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Con Report: SPX 2014

Small Press Expoin Bethesda, Maryland is generally renowned as the “alternative” comics convention, focusing on indies, chapbooks, web comics, and, well, small presses. The fact of the matter is that the convention is bursting with content. Case in point: I traveled with a friend to the convention on Saturday, September 13 and wound up arriving late, missing all of the panels I had anticipated…

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Big Nate: Great Minds Think Alike

bignateAlthough most kids think immediately of Wimpy Kid when you ask them to name their favorite “notebook novel”, i.e. a story with a blend of text and graphics, Big Nate was around as a syndicated comic strip long before Greg flexed his wimpy muscles. Big Nate was originally intended as an adult comic strip, and his sarcasm, as well as the perspectives of the adult protagonists, reflects that.


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Reed Gunther: the complete series


Chris & Shane Houghton’s Reed Gunther stories follow the adventures of the titular hapless cowboy, his best friend, Sterling, and his love interest, Starla. Set in an imaginary version of the Wild West that is equal parts dangerous and absurd, there are monsters who are frequent visitors.

The series has survived to see two trade paperback collections – the first was self-published by the…

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sakuranMoyoco Anno is a big name in the manga industry. Notable titles such as Sugar Sugar Rune and Happy Mania have delighted and challenged her audiences. In Sakuran, Anno gives us an intimate look into the life of an Oiran, or courtesan, during Japan’s Edo Period.

Kiyoha may have a bad attitude, but she is ranked as the third most popular girl in her current “guest house.” Sold to a brothel as a…

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Dragon Ball Full Color: Saiyan Arc, vol. 1

Dragon-Ball-Full-ColorAkira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series is a cherished classic with fans of all ages around the world. Toriyama’s epic battle scenes, memorable characters, and distinct, pun-based humor make Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z necessary additions to any library’s core manga collection.

Volume one of the Saiyan Arc—the beginning of Dragon Ball Z—starts after a five-year time lapse. When Goku meets up with…

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March Book One

After years of schoolwork, countless documentaries, and numerous film adaptations, the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s seems so familiar to us that we may feel there is no new way to approach it. I’m happy to say that March: Book Oneby John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell gives the reader a fresh perspective on this oft-discussed historical period, digging deep into Lewis’ experiences as…

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SuperGirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, vol. 1-6

SuperGirl cosmic adventures in the 8th gradeWriter Landry Q. Walker has set out to introduce younger kids to Supergirl in the series SuperGirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade. I was immediately struck by the art of Eric Jones. While not as cartoony as Art Baltazar of Tiny Titansfame, Jones has his own signature style that is appealing and depicts Kara as a skinny pre-teen girl with large, expressive eyes and unruly hair. It’s not quite…

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Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow

Cover artCheryl and Anders were a couple with ups and downs, like any other couple. They were together for six years, had adventures great and small, and became engaged in 2005. In the midst of planning their wedding, Cheryl was hospitalized with cancer. Her prognosis wasn’t bad, so hope ran high. Like many of the adventures detailed in the book, however, things did not go as planned. The rest of the tale…

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Indestructible Hulk: Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D, vol. #1

indestructible_hulk_vol1Dr. Bruce Banner was a promising young scientist when an experimental bomb explosion changed his life forever. Afterwards, whenever Dr. Banner became angry, frightened, or otherwise over-stressed, a horrifying transformation occurred and he turned into the jade giant known as The Hulk.

For years, Bruce Banner and The Hulk have been hunted by the American government, vengeful super-villains, and…

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Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle, vol. 10

Lunch-LadyLunch Lady and her sidekick Betty have saved the kids at Thompson Brook Elementary from evil cyborg substitutes, librarians on a rampage, video game villains, and more, all with the help of the Breakfast Bunch. But Lunch Lady and Betty may have bitten off more than they can chew this time. The new superintendent has fired them! Now Betty is working at Grease Burger and Lunch Lady is at home…

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