Librarian's Closet: Faith Erin Hicks
I have no opening remarks so let's get going!
Faith Erin Hicks
Born: TBA in British Columbia, Canada
There is really not a lot on Faith aside from her career. She worked in animation until 2008 when she started writing and drawing comics. She's been at it ever since.
The Nameless City Series
Publisher: First Second Publishing
The Nameless City
The City had been given a new name with each invasion. Currently, the Dao occupy and control everything that goes on. At least that's what Kaidu thinks when he comes to the city to join the military forces and find his father. The inhabitants think he's an outsider. Especially Rat, a native girl who can outrun the guards. It's up to them to make each other strong enough to protect the city from another coup.
The Stone Heart
Kaidu and Rat don't get a break after the assassination attempt when the General of All Blades' son assassinate him in order to take control and disband the diplomatic counsel Kai's father was setting up. The two kids along with Kai's father have to find a way either out of the city or stop the Emperor's son from destroying the city in a new war.
It has an overall feel reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Airbender. With heavy emphasis on Asian cultures for inspiration, it feels like I'm reading an Avatar comic without the mysticism. I actually really like Chinese aesthetics which is what The Nameless City uses so liberally. It's beautiful and makes a great backdrop for action.
Kaidu isn't a nerd who learns to fight but isn't useless. I hate when they make the nerdy kids either into superheroes or a sidekick every single time. Kaidu learns to run like his friend Rat and uses what he's learned from the city to do what's right. He is still very much the hero but in a way that's much for realistic and downplayed. I have great respect for that.
Rat. I just like everything about her. Her design, motivation, approach. She learns to trust Kaidu but still has autonomy and good moral compass. She's not girly but not hyper-masculine. She's just Rat. She also has an amazing backstory that we learn more about in the second book.
Sympathetic “villains”. In a weird way, there are almost too many villains because of all the war and conquering in the series. Erzi, the General of All Blades, the opposing nations, Kai's own father. They all have made unsavory choices in what they thought was right and for tradition. You learn so much more about the history of the characters in The Stone Heart and you almost feel sorry for some of them.
Brain Camp (With Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan)
Publisher: First Second Publishing
Jenna and Lucas are both not quite geniuses. When the offer comes to send them to the prestigious Camp Fielding, their parents pack them up and ship them out. But something isn't right. It's up to Lucas and Jenna to figure out what and to save the other kids. They just weren't prepared for alien birds hatching out of heads.
The constant presence of puberty. These kids are about thirteen or fourteen years old. Puberty is running rampant during those years so it makes sense that Jenna would have her period or that the two would become infatuated with each other. Their infatuation is actually important because it slows the incubation process for the aliens. This allows them to create a chemical compound that kills the embryos.
It's just a fun science fiction story. It can be a little squirmy in certain parts but overall a good story that kids and teenagers will appreciate.
The War at Ellsmere
Publisher: SLG Publishing
Juniper chose to go to Ellsmere Academy on scholarship. Why? It's one of the most prestigious private schools which she'll need to become a doctor. She encounters a strange but friendly roommate, stuck up classmates and a mythical creature living in the forest nearby. This year might prove more beneficial than she ever thought.
Ellsmere Academy is such an awesome place. Lord Ellsmere lived with his family in that castle until his sons disappeared. The story behind the disappearance is surprisingly important later on in the book. Plus it's a freaking castle! It would be so cool to living in a castle even if you still have to go to classes.
Juniper and Cassie's friendship is the kind of relationship I would like to have someday. They are not stereotypically different in my opinion but both bring something to the relationship that build them up. They look out for each other and don't have any expectations beyond just being there.
Unicorns. Hicks does not sugarcoat them. They are sweet little ponies. These are creatures that will do whatever it takes to protect their home and the innocent that reside there.
Publisher: SLG Publishing
Joss has a normal life. She goes to college, is obsessed with England and zombies. At least she'll put some of her obsession to good use when the university campus is overrun with zombies. Now she must use the rules of zombie movies to keep herself and her friends safe.
The whole book pokes fun at zombies movies. Especially the newer ones that try to make the undead edgy. It's not meant to be mean but something to laugh at with the development of entertainment the last few decades.
I don't know why but I love that the “bad guy” was one of Joss's professors. He did all of it as a statement on the education system. It's so stupid when you say it out loud but it's funny in practice.
It's just fun.
The Adventures of Superhero Girl
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Superhero Girl doesn't always look like she knows what she's doing. But she's got the cape, the powers and the courage to do what's right. Now if only the hero thing paid. During her adventures, we see how she balances life as a hero and a civilian along with dealing with her super-powered family.
I adore superheroes in almost all their forms. This is a much more down-to-earth representation but I think that's why I like it so much. I feel like this is what would happen to me if I were to try becoming a hero. Only I would not last long without powers.
This is not really like the superhero stuff we've seen lately. Most comics and movies show them as either super serious or just comedies. This has a little bit of both but it's not annoying in either category. It feels natural.
Kevin. Her brother's name is Kevin and he's a huge pain in the butt. Unfortunately, he reminds me of a puppy and I kinda want to pinch his cheeks.
I overall adore Hicks' work but there are two main reasons why.
These are so amazing for teens and a few actually would help people get through personal problems. They're funny and heartwarming.
I may or may not have a slight obsession with her art style. Just cool at the covers of the books above. They're awesome and she did it all. They're still cartoony but have an amazing amount of detail. There's realistic bodies for men and women and it's all just cute and amazing.