Comics Alternative for Young Readers: Reviews of A Different Pond, Swing It, Sunny, and Pashmina

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Time Codes:

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Perspectives

On this episode of the Comics Alternative Young Readers podcast, Gwen and Paul discuss three comics that run the gamut from early readers up to teens.

First on deck, they discuss Bao Phi and Thi Bui’s A Different Pond (Capstone Young Readers), a children’s hybrid picture book/comic that focuses on a bonding moment between a young boy and his father.

Then, Gwen and Paul talk about Jennifer Holm and Matt Holm’s sequel to last year’s acclaimed Sunny Side-Up, Swing It, Sunny (Graphix), which sees preteen Sunny trying to figure out why her older brother has changed so much.

Finally, the Two Academics Talking about Comics look at a middle/grade…or maybe YA text, Nidhi Chanani’s Pashmina (First Second), about a young immigrant who tries to gain a deeper understanding of her mother’s past in India.

Also, Gwen and Paul have a special segment for this month’s episode, as Paul’s daughter tells us about her thoughts after reading two of our books, Swing It, Sunny and Pashmina.

 

Comic News Insider Episode 767 – TCAF: Abrams ComicArts w/ Thi Bui/John Jennings!

Comic News Insider: Episode 767 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! The awesome publisher Abrams ComicArts brought some of their talented cartoonists along for the ride. Jimmy chatted with Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do) about her family’s escape from Vietnam as portrayed in the graphic novel, her use of minimal color and more. And he spoke with John Jennings (Kindred) about the intensity of drawing this book, diversity in entertainment, his professorship and even Doctor Who! Give a listen and go buy their books! 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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Comics Alternative for Young Readers: Reviews of Nightlights and The Best We Could Do

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:26 – Introduction
  • 00:02:47 – Setup of the reviews and interview
  • 00:05:29 – Nightlights
  • 00:26:13 – The Best We Could Do
  • 00:58:56 – Interview with Thi Bui
  • 01:42:29 – Wrap up
  • 01:43:20 – Contact us

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Conflicts, Ghosts, and Art

On this month’s episode of the Comics Alternative’s Young Readers series, Gwen and Paul discuss two new releases: Lorena Alvarez’s Nightlights from Nobrow Press, geared toward younger readers, and Thi Bui’s graphic novel The Best We Could Do, from Abrams ComicArts, an all-ages comic that will be of interest to our teen and adult listeners. They also had a chance to interview Thi Bui and include that segment at the end of the review portion of the show.

Lorena Alvarez’s Nightlights, a beautiful hardback, picture book-sized comic, focuses on the early years in the life of a young girl, Sandy, who clearly has artistic ambitions and an abundance of creativity. However, Sandy also experiences doubts regarding the source of her imagination and fears about what might happen if inspiration were suddenly to desert her. Gwen and Paul love how Alvarez respects the creative process of a young artist, and they appreciate how Alvarez brings her own experiences growing up in Bogotá, Columbia, into the themes and artwork for Nightlights. For more about Alvarez’s biography and work, head over to her website. Those listeners who have enjoyed Vera Brosgol’s YA graphic novel Anya’s Ghost or Neil Gaiman’s novel and graphic novel Coraline, that features the “ghost children,” Nightlights will be a treat. In all three stories, the presence of the supernatural encourages the protagonists to think critically about their various gifts and emotional burdens.

Next, Paul and Gwen discuss Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do, a graphic memoir published by Abrams Comicarts. Bui, whose family came to the US as refugees in the wake of the Vietnam War, tells her own and her family’s stories, in a narrative weaving history and reflection. Given that the book addresses issues of war and loss, Paul and Gwen emphasize that this text is probably geared more towards the upper range of the YA category. Paul praises the text for its evocative depiction of parent/children relationships, and Gwen agrees, noting that she also appreciated Bui’s focus on the refugee experience.

After their discussion, Paul and Gwen play an interview that they conducted with Thi Bui about her inspiration, her process, and her work with young people at the International School in Oakland, California. Listeners can learn even more about Bui at her website. Ms. Bui also mentions an event at Oakland International High School featuring her students’ comics work. She clarified afterwards that the event will be held April 14th, and listeners are welcomed to attend!