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  • Writer's pictureTrusty Henchman

Upcoming Comics Spotlight: All-Ages/YA

This batch features the first English translation of a Hayao Miyazaki manga classic, an adorable tale of a garlicy hero, the adventures of a blind heroine and her monstrous aunt, a fantasy quest dealing with grief and loss, a girl stumbling into a magical world, and the print version of the wildly popular webcomic Unfamiliar.



(W) Hayao Miyazaki, Alex Dudok de Wit (A) Hayao Miyazaki

From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki comes a new manga classic about a prince on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land, never before published in English! Shuna, the prince of a poor land, watches in despair as his people work themselves to death harvesting the little grain that grows there. And so, when a traveler presents him with a sample of seeds from a mysterious western land, he sets out to find the source of the golden grain, dreaming of a better life for his subjects. It is not long before he meets a proud girl named Thea. After freeing her from captivity, he is pursued by her enemies, and while Thea escapes north, Shuna continues toward the west, finally reaching the Land of the God-Folk. Will Shuna ever see Thea again? And will he make it back home from his quest for the golden grain?


Why this caught my eye:

A Miyazaki translated to English for the first time is pretty great on it's own, but also having FirstSecond publishing it is pretty awesome.



(W) Bree Paulsen (A) Bree Paulsen

In this delicious middle grade companion novel to Garlic and the Vampire, Bree Paulsen sets her lovable, anxious heroine on another adventure, one that that is scary and exciting at the same time.

Bree Paulsen's brave little protagonist, Garlic, is back in this charmingly illustrated standalone companion to Garlic and the Vampire, serving up another tale of friendship, magic, and self-discovery. Give both books to readers who fell in love with Tidesong or Witch Boy!

Garlic loves spending time with Witch Agnes, Carrot, and her new friend, the Count, who has proven to be a delightful neighbor to the village of vegetable people rather than a scary vampire. But despite Agnes's best attempts to home-brew a vegetarian blood substitute for Count, the ingredient she needs most can only be found at the Magic Market, far from the valley.

Before she knows it, with a broomstick in hand, Garlic is nervously preparing for a journey.

But Garlic is experiencing another change too-finger by finger, she appears to be turning human. Witch Agnes assures her that this is normal for her garden magic, but Garlic isn't so sure that she's ready for such a big change. After all, changes are scary...and what if she doesn't want to be human after all?


Why this caught my eye:

Paulsen's artwork is great and this looks pretty dang cute. This should already be out, but I didn't want to overlook this one. Also, while these are standalone books, you probably shouldn't miss out on previous volume.



(W) Reimena Yee (A) Reimena Yee

Safia thought that being blind meant she would only get to go on adventures through her audiobooks. This all changes when she goes to live with a distant and mysterious aunt, Lady Whimsy, who takes Safia on the journey of a lifetime! While the reclusive Lady Whimsy stops an old rival from uncovering the truth behind her disappearance, Safia experiences parts of the world she had only dreamed about. But when an unlikely group of chaotic agents comes after Whimsy, Safia is forced to confront the adventure head-on. For the first time in her life, Safia is the hero of her own story, and she must do what she can to save the day. This is a contemporary fantasy middle-grade graphic novel about discovering what you are truly capable of.


Why this caught my eye:

Liking the look of Yee's artwork, and the synopsis sounds fun plus we don't get many all-ages books with blind heroes.



(W) Tom Aureille (A/CA) Tom Aureille

According to legends, the North is the home of Giants whose breath has the power to bring the dead back to life. Sisters Iris and Sophia, decide to go on a quest to steal this breath in order to resuscitate their dearly departed mother. They can count on magic, but above all, they will have to conquer their fears. And who's Fagus, the man following them from a distance? He too, has lost a person dear to his heart and wants to bring them back at all costs. Will he prevent Iris and Sophia from being reunited with their mom? Filled with hope, Breath of the Giant combines Sorcery and Fantasy in a powerful tale from young writer and artist Tom Aureille.


Why this caught my eye:

Aureille has an interesting style, and what preview pages I could find online looked solid.



(W) Camille Jourdy (A) Camille Jourdy

It's perfect weather for a family picnic, but Jo is in a bad mood. Hurt by her parents' divorce and struggling to accept her new stepfamily, she decides to run away and live alone in the woods. But she soon discovers that she's far from alone! Jo stumbles into a magical world populated by weird and wondrous creatures. Her new friends are on a mission: rise up against the devious Emperor Tomcat. Can Jo find the courage to vanquish an evil empire and get back to her family before dinnertime?


Why this caught my eye:

This just looks and sounds pretty whimsical, plus more kid fiction that incorporates the main characters dealing with divorce sounds like a good idea.



(W) Haley Newsome (A) Haley Newsome

Based on the wildly popular webcomic from Tapas, Unfamiliar is an endearing and whimsical story full of magical mayhem, offbeat outsiders, and the power of friendships and found family. Young kitchen witch Planchette gets an incredible deal on a new house in a magical town. Turns out, there's a reason: it's haunted! After unsuccessfully attempting to get these unwanted ghosts to leave, she realizes the only thing to do is to help them with their problems. Along the way, she befriends a shy siren who hates being popular, a girl battling a curse, and a magically-challenged witch from a powerful coven.


Why this caught my eye:

Check out the webcomic, it's pretty great and I'm down with a kitchen witch.


That's it for this batch, we'll hit up some action/adventure on the next round!

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