Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, everyone! In keeping with the spirit of the season, here are a few gift suggestions– great graphic novels for any age group, by a few of my good friends!

Definitely Nat: The Nat Enough Collection #1-3 Boxed Set by Maria Scrivan

Making friends isn’t easy, but losing them is even harder!
Natalie is navigating her way through the minefields of middle school. Between best friends and boyfriends and ex-friends, Natalie doesn’t think she measures up to others. But when she meets new friends, will Natalie be able to focus on who she is, rather than who she isn’t and discover that she’s more than enough, just the way she is?
This three-book box set by New York Timesbestselling creator Maria Scrivan includes Nat Enough, Forget Me Nat, and Absolutely Nat.
All Ages.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER DEFINITELY NAT ONLINE

Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point by Christos Gage and Reilly Brown

Batman is lost on Fortnite Island from the popular video game, and trapped in it’s recurring time loop battle royale, where everything, including his memory, is reset every 22 minutes. Can even the world’s greatest detective solve the mystery of Fortnite Island?

CLICK HERE TO ORDER BATMAN/FORTNITE: ZERO POINT ONLINE

Olympians Boxed Set Books 1-6 by George O’Connor

In OLYMPIANS, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama fantasy adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.

Collectors will adore this packaged set, with lots of new artwork and a free poster featuring the complete Olympians family tree.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER OLYMPIANS ONLINE

The Red Hook, Vol.1: New Brooklyn by Dean Haspiel

Winner of the Ringo Award for Best Webcomic 2017, this book collects the first volume of THE RED HOOK, a super-thief who is bequeathed the Omni-fist of Altruism and transformed into a hero against his will a year after a sentient Brooklyn’s heart is broken and physically secedes from America.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE RED HOOK ONLINE

Moonshadow: The Definitive Edition by J.M. DeMatteis, Illustrated by Jon J. Muth, Kent Williams, Kevin Nowlan and George Pratt

A romantic, unreliable narrator leads us through his interplanetary coming-of-age story, as an older Moonshadow recounts his strange mixed-species birth in outer space, his escape from a deep-space zoo, and his struggles to survive in a war-torn universe.

With gorgeous watercolor artwork by Jon J Muth, this influential, timeless “fairy tale for adults” also includes the Farewell Moonshadow illustrated novella that gives fans a look at Moon’s life after his tumultuous, space-faring teens and misadventures with the miscreant Ira. Digitally restored and including all original cover work, this volume also includes illustrations by Kent Williams and George Pratt and lettering by Kevin Nowlan. A sci-fi fantasy that Ray Bradbury called, “Beautiful, original, haunting,” and DeMatteis himself calls “Dickens’ David Copperfield meets Siddhartha in space.”

CLICK HERE TO ORDER MOONSHADOW ONLINE

Rube Goldberg and his Amazing Machines by Brandon T. Snider and Ed Steckley

The hilarious first book in an all-new illustrated middle-grade series starring young inventor Rube Goldberg

On the first day of middle school, Principal Kim announces that the school is going to throw a Contraption Convention—the perfect opportunity for young inventor Rube Goldberg to show off his inventions and get out of his summer-long funk!

But after a fight with his friends Peal and Boob about where his priorities really lie, Rube’s Con Con entry gets off to a rocky start—and then strange incidents begin to throw the town into disarray. Boob is convinced it’s a ghost causing all of this chaos. Between Con Con, the ghostly mystery, and a new rival, Rube has his work cut out for him. But with the help of his friends, he might just get things back on track, get on top of his burgeoning anxieties, and come up with something brilliant before it’s time to face the judging table.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER RUBE GOLDBERG ONLINE

My Pencil and Me by Sara Varon

Sara Varon’s My Pencil and Me is a playful picture book that’s perfect for young artists, writers, and makers—especially if they struggle with confidence or writer’s block.

Sara loves to draw and tell stories, but sometimes it can be difficult to get started. What if she doesn’t have any good ideas or her drawings turn out terrible?!

Lucky for Sara, she has a friend who is always by her side—her pencil. With a little help from Pencil, Sara learns it’s okay if her story isn’t perfect, as long as she’s using her imagination and having fun.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER MY PENCIL AND ME ONLINE

Ginger Meggs by Tristan Bancks and Jason Chatfield

Four fresh stories to celebrate the one and only Ginger Meggs!

Celebrating 100 years of the iconic character and Aussie legend Ginger Meggs, these four brand new and original stories are written by Tristan Bancks, the great-great nephew of creator Jimmy Bancks, and illustrated in full colour by the current Ginger Meggs comic-strip cartoonist, Jason Chatfield.

Kids and grown-ups alike will revel in the rambunctious adventures and comical capers of the ginger kid who never gets old.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER GINGER MEGGS ONLINE

Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Ernest Shackleton was one of the last great Antarctic explorers, and he led one of the most ambitious Antarctic expeditions ever undertaken. This is his story, and the story of the dozens of men who threw in their lot with him – many of whom nearly died in the unimaginably harsh conditions of the journey. It’s an astonishing feat – and was unprecedented at the time – that all the men in the expedition survived.

Shackleton’s expedition marked the end of a period of romantic exploration of the Arctic and the Antarctic, and this is as much a book about the encroaching modern world as it is about travel. But Nick Bertozzi has documented this remarkable journey with such wit and fiendish attention to detail that it’s impossible not to get caught up in the drama of the voyage. Shackleton is a phenomenal accompaniment to Bertozzi’s earlier graphic novel about great explorers, Lewis & Clark.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER SHACKLETON ONLINE

Laika by Nick Abadzis


Eisner Award Winner: Best Publication for Teens | Eisner Award Nominee: Best Reality-Based Work

Laika was the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth’s first space traveler. This graphic novel follows her journey.

Nick Abadzis masterfully blends fiction and fact in the intertwined stories of three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, once a political prisoner, now a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet Union’s space program, and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika’s health and life. This intense triangle is rendered with the pitch-perfect emotionality of classics like Because of Winn Dixie, Shiloh, and Old Yeller.

Abadzis gives life to a pivotal moment in modern history, casting light on the hidden moments of deep humanity behind history.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER LAIKA ONLINE

Great White Shark Adventure by Fabien Cousteau, James O. Fraioli, and Joe St. Pierre

Junior explorers Bella and Marcus join famed explorer Fabien Cousteau and his research team as they embark on an ocean journey off the coast of South Africa, where the world’s largest concentrations of great white sharks are found. Their mission is to investigate a sighting of a massive white shark, and tag it so they can track and protect it. Along the way, they’ll encounter whales, seals, dolphins, penguins, and a colorful array of other marine life. They’ll also enter a shark cage and come face to face with these powerful creatures.

Dramatic, graphic illustrations and a compelling story help young readers discover tons of facts about sharks and other marine creatures. Children will also learn the many damaging myths about sharks, why they are so misunderstood, and what is being done to protect them from further exploitation and possible extinction.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER GREAT WHITE SHARK ADVENTURE ONLINE

Megaghost by Gabe Soria and Gideon Kendall

With new never before published story content and bonus sketchbook material, this volume is not to be missed! When Martin Magus comes into possession of a bewitched ring, he discovers that he now has the power to summon MEGAGHOST! A giant supernatural robot sworn to defend the world against the creepy things that go SMASH in the night. Written by Gabe Soria and illustrated by Eisner Award-winning artist Gideon Kendall, MEGAGHOST is an action-packed, arcane adventure that mixes Saturday morning cartoon thrills with supernatural chills!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER MEGAGHOST ONLINE

Punk Taco by Adam and Makana Wallenta

Winner of the 2019 RINGO AWARD for “Best Kids Comic or Graphic Novel”

Winner of the 2019 KIDS COMICS AWARD for “Keeping it Unreal. Best Sci-Fi or Fantasy Book”

Punk Taco is series of a whimsical sci-fi action-adventure graphic novels about a lovable sentient space-taco and his inter-galactic band of misfits who rock out across the galaxy spreading peace and love though their music and art.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER PUNK TACO ONLINE

FREE SPEECH HANDBOOK by Ian Rosenberg and Mike Cavallaro

In this volume of the World Citizen Comics series, Ian Rosenberg and Mike Cavallaro create a practical framework for appreciating where our free speech protections have come from and how they may develop in the future.

Freedom of speech is fiercely defended in America and has been since the First Amendment was written. But how does it work, and what laws shape it? Drawing on parallels between ten seminal Supreme Court cases and current events, Free Speech Handbook lays out the fundamentals of First Amendment law in an accessible and engaging way.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER FREE SPEECH HANDBOOK ONLINE

Nico Bravo series by Mike Cavallaro

Nico Bravo and the Hound of Hades, the first book in this playful series, finds Nico struggling with a peculiar customer at the magical merchandise shop he helps run. A descendant from none other than the legendary monster-hunter Beowulf himself, hopes to equip himself with the tools necessary to defeat Cerberus, guardian of the underworld. Young readers will revisit famous monsters and explore familiar myths in fun and surprising new ways in these wacky graphic novels for kids by award-winning author-illustrator Mike Cavallaro.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NICO BRAVO ONLINE

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Kingdom of the Dwarfs

I was about 10 or 11 years old, in middle school, and I was telling my history teacher about a fascinating book I had just read. In 1979, a dagger with a blade of tempered steel was discovered buried in a garden in northern England. Carbon dating placed its manufacture at some 500 years before the Iron Age. The Royal Academy of Archaelogical Sciences contacted Dr. Egil Dvaergen, a specialist and professor from Storhamar University in Norway, who went on the lead the subsequent excavation of the garden. This revealed a deeply buried passageway, that lead to a vast underground complex, filled with ancient artifacts that pointed towards the existence of a previously unknown civilization…of Dwarfs. 
Because flash photography can be damaging to the delicate patina of ancient artifacts, illustrator David Wenzel was brought on board to attempt to capture some of the sights the archaeological team unearthed. The result was the book I had read, Rob Walsh’s and David Wenzel’s KINGDOM OF THE DWARFS.

My history teacher listened patiently, and then carefully explained the concept to HISTORICAL FICTION to me, a format I was unacquainted with. In short, he assured me that the story was meant to seem real and convincing, but it was a work of fiction. Later that year, he assigned a project in which we would each write a piece of historical fiction. We were free to choose the subject and era. I wrote a “first-person account” of the 11th-century Viking king Harold Hadrada’s doomed attack on the English mainland, told from the point of view of one of his raiders.

But the effect David Wenzel’s illustrations had on me was very real. It’s hard to pinpoint any one influence, because I was inspired and influenced by so many things as a kid, but these DEFINITELY and SPECIFICALLY made me want to learn to paint, using the exact tools and materials I perceived Wenzel was using: pen, ink, and watercolor. My parents found a local watercolorist, Diana Patton, who gave lessons at her home, and I studied with her for a few years. That’s where I learned all my painting skills.

In 2013, I saw on their website that David Wenzel would be exhibiting in Artists Alley at New York ComicCon. I retrieved my dog-eared copy of KINGDOM OF THE DWARFS, and spent some time at his table rambling about what a huge influence his work had been on me. He was gracious enough to sign it for me:

”To Mike! Thanks for enjoying this book for so many years—I really am touched—Thank you and Best—David T. Wenzel”

I just saw that a new edition with more illustrations was released in 2018, and decided to grab a copy of that too, if only in the hopes of supporting the authors a tiny bit.

30 years later, I’m still staring at this book with awe. It’s truly a masterpiece!

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NICO BRAVO AND THE CELLAR DWELLERS Out Now!

Order NICO BRAVO AND THE CELLAR DWELLERS

Book 2 in the NICO BRAVO series from First Second Books. 192 pages, All-ages.

Ahriman, God of Evil, is fed up with young Nico thwarting all of his heinous plans
and sends a shapeshifter named Orcus to Vulcan’s Celestial Supply Shop on a
covert mission to take Nico and his crew down! But nothing goes as planned,
causing the bumbling God of Misfortune to enter the fray, What will happen to Nico
and his friends when all their troubles converge in a desperate battle for the fate
of the Universe?

 

Praise for NICO BRAVO:

2019 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
2019 Junior Library Guild Selection
2020 Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List Selection

KIRKUS: “Smart, fast-paced fun…filling it’s full-color panels with enough intrigue and explosions to keep pages flying.”

SEQUENTIAL TART: “It has adventure, battles, self-discovery, and alliterative exclaimations. The art is excellent. The coloring is outstanding. There’s tons of humor too.”

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: “[A] fun, fast-paced graphic novel. VERDICT: An engaging series opener recommended for most middle grade collections.”

GRAPHIC NOVEL RESOURCES: “A real smorgasbord for any fan of myths and legends. [It] features great characters, a plot full of twists and turns, and lots of mythological hi-jinx.”

PAGE 45: “There’s much you’ll find to chuckle at here. This is also, though, a substantial and sophisticated adventure yarn.”

 

 

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NICO BRAVO and the CELLAR DWELLERS trailer

NICO BRAVO and the CELLAR DWELLERS, Book 2 in the Nico Bravo series, drops on 8/25/2020.

Ahriman, God of Evil, is fed up with young Nico thwarting all of his heinous plans
and sends a shapeshifter named Orcus to Vulcan’s Celestial Supply Shop on a
covert mission to take Nico and his crew down! But nothing goes as planned,
causing the bumbling God of  Misfortune to enter the fray, What will happen to Nico
and his friends when all their troubles converge in a desperate battle for the fate
of the Universe?

Praise for NICO BRAVO:

2019 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
2019 Junior Library Guild Selection
2020 Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List Selection

KIRKUS: “Smart, fast-paced fun…filling it’s full-color panels with enough intrigue and explosions to keep pages flying.”

SEQUENTIAL TART: “It has adventure, battles, self-discovery, and alliterative exclaimations. The art is excellent. The coloring is outstanding. There’s tons of humor too.”

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: “[A] fun, fast-paced graphic novel. VERDICT: An engaging series opener recommended for most middle grade collections.”

GRAPHIC NOVEL RESOURCES: “A real smorgasbord for any fan of myths and legends. [It] features great characters, a plot full of twists and turns, and lots of mythological hi-jinx.”

PAGE 45: “There’s much you’ll find to chuckle at here. This is also, though, a substantial and sophisticated adventure yarn.”

Ask your local bookstore or comic shop, or order online at:
https://us.macmillan.com/series/nicobravo/

 

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2019 Miami Book Fair – UPDATE

I’m back from Miami Book Fair, I had a great time despite the cold I brought with me from NY. Really too many great experiences to list…but I’m going to try!

Kicked things off on Thursday 11/21 by visiting students at Horace Mann and Henry H. Filer middle schools in the Miami area. That night, some live drawing and elementary deduction with George O’Connor, Nicole Swift, Conor McCreery, and Jeffrey Brown for the “Drink & Draw Exquisite Corpse Murder Mystery.” Given my cold, I was calling it “Sick & Draw”, but I did ok, except for my inability to draw a charades version of “In Cold Blood.” My “Farewell To Arms” rocked, though.

(This photo’s from my previous visit to MBF in 2017, but my presentation was in the same room both times.)

Friday started with a conversation between KidVision host Penny Bernath and myself, broadcast on South Floriday’s public TV station WPBT. Later, my NICO BRAVO presentation to a large group of students on Friday at the fair in the MDC Live Arts Lab was a blast. So many great questions in the Q&A portion, and signed about 150 books for the kids afterwards. A great hangout in town that night with other cartoonists attending the fair. 

Saturday I got to catch up with family and friends and just enjoy the fair, then the Author’s Party on the bay at the Standard Hotel.

Sunday morning I spoke with host Marc Bernier for his BookMarc radio show broadcasting from the fair. Marc was great to talk to, set this nervous cartoonist right at ease, and asked some great questions about comics and animation. His show can be heard on WFHG in Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky. It’s also archived online, and you can LISTEN HERE.

Later that afternoon, I joined a panel discussion moderated by Juan Navarro with George O’Connor and Jarod Rosello where we talked comics craft and publishing for a while. One of the highlights was having the panel drawn, live, by New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein! 

At the fair, I picked up a first printing of Robert E. Howard’s KING KULL. It was coming across Marvel’s KULL THE DESTROYER #35 as a kid that helped kickstart my comics obsession to begin with. Happy to add that book to my collection!

Just a great, energizing experience. Then it was a long trip back to Queens thanks to Amtrak. Hope to return to MBF soon!

 

NICO and I are headed to Miami Book Fair next week! I’ll be doing some local school visits, live drawing events, and a few presentations at the fair, including bits for KidVision, on South Florida’s public TV station WPBT, and BookMarc with Marc Bernier on WFHG AM/FM!

The Fair features over 500 authors–a book for every age and interest–panels, readings, street fair, children’s events, live music, food, and BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS!

Visit https://miamibookfair.com for more info, or head directly to the free, downloadable guide to see the whole calendar of events and plan your visit: https://www.miamibookfair.com/downloadable-guide/

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Order NICO BRAVO AND THE HOUND OF HADES

ORDER NOW

Take another look at your favorite myths and legends in this hillarious new graphic novel by Mike Cavallaro!

Got a problem? At Vulcan’s Celestial Supply Shop, you can find the magical merchandise to set things right. The seasoned staff—a kid named Nico Bravo, a sphinx named Lula, and a unicorn named Buck—pride themselves on providing “legendary service and expertise in all areas of the arcane.”

But Nico’s world is about to be turned upside down, and it’s all thanks his latest customer: Eowulf, the pint-size descendant of the monster slayer Beowulf. Determined to carry on the family business, this would-be warrior plans to slay Cerberus, the terrifying, three-headed hound of Hades. There’s just one problem—Cerberus is the only thing preventing the hordes of the Underworld from entering the land of the living. Can Nico stop Eowulf from unleashing a zombie apocalypse?

ORDER NOW

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