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

A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ooima - Manga Review
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A Silent Voice Manga Review

A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ooima - Manga review by Come Hither BooksA Silent Voice, Volume 1
art & story by Yoshitoki Ooima (2015)

Shoya is a bully. When Shoko, a girl who can’t hear, enters his elementary school class, she becomes their favorite target, and Shoya and his friends goad each other into devising new tortures for her. But the children’s cruelty goes too far. Shoko is forced to leave the school, and Shoya ends up shouldering all the blame. Six years later, the two meet again. Can Shoya make up for his past mistakes, or is it too late?

Pin for laterAdd Silent Voice to GoodreadsMy result: Highly Recommended
5 Stars - Highly Recommended

Manga Review

Shoko is an unlikeable protagonist, as teasing and side comments escalate to physical threats and destructive behavior. But where A Silent Voice shines is in showing how easily things can escalate out of control. The teacher’s casual insensitivity, adults’ lack of awareness, and all of the competition and acting out that takes place at that age combine to create a dangerous environment.

A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Ooima - Manga ReviewA Silent Voice shows the emotional toll of bullying on both victim and aggressor over time. It’s fascinating to see both sides presented so vividly, and I loved the evolution of the artwork as Shoya’s isolation grows. Facial features for classmates become more vague, then blank out into empty outlines, until eventually their faces are X-ed out altogether.

Recommended for:
* Thoughtful exploration of bullying
* Art style that perfectly matches story
* Unforgettable characters
* Complex emotions and relationships

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Manga Classics: Great Expectations
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Manga Classics Review

Manga Classics: Great ExpectationsManga Classics: Great Expectations (2015)
by Charles Dickens, adaptated by Crystal Chan & Stacy King, art by Nokman Poon

Great Expectations has it all: romance, mystery, comedy, and unforgettable characters woven through a gripping rags-to-riches tale. Naive Pip, creepy Miss Haversham, beautifully cold Estella, terrifying Abel Magwitch, and the rest of Dicken’s fantastic cast are perfectly envisioned in this new adaptation.

Pin for laterAdd to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Enjoyable
3 Stars - Enjoyable

Manga Review
Manga Classics: Great Expectations captures all of the things that makes Dickens great. The characters are complex and full of contradictions, and the story both frightens, frustrates, and inspires. The artwork does a good job of capturing these complicated characters and taking me through their journey. It’s surprising just how much of the plot fits into a 300+ page manga. It captures the feel of Dickens’ prose and whets my appetite for more.

Manga Classics: The Scarlet LetterManga Classics: The Scarlet Letter (2015)
by Nathaniel Hawthorne, adaptated by Crystal Chan & Stacy King, art by SunNeko Lee

A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original, this manga edition features stunning artwork which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tragic saga of Puritan America.

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

Manga Review
This manga edition of The Scarlet Letter captures the feel of Hawthorne’s prose and the twisted but compelling story of guilt, redemption and revenge in Puritan Boston. Striking art design keeps the scarlet mark bright red in otherwise black and white panels. As a fan of the original, I enjoyed how well this adaptation translates prose metaphors to visual clues, without overstating what was originally presented as subtext. The ambiguity of the ending is preserved, and this Scarlet Letter fan is satisfied.

Manga Classis Series Review

Hester defends her child in Manga Classics: The Scarlet LetterThe Manga Classics series is a set of five classics (so far) presented manga style. To try this series (and decide whether to order it for my library), I read two titles: Great Expectations and The Scarlet Letter.

Great Expectations, which I haven’t read, to see if they make sense when I don’t know the story. The Scarlet Letter, which I adore, to see if they’re satisfying when I’m already a fan. Both passed the test, and both include resources at the end to shed light on the adaptation process and unique traits of the original stories.

The Manga Classics series is recommended:
* To revisit or remember a favorite classic
* For manga fans looking for something different
* To enjoy classic stories in a short, fast format

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsThe Manga Classics series also includes Les Miserables, Pride & Prejudice, and Emma, with more titles to come.

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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

They're Not Like Us by Eric Stephenson
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They’re Not Like Us Review

They're Not Like Us by Eric StephensonThey’re Not Like Us, Volume 1
by Eric Stephenson (July 2015)

We all have advantages over one another, but what if you were capable of things most of us can only imagine? What would you do – and who would you be? A doctor? An athlete? A soldier? A hero? Everyone has to make a choice about how to use the abilities they’re born with… but they’re not like us.

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Not Recommended
2 Stars - Not Recommended

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The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley
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The Dumbest Idea Ever Review

The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy GownleyThe Dumbest Idea Ever
by Jimmy Gownley (2014)

At thirteen, Jimmy was popular, at the top of his class, and the leading scorer on his basketball team. But all that changed when chicken pox forced him to miss the championship game. Before Jimmy knew it, his grades were sinking and nothing seemed to be going right.

How did Jimmy turn things around, get back on top at school, and land a date with the cutest girl in class? Renowned comics creator Jimmy Gownley shares his adventures as he grows from an eager-to-please boy into a teenage comic book artist. This is the real-life story of how the DUMBEST idea ever became the BEST thing that ever happened to him.

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

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Rat Queens
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Rat Queens Review

Rat Queens by Kurtis J. WiebeRat Queens, Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery
by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Art by Roc Upchurch (2014)

The Rat Queens are a pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit.

This darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series stars Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. It’s a modern spin on an old school genre.

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

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Fables by Bill Willingham
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Fables Review

Fables Legends in Exile by Bill WillinghamFables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile
by Bill Willingham (2002)

When the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, the inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own secret society in an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown.

When Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it’s up to Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to find the killer.

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

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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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Batgirl of Burnside reads the negative tweets about her
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Batgirl of Burnside Review

Batgirl of Burnside poses for a selfieBatgirl, Vol. 1: Burnside
by Cameron Stewart, Art by Babs Tarr (June 2015)

Barbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes, so when a fire destroys everything she owns, she spots the opportunity for a new lease on life – and seizes it! Following the rest of Gotham City’s young adults to the hip border district of Burnside, Barbara sets about building an all-new Batgirl.

Add to Goodreads or see more reviewsMy result: Not Recommended
2 Stars - Not Recommended

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