Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 By The Numbers

 Because you demanded it, my list of publishers of the books I reviewed this past year. Enjoy!

Publishers 2021

First Second 8

Drawn & Quarterly 5

DC Comics4

Shortbox 4

Fantagraphics 3

Image Comics 3

Scholastic Graphix 3

Silver Sprocket 3

AdHouse Books 2

BOOM! Box 2

Harper Collins 2

Abrams ComicArts 1

Amulet Books 1

Atheneum 1

Avery Hill 1


Birdcage Bottom Books 1

Del Rey 1

Dial Books for Young Readers 1

Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1

Floating World Comics 1

Green Card Voices 1

IDW Publishing 1

Kilgore Books 1

Lion Forge 1

New York Review Books 1

Panic Button Press 1

Random House Graphic 1

Ten Speed Press 1

Uncivilized Books 1

Yoe Books 1

Monday, December 20, 2021

Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful

Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful is another well-researched, informative, and thought-provoking book by Darryl Cunningham. He is an author whose work I always try to check out, and I have reviewed a number of his other works, including his graphic novels about Ayn Rand and capitalism, science denial, and mental illness. In this book, he details three biographies, about media mogul Rupert Murdoch, petroleum tycoons Charles and David Koch, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, all super-rich individuals who have had a profound impact on modern life. 

With his journalistic writing, bleak humor, and spare art, Cunningham details their lives, political development, and effects on marketplaces, politicians and political movements, law-making, and media. One common thread is that as they amassed great wealth and used it to consolidate power. Usually, this consolidation involved buying up or creating prominent media outlets to spread their views and persuading others to act (and vote) in ways that tend to be conservative and/or libertarian. In many ways, they become more powerful and wield more clout than political leaders.

The analyses in this book come from a progressive point of view, and they critique what Cunningham sees as a new manifestation of the Gilded Age, but it is difficult to disagree with the profound influence these men have had on people's lives. The economic and political turns he chronicles are evident in our modern world, and I think it is essential that all can see their origins in the lives of these figures.

All of the reviews I have read have been positive. Kirkus Reviews summed up, "The rich really are different, as this lightly presented but utterly serious presentation proves beyond argument." Bruno Savill De Jong wrote, "Cunningham collects vast data and research into their lives and businesses, detailing how through bending their companies to collect additional revenue, they have also thrown society out of shape." Jeff Provine opined how Cunningham's drawings "add attentive details and sometimes humor while at some points instilling vignettes to show the drama of the scene words cannot fully capture."

Billionaires was published by Drawn & Quarterly, and they offer an excerpt and more here. Cunningham's next book, Putin's Russia, will be out in the February.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Girl From the Sea

The Girl From the Sea stars a Morgan, a 15-year-old young woman who is a planner. She plans to do a lot with her life once she escapes the small coastal town where she lives as well as a lot of personal drama. She is going to figure out how to cope (from afar) with her parents' divorce and a grouchy younger brother. She is going to get decent grades, hang out with her friends, and do what she can to get by until she can move away, go to college, and live the life she actually wants. Morgan realizes that she is attracted to girls, but she wants to stay closeted and wait to explore that side when she is not under the gaze of an entire small community. Her plans get blown to bits one day, however, when she accidentally falls into the ocean and is rescued by a mysterious young woman named Keltie.

Not to spoil things, but Keltie has a big secret of her own, and she is not entirely human. Also, she does not fit in with Morgan's friends, has a unique style, and really wants to be physical. But Morgan is not ready to be public with their relationship, even though she does feel a strong attraction. When she starts ghosting her family and friends to hang out with Keltie, lots of questions come up, and Morgan has to decide whether or not to be honest or stay in the closet.

This book has lots of personal dimensions, and I love how it explores a variety of relationships, between friends, family, and romantic partners. I feel that the characters are all strong, distinct, and realistic, and I was rapt by the various dynamics of how they try to get along with each other. I also liked how it used social media to deliver both exposition as well as character development. It was an effective, contemporary touch.

The artwork is very expressive in detailing their various emotional states and interactions, and I found this a book that was very easy to get lost in. Even though a few of the plot developments seemed telegraphed, I enjoyed reading it, and would suggest it to any reader, young adult or otherwise, looking for a magical tale of love and searching for identity.

This book's creator Molly Knox Ostertag. is one of my favorite graphic novelists. I love her trilogy of The Witch Boy, The Hidden Witch, and The Winter Witch. I also am a big fan of works she illustrated like the webcomic Strong Female Protagonist, which has been collected in two trade paperbacks from Top Shelf, and the sci-fi tale The Shattered Warrior. She speaks about her career in comics as well as The Girl From The Sea in this interview.

All of the reviews I have read of this book have been positive. Michael Berry called it "a perfect summertime treat -- heartfelt and touched by magic." Avery Kaplan wrote about how it is a book based on cycles and how it "succeeds because it recognizes the beauty in every stage of those cycles: not just the thrill of beginning, but the joy of the journey, and the bittersweet but wholly necessary nature of conclusion." Kirkus Reviews summed it up, "Sweet, fun, Sapphic fluff."

The Girl From the Sea was published by Scholastic Graphix, and they offer more information about it here

Friday, December 10, 2021

Lore Olympus Volume One

Lore Olympus is a wildly popular webcomic, one of the most viewed ones on the WEBTOON platform. It is a modern retelling of the myth of Persephone and Hades, with the gods and goddesses possessing cell phones and social media while also engaging in all the sorts of soap opera antics associated with classic Greek mythology. It presents realistic situations that are not always pleasant, and it does so in ways that are compelling and compassionate. It is also frequently funny.

Reading this story, I felt that I knew who these characters were, almost immediately, and they act in surprisingly vibrant ways. The twists on classical storytelling are expert and intriguing. All of the various personalities and relationships are cast in a way that heightens the drama and emotion of the goings-on of this book. It is one of my favorite comics of the past decade, and I am glad to see it in a physical format that will gain it new readers.

The narrative kicks off one day at a posh party at Mount Olympus Hades (who does not even want to be there) makes a remark that this new young goddess (Persephone) puts Aphrodite to shame in terms of beauty. That is a big mistake, because the vain, spiteful goddess of love sics her son Eros on poor Persephone, and she ends up with a spiked drink that knocks her out for the evening. Somehow, she ends up under Hades's care and ends up in his kingdom, where she wakes up and endears herself to his many dogs. There is some flirting, but nothing serious happens. What follows, however, is a lot of rumors, gossip, and wondering by various mythological beings.

What makes this book, which is retelling a tale that is thousands of years old and has been retold countless times, so exceptional is how it depicts its characters. The artwork is full of life and personality. Each god/goddess has their own color scheme and unique designs. They pop off the page in an almost alchemical way. They seem very alive and animated. I was curious to see how effects that worked with vertical scrolling webcomics would work in book form, and they translate extremely well. The story does not flow in the same manner, but the glossy pages and layouts make this a very attractive reading experience.

In addition to the artwork, the personalities are all defined in bold, distinct ways in the narrative as well. Persephone herself is young and sheltered, a bit naive but smart. She wants to get out of her mother's broad shadow and make something of herself. She does not want to be a simple conquest for a lecherous elder god. Her life gets further complicated by her relationship with Artemis, her roommate who is the goddess of chastity, among other things, and who is very protective of her.

However, Artemis is too distracted to see her brother Apollo making unwelcome advances towards  Persephone. One night he takes advantage of her, and she feels too ashamed and conflicted to deal with the violence afterward. She questions her role in this event, and she fears what others will think. I feel that an important aspect of this book is its telling this sort of story, which is too painfully common though not often shared.

Lore Olympus is the debut comics work of Rachel Smythe. She has won a Harvey Award for her work on it, and has also been nominated for an Eisner. She speaks about her work on the webcomic and adapting it into a print version in this interview.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been glowing. Etelka Lehoczky wrote that "anyone who's drawn into Smythe's world will appreciate its beauty and wit, and few will escape its seductive ambiguity." Publishers Weekly summed it up, "As rich as baklava but snacky as a bag of potato chips, this romance is hard to resist."

Lore Olympus Volume One was published by Del Rey, and they offer more info about it here. The webcomic appears at WEBTOON, and is currently on Episode 184. This book contains episodes 1-25.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Friday Book One: The First Day of Christmas

The holidays can be a tough time of year for many people. This is especially true for Friday Fitzhugh, a young woman who comes home to her small New England town after her first semester at college and finds herself embroiled in a mystery. This situation is not novel to her, because she spent most of her childhood traipsing over town with her best friend Lancelot Jones, solving mysteries, foiling villains, and discovering all sorts of magical items. Something menacing and mysterious is lurking in the woods outside of town, driving some townfolk mad. However, something happened just before she left for college that estranged her from Lance, and she does not know quite how (or if) to deal with it. 

Friday is a sort of version of Sally Kimball,  tough and athletic and able to be a body guard for her friend. Also, she is a multi-faceted young woman who is trying to figure out her place in the world, and what a strange world it is. The seaside New England town where this book is set is like a character unto itself, full of interesting characters, adjoining a creepy forest, and a focal point for dark magic. 

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I may just be the perfect demographic for it. It smacks of things I read when I was a kid, like the Encyclopedia Brown series and John Bellairs novels, only with a twist that carries them beyond a children's book perspective. The characters and setting coalesce organically in the tightly plotted narrative, plus the artwork is exceptional. It is full of atmosphere, and I loved poring over pages to admire the archaic architecture, creepy critters, and spot-on character designs. My admiration of the art, along with the need for checking for clues to the mystery, led me to re-read this book a few times for fun. The worst thing I can say about it is that it is a long prologue for the real  narrative, because the last few pages of the book add a twist that I did not see coming. But it's so incredibly intriguing and well crafted  that I really did not care. It's a great piece of genre fiction, and I cannot wait for the next two books to see how things resolve.

Friday is a collaboration between writer Ed Brubaker, artist Marcos Martin, and colorist Muntsa Vicente. Brubaker is a multi-award winning comics creator whose works include Sleeper, Criminal, Incognito, Fatale, The Fade-Out, and Kill or Be Killed. Martin has also won Eisner Awards for his art in the superhero series Daredevil and the webcomic The Private Eye. Vicente has done design and illustration work for a number of high profile clients and more recently has also gotten into coloring comics.

Friday won the 2021 Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic, and all of the reviews I have read about this book have been positive. Publishers Weekly wrote that "this atmospheric first installment sets up compelling sequels, with a sucker punch ending that demands follow-up." Luke Chant opined, "Ed Brubaker’s script is excellent, while Marcos Martín and Muntsa Vincente combine to do a great job capturing the 70s feel." Steve Baxi called it "an incredible start to what is sure to be an incredible series."

This trade paperback of Friday Book One: The First Day of Christmas was published by Image Comics. All individual and future issues are and will be available from Panel Syndicate.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Cold War Correspondent

A new entry in the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series is always a welcome addition to my library, and this one, Cold War Correspondent, is exceptionally well done. It focuses on the conflict known as the Korean War, and it is told through the accounts of Marguerite Higgins, an enterprising and intrepid reporter who had to contend with firefights, evacuations, and rampant sexism. Her personality really shines through in this book, and it is rewarding to learn about her and how she does her job. Anyone interested in what a war correspondent does has a front seat view into that occupation, warts and all.

Reading this book, I also learned that I was ignorant about much of the origins and goings-on of this conflict. It is chock full of facts and excellent storytelling, so I felt that I could experience history as a compelling and informative narrative. I know that Hale did a superb job encapsulating an entire war before, but the job here he does of detailing the beginnings of the Korean War is just as comprehensive and gripping. This series is still the gold standard of nonfiction historical graphic novels.

This book's author, Nathan Hale (not related to the Revolutionary War spy) is a highly accomplished graphic novelist. I love his work so much that I named one of my annual favorites list categories after him. Aside from his great success with this series, he has also published a couple of fictional graphic novels One Trick Pony and Apocalypse Taco. He has also drawn a few others, including Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been positive. Kirkus Reviews summed it up as "exciting reportorial derring-do." Youth Services Book Review gave it 5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "I’ve never known much about the Korean War but now I do after reading the 11th in the Hazardous Tale series."

Cold War Correspondent was published by Amulet Books, and they offer a preview and more here.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

This Is How I Disappear

This Is How I Disappear is a powerful, moving, and important book about dealing with depression. Its protagonist is Clara, an over-worked 30-year-old woman who is still dealing with the fallout of a sexual assault that happened in her 20s. Her work as a marketing assistant for a publisher is not very rewarding, especially with her boss David's thoughtless and passive-aggressive behavior. Clara also is trying to write a draft of a verse novel, but she is dealing with writer's block and crises of confidence in her abilities. I could really relate to that last part, and her dread of missing deadlines was as palpable as the rest of the trauma and stressors she faces.

Things appear to look up when she meets a friend named Alexa, who is dealing with her own issues with a man she dated, and it seems like she might be someone to confide in and trust. But, Clara really is not up to helping anyone, as she is not dealing with her own pain and suffering, and it is harrowing to watch her sink further into isolation and despair.

This book excels at capturing the feelings and behaviors associated with depression, and the artwork really conveys emotion and tone in a variety of ways. I was impressed by its wordless passages, the way that showing faces and gestures can say so much and communicate intensity.
Much also gets communicated via depictions of social networking, and I thought that the contemporary look at life and mental health is incredibly well detailed. Clara's friends really don't know how to relate to her, and she starts avoiding them and really causing some concerns. I do not want to spoil the resolution of this book, but I will say that it ends on a hopeful note, though it does not pretend that what Clara is dealing with is easily solved. Although it contains a number of painful and difficult behaviors as well as discomforting events, I really appreciated this book. It is beautiful and moving, and the artistry used to show personal interactions and sorrow is masterful.

This book was created by Mirion Malle. She has published a number of graphic novels, and the only other one available in English right now is League of Super Feminists. This book was translated into English by Aleshia Jensen and Bronwyn Haslam. Malle talks about her work on This Is How I Disappear in this interview.

All of the reviews I have read about it have been positive. Publishers Weekly wrote that "this low-key look at life in recovery has a disarming simplicity and bracing sincerity." Madeleine Chan called it "a frank look at modern millennial survival and may pull you into an existential dread — in a good way." Jeff Provine opined that it "discusses burnout and coping in a way that is rarely seen in literature."

This Is How I Disappear was published by Drawn & Quarterly, and they offer a preview and more information about it here.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Teaching Artfully

Earlier this year I reviewed Alex Nall's Are Comic Books Real?, and one of the things that struck me about that book was just how viscerally it made me feel about teaching. Teaching Artfully is another wonderfully, painfully honest looks at education from the perspective of an art teacher. There was a lot about this book that I could relate to, the feelings of being overwhelmed, the amounts of grading, the effort that goes into planning, and the wondering about what you are doing with your life. But this book also delves into a bunch of academic and theoretical work, citing major scholars like Maxine Greene and Elliot Eisner, which feeds into my scholarly interests. This is a complex, multi-faceted work, one that I took a long time to read, because I wanted to take time to reflect and pore over each chapter.

Teaching Artfully is a terrific long-form visual essay about the enterprise of education that expertly meanders and offers insights along the way. It mixes in scenes of teaching, intellectual commentary, one panel gags, lists, metaphors, static images, and abstract visuals in exploring multiple dimensions of the profession/calling, and I loved the mix of narrative/expository/aesthetic forms that it employs. It is a great treasure chest for educators, showing her teaching, some of her activities, and how she approaches planning. It also shows scenes from her life that give context to the whole enterprise. 

This is not a linear work, but that is also part of its point. Teaching is not as simple as one would imagine, and it requires all sorts of lenses to bring it into some sort of focus. I think this graphic novel is a clever for its commentary and its loose structure where it is divided into seven chapters that mirror the major components of art, including line, color, shape, space, and form. I loved its vibrant colors, and the way that it frequently took off into flights of whimsy. It is also a very contemporary book, commenting on our present moment when technology and social media loom large in people's lives, and the role of art is perhaps more nebulous but necessary than ever. I feel that Teaching Artfully is an important work linking education and visual literacy using comics to its best capabilities.

This debut graphic novel was written as a Master's thesis, and author Meghan Parker is an art teacher who works in Vancouver. She speaks about her work and this book in this interview.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been positive. Kay Sohini called it "a timely reminder of the expansive future of comics scholarship, of what comics practitioners can do with comics as medium and as method, and of the importance of storytelling as humanistic inquiry." Publishers Weekly wrote, "Educators will appreciate heady musings about art-as-process and prompts to “design a new home for a snail,” though creative young readers may prefer passages on self-expression, identity, and inclusion." In a starred review from School Library Journal Thomas Maluck called it " a manual and call to arms for creative perspectives." And I agree with Melissa N. Thompson who wrote that it "does not have to apply solely to art teachers but can foster ideas on how to create meaningful discussions and connections with students by thinking outside of the (report card comments) box."

Teaching Artfully was published by Yoe Books, and they offer more about it here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

I Am Not Starfire

I Am Not Starfire is another graphic novel in DC Comics's YA line, and I'd say that this book is 2/3 YA book, 1/3 superhero adventure. It involves the relationship between Teen Titan Starfire and her daughter Mandy. Mandy looks nothing like her mom. She is stocky, pale, freckles, and prefers to wear goth style makeup and clothing. She resents the attention that she gets from others just because she is the child of a superhero, and she really only tolerates Lincoln, who is "the most annoying person in the world" and also her best friend.

Mandy has lots of things on her mind. There are plenty of rumors about who her father is (Starfire won't tell). She is stressed about taking her SATs and does not want to take them or go to college. And she feels overall inadequacies because she has no powers of her own. Things take an upturn when she gets paired with the super-popular, athletic Claire on a school project and the two begin a friendship that turns into a fledgling romance. Sparks also start to fly when Starfire realizes what Mandy plans (or does not plan for her future), and matters kick into a third gear when Starfire's estranged sister Blackfire comes to Earth to kill off any threats to her reign.

This book is terrific, and there are two things that really recommend it. One, the artwork is eye-popping and incredible. Each page conveys a great deal of emotion and dynamism. It is truly splendid to behold. Two, this book has a lot of heart. In one way it is about a strained mother-daughter relationship, but it is also an immigrant tale about a parent who wants a better way of life for her child. The characters are fully developed and interesting, and this version of Starfire is an adult one that combines aspects of superheroism, celebrity, and the personality made popular in the Teen Titans cartoons. Although the plot went pretty much as I expected, this was a fun book to read. It is an excellently rendered, beautifully drawn piece of genre fiction.

This book was a collaboration between writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Yoshi Yoshitani.  Tamaki has won a ton of awards in comics, including multiple Eisners, being a finalist for the Printz Award (twice!), and a Caldecott Honor. She is known for the graphic novels This One Summer, Skim, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, and a few prior entries in DC Comics' YA graphic novel line, including Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass. Yoshitani is an illustrator with a long list of prestigious clients and has also drawn the graphic novel Zatanna and the House of Secrets.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been positive. Emily Lauer called Mandy "pretty damn relatable" and also noted that she appreciated how "unlike many parents in YA, Starfire feels like a fully realized character." Ray Goldfield called it "a fun story that I imagine a lot of girls will see themselves in." Kirkus Reviews summed up, "Equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking."

I Am Not Starfire was published by DC Comics, and they have more information about it here.

Friday, November 5, 2021

History Comics: The American Bison: The Buffalo's Survival Tale

I have been very impressed by the History Comics series of graphic novels, and this entry The American Bison pairs will thematically with one I reviewed earlier this year, The Wild Mustang. It traces the history of bison, which are also known as the American buffalo. These animals once numbered in the tens of millions across North America, until they were hunted near to extinction. This book is a treasure trove of information about them, with the graphics really enhancing the facts and history, as you can see in this excerpt:

One thing this book does well is detail the various relationships that the bison have had with different peoples and civilizations. A number of Native American people hunted and co-existed with them, and sometimes they even held them up for spiritual reasons. They were intimately linked with their way of life, for reasons of utility, nourishment, and spirituality. With the onset of white settlers, bison were cast in a different perspective, and with the proliferation of railroads, they became easy targets for recreational hunters who would pick them off with rifles as they crossed the nation.

Accounts of the efforts to both remember and preserve bison bookend this volume, providing insight into the nascent field of conservation as well as insights into the beginnings of national parks and nature preserves. The last third of the book especially chronicles the many people who worked to protect them, sometimes for altruistic reasons and sometimes for profit. This book impressively touches on matters of biology, history, government, and ecology, striking a great balance between informing and entertaining along the way. It's a fantastic nonfiction graphic novel.

The American Bison was written and drawn by Andy Hirsch, who has also created a bunch of entries in the Science Comics series of graphic novels, including  Dogs, Cats, Rocks and Minerals, and Trees.

The reviews I have read about this book have been positive. J. Caleb Mozzocco opined that this "story of the bison’s survival and gradual recovery isn’t just a good read, it is, perhaps, a necessary one." Brett called it "fascinating" and noted how it is a worthy entry in a great series of books.

The American Bison was published by First Second, and they offer a preview and much more here.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Old Head

Halloween is just around the corner, and I thought this graphic novel suited the season beautifully. Old Head was written and drawn by Kyle Starks and colored by Chris Schweizer, two of my favorite comics creators. The story here follows the exploits of Nash "The Knive" Gliven, Jr., a retired professional basketball player known more for his intimidating physical presence than his ability to shoot. 

"The Knife's" origin story

When the book opens, he is taking his teenage daughter Willie to his childhood home, to wrap up loose ends after the death of his mother. Part of closing the book on things is signing over the property to a neighbor who really wants it. The really bad news in this situation is that his mom was a monster hunter and that neighbor is none other than her long-time nemesis Dracula. Once Nash signs over the house, Drac and his motley band of vampire goons can come and go as they please, placing everyone in danger. How matters resolve involves a whole lot of action/suspense, humorous quips, and tons of fighting. This book is a joy to read, but it also packs a decent emotional wallop with lots of observations and remembrances of family and how families work in their unique ways. It's a fun, exciting, and heartfelt book, a tough combo to pull off.

Part of why everything works so well is that Starks and Schwiezer have collaborated multiple times before, on series like Rock Candy Mountain, Mars Attacks!, and the current Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton, and they really know how to play to each others' strengths. They are masters of clear storytelling, impactful pacing, and setting emotional tones with lines and color. I have also enjoyed Starks' other works, including Kill Them All, Sexcastle, The Legend of Ricky Thunder, and Assassin Nation. Among my favorite works of Schweizer are his series The Crogan Adventures and The Creeps as well as his contributions to the History Comics and Makers Comics graphic novels.

All of the reviews I have read about it have been positive. Lisa Gullickson called it "an honest examination of regret, grief, fatherhood, and legacy." Micki Waldrop advised, "Get ready to laugh out loud as some of the over the top action." Samantha Puc summed up, "If you enjoy jokey fight books, weird monsters (like, really weird monsters), and women kicking ass, consider grabbing a digital or physical copy of Old Head."

Old Head was published by Image Comics, and they offer a preview and more about it here. The original printing of the book was funded as a Kickstarter project. Because of violence and some profanity, I suggest it for more mature readers.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Our Stories Carried Us Here

Our Stories Carried Us is a graphic anthology of first-person narratives told by immigrants to the US. They came from a variety of countries, including Somalia, Myanmar, Jamaica, Guatemala, Chad, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Mexico, Vietnam, and Liberia. The reasons why they came are varied, and include the desire for freedom, safety, family, as well as economic and educational opportunities. Each tale is pretty journalistic in presentation, so they tell the facts in a fairly chronological way that is both accessible and moving. I learned a lot from reading this book, about global politics, immigration policy, and the lengths some people have to go through to protect themselves and their families. 

Illustration by Aziz Kamal, story by sunshine gao
Each story is illustrated by different artists, so they feature very different tones, styles, and coloring. They are all unique and interesting, and I love this book walking the walk and providing space to showcase a range of nationalities in terms of story and art. 

Illustration by Ana Hinojosa, story by Craig Moodie

As the child of immigrant parents, I found this book enlightening as to how people learn to deal with American culture. As an educator, I saw many opportunities for critical engagement with social issues. As a US citizen, I saw lots of information here that would enlighten others as to who wants to come to this country and why. I highly recommend this book.

This graphic anthology came from the work of Green Card Voices, a nonprofit organization the focuses on immigration and social justice issues and is based in Minnesota. To my knowledge none of the writers or artists have published graphic novels before. The book was edited by Tea Rozman Clark, Julie Vang, and Tom Kaczynski, and it features a cover by multiple award winner Nate Powell as well as a foreward by another multiple honor winner, Thi Bui.

I was not able to locate many reviews of this book, but the ones I have found have been positive. Brett at Graphic Policy said, "I'd love to see more of this," and offered potential avenues to expand on this project. It currently has a 4.58 (out of 5) star rating at Goodreads.

Our Stories Carried Us Here was published by Green Card Voices, and they offer a preview and more information about it here. The initial printing of this book was aided by a Kickstarter.