Comics Round-Up

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1: Squirrel Power, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson Four stars. This is by far the funniest Marvel comic I’ve read yet. Squirrel Girl is such an upbeat, confident character; she solves problems with ass-kicking, yes, but also empathy and creative thinking, and that is cool. The “screenshots” of tweets between…

Othello, by Satomi Ikezawa

Four stars for the whole series, read in January/February 2016. I decided to start trying manga, and after one disappointment and one with pretty good potential, I was surprised to fall instantly in love with this series. The cover of the first book was not at all promising for me, but luckily (for some reason),…

Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson

Five stars, first book read in June 2015. Have you read the Ms. Marvel series yet?? Kamala Kahn has exciting action and excellent stories, but I love her most for who she is: a girl balancing all the complicated aspects of life and knowing that only she gets to decide who and what she’ll be….

Captain Marvel, by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Four stars, first book read in August 2015. It’s a tough contest, but Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez’s Captain Marvel might be the most badass woman I know in comics. Her closest competition is Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman, and I can’t quite decide between the two—my first thought when I finished Blood was how desperately I want…

Starting to Explore Manga (aka: My History with Comics)

For some inexplicable reason, graphic novels, comics, and manga (is there an umbrella term to describe all three of these genres? I want there to be, but if there is I can’t find it) have taken a long time to grow on me. I not only wasn’t interested, I was totally resistant to them until only…

Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, by Peter Bagge

Four stars, read in August 2015. It occurs to me that a lot of our current problems are still problems because people don’t know enough about Margaret Sanger. The divide over abortion and birth control persists a century later because people (especially men) don’t understand how inextricably sex and politics are linked for women, and this…

Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang

Four stars, read in December 2015. How can I use a word like “good” to describe these books, when everything inside them is so horrifying? And when I can feel elements of sympathy for all the different viewpoints represented, but there are none that aren’t also responsible for committing terrible atrocities? I feel like the…

Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover

Five stars, read in February 2015. Bandette is fabulous, funny, and French. She’s a master thief who looks like Audrey Hepburn and behaves like a court jester. That pretty much sums up this book, and I don’t think you can do any better. She’s such an excellent character. I find Lieutenant Price and Monsieur’s client—based…

The Influencing Machine, by Brooke Gladstone

Four stars, read in January 2012. I love the way this book was done. It’s graphic nonfiction (illustrated by Josh Neufeld), which makes it a really fast and fun read. But it’s full of historical data, too, as well as being a commentary on the way media influences us, and has throughout history. I found all…

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

Four stars, read September 2013. I’m really becoming a fan of the graphic memoir genre. I thoroughly enjoyed this, even though the translation seemed a little clumsy and the illustrations were awkward in places (I mostly just couldn’t stop rolling my eyes every time a character held up one forefinger in the air while pontificating…

March, by John Robert Lewis

Five stars for the series, read in February 2015 (volume three in 2016 when it was released; review updated in 2017 to add relevant links). This series is a spectacular, detailed personal account of a brilliant period in our recent history. It’s the story of the civil rights movement as seen by Congressman John Lewis,…