New Release: THISBY THESTOOP AND THE BLACK MOUNTAIN

 THISBY THESTOOP AND THE BLACK MOUNTAIN by Zac Gorman, art by Sam Bosma (HarperCollins, Apr 2018)

THISBY THESTOOP AND THE BLACK MOUNTAIN
by Zac Gorman, art by Sam Bosma (HarperCollins, Apr 2018)

Surrounded by all creatures gruesome and grotesque, Thisby Thestoop, the gamekeeper for the Black Mountain Dungeon, is getting roped into another job -saving the princess’s skin - in the debut fantasy-adventure series by Zac Gorman, contributor to the hilarious Rick and Morty comic series.

In the absurd land of Nth, Thisby Thestoop can be found within the forlorn walls of Castle Grimstone, down the precarious steps of the Black Mountain dungeon, up to her nose in griffon toenails, gnoll spittle, and troll meat (to give to them, not made of them).

When the prince and princess arrive for a Royal Inspection, the much too good-looking Princess Iphigenia winds up lost in the tunnels of the dungeon - without her guards, her staff, or her younger twin brother - and it’s up to Thisby to guide the princess safely past the hoards of minotaurs, wyverns, ghouls, and who-knows-what-else that would love nothing more than to nosh the royal highness for dinner.

Thisby Thestoop and Princess Iphigenia have a dangerous adventure ahead of them. If they’re going to a rescue the missing prince, stop a mounting war, and keep safe all the creatures who call the mountain dungeon home, they’ll have to learn how to trust each other.

Select Praise for THISBY THESTOOP:

- Kirkus review: “A proper adventure story.”

- School Library Journal review: “Tweens will instantly connect with innovative, hardworking Thisby and cheer her on. ... The story is an intriguing page-turner.”

Publishers Weekly review: “Gorman makes a strong children’s book debut ... delivering a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure. Clever Thisby and forceful Iphigenia make a delightfully odd pairing as they form an unlikely friendship amid the chaos and danger, and Bosma’s ghoulish b&w illustrations further help bring the characters and creatures to life.” 

- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books review: “The strength of this first novel of a planned series is certainly its menagerie of familiar and unfamiliar monsters, which Thisby helms as a young and extraordinary zookeeper.”

New Release: SPEAK: The Graphic Novel

 SPEAK: The Graphic Novel (FSG, Feb 2018) by Laurie Halse Anderson, art by Emily Carroll

SPEAK: The Graphic Novel (FSG, Feb 2018)
by Laurie Halse Anderson, art by Emily Carroll

The critically acclaimed, award-winning, modern classic SPEAK is now a stunning graphic novel.

"Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say."

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless - an outcast - because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her.

Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her.

With powerful illustrations by Emily Carroll, Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK comes alive for new audiences and fans of the classic novel.

Select praise for SPEAK: The Graphic Novel:

Kirkus starred review: "A masterful graphic novel transformation... this visual adaptation takes readers outside Melinda’s head and sits them alongside her, seeing what she sees and feeling the importance and power of her desire to create art and express herself. Carroll’s stark black-and-white illustrations are exquisitely rendered, capturing the mood through a perfectly calibrated lens. With the rise of women finding their voices and speaking out about sexual assault in the media, this reworking of the enduring 1999 classic should be on everyone’s radar. Powerful, necessary, and essential."

School Library Journal starred review: "This potent retelling of the modern classic SPEAK blends words and images to create magic: a new representation of a teen whose voice is ripped from her, the battles she must wage to find it again, and the triumph of finally being able to speak out. Carroll’s grayscale artwork perfectly depicts the starkness of Melinda’s depression...This gripping, powerful work will introduce SPEAK to a brand-new audience and enthrall longtime fans."

Booklist starred review: "Carroll, well-known for her horror comics, does an excellent job of bringing the vignettes of Anderson’s novel to the graphic format...Carroll powerfully evokes moods with creeping, smudgy shadows; faces with missing eyes and mouths; and jagged panel borders. Grasping hands reach down from tree branches until trees and hands are tumbled together in a juddering haystack of overlapping lines. Those moments are striking, but they’re even more striking when set against scenes of Melinda’s quiet, isolated day-to-day reality, as well as her gradual growth and steps toward recovery. Carroll strikes a deft balance, gracefully juggling the acute terror of Melinda’s rape, the pernicious paranoia that follows her in its wake, the swirling rumors and bullying surrounding her, and glimmering moments of hope and comfort. With spellbinding artwork, this exceptional adaptation masterfully does justice to its source material while adding new depth and nuance.

Horn Book starred review: "In this new graphic novel adaptation of Anderson’s SPEAK - a powerful narrative of a freshman’s year of self-preservation after a brutal sexual assault - artist Carroll starkly renders protagonist Melinda’s pain and healing in black and white, expertly deploying visual perspective and tension to sharpen the emotional impact."

Shelf Awareness starred review: "The entire graphic novel is illustrated in grayscale, allowing the work to be as visually dark as its content. Strong lines, overlapping panels and clever use of blank space show Carroll's skill in creating Melinda's stifling, near-silent world. SPEAK: The Graphic Novel is hypnotizing and heart-breaking, with the kind of empowering finish that unshackles protagonist and readers alike."

New Release: THE WITCH BOY

 THE WITCH BOY by Molly Knox Ostertag (Scholastic, Oct 2017)

THE WITCH BOY by Molly Knox Ostertag (Scholastic, Oct 2017)

Even magic has rules...

In thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted . . . and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.

When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help -- as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

Select praise for THE WITCH BOY:
-
Kirkus starred review: "With charming artwork, interesting supporting characters, natural-feeling diversity, and peeks of a richly developed world, this book leaves readers wishing for more."
- School Library Journal starred review: "Ostertag’s bright, gentle, cartoonlike artwork brims with life and adds extra appeal to this fast-moving story."

New Release: SHATTERED WARRIOR

 SHATTERED WARRIOR by Sharon Shinn, illustrated by Molly Ostertag (First Second, May 2017)

SHATTERED WARRIOR
by Sharon Shinn, illustrated by Molly Ostertag (First Second, May 2017)

It is eight years after Colleen Cavanaugh's home world was invaded by the Derichets, a tyrannical alien race bent on exploiting the planet's mineral resources.

Most of her family died in the war, and she now lives alone in the city. Aside from her acquaintances at the factory where she toils for the Derichets, Colleen makes a single friend in Jann, a member of the violent group of rebels known as the Chromatti. One day Colleen receives shocking news: her niece Lucy is alive and in need of her help. Together, Colleen, Jann, and Lucy create their own tenuous family.

But Colleen must decide if it's worth risking all of their survival to join a growing underground revolution against the Derichets.

Select praise for Shattered Warrior:

-Booklist review: "Perfect for fans of dystopian sci-fi and books with strong female leads."
-School Library Journal review: "Ostertag’s art supports Shinn’s storytelling beautifully. ...This is a strong choice for sci-fi graphic novel collections, especially those seeking representation in genre fiction."

New Release: CAVEBOY DAVE

 CAVEBOY DAVE: MORE SCRAWNY THAN BRAWNY by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Phil McAndrew (Viking Children's, Nov. 2016)

CAVEBOY DAVE: MORE SCRAWNY THAN BRAWNY
by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Phil McAndrew (Viking Children's, Nov. 2016)

His grandpa invented fire. His dad invented the wheel. How will Caveboy Dave leave his mark?

Dave Unga-Bunga has always been more scrawny than brawny. This is a major problem when your village expects you to become a meat-bringer. At age twelve, all young cave-people must stalk through the eerie mushroom forests for a prehistoric beast the village can feast on. But Dave would much rather invent stuff for a better life—like underwear to make loincloths less itchy and cutlery to make eating less filthy. Can Dave save his group by inventing the perfect defense against a bloodthirsty pokeyhorn? Or will he MEET HIS DOOM?  

Select praise for CAVEBOY DAVE:
-Amazon Best Book of the Month, November 2016
-School Library Journal review: "Put this on the shelf between Jorge Aguirre’s Chronicles of Claudette series and Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl books." 
-PW review: "...a delightfully entertaining tale about discovering one’s true calling...it mixes meaningful character growth with alarming threats to life and limb."
-Kirkus review: "Bright colors and animated, exaggeratedly doofy characters buoy the rollicking action, mixing intrigue and lots of giggles... A lively series opener." 

"Caveboy Dave is a hilarious new graphic novel series...imagine a prehistoric version of Wimpy Kid meets Captain Underpants."
Boys' Life

"Nonstop action, belly laughs, and stabby cats. What's not to love?"
Victoria Jamieson, author and illustrator of the NYT-bestselling and Newbery Honor–winning Roller Girl

"Fast-paced and funny." 
Mo O’Hara, author of the NYT-bestselling Zombie Goldfish series
 

New Release: THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT

 THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT by Tricia Clasen Sky Pony Press, October 2016

THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT by Tricia Clasen
Sky Pony Press, October 2016

Since her mom died, Andie’s family has crumbled. Instead of working, her dad gambles away insurance money, while her sister, Paige, has put her future on hold in order to pick up extra waitressing shifts. Andie’s afraid of what will happen if people find out just how bad things are. She’s not sure how long she can hide the fact that there’s no food or money in the house...or adults, for that matter.

When her science partner suggests they study paranormal activity, Andie gets an idea. She wants a sign from her mom—anything to tell her it’s going to be okay. Maybe the rest of her family does too. So she starts a project of her own. Pretending to be her mother’s ghost, Andie sprays perfume, changes TV channels, and moves pictures. Haunting her house is Andie’s last hope to bring her family back into the land of the living.

Select praise for THE HAUNTED HOUSE PROJECT:
Kirkus review: "A touching story that explores grief and the bravery necessary to come out of it."
PW review:  "A heartrending portrait of a family coping with sudden and enormous loss...with authentic characters and emotions."

"Real magic exists in how this story lingers long after the last page... As Andie realizes her own strength by accepting the unthinkable, readers’ awareness and compassion for others will flourish, too."
Beth Vrabel, author of A Blind Guide to Stinkville

 

New Release: THE HYPNOTIC CITY

 THE HYPNOTIC CITY by Andrea Berthot Curiosity Quills Press, August 2016

THE HYPNOTIC CITY by Andrea Berthot
Curiosity Quills Press, August 2016

Philomena Blackwell survived a city plagued with monsters, the gilded cage of high society, and the rule of a heartless man... and she aims to leave it all behind.

It's 1905, and London has finally been freed from Henry Jekyll's terrible legacy - its people cured, its thirteen-year quarantine lifted. The world is waiting, and for a girl who dreams of being its most dazzling star, what could be more enticing than the bright lights of New York City?

She is drawn across the ocean like a moth to a flame, her heart set on proving that while she may be small on the outside, her soaring talent eclipses even Manhattan’s towering skyline. When she lands a big break, it seems as if the city is ready to fall under her spell - just as she seems to be falling for a handsome young stage manager. But is it her stage presence mesmerizing the audience, or something more sinister behind the scenes?

Philomena has always relied on her fierce will and fiery heart, but a new and more terrible danger lurks in the shadows of Broadway's bright lights, and even a mind as determined as hers may not be immune to its seductive, insidious pull...

Both fans of The Heartless City and new readers alike will enjoy this stand-alone / spin-off tale of Philomena’s adventures on stage - and in love - in NYC.

New Release: KARMA PATROL

 KARMA PATROL by Kate Miller Curiosity Quills Press, April 2016

KARMA PATROL by Kate Miller
Curiosity Quills Press, April 2016

As a karmic account enforcer, Jade Bailey makes sure that what goes around comes around. Jade has dedicated her life to Karma Division, and in return she's expecting her own personal fairytale, complete with her dream job and love at first sight with a tall, dark, and handsome soulmate.

After more than a decade of waiting, her destined soulmate still hasn't turned up, but a stellar annual performance review from the Powers That Be puts Jade at the top of the promotion list. All she has to do is maintain her territory's karmic balance until the selection process is over. Naturally, a deranged shooter picks the next day to start a rampage that threatens to destroy the karmic balance of Midtown West - and, incidentally, any chance Jade has of earning that long-awaited promotion.

Unwilling to give up despite warnings from her boss, who knows the shadowy Destiny Division won't appreciate Jade's interference, Jade starts her own investigation. In the next shooting, she nearly becomes a victim herself, but she can't prove her near-death experience is anything but a coincidence. Detective Luke Jackson, Jade's unwitting and extremely unwilling soulmate, arrives on the scene to investigate. Instead of falling head over heels in love with her, Luke suspects her of being involved in the murders.

If Jade wants her fairytale ending, she’ll have to convince her soulmate she isn’t a killer while trying to catch the real culprit, a task made more difficult and infinitely more dangerous when Jade becomes the killer’s next target.

New Release: CURVEBALL

 CURVEBALL by Jeremy Sorese Nobrow Press, November 2015

CURVEBALL by Jeremy Sorese
Nobrow Press, November 2015

CURVEBALL is an epic, sci-fi graphic novel about a waiter named Avery coping with the ending of a difficult relationship. Having spent years attempting to build something substantial with an indecisive sailor named Christophe, Avery stubbornly holds on despite the mounting evidence against him. The idea of the relationship has eclipsed its reality, and in Avery's already troubled life, the allure of something dependable is a powerful force.

Curveball focuses on the duality of hope and delusion - how ignorance is integral to surviving our day to day lives, but can be incredibly destructive if allowed to blossom into 'optimism'. It is the most universal of tales: a love story.

Select praise for CURVEBALL:
Library Journal review: "This story truly intrigues in its visual riot—pages splattered with a wild neon orange, electrical surges literally full of emotion, crowds rushing past skyscrapers and scurrying across ship decks, bringing an exotic new world to life."
Sequential State review: "Curveball is the nightcap of 2015’s sci-fi comics, the grand finale; a gorgeous comic, beautifully illustrated, full of heart. Recommended."

New Release: THE HEARTLESS CITY

 THE HEARTLESS CITY by Andrea Berthot Curiosity Quills Press, August 2015

THE HEARTLESS CITY by Andrea Berthot
Curiosity Quills Press, August 2015

Henry Jekyll was a brilliant doctor, a passionate idealist who aimed to free mankind of selfishness and vice. He’s also the man who carelessly created a race of monsters.

Once shared secretly among the good doctor’s inner circle, the Hyde drug was smuggled into mass-production - but in pill form, it corrupted its users at the genetic level, leaving them liable to transform without warning. A quarter of the population are now clandestine killers - ticking bombs that could detonate at any given moment.

It’s 1903, and London has been quarantined for thirteen years.

Son of the city’s most prominent physician and cure-seeker, seventeen-year-old Elliot Morrissey has had his own devastating brush with science, downing a potion meant to remove his human weaknesses and strengthen him against the Hydes - and finding instead he’s become an empath, leveled by the emotions of a dying city.

He finds an unlikely ally in Iris Faye, a waitress at one of the city’s rowdier music halls, whose emotions nearly blind him; her fearlessness is a beacon in a city rife with terror. Iris, however, is more than what she seems, and reveals a mission to bring down the establishment that has crippled the people of London.

Together, they aim to discover who’s really pulling the strings in Jekyll’s wake, and why citizens are waking up in the street infected, with no memory of ever having taken the Hyde drug…

Heart-eating monsters, it turns out, are not the greatest evil they must face.

New Release: BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT

 BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT by Marika McCoola / art by Emily Carroll Candlewick, August 2015

BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT
by Marika McCoola / art by Emily Carroll
Candlewick, August 2015

Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, that magic is fickle, that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga’s house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu! Spooky and poignant, Marika McCoola’s stunning debut—with richly layered art by acclaimed graphic artist Emily Carroll—is a storytelling feat and a visual feast.

Select praise for BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT:
- #3 debut on The New York Times HC graphic books list
- 2015 NEIBA Book Award winner
- 2015 Junior Library Guild selection
- Shortlisted for the 2015 Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Awards in the Favorite Graphic Novel/Book category
- Kirkus starred review: "A magnificently magical must-read for all fairy-tale fans."
- PW review: "Strong, complex characters and the inventive fusion of contemporary and fairy tale elements make this a noteworthy collaboration."
- Booklist review: "Carroll’s dark yet luminous artwork is a perfect match for McCoola’s tale...full of eerie shading and delicate detail."