The Bibliopossum's Library

The Bibliopossum's Library

The Bibliopossum's Library
« on: May 22, 2021, 07:30 PM »
Howdy howdy, Void!  It's your local critter, Pita.  If I'm not making comics, I'm sure as heck reading them.  So, I figure I can take advantage of the forum space and list comics I've read in the past with a short blurb.  Volumes in a series will just get the one post, and if I can think of some similar reads, I'll include them in my blurbs.  Hopefully you'll find something new and interesting, and feel free to start a conversation with me!

Titles Recommended by Pita (and you!)
About Betty's Boob
Check, Please!
Criminy
Flamer
Giant Days
Lackadaisy
The Magic Fish
The Ogre Gods
Pluto
Poppy
The Prince and the Dressmaker
Scud the Disposable Assassin
Snapdragon
Superman Smashes the Klan

Other discussed titles
My Boyfriend is a Bear

Here's to more reading!
« Last Edit: Jun 15, 2021, 05:46 PM by Pita »

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2021, 07:50 PM »
Title: Poppy O'Possum
Comic Type: Webcomic (https://www.poppy-opossum.com/)
Author: I.S. Everett aka "Morbi"
Target Audience: Preteens and up
Status: Cancelled



I have to start with this one purely because it stars an opossum.  It's actually the thing that convinced me that opossums were badass, and they quickly became my favorite animal.

The gist of it is that the world is inhabited by sentient animals, they all have magic, but opossums have a brand of anti-magic due to some divine shenanigans.  But that's not the center of the story.  What this is really about someone trying to live a quiet life and the world just not letting her.  Technicolor-yawn described it to me as like if someone had the fighting capacity of Monkey D. Luffy but was also a mom.



Sadly, this was one of those projects where you know the creator had a big idea they wanted to execute and then just ran out of steam.  The good news is that the entire archive is available for you to read.  The even better news is that Morbi is starting up a more serialized gag comic on Twitter starting this June (https://twitter.com/MerrilAndBrowne).

Similar Reads: Tamburlane by Caytlin Vilbrandt, Digger by Ursula Vernon
« Last Edit: Jun 16, 2021, 01:43 PM by Pita »

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2021, 07:12 AM »
Yes! I am all about sharing more comics and finding new content to read. What a great idea :D

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #3 on: Jun 02, 2021, 05:08 PM »
Yes! I am all about sharing more comics and finding new content to read. What a great idea :D
Heck yeah!

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #4 on: Jun 02, 2021, 05:17 PM »
Title: Criminy
Comic Type: Graphic Novel
Author: Ryan Ferrier and Roger Langridge
Illustrator: Roger Langridge
Target Audience: All Ages
Status: Complete; available through Dark Horse Comics



Criminy follows a family of five who leave their home after a band of marauders attacks. What follows is an adventure that leans upon a style reminiscent of Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson mixed with allegory relevant to the latter decade of the 2010s.  At its' core, this is a refugee story. Each island they visit gives insight into the immigration experience, either through the Criminy family itself or the characters they observe. That's not to say this comic's a bummer, it's all presented in a light-hearted coat of paint.

And I loved it.
 
Similar Reads: Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson's comic library
« Last Edit: Jun 02, 2021, 08:10 PM by Pita »

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #5 on: Jun 02, 2021, 05:29 PM »
Title: Superman Smashes the Klan
Comic Type: Comic book arc
Author: Gene Luen Yang
Illustrator: Guruhiru
Target Audience: Tweens and up
Status: Complete; available through DC Comics



I've read a good chunk of Gene Luen Yang's work, and the writing job for this story was actually touched upon in his memoir-biography graphic novel Dragon Hoops.  It was a gamble to leave a steady teaching job to go fully into making comics, but I think with a work like this, he made a good choice.

I don't usually read mainstream comic canons like Marvel and DC because I'm intimidated by the sheer scope of backlog and the entangled storylines.  I also haven't been that interested in superhero stories after the MCU burnout.  But, I didn't need to know anything about Superman's previous lore to enjoy this book.  It takes place in an earlier part of Clark's career as Superman back when he was still passing for human, but it also tells the story of the Lee family moving to Metropolis and the rocky situation imposed upon them as they try to settle down.



In short, a stand-in for the Klan tries to intimidate them into leaving the city because they're Chinese.  Allies come out of the woodwork to stand by their side, including Clark Kent, who must revisit some buried memories to overcome some of his personal demons.  It's good lit, y'all.

Similar Reads: If you like the social issue angle, American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang.  If you like the superhero angle and the art, check out the first four Avatar comic arcs, also written by Gene Yuen Lang and illustrated by Guruhiru.
« Last Edit: Jun 16, 2021, 01:36 PM by Pita »

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #6 on: Jun 03, 2021, 05:09 PM »
Title: Pluto
Comic Type: Manga
Author: Naoki Urusawa and Takashi Nagasaki
Illustrator: Naoki Urusawa
Target Audience: 16+
Status: Complete; available through Viz media


Hey, y'all know about Astro Boy, right?



Next to Sailor Moon and Son Goku, he's one of the most recognizable characters in anime.  One of the most popular of his stories is "The Greatest Robot on Earth," and it has been reimagined in Pluto.  The laconic version is this: the seven most powerful robots are being eliminated by an unknown force, and it's up to our superboy Astro to stop it.  The change in Pluto is the shift of focus, with everything being conveyed through the perspective of the victims of these attacks and a Europol officer investigating the mystery.

I would recommend this to anyone who's a fan of science fiction and the existential prodding that comes with robots fighting for their autonomy.  I especially recommend this series to readers hesitant to dip into Astro Boy because, I get it.  It was a series made in the late 50s and the style's not everyone's cup of tea.  I get that.  But, the heart of those stories is present in this adaptation, and if anything else, that's the main thing I want people to take away from reading Pluto--it shares Tezuka's thesis.  It just has some killer visuals to go along with it.

Similar Reads: I'm taking a gamble because I only know of The Legend of Dororo and Hyakkimaru and haven't read it, but it's another reimagining of a Tezuka property.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #7 on: Jun 03, 2021, 05:20 PM »
Title: Scud the Disposable Assassin
Comic Type: Comic series
Author: Rob Schrab, Dan Harmon
Illustrator: Rob Schrab
Target Audience: Teens and up
Status: Complete; available through Image Comics



Scud reads like a Saturday morning cartoon if that cartoon was aimed specifically for GenX and elder Millennials. It's a time capsule of an older work by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, and with that in mind, plenty of content that was okay at the time is in this comic. You're gonna need to be okay with the occasional emasculating insults and there being only, like, one body type for women.

You know the one.

That being said, I had a lot of fun reading this collection. I understood a good portion of the references (the one that kills me is the name of Scud's assassin-spy girlfriend. That song is gonna be stuck in my head for a while), and the story reads like one wild ride. Strap in if you wanna try this one out!

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #8 on: Jun 03, 2021, 05:30 PM »
Title: Giant Days
Comic Type: Comic series
Author: John Allison
Illustrator: Lissa Treiman, Max Sarin
Target Audience: Teens and up
Status: Complete; available through BOOM! Box



This is a coming-of-age story starring three girls bound for uni, and it's fucking hilarious--some of the wildest school-related scenarios I've ever seen.  And the expressions once Max Sarin started drawing for the series are my favorite things.  I want to draw faces like Max Sarin can draw faces.


If you like college stories where stupid shit happens and you sometimes get misty eyed over the growing pains of becoming an adult, read Giant Days.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #9 on: Jun 03, 2021, 05:48 PM »
Title: About Betty's Boob
Comic Type: Bande Dessinée
Author: Véronique Cazot
Illustrator: Julie Rocheleau
Target Audience: Adults
Status: Complete; available in English through Archaia



A mostly wordless story of Betty's life after receiving a single mastectomy.  She's lost not only her breast from cancer, she's been dumped by her boyfriend and fired from her job.  What she didn't know was that this was a single greatest thing to happen to her, and her life was about to take a turn for the incredible.



You like burlesque?  You like a variety of bodies in your women folk?  You like your subtle Betty Boop nods?  This is a good book for you.
« Last Edit: Jul 01, 2021, 01:40 PM by Pita »

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #10 on: Jun 04, 2021, 05:36 AM »
This is such a great idea!! I’m already Looking at some of these suggestions. If I read any of them I’ll be sure to comment again.

Btw, can we also share comic recommendations?

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #11 on: Jun 05, 2021, 04:20 AM »
Btw, can we also share comic recommendations?
You absolutely can!  The idea behind this was to start talking about comics we've read and would recommend to others.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #12 on: Jun 05, 2021, 09:45 AM »
Title: Snapdragon
Comic Type: Graphic Novel
Author: Kat Leyh
Illustrator: Kat Leyh
Target Audience: All ages
Status: Available through First Second



When Snap asks the local "witch" Jacks to help care for a litter of opossum joeys, she ends up learning more about the reclusive old woman and the mysterious ties she may have to Snap's family.



This has a lot of things that I enjoy--kickass old women, opossums, pitbull dogs, and some of that good gay shit.  If you know about Supercakes, it's the same author as that.  Please read this book if you can.  It left me feeling ridiculously happy.
« Last Edit: Jul 01, 2021, 01:42 PM by Pita »

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #13 on: Jun 07, 2021, 03:33 PM »
Title: Lackadaisy
Comic Type: Webcomic (https://lackadaisy.com)
Author: Tracy J. Butler
Illustrator: Tracy J. Butler
Target Audience: Teens and up
Status: Ongoing; updates sporadically




Cats in Prohibition-era St. Louis!

I've been following this story since the late 2000's, and the art's only gotten better in that time.  It's a real testament to the comic's quality when Tracy spends weeks on a single update for her story to get the visuals this jaw-droppingly stellar.



She also invests much of that time researching the Prohibition era to maintain historical accuracy (ex. the commonplace presence of paper napkins).  While that level of detail isn't necessary to tell the story, that amount of care given is commendable.

The writing's plenty sharp, too.  Even the supplemental stuff that she does to answer fan questions.


Just--just go read Lackadaisy if you already haven't been.  It's the cat's pajamas for sure!
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2021, 07:20 AM by Pita »

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #14 on: Jun 14, 2021, 07:44 AM »
The Ogre Gods
Comic Type: Bande Dessinée
Author: Hubert
Illustrator: Bertrand Gatignol
Target Audience: Adults
Status: Ongoing; Available in English through Lion Forge Comics



In a land where man-eating giants rule over humanity, a miniscule son is born to the giantess queen--a sure sign that the royal family is declining.  His father wants him eliminated, but his mother sees hope in her son renewing their lineage like their ancestor who initially founded their line.



I haven't read or watched Game of Thrones, but what I've learned through osmosis leaves the impression that fans of that series may like this.  It's one of those rare books that combines comic pages with prose, and it's done deliberately--things happening within the main character's lifetime are drawn, and historical events pertaining to the world's history are presented in the written chapters.

Each subsequent volume in this series goes beyond the perspective of the small giant Petit and further expands the inner workings of this world.  Half-Blood gives us the Machiavellian nobleman Yori, The Great Man focuses on the rebel leader Lou, and the upcoming translation of First Born will detail the history of Bragante.
« Last Edit: Jul 01, 2021, 01:44 PM by Pita »

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #15 on: Jun 14, 2021, 07:56 AM »
Title: The Prince and the Dressmaker
Comic Type: Graphic Novel
Author: Jen Wang
Illustrator: Jen Wang
Target Audience: Preteens and up
Status: Available through First Second Books



This book reads like a fairytale, and it's such a lovely one at that.  A dressmaker is commissioned to secretly create tailor-made dresses for the crown prince, whose fascination with wearing them allows him to undertake the persona of Lady Crystallia and enjoy life without royal constraint.  It's a delightul romance between the genderqueer royal and the seamstress whose dresses strengthen their arrangement, and all the dresses are stunning to behold.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #16 on: Jun 15, 2021, 08:36 AM »
Title: The Magic Fish
Comic Type: Graphic Novel
Author: Trung Le Ngyuen
Illustrator: Trung Le Ngyuen
Target Audience: Preteens and up
Status: Available in English through Random House Graphic



Tiến and his mother love to read fairytales--it's a way for them to bridge the gaps in their communication skills.  But Tiến has something he needs to tell his mother, and he's not sure how.

This book about a closeted boy in the 1990s struck a chord with me with its breathtaking style and historical context.  Not only do you read the experience of a young teenage boy in a private Catholic school, you see glimpses of his mother's past as she fought to immigrate from Vietnam in the 1970s.  The fairytales in this book are also beautifully told, and they play as a fine complement to Tiến's inner conflict.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #17 on: Jun 15, 2021, 08:48 AM »
Title: Flamer
Comic Type: Graphic Novel
Author: Mike Curato
Illustrator: Mike Curato
Target Audience: Teens and up
Status: Available in English through Henry Holt and Co.

Content warning: homophobic language and attempt of suicide


I'm struggling to give a clear synopsis about this book, but it focuses on Aiden and him trying to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, outer and inner homophobia, and the fear of rejection should he decide to be open about his identity.  It culminates into a rather difficult scene where, at his lowest point, he reaches an epiphany that I can't show but will only describe as poignant and beautiful.

And it's a summer camp book.  This takes place at summer camp.  I have a couple other books taking place at camp that I could recommend here, too.  We'll get to those at some point.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #18 on: Jun 15, 2021, 10:37 AM »
Title: Check Please!
Comic Type: Webcomic; http://checkpleasecomic.com/
Author: Ngozi Ukazu
Illustrator: Ngozi Ukazu
Target Audience: Teens and up
Status: Complete; print edition available in English through First Second



Similarly structured as Giant Days, this is another college story focusing on the growing pains of new adults.  Especially Eric Bittle, a Georgia peach of a vlogger with a passion for baking and Beyoncé.  Bittle's attending a private university on a hockey scholarship, which means he's required to participate in the sport if he wants to stay enrolled.  But there are some obstacles he has to overcome--like checking, the rest of the team, and especially the captain's aloofness.

This series as a level of research in it akin to Lackadaisy, but in hockey in lieu of 1920s Missouri.  The voice in this title is remarkable, too.  Ngozi Ukazu knows how to write hockey jocks and the relationships they have with each other.  These boys are alive, and that's the most important thing to have in your sports story--a comradery in the team.


It's also a cute as hell love story--as if having a team that gels wasn't great enough!  I won't reveal who the couple is, but it's a legitimately sweet story.  I recommend Check, Please! for anyone who likes their sports with romance and can laugh along with the hijinks of these college boys.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #19 on: Jun 15, 2021, 12:45 PM »
Title: My Boyfriend is a Bear
Comic Type: Graphic Novel
Author: Pamela Ribbon
Illustrator: Cat Farris
Target Audience: I honestly don't know
Status: Available through Oni Press



So far I've written about comics I would recommend to y'all.

This is not one of those books.
In fact, I hate this book.

It's a romance between a 20something woman and a 500 pound black bear.  I'm not kidding, that's the premise.

You know what would have made this fun?  What would have made this an engaging, interesting, and cute read?

If the bear was a person in a suit.  Maybe they entertain in costume.


And then Nora would have to explain that yeah, her partner is different but they're still a valued partner in the relationship, and everyone gets hung up on the fursuiting hobby because it's something that's way out there compared to her exes' interests.

But no, she starts a relationship with a feral bear because her dating history was twenty-something hipsters or meatheads with no understanding of a woman's needs.  The problem isn't that guys are terrible, it's that her choice in guys is terrible.  She cannot disregard the human species as a whole just because her track record of shitty boyfriends is reflective of her desperation and fear of being alone.

I'm legit angry that it wasn't a romance with a fursuiter.  This is what we get instead.


And I understand the presentation is meant to be charming and sincere, but I just can't shake the thought that the couple I'm meant to root for is a young woman coupling with a literal black bear.  No exaggeration, they touch upon the sex angle of the relationship.  And y'all know my track record of favoring animal characters, so it could be argued that I'm protesting too much, but this ain't it.  This is a bear, not a bear man.  There's a shot of him relieving himself during hibernation.  I didn't ask for this.
(and I'm not supplying a picture because I value your eyes)

If you want to address the frustration of straight women trying to find an adequate partner, that's absolutely fine, but I don't agree with this direction.  I don't know who this is meant to be for.  Maybe y'all will have a better understanding and appreciation for this one, but I just don't.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #20 on: Jun 16, 2021, 09:19 AM »
Title: Wuvable Oaf
Comic Type: Comic series
Author: Ed Luce
Illustrator: Ed Luce
Target Audience: Adults
Status: unknown; print editions available through Fantagraphics



This bear's just lookin' for love!

Oaf is an adorable protagonist, lemme say that first and foremost. He's dedicated to his interests, he's unashamed about liking Morrissey when his previous dates chided him about it, and once I got to understand the logic behind the creation of his hair-stuffed dolls, I thought the sentiment was sweet.
He's a retired wrestler with a Devil motif whose horns would rain down fake blood, and that's metal as hell. He's got a cute lil' dad who he can talk with in sensible and sometimes playful manners.
And Oaf's the ultimate cat dad. Look at all the cats on that cover and tell me I'm wrong.

The first half of the first volume focuses on Oaf trying to land the man of his dreams--a singer in a metal band!  Following it are some short stories that read like a day-to-day capturing of the character's lives.  The second (and currently final) volume details Oaf's wrestling career before his retirement.

This is unequivocally a comic intended for gay men.  I made a huge mistake to read this in public and I wasn't prepared for all the crotch shots and occasional erections.  This comic wears its identity on its sleeve, much like Oaf and who he is.  If you are interested in reading this book, please do so with your best discretion.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #21 on: Jun 16, 2021, 01:28 PM »
Title: The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal
Comic Type: Webcomic; https://www.tjandamal.com
Author: E.K. Weaver
Illustrator: E.K. Weaver
Target Audience: Adults
Status: Complete; print edition available in English through Iron Comics



It's a bit of historical fiction, taking place in the last year of Bush's presidency, way before the Marriage Equality Act was signed and marijuana was illegal in most states.

In the span of a single day, Amal had broken off his engagement, came out to his family, and made a pact with a stranger in a bar to go to Providence to attend his sister's graduation.  The arrangement's simple enough: Amal drives the car, TJ takes care of the finances.  They embark on a road trip where they smoke weed, get kicked out of a Waffle House, and fall in love on the way to Rhode Island.

This is one of my favorite comics when it comes to grounded dialog.  The conversations play out like I'm in the car with them.  It's the comic that showed me that expositing information didn't have to read like standard exposition.  While that's not a new thing these days, it was new to me back in 2011.



It's also one of those adult stories where the sex scenes enhance the plot, and it's drawn in a way that doesn't feel exploitive, to which I am very grateful.  Baby college me had been exposed to yaoi-flavored doujins before reading this, and I absolutely hated how they handled the emotional side of sex.  TJ and Amal is about as far from yaoi as you would expect when it comes to pandering, like a breath of fresh air.



God, I gotta read this again.  I love these boys so much.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #22 on: Jun 22, 2021, 08:28 AM »
Title: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me
Comic Type: Graphic Novel
Author: Mariko Tamaki
Illustrator: Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
Target Audience: Teens and older
Status: available through First Second Books

content warning: abuse tactics (gaslighting), medical abortion


Freddie's relationship with her on-again/off-again girlfriend has been causing a rift with her other friends.  She feels her only hope for a solution is to reach out to an advice columnist, especially when her loyalties are tested to their extreme.



Mariko Tamaki has written a couple other books I would recommend reading depending on your tastes, but this is one for the books for how shitty this relationship is.  Of course there are plenty of fluffy wlw books I either have or will share in this thread, but this isn't one of them.

I think the most difficult and poignant part of this book is Freddie's friendship with Doodle.  During the whole conflict, Doodle's experiencing things that would even make adults hesitate, and having the support of her friend would be beneficial if she wasn't so wrapped up in Laura Dean.  It leads to one of my favorite panels in the whole story.  No words, the visuals tell you all you need to know about the emotional state of these friends.


And let's not forget about the dynamic that started this whole thing.  We have a couple of teens in a rocky relationship where the imbalance is palpable, and you gotta feel for these girls.  Laura Dean is charismatic but self-centered, Freddie is loyal to her social circle but also puts her girlfriend on a pedestal.  And this is a good thing to see in fiction because it's a queer experience that needs to be told.  To generalize all experiences to be The One Experience would be grossly incorrect.  Come for the beautiful visuals, stay for the messy adolescence.

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #23 on: Jun 22, 2021, 12:28 PM »
Title: Venus Envy
Comic Type: Webcomic; http://www.venusenvycomic.com/
Author: Crystal Frasier*
Illustrator: Crystal Frasier*
Target Audience: Teens and up
Status: Cancelled

content warning: transphobia



Sometimes it's important to see how far we've come.  Venus Envy started in 2001, when transgender representation was scarce; even more so representation that didn't treat them as a punchline.  And this comic was an excellent starting point for me when I was first introduced to the concept many years ago.



The comic chronicles Zoë's transition, her growing pains of dealing with adolesence and trying to have her parents understand her identity, and how she fits into her community.  My memory is vague about any further details of the plot, but I do remember the main character was treated with the utmost respect and grace from her creator, an intersex transwoman.  It gets wild at the end of the archive, and I doubt it's going to be updated again.  If anything, consider this a time capsule.

*as of the writing of this post, the website credits Crystal as "Erin Lindsey"

Re: The Bibliopossum's Library
« Reply #24 on: Jun 22, 2021, 12:32 PM »
Title: Lady of the Shard
Comic Type: Webcomic; https://gigidigi.itch.io/lady
Author: Gigi D.G.
Illustrator: Gigi D.G.
Target Audience: Older teens and up
Status: Complete



An acolyte is smitten for the goddess protecting the galaxy, and space drama happens.  It's very much a Gigi D.G. joint, if less comical than their Persona and Metal Gear comics and Cucumber Quest.  The bulk of the comic is done with what looks like a binary or pixel pen on a single colored background, and the choice of color has a deliberate meaning--black for space, red for high energy shots, pink for others, etc.  There's no painting or color play here, everything is defined with the linework.  It's a different take than what I've seen in their previous work, and it's a marvelous little story of space sapphics.


 

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