{comic} BFFs

Little Robot by Ben Hatke First Second, 2015. Advanced Reader Copy (thank you First Second/Net Galley) in exchange for a fair review. When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad…

{book} castle juliet

Castle Juliet: A Fantasy By Brandon Berntson* Self-published, 2013. There are a few editions. Alice and Jacky-boy are ten years old and the best of friends. For a year they embark on fantastic adventures, most born from Jack’s relentless imagination. As each season draws to a close, another one opens, revealing its own timeless magic…

{comics} IRL

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang First Second (2014)  Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and…

{comics} no sleeping beauty

The Rise of Aurora West By Paul Pope; J. T. Petty; David Rubín (Illustrator) (First Second Books 2014) tradepaper. Having read Paul Pope’s Battling Boy, naturally I was eager to seek out The Rise of Aurora West. We’d met Aurora West in Battling Boy as the recently orphaned (before our eyes) daughter of Arcopolis’ Science Hero Haggard West. The Rise…

{comics} atypical

“a sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe.” Saga : Volumes One & Two by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples Image Comics 2012 & 2013 respectively. This waiting for the next volume to come off hold at the Library is excruciating. It isn’t that I do not have other…

{comics} many happy returns

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl By Ben Hatke First Second 2014. That the entirety of Ben Hatke’s The Return of Zita the Spacegirl is an epic jailbreak comes as no surprise. From the very first book in the series, Zita has been held against her will—or has she? We know her slip through the portal…

{comics} 15 & Fated

Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack Graphix (Scholastic) 2014 Comics you should already have read (and hopefully own) before the middle-grade years hit: Jellaby (Kean Soo), Zita the Spacegirl (Ben Hatke), Amelia Rules! (Jimmy Gownley) and Kazu Kibuishi’s Explorer and Amulet series (still incomplete). I’m obviously only naming a few. And I am being…

{comic} brand spanking new, except not.

Battling Boy by Paul Pope First Second 2013. One of the things I like about superhero comics is their ability to both maintain continuity and prove regenerative. Need to reboot a character or story? Will do. Has the essence of the hero and their story really changed? No. Even so, it is still hard to break into…

{film} Guardians of the Galaxy, 5 Reasons.

I’m sure someone will decide their means for being relevant will require them to pan James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). They’ll claim some disconnect with the director’s work in general as their opening disclaimer or some such entry wound into their “review.” I am fine–relieved, actually–to be absorbed into the clamoring for an encore. Was…

{film} not exactly transcending

Despite the ubiquity with which it was panned, we decided to watch Transcendence (2014) anyway. I am not going to pan the film, but I would recommend it to only to a niche audience.   Wally Pfister directed Transcendence was pitched as a near kin to Inception (2010). And Christopher Nolan’s name is attached to…

{film} a winter’s tale that left me a bit cold

The promise of an urban fantasy in director Akiva Goldsman’s Winter’s Tale (2014) was tempting. I have yet to read Mark Helprin’s 1983 novel of the same name, but I do not recall it being panned. Nor had I heard much about the critical reception of the film. I hadn’t sought it out. I figured…

{comic} Good as Grace

Good as Lily by Derek Kirk Kim (Same Difference, Tune, The Eternal Smile) & artist Jesse Hamm (extensive resume) Minx 2007 A strange mishap on her eighteenth birthday causes Grace Kwon to be confronted with herself at three different periods in her life–ages six, twenty-nine, and seventy–while she and her friends struggle to save a crumbling school play.–publisher’s…