Tag Archives: comic books

ZiTS: Chillax by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman

16 Sep

chillaxZiTS: Chillax

by Jerry Scott

Illustrated by Jim Borgman

256 pages – ages 8+

Publisheb by HarperTeen on May 21, 2013

Jeremy felt helpless that his friend(Tim)’s mom got cancer. Jeremy and his friends were finally going to  get to go to an epic rock concert without any parents (the band they want to see is called Gingivitis) but Tim is donating bone marrow for his mom on that night. Jeremy and his best friends Hector, Pierce, Sara (Jeremy’s girlfriend) and Dijon (Sara’s BFF) try to figure out how to help Tim. Sara and Dijon decide to go with Tim to the hospital when he donated the marrow, Pierce shaves his head in support, Jeremy and Hector hatch a plan of their own to try to help out.

When I first got this book, I was thinking it would be a compilation (that’s my new word for today – thank you Mr. Thesaurus :) ) of Zits comic strips. I love reading Zits in the newspaper! This isn’t a bunch of comics, it’s a middle grade novel! Very cool. The novel has a bunch of great black and white illustrations throughout it. I think that Mr. Scott and Mr. Borgman did a great job changing their comic strip into an MG book. I also liked that besides lots of comic strip humor, the book had a story. It tells about how Jeremy has to deal with his girlfriend and how he wants to get to the rock concert but it also has the serious part to the plot about his friend’s mom having cancer. It made the story believable for me. It is kind of like real life. I also liked that I learned more about the characters in the Zits comic than I get just reading the strip.

I give “ZiTS: Chillax” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more, please visit the Zits official website HERE!

Check out the trailer!

WAIT!!!

Before you go – I am SO excited to say that the next stop on  The Adventures of Tomato and Pea blog tour is over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog!!! Please check it out for an interview with me and a chance to win a copy of my book! :D Plus Ms. Hill is doing a Q&A with me and commentors! So if you have a question for me ask away! I will answer them when I get home from school today! :) Click HERE to go THERE!

 

T&P1BLOGTOURBANNER

All Hallows Eve Vs. Fantômas Books 1 and 2 by David Eveleigh

29 Apr

allhallowsevefantomAll Hallows Eve Vs. Fantômas Book I: The Spectre Of Crime

By David Eveleigh

Published: Oct. 22, 2012

Words: 10,525 – ages 9+

All Hallows Eve is a comic book super-heroine that I love reading about (check out my review of All Hallows Eve HERE and All Hallows Eve Face the Music HERE).  The books in the Fantômas series are written like a serial adventure, so you have to wait for the next book to continue the story. The books are actually novellas, not typical comic books, but they are packed with lots of comic book action. I am reviewing the first two in the series, because that’s all there is so far.

In All Hallows Eve Vs. Fantômas: The Spectre of Crime, Eve was being attacked by a tough voodoo doll-like villain named Zepingles, only to learn it was a diversion after she defeated it. When Eve got to the scene of the true crime she finds out that  the evil Fantômas has attacked Professor Steiner to get blueprints for a special machine that Fantômas wants for evil purposes. Fantômas is the legendary super-villain who always wins. Eve has never been up against such a powerful enemy!

**Just a cool note – the character Fantômas was a very popular French comic book super villain from back in the early 1900s and Mr. Eveleigh brought him back. :)

English: A poster for the first Fantomas film,...

English: A poster for the first Fantomas film, Fantômas (1913) by Louis Feuillade, produced by Gaumont studios. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

allhallowsevefantom2All Hallows Eve Vs. Fantomas Book II: The Woman In White

By David Eveleigh

Published: Feb. 08, 2013

Words: 17,581 – ages 9+

When Eve and her best friend Samantha take a young girl (the granddaughter of Professor Steiner) Trick-or-Treating, they visit a house. Well, not just any house but THE BEST  place for a Trick-or-Treater to go to on Halloween! Mrs. Calderon A.K.A. Mrs. Cauldron goes over-the-top every year for Halloween!!! When the friends get there, THEY are the ones tricked, not treated! Fantômas shows up at that house and what’s worse, the kids find out Mrs. Cauldron isn’t the real Mrs. Cauldron! The real Mrs. Cauldron is being held captive by Fantômas. The imposter hypnotized the kids so that they couldn’t open their eyes or move a muscle.  That isn’t even the surprise! The surprise is… Mrs. Calderon, A.K.A. Mrs. Cauldron, A.K.A. the Woman In White is literally Eve’s evil twin! AND, the adventure isn’t over yet!!!

I think Eve is an awesome superhero. It’s cool that she’s a teen-girl superhero because there aren’t a lot of them (the Cassidy Jones series is another one of my favorite series with a teen-girl superhero). The series is written well for kids because there’s no bad language and the violence in it is comic book style and mild. The action described in the stories is exciting and the plot is also exciting and unpredictable (I never saw the evil twin sister thing coming!). I like that in book 2 of the series Mr. Eveleigh has a strong message about saying no to drugs and how bad drugs are. It is a good message for kids.  The fact that the books are pretty short and very exciting makes them great for kids who may be reluctant readers.

Five out of five book worms for the All Hallows Eve Vs. Fantômas series! fivebooks

You can find the All Hallows Eve books at Barnes and Noble (HERE) and Smashwords (HERE).

Check out what Eve thinks of me: ;)

For Erik

Two Great Graphic Novel Series from Papercutz

10 Dec

Today I am reviewing two comic book/graphic novel series from Papercutz, a great graphic novel publisher. I really like that Papercutz has a huge selection of comics and that they make comics for every age group. Check out all the titles they have at their website by clicking HERE. As you may know, I really like comics and graphic novels and I think they are a great way to get kids into reading.

The first series combines one of my favorite things – LEGOs with another of my favorite things – READING!

ninjagobanner

The Papercutz LEGO Ninjago books are based on Ninjago (LEGO ninja warriors)  toys (and there is a LEGO game called Spinjitsu that you can play). The graphic novel series has 7 volumes so far. The story starts in book 1. Kai (the red ninja)’s sister, Nya, was kidnapped by Lord Garmadon, so Kai joined a team of ninjas led by Sensei Wu: Cole (black ninja), Jay (blue ninja) and Zane (white ninja). Together they gather the four golden weapons of Spinjitsu (their martial art). They get the weapons and go to stop Lord Garmadon… or will they?!?

The adventure continues through the other books. The story plots are connected and they are super fun to read (you don’t have to like LEGOs to love these graphic novels). The art work is really great! Here is an example from the Papercutz website.

Ninjago_Interior_P1.indd

The books are written well for younger kids. There is a lot of excitement, good vs. evil and super ninja action! There is also a lot of humor mixed into the stories. I think that makes it even better.

I think this LEGO based graphic novel series would be a great gift for any kid who loves LEGOs AND it gets them into reading! I’d recommend this series to kids 5+.

I give the Ninjago Comic books 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks

The next series I want to tell you about is called “Dance Class.”

**I know you are saying, “Erik, isn’t this a series for girls?” Answer: Yes it is, but I like the stories anyway. ;)

dance_header

The main idea of the series is the main characters, Julie, Alia, and Lucie, LOVE to dance. They are also friends and go to school together. The girls practice, compete and try to be the best dancer.  This also means that sometimes there is some trouble like when a cute boy is made the lead in Romeo and Juliet and all the girls want to be Juliet! The girls have usual teenage issues that they deal with too (school, parents, boys).

There are four books in the series so far -

danceclassbanner

I think this is a great series. Julie, Alia and Lucie are nice girls that love dance and do it well. I like how they work hard to get what they want. I do like seeing perseverance in characters. Sometimes a character can be a bit mean to another one and there’s some jealousy (like if one girl gets picked for a part that another one wanted), but it adds to the story plot.  There is a ton of humor in the books. The illustrations are great and also add to the humor of the books -

I recommend this series to kids 10+ because it seems to be meant for a little older kid. I think girls (and some boys ;) ) would love these books!

I give the Dance Class series 4 out of 5 bookworms. fourbooks

All Hallows Eve by David Eveleigh

4 Jun

All Hallows Eve
by David Eveleigh
Published December 16, 2011 on Smashwords
ebook reviewed
ages 9+  about 44900 words

Eve was a normal thirteen-year-old kid. She was a bit too tall and skinny and she had hair that stuck out like hay. All of this made her feel awkward about the way she looked. Eve got invited to a Halloween costume party and she decides to go as “The Teen Trickster,” her town’s legendary superhero. The Teen Trickster disappeared years ago after battling the evil villain “Jack O’ Ripper.”  Once Eve had the outfit on, she realized that it was no ordinary costume. The costume gave the person wearing it superpowers! Eve thought it was strange that her mom kept a Teen Trickster, costume in her closet.  That is until she found out that her mom used to by the town’s superhero – “The Teen Trickster”! The problem now is the infamous Jack O’ Ripper is back causing problems in the city. Eve along with her mom and best friend, Samantha, must stop Jack O’ Ripper before it’s too late!

I loved this book! The plot, setting, and dialogue were all great! I really liked the Eve character, both as a regular girl and as a superhero.  The story really reminds me of the old style comics (All Hallows Eve is a novel not a comic but it made me think about comics when I was reading it). I like that there are good guys that are good and bad guys that are really bad in the story! The story was fun to read and kept me turning the digital pages ;) There are some illustrations in the book that are really great. It would have been nice to have a little more details about certain topics in the story, like how the Mom got her superpowers and more about Eve’s life as a normal kid. The book had some mild comic book type violence in it, but other than that, it was a real clean read. I think boys will like the book because it is about a superhero and girls will like that it is a girl superhero. I wish the book was available in a regular book form (not just ebooks). It’s a book I’d like to keep on my shelf. I will definitely be reading the second book in the series, All Hallows Eve vs. Fantômas when it comes out!

I give All Hallows Eve 4 out of five book worms.

I also really like the tag line for the book -

“Get ready for a Smack!-O-Lantern of excitement with a girl so tough… it’s scary!”

Come on, “Smack!-O-Lantern” is funny!

“All Hallows Eve” is available at Smashwords (click HERE) and Barnes and Noble (click HERE).

Check out the trailer -

Guest Book Review by Micah! – Calvin and Hobbes

31 May

Today I have another AWESOME guest kid book reviewer – MICAH! Micah is ten years old and he is also a kid blogger! He and his brother, Taylor are “The Story Boys”! You can check out their blog HERE. Micah is also the son of children’s novelist Michelle Isenhoff (a pretty talented family huh? :) )!

I really like the book Micah chose to review because it is also one of my favorite books/characters!

Calvin and Hobbes

by Bill Watterson

Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC 1987

This is a comic book.  There are a bunch of stories in one.  The stories are funny.  The characters are Calvin and Hobbes.  Calvin is a little rotten boy.  Hobbes is a stuffed animal tiger.  He comes to life when he is alone.  They like to play pirates in their tree house. They love to have wagon rides and they always wipe out.  He gets in trouble a lot.

 

I love how Calvin is so funny and naughty.  I love how Calvin hates baths and he gets out and runs around naked.  He also hates the doctor and he screams his head off.  I don’t like all the snow ball fights and how he thinks he is a super hero.  I recommend this book.

 

Five out of five bookworms!

 

Thanks Micah for the great review!!

PLEASE READ ON :)

One more thing – I was invited to do a guest post by Myra Garces-Bacsal over at Gathering Books in the Quill Junior part of the blog! The theme of the blog posts for May and June is “Festival of Asian Literature and the Immigrant Experience.” Please check it out by clicking HERE!

Mega Man: A New Series by Archie Comics!

8 Sep

#1 -The one I don't have **sigh**

Mega Man Comic Series

Published by Archie Comics first issue published March 2011

Mega Man #2

Dr. Light created the robots Rock and his sister Roll to help him in his lab. He also created the Robot Masters (helper robots) to help around the city. Then Dr. light’s former friend, Dr. Wily, stole the Robot Masters and reprogrammed them to take over the city. Dr. Light changed Rock into Mega Man to fight the Robot Masters and bring them back to the lab.

Mega Man #3

Mega Man is a new comic book series that started in March. I was excited to see the new comic title come out and my mom got me a year subscription. I’ve been waiting to review this series for a long time because the publishers never sent me the 1st book in the series, so, I’ve decided to just write the review on the books I’ve read so far (4 in all) in the Mega Man series. I like the story plot because I think it’s exciting and it’s also told really well. The Mega Man character is a kind robot. I think it’s cool how he can download the Robot Masters most powerful attack to use as his own. I really like the illustrations because they are cartoonish, unique, and colorful. It is good for kids 5+ because there is no bad language and no extreme violence (there is fighting, but it’s comic book fighting like superheroes fighting). Mega Man is a good comic worth reading and I look forward to it in my mailbox every month.

I give the Mega Man comic book series 3 out of 5 book worms!

Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework

28 Aug

Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework

Written by Nadja Spiegelman and illustrated by Trade Loeffler

39 pages – Ages 6+

Published in 2010 by Toon Books

Zig and Wikki are best friends, aliens, and around 11,12 or 13 years old. When they have to find a pet for school,they end up landing on Earth and learning about flies, dragonflies, frogs and raccoons. Wikki got shrunk and nearly drowned and Zig nearly left Wikki behind! Will they make it home with their homework?

This book is a funny graphic novel. I recommend it to every kid who likes comics or kids that are learning to read. This Zig and Wikki book is filled with fun facts about some of the Earth’s creatures. The illustrations were really great! It is an easy read but interesting.

I give it 4 out of 5 book worms.

Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers

28 Jul

Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers
By George Beard and Harold Hutchins (both are also known as Dav Pilkey A.K.A. the creator of Captain Underpants).
Ages 9-12 -192 pages
Published by Scholastic in 2011

If you didn’t get enough Super Diaper Baby (A.K.A. Billy) don’t worry! Super Diaper Baby 2 was finally just published this past June (the Adventures of Super Diaper Baby came out way back in 2002)! Billy and Diaper Dog have all new enemies too: Dr. Dinkle (A.K.A. Rip Van Tinkle) and his cat, Petey. Dr. Dinkle and Petey are out to destroy every toilet in town! It seems that Billy and Diaper Dog have met their match! How will they win?!?!?

First I have to tell you that the book’s humor is really inappropriate :o  -there’s a lot of pee, toilet, diaper and potty humor. Plus the intentional misspelling of words in the book drives my Mom crazy. BUT -I am a nine-year old boy and I think the book is hysterical :) ! Dav Pilkey wrote the book as George and Harold (of Captain Underpants fame), two fourth grade students who came up with the story. So the book is more of a made up story told from the view-point of two ten-year old kids and I like the idea of it! The story is creative and I think it could get kids thinking about stories they can come up with. It’s written in a comic format with a lot of illustrations. It is an easy read but watch out for those misspelled words!

I give Super Diaper Baby 2 four out of five book worms!

CLUB PENGUIN Shadow Guy And Gamma Gal: HEROES UNITE

25 May

Club Penguin Shadow Guy and Gamma Gal: Heroes Unite
By Arie Kaplan Illustrated by Richard Cabajal
64 pages – ages 6+
Published by Grosset & Dunlap in 2010

Another Absolutely Awesome Graphic Novel – CLUB PENGUIN Shadow Guy And Gamma Gal: HEROES UNITE
Learn how the super heroes of Club Penguin got their powers and learn how hey became united!

Meet Gamma Gal – The girl who shines with gamma powers and was trained by Sensei who also taught her martial arts.

Meet Shadow Guy – This is one penguin that lurks in the shadows-because he is a shadow! He was trained by Gary The Gadget Guy (AKA E.P.F. Agent G – The E.P.F. stands for Elite Penguin Force). They join together to stop a sea monster that even the EPF couldn’t stop. Can they work together?

This is a good graphic novel. The story was exciting. The pictures are really colorful and the book is good for young advanced readers because there is no real violence and the language is good. You don’t have to be a fan of www.clubpenguin.com to enjoy the book (although I do like to play Club Penguin online and on the Wii). There are many other Club Penguin graphic novels to choose from if you like this one!

I rate this book 4 out of 5 book worms.

Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken -Why are they mad at each other?

27 Apr

 

(To learn the answer to this question you are going to have to visit Ray Friesen’s website (www.donteatanybugs.net)! )

PART 2 of COMIC BOOKS ROCK!

In my last post I told you why I think kids and parent should read comic books. In COMIC BOOKS ROCK part 2 you get a guest interview with comic creator RAY FRIESEN!!!!

Mr Friesen has created many funny characters and written and illustrated a bunch of comic books. For example -

A Cheese Related Mishap          Yarg!     Cupcakes of Doom!

Mr. Friesen was kind to answer some questions from me about comic books in the interview below -

What did you read when you were younger and when did you become interested in comics?

 

Probably when I was six or seven, my mom had some Calvin & Hobbes and Far Side collections, lying around the house. Also some older strip collections, of Pogo and Popeye (those books had been dropped in bathtubs too many times and were falling apart.) Those were my first exposure to the cartooning medium. Comic Strips are different from Comic Books though, you can tell longer and more complex stories. I vaguely recall being on a train, and my mom bought me some Simpsons and Star Wars comics. Then I discovered Mad Magazine, Asterix, Tintin, Uncle Scrooge… Any comic that was funny, or adventurey. I’ve never been a very big super hero person (probably Spiderman is my favorite superhero, since he’s funnier.)

  How do you think comics benefit kids as far as reading and learning to read?

Extremely beneficial! I know several kids who didn’t read books at all, but got introduced to comics somehow, and were captivated. The pictures draw them in, and the stories keep them around. Hopefully they will then move onto novels and encyclopedias and things (If you’re just reading for fun, there are probably enough comics in the world to keep you going for the rest of your life!) I was in a bookshop the other day, and saw a mom and her teenage daughter. The daughter very much did not want to be in that bookstore, and cried ‘I hate books, they’re so boring!” and I felt very sad, that girl’s opinion was very obviously wrong, but she’ll probably never change it.

 I know that some comics are meant for adults but there are a lot written for kids too. Your comics are great for kids (and adults). What do you think about when you make a comic to make them good for kids?

I seem to have the sort of brain that just does that naturally, my comics are intended for all ages, both old and young, I’m not trying to write comics specifically for anyone besides myself, and I’m only really secretly pretending to be an adult. I tried to write something with adult themes once (paying mortgages, driving around wearing ties, etc) and it felt very forced. As I understand my comics history, for the longest time comics were always marketed directly at kids (even the ones with lots of murderblood and ladies-with-not-enough-clothes-on) –but then in the 70′s and 80′s, comics claimed to have ‘Grown Up” and they suddenly weren’t for kids at all any more. It waffles back and forth like that, too far in one direction, then too far in the other. I like it where there are so many different types of comics, that anyone can easily find one that they really really enjoy.

I see that you draw AND write your comic books.  Which is more important ? The words or the pictures?

This question’s a toughie. For comics, words and pictures really tie together. However, well written comics can be badly drawn and still work, but equally some comics don’t have much story, but the art is amazing. The pictures are what really catch your eye when you first glance at a comic, and some comics can work just fine without any words at all (although don’t be fooled, they’re still telling a story, they’re just not using words to do it.) Sometimes, a person who can only write, and a person who can only draw team up and make comics together, something neither of them would be able to do apart.

I write and draw, and they are both separate, but intermixed processes. I usually write first, I want to know the whole story before I start drawing. Sometimes when I have a really tight deadline, I HAVE to draw before I’ve written the ending, and these stories are never quite as good. Also sometimes, I’ll draw a character in such a way I realize they’re more interesting, and I go back and change the writing so they can have a bigger role in the story – so that I can draw them more. I also come up with a lot of the background gags while I’m drawing rather than writing.

If I had to pick, I’d say I’m slightly more of a writer than an artist. I’m always writing things I don’t want to draw. (“HELICOPTERS? AGAIN? I hate drawing technology! Why did I write this? SHEESH!) Also if I were collaborating with another creator, I would rather write something that they draw, rather than draw something somebody else wrote. I would start changing their script too much, and we’d get in big arguments.

This one is for just me, on #16 of your FAQs  page – why no Vikings? After all, I’m named after Erik the Red

Not everything I do is supposed to make sense. I’m a cartoonist.

Also, at the time I wrote that FAQ, I had just finished Cupcakes of Doom, in which Vikings are the EvilBadGuysTM.

THANKS MR. FRIESEN!

Ray Friesen’s website is packed with lots of cool stuff. There are downloads, comics, instructions on how to draw some characters, and a lot more! You can even read some of the chapters of his books AND of course you can purchase his books there too!

Mr. Friesen’s latest book is called “Piranha Pancakes”

His next book (which I have already pre-ordered) comes out in July and it’s called “Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken”

To learn more about Mr. Friesen and his comics please visit his website www.donteatanybugs.com

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