The Sheldon series of comics features a young boy who accidentally became a millionaire with a dot-com. He lives with his grandfather, a talking duck, a squeeing lizard, and a farty pug.
He, like the author Dave Kellett, is a total nerd.
We know they’re nerds because Pop Culture! is 237 pages long and is wholly made up of comics about pop culture nerdery — as many as 3 per page. It contains sections like “Star Trek”, “Star Wars”, “Superheroes”, and “Nerdery of all types”.
Now, as I am also a total nerd, I enjoyed every single bit of this book — but be forewarned, it is not like the standard Sheldon collections where you get story arc after story arc merging together. It is more like Pugs: God’s Little Weirdos in that it collects all of the comics on this particular topic and puts them together.
So this book is light on the story arcs. (Pugs was, surprisingly, not as light.)
But you’ll still laugh your tail off.
And if you’re new to the comic, or just want some light humor without lots of plot, this is a great read.
The first half of Herding Cats, A Sarah’s Scribbles collection is filled with Sarah’s comics and they’re so good I’m already threatening to send it to a friend.
The second half I didn’t expect at all: it’s a well-written explanation of what it’s like to be an artist on the internet in 2019 and how crazy-ass and required the internet is. (Said explanation has comics illustrating the main points, which is awesome.)
I’m definitely not a millennial, but I’ve seen everything that Sarah talks about on the web and it’s all true. If you want to give good advice to someone young who wants to be an artist (or writer or maker of any sort) and also wants to occasionally put those things somewhere that other people can see them, you can’t do much better than this primer on what to expect.
Narbonic Perfect Collection Volume 1 is the first in a two volume series capturing all of the webcomics in Shaenon K. Garrity’s Narbonic series in print.
Helen Narbon is:
- A strong female character not afraid to be ruthless or gentle when needed
- A scientist (okay, a mad scientist) with skills in biology, physics, and many other areas of study</li
- A loyal friend and occasional mischief maker
- My personal definition of mad scientist.
Seriously, I imprinted on her like a duckling on a roomba.
Dave Davenport is the actual main character of the Narbonic series, as he is Helen’s sanest henchman (that’s not saying much, the other two are a college student and a gerbil with an IQ of 250) and the progenitor of the plot line. The story starts with Dave becoming Helen’s “IT guy” and proceeds through numerous adventures involving gender swapping, taking over the moon, battling Helen’s mother, taking on the secret society of Daves, and going to Helen’s 10th class reunion.
It’s, um, complicated working for Helen.
But oh heavens do I look up to her.
The Nib is a daily comic publication and political magazine.
Okay, that doesn’t quite capture it, let me try again.
The Nib is a website that delivers a daily political comic. It also publishes a print magazine. But it’s not a words-magazine, it’s a comics-magazine. By that I mean the whole magazine is the size of a short graphic novel, with various sections covering infographics about that issue’s topic, short comics related to the topic, feature (longer) comics about specific items, a “letters to the editor” of one-panels on a related topic or question, etc. etc.
It’s what you’d get if you converted a political magazine from strictly words and the occasional image to sequential art and then published it on a regular basis. For me, it’s about a 45 minute read per issue.
In the first three issues (I bought the back issues from Topatoco after I subscribed to the magazine), themed Death, Family, and Empire, they cover topics from how the Day of the Dead is merging with Halloween in Latino communities to the current humanitarian crisis at our borders to Filipino cheese pimento. In other words not only do these issues teach me about the politics of the world I live in, they educate me about the people I don’t see or hear from on a daily basis. And that’s pretty damn cool.
The Nib does a fantastic job of providing context to where we are and why we’re here, without being a five-thousand-word article. It makes politics approachable for young adult and adult readers. It definitely has a position, and that position is that we’re all in this together, on one earth, and families and working together and not being toxic assholes matter.
Readers can subscribe to the daily comic email for free, or become a member at a couple of different tiers.
I love graphic novels. I love fantasy stories. I love stories that twist at tropes. I love a good light bubblegum read when I’ve been reading big heavy things about plagues and death.
Ladycastle by Delilah Dawson (writer), Ashley A. Woods (Illustrator), Becca Farrow (Illustrator), Rebecca Nalty (Colorist), and Jim Campbell (Letterer), is the best type of bubblegum read: a feminist-friendly tale of women defeating a curse brought on by cruel men who never gave them a second thought, with references to Hamilton and many other cultural touchpoints.
Delilah Dawson was one of the co-authors of Kill the Farm Boy, which I loved, so when I saw her talking about this book coming out, it went on my birthday list, and my awesome brother supplied it for me. I inhaled the book, finishing it in less than a day, with more than one peal of laughter resulting.
The only criticism I’d provide is that the men were, well, flat… which is both part of the reason why it’s great bubblegum and why it could be just slightly better. (It also wasn’t particularly long a comic run, so not a lot of time to develop the characters you’re not there to read about.) Characterization was great and I hope there’s a sequel.