YA Graphic Novels with Flavor! - Melting Pot
Ahhhhh… November… Fall is in full swing, wineries are finishing their late harvest crush, and the season for family gatherings begins. November is also National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! Since I will be working on a young adult (YA) manuscript, I find myself in a YA state of mind.
Let me just say that there are some FABULOUS YA graphic novels and comic books available at you local bookseller. All of my selections this month are unapologetically pro-girl and absolutely drenched in GIRL POWER. Seriously, every older pre-teen, tweener, and teen girl in your life needs these stories. Plus, based on their Amazon listings, it is clear that there will be many more books and stories in each of these series.
Little girls are supposed to be sugar and spice and everything nice – riiiiigggghhhhttt… Let’s add those flavors plus the zing of intellect, independence, and general hutzpah to The Melting Pot.
Yes, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a Marvel reboot recast with a diverse lead. And I know this fact irks some people to near insanity. I get it… really I do…but, let me say that I loved this story line because I could totally relate with Lunella “Moongirl” Lafayette and her thirst for knowledge. I, too, know what I feels like to be bored in school and hungry to go home to pursue my own academic interests. I also could relate to the feeling that things are absolutely beyond my control, but that I could do everything in my power to control my reaction, adjust, and survive.
Plus, Marvel officially announced that Moongirl is the smartest person in the Marvel Universe…which makes her smarter than Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic of The Fantastic Four), Tony Stark (Iron Man), and Bruce Banner (The Hulk). Not too shabby for a nine year-old, a first for an African-American, and a first for a female character. This fact makes Lunella’s exchange with The Hulk, the self-proclaimed eighth smartest person, that much sweeter.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Amy Reeder (Author), Brandon Montclare (Author), and Natacha Bustos (Illustrator)
LUNELLA LAFAYETTE is a preteen super genius who wants to change the world-but learned the hard way that it takes MORE than just big brains. Fearful of the monstrous INHUMAN genes inside her, life is turned upside down when a savage, red-scaled tyrant is teleported from prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call TODAY. The pair are many things, and together the most amazing Marvel Team-Up.
COLLECTING: MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR 1-6
How would you feel if you lived in a city perpetually in a police state run by a rotating door of conquerors? The Named are the people of a city that has gone through so many rulers and name changes, they simply call it The Nameless City.
Rat is an orphan with incredible speed and agility. In exchange for food, she teaches Kaidu (son of a Dao general) her skills. It is the friendship forged by Rat and Kaidu that is the heart of this story. The contrasts between their two lives are stark, but they share the need for love and a sense of community.
I thoroughly enjoyed the underlying messages of acceptance, ethics, and respect. The characters have depth and the illustrations show the full range of their emotions. Plus Rat and Mura (a female bodyguard) both kick-butt.
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks (Author), Jordie Bellaire (Contributor)
Every nation that invades the City gives it a new name. But before long, new invaders arrive and the City changes hands once again. The natives don't let themselves get caught up in the unending wars. To them, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders.
Kaidu is one such outsider. He's a Dao born and bred--a member of the latest occupying nation. Rat is a native of the Nameless City. At first, she hates Kai for everything he stands for, but his love of his new home may be the one thing that can bring these two unlikely friends together. Let's hope so, because the fate of the Nameless City rests in their hands.
Steven Universe is an absolute hoot! His wide-eyed optimism, fierce loyalty, and desire to make his world better set the stage for his well-meaning misadventures. What I enjoy most about Steven Universe is how diverse the world is with regards to body types and approach to life. The characters are both a team and chosen family, which makes it a beautiful expression of a nontraditional family unit.
Steven Universe Original Graphic Novel: Too Cool for School by Jeremy Sorese (Author), Ian Jones-Quartey (Author), Rebecca Sugar (Creator), Asia Kendrick-Horton (Illustrator), Josceline Fenton (Contributor)
We're going to give you another reason to Believe In Steven!
Schoolboy Steven, activate! Steven finds himself enrolled in Connie’s school after a show-and-tell lesson goes awry...and things just get crazier from there! Steven is having a hard time fitting in with normal school and Connie just wants to graduate with good grades and a clean record, but when gem and homework collide, who knows what will happen. This is a lesson you don’t want to miss!
Based on the success of the Adventure Time and Regular Show original graphic novels, KaBOOM! is kicking off a series of brand-new stories about the misadventures of Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems!
I stumbled upon Lumberjanes at one of my favorite bookstores in PDX Airport. Of course I purchased the fourth book in the series and had to go buy books one through three, too.
Molly, Mal, April, Ripley, and Jo are best friends and cabin-mates for a summer of scouting fun. As they work to earn their badges, they quickly learn that there is more to the forest than the standard flora and fauna.
I don’t think you can get more pro-girl / pro-woman than the Lumberjanes. There are no fainting princesses in this series. The characters are equal parts tough and smart with empathetic vulnerability. There is even a budding romantic relationship between two of the girls.
The artwork showcases an array of skin tones making it easy for any girl to see herself in this world. LOVE. IT.
Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware The Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson (Author), Shannon Watters (Author), and Brooke A. Allen (Illustrator)
Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp...defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons...what’s not to love?!
Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together...and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! Not only is it the second title launching in our new BOOM! Box imprint but LUMBERJANES is one of those punk rock, love-everything-about-it stories that appeals to fans of basically all excellent things. It’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls and features five butt-kicking, rad teenage girls wailing on monsters and solving a mystery with the whole world at stake. And with the talent of acclaimed cartoonist Noelle Stevenson, talented newcomer Grace Ellis writing, and Brooke Allen on art, this is going to be a spectacular series that you won’t want to miss. Collects Lumberjanes #1-#4.
Lumberjanes Vol. 2: Friendship To The Max by Noelle Stevenson (Author), Grace Ellis (Author), Brooke A. Allen (Illustrator), and Shannon Watters (Contributor)
Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together...and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! But having stumbled onto a mysterious force wreaking havoc in the camp, it’s a race through the woods as the Lumberjanes work together to save not only their friends, but maybe even the whole world!
It’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls and features five butt-kicking, rad teenage girls wailing on monsters and solving a mystery with the whole world at stake. And with the talent of acclaimed cartoonist Noelle Stevenson, talented newcomer Grace Ellis writing, and Brooke Allen on art, the spectacular series that took the internet by storm continues!
Lumberjanes Vol. 3: A Terrible Plan by Shannon Watters (Author), Noelle Stevenson (Author), Grace Ellis (Author), Brooke A. Allen (Author)
This New York Times Bestselling series continues with Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley as they take on everything that goes bump in the night. From scary stories to magical portals that lead to a land untouched by time, it's definitely not your average summer. Written by awesome all-star Noelle Stevenson (Nimona, ADVENTURE TIME™) and brilliant newcomer Grace Ellis, and illustrated by the tremendously talented Brooke Allen (A Home for Mr. Easter).
Lumberjanes Vol. 4: Out Of Time by Shannon Watters (Author), Noelle Stevenson (Author), Grace Ellis (Author), Brooke Allen (Illlustrator)
Jen just wants to have a normal lesson with her cabin, teaching Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley the basic survival skills needed without any supernatural intervention when a blizzard hits camp! Separated from her girls, Jen finds herself in more trouble than ever...until a mysterious stranger swoops in to save the day. Who is this taxidermist? What is her relationship to Rosie? Join Jen as she finds a way back to her girls, and a way to save the day!
This New York Times Bestseller and Eisner Award-Nominated series is written by the amazingly talented Noelle Stevenson (Nimona, ADVENTURE TIME™), and LUMBERJANES co-creator Shannon Watters, and illustrated by the insanely talented Brooke Allen (A Home For Mr. Easter).
Columnist: C. Morgan Kennedy
I have a confession to make. I’m a time traveler. I love flinging myself into the future, then hurtling fast to an alternative past. In my usual time-space-dimension, I’m a mechanical engineer and business woman. So, I have a natural penchant for hover cars and steam or aether powered engines. Though I was born in the wrong era, I’m actually a child of the sixties – 1860, 1960, 2060.
My stories feature strong women, who know how to wield their minds like weapons. Their men are smart and often controlling….but, rest assured, my female leads give them a run for their money. They strive to follow their hearts and dreams for the betterment of themselves and their loved ones. Like my life, all of my stories feature a diverse cast of characters.
With my business partner, Therese Patrick, I work to demystify marketing principles for my author friends. Our first book, Author Marketing 101 Guide & Journal, was published by Gazebo Gardens Publishing and released in October 2013.
Steampunk, futurist, blerd, artist, author, and marketing maven…a real creative force of nature – that’s me in a nutshell.
Keep tabs on my adventures via my blog, Morgan’s Mix Tape, on my website: http://www.cmorgankennedy.com.