Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Kid-Friendly Comics Collections, 10/28/09


Since new comics are released every Wednesday here in the States, I thought I'd organize a list of the kid-friendly comics available this week.  I've included links to previews where available, though once again there are only a few previews this week.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the collection of Wolverine covers drawn in the style of famous artists and their works.  The Dali version is really cool!  This book would make a great addition to a classroom library and might spark a discussion about copyright or allusion.


Also, please check out my Amazon store to pick up this week's collected editions for your classroom. The prices are often discounted more than 30 percent!

Single Issues:  
  • Archie Double Digest #203 ($3.99)
  • Bart Simspson Comics #50 ($2.99)
  • Batman: The Brave and The Bold #10 ($2.50)
  • Betty & Veronica #244 ($2.50)
  • Billy Batson & The Magic of Shazam #9 ($2.50)
  • Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #56 ($2.99)
  • Muppet Peter Pan #2 ($2.99)
  • Simpsons Comics #22 ($3.99) 
  • Superman: Secret Origin #2 ($3.99)
  • Wolverine Art Appreciation One-Shot ($3.99)
  • Wolverine First Class #20 ($2.99)
Collected Editions:
  • Amazing Spider-Man: American Son Premium Hardcover ($19.99)
  • Artemis Fowl Graphic Novel Vol. 2: The Arctic Incident ($9.99)
  • Barack Obama Comic Book Biography Hardcover ($14.99)
  • Hulk Vol. 3: Hulk No More Premium Hardcover ($19.99)
  • Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2: World's Most Wanted Trade Paperback ($14.99)
  • The Obama Story ($14.95)
  • Spider-Man: The Newspaper Strips Hardcover ($39.99)
  • Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Vol. 7 - Dueling Ambitions Trade Paperback ($18.95)
  • Transformers: All Hail Megatron Vol. 3 Trade Paperback ($19.99)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Review -- "The War at Ellsmere" by Faith Erin Hicks


Publishing Information:
2008. SLG Publishing, San Jose.  156 pages.

Recommended Reading Age: 12-16

Story:
Juniper (Jun), our teenage protagonist, wants nothing more than to realize her full academic potential at Ellsmere Academy, a prestigious boarding school for girls.  A self-acknowledged 'dork' from a less-than-affluent family, Jun and her roommate Cassie clash with the cruel Emily and her entitled cronies, who want nothing more than to make life at Ellsmere difficult for the school's new scholarship charity case.  Drama at Ellsmere is not relegated to matters of popularity, however; the legend of the Ellsmere brothers and a mysterious white horse provide a fantastical backdrop to this otherwise realistic tale.

Characterization:
Female students (especially those that feel like outcasts themselves) should identify immediately with Jun.  Though she is smart, cute, and witty, she is also vulnerable, concealing a painful loss in her life for much of the story.  She may be better read than the most junior high school girls (there are witty allusions to Dickens, Shakespeare, and Tolkien), but her plight is universal enough; trying to fit in while maintaining a sense of independence.  Jun's roommate Cassie provides comic relief, struggling in self-confidence and academic prowess until Jun inspires her to be more than she has been.  Emily, Jun's nemesis, is the standard 'queen bee', loathsome in her snobbishness and dedication to undermining Jun's efforts to fit in.

Artwork:
A fan of manga and anime herself, Hicks's style is definitely reminiscent of Chiggers' Hope Larson (who wrote the introduction to Ellsemere) and Scott Pilgrim's Bryan Lee O'Malley.  Despite the large eyes (typical of manga) and exaggerated expressions, for the most part the characters are drawn realistically -- these actually look like teenage girls, both in their dress and their body types.  They actually seem to wear the clothes they're in -- wrinkles are drawn where they belong.  Panel layouts are very easy for even a novice comics reader to follow, and Hicks is able to use splash pages to illustrate particularly important moments in the lives of these girls.

Recommendation:
Though The War at Ellsmere isn't particularly 'teachable' (apart from the aforementioned allusions to other literature), it would make a great addition to any middle school or high school library.  The combination of witty banter between characters, the touch of fantasy, as well one of the most relatable, strong female protagonists portrayed in the comics medium make this a great read.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Kid-Friendly Comics, 10/21/09


Since new comics are released every Wednesday here in the States, I thought I'd organize a list of the kid-friendly comics available this week.  I've included links to previews where available, though this week it's slim pickings.

I know that my students are thrilled that the latest volume of Diary of a Wimpy Kid is out.  My local library already has copies!


Also, please check out my Amazon store to pick up this week's collected editions for your classroom. The prices are often discounted more than 30 percent!

Single Issues:   
  • Amazing Spider-Man #609 ($2.99)
  • Archie #602 ($2.50)
  • Betty & Veronica Double Digest #175 ($3.99)
  • The Brave and The Bold #28 ($2.99)
  • DC Universe Halloween Special 2009 ($5.99)
  • Female Force #7: Oprah Winfrey ($3.99)
  • Poe #4 ($3.99) 
  • Political Power #3: Joe Biden ($3.99) 
  • Scooby Doo #149 ($2.50)
  • Simpsons Comics #159 ($2.99) 
  • Superman/Batman #65 ($2.99)
  • Tales From Riverdale Digest #35 ($2.69)
  • Tiny Titans #21 ($2.50)
Collected Editions:
  • Amazing Spider-Man: Death and Dating Trade Paperback ($19.99) 
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid Vol. 4: Dog Days Hardcover ($13.95)
  • Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Hardcover ($24.99)
  • Marvel Adventures Avengers Vol. 10 Digest ($9.99)
  • Runaways: Rock Zombies Trade Paperback ($14.99)
  • Runaways Vol. 9: Dead Wrong Digest ($9.99)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Kid-Friendly Comics, 10/14/09


Since new comics are released every Wednesday here in the States, I thought I'd organize a list of the kid-friendly comics available this week.  I've included links to previews where available.

Also, please check out my Amazon store to pick up this week's collected editions for your classroom. The prices are often discounted more than 30 percent!

The newest adaptation of Frank Beddor's fantastic The Looking Glass Wars series is available today.  Though Ben Templesmith (Fell, 30 Days of Night) isn't the artist this time around, it's still worth checking out. 

Single Issues:   
Collected Editions:

  • Amelia Rules: A Very Ninja Christmas Trade Paperback ($7.99)
  • Batman Chronicles Vol. 8 Trade Paperback ($14.99)
  • Female Force Trade Paperback ($15.99)
  • Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars Vol. 2 -- Mad with Wonder Hardcover ($24.99) 
  • Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars Vol. 2 -- Mad with Wonder Trade Paperback ($14.95) 
  • Pride & Prejudice Premium Hardcover ($19.99) 
  • Runaways: Teenage Wasteland Trade Paperback ($14.99)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Kid-Friendly Comics Collections, 10/7/09

Since new comics are released every Wednesday here in the States, I thought I'd organize a list of the kid-friendly comics available this week.  I've included links to previews where available.


Also, please check out my Amazon store to pick up this week's collected editions for your classroom. The prices are often discounted more than 30 percent!

Single Issues:   
Collected Editions:

  • Cartoon History Of the World Vol. 2: Bastille to Baghdad Trade Paperback ($18.99)
  • Masterpiece Comics Hardcover ($19.99)
  • Muppet Robin Hood Trade Paperback ($9.99)
  • Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe A-Z Premium Hardcover ($24.99)
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles ($14.95)