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Comics (1696)

This is not your typical coming-of-age story; it is so much more. It's a 1990s period piece with summer fun, supernatural elements, and some LGBTQ romance. Elodie, a teen in 1994, doesn’t want to be a camp counselor in the summer before college; she wants to hang with her best friend. But in order to pay for her first year of college (Remember when you could do that with a summer job?), she had to leave normal society and spend her summer with a bunch of kids in the woods. Elodie has no idea what she is in for. Camp is going to be a lot different than she thought, and certainly not boring.

The world is a big, scary place right now.  Things are changing that are very much beyond our control, and the world that we lived and laughed in just months ago seems like an alien memory, fading with time.  What's amazing is how much people are pulling together at all levels, whether it's a bakery keeping its doors open by selling flour and yeast to home bakers, or a community taking care of its elder members by buying them groceries.  There is a level of unity that is foundational to the way we live our lives and our willingness to put ourselves out there for others.

The creators of Deiciders have returned with another chapter in a mythical quest featuring warriors hunting down fantastic creatures. Deiciders #2 has Ulfrith and Olaf continuing on from the end of their journey in Issue 1, where they battled a pair of gigantic wolves. This time, they’re on the hunt for a fire-breathing dragon, but their previous battle has left them injured and in need of help. Should they trust Freya, a stranger who seemingly helps them upon their first meeting?

This comic kind of sneaks up on you. It can turn on a dime from “What’s going on?” to “What happens next?” Of course, it also switches back to “What’s going on?” just as easily. It’s not an easy journey, but it does make for a pretty intense ride.

Heart is at the center of this story: the loss, the meaning, and the quest to find both.   It is a journey many of us are taking right now which makes it even more important to find something we can hold on to our stories.

First appearing in 1887, Sherlock Holmes is undoubtedly the world’s most popular fictional detective. (Sorry, Batman.)  The character, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is so instilled in pop culture that most of the detective tropes we see today come right from classic Sherlock Holmes stories.  With countless novels, award-winning TV shows, and summer blockbuster movies, it is impossible to escape the good detective in your favorite medium.  While most of these incarnations are okay, they rarely say anything new.  Where the challenge lies is adding to the Sherlock Holmes lore and not just re-imagining or rehashing what the series was built upon.  Before hearing of Nancy Springer’s work and now Serena Blasco, I would have assumed that the Holmes world had been squeezed dry with the same characters, same stakes, same “who done its.”  After reading An Enola Holmes Mystery: The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets, I have never been so happy to be wrong.

Ready for some wackiness? Those Damn Tourists are back in full force to turn your life upside down (in a good way).  With the stresses of today’s world, silliness and absurdity are even more important, and the continuing saga of the most obnoxious elderly tourists in the world is here for you.

The Lab is a wordless story about a nameless, humanoid lab test subject that’s subjected to a litany of trials and experiments. The subject is held in spartan conditions in isolation, surrounded by countless others. While they are clearly being used for some kind of research, we never see the “researchers” whose presence is only hinted at with sophisticated technology that picks up the test subject and administers the test protocols, before depositing the subject back in its cell. In short, it’s a haunting look at the monotony of mechanized testing protocols.

What happens when the magic in a fantasy world vanishes?  In a moment, there is an absence of something that once was thought of as a necessity to life.

One of the most important things a good story can do is hold a mirror to the world and reflect on it. Killswitch, by Jeffrey and Susan Bridges, provide that reflection in one of the most exciting and action-packed sci-fi stories of the year, and one that centers on a question: Do the ends justify the means?

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