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Graphic Novels

Exclusive Interview and Excerpt: Jen Wang’s ‘The Prince and the Dressmaker’

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BookTrib is partnering with Bookish to bring you more great content. Jen Wang’s latest graphic novel, The Prince and the Dressmaker, is an inspiring story about the blossoming connection between a young seamstress with dreams of becoming a fashion designer and a prince who wears dresses by night and longs for parental acceptance by day. This interview with author and illustrator Jen Wang includes and exclusive excerpt from the book that is quickly becoming a fan favorite.   The Prince and the Dressmaker (excerpt) Interview with Jen Wang Bookish: This is a story about self acceptance and identity exploration. What drew you to those themes? Jen Wang: I wrote this book for my teenage self, so it’s all about themes that were important to my young self: questioning…

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BookTrib Q & A with Marcelino Truong, Author-Illustrator of Graphic Novel ‘Saigon Calling’

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Marcelino Truong, a self-taught illustrator who works on graphic novels, has been growing as an artist for years and wants to share his growth with us. In this exclusive interview, we learn more about some of his recent works, taboo subjects, and his take on the media.  BookTrib: You’re a self-taught illustrator, and the images you have in both graphic novels are very particular, and sometimes deal with very heavy subject matter, which is reminiscent of MAUS. Did your artistic abilities grow organically in the media of drawing for graphic novels, or did you start off drawing, or designing somewhere else first? Marcelino Truong: Both my graphic novels are the result of many years of experience as a self-taught illustrator…

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Picture This: Graphic Novels We Love from Every Genre

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BookTrib is partnering with Bookish to bring you more great content. There’s something special about graphic novels. Maybe it’s the combination of art forms. Maybe it’s the unusual formatting. Maybe it’s the pops of color. Whatever it is, here at Bookish, we can’t get enough of it. That’s why we’re encouraging readers to pick up a graphic novel for this month’s reading challenge. No matter which genres speak to you, we’ve got picks for every kind of reader. Fiction             Nonfiction           Mystery & Thriller           Science Fiction & Fantasy             Romance       Young Adult             Middle Grade    …

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GIVEAWAY: Win This Graphic Novel Extravaganza!

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Calling all comic book and graphic novel fans! We’ve got the mother lode of giveaways right here with these eight graphic novels. *Note: A few of these novels release on November 1. The winner will be notified in October, but the prize will not be shipped until Nov. 1 release day.                                                           ENTER NOW!

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Smart Reads: Get Lost in the World of the Graphic Novel

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Back in the day growing up meant you could read books without pictures. Now some of the smartest books not only have pictures, they’re the hybrid children of literature and comic books called graphic novels. These illustrated gems can go places where no print novel is able to tread—adding cinematic wonder and visual pacing and tone to a complex narrative. There’s a huge variety out there in every genre, but we’ve picked a few of our recent favorites for this Smart Reads column that are sure to make you a fan of the art form. Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie by Anne Martinetti, Guillaume Lebeau and Alexandre Franc (SelfMadeHero, May 10, 2016) “Uncovering some of the hard truths…

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Ginormous Giveaways!

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A Small Indiscretion: A Novel At nineteen, Annie Black trades a bleak future in a washed-out California town for a London winter of drinking and abandon. Twenty years later, she is a San Francisco lighting designer and happily married mother of three who has put her reckless youth behind her. Then a photo from that distant winter in Europe arrives inexplicably in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened. Past and present collide, Annie’s marriage falters, and her son takes a car ride that ends with his life hanging in the balance. Now Annie must confront her own transgressions and fight for her family by untangling the mysteries of the turbulent winter that drew an invisible map of her…

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Inktober: Peter Kuper’s “Ruins” is an Epic Adventure in Storytelling

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During October artists and illustrators hone their craft by committing to posting one inked work a day with the hashtag #Inktober. Illustrator Peter Kuper is no stranger to drawing every day. Kuper’s latest illustrated work runs 256 pages, a gripping story that explores the shadows and lights of Mexico past and present. His regular monthly gig fills one magazine page, an ongoing battle between two cartoon characters trying to destroy one another. In each case, though, writer and illustrator Peter Kuper is stretching the boundaries of illustration, in terms of its visual impact as well as its ability to tell a story, no matter how long or short it may be. “There’s a certain cinematic nature to illustration and comics,”…

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Allie Brosh Making Solutions Problematic Once Again

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As someone who can only barely remember a time before the internet, I tend to give the online world a whole lot of legitimacy. So when popular online figures extend their reach into the world of traditional publishing, I usually meet the announcement with a less than enthusiastic, “Meh.” But that is definitely not the case when the real-world offering legitimately brings something new to fans of the inter-star (aka “internet star.” I should totally trademark that term). Such is the case with internet phenom Allie Brosh, who has already made quite the splash in the “real” world with her debut offering, Hyperbole and a Half (Touchstone Books), based on the wildly popular online comic series of the same name.…

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50 years after the Warren Commission Report, a graphic novel sheds fresh light

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Fifty years ago this week, the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy—better known as the Warren Commission—released its official finding: an 889-page report asserting that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy, and that Jack Ruby similarly acted alone in killing Oswald, who was in police custody and being transferred to a county jail at the time of his shooting. Perhaps the only event in American history as closely scrutinized as Kennedy’s assassination was the report designed to settle all inquiries about the crime. To this day, the debate over whether or not Kennedy died at the hands of a conspiracy involving organized crime, communist agents or our own government still rages, and over…

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Liz Prince’s Tomboy looks at growing up outside of gender norms

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Liz Prince’s graphic memoir Tomboy opens with the cartoonish 4-year-old Liz screaming and crying as her parents huddle around her. “I’m just trying to get her to wear this dress,” her exasperated mother reports about the garment sent by her grandmother. Two pages later, after unsuccessful coaxing, her mother turns to her father and instructs him, “Tell your mom, ‘No more dresses,’ OK?” On its own, this early memory stands as something of an amusing anecdote. But soon after, we witness the ways that Liz’s peers are much less understanding than her parents when it comes to gender norms and expectations. The book takes us through incident after incident in which Liz is shamed, taunted, questioned, and even abused because…

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Telling her own secrets: MariNaomi’s autobiographical comics

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Humor and occasional heartbreak marked MariNaomi’s first book, Kiss & Tell, a graphic memoir of the author/cartoonist’s love interests from ages 5 to 25 (topics ranged from chapters titled “The Most Beautiful Penis I’ve Ever Seen” to “My Dad is So Naïve!”). In her second graphic memoir, Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories (2D Cloud and Uncivilized Books, 2014), MariNaomi once again mines her own life for memorable events, this time in episodes revolving around family matters, friendships, work, and the occasional romantic interlude. In this book, the illustrations are somewhat haphazardly broken into short and long vignettes that vary in style, sometimes sparse, at other times more text-heavy. Collectively, the stories leave the reader with the sense of a…

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Sin City returns in all its gory, film noir glory

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It would take a gumshoe with street smarts of Sam Spade, the insight of Philip Marlowe, and the cinematic magic of today’s top filmmakers to track down all the myriad ingredients that blended to produce Sin City. That 2005 film was the dark, ultra-violent collection of tales created by writer/illustrator/director Frank Miller and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, whose latest entry in the franchise, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, hits theaters August 22. The first Sin City, based on  Miller’s collection of graphic novels, opened to critical and popular acclaim for its compelling stories as well as for its groundbreaking visual style. Sin City is black-and-white storytelling taken to a level never seen before in cinema history. While previous black-and-white…

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Oh, to be at Comic-Con! A writer’s lament

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I am not all bitter about being on the East Coast instead of being in San Diego. I did not watch that episode of The Big Bang Theory, envious that they have the opportunity to go to Comic-Con International and inwardly delighted when they are not able to purchase tickets. I will not lament the fact that even if I could go, I do not have four friends to complete my team of Sailor senshi. (I may or may not have straightened my hair be a more authentic Sailor Mars.) For better or worse, people associate Comic-Con with the fervent fan-girling that culminates in cosplaying, long lines for George R.R. Martin’s autograph, the purchase of exorbitantly priced imported DVDs, replica…

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Gabrielle Bell shares the pros and cons of personal diary as graphic novel

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Sometimes, we look, but we don’t see. It takes a patient, trenchant observer to map out the seemingly insignificant moments of everyday life in a way that resonates, that feels true. With her delicate, unmistakable line and her sharp wit, Gabrielle Bell is one of the most compelling cartoonists around. In her autobiographical comics, she reflects the world around her with an intense and steady gaze. Her most recent book, Truth Is Fragmentary (Uncivilized Books, 2014), is a collection of diary comics that have been shaped and edited for publication. The storylines that unfold in carefully boxed-in panels often veer in unexpected directions — from tangential thought patterns about everyday life to fantasies of talking bears. Bell shows life as…

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Five books we recommend for terrific reading during Pride Month

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BookTrib welcomes Pride Month! This year, members of the LGBT community and their allies have much to celebrate: since January, same-sex marriage has been legalized in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Oregon, bringing the total number of states (and the District of Columbia) that allow same-sex marriage to 19. Additionally, laws banning marriage equality have been ruled unconstitutional in Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, Michigan, Arkansas, and Idaho, though these decisions are all awaiting appeal. While we’re still elated about these victories, we were sad to hear that Giovanni’s Room, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the country, closed its doors in May. Founded in 1973, this Philadelphia bookstore occupied a historic building in the center of the city and shelved thousands of LGBT titles,…

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