"review" · arc · comics/graphic novels · concenter · juvenile lit · recommend · series

{comics} welcome back to Hereville

Thanks to Abrams and NetGalley I got a sneak peek at the sequel to Barry Deutsch’s Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword. It should be noted that the advanced copy/peek was pre-color and still sketched at the end, so I cannot speak to the color throughout or any detailing toward the end, but I can say that it is drawn and formatted consistent to the first book (that is good news, by the way). Love the cover.


How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch

Amulet Books (imprint of Abrams), 2012. 128 pages.

Mirka is back, and she’s still the only sword-brandishing, monster-fighting Orthodox Jewish girl in town. Or so she thinks.

When a misguided troll aims a meteor at the witch’s house, the witch grabs hold of the closest thing possible to transform the flying, flaming rock-and that would be Mirka’s hair. The meteor is changed, all right: it’s now Mirka’s identical twin.

Doppelganger Mirka, vowing to be a better version of the real girl, sets out to charm all of Hereville, including Mirka’s own family. Our heroine challenges the meteor girl to a three-part contest . . . and the loser will be banished from Hereville forever!—publisher’s comments.


How Mirka Met a Meteorite picks up after the events in the first, unsurprisingly grounded. So while she finally has the sword to fight dragons, she is stuck in the house—knitting. Before she gets unleashed on the world (trading curtain rods for an actual sword) it is a nice time for those new to Mirka to get to know her. You should really read the first, but Deutsch acquaints (and reminds) readers just who our lovely protagonist is. And it becomes of vital importance to know who Mirka really is—for Mirka and her family and friends.

“Isn’t there anything special about me at all?”

How Mirka Met a Meteorite provides a very nice exploration on identity, of knowing who you are and who you want to be; the things you wish you were good at, and the things you already are good at—and the things you are actually good at. It’s a nice exploration because Mirka is funny and earnest and so so brash! And her half-sister Rachel is so sweet and earnest and wise. And it’s a nice exploration because the adventure that facilitates it defies expectation. Mirka is one of a kind.


{page 87 (via bk site, see below). I really appreciate what the fluidity, his lack of hard edged (or any) paneling, does for the story. for instance, the bottom half of this page could be read chronologically or in simultaneity.

How Mirka Got Her Sword is a success and I was pleased to find Mirka’s encounter with the Meteorite as thoroughly enjoyable in story and illustration. I am eager to see the effect of some of the sequences in book form (and with color) even though they were still fun to view in my Adobe Reader–Deutsch does movement really well. And expression. For example, the above image emotes and storytells quite effectively without text or true context (though I’m sure you are recalling the publisher’s synopsis).

That previous characters return is of no surprise, but Deutsch does thread elements and references from the first, like the very covers, the ball of yarn, grapes, a pig, and I find Mirka knitting very amusing. I enjoy Deutsch’s sense of humor and his imaginative flair; as well as his inclusion of that charming little Totoro doll on Rachel’s bed (43). And those glimpses into the culture and language of our Orthodox Jew protagonist?–yeah they are still present and influential to the story. Thank you Barry Deutsch for offering us something so different from our standard fare.

How Mirka Met a Meteorite is a delightful follow-through of How Mirka Got Her Sword. I am very much looking forward to exploring it again with you upon its release in November.* So mark your calendars for the 1st (or pre-order/request).

*convenient timing for Christmas? I think so. This is one of those series you should be adding to your shelf; for your young person and you.

recommendations… ages 8 & up;  girls & boys; readers of comics or no; lovers of tales, fantasy, the comedic, the cultural, and/or the highly dramatic yet short lived games of chess. this one is for fans of Jimmy Gownley’s Amelia Rules! without a doubt, and I would add that Jeff Smith’s Bone fans would probably like it, as well as Will Eisner’s (as his illustrations certainly came to mind during the read; and coincidentally, he speaks to this in the interview below).

of note: this review is my pleasure. I was not paid or bribed in anyway. one of these times, though…

my review of Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword.

do checkout Hereville.com

{all images belong to Barry Deutsch (found via the book’s site)/Abrams; after the cover, (1) penciled title page. (2) from page 87. visit the site for more images and information about the author/illustrator}

I found this great interview on the Hereville site; thought I would embed it here, too.

I love his suggestion that we exchange “strong” for “rich” in reference to female characters.  and hey, he went to Portland State, too!

he does school visits, so Portland friends, check that out.

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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