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Comics in Space!

October 4 is the start of World Space Week! Some may call it the final frontier, but I think it’s also a great place to set a comic book. If you are not already convinced of that fact, hopefully I can persuade you by the end of this newsletter!

Bookish Goods

A Star Wars-themed wall clock made from a vinyl record

Star Wars Vinyl Record Clock by LaLisaStudio

This is hands down the coolest way to tell time in all the galaxy. $70

New Releases

Leon the Extraordinary cover

Leon the Extraordinary by Jamar Nicholas

The first in a new series, this children’s comic tells the story of Leon, an ordinary boy who dreams of being a superhero despite his lack of powers. When a new phone app turns his classmates into zombies, Leon gets the chance to prove he has what it takes to save the day!

the cover of Hollow

Hollow by Shannon Watters, Branden Boyer-White and Berenice Nelle

This is a queer, modern retelling of Washington Irving’s classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. When Izzy Crane moves into town, she has already convinced herself that there is no such thing as ghosts. But the longer she stays, the more obvious it becomes that something is wrong in this strange little town…

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: space! I love space! These comics show how amazing (and scary) it can be.

Space Story cover

Space Story by Fiona Ostby

Leah and Hannah are two earthlings in love. But with Earth becoming less hospitable by the day, one — and only one — of them is able to leave the planet for the safety of space. Separated by unfathomable distances and obstacles, can Hannah and Leah find their way back to each other?

Cover of Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin

Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell

Meet Sojourner “Jo” Mullein, the newest Green Lantern. She has been assigned to investigate a gruesome murder in the City Enduring, where emotions have been suppressed and no crimes have been committed for centuries. What she finds will shatter the City Enduring’s peaceful image and force its government to realize that their way of preventing unrest does more harm than good.

Wherever you are in time and space, don’t forget to take a minute to look up at the sky. You may not see a superhero, but the clouds or the stars are always worth admiring.

~Eileen

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Anything You Can Do…

Thursday again, is it? Seems like the weeks are getting shorter along with the daylight hours! Let’s jump right into today’s newsletter before we lose any more time.

Bookish Goods

Bracelets featuring anime logos

Anime Bracelets by AnimeFiguresCentral

These handmade bracelets let you tell everyone what your favorite anime is without telling everyone what your favorite anime is. $10

New Releases

Marvel Voices Comunidades #1

Marvel Voices: Comunidades #1 by Various

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Marvel has released this anthology by Latine creators featuring Marvel’s mightiest Latine heroes, including America Chavez, White Tiger, Miles Morales, and a whole lot more!

Forest Hills Bootleg Society cover

Forest Hills Bootleg Society by Dave Baker and Nicole Goux

The year is 2005. While buying bootleg anime DVDs, four teen girls — best of friends — find a raunchy film that would knock the socks off all the other teens in their conservative town. When they start selling copies on the sly, they set themselves on a path towards jealousy, heartbreak, and the possible end of their friendship.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: contests! A little healthy competition never hurt anyone, but at least one of these characters might be taking things too far…

La Corda d'Oro Vol 1 cover

La Corda d’Oro Vol. 1 by Yuki Kure

With her complete and utter lack of musical talent, Kahoko never had a chance of joining her school’s prestigious music competition or matching wits with the handsome boys who participate in it. Then a fairy gives her a magic violin, and suddenly Kahoko stands a very real chance of winning — but is victory worth the price?

Measuring Up cover

Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte and Ann Xu

Cici’s grandmother is about to turn seventy, and Cici wants nothing more than to celebrate with her. The problem: Cici is in America, and her grandmother still lives in Taiwan. The only way Cici can afford a plane ticket from Taiwan to Seattle is to enter — and win — a kid’s cooking contest. But will the judges appreciate her Taiwanese dishes?

Until next time, nerd friends, keep your eyes on the prize: the weekend will be here before you know it!

~Eileen

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Be En Garde for More Great Comics

Is it almost the end of September already?! Time flies when you’re sipping pumpkin spice lattes! (I guess: I don’t drink coffee.) Here are some fun comics and comic-related goodies you can dig into before the month is out.

Bookish Goods

A nightlight shaped like Captain America's shield

Captain America Automatic Light Sensing Night Light by 3DInspirationDesigns

If you don’t have super-night vision powers, this is the next best thing. Perfect for heroes of all ages! $15

New Releases

Constantine Distorted Illusions cover

Constantine: Distorted Illusions by Kami Garcia and Isaac Goodhart

Constantine is DC’s premier bad-boy magician, but in this YA comic, he sets his sights on America and punk band stardom instead! Magic is never far behind, however, and after a spell goes horribly wrong, Constantine has to reevaluate his own goals and magical talents.

Everything is OK cover

Everything is OK by Debbie Tung

This graphic memoir perfectly captures what it’s like living with depression and anxiety. By learning to open up about her problems and accepting that some days will be better than others, Tung shows that, while life can be difficult sometimes, it will get better. And yes, everything will be OK.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: swords! The sexiest of all weapons! The heroes in these comics must learn to wield their swords wisely if they are to defend themselves and their loved ones.

Kaze Hikaru Vol 1 cover

Kaze Hikaru Vol. 1 by Taeko Watanabe

Kamiya Seizaburo wants nothing more than to train as a warrior and avenge his family. The hitch? He’s really a girl disguised as a boy so that Okita Soji, a renowned swordsman, will teach her all he knows! But it’s not long before Soji discovers her secret — and then what?

Ronin Island Vol 1 cover

Ronin Island Vol. 1 by Greg Pak and Giannis Milonogiannis

Hana and Kenichi are thrown together on a single, safe island after their families — and much of the rest of 19th-century East Asia — are destroyed by an unknown attacker. Despite their mutual distrust, they must work together if they are to survive and keep their new home safe.

A Havanese sleeping with her head twisted around and one leg in the air

In closing, I leave you with my dog Poppy’s latest glamor shot. Such elegance! Such grace and poise!

~Eileen

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2, 4, 6, 8: Comic Books Are Really Great!

I hope that title gives you enough of a hint as to what today’s Riot Rec theme is! If not, keep scrolling and you’ll figure it out eventually…

Bookish Goods

three facemasks with Marvel characters on them

MARVEL Comic Book Covers Face Mask by RockAndWolle

The pandemic is most definitely NOT over, so please continue to enjoy these (non-medical-grade) masks when you meet with others! $14+

New Releases

It Won't Always Be Like This cover

It Won’t Always Be Like This by Malaka Gharib

Malaka spends every summer visiting her father in Egypt. Everything changes after her father remarries, making Malaka reconsider what it means to be Egyptian, American, one of the cool kids — and herself.

Doughnuts and Doom cover

Doughnuts and Doom by Balazs Lorinczi

Elena is a musician with a struggling career. Margot is a witch with a struggling potions business. Neither is in the best place when they meet, but maybe they can find what they’ve long been missing with each other. Or maybe they’re both just cursed. Who knows?

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: cheerleading! Yay! People have a lot of preconceptions about this sport, including the character in these comics. But they soon learn what it’s really about — and what really matters, both in cheer and in life.

The Tryout cover

The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat and Joanna Cacao

The cheerleaders are the most popular girls at Christina and Megan’s middle school — so naturally, they want to join! But cheerleading is no picnic, especially when you’re the only non-white kids in school. Christina and Megan will have to figure out if popularity is worth more than their friendship.

Cheer Up! book cover

Cheer Up!: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier and Val Wise

This comic is so cute I can’t even. Annie has no interest in being a cheerleader, but if she wants a shot at a college scholarship, she needs an extracurricular. Bebe is the squad’s rising star and a trans girl whose parents don’t fully support her transition. Can they both find acceptance, love, and support as part of their high school cheer team?

We have reached the end of another newsletter and (almost) another week. I hope you have a great Friday — I’ll be cheering you on!

~Eileen

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Happy (?) Banned Books Week from the Stack!

That’s right, September 18-24, 2022 is Banned Books Week. America has seen a disturbing resurgence in book banning recently, mostly spurred by bigots who can’t stand the thought of queer kids and children of color seeing themselves in the media, or of white kids learning about anyone but themselves.

Comics have been getting caught up in book bans since at least the 1940s. We’ll cover a couple of those later, but for now, let’s dive into Bookish Goods…

Bookish Goods

A bag for carrying a water bottle. It is covered in images of Marvel characters

Classic Marvel Comics H2O Crossbody Bag by BBknitsCo

Sick of carrying your water bottle around like some civilian? Get one of these Marvel-themed bags instead! $30

New Releases

Spy x Family Vol 8 cover

Spy x Family Vol. 8 by Tatsuya Endo

I know a lot of people who are going to be very happy about this one! The beloved manga returns with Yor, the secret assassin, trying to fulfill a new assignment on a cruise ship that her “husband” and “daughter” also happen to be on. Their presence causes Yor to reconsider the kind of life she wants.

Tokyo Rose cover

Tokyo Rose: Zero Hour by Andre R. Frattino and Kate Kasenow

“Tokyo Rose” was a nickname given to a Japanese radio announcer who delivered anti-American propaganda to U.S. soldiers during World War II. But there’s a lot more to her story than that. This graphic biography introduces you to the real Tokyo Rose: an American named Iva Toguri who did the best she could with the hand she was dealt.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: banned comics! I already did this theme in July, but since this is Banned Books Week, and since there is an unfortunate surfeit of banned and challenged comics out there, I think it’s worth a revisit.

The Color of Earth cover

The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa

Ehwa grew up socially isolated thanks to snobbish villagers who shunned her single mother. As a result, Ehwa doubts she will ever find love. It isn’t until her mother takes a second chance on love that Ehwa starts to think there might be someone out there for her, too. The Color of Earth is the first of a trilogy.

tomboy book cover

Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince

Being yourself is no easy task when you don’t fit into any of society’s neat boxes. Prince found that out at an early age, when she wasn’t “feminine” enough to fit in with the girls and not “masculine” enough to fit in with the boys. Only with the wisdom of maturity (and the help of the punk community) was she able to confidently make a place for herself in a world that constantly told her she didn’t belong anywhere.

If you want to help fight back against book bans, we have some suggestions. In any case, don’t let anyone stop you from reading what you want to read!

~Eileen

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It’s Hispanic Heritage Month!

This is the time of year when we celebrate all that is great, good, and interesting about Hispanic culture — and that includes comics featuring Hispanic characters! We’ll kick this month off with an appropriate Riot Rec theme, but in the meantime…

Bookish Goods

Two storage boxes with clear fronts that show the comics inside

Comic Book Storage Box Display/Store Comics in an Eco Friendly Sustainable Wood Storage Box with Lid by Garage207ua

These boxes are a beautiful way to store your comics while still showing them off to friends and visitors. Four colors of wood are available! $40

New Releases

Space Trash Vol 1 cover

Space Trash Vol. 1 by Jenn Woodall

Going to high school on the moon sounds fun, right? Not for Yuki, Una, and Stab. Their school is for underprivileged kids and provides something less than an exciting education. But as they do their best to survive high school, they stumble upon a secret that could change everything — both for them and the entire human race.

Mashle Magic and Muscles Vol 8 cover

Mashle: Magic and Muscles Vol. 8 by Hajime Komoto

The adventures of Mash, a seemingly ordinary magic school student who can’t actually do magic, continue in this eighth volume of Mashle. Now, he and his friends have to deal with a powerful enemy, an undead teacher, and even being turned into babies! How will he ever get through this school year?

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: undocumented immigrants from Mexico! It’s specific, but there are multiple comics around that theme, so here we are!

Undocumented A Worker's Fight cover

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight by Duncan Tonatiuh

Tonatiuh turns to an ancient format — a pre-Columbian-style codex — to tell the story of Juan, an undocumented young man fighting for better pay and working conditions. Though the risks of speaking up are great, the consequences of staying silent are far worse.

Unearthed cover

Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story by Lilliam Rivera and Steph C.

Based on the DC Comics heroine, Unearthed follows a young Jessica Cruz as she struggles to hide the fact that she is undocumented from her friends. But after her father is arrested, she will have to learn — with help from school friend John Stewart — how to stand up for those who need her. Stunning artwork and emotional storytelling really set this book apart.

I hope this newsletter got your Hispanic Heritage Month off to a positive start, and that you keep learning and enjoying yourself all month long!

~Eileen

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Stealing into Your Inbox with More Great Comics!

Hello once again! I always try to bring you the best comics content possible, but today I’m extra excited about some of the offerings in store, so let’s dive right in!

Bookish Goods

A green t-shirt with white text that says "I have too many comic books said no one ever"

I Have Too Many Comic Books T-shirt by PorpoiseTees

Most relatable shirt ever! I think I like the red one best. $20

New Releases

Jessi's Secret Language cover

Jessi’s Secret Language by Ann M. Martin and Chan Chau

Based on the ever-popular series The Baby-Sitters Club, this comic follows newbie babysitter Jessi and a young Deaf boy, Matt. Matt communicates through sign language, so Jessi decides that she — and all the other kids in the neighborhood! — should learn it as well.

Ducks cover

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton

Best known for her hilarious webcomic Hark! A Vagrant, Beaton gets personal with this graphic memoir. Relating her years in Alberta, Canada, she juxtaposes that country’s natural beauty with its ruthless pursuit of oil — and the consequences of that pursuit on the locals, the environment, and Beaton herself.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: thieves! These sticky-fingered protagonists may be (okay, definitely are) breaking the law, but you’ll cheer them on anyway.

cover image of The Banks

The Banks by Roxane Gay and Ming Doyle

The Banks women are exceptional thieves and have been for half a century. Now, they are faced with the possibility of a score so enticing that it will take three generations to pull off the ultimate heist!

Bandette Vol 1 cover

Bandette Vol. 1: Presto! by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover

The husband-and-wife team of Tobin and Coover bring us the best, most adorable thief in the world: Bandette, an ingenious teenager who, with the help of her dog and her friends, can steal anything. But can she outwit an assassin determined to eliminate her? (Of course she can, but please read to find out how!)

I’ll see you again later this week, nerd friends! In the meantime, keep reading those comics!

~Eileen

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Your Five-Minute Mission: To Explore This Strange Newsletter…

That’s right, nerd friends: on this day 56 years ago, the original Star Trek series debuted, launching a franchise (and a VERY enthusiastic fandom) that is still going strong! It’s been a rough year for Trekkies (RIP Nichelle Nichols), but the show’s legacy remains despite everything, as today’s Riot Rec theme will show.

Bookish Goods

a small round box decorated with comic strips

Small Box Decorated in Newspaper Comic Strips by HomeTaradise

This cute little box is covered in comic strips of your choice and perfect for storing change, keys, or even…peanuts. *ba-dum tish* $16

New Releases

Coven cover

Coven by Jennifer Dugan and Kit Seaton

Emsy has the potential to be a powerful witch, but she never cared enough to develop that talent — until her family’s coven is slaughtered by a witch. Now Emsy has no choice but to use her powers to follow the clues, protect her family, and bring a killer to justice.

Nubia and the Amazons cover

Nubia & the Amazons by Stephanie Williams, Vita Ayala, and Alitha Martinez

Nubia is the new queen of the Amazons, but she will need to confront her difficult past before she can lead her Amazon sisters into a glorious future. This hardcover collection explores an exciting new chapter in the life of one of Themyscira’s most interesting and misunderstood inhabitants — and shows her coming into her own at last.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: Star Trek! There have been an uncountable number of Star Trek comics over the years, but unfortunately, very few of them are by creators of color. (Check out Star Trek: The Mirror War – Sisko for an example of an exception, though!) As we wait for that to change, please enjoy these more recent editions to the Trek universe!

Star Trek Discovery - Aftermath cover

Star Trek: Discovery – Aftermath by Kirsten Beyer, Mike Johnson, Tony Shasteen, & Angel Hernandez

Picking up where the second season of Star Trek: Discovery left off, this series sees Spock trying to rejoin Starfleet in order to prevent treaty negotiations between the Federation and the Klingons from falling apart.

Star Trek Year Five cover

Star Trek: Year Five – Odyssey’s End by Various

Ever wanted to see the completion of that original five-year mission? Of course you have! This multipart series has the crew confronting not just the usual set of bizarre aliens, but also their own uncertainty about going home and what the end of their mission will bring.

A Havanese puppy with what looks like a smile on her cute little face

In closing, please look at my dog Poppy, who got a nail and hair trim and is very pleased to show off the results. Until next week, Live Long and Prosper!

~Eileen

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Love, Hate, and Everything in Between

Hi! Did you know Stargirl‘s third season has just started? It’s my favorite of The CW’s superhero shows, so I was surprised and delighted to find it was back!

While I wait for the next episode, let’s look at what else is cooking in the world of comics…

Bookish Goods

a green tote bag with a comic character saying "I hate all of you"

I Hate All of You Classic Sublimation Tote Bag by BigBossBunny

Some days are just like that. This tote features a print from an old comic that will show off both your mood and your sense of humor. $29

New Releases

Ghost Reaper Girl Vol 2 cover

Ghost Reaper Girl Vol. 2 by Akissa Saiké

Chloé, an actor in her late 20s (that’s practically ancient!), fears her chance at stardom has passed her by — until she gets the chance to be the Ghost Reaper Girl, charged with tracking and eliminating escaped evil spirits. In this second volume of the series, Chloé develops new powers that will come in handy against a dastardly new foe.

Garlic and the Witch cover

Garlic and the Witch by Bree Paulsen

After the events of Garlic and the Vampire, the vegetable people have a new friend in the Count. They have grown so close, in fact, that when Witch Agnes needs a special ingredient to finish making a blood substitute for him, our pungent heroine Garlic finds herself traveling a great distance to get it — even as she undergoes some scary changes of her own.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: mature love! No, not mature as in explicit (that’s a future theme), but mature as in older protagonists. These comics definitively prove that you are never too old for a second chance at love. Keep those tissues handy!

Walk Me to the Corner cover

Walk Me to the Corner by Anneli Furmark, translated by Hanna Stromberg

Elise and Dagmar would have sworn that they were happy with their lives and relationships — until they met, and love bloomed. As the women’s affair grows, Elise begins to realize that she may not like the path she has chosen after all.

Bingo Love cover

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge, and Joy San

In 1963, Hazel and Mari meet at a bingo hall. It’s love at first sight, but their elders forbid the romance, and Mari is sent away to get married. Decades later, after they have had families of their own and watched them grow up, pure chance enables the women to find one another and give their love a second chance to shine.

And on that happy romantic note, I’m out. See you again on Thursday with more cool comics, nerd friends!

~Eileen

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Here There Be…

Happy September, nerd friends! We’re one step closer to autumn, Halloween, and all that other fun stuff. In the meantime, don’t forget that there’s plenty of great comics content coming out right now!

Bookish Goods

Several plants in small pots decorated with pages from Naruto

Manga Page Pot: Naruto by OtakooStoodio

For all you green-thumbed Naruto fans, this is the perfect addition to your household! $25+

New Releases

Silk Vol 2 Age of the Witch cover

Silk Vol. 2: Age of the Witch by Emily Kim and Takeshi Miyazawa

Whether you loved Silk’s previous adventures or are entirely new to the character, you’ll love this trade paperback, which sees our girl Cindy Moon going up against an ancient Korean threat and the vagaries of social media.

Over My Dead Body cover

Over My Dead Body by Sweeney Boo

Samhain is supposed to be a time of celebration for the students at Younwity’s Institute. Abby, however, is consumed by the disappearance of her best friend, Noreen. Is there a connection between Noreen’s disappearance and that of another girl who went missing years ago? And what is really in the forest surrounding the institute, the one that Abby is forbidden from entering but may have to explore to find out what happened to Noreen?

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Today’s Riot Rec theme is: dragons! Some are big and scary, while others will happily accept belly rubs. These comics tend to focus on the latter.

Tidesong cover

Tidesong by Wendy Xu

Sophie’s family expects her to be a great witch, but Sophie isn’t very good at magic and isn’t getting the support she needs to do better. When she befriends Lir, an amnesiac water dragon, Sophie sees in him a chance to finally improve her magic skills. But is she willing to jeopardize Lir’s future to secure her own?

the tea dragon society cover

The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill

Magic and blacksmithing are supposed to be two different disciplines. But when Greta, a blacksmith’s apprentice, finds a lost tea dragon, she finds herself becoming more and more involved in learning how to care for the beautiful creatures, how to make a good cup of tea, and how to be friends with Minette, who knows plenty about both dragons and tea.

A Havenese puppy's face peers out from under a bed

Uh-oh, I think even these cute dragons were too scary: my dog Poppy is hiding under the bed! I’ll see you back here next week with a friendlier Riot Rec theme.

~Eileen