Eisner nominees

The 2015 Eisner nominations have been announced.

I’m giving myself a 4×4 challenge: Read 4 nominees (minimum) from 4 different categories. Because I’d like to expand my tastes in comics, the fourth category is to read nominees from 4 different categories. This is my progress list.

Best New Series (5/4)

The Fade Out
Lumberjanes
Ms. Marvel
Rocket Raccoon
The Wicked + The Divine

Best Continuing Series (3/4)

Astro City
Bandette
Hawkeye
Saga
Southern Bastards
Walking Dead

Best Publication for Teens (4/4)

Doomboy
The Dumbest Idea Ever
Lumberjanes
Meteor Men
The Shadow Hero
The Wrenchies

Bonus: Read one nominee from 4 other categories (3/4)

Bird Cat Dog (Best Publication for Early Readers)
Through The Woods (Best Graphic Album, Reprint)
Kill My Mother (Best Graphic Album, New)
El Deafo (Best Publication for Kids, ages 8-12)

Make your own challenge!

If you want to do your own 2015 Eisner Challenge, pick as many or as few categories as you like and make your own challenge! Check out the complete list of 2015 Eisner nominees to choose your challenge list.

You set your own rules. If you want to read everything in a category, go for it! If you want to read one nominee each from selected categories, that’s great! There’s something for you, whether you like nonfiction, comedy, young readers, or adults only comics.

Challenge yourself to read more comics, whether that’s 2, 10, or 20. Newbies are welcome as well as comics gurus.

If you do give yourself a 2015 Eisner Challenge, I’d love to hear about it.

Sex Criminals – Graphic Novel Review

Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction, Volume 1: One Weird Trick
Sex Criminals is a raunchy, unapologetically ADULT graphic novel.

It may wow. It may offend. Either way, it will surprise you.

Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick (2014)
By Matt Fraction, Art by Chip Zdarsky     Add to Goodreads or see more reviews
Suzie’s just a regular gal with an irregular gift: when she has sex, she stops time. One day she meets Jon and it turns out he has the same ability. And sooner or later they get around to using their gifts to do what we’d ALL do: rob a couple banks.3 Stars - Enjoyable
My result: Enjoyable

Read the full review!

Status

Book Awards

With the Oscars this week, I got to thinking on the personality of different awards. The book world has a multitude of its own awards, each reflecting their own biases and preferences. They can be useful for finding titles you might have missed or recognizing your favorites. But their usefulness depends so much on how well they match your tastes.

These are my favorite literary awards.

Eisner Awards

Eisner Award - ComicsMy favorite literary award is the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award. It’s nominated by a panel, voted on by industry professionals, and presented each year at the San Diego Comic Con. It’s my favorite because it’s results match up closely with my own preferences. Looking back over previous winners, I see a ton of favorites, and as I’ve gotten back into comics in recent years I’ve used it’s nomination lists to help me catch up with more recent trends. I don’t follow every category, but I pay attention to New, Continuing, and Limited Series Awards.
See my posts on Eisner winners & nominees

YALSA awards and book lists

Awards given out by YALSA
I love several of the annual lists and awards put out by YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association). They cover books for ages 12-18, so some of their nominees are too young for me, but I watch the older side of their lists. The Alex award is for adult titles that appeal to teens. The Morris award is for debut YA works. The Printz award is for YA literary excellence. I also use the lists for Top 10 Graphic Novels for Teens.
See my posts on YALSA honorees

Hugo & Nebula Awards

Hugo Award for Science Fiction and FantasyNebula Award for Science Fiction and FantasyThe Hugo and Nebula awards are fantasy and science fiction genre awards, given out by two different groups. There is often, but not always, overlap. Hugo tends toward hard sci-fi, Nebula tends slightly more Earth-based sci-fi. Both seem to choose science fiction over fantasy. Also, neither of them separate new and sequel works, so the nominees are always full of series titles. Neither match my preferences well, but I read descriptions and find a few titles.

Caldecott & Goodreads Choice Awards

The only other awards I pay attention to are the Caldecott award for picture books, and the Goodreads Choice award. I love the Goodreads Choice awards because they’re determined by readers. Even when I don’t agree with the winners, they’re helpful to judge trends and find good reads outside of my normal genre preferences. (And of course, vote for my own favorites!) I don’t review picture books on my blog, I do read several. I make a point to read the Caldecott honorees and finalists in the Goodreads Choice picture book category every year.

What are your favorite literary awards?