Mickey Mouse: Trapped on Treasure Island

Written by Floyd Gottfredson, with Webb Smith and Ted Osborne
Penciled by Floyd Gottfredson
Inked by Al Taliaferro and Ted Thwaites
280 pages, black and white
Published by Fantagraphics

When people talk about classic Disney comics, they’re usually referring to the various Duck comics (Donald, Uncle Scrooge, Huey & Dewey & Louie, and so on) by Carl Barks, or perhaps Don Rosa. It wasn’t until Fantagraphics announced their Mickey Mouse comic strip collection project that I’d even heard of Floyd Gottfredson and his long tenure on the property. We’re two volumes into the series now, and at this point I’m finding the collections fascinating. With this new book, I feel like Gottfredson’s take on the characters is blossoming into something strong enough that I wish I’d encountered it much earlier in life.

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Freddy Stories

By Melissa Mendes
112 pages, black and white

"Sweet" is often used as a negative adjective these days. You can almost hear the disdain dripping off the words in some reviews, as the person talking about the work tosses it aside with a simple, throw-away word. The sad thing is, it doesn’t need to be. There are things out there where sweet is not only the best word to describe it, but it’s a positive. And to that list, I would most definitely add Melissa Mendes’ Freddy Stories, her collection of short comics about a young and headstrong girl named Freddy making her way through life.

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Nina in That Makes Me Mad!

By Hilary Knight
Based on a text by Steven Kroll
32 pages, color
Published by Toon Books

When I think of Hilary Knight, it’s hard to not instantly have the classic Eloise children’s books leap to mind, which he illustrated (and were written by Kay Thompson). His lush drawings of Eloise everywhere from the Plaza Hotel to Communist Russia are true treasures of the medium, the sort of fact that I think few would ever be able to disagree on. So with the release of Nina in That Makes Me Mad!, a new children’s book/comic by Hilary Knight, based off of a story by Steven Kroll? Well, to say that I was excited was an understatement. But at the same time, I was a little worried that I’d set my expectations too high.

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By Richard Sala
136 pages, color
Published by Fantagraphics

Richard Sala is one of those creators that holds a fairly unique voice in comics. Many people have tried to replicate his off-beat brand of horror, but ultimately nothing out there quite like his. So with a new graphic novel called The Hidden out, the question for most people won’t be, "Should I read it?" but "When should I read it?" What you’ll find inside is a book that in many ways sums up both Sala’s greatest strengths and weaknesses.

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Picket Line

By Breena Wiederhoeft
272 pages, black and white
Published by Easel Ain’t Easy

A 272-page graphic novel isn’t going to be written and drawn overnight, so it’s all the more impressive when you think about how timely Breena Wiederhoeft’s Picket Line is. With a young woman struggling to find a job, her place in the world, and figure out at what point working for a large company isn’t worth the financial security, it’s a book that hits a lot of the ideas currently gaining national traction on the news. And while there are some peculiar portions of the plot, Picket Line is ultimately a satisfying book that might not have a lot of answers for its readers, but will ask a lot of questions.

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