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Graphic Novels

August 26, 2012
" Graphic novels, which present novel-length stories in an illustrated, are a growing segment of children's publishing. What follows is a selected guide to fall offerings. Cardboard By Doug TenNapel Graphix, 288 pp.: $12.99, for ages 10 to 14 The author-illustrator of "Ghostopolis" and "Bad Island" is back with another engaging story about a father who buys his son an empty cardboard box for his birthday, which they craft into a man who comes to life. (August)
April 1, 2012 | Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
If you've been eagerly awaiting the new season of "Game of Thrones," which starts Sunday on HBO, Thomas Penn's "Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England" (Simon & Schuster: 448 pp., $30) offered an ideal way to bide your time (if you weren't already busy rereading parts of George R.R. Martin's saga). Compared with the maneuvering of Starks, Lannisters and other houses in Martin's epic, Penn's book presents readers with the world of realpolitik as it was played out in the earliest years of the Tudor dynasty.
October 7, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
DC Comics' effort to expand digital distribution of its graphic novels has ignited a nasty battle between two bookselling giants. Barnes & Noble Inc. said Friday that its stores will not stock hard copies of 100 DC books that the Warner Bros.-owned unit is making available exclusively on's Kindle platform — a direct competitor of Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader. Beginning with the launch of the Kindle Fire tablet Nov. 15, Amazon will have exclusive digital distribution rights for four months to books that include "Watchmen" and graphic novels featuring Batman and Superman.
June 19, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Anya's Ghost A Graphic Novel Vera Brosgol First Second: 221 pp., $15.99 paper, ages 12 and up Being an American teenager is difficult enough. Throw an exotic ethnicity into the mix, along with a pesky ghost, and things go haywire — delightfully so in the new graphic novel "Anya's Ghost. " Written and drawn by Russian American artist Vera Brosgol, "Anya's Ghost" is a beautifully rendered portrait of a zaftig young lass struggling to rid herself of her origins when everyone else wants to define her by it. Rendered in black, white and muddy shades of purple in a clean, modern style, the book begins with Anya's cherubic mother cooking a greasy, traditional breakfast for her weight-conscious daughter.
February 9, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
If you don't understand the healthcare act President Obama signed into law last year, maybe a comic strip or two can help. MIT economist and presidential advisor Jonathan Gruber is helping create a graphic novel to better explain the law -- just as repeal efforts are taking hold in Congress. Don't expect any superheroes or caped crusaders in this explanation. The book, due out in September, has the straightforward title "Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How it Works.
November 19, 2010 | By Ben Schwartz, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"I try to control it ? try to focus in on the good things ? waking up with Sarah on a clear, beautiful day ? walking with her through Chinatown, the sky impossibly bright and blue. Everything bright and clean and new ? but my eyes always drift ? I always look down. " That's how the dream always goes for Doug, the main character of Charles Burns' new graphic novel, "X'ed Out. " In a Burns comic, you just know things aren't going to go well from there. Fans of Burns, who haven't seen a major work out of him since 2004's "Black Hole," will be happy to know he's in fine form.
October 24, 2010 | By Sonja Bolle, Special to the Los Angeles Times
I am a latecomer to graphic novels. Years ago, my truly literary friends tried to turn me on to the groundbreaking art of the "Sandman" books (Neil Gaiman and various artists) and "Love and Rockets" (Los Bros. Hernandez). I admit I felt about those books the way I feel about great horror movies: I could admire the art, but they did not make my heart sing. When I was editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review in the 1990s, I tried without success to get one or another of those literary friends to commit their intriguing ideas about the emerging world of graphic novels to a piece for the Book Review, but they were apparently keeping their enthusiasms to themselves and their aficionados.
October 24, 2010 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
The Little Prince A Graphic Novel adapted from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Joann Sfar Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 110 pp., $19.99 "The Little Prince" has long been beloved for its bittersweet pairing of a lost man and a searching youth. In the 67-year-old classic written by French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a little blond boy leaves his home on Asteroid B-612 and lands in the middle of the Sahara desert, where he meets a stranded pilot desperate to fix his plane.
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