Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Author: Brad Hawley


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Berserk (Volume 1) by Kentaro Miura (An Oxford College Student Review!)

In this column, I feature comic book reviews written by my students at Oxford College of Emory University. Oxford College is a small liberal arts school just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I challenge students to read and interpret comics because I believe sequential art and visual literacy are essential parts of education at any level (see my Manifesto!). I post the best of my students’ reviews in this column. Today, I am proud to present a review by Adra Curington.

Adra Curington is a first-year student at Emory Oxford College majoring in philosophy.


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Witch Hat Atelier: Volumes 1-3 (An Oxford College Student Review!)

In this column, I feature comic book reviews written by my students at Oxford College of Emory University. Oxford College is a small liberal arts school just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I challenge students to read and interpret comics because I believe sequential art and visual literacy are essential parts of education at any level (see my Manifesto!). I post the best of my students’ reviews in this column. Today, I am proud to present a review by Mandy Sun.

Mandy Sun is a first-year student at Emory Oxford University and is considering majoring in Computer Science.


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The Magic Order (Book 3): More magic and mystery

The Magic Order (Book 3) by Mark Millar (writer), Gigi Cavenago (artist), Valentina Napolitano (colorist), Clem Robins (letterer) 

Book Three of The Magic Order by Mark Millar features wonderful art by Gigi Cavenago and takes us further along on the journey started in the first two books: The focus is still on the Moonstone family, particularly on Cordelia Moonstone, who is the leader of the Magic Order. This book ends on a cliffhanger, so Book Four will be important to read to get a full conclusion to the story.


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The Magic Order (Book 2): An evil family makes moves against the magic order

The Magic Order (Book 2) by Mark Millar (writer), Stuart Immonen (artist), Sunny Gho (colorist), David Curiel (colorist), and Clem Robins (letterer)

The second book of The Magic Order continues the story of the Moonstone family that was started in book one. It is equally good even with a new artist taking over the series. At the beginning of the comic Cordelia Moonstone is the head of the Moonstone family and the magic order itself. But there are members of the magical community who do not like her leadership and are plotting against her,


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The Magic Order (Book 1): King Lear-inspired comic of magic and betrayal

The Magic Order (Book 1) by Mark Millar (writer), Oliver Coipel (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist), and Peter Doherty (letterer)

The first book of The Magic Order by Mark Millar is an engaging story with gorgeous art by Oliver Coipel. The Magic Order is comprised of a group of magicians who protect the world from the threats of other magicians and supernatural dangers. However, this is no Harry Potter story for young readers. Even from the beginning, violent acts are depicted quite horrifically: In the very first scene,


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In Utero: Exploring in an abandoned mall

In Utero by Chris Gooch (writer and artist)

Top Shelf recently published Australian Chris Gooch’s In Utero, a surprising coming-of-age graphic novel. The book starts with a preliminary event, twelve years before the main story begins: A mysterious explosion, right in the middle of the city, devastates a large section of the downtown area. In the twelve years that have passed, though the hole in the earth remains visible, roads have been built over it. Some businesses surrounding it, however, seem to be left in disrepair. The rest of the city’s population continues on as if nothing has happened.


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Near Death (Volume One): A reformed assassin wrestles with his ethics

Near Death (Volume One) by Jay Faerber (writing), Simon Guglielmini (art), Ron Riley (colors), and Charles Pritchett (letters)

Near Death (Volume One) is a brilliant crime fiction story about an assassin named Markham who decides he must reform. At the beginning of the story, Markham, shot and dying, drives to his only friend’s place of work (which is also where she lives) late at night. Sutton, a veterinarian, seems to be used to sewing up Markham, but this time, she has got to save his life, because he briefly dies on her operating table.


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Friday, Book One: The First Day of Christmas: Encyclopedia Brown grows up

Friday, Book One: The First Day of Christmas by Ed Brubaker (author), Marcos Martin (artist), and Muntsa Vicente (colorist)

Ed Brubaker’s Friday is what he calls a post-YA book. It tells the story of eighteen-year-old Friday, who was once a kid detective with her friend, the young genius Lance. Friday was the Watson to Lance’s Sherlock Holmes. In the present of the story, Friday has just returned from her first semester at college, and she is apprehensive about seeing Lance for the first time since their disastrous meeting the night before she left for college.


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Where the Body Was: A re-readable murder mystery about the passing of time

Where the Body Was by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist), and Jacob Phillips (colorist)

Ed Brubaker’s new graphic novel Where the Body Was with Sean Phillips is another excellent work of crime fiction. These two creators, with Jacob Phillips on colors, turn out the most amazing stories, and this one is no exception. Where the Body Was is a little different from some of the more noir books that they have put out over the years. This graphic novel is ostensibly about a body that is found by a young girl as she skates around the neighborhood.


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Hide: The Graphic Novel: Horror in an amusement park

Hide: The Graphic Novel by Kiersten White (original author), Scott Peterson (adaptation), Veronica Fish (artist), and Andy Fish (artist)

Hide: The Graphic Novel is an adaptation of a prose novel that I have not read, so I cannot comment on the accuracy of the translation from one art form to another. However, I think Hide: The Graphic Novel stands well on its own. I only knew that this was a horror comic going in, and that was enough to interest me. The plot is an intriguing one: Fourteen strangers are competing for a $50,000 prize.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

We have reviewed 8301 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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