Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Romance Dominate the Latest Teen Graphic Novels
Posted by Brigid Alverson on May 10, 2018 @ 4:20 am CT
Ethan Young (Tails) set up an action-packed post-apocalyptic sci-fi story in the first volume of this trilogy and yanks the rug out from the reader in the second. Ten years after watching her husband die in battle—and freezing up before she could kill his attacker—Bridget Lee is working as a nurse in a remote outpost, tending to a group of orphans, in a world that is continually under attack by aliens. The first volume was all about survival, but the second one goes much deeper (see "Also New 'Battles of Bridget Lee'")—and there’s more to come in volume 3. Release date: May 9; Ages 10+; MSRP: $14.99.
Fifteen-year-old Luisa gets on a bus to go home one evening but ends up in Paris with her adult self. Once they figure out that they are living a time-travel paradox, the two Luisas take on some difficult questions about life and love—and the younger Luisa’s decision to turn away from her true sexuality. This graphic novel, which does not have an age rating, includes a mild fantasy sex scene. Tamaki, the writer of This One Summer, adapted the translated version for American readers. Release date: June 20; MSRP: $29.95.
Something happened in Poughkeepsie, New York, three years ago, and now parts of the city seem to have a mind of their own—pieces of the landscape rearrange themselves in odd ways, strange beasts roam free, and in one area, things suddenly collapse and become two-dimensional. Teenage Addison cares for her younger sister and supports the two of them by taking photos in the forbidden zone, but an encounter with a collector brings her closer to the heart of the mystery. Westerfeld (a best-selling author of prose YA novels -- see "'Uglies' Graphic Novels") set up some haunting questions in the first volume of this series and answers them in this one. Release date: July 10; Ages 15-18; MSRP: $22.99.
Romance and intrigue in a royal court, beautifully rendered with artwork that seems timeless; the costumes alone make this book worth picking up (see "Kids' Comics Roundup: Rocko Comes to Comics"). Release date: July 11; Ages: 13+; MSRP: $16.99.
Once upon a time, Primo Rocket was a champion rocket racer; now he runs a space-age junkyard with two kids (one of whom is his clone), so naturally, it’s left to him to save the galaxy in a chase for a super-destructive weapon. Mercado, the creator of Pantalones, Texas, and Sci-Fu, ("Oni's Diverse Slate of OGNs") whips up a good-humored, fast-moving action tale. Release date: July 11; Ages 12+; MSRP: $14.99.
The Valerrama Brothers whip up a story about giant monsters rampaging across the world and weave in a tale of friendship gone awry. Release date: August 1; Ages 12+; MSRP: $17.99.
This graphic novel starts out with a similar vibe to Backstagers and Lumberjanes, with a colorful cast of LGBTQIA characters and a supernatural setting that’s more goofy than scary: a haunted theme park staffed by a motley crew of humans and demons. Toward the end of the book the craziness goes into overdrive with a weird time-travel plot, and it ends on a cliffhanger that definitely points to a sequel. Release date: August 7; Ages 12+; MSRP: $14.95.
Sanpaku is the Japanese belief that a visible area of white above or below the iris of one’s eye is a sign of misfortune. Twelve-year-old Marcine is obsessed with this notion and sees it everywhere, but her attempts to counter it by meditating and following a macrobiotic diet do nothing to ward it off. Gavino’s story portrays a teenager’s struggle with insecurity and desire for control against a background of Catholic Filipino culture. Release date: August 15. MSRP: $24.99.
Vlogger and ice skater Eric "Bitty" Bittle picked Samwell College because of its excellent hockey team, but you don’t have to be a hockey fan to enjoy Ngozi Ukazu’s story of competition and friendship on and off the ice. It’s fun just to watch Bitty getting to know his teammates and dealing with his problems by baking up a storm. He comes out as gay early in the book, but that doesn’t cause anywhere near as much drama as the fact that he faints when checked. Check Please! already has a huge following as a webcomic and won a Reuben Award for best long-form online comic in 2017 (see "'Check Please!,' 'On A Sunbeam,' Thelonious Monk Bio, Cute Kittens"). Release date: September 18; Ages 14-18; MSRP: $16.99.