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  • Writer's pictureTrusty Henchman

Upcoming Comics Spotlight: All-Ages/YA

On this batch of all-ages and YA titles we've got some potential AI/cyborg romance, the power of friendship, a squire from a conquered land training to become a knight, and plenty of witchy goodness.



(W) Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota (A) J R Doyle

A human and human-presenting AI slowly become friends-and maybe more-in this moving YA graphic novel

In a near future, augmentation and AI changed everything and nothing. Indira is a human girl who has been cybernetically augmented after a tragic accident, and Fawn is one of the first human-presenting AI. They have the same internship at a gallery, but neither thinks much of the other's photography. But after a huge public blowout, their mentor gives them an ultimatum: work together on a project or leave her gallery forever. Grudgingly, the two begin to collaborate, and what comes out of it is astounding and revealing for both of them. Pixels of You is about the slow transformation of a rivalry to a friendship to something more as Indira and Fawn navigate each other, the world around them-and what it means to be an artist and a person.


Why this caught my eye:

Besides the core conflict sounding engaging, I'm just automatically down for anything that plays around with AI as a central subject matter. Plus, Doyle's artwork is looking pretty sharp. And finally, if there's any possibility for queer cyborg/AI romance, then this is def my jam.



(W) Wendy Xu (A/CA) Wendy Xu

With echoes of Studio Ghibli, award-nominated creator Wendy Xu's solo graphic novel debut is a story of self-acceptance and friendship-with a magical twist.

Sophie is a young witch whose mother and grandma put pressure on her to attend the best magic school in the realm, even though her control over her magic is shaky at best. To help her prepare for the school's entrance exams, they send her away to train with relatives she's never met.

However, Sophie's Great Aunt and cousin Sage won't let Sophie near a spell book. Instead, they make her do chores. Frustrated, Sophie attempts magic on her own, but a spell goes horribly awry and she accidentally entangles herself with a young water dragon named Lir. Even though Lir has lost his memories and his ability to shift into his dragon form, he is everything Sophie isn't-beloved by Sophie's family and skilled at magic. With his help, Sophie might just ace her entrance exams, but that means thwarting Lir's attempts to regain his memories. Sophie knows what she's doing is wrong, but without Lir's help, can she prove herself?


Why this caught my eye:

Ghibli-esque? All-Ages witch story? They're just hitting some pretty key check boxes for me.



(W) Sarah Winifred Searle (A/CA) Sarah Winifred Searle

Lady Bird meets This One Summer in this young adult graphic novel about the life-saving power of teen friendships.

It's the first day of sophomore year, and since Winifred's two best (and only) friends have transferred to a private school, she must navigate high school on her own.

But she isn't alone for long. In art class, she meets two offbeat students, Oscar and April. They don't look or act like the typical teenagers in her small New England town: they're creative, a little rebellious, and seem comfortable in their own skin in a way that Win can only dream of. The three bond through clandestine sleepovers, thrift store shopping, and zine publishing. Winifred is finally breaking out of her shell, but there's one secret she can't bear to admit to April and Oscar, or even to herself-and this lie is threatening to destroy her newfound friendships.


Why this caught my eye:

Stories about the power of friendship are also nice and high on my checkbox list, plus I really enjoy Searle's art style.



(W) Miriam Bonastre Tur (A/CA) Miriam Bonastre Tur

When Dani and Dorian missed the bus to magic school, they never thought they'd wind up declared traitors to their own kind! Now, thanks to a series of mishaps, they are being chased by powerful magic families seeking the prophesied King of Witches and royals searching for missing princes.

But they aren't alone. With a local troublemaker, a princess, and a teacher who can see the future on their side, they might just be able to clear their names...but can they heal their torn kingdom?

Based on the beloved webcomic from WEBTOON, Hooky is in stunning print format for the first time with exclusive new content sure to please fans new and old.


Why this caught my eye:

Again with the witches. You can check out this charming series here, it won me over pretty quickly and I really enjoy Tur's art style.



(W) Nadia Shammas (A) Sara Alfageeh

This YA fantasy graphic novel follows fourteen-year-old Aiza, who trains to become a knight for a war-torn empire while hiding her true background as a girl from conquered lands.

Born a second-class citizen, Aiza has always dreamt of becoming a Knight. It's the highest military honor in the once-great Bayt-Sajji Empire, and as a member of the Ornu people, her only path to full citizenship.

Now, ravaged by famine, Bayt-Sajji finds itself on the brink of war once again. This means Aiza can finally enlist to the competitive Squire training program.

The camp is nothing like she envisioned. Hiding her Ornu status in order to blend in, Aiza must navigate friendships, rivalries, and rigorous training under the merciless General Hende. As the pressure mounts, Aiza realizes that the "greater good" Bayt-Sajji's military promises might not include her, and that the recruits might be in more danger than she ever imagined.


Why this caught my eye:

I'm absolutely in love with Sara Alfageeh's art, plus the solicit just sounds like a great set up.


That's it for this batch, we'll take a look at some action/adventure on the next round!

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