DRACULA

From the Manga Classics series

Black-and-white illustrations share the storytelling load in this manga adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic tale.

A business trip becomes a source of gothic terror when a strange client named Count Dracula insists that solicitor Jonathan Harker remain in his castle in Transylvania indefinitely. Meanwhile, Harker’s fiancee, Mina, stays with her friend Lucy, whose sleepwalking problem puts her in the path of a creature who needs fresh blood. Lucy’s three suitors, with help from a trusted doctor, try to save Lucy, but when she dies and becomes one of the undead, they set her soul free in a gruesome ritual before joining forces with Harker to pursue Dracula. Mina is kept apart from the action because women are deemed unsuitable for such work, but this does not prevent her from becoming a target. The gender-based violence is more disturbing when depicted in images rather than the original text, and although the Count is described as pale, he is illustrated in dark hues and shadow, reinforcing tropes of lightness and darkness as good and evil, respectively. Journals, newspapers, letters, and telegrams are set in text boxes in varying fonts. The different characters’ perspectives feel somewhat disjointed, but the pace of the action will keep readers engaged to the end.

Flawed but thrilling. (cast of characters, how to read manga, editor’s note, guide to fonts, character design sketchbook) (Graphic novel. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947808-06-5

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Manga Classics

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

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A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart.

BLOOM

Summer love rises between two boys in a bakery.

High school may have ended, but Ari is stuck with sourdough starter at his family’s bakery instead of summer gigs in the city with his band. As his family’s money grows tighter, Ari feels tethered in place. His friends start to drift toward their own futures. But the future of their band—and their friendship—drifts toward uncertainty. Under the guise of recruiting another baker to take his place, Ari hires Hector. A culinary student in Birmingham, Hector has temporarily returned home to find closure after his Nana’s passing. The two grow close in more than just the kitchen. Ari, who hates baking, even starts to enjoy himself. But will it all last? Panetta and Ganucheau’s graphic novel debut is as much a love story between people as it is with the act of baking. Ganucheau’s art, in black ink with varying shades of blue, mixes traditional paneling with beautiful double-page spreads of detailed baking scenes, where the panels sometimes take on the shape of braided loaves. The romance between Ari and Hector builds slowly, focusing on cute interactions long before progressing to anything physical. Ari and his family are Greek. Family recipes referenced in the text code Hector as Samoan. Delicious.

A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart. (recipe, production art) (Graphic novel. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-641-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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THE ODYSSEY

Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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