As loyal readers are no doubt aware, we here at NFNT had a bit of a hiatus from our weekly What’s Making Us Happy.  Thus, reviewers are chiming in here with what’s made them happy, comics-wise, this summer!


I’m happy that my awesome boyfriend surprised me with the Lackadaisy t-shirt I’d been admiring.  I love the webcomic so much that a couple of years ago, my dad made me a Lackadaisy birthday cake, complete with sepia-tone frosting!



I think my summer happy may be that Babymouse finally won an Eisner. It took them a long time to notice the series, but I’m glad it got the recognition it deserves!




TJ and AmalEmma

I got a hold of the print version of the webcomic The Not-So-Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal and made my 18-year-old daughter read it and she loved it as much as me and then she made all her friends read it, who all loved it as much as we did.

I love when that happens.





I am very pleased with the publication of the anthology True Patriot: All New Canadian Comic Book Adventures. Although I am not normally a superhero fan, I will make an exception for the those created by talented Canadians. My copy arrived in the mail today — a bit late for inclusion in my fall comic book course but I will talk it up big none the less.





Nothing TOO big happened (comics-wise) but I did restart my Graphic Novel Book Club with some coworkers at the library. We’re meeting this Friday to talk about The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka. Nobody has read manga before so I’m really super interested in hearing their opinions.





I’m very happy my friends pushed me into Attack on Titan (both the anime and manga). I didn’t realize it before starting, but especially where the manga is, the series is a wonderful deconstruction of heroic sacrifice that’s seen a lot in shounen as well as simple black and white morality. You could say it’s like the Puella Magi of shounen in a sense?? It definitely deserves all the hype it’s been getting, in my opinion. I’ve also ordered my New York Comic Con tickets. (Other summer anime I’ve been following includes Free!, Dangan Ronpa and Gatchaman Crowds.)

I’m excited for KyotoAnimation to release more information on their upcoming “Kyoukai no Kanata”. It’s a fall anime, so there’s probably going to be a nice stream of new info leading up to it.



Like Gail, I, too, received my copy of True Patriot. Yay! I thought I couldn’t be happier until my copy of To Be Or Not To Be, the choose-your-own-adventure version of Hamlet put together by Ryan North (of Dinosaur Comics fame) and including just about every independent comics creator you can think of doing the illustrations. It’s pretty darn amazing, you guys. Pretty darn amazing.

Oh, wait! There is one more thing that made me do a Happy Dance and that’s that I found out that Vertical has licensed Fumi Yoshinaga’s What Did You Eat Yesterday. Hooray!!! I am so excited for this, and not just because everyone thought this was and untouchable property — who wants to read a series about a gay man who likes to cook, right? Boy, do I ever. Any book that Fumi Yoshinaga writes is going to be magic, but this one is ridiculously charming and funny and gorgeously drawn, AND includes recipes. I CAN’T WAIT!!!



My SUMMER happy is that I got hired to do my first semi-professional comics work. Some small work for Periscope Studio, and an ongoing comic with Monkeybrain. So, that was pretty big for this librarian.



My  summer happy  is that of all the programs I did  this season, the one that got the most enthusiastic response was the anime lock-in.   Based on my teens’ reactions and suggestions,  we have enough interested people to start a Manga bookclub – a first for me after suggesting it at three previous branches.



I’m very happy that my favorite guilty pleasure anime of last year (Senki Zesshou Symphogear) got a second season. Also I’ve been enjoying Dangen Roppa, Attack on Titan and Gatchaman CROWDS.

I’m also happy that Marvel has managed to continue to produce high quality comics, even after the initial hype of their rebranding has died down.

I am ecstatic that the books I had to put into storage when going off to college/coming back from college/moving this summer are about to be de-stored tomorrow. I’m going to get my personal library back!



I am super happy that through Christina Blanch’s Super MOOC, Gender Through Comic Books, I have found my new favorite series, Saga – and I’m super, super happy that new issues are starting up again tomorrow!!  I’ve also been amusing myself by reading a lot of DC’s new 52 TPBs this summer.  Some series I’ve totally given up on (ahem…Catwoman), but others like Swamp Thing and Animal Man have captured my heart along with Scott Snyder’s Batman and Gail Simone’s Batgirl.

Plus, I really, really want to read To Be Or Not To Be, too!



AlwaysRainingHereI’ve gotten hooked on The Not-So-Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal, too, along with a handful of other web comics (particularly the sweet and snarky Always Raining Here), which is new media territory for me.  I never thought I’d get caught up enough in a webcomic to actually bother to check for updates weekly, but I’ve been totally sucked in and have a whole little list of bookmarks to remind me to look.  I’ve read so many, I’m going to have to add a sheet for them to my “Input” spreadsheet just to keep track.

In other happys, I’ve been going back and interlibrary-loaning a lot of older manga (a handful of classic shojo titles from the Magnificent 49ers and their successors–thank you Fantagraphics and Moto Hagio for being my gateway to old-school awesome!  I only wish there were more available in English.) and comics from classic European creators (Enki Bilal, Moebius, Hugo Pratt, and others) that I’ve never read before.  Why didn’t I do this earlier?!?!


SleepwalkersJennifer W.

I am very happy that our teens have been reading manga like crazy, I finally caught up with my collection development lists and ordered Viviane Schwarz’s Sleepwalkers, I shared several moments of delighted fandom with a young fan of Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, I got my own copy of Bad Machinery, and I got to meet lots of NFNT’ers at ALA!




In a very shallow way, I was made very happy by vicariously attending San Diego Comic-Con via my good friends (our very own Eva, for one!) who let met join them via tweet to nerd out over panels and announcements.  Plus, Eva picked up the amazing Super Best Friends Forever figures for me!  Batgirl is now happily looming over my desk at work.

In a less shallow way, ALA Annual provided a delightful comics experience for me, both for meeting NFNTers (yay!) and for hanging around with the many delightful comics folks who were in the Artist’s Alley: Raina Telgemeier (Drama), Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), Faith Erin Hicks (Friends with Boys), Gene Yang (American Born Chinese), Thien Pham (Sumo), Chris Schweizer (Crogan Adventures), Anthony del Col (Kill Shakespeare), and meeting new participants Paul Pope (Battling Boy), Jerzy and Anne Drozd (, Matt Phelan (Storm in the Barn), Laur Uy (Polterguys) and everyone else I’m blanking on.

Also, it was immensely gratifying to have more than 150 people pack the room for our Busting the Comics Code panel, with the marvelous Carol Tilley presenting on the history of comics censorship and the 1950s comics scare.  Carol tells the best stories about comics, and I was so jazzed to be a part of that panel!

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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