Comics Alternative for Young Readers: Reviews of Volcano Trash and Real Friends

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Time Codes:

  • 01:22 – Introduction
  • 03:19 – Setup of the episode
  • 04:00 – Volcano Trash
  • 23:10 – Real Friends
  • 48:57 – Wrap up
  • 50:00 – Contact us

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Friendships

For the May Young Readers show, Paul and Gwen discuss two highly anticipated graphic novels: Ben Sears’s Volcano Trash (Koyama Press) and Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham’s Real Friends (First Second). While one text is an action adventure science fiction fantasy and the other is a memoir, both books touch upon the importance that relationships play in young people’s lives.

To being the show, Paul introduces Volcano Trash, the sequel to Ben Sears’s acclaimed 2016 graphic novel Night Air, the first in a series that takes place in what Sears terms “the Double+” universe. Both texts feature the exploits of a young man called Plus Man, his faithful sidekick, the robot Hank, as they engage in capers and navigate a world in which adults very often have nefarious agendas. Paul explains that even though the majority of secondary characters in Volcano Trash are male, the series would be enjoyable for all readers. Gwen agrees and chimes in with her appreciation for Sears’s use of color and his ability to add suspense and “motion” to the comic through the use of a variety of stylistic techniques. Gwen and Paul conclude by discussing the way that Sears’s sense of humor adds a welcome levity to the hijinks. (You can also check out additional discussion of Volcano Trash on the recent Publisher Spotlight episode devoted to Koyama Press.)

Next, the pair discuss Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham’s Real Friends, a memoir of Hale’s grade school years that focuses on friendships won and lost. In addition to considering the features of Hale and Pham’s collaborative work, Gwen underscores the importance of the “Author’s Note,” which allows Hale to look back over her childhood, explain her rationale for writing a memoir, and provide young readers with advice about navigating the complicated hierarchies that develop in grade school. Paul agrees and points to the inclusion of Hale’s grade school photographs as a way to highlight the fact that the story is both real and focused on Hale’s actual experiences. Both Gwen and Paul highly recommend this text as an excellent read for any young person, regardless of whether they identify more with Shannon and are struggling to find true friendships or whether they are popular and confident but might benefit from thinking about friendships from the perspective of other kids.

Comic News Insider Episode 768 – TCAF: Real Friends w/ Shannon Hale/LeUyen Pham!

Comic News Insider: Episode 768 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Jimmy was at TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival) over the weekend and got a ton of great interviews! He had a lengthy, informative, and fun chat with Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham! The writer and artist team on Real Friends from First Second Books. They talk about their childhoods (the book is about Shannon’s elementary school years), their friendship, how the book came about, cliques, growing up, diversity in comics and more! Thanks to Shannon and LeUyen for being so patient and for being such great conversationalists! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Comic News Insider Episode 763 – CNI Decoded!

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Comic News Insider: Episode 763 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures #1, Batman The Shadow #1, Big Moose One Shot, Night Owl Society #1, American Gods, Superheroes Decoded 

Jon Hoche joins Jimmy once again to co-host! They chat about Star Wars Day and Free Comic Book Day this week. News includes: Eisner nominations are in, M. Night Shyamalan announces sequel to Unbreakable, Marvel has joined Comixology Unlimited,  Gene Luen Yang and Panda Express are releasing a new The Green Turtle comic and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Thanks for listening!