Americus

Written by MK Reed
Art by Jonathan Hill
224 pages, black and white
Published by First Second Books

Americus is the kind of graphic novel that I wish wasn’t so timely. Centered around a teenager whose town is trying to ban his favorite fantasy book series, it’s the sort of story that plays out in the real world far too often. MK Reed and Jonathan Hill’s story is painful to read in that respect, but its lead in the form of Neil Barton is the kind of character who’s compelling enough that you’ll read all the way through just to see if he succeeds, not only in stopping the banning but also trying to get a better life for himself.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

Story and layouts by Kevin Eastman
Story and script by Tom Waltz
Art by Dan Duncan
32 pages, color
Published by IDW

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of those comics where a surprisingly high number of people in the world know who the characters are, but few actually know the original incarnation. That’s the one created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984 through a self-published comic, and which might startle people only familiar with their mid-’80s animated series, or the live-action movies from the ’90s, or even the Archie Comics version based off of the cartoon. Unlike all of the spin-offs, the original was a dark, brooding, and somewhat violent story; now, over a quarter of a century later, they’ve been rebooted again, and this new incarnation lends itself quite strongly to that original vision of the characters.

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