Welcome all, to this week’s Rae’s Recs! This small, weekly comic recommendation posts every Thursday and I’ll be doing my best to bring you some cool titles you may not have noticed on your first go-round on New Comic Book Day! I recommend two of my favorite single issues for the week, one or two graphic novels or trade comics from the past few weeks, and then two all-ages comics. These have no time frame, but are just some really great titles to share with a kiddo, or even an adult, in your life. One ongoing, one completed.
Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy!
I admit that Heroines was a comic I picked up only because I will pick up just about any first issue just to give it a fair shake. I was really and truly not expecting to find something I liked enough to bring to my rec list. This book is written and drawn by Ted Naifeh, of Courtney Crumrin, and produced by Space Goat Publishing, who was not included in Monday’s Little Companies, Big Stories piece because I have never even heard of them until Heroines. However, this book was ridiculous and funny enough to have me reading out lines every few pages to my (very patient) roommate. We follow Marcy Madson as her graduation is interrupted by supervillains. After she ends up being the one to save the day, she’s rejected from the Sentrymen because she’s too young, not offensive enough in power and (possibly especially) she’s a girl. Marcy decides she’s going to fight crime anyway and puts together a slightly rag-tag group of heroines via a Craigslist ad, including some of those who used to be part of the Sentrymen. This story was funny, well put together, and way more self aware than I initially would have given it credit for. Good job, Naifeh. And SGP, you have my attention.
This week’s second book isn’t new in any way, form, or fashion. What’s inside, however, is so new we haven’t even heard of it yet. Every month, a new Previews comes out, a publication featuring everything that’s going to come out and be available from Diamond, orderable from retailers within the coming month. This isn’t a story, obviously, and it’s something that often goes directly to retailers, but the folks at your local store are doing the ordering based on what they think will do well. If you pick up a Previews and tell them in no uncertain terms that you’ll be buying a book, or that you’re at least interested, that can change the scope of what you see on your shelves in-store! Not to mention, it gives you a good chance to figure out what new and exciting things are coming out and what you want to get hyped for!
Again, this week, I toss my no-Marvel/DC rule aside for a book that was just really really good and deserving of your time. The first trade of writer Kelly Thompson’s Hawkeye, with art by Leonardo Romero, is out this week! One of the things I like about this book is that, even if you’re not huge into the Marvel Universe, this comic isn’t going to be such a heavy weight that you can’t get through it. Hawkeye Volume 1 follows the new Hawkeye Kate Bishop after Clint Barton has passed down his mantle and has fled into as much obscurity as he can find. (Civil War 2 really did a number on him.) Meanwhile, Kate is trying to get a PI firm set up all by herself; not easy to do when you’ve got very little money, very little experience, and more sass than anything else. Still, she sets up in Venice Beach to get to work not only on solving crimes there, but on trying to solve her own mystery – finding her dad.
The Johnny Boo books are a cute, fun series for little ones by James Kochalka. Similar to Casper, Johnny Boo is a friendly little boy ghost who generally goes around making friends and helping to learn and teach lessons to those around him. It’s goofy, silly, and great for new readers. Johnny Boo’s stories range from cheering up angry little boys to making friends with tigers and apples. In a few generations, this book will be on shelves as one of those books that helped shape someone’s reading landscape growing up.
If your kiddo is a dog lover, this will be a great book for them. Action Lab: Dog of Wonder is essentially the James Bond of the dog world, complete with a team of helpers and nifty gadgets that help him get a leg up on humans. Not just that, though, but he saves dogs from real peril – abusive homes, dogfighting rings, or even kill shelters. If this seems a little much for kids, maybe you’re right. Every kid is different, and every way of parenting is different, but Action Lab: Dog of Wonder does a good job of showing that there are ways you can help animals who are in bad situations and the importance of protecting the pets that you care about. If you’re unsure about this book, flip through it first, but if a kid is going to learn about the bad things that can happen to animals, it’s worth teaching that those bad things are bad. Action Lab brings this title to life with writers Vito Delsante and Scott Fogg and art team Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt.