Category Archives: Comics

It's Comics Time!

Sarah McIntyre has written a brilliant introduction to The Phoenix comic (it can also be used to explain why comics are awesome and good to read generally) on her site:

it’s comics time: calling all librarians!!! Read it now! It is brilliant!

Sarah is the creator of the excellent Vern & Lettuce comic that appeared in the lamented The DFC her work has also appeared in Nelson – a comic book by 54 comics artists about a day a year over 43 years in the life of a girl called Nelson.

Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch

Boldly Going Where No 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl has Gone Before

How Mirka Met a Meteorite is the second book in the Hereville series. The first being Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword (Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl).

Mirka Hirshberg is a spunky, strong-willed eleven-year-old who isn’t interested in knitting lessons from her stepmother, or how-to-find-a-husband advice from her sister, or you-better-not warnings from her brother. There’s only one thing Mirka does want: to fight dragons! But she’ll need a sword – and therein lies the tale!
Mirka is back, and this time she takes on a misguided meteor that’s been set in motion by the troll and turned into Mirka’s twin by the witch. Doppelganger Mirka is out to best the real girl. Our heroine will have to beat her other self in a three-part-challenge – or be banished from Hereville!
My all-time favourite indie comic is the amazing Bone by Jeff Smith – I can honestly say that I never thought I could find another comic to challenge it in my affections; the early Cerebus books by Dave Sim came close but ultimately fell by the wayside as Dave Sim became progressively weirder.

Now there is a new challenger on the block – Barry Deutsh’s stories of Mirka and Hereville. If you had not guessed by the tag lines – Mirka is Jewish, Hereville is a shtetl and an undercurrent of Orthodox Jewish life fills the book, Mirka’s family life centres on Shabbos (Shabbat), the Shabbos rituals and family jobs are laid out beautifully in How Mirka got Her Sword and the disruptive effect having a twin has is shown during Shabbos in How Mirka met a Meteorite. Mirka’s family life and relationships are shown to good effect in the Shabbos pages in both books. The love that Barry obviously has for this comes through in the art and the words he uses.

I am a goy but I have been picking up and using Yiddish words and learning about Jewish culture (and food) for years. I enjoyed immersing myself in a culture that is not my own and even picked up some more words. You do not need to be Jewish or have an understanding of Jewish culture to read or enjoy this book (but it does help).

Mirka is awesome! I do not think there are many comic books that have 11-year-old heroines; let alone snarky siblings as side-kicks. There are trolls, a witch with a pig, extra-terrestrial beings, bullies, family – no orphans in this story, there is a stepmother she is not of the evil variety, more long-suffering and understanding of Mirka than Mirka can actually see. I love that Mirka argues with absolutely everybody but the only one that seems to get the better of her is her stepmother, she is also teeh one that gives Mirka the mental tools to get out of the scrapes that she finds herself in. The scenes where Mirka talks to her stepmother about her mother are some of the most touching I have seen in a comic.

Hereville is hilarious, touching, exciting and the best magically real comic I have ever read!

Scott Westerfeld's Uglies has been given the Graphic Novel treatment

Hey wow!

I just found out the Dystopian novel Uglies by the always awesome Scott Westerfeld has been turned into a graphic novel!

Del Rey will be publishing four manga-inspired Uglies graphic novels, outlined by Westerfeld and adapted by artist Steven Cumming.

This story will be told from Shay’s perspective.

Webcomic Wednesday

Welcome the the first in a series of reviews and articles about webcomics!  I thought I would use Wednesdays for this feature as it is the middle of the week and usually at this time people could use something humourous (sometimes) to read.  Also it rhymes.

Apparently (according to wikipedia anyway) webcomics have been around since 1985.  I was bitten by the webcomic bug some five years ago and am still finding some interesting titles.

To begin I would like to introduce you to one of my favourite series of the moment:

I have been a fan of Weregeek since it began in 2006 and have featured it in two of my newsletters over at TeenLibrarian as I have found it to be a brilliant tool for educating people on LARPS, collectible card games, Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun and other obsessive tendencies of geek kind.

It is also a fantastic (free) read!  The overarching story concerns Mark.

Mark was once just an ordinary guy with an office job and a blonde girlfriend. Except that every once in a while he had a strange urge to hang in front of a tabletop RPG store and stare at its wares pointlessly… Then one day, after a run in with the local vampire coven and The Hunters, he discovered a mind-blowing truth: there is a secret society out there, The Masquerade… OF GEEKS! And he is one of them, “a human by day and a geek by night”…

The story also follows his friends, and colleagues in their real lives as well as in the fantasy worlds they enter through their role-playing games.  It also pokes fun at pop culture…

 Weregeek was created and is written, drawn and edited by Alina Pete and Layne Myhre.

Give it a read, if you are a geek you will enjoy the in-jokes and positive portrayal of geek culture.  If you are not a geek – read it and you may discover that actually you are a geek after all!

So if you just want to enjoy a good laugh with a few soap opera, fantasy, horror, gaming and mystery tropes thrown in then Weregeek is for you! 

Just remember to start at the beginning

For those of you that do not enjoy reading off the computer, Weregeek is also available in print form from the Weregeek Store