America in a Box

Crogan's March (The Crogan Adventures)
Chris Schweizer  

When Legionnaire Peter Crogan loses a friend and comrade to a violent sand storm, he is forced to confront some hard questions. Should he wait out the rapidly approaching end of his five-year term of service with the French Foreign Legion, or should he accept an offer of promotion and devote his life to a campaign whose purpose is an enigma to him?

Crogan won't have much time to consider his options as he's besieged by the armies of the infamous Tuaregs, under attack from desert raiders, beat down by the relentless heat, and trapped in a cave with a mysterious and terrible creature that is picking off the people in his party, one-by-one…

 

Ghostopolis
Doug TenNapel

Imagine Garth Hale's surprise when he's accidentally zapped to the spirit world by Frank Gallows, a washed-out ghost wrangler. Suddenly Garth finds he has powers the ghosts don't have, and he's stuck in a world run by the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who would use Garth's newfound abilities to rule the ghostly kingdom. When Garth meets Cecil, his grandfather's ghost, the two search for a way to get Garth back home, and nearly lose hope until Frank Gallows shows up to fix his mistake.

 

Gothicka
Nelson Victoria

The Gothic, Romanticism's gritty older sibling, has flourished in myriad permutations since the eighteenth century. In Gothicka,Victoria Nelson identifies the revolutionary turn it has taken in the twenty-first. Today's Gothic has fashioned its monsters into heroes and its devils into angels. It is actively reviving supernaturalism in popular culture, not as an evil dimension divorced from ordinary human existence but as part of our daily lives.

To explain this millennial shift away from the traditionally dark Protestant post-Enlightenment Gothic, Nelson studies the complex arena of contemporary Gothic subgenres that take the form of novels, films, and graphic novels. She considers the work of Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer, graphic novelists Mike Mignola and Garth Ennis, Christian writer William P. Young (author of The Shack), and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. She considers twentieth-century Gothic masters H. P. Lovecraft, Anne Rice, and Stephen King in light of both their immediate ancestors in the eighteenth century and the original Gothic-the late medieval period from which Horace Walpole and his successors drew their inspiration.

Fictions such as the Twilight and Left Behind series do more than follow the conventions of the classic Gothic novel. They are radically reviving and reinventing the transcendental worldview that informed the West's premodern era. As Jesus becomes mortal in The Da Vinci Code and the child Ofelia becomes a goddess in Pan's Labyrinth, Nelson argues that this unprecedented mainstreaming of a spiritually driven supernaturalism is a harbinger of what a post-Christian religion in America might look like.

 

Guerillas
Revel Brahm

Private John Francis Clayton is on his first tour of duty in Vietnam, facing death at every turn in the middle of a war he doesn't understand. Clayton is just trying to stay alive when he encounters an elite platoon of.... simian soldiers!? This squad of chain-smoking chimps is the most dangerous fighting force in the jungle... but whose side are they on?

 

Houdini
Lutes Jason

Compelling black-and-white illustrations galvanize a moment in the life of revered magician Harry Houdini. Lutes explores the events up to and around Houdini’s infamous 1908 feat: a daring jump from Harvard Bridge in which his hands and feet are bound in handcuffs.

Though Lutes offers an examination of Houdini’s masterful dedication to his craft, he also gives attention to some of the more serious issues in Houdini’s life, including his devotion to his wife Bess, his commitment to science and disproving spiritual fraud and his encounters with anti-Semitism.

 

Bertozzi’s illustrations are simply spectacular, with many panels fluidly conveying motion and sound solely through his captivating art. There are many wordless passages that never fail to move the plot along and mesmerize the reader. As Glen David Gold forewarns in the introduction, this book may lend itself to multiple readings; and with helpful “panel notes” and bibliography, young readers are sure to investigate this fascinating life further. A straightforward snapshot in the life of renowned magician Harry Houdini, and a glimpse into a life of determination and perseverance.

 

Presidential Races
Morris-Lipsman, Arlene

This book offers a history of U.S.political campaigns from early nationhood, when it was unseemly to actively campaign, to 19th century campaign parades, slogans and songs, and souvenirs, and into the media blitz of modern 21st century campaigns. The book includes information about Barack Obamas victory in the Fall 2008 presidential election plus coverage of his upcoming bid for reelection in the 2012 election.

 

Weing Drew
Set to Sea

The central character is a big lug and an aspiring poet who runs up tabs at the local bars by day and haunts the docks by night, writing paeans to the sea-faring life. When he gets shanghaied aboard a clipper bound for Hong Kong, he finds the sailor’s life a bit rougher than his romantic nautical fantasies. He helps rebuff a pirate assault, survives a gunshot to the eye, and learns to live—and love—a Conradian life on the sea, all the while writing poetry about pirates, bad food, unceremonial funerals, foreign ports, and unexpected epiphanies. By the end of his life, he’s found satisfaction in living a life of adventure and finding a receptive and appreciative readership. What more could one ask for?

 

Sidescrollers
Loux Matthew

Brian, Brad and Matt are best described as lovable perpetual losers. They're good guys who just lack direction and are all too happy to be enjoying that lazy time after high school. Their favorite thing to do in life is to play video games, eat junk food and kick around the suburban town they live in. All of this tranquil laziness is interrupted when Brian, Brad and Matt discover that the new girl Amber (of whom Matt is sweet on) is going to that night's big local rock show with Richard, the bully football jock. Determined to steer her away from Richard, the boys are launched off of their lazy rears and forced into a grand adventure. Chased by an irate football team, a vengeful troop of Girl Scouts and a stalking evil cat that may actually be possessed by Satan, our heroes are thrust into a giant rock 'n' roll videogame adventure.

Sidescrollers is on the of American Library Association's YALSA top ten list of greatest graphic novels for teens for 2008!

 

Smile
Telgemeier Raina

From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap. Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. http://www.scholastic.com/raina/smile/index.htm

 

The Mammoth Book of Best War Comics
Kendall David

Mixing classic strips from the likes of Sam Glanzman, Alex Toth and Joe Kubert, with graphic shorts by Ted Rall and Joe Sacco, as well as several unpublished pieces on most recent conflicts by lesser known names, the contributors collectively represent the finest graphic artists to have covered the subject of war in the 20th century. The works are drawn from a widest possible variety of sources, including classic comic magazines like the bimonthly "Blazing Combat" published by Warren in the 1970s, and DC Thomson's ongoing "Commando", individual collections such as Sam Glanzman's "Marvel" - published work, and smaller press publications whose hidden gems can now be brought to the light of day.

Contributors include: Alex Toth, Sam Glanzman, Garth Ennis, Joe Kubert, Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, Peter Severin, Darko Macan and Ted Rall. The conflicts covered include: Mexican Revolution, First World War, White Resistance in Siberia, Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Bosnia, Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq. This collection sets out to do something that hasn't been done before - drawing freely from multiple sources for its contributions. Other collections rely on a single source for their pieces, "The Mammoth Book of Best War Comics" will break out of that mould for the first time.

 

The Unsinkable Walker Bean
Renier Aaron

Walker Bean never wanted to be a high-seas pirate waging a pitched battle against the forces of the deep. It just worked out that way.

Mild, meek, and a little geeky, Walker is always happiest in his grandfather’s workshop, messing around with his inventions. But when his beloved grandfather is struck by an ancient curse, it falls on Walker to return an accursed pearl skull to the witches who created it—and his path will be strewn with pirates, magical machines, ancient lore, and deadly peril.
Author/illustrator Aaron Renier brings everything he has to this swashbuckling adventure story. Drawing from sources as disparate as Tintin, Treasure Island, and Harry Potter, Renier has woven together a breathless tale that will leave readers’ ears ringing from the cannon-shot and their eyes dazzled from the glowing stares of sea-witches.

 

The Zen of Steve Jobs
Melby Caleb

An illustrated depiction of Steve Jobs' friendship with Zen Buddhist Kobun Chino Otogawa and the impact it had on Jobs' career

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs (1955-2011) had such an enormous impact on so many people that his life often took on aspects of myth. But much of his success was due to collaboration with designers, engineers and thinkers. The Zen of Steve Jobs tells the story of Jobs' relationship with one such person: Kobun Chino Otogawa.

Kobun was a Zen Buddhist priest who emigrated to the U.S. from Japan in the early 1970s. He was an innovator, lacked appreciation for rules and was passionate about art and design. Kobun was to Buddhism as Jobs was to the computer business: a renegade and maverick. It wasn't long before the two became friends--a relationship that was not built to last.

This graphic book is a reimagining of that friendship. The story moves back and forward in time, from the 1970s to 2011, but centers on the period after Jobs' exile from Apple in 1985 when he took up intensive study with Kobun. Their time together was integral to the big leaps that Apple took later on with its product design and business strategy.

Told using stripped down dialogue and bold calligraphic panels, The Zen of Steve Jobsexplores how Jobs might have honed his design aesthetic via Eastern religion before choosing to identify only what he needs and leave the rest behind.

 

Yummy
Neri greg

Eleven-year-old Roger is trying to make sense of his classmate Robert "Yummy" Sandifer's death, but first he has to make sense of Yummy's life. Yummy could be as tough as a pit bull sometimes. Other times he was as sweet as the sugary treats he loved to eat. Was Yummy some sort of monster, or just another kid?
As Roger searches for the truth, he finds more and more questions. How did Yummy end up in so much trouble? Did he really kill someone? And why do all the answers seem to lead back to a gang—the same gang Roger's older brother belongs to?

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty is a compelling dramatization based on events that occurred in Chicago in 1994. This gritty exploration of youth gang life will force readers to question their own understandings of good and bad, right and wrong.

 

The Cartoon History of the Modern World
Gonick Larry

The Cartoon History of the Modern World is a wickedly funny take on modern history. It is essentially a complete and up–to–date course in college level Modern World History, but presented as a graphic novel. In an engaging and humorous graphic style, Larry Gonick covers the history, personalities and big topics that have shaped our universe over the past five centuries, including the Industrial Revolution, the American Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the evolution of political, social, economic, and scientific thought, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, the Cold War, Globalization––and much more.

Volume I of the Cartoon History of the Modern World picks up from Gonick's award winning Cartoon History of the Universe Series. That series began with the Big Bang and ended with Christopher Columbus sailing for the New World. This book starts off with peoples that Columbus "discovered" and ends with the U.S. Revolution.

 

The Cartoon History of the United States
Gonick Larry

What? You don't know what a Burgess is? -- You can't outline the Monroe Doctrine? -- Recall the 14th Amendment? -- Explain the difference between a sputnik and a beatnik?

Then you need The Cartoon History of the United Statesto fill those gaps. From the first English colonies to the Gulf War and the S&L debacle, Larry Gonick spells it all out from his unique cartoon perspective.

 

Re-Gifters
Carey Mike

Meet Jen Dik Seong -- or "Dixie" as she's known to her friends. Korean American, dirt poor, and living on the ragged edge of LA's Koreatown, Dixie's only outlet is the ancient martial art of hapkido. In fact, she's on the verge of winning a championship -- until she falls for fellow hapkido fan/California surfer boy Adam and gets thrown spectacularly off her game. As she struggles to win the tournament -- not to mention Adam's affections -- Dixie learns that in love and in gift-giving, what goes around comes around.

 

 

The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam
Fleming Ann Marie

A full-color graphic memoir inspired by the award-winning documentary-and the life and mystery of China's greatest magician.

Who was Long Tack Sam? He was born in 1885. He ran away from Shangdung Province to join the circus. He was an acrobat. A magician. A comic. An impresario. A restaurateur. A theater owner. A world traveler. An East-West ambassador. A mentor to Orson Welles. He was considered the greatest act in the history of vaudeville.

In this gorgeous graphic memoir, his great-granddaughter, the artist and filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, resurrects his fascinating life for the rest of the world. It's an exhilarating testament to a forgotten man. And every picture is true.

 

Everyday Life in Ancient India
Kirsten Holm

In this exciting volume, readers take a journey down the Ganges to Ancient India and peer into the life of a garland-maker. The book also elaborates on the ways of life and religious beliefs that shaped ancient Indian communities. Easy-to-follow language helps readers find out about the caste system, culture, economy, and government as they follow this garland maker and his family through a typical day in Ancient India.

 

Justice
Jum Krueger

Comic superstar Alex Ross's epic adventure featuring the World's Greatest Super-Heroes vs. the World's Greatest Super-Villains -- now in paperback.

The Justice League of America is reimagined by fan-favorite painter Alex Ross (KINGDOM COME) and writer Jim Krueger (Earth X, Universe X) with pencil art by Doug Braithwaite (Paradise X) in this new softcover collecting the first four issues of the best-selling series!

The members of the fabled Justice League of America are about to learn they aren't the only ones who can band together toward a common goal. The greatest criminal masterminds of our time appear to be acting in concert -- but with a surprising plan that seeks to achieve more good than the JLA ever could!

 

The Scrambled States of America
Keller Laurie

A wacky cross-country adventure starring the fifty states!
"Well, it was just your basic, ordinary day in the good old U. S. of A. States all over the country were waking up, having their first cups of coffee, reading the morning paper, and enjoying the beautiful sunrise. All the states, that is, except for Kansas."

At the first annual "states party," Virginia and Idaho hatch a plan to swap spots so each can see another part of the country. Before the party is over, all the states decide to switch places. In the beginning, every state is happy in its new location. But soon things start to go wrong. Will the states ever unscramble themselves and return to their proper places?

Packed with madcap humor and whimsical illustrations, this quirky story-starring all fifty states-is chock-full of introductory facts and silly antics that will make learning geography as much fun as taking a vacation.

 

Ecotourism
Parks Peggy

Grade 5-8 An introductory volume for students investigating the concept of responsible travel to natural areas. Parks informs readers about ecosystems and how they can be preserved. The underlying assumption is that knowledge will lead to understanding and thus preservation. Four chapters explain these concepts and trace the roots of ecotourism citing global examples, international organizations that encourage the practice, how indigenous peoples benefit from it, the advantages to wildlife, and its future. The text also points out the downsides that include introduction of alien species, crowding, and pollution.

 

Persepolis
Satrapi Marjane

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.

 

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Selznick Brian

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

 

Arab in America
Toufic El Rassi

The eye-opening story of the life of an average Arab-American struggling with his identity in an increasingly hostile nation. Using the graphic novel as his medium, Lebanon-born Toufic El Rassi chronicles his experience growing up Arab in America. Keen observations, clever insights and painful honesty make El Rassi's work shine as a critical 21st century memoir.

From childhood through adolescence, and as an adult, El Rassi illustrates the prejudice and discrimination Arabs and Muslims experience in American society. He contends with ignorant teachers, racist neighbors, bullying classmates, and a growing sense of alienation. El Rassi recounts his personal experiences after the 9/11 attacks and during the implementation of new security and immigration laws that followed.

El Rassi gives context to current world events, providing readers with an overview of the modern history of the Middle East, including the Gulf wars. He also examines the roles American films and news media play in creating negative stereotypes of Arab-Americans, showing how difficult it is to have an Arab identity in a society saturated with anti-Arab images and messages.

 

Cairo
Wilson, G. Willow

Written by G. Willow Wilson Art and cover by M.K. Perker The original graphic novel by breakout talent G. Willow Wilson, a Cairo-based journalist, with art by renowned illustrator M.K. Perker, is now available in trade paperback! The creative team behind the new monthly series AIR brings together ancient and modern Middle East with a Vertigo twist. A stolen hookah, a spiritual underworld and a genie on the run change the lives of five strangers forever in this modern fable set on the streets of the Middle East's largest metropolis. This magical-realism thriller interweaves the fates of a drug runner, a down-on-his-luck journalist, an American expatriate, a young activist and an Israeli soldier as they race through bustling present-day Cairo to find an artifact of unimaginable power, one protected by a dignified jinn and sought by a wrathful gangster-magician. But the vastness of Africa's legendary City of Victory extends into a spiritual realm - the Undernile - and even darker powers lurk there...

 

Pitch Black
Youme

On the subway, do ever notice that people are always looking, but they only see what they want to? Things can be sitting right in front of them and still they can’t see it.

That’s your guide Anthony speaking. He’ll show you how he lives in the tunnels underneath the New York City subway system—that is, if you’ll let him. Which is exactly what Youme decided she would do one afternoon when she and Anthony began a conversation in the subway about art. It turns out that both Youme and Anthony Horton are artists. While part of Youme’s art is listening long and hard to the stories of the people she meets, part of Anthony’s is making art out of what most people won’t even look at. Thus began a unique collaboration and conversation between these two artists over the next year, which culminated in Anthony’s biography, the graphic novel Pitch Black. With art and words from both of them, they map out Anthony’s world—a tough one from many perspectives, startling and undoing from others, but from Anthony’s point of view, a life lived as art.