Episode 47: Nimona

Andi and Lise are complete fangirls of the graphic novel (and National Book Award finalist) Nimona, written and drawn by Noelle Stevenson, part of the creative team behind Lumberjanes and currently the showrunner of Netflix’s She-Ra: Princesses of Power.

Stevenson originally posted Nimona as a webcomic while working on her art degree. It was then published in book form by HarperTeen. Nimona is infused with elements of fantasy and science fiction and follows the story of a young woman who wants to be the sidekick/squire to Lord Ballister Blackheart, formerly a staunch enforcer of the law until his best friend blew one of his arms off after which Blackheart began to follow his own moral code. Throw in a shady kingdom with shady officials secretly manufacturing bioweapons along with Nimona’s cloaked and traumatic past, and you have a recipe for a brilliant story that deals with not only larger contexts and the ramifications of choices made, but also the hurt and healing that can come from interpersonal relationships.

Totally appropriate for YA and younger.

Find out more:
Noelle Stevenson
Nimona
Cory Doctorow on Nimona

This week Andi and Lise geeked out over the TV show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and River Solomon’s novel An Unkindness of Ghosts.

Episode 33: Raven the Pirate Princess

This week, Andi and Lise rave about the comic Raven the Pirate Princess, a spinoff of the Princeless series, both written by Jeremy Whitley and, in the case of Raven, arted up by Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt.

This is Volume 1, a compilation of initial issues (chapters) 1-4, in which Raven Tsingtao, the daughter of a pirate king, is double-crossed by her brothers. Her father’s legacy was supposed to be handed down to her, but her brothers poisoned him against her and now she’s looking for a pirate crew to reclaim her legacy and get revenge on her brothers. Follow Raven as she auditions potential crewmates, meets other strong badass women, and prepares to find her brothers.

Andi and Lise rate Raven the Pirate Princess, as A—Awesome! Not only in characterization and storyline and art, but in diversity (many different body types, backgrounds, ethnicities, and races) and Awesome in potential queer rep. Raven is most likely a lesbian, and there are a few other characters who probably identify that way, too.

Find it at Action Lab Comics and Amazon.

Want more info? Check Keri Crist-Wagner’s piece at BookRiot and Mey Rude’s observations at Autostraddle.

Episode 23: Paper Girls

This week Andi and Lise get into the retro-cool mystery sci-fi comic series Paper Girls, in which four twelve-year-old girls have paper routes in 1988 and band together to deal with weird and crazy things happening in their town. So you’ve got monsters, strange beings, time travel…and what seems to be a conspiracy underneath it all. Appropriate for kids, strong female characters, and unpredictable plotlines. Have fun!

If you’re interested in finding out more about Paper Girls (AND YOU TOTALLY ARE), see Image Comics.

Episode 12: Ms Marvel

Lise and Andi rave about the Marvel comic Ms Marvel, whose latest incarnation features Pakistani-American Muslim teen Kamala Khan in Jersey City who is a total fangirl of Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers). Andi loves that Ms Marvel was a fangirl before she was a superhero. Then one day Kamala wakes up with super powers and she has to learn how to negotiate this new aspect to her life, dealing with the powers and what she feels is her responsibility to help people now that she has them along with her grades, her classes, and her family life.

It’s basically teenage angst – something all of us can probably relate to – along with the added angst of having super powers and trying to figure out how best to use them when you’re only 16-17 AND attempt to negotiate the landmines that come in any family as you’re figuring out who you are and who you want to be. Two big Ms Marvel thumbs up on this one, friends.

Episode 6: Lumberjanes

Andi and Lise rave about the comic Lumberjanes, which is totes safe for kids and is chock full of so much awesome that you’ll dig it, too. Imagine if the Goonies met up with the Buffy crew and…well, you can imagine the awesome, right?

Five friends are spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp. But it turns out not to be your typical camp, as mystical and mythical creatures show up that our five feisty and fabulous campers have to figure out how to deal with. It’s grrl power, friendships to the max power, and the power of teamwork and acceptance.

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