Genre: Graphic Novel
Book Review

Blackward by Lawrence Lindell


CW: Homophobia Blackward is a graphic novel that snuck up on me. I was excited to read a story about a group of Black, queer friends and was thrilled to end up with that, plus a beautiful message about how you can’t build a community without help. Eight years prior to the main story, Lika, Amor, Tony, and Lala met at a reading camp at their local community center. Today, they still hang out at … Continue reading Blackward by Lawrence Lindell

Lightning Review

Fangs by Sarah Anderson


I have read this webcomic on Tapas several times now. Whenever I want a quick read that’s visually adorable and emotionally sweet, I re-read it. When I learned there was a print version and there were extra panels within, I borrowed the book from the library. It doesn’t take long to read this book, in print or online, but I’m so happy I borrowed it. My intention was to read it while still in the … Continue reading Fangs by Sarah Anderson

Lightning Review

Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith

Wash Day Diaries

Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith is a low-key but enrapturing graphic novel about Nisha, Davene, Kim, and Cookie, a group of Black women with deep and caring friendships. Each story lovingly depicts their hair care rituals while also revealing the soulful mundanity of the processes they engage in to care for themselves and others. Wash Day Diaries is as much about the relationship between the beauty rituals of these women and … Continue reading Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith

Lightning Review

Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero by E. Lockhart


Whistle is the latest YA Graphic novel from DC, and like other books in this run it emphasizes social justice and inclusion. In this book, a Jewish high school student takes care of her mom (who has cancer), works at an animal shelter, attends school, flirts with a cute boy, and participates in protests to try to keep gentrification from erasing her neighborhood of Down River in Gotham City. Her life changes when she meets … Continue reading Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero by E. Lockhart

Lightning Review

Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh

Thirsty Mermaids

How can it be that it has taken me this long to discover Thirsty Mermaids, the graphic novel by Kat Leyh? This bawdy, body positive, inclusive story is my new favorite, and I’ve been reading a lot of mermaid stuff recently so that’s saying a LOT. When mermaids Pearl, Tooth, and Eez decide to use magic to become human, they only plan to be human for long enough to get some booze. But once Eez … Continue reading Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh

Lightning Review

Girl on Film by Cecil Castellucci

Girl on Film

Girl on Film is a graphic novel memoir by Cecil Castellucci, the author of, among other things, Boy Proof, The P.L.A.I.N. Janes, and Shade, The Changing Girl, all of which I enthusiastically recommend. In this memoir, Castellucci documents her obsession with becoming a movie director, a goal she developed at a young age and pursued through her years at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (the high school … Continue reading Girl on Film by Cecil Castellucci

Lightning Review

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is a delightful YA graphic novel about Diana (Wonder Woman) and her coming of age. In this story, Diana leaves behind the Amazon island of Themyscira on her sixteenth birthday in an attempt to help a raft of refugees during a storm. Her journey takes her from the open ocean to a refugee camp in Greece and then to New York City where she plans to attend university. Diana learns about … Continue reading Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lightning Review

Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg

Glass Town

Glass Town is an enchanting graphic novel that has, in professional terms, “weird but effective art.” That’s the kind of lofty professional assessment that gets me the big bucks, folks. Glass Town is about the imaginary worlds that the Bronte siblings created. While I was initially put off by the art, it grew on me, and the plot enchanted me from the first page. In real life and as described in Glass Town, young Charlotte … Continue reading Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg

Lightning Review

The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp

The Oracle Code

DC comics has been publishing graphic novels for YA readers that retell the origin stories of some of DC’s comic book heroes (see: Shadow of the Batgirl). This has been a really fun run of stories, with an emphasis on inclusion among writers, artists, and characters. Each story is a stand-alone so you don’t have to worry about committing to following a character for hundreds of issues or for knowing anything about them ahead of … Continue reading The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp

Book Review

Witch Hat Atelier, Volume 1 by Kamome Shirahama

Witch Hat Atelier, Volume 1

The SBTB crew were discussing a current manga sale going on at Comixology wherein the first volumes of many, many wonderful series are marked down to .99. If you listen to the podcast, you might have heard me talk about how, when my brain is tired, it doesn’t have the energy to do all the imaginary construction of the world and environment that usually happens when I read a book. And at times when my … Continue reading Witch Hat Atelier, Volume 1 by Kamome Shirahama

Book Review

Sparrowhawk by Delilah S. Dawson


Sparrowhawk is an intense, violent, historical fantasy comic that I found to be both horrifying (in a good way) and amazing. Readers should know that there is harm to cute fey creatures, there is racism, and there is a cliffhanger ending, and the protaganist is tough as nails but too stupid to live. Our story begins in Victorian England. Artemesia is raised as an upper-class proper Victorian woman as the illegitimate daughter of a Naval … Continue reading Sparrowhawk by Delilah S. Dawson

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