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Jun 04, 2020. 8 comments

Superman Smashes The Klan explores history through a superhero lens

Superman Smashes The Klan explores history through a superhero lens

With almost 100 years under his yellow belt, Superman is a major part of American cultural history. As superhero comics continue to influence pop culture globally, it’s increasingly important to consider how those comics inform and shape our understanding of the past and present. Heroism and moral behavior as modeled by fictional characters can be nuanced and telling about the culture that...

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May 20, 2020. 4 comments

Instagram is unleashing a new wave of social and creative potential in comics

Instagram is unleashing a new wave of social and creative potential in comics

Over the past decade, Lucy Knisley has become a preeminent nonfiction cartoonist, creating charming, heartfelt comics about travel (Displacement, An Age Of License), food (Relish: My Life In The Kitchen), marriage (Something New), and motherhood (Kid Gloves). Her profile has also grown thanks to her savvy use of social media—specifically Instagram, where she initially published many of the...

4 Comments

Apr 21, 2020. 20 comments

The comics industry is in danger. What can save it?

The comics industry is in danger. What can save it?

The infrastructure supporting the direct market of comic shops has been shaky for years, making the impact of the COVID-19 crisis all the more severe. Stores around the country are closed, distribution is paused, and publishers have ordered creators to stop working as they reevaluate their release schedules. The global pandemic is hitting retailers, creators, and publishers hard, and as we...

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Mar 28, 2020. 3 comments

7 new graphic novels to get you through the coronavirus crisis

7 new graphic novels to get you through the coronavirus crisis
Every two weeks, Big Issues focuses on newly released comic books of significance.

This week, it’s a selection of 2020 graphic novels to help you support comic shops and get through the isolation of social distancing and sheltering-in-place.

Like every corner of the entertainment industry, comic books have taken a devastating hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. Comic shops around the world have had...

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Mar 24, 2020.

Food exposes a family’s past joy and present despair in Umma’s Table

Food exposes a family’s past joy and present despair in Umma’s Table

Sitting in the back of an ambulance rushing his ailing mother to a hospital, cartoonist Madang remembers the happier times from his childhood—specifically the memories of his mother’s irresistible cooking. Young Madang and his little brother float through the air on the wave of smells, and cheerfully sing as they devour kimchi prepared by the entire neighborhood. These memories haunt Madang in...

Mar 13, 2020. 1 comments

Jazz meets horror in this exclusive Blue In Green first look

Jazz meets horror in this exclusive Blue In Green first look

How far would you go to achieve greatness? This question takes a young jazz musician on a horrific journey in the upcoming Image Comics graphic novel, Blue In Green, from writer Ram V, artist Anand RK, and letterer Aditya Bidikar. This creative team previously collaborated on the urban teen drama Grafity’s Wall, which has a new expanded edition coming out from Dark Horse Comics on March 25,...

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Feb 26, 2020.

The Ferguson verdict shakes a basketball team in this Dragon Hoops exclusive

The Ferguson verdict shakes a basketball team in this Dragon Hoops exclusive

Gene Luen Yang always preferred comic books to sports. As a child, he would lose himself in fantastic conflicts between costumed heroes and villains rather than subject himself to the ridicule of his peers on the playing field. For his latest First Second graphic novel, Dragon Hoops, Yang uses his primary interest to dissect the one that always eluded him, exploring the history of basketball...

Feb 26, 2020.

Sports Is Hell is an incendiary takedown of toxic fan culture

Sports Is Hell is an incendiary takedown of toxic fan culture

The world of sports will always be political. A team becomes a symbol for an entire community, whether it’s a town’s local organization or a country’s athletic representatives at the Olympics. The competition expands beyond the playing field, and building a pastime around conflict between divided factions creates a culture where people are encouraged to reject others outside of their own...

Feb 12, 2020. 2 comments

Gudetama: Love For The Lazy offers iffy dating advice from an adorable egg

Gudetama: Love For The Lazy offers iffy dating advice from an adorable egg

The Japanese company Sanrio is responsible for some of the cutest creations in popular culture, and Gudetama is one of its strangest characters, an anthropomorphic egg yolk who just wants to lay around in its soft egg white and eat other food. It’s a design that rivals Baby Yoda in terms of pure lovability, so it makes sense that people would reach out to Gudetama for advice on how to lock...

2 Comments

Feb 02, 2020. 1 comments

Random House Graphic makes an enchanting debut with The Runaway Princess

Random House Graphic makes an enchanting debut with The Runaway Princess
Every two weeks, Big Issues focuses on a newly released comic book of significance.

This week, it’s The Runaway Princess. Written and illustrated by Johan Troïanowski (Chercheur d’or, Hamour noir), this graphic novel marks the arrival of a major new force in comics publishing as the first release from Penguin Random House’s RH Graphic imprint. Note: This review reveals major plot points.

Kids...

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Jan 24, 2020.

Cartoonists honor women who changed the world in this Noisemakers exclusive

Cartoonists honor women who changed the world in this Noisemakers exclusive

Kazoo magazine debuted in 2016 as the most successful journalism campaign in Kickstarter history, satisfying a cultural need for a magazine that shows young girls they can take up space and have their voices heard by sharing stories of female pioneers in all fields. Comics are a regular feature in Kazoo, with the magazine hiring noteworthy cartoonists to create short biographies of women who...

Jan 21, 2020. 1 comments

A gay teen discovers himself at summer camp in this Flamer first look

A gay teen discovers himself at summer camp in this Flamer first look

Adolescence can be a frightening period for young gay men, who are suddenly faced with new sexual feelings that can often conflict with social pressures placed on them by family, friends, and the media. Mike Curato explores this tumultuous period in his new Godwin Books graphic novel, Flamer, a semi-autobiographical story of a 14-year-old boy’s revelatory experience at summer camp as he falls...

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Jan 14, 2020. 19 comments

Animorphs comes to graphic novels in this exclusive first look

Animorphs comes to graphic novels in this exclusive first look

Animorphs was one of the defining children’s book series of the ’90s, exploring the turbulence of adolescence through a sci-fi war story about a group of teens fighting off an alien invasion by transforming into animals. Written by K.A. Applegate and Michael Grant, Animorphs was fun, intense, and addressed some very heavy subject matter that exposed its young audience to the horrors of war...

19 Comments

Dec 26, 2019. 19 comments

The 20 best comics of 2019

The 20 best comics of 2019

At the end of a decade that saw comics and graphic novels reach new heights of mainstream popularity, we saw the fruits of the medium’s rapid growth with a 2019 full of outstanding titles by up-and-comers and industry legends. The narrative and stylistic range of the best titles released this year is very impressive, starting with Clue: Candlestick’s board-game adaptation and ending with the...

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Nov 27, 2019. 1 comments

The Tea Dragon Festival returns to Katie O’Neill’s soft, soothing fantasy world

The Tea Dragon Festival returns to Katie O’Neill’s soft, soothing fantasy world

Katie O’Neill’s The Tea Dragon Society was a kids-comics sensation when it came out in 2017, winning two Eisner Awards with its tender tale of a young girl creating friendships through the art of tea harvesting. O’Neill returns to the world of the adorable tea dragons with The Tea Dragon Festival (Oni), a significantly longer prequel that introduces readers to Rinn, a gatherer who discovers a...

1 Comments

Nov 08, 2019.

A method actor gets into character in this Bradley Of Him exclusive

A method actor gets into character in this Bradley Of Him exclusive

When actors—typically white male actors—are gunning for an Oscar, they go method. It’s about letting go of yourself and allowing the character to take over your mind and body, resulting in significant physical changes and heightened performances. In his new Koyama Press graphic novel, Bradley Of Him, Connor Willumsen explores the psychological toll of abandoning your identity to take on a new...

Oct 23, 2019. 1 comments

Aqualad discovers his first love in this You Brought Me The Ocean exclusive

Aqualad discovers his first love in this You Brought Me The Ocean exclusive

DC’s line of

original graphic novels for young adult readers has steadily gathered momentum since launching earlier this year, bringing exciting creators on board to offer their distinct interpretations of DC characters. In June 2020, Aqualad swims into the spotlight with You Brought Me The Ocean, a romantic drama written by novelist Alex Sánchez and artist Julie Maroh that sees Jake Hyde...

1 Comments

Oct 21, 2019. 6 comments

Michael Allred brings a legendary life to the page in this Bowie exclusive

Michael Allred brings a legendary life to the page in this Bowie exclusive

David Bowie changed the world with his brilliant creative mind and revolutionary presentation of identity, breaking down social boundaries and inspiring countless artists in the process. Cartoonist Michael Allred is one of those artists, and his passion for Bowie shines bright in the new Insight Comics graphic novel, Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, And Moonage Daydreams. Co-written by Steve Horton...

6 Comments

Oct 15, 2019. 8 comments

Raina Telgemeier returns to memoir to explore childhood anxiety in Guts

Raina Telgemeier returns to memoir to explore childhood anxiety in Guts

Raina Telgemeier isn’t solely responsible for the explosion of graphic novels in the current literary landscape, but sometimes it feels like the industry revolves around her. It might just be a coincidence that The New York Times revived its Graphic Books and Manga bestsellers list the week after the release of Telgemeier’s new graphic novel, Guts (Graphix), but having a bestsellers list...

8 Comments

Oliver Sava Oliver Sava Oct 12, 2019. 5 comments

Eleanor Davis challenges readers to find hope in The Hard Tomorrow

Eleanor Davis challenges readers to find hope in The Hard Tomorrow
Every two weeks, Big Issues focuses on a newly released comic book of significance.

This week, it is The Hard Tomorrow. Written and drawn by Eleanor Davis (You & A Bike & A Road, Why Art?), this graphic novel looks at a bleak and very familiar near-future to tell a story about activism, empathy, and believing in a better world. This review reveals major plot points.

There is no progress without...

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