Friends with Boys: Meta-High School with a Ghostly Twist

Graphic Fridays- Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

(9th grade & up) When it comes to books that take place in high school, one is often faced with two distinct story types: you either get the idealized, everybody is friends and graduation is the great happily ever after, or you get the gritty realism where all the cliques are at war and people genuinely hate each other, pick on each other and do their best to humiliate each other… like people so often do. Every now and then, however, you get a book that falls between these two poles. Faith Erin Hicks’ webcomic-to-printed-piece Friends with Boys (First Second Books) is one of those kind of books. It’s a story that recognizes the bitter truth of high school: that people generally don’t get along and that there is a very real hierarchy in which everyone has their place. But it is also somewhat Continue reading

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Dylan Meconis, Housecat

For this week’s Graphic Friday, I thought we might take a slight departure from the regular reviews and share a fun interview with a talented comics persona: one Dylan Meconis. Recently, Dylan’s webcomic “Outfoxed,” a fun, short piece that features beautiful art, great design, and seems inspired by the old trickster tales, was nominated for an Eisner award (the Oscars of comics for the unintiated). While that one is certainly a worthwhile read, this interview spawned from a reading of one of her older comics: a vampire farce known as “Bite Me!”. When library patron extraordinaire (and teenage indie author!) Kya Aliana read this story of Dylan’s a year or so ago, she was inspired to learn more about the type of person who would write such a funny and engaging piece. So she Continue reading

Summertime And the Living is… Horrifying?

Graphic Fridays- Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, & Faith Erin Hicks

(Grades 8-12) Jenna and Lucas are losers- at least that’s what their parents think. So when they send them to Camp Fielding (“America’s best new educational summer camp!”) for the summer, the hope is that they’ll return ready to go to Yale, or at least pass the SAT with flying colors. But something amiss is going on at Camp Fielding. Why are some campers failing miserably at the strange, higher-level-thinking activities while others are succeeding beyond expectations? Why are those who are doing well acting a little too much like zombies- really smart zombies? And why are some campers disappearing in the middle of the night, after they try the odd, pink-colored ice cream at dinner? These and more questions abound as Jenna and Lucas form a reluctant friendship to figure out what’s going on. The odds are stacked against them, however, Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes gets a Comics Makeover

Graphic Fridays– A Study in Scarlet

(Grades 7 & up) A strange man investigates a stranger murder. A red bloodstain proves a red herring. Everyone sees a trail of clues, but only one man sees the trail which holds a pair of boots at its end. Many of you may recognize the classic Sherlock Holmes in this tale, just as many of you will recognize the story in I. N. J. Culbard and Ian Edginton’s graphic adaptation of the novella. Continue reading

Censorship and Growing Up: What’s a fanboy to do?

Graphic Fridays: Americus by MK Reed and Jonathan Hill

(Grades 7 & up) This one has been out for awhile and has been reviewed and discussed by comics aficionados all over the webs. Check out this excellent round table discussion of the book by the wonderful folks over at Good Comics For Kids and then slide on over to the Graphic Classroom for tips on how to use this book in a lesson or unit. In light of all this discussion, I’m going to attempt to keep mine short and (semi)sweet. Continue reading