school choices

My Love Story!!, vols. 1-3

My Love Story!! Volume 1 Cover

Takeo Goda is the best thing to happen to shojo manga. He is a towering, muscular super-athlete, and characters like him are usually nowhere to be found in sparkly romances. His main love interest, the bubbly dessert cook Rinko Yamato,…

The Fade Out

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Hollywood, California, 1948. Fade in on professional screenwriter and semi-professional drunkard Charlie Parrish as he slowly wakes up after a wild night on the town. Charlie finds himself in a hotel bathtub, unable to remember anything about the night before—Charlie…

Sword Art Online: Progressive, vol. 1

Sword Art Online Progressive cover

Your assessment of Sword Art Online: Progressive will come down to your tolerance for fanservice: targeted objectification or hypersexualization of anime and manga characters. All fanservice aside, this is a fairly entertaining debut story for Asuna Yuuki, one of the breakout stars of…

Hawkeye, vols. 1-2

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Archer Clint Barton is better known to the world by his titles than his name: “Hawkeye,” “World’s Greatest Marksman,” and “Avenger”.  Barton is unenhanced, unpowered, and merely human, yet he holds his own in the superhero big leagues, despite being…

The Lunch Witch, volume 1

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Stories of magic and mischief, especially in comic form, are ripe for gimmicks. The Lunch Witch, by Deb Lucke, with its intended youthful audience and central supernatural character, has all the elements to get very gimmicky very quick, but skillfully…

We Dig Worms!

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Some people think it is easy to write for children, and those people are fools. You have to express a great deal in very few words, keep your imagery simple but rich, and, ideally, entertain while educating. Writing non-fiction for…

The Mutts Diaries

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A selection of Patrick McDonnell’s Mutts comic strips are collected here for the enjoyment of kids and adults alike. The collection is divided into strips featuring various characters. The two main sections are the “diaries” of Mooch the cat and…

Amulet #6: Escape from Lucien

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After pausing to recover from an illness and to draw the Harry Potter paperback covers, Kibushi returns with the anxiously awaited book six in his Amulet series. Plunging in where volume five left off, Amulet #6: Escape From Lucien immediately…

Alive

Alive

Alternative manga is often obtuse, which can be a detriment or a delight. Taguchi Hajime’s Alive is often both at once. The book is a collection of loosely-connected stories: teenagers hiding from their exams on a rooftop; a man who is afraid to love, cohabiting with a…

The Late Child and Other Animals

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The Late Child and Other Animals is an intriguing beast: a personal memoir of Marguerite Van Cook’s post-war British childhood that reads like lush fiction, segmented into seemingly unrelated stories that drift in and out of sharp focus. There’s a…

Beauty

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With a heroine bearing an uncanny resemblance to Snow White and a story peopled with buffoons, tyrants, and mischievous fairies, Beauty begs comparison, at least visually, to a Disney Princess film. But alternatively, it’s just about the farthest thing from…

iZombie, vols. 1-4

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To the outside world, Gwen looks like any other white-haired, pale-skinned Goth Grrrl. The fact that she’s stuck in a dead-end job as a gravedigger might raise some eyebrows, but as far as anyone knows, Gwen is just another twenty-something…

Girls Und Panzer, vols. 1 & 2

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Most high school girls spend their time studying, making friends, or carousing with cute boys. The girls of Ooarai Academy, however, have chosen to enlist in the school’s revitalized tankery club to practice World War II-style tank combat with reverence and…

My Neighbor Seki, vol. 1

My Neighbor Seki Volume 1

The beauty of the “slice of life” genre is that a multitude of content can be contained within a simple premise. If I tell you that Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star are each about a small group of high school girls and their everyday routines,…