Review: Star Pig

Title: Star Pig
Author: Delilah S. Dawson, Francesco Gaston
Genre: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Two Castaways. One Goal. Zero in common. Get lost in this inventive sci-fi graphic novel about an extraordinary friendship and an incredible journey home.

Like many late-21st-century teens, geeky 16-year-old Vess gets packed off to spend her summer at Space Camp–which is literally in space. Tragically, a shuttle accident sends her and the rest of the passengers careening toward a cold, frosty death among the stars. But when a gigantic, space-faring water bear miraculously rescues Vess and her beloved retro Discman, it’s the beginning of an extraordinary friendship, all set to the nostalgic tunes of Vess’s 1990s-heavy playlist.

Delilah S. Dawson is the New York Times bestselling writer of Star Wars: Phasma, plus the The Secrets of Long Snoot, The Perfect Weapon, and Scorched; the Blud series, Servants of the Storm, the HIT series, Wake of Vultures and the Shadow series (as Lila Bowen). Her previous comics work includes Ladycastle, The X-Files: Case Files – Florida Man, Adventure Time, Rick and Morty: Pickle Rick, Star Wars Adventures, and Sparrohawk

Review:

Vess is traveling through space to a space camp when her ship crashes. She is saved by a space pig, or a tardigrade, who sucks her into his body. Then, they are captured by an alien who collects things from earth. They come into contact with some other space creatures through the rest of the comic.

I went through so many different emotions while reading this graphic novel. Some parts were funny, like when they referenced earth songs that the aliens liked. Other parts were really gross, such as how the different aliens looked and behaved.

I had to look up a tardigrade after I read this book, because there were some fun facts about them at the end. They are a real creature, though only about 1mm in length in real life, not giant sized like in the book. They really look like a space pig, so that’s an appropriate name for them!

This was a great space graphic novel.

Thank you IDW Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Sparrowhawk by Delilah S. Dawson, Matias Basla, Rebecca Nalty

Have you read Star Pig? What did you think of it?

Review: Take it Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure

Title: Take It Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure
Author: Georgia Dunn
Genre: Children’s, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Tonight’s top story: the intrepid team of feline reporters is back on the beat and tackling stories like a runaway toy mouse in this second collection of Breaking Cat News comics for middle-grade readers.

Once again Lupin, Elvis, and Puck—alongside boisterous field correspondents like Tommy—deliver hard-hitting reportage on all of the most pressing issues, such as Vacuum Awareness Week, the case of the missing breakfast, and the history of fuzzy blankets. The gang also meets new characters like Burt, the free-spirited barn cat who helps solve some AV problems. And these cats will need all of the help they can get to get to the bottom of some mysterious ghost sightings and prove they’re not scaredy.

The More-to-Explore section includes paper dolls, how to make pet rock cats, and explores the Big Pink House and the BCN apartment within.

Review:

This is a hilarious graphic novel, with cats reporting on the news.

The cats report on various issues in the house, including a ghost, holidays, and a kidnapping of a toy mouse. Their perspectives on human actions were so funny. They insisted on fixing a man’s hair once he got a haircut by licking his head. They had the common enemy of the vacuum cleaner, who they tried to become friends with despite the danger. They also got into any food that was left around the house.

There were some cute crafts at the end of the book. One idea was to make pet rocks for anyone who can’t have a pet cat. Another craft was paper dolls of the characters that could be cut out of the back of the book.

This book was so funny! It’s a great gift for anyone who loves cats!

Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Lupin Leaps In: A Breaking Cat News Adventure by Georgia Dunn

Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News That Matters to Cats by Georgia Dunn

Have you read Take It Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure? What did you think of it?

Review: Lola: A Ghost Story

Title: Lola: A Ghost Story
Author: J. Torres, Elbert Or (illustrator)
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Paranormal
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Jesse sees dead people, monsters, demons, and lots of other things that go bump in the night that no one else can see. No one except his ailing grandmother—a woman who used her visions to help those living in her small town… the same rural community in all the scary stories Jesse’s heard as a child. Man-eating ogres in trees. Farmhouses haunted by wraiths. Even pigs possessed by the devil. Upon his grandmother’s passing, Jesse has no choice but to face his demons and whatever else might be awaiting him at grandma’s house. 

Review:

Jesse has inherited his grandmother’s ability to see ghosts. When his grandmother dies, his family travels back to their home country of the Philippines. He revisits some of his memories of his grandmother and his cousin, who died when he was a kid.

I didn’t know about this Filipino folklore before reading the book. There were some creatures in the graphic novel that were so creepy. There were some that were used as explanations for birth complications, and those “creatures” targeted pregnant women. All of the different kinds of creatures were listed in a glossary of these creatures at the end of the book.

This book was also dark at times. I found the ending really creepy.

This was a great, ghostly graphic novel!

Thank you Oni Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Have you read Lola: A Ghost Story? What did you think of it?

Review: Pumpkinheads

Title: Pumpkinheads
Author: Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Contemporary
Publisher: First Second
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

Review:

This is an adorable graphic novel!

I loved the setting of a pumpkin patch fair for this story. It’s a great fall graphic novel! There are so many great stories for summer or winter, but not as many for fall. This one fills that gap.

There were tons of food mentioned that sounded delicious! It made me realize how many special foods are made for the fall. There were caramel apples and pumpkin pie. There was also freeto pie, which I’d never heard of. It’s a mixture of frito chips in the chip bag. There was also a pumpkin bomb, which was an ice cream sandwich made with two slices of pumpkin pie and covered in chocolate. My mouth is watering just thinking about that!

This is a great fall graphic novel with a great story of friendship involved too!

What to read next:

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu, Suzanne Walker

Have you read Pumpkinheads? What did you think of it?

Review: Gretel

Title: Gretel
Author: Ben Meares
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Zenescope
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Gretel’s story has been more nightmare than fairy tale ever since the tragic events of her childhood involving her brother and a maniacal witch. These events have left her cursed with a life that will span centuries.

After consuming the heart of a psychic witch, Gretel has been gifted the power of premonition. But when she has a psychic vision foretelling the end of the world, Gretel must open old wounds if she wants to try and prevent it from coming true.

Review:

This story tells an alternate story of Hansel and Gretel, where Gretel became a witch.

I really enjoyed the plot of this story. Gretel searches for the original witch, and meets many others along the way. It also tells the story of what she has been doing for the hundreds of years since her brother and her were captured by the witch.

This was quite a gruesome and graphic comic. The witches in this story eat human hearts. They eat children’s hearts to stay young, and they eat the hearts of other witches to gain their powers. These parts had realistic illustrations, so they were graphic.

This was a great horror graphic novel.

Thank you Diamond Book Distributors for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Robyn Hood: Outlaw by Howard Mackie

Have you read Gretel? What did you think of it?

Review: Gudetama: Love for the Lazy

Title: Gudetama Love for the Lazy
Author: Wook-Jin Clark
Genre: Graphic Novel, Humour
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 14, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Gudetama: Love for the Lazy is inspired by the worldwide hit Sanrio character and animated series star!

Dating is exhausting, so let’s take a lighthearted approach to exploring it with Gudetama, everyone’s favorite grumpy egg! From navigating first-date smalltalk to recovering from being dumped, Gudetama is your guide to finding love…even when you’re lazy.

Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty®, and home to many other beloved character brands including ChococatMy MelodyBadtz-MaruKeroppiGudetama and Aggretsuko

Review:

Gudetama is a character that was created by Sanrio, the company who created Hello Kitty. Gudetama is an egg yolk, who is extremely lazy. He doesn’t want to get up and he often doesn’t even want to speak. He would like to just go to sleep.

In this story, Gudetama gives relationship advice to people who need help. They all have different problems with finding love. Gudetama often accompanied these people on their dates, but he wasn’t much help. He is quite lazy and uninterested in life, so his advice didn’t always help.

This was an entertaining book. I really enjoyed it.

Thank you Oni Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Gudetama’s Guide to Life by Brian D. Clark

Have you read Gudetama: Love for the Lazy? What did you think of it?

Review: Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey

Title: Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey
Author: Kelley Puckett, Paul Dini, Chuck Dixon
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 17, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

THE FUTURE OF GOTHAM BEGINS WITH THEM!

In celebration of the feature film Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) comes HARLEY QUINN & THE BIRDS OF PREY! Meet the characters that inspired the film in six classic tales starring: Harley Quinn, Black Canary, Huntress, Renee Montoya, Cassandra Cain, and Black Mask.

Review:

This is a collection of comics about the characters who make up the Birds of Prey. These are previously released comics which give a short tale about each character.

Some of the comics give a complete story in the short comic. I really liked the comics about Harley Quinn and Black Canary, because these were complete stories. Some of the others were just part of an ongoing story, such as “Mark of Cain, Part One,” which gives an introduction to Cassandra Cain. That was the first part of a story about her, and it ended abruptly so I don’t know what happened in the rest of it.

I love Harley Quinn, so I especially liked the comic about her. It was part of the Detective Comics series, and I had never read it before. One little detail I liked was that Harley’s prisoner number was 381993, which is also the date of her first appearance in the comics, August 3, 1993.

This is a good introduction to the characters of Birds of Prey. I’m excited to watch the upcoming movie.

What to read next:

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki, Steve Pugh

Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle, Isaac Goodhart

Have you read Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey? What did you think of it?

Review: Best Friends (Real Friends #2)

Title: Best Friends (Real Friends #2)
Author: Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sequel to Shannon Hale’s award-winning graphic novel memoir, “Real Friends”, this new graphic memoir picks up where “Real Friends” left off. As Shannon grows a little older, the rules of friendship always seem to be changing, leaving her guessing and trying her best to just keep up. “Best Friends” shares its predecessor’s frankness, compassion, and enthralling, heartfelt visual storytelling. Junior high, as it turns out, is quite the roller coaster.

Review:

This story is about Shannon’s year in sixth grade. She had many confusing experiences. Her friends didn’t want to play the same games as her anymore. She was supposed to get boys to like her, but at the same time ignore them so they would like her. She was confused by the mixed signals.

I loved that Shannon’s creative writing was a big part of the story. When she felt stressed, she would return to writing the fantasy story she was working on. At the end, she even included the actual copy of the story she wrote, including the notes from her teacher. I liked seeing how this important aspect of her life was included in the story.

This is a great graphic novel!

What to read next:

Guts by Raina Telemeier

Just Jaime by Terri Libenson

Other Books in the Series:

Have you read Best Friends? What did you think of it?

Review: Cub

Title: Cub
Author: Cynthia L. Copeland
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A laugh-out-loud funny and empowering graphic memoir about growing up and finding your voice. 

Twelve-year-old Cindy has just dipped a toe into seventh-grade drama—with its complicated friendships, bullies, and cute boys—when she earns an internship as a cub reporter at a local newspaper in the early 1970s. A (rare) young female reporter takes Cindy under her wing, and Cindy soon learns not only how to write a lede, but also how to respectfully question authority, how to assert herself in a world run by men, and—as the Watergate scandal unfolds—how brave reporting and writing can topple a corrupt world leader. Searching for her own scoops, Cindy doesn’t always get it right, on paper or in real life. But whether she’s writing features about ghost hunters, falling off her bicycle and into her first crush, or navigating shifting friendships, Cindy grows wiser and more confident through every awkward and hilarious mistake.

Review:

I really enjoyed this book!

It is set in the 1970s, but there were many parallels with today’s world. There were many news headlines that are similar to the ones today, like the Watergate scandal, women’s rights, and environmental concerns. This could make the story more relatable for kids today, even though it is set decades ago.

There were also universal parts of growing up in this story. Cindy had her first boyfriend, and she also had to deal with bullying and losing friends. At the same time, she made new friends, who she didn’t expect to like.

This was a great graphic novel!

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Real Friends by Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Have you read Cub? What did you think of it?

Review: Stumptown, Vol. 1

Title: Stumptown, Vol. 1
Author: Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth
Genre: Graphic Novel, Crime
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Dex is the proprietor of Stumptown Investigations, and a fairly talented P.I. Unfortunately, she’s less adept at throwing dice than solving cases. Her recent streak has left her beyond broke – she’s into the Confederated Tribes of the Wind Coast for 18 large. But maybe Dex’s luck is about to change. Sue-Lynne, head of the Wind Coast’s casino operation, will clear Dex’ debt if she can locate Sue-Lynne’s missing granddaughter. But is this job Dex’s way out of the hole or a shove down one much much deeper?

Review:

This was a great story!

I liked the main character, Dex. She was kind of a mess in her personal life, with racking up debt and being disorganized, but she put her younger brother first. She also worked hard to solve the mystery of where Charlotte had disappeared.

The story moved quickly. It was a detailed plot, with many characters. I didn’t guess what had happened to Charlotte. This was a great crime story.

I really enjoyed this introduction to the series.

Thank you Oni Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Stumptown, Vol. 2 by Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth

Bury the Lede by Gaby Dunn, Claire Roe

Have you read Stumptown, Vol. 1? What did you think of it?