Comics Review – LaGuardia by Nnedi Okorafor and Tana Ford

LaGuardia is a 4-issue series written by Hugo award winning author Nnedi Okorafor with art by Tana Ford. The series is part of the Berger Books imprint at Dark Horse that's run by legendary former Vertigo editor Karen Berger. Taking place an indeterminate amount of time in the future, LaGuardia finds an Earth where aliens are now integrated with human society. Future, a pregnant Nigerian-American doctor, is returning home to New York City after several years living in Lagos, Nigeria. Future's stated reason for returning home is to raise her child at home in America, but some mystery surrounds Citizen, the father of her child, and the sentient illegal plant named Letme Live that Future has smuggled into the United States.

Book Review – The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

The City We Became is the latest from acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy author N.K. Jemisin. Building off of the short story The City Born Great, The City We Became is a fantasy/horror novel about a group of 5 people that have been chosen by New York City to protect itself from an evil threat seeking to destroy it. When I say chosen by New York City, I'm not talking about a democratic election. Jemisin utilizes the mythos of New York City as a core fabric of the book and personifies the city to make it both a character and setting. It's something that I felt to be very unique and original.

Comics Review – Batman: Blink by Dwayne McDuffie and Val Semeiks

Batman: Blink collects issues 156-158 and issues 164-167 of the original Legends of the Dark Knight series. Originally published in 2002 and 2003, it's written by Dwyane McDuffie and drawn by Val Semeiks. There are two different stories collected here. The first is the initial 3-issue Batman: Blink storyline and the second has the pair returning to the same characters a short time later in the Legends of the Dark Knight series.

Comics Review – Bitter Root, Vol. 1 by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene

As part of an effort to boost Black voices in the comics and book community, I'm trying to mostly only read works by Black writers and artists for the month of June. This time I pulled down one I've been looking forward to for a while. Bitter Root , Vol. 1 collects the first 5 issues of the series written by David F. Walker and Chuck Brown and drawn by Sanford Greene. A sci-fi/horror series about a family of Black monster hunters living in 1920's Harlem, it felt like a natural fit to read this month.

Comics Review – Paying the Land by Joe Sacco

Paying the Land is the latest work from acclaimed comics journalist Joe Sacco, who is best known for his works like Palestine and Footnotes in Gaza. In Paying the Land, Sacco turns his eye towards the Dene, who are the people indigenous to the Mackenzie River Valley in the Canadian Northwest. Sacco recounts the the impact that the booming mining and oil industries have had on the lives of the Dene Nation. Sacco then works his way back through other struggles the Dene have faced as they continually weigh the benefits of industrialization with the costs to their way of life.

Book Review – South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

South of the Border, West of the Sun is one of the most famous works from the acclaimed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. It is the shortest book that I have read from Murakami, at just over 200 pages. South of the Border tells the story of a man named Hajime. Murakami tracks Hajime's life from a childhood love through adolescence and then through middle-age, which finds him married with two children. At the heart of the book is Hajime's struggle with never having lost the obsession of his childhood sweetheart, Shimamoto, and the threat this obsession poses to his domestic life when circumstances find her re-enter his life.

Comics Review – Something Is Killing the Children, Volume 1 by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera

Something Is Killing the Children is a new series from BOOM! Studios written by James Tynion IV and drawn Werther Dell'Edera, with Miguel Muerto on colors. This first volume of the series finds a small town plagued by a number of missing and murdered children. Not great! When one kid named James does return, the police don't believe his gruesome story of monsters in the woods being responsible for the dismemberment of his friends. The mystery escalates when a woman going by Erica Slaughter shows up in town, saying she believes James and that she's come to take care of the problem.

Book Review – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes focuses on an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow. For those who recognize the name but can't place it, Snow is president of Panem during the happenings of the Hunger Games and is the primary antagonist from the trilogy. The Hunger Games are only in their tenth year and the physical and emotional trauma from the war with the districts are still fresh in the minds of the population of the capitol.

Comics Review – Something New by Lucy Knisley

Something New is a graphic memoir from Lucy Knisley. This is the third of Knisley's books that I've read, all of which have been auto-biographical and none of which I've read in order. It's an interesting experience getting different snippets of Knisley's life a bit out of order. I first read An Age of License (which is good) and then read Relish (which is magnificent). I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books I'd read and was very excited to read Something New.

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