Review: Kevin Keller

Title: Kevin Keller
Author: Dan Parent
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archie Comics
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 8, 2012
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Read all about Kevin’s introduction to the world of Riverdale! Journey into the mind and heart of Riverdale’s newest resident.

You’ll see how Kevin first met Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica; how he came to love journalism, and what drives him to want to follow in the footsteps of his father, a retired Army Colonel, and serve in the military!

Experience what it was like for Kevin growing up and how he learned to deal with all kinds of issues ranging from schoolyard bullying to discovering who he is and who he wants to be.

Writer and artist Dan Parent brings to life a brand new character for a bright new world!

Review:

This book is a great introduction to Kevin Keller in Riverdale. His first appearance in Archie Comics is in this book.

Kevin plays a funny role in the group. He is Jughead’s equal when it comes to eating. They have many eating contests. Veronica was very attracted to him at first, even ditching Archie to go after Kevin. But that was before she knew he was gay! It turns out he is the one guy in Riverdale who doesn’t want to date Veronica.

This book also showed a lot of Kevin’s family life. He traveled around the world with his family growing up because his dad was in the military. Kevin even wants to follow in his dad’s footsteps and be a reporter in the military.

I loved this book! I can’t wait to read more Kevin Keller comics!

What to read next:

Kevin Keller: Welcome to Riverdale by Dan Parent

Kevin Keller: Drive Me Crazy by Dan Parent

Have you read Kevin Keller? What did you think of it?

Review: Sunny Side Up

Title: Sunny Side Up
Author: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Graphix
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun — it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It’s full of . . . old people. Really old people.

Luckily, Sunny isn’t the only kid around. She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they’re having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors. But the question remains — why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place? The answer lies in a family secret that won’t be secret to Sunny much longer. . . 

Review:

This graphic novel deals with important issues that children’s books don’t usually address. 

Sunny was sent to stay with her grandfather for the summer while her family faced some problems at home. The story flashes between Sunny’s time with her grandfather and her past at home. During the chapters at her home, her older brother becomes friends with some bad people. He starts drinking and using drugs, which escalates out of control. 

There were some funny parts in the story too. Sunny stayed with her grandfather at his retirement residence in Florida, so she had to get used to living there. She had to carry a visitor’s pass at all times because of the strict rules at the residence, and they went out for the early bird dinners at restaurants. 

I really liked the way the story flashed between the two time periods. At first, I found it a little confusing, but at the end it all made sense. The ending revealed the reason that Sunny was sent to her grandfather for the summer. 

This is a great story for children who may have to face these serious issues.

What to read next:

Swing it, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Have you read Sunny Side Up? What did you think of it?

Review: Kevin Keller: Welcome to Riverdale

Title: Kevin Keller: Welcome to Riverdale
Author: Dan Parent
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archie Comics
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Kevin Keller is sure making a splash at Riverdale High! Recently elected class president, Kevin has gone from new kid in town to one of the most well-known and popular students in school. Struggling to stay on top of his new duties while trying to find time for a social life, Kevin is subject to all the pratfalls and mayhem that have been a staple of high school life in Riverdale for decades. From his first date to his first prom to his first summer job, it’s a year of new beginnings for Kevin. In typical Archie fashion, though, nothing goes off without a hitch–particularly when he decides to ask his romantically-challenged friends Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead for advice! He even has to face the force of nature that is Cheryl Blossom, who can test the mettle of the toughest teens. But if anyone can make it through the chaos of high school unscathed, it’s Kevin Keller!

The most popular addition to the Riverdale crowd in years, Kevin Keller is Archie’s first gay character. Fan-favorite writer/artist Dan Parent (Betty and Veronica: Storybook) helms this heartfelt and humorous collection of the first four issues of the ongoing Kevin Keller comic book series (Kevin’s past appearances in Veronica and the Kevin Keller miniseries appear in the previously released Kevin Keller hardcover book).

Review:

I love the character Kevin Keller on the show Riverdale. He’s such a fun guy! So I decided to look up the Kevin Keller graphic novels, and I loved this one!

Kevin Keller is the first gay character in Riverdale. This is a huge milestone for the series! He has a very positive experience being gay in Riverdale, because Archie and his friends are supportive of him.

Though Kevin gets a lot of support from his friends and family, the stories also demonstrate some bullying. They meet some of Cheryl Blossom’s friends, who are not as supportive and call Kevin names. There is another person who leaves Kevin notes as his secret admirer, but he is not comfortable coming out as gay yet. Though these things are not the worst things that can happen, this story does touch upon hardships that other people face. 

I loved these comics! I can’t wait to read more about Kevin Keller!

What to read next:

Kevin Keller by Dan Parent

Kevin Keller: Drive Me Crazy by Dan Parent

Have you read Kevin Keller: Welcome to Riverdale? What did you think of it?

Review: Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too

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Title: Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too
Author: Jomny Sun
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: Library
Format: ebook
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The illustrated story of a lonely alien sent to observe Earth, where he meets all sorts of creatures with all sorts of perspectives on life, love, and happiness, while learning to feel a little better about himself—based on the enormously popular Twitter account.

Here is the unforgettable story of Jomny, an alien sent to study Earth. Always feeling apart, even among his species, Jomny feels at home for the first time among the earthlings he meets. There is a bear tired of other creatures running in fear, an egg struggling to decide what to hatch into, a turtle hiding itself by learning camouflage, a puppy struggling to express its true feelings, and many more.

The characters are unique and inventive—bees think long and hard about what love means, birds try to eat the sun, nothingness questions its own existence, a ghost comes to terms with dying, and an introverted hedgehog slowly lets Jomny see its artistic insecurities. At the same time, Jomny’s curious presence allows these characters to open up to him in ways they were never able to before, revealing the power of somebody who is just there to listen.

Review:

I loved this book! I kept seeing it everywhere when it came out last year, and I’m so glad I finally read it.

The comics were simple and easy to read. Jomny is an alien who arrives on Earth with the task to learn about the humans. He ends up meeting lots of creatures and plants, except for humans. He assumes that everything that he speaks to are humans.

The simple language was great. Jomny spells words wrong, but it adds to his innocence. There are also some philosophical themes to the story when they learn about the meaning of love and life.

It is a beautiful story of an outsider who learns about life on Earth.

What to read next:

  • Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jonny Sun

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  • The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

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Have you read Everyone’s an Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too? What did you think of it?

Review: The Archies & Josie and the Pussycats

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Title: The Archies & Josie and the Pussycats
Author: Dan Parent, Bill Galvan
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archie Comics
Source: Library
Format: ebook
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s a match made in rock & roll heaven when two of the greatest bands get together to make sweet music.

Join The Archies & Josie and the Pussycats on a whirlwind tour full of rockin’ rivalries, romance, and revenge!

What starts with a kiss turns in to an all-out love smackdown when Archie falls for Valerie!

But when Betty & Veronica find out, it could be the end of not only their romance, but of The Archies and The Pussycats, too!

Review:

This is a great story!

The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats go on tour together. It was so cool to see these two bands come together.

This comic also shows the romance between Archie and Valerie. They were together for a bit on the show Riverdale, but I didn’t know they had ever been together in the comics. It was kind of awkward to see him with someone other than Betty and Veronica.

As well as the bands, their managers also made an appearance. Josie and the Pussycats had their evil managers Alexander and Alexandra, who stirred up lots of trouble for the bands.

I loved this short collection of comics. It’s a must read for fans of the Archies and Josie and the Pussycats.

What to read next:

  • The Archies & Other Stories by Mark Waid, Alex Segura, Joe Eisma

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  • Josie and the Pussycats, Vol. 1 by Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio, Audrey Mok

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Have you read The Archies & Josie and the Pussycats? What did you think of it?

Review: Goldilocks and the Infinite Bears: A Pie Comics Collection

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Title: Goldilocks and the Infinite Bears: A Pie Comics Collection
Author: John McNamee
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Lion Forge
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: ebook
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Pie Comics began as a college comic strip way back is the mid ’00s, when flip phones roamed the earth. But it wasn’t until a shoulder injury forced John to simplify his drawing style and improvise the comics instead of actually sitting down and writing them that Pie Comics became the beloved strip it is today! This collection showcases some of the funniest and most trenchant of Onion writer John McNamee’s online comic strips, found at piecomic.tumblr.com.

Review:

This is a hilarious collection of comics.

Each comic is about page long and has parodies of fairytales or popular characters. I loved them, and I laughed out loud many times. For example, Super Mario runs through tunnels, but he forgets that his actual job is to unclog drains. That makes fun of how the games have drifted so far from the original premise.

There were multiple stories from the story of Cinderella. In one, Cinderella goes to a pawn shop with her jewelry from the fairy godmother, and it turns into bugs after midnight. Another one makes fun of the fact that Prince Charming doesn’t actually know what her face looks like.

Though there are references to kids stories, it isn’t a collection for children. It is a laugh-out-loud collection of comics.

What to read next:

  • Book Learnin’: A Pie Comics Collection by John McNamee
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Have you read Goldilocks and the Infinite Bears? What did you think of it?

Review: Love Letters to Jane’s World

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Title: Love Letters to Jane’s World
Author: Paige Braddock
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Lion Forge
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: ebook
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

This essential Jane’s World collection debuts twenty years after Jane Wyatt first appeared in Paige Braddock’s trailblazing comics strip about a young lesbian woman making her clumsy way in the world and the friends who help (or hinder) her along the journey. The Eisner-nominated Jane’s World was the first syndicated comic strip with a lesbian main character to appear in many major newspaper markets. This new volume collects the most quintessentially “Jane” storylines from the strip’s early, middle, and later years, and pairs them with “love letters” and notes of appreciation from notable fans.

Review:

This is a collection of the comics Jane’s World.

Jane is an ordinary girl. She goes through life experiencing every day things, that I think most people can relate to. I don’t think I’ve ever read a graphic novel where the main character steps in gum, but Jane does.

I loved the way the comics broke the fourth wall, and talked about creating the comics. The artists made an appearance in some of the stories. I love this technique because it brings the reader right into the story, by commenting on how it is created.

Another thing I loved about these stories was that being gay was the norm. The majority of the characters were gay. It was a world where being gay was the norm rather than being straight. This was a refreshingly modern take on a romantic story, where the female lead could date any of the women who walked into her life because they were also gay.

I really enjoyed this collection!

What to read next:

  • Jane’s World Collection Volume 1 by Paige Braddock
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  • Jane’s World: The Case of the Mail Order Bride by Paige Braddock
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Have you read Love Letters to Jane’s World? What did you think of it?