Category Archives: Graphic Novels

February 5, 2014

The Lost Boy Book Review

Posted by at 1:07 am in Graphic Novels, Reads | Permalink

The Lost BoyThe Lost Boy by Greg Ruth (a graphic novel for ages 8-12)

There’s something spooky about Nate’s new house in Crow’s Woods. When Nate gets to pick his own room, he never expects to find a note addressed to him in the floorboards. Along with it is a series of old recordings, all made by a boy named Walter Pidgin.The Lost Boy book cover by Greg Ruth

Walt’s story takes place in the 1950s. Walt takes his mother’s tape recorder with him wherever he goes, documenting his life, especially when weird things start to happen. Dogs and cats start to go missing, and Walt thinks he sees crickets riding dogs and a doll that moves and speaks. And there’s a talking squirrel. He thinks he is going crazy, so he sets off to investigate.

Meanwhile, in the present, Nate starts seeing the same things Walt described on his tapes. His nosy neighbor Tabitha joins him when he decides to seek out answers. Signs are beginning to show that a dark force is about to escape, and Nate and Tabitha must save the town from the evil Vespertine before his powers completely take over Crow’s Woods.

The Lost Boy is a suspenseful mystery with a twist of fantasy. The artwork and the writing makes the characters jump off the page, sucking you right into the story. Read Chapter 1 and let us know what you think in the Comments!

–Elysse, STACKS Writer

January 6, 2014

Captain Underpants Meets Wimpy Kid Webcast!

extraJeff Kinney and Dav Pilkey Create a “Story Smashup” Live On Stage in an Exclusive Scholastic Webcast

Jeff Kinney, creator of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and Dav Pilkey, creator of the Captain Underpants series joined forces for a “Story CU_attackoftalkingtoiletsSmashup” webcast event at Scholastic.

Superstar artist-authors Jeff Kinney and Dav Pilkey worked together to create an original story with art and pictures based on suggestions from an audience of kids. In the webcast, you can also watch Kinney and Pilkey’s hilarious attempts to draw each other’s characters and to see if they can draw their own characters, Greg Heffley and Captain Underpants, blindfolded! Watch the webcast video.

And . . . There’s more! You can enter a contest based on Jeff Kinney and Dav Pilkey’s story starter. Download the contest entry form and create your own brilliant, one-of-a-kind, three-panel ending to Kinney and Pilkey’s original story! One Grand Prize Winner will have his or her entry framed alongside Kinney and Pilkey’s first six panels, autographed by each author. Ten Runners-Up will receive their very own illustrated storytelling extravaganza book collection. So, yeah, you will want to enter that!

Mail your entry by February 14 to:
The Mini-Story Cliff-Hanger Contest
P.O. Box 714
New York, NY, 10013-0714

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. All students in grades 2 through 8 in a U.S. school who are legal U.S. residents are eligible to enter, except those who have family members employed by Scholastic Inc. Every entry MUST include student name, teacher name, grade/age, school name, address and phone number and mailed to: Mash-Up Mini-Story Cliffhanger Contest, P.O. Box 714, New York, NY, 10013-0714. One (1) Grand Prize Winner (approx. retail value: $300) and ten (10) Runners Up (approximate retail value: $75) will be selected based on clarity of thought, execution and creativity. Winners will be notified on or about March 13, 2014. Void where prohibited.

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

May 8, 2013

Artemis Fowl Graphic Novel Review

Posted by at 12:59 am in Graphic Novels, Reads | Permalink

Artemis_fowl_graphicnovel_130 Artemis Fowl Graphic Novel Review

A couple days after reading and reviewing Artemis Fowl, I was walking through the book store
when I saw a graphic novel version of that same book. “Preposterous!” I thought (with a British accent). “Downright farcical.The cheek! To turn Artemis Fowl into a comic. . . well!” OK, I didn’t think that at all; that was pretty much my Artemis Fowl impression. Terrible, I know.

As it happens, I’m actually a big fan of graphic novels. Artemis Fowl is a very
visual book, with lots of descriptions of the fairy world, Artemis’s enormous manor, and crazy fairy inventions tearing Artemis’s manor apart, so I couldn’t resist the urge to pick up the comic and see that world come to life.

I’m not sure if the graphic novel version quite lives up to the (admittedly high) standard of the book, but pretty much everything is there – all the characters, all the plot points, all the sweet action and gadgets and magic and mayhem. I had small quibbles with the way some characters were drawn, but that’s inevitable, I suppose. Personally, I pictured Foaly and Mulch much more like traditional Centaurs and Dwarves, and Artemis kind of like Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies . . . but again, that’s personal taste, and I shouldn’t complain about the art. In general, it was colorful, vibrant, creative, and well-executed.

— Jack, STACKS Writer

February 28, 2013

NEW Harry Potter Illustrator Kazu Kibuishi


SneakPeekNEW Harry Potter Illustrator Kazu Kibuishi

Meet Kazu Kibuishi, the illustrator of the new Harry Potter book covers coming out in September 2013. If you have read his Amulet series, then you know he is an awesome artist. If you have never heard of him before, you might be worried about his credentials. Is he worthy of the epic task of illustrating the book covers to the ultimate series of all time??

Click here to see the first new Harry Potter cover.

I had the chance to interview him a few years ago and he is so, so nice! For those Harry Potter fans who are worried about the new Harry Potter covers, I can assure you we are in good hands with this illustrator!

Watch my interview with him where he talks about being an artist.

And this interview where he shows us his real live, actual sketchbook!

He seems super-cool, right?  Leave a Comment to tell us what you think of the new Harry Potter covers!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

August 17, 2010

Dav Pilkey Ook & Gluk Game

Posted by at 10:16 am in Dav Pilkey, Games, Graphic Novels, Reads, Trivia | Permalink

Ook_gluk Hi! You may know by now that Dav Pilkey, the creator of the Captain Underpants series has a new book out called The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung Fu Cavemen From the Future. There were some hilarious comments about the book cover when we previewed it a few months ago. And now Dav Pilkey created this Spot the Difference game with an image from the book. There are 26 differences between the two images. Can you find them all?

Ook_and_gluck

Continue reading

February 3, 2010

EXCLUSIVE Smile Comic from Raina Telgemeier

Posted by at 3:04 pm in Authors, Graphic Novels, Reads | Permalink

Raina_stacks_130Raina Telgemeier Smile Exclusive

Do I have something for you! Raina Telgemeier, author and illustrator of the new graphic novel Smile, drew a new comic just for Ink Splot 26 readers!

Smile is the true story of how Raina tripped and fell, severely injuring her two front teeth in sixth grade. What follows is a frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth to fix it! But, life doesn't stop in the meantime. . . Raina still has to deal with middle school, a major earthquake, friend drama, and boys. Read the full review here.

There is one thing Raina left out of the book. . . Novocaine. But, now you can see that right here in Raina Telgemeier's exclusive comic strip:

 Raina_stacks_web
(Click to view larger)

UPDATE: Also see Raina Telgemeier's newest book, Drama.

—Carly H., STACKS Staffer

Copyright 2010 Raina Telgemeier

January 13, 2010

Dental Disasters!

Posted by at 8:50 am in Graphic Novels, Reads | Permalink

Smile_130Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Aah, hanging out with your friends. You laugh. You go shopping. You have sleepovers and you always have fun. Well, imagine this: you and your friends are chasing each other one day and you trip. When you fall, you hit the cement. You hit the cement so hard that you knock out your two front teeth! This is exactly what happens to the character of Raina in the graphic novel Smile by Raina Telgemeier.

After an emergency trip to Dr. Golden's office, the dentist glues Raina's teeth back into her mouth. He covers them in gauze that soon becomes soggy and gross. When Raina takes off the gauze, she discovers that the teeth have been inserted too far. Now she looks like a vampire! Going to school looking like a vampire will definitely make boys notice her, but not in a good way.

Luckily, Raina's dentist can fix her teeth, but there is one problem – it's going to take years! So many trips to the dentist's office to get fake teeth, braces and even head gear! How would you like to be called your dentist's star patient and see him more than you see some of your friends? It's no fun at all. And while suffering from this dental humiliation, she still has to find time to do all the things that normal middle school girls do. She needs to do homework, attend dances, try out for the school basketball team and secretly stalk Sean, the boy she has a huge crush on.

Will Raina's teeth ever grow back? Will she ever look "normal" again? Or is she doomed to a lifetime of surgery, all because she tripped?

Find out more about the author and illustrator, Raina Telgemeier.
See an exclusive Smile sneak peek!

— Jen, Scholastic Booktalker

December 14, 2009

Missile Mouse Sneak Peek and Writing Prompt

Missile_mouse_130 My friends who are into comics were very excited last year about a graphic novel anthology called Flight Explorer. It is a group of different stories all by different artists. If you read Flight Explorer, then you already know Missile Mouse, who made his graphic novel debut in that book. This new book Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher by Jake Parker coming out in January is entirely devoted to the adventures of Missile Mouse.

Missile Mouse, secret agent for the Galactic Security Agency, is a risk
taker and a rule breaker, which is why he's in hot water at GSA headquarters.
Then RIP, the Rogue Imperium of Planets, kidnaps a scientist who knows about
the Star Crusher, a doomsday machine capable of destroying the entire universe. . . Time to let loose the mouse!

Take a look at this sneak peek from the book, and read on for today's Writing Prompt:

Missile_mouse

Click to view larger

In this panel from the book, Missile Mouse has gotten into a spot of trouble. He's surrounded by those dangerous looking ant creatures but he can't kill them because they're endangered species! How is he going to get out of this situation? Write what you think happens next.

Leave your answers in the Comments.

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

October 17, 2009

Freddie Highmore is Anime Sensation, Astro Boy

Thumb Do you love anime and manga? Well, the character who started it all in Japan, the very first anime character ever, Astro Boy, is coming to theaters in the United States. Astro Boy first appeared as a comic (manga) in a Japanese magazine in 1951. Later, starting in 1963, he became an anime sensation in an animated TV series in Japan.

So what is the new movie about? Astro Boy’s Japanese name is Tetsuwan Atomu, meaning Mighty Atom. Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist named Dr. Tenma. He is endowed with super strength, x-ray vision, unbelievable speed and the ability to fly, but he also has a heart. When he learns that his friends and family are in danger, Astro Boy marshals his awesome super powers in a valiant effort to save them.

Freddie Highmore is the voice of Astro Boy in the new movie, and he answered some of our questions about it.

Q: What was it like playing an animated character versus a human character?
Freddie:
Well, it was something different. People often think it’s a bit easier to do a voice, but I think it can be a bit harder. I mean my experience is you’ve still got to be committed to the role. In Astro Boy there’s so many moments where he’s upset or in the middle of a big battle and I think you’ve really got to be there, whether it means crying in the middle of the scene when people say, “Oh just use your voice.” Or running up and down on the spot to get out of breath and sound authentic. I think you’ve got to do that and not be self conscious at all. So in that way it can be harder. And also that you’re not with the person that you’re supposed to be doing the scene with. David’s been fantastic in that way explaining to us what the other person’s done and what we can do to make it fit in, but it’s never the same thing.

Small_hands Q: Are there similar characteristics or different characteristics between you and Astro Boy other than that he’s a robot?
Freddie:
I think that everyone has something in common with Astro Boy in that we’ve all got something different about us that makes us stand out for certain reasons. And Astro Boy is a human in a robot’s body. So I guess I can identify with him in that way and everyone else in the world can. We’ve all got a different characteristic, be it a good thing or a bad thing, that makes us different from everyone else. And like Astro Boy we all want to be accepted into society, into a group of friends, into a family. Just another normal person. He wants to be accepted right from the moment his dad says, “I don’t want you any more. You’re a robot and you can’t replace my son.”

Q: What was the coolest part about working on this film?
Freddie:
I think it was fantastic being able to get to see it right from the beginning to the end. I also think it’s very cool to play a superhero and to have such a fantastic role in the film, but what made it really exciting was having been to Japan to do promotional shoots and seeing Astro Boy stores that they have there and the murals dedicated to him. I mean he is Japan’s Mickey Mouse. The exciting thing was to be able to try and bring the excitement generated there to the rest of the world.

Small_flyQ: If you had a personal robot, what would you get it to do for you?
Freddie:
I think being able to transport me at an incredible quick pace anywhere in the world would be fantastic. I could be in London through the help of my London, travel over to Los Angeles in a couple of seconds. That would be fantastic. And it would be incredibly easy to keep up with friends that way all around the world.

— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

Interview by Marie Morreale
Images Courtesy of Summit Entertainment, © 2009 Imagi Crystal Limited/Original Manga © Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd.