Saga Volume 5: proving you can do big SF with crazy aliens and deep politics

Fiona Staples and Brian K Vaughan have been blowing the lid off of comics for nearly five years now with their Image title Saga, a comic about intergalactic war, politics, sex, death, betrayal, true love, parenting, reality TV and alcoholic hack writers.

Little Robot: nearly wordless kids' comic from Zita the Spacegirl creator

Kid or adult, parent or not, you should already be reading Ben "Zita the Spacegirl" Hatke for some of the most rollicking, science-fictional kid-friendly comics between two covers, but now you've got no excuse: Little Robot, a nearly wordless graphic novel about a little girl and a fugitive robot, will fill you with terror, laughter, wonder and joy.
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Summer reading list: kids' books and YA

Being a compendium of some of my most popular kids' book reviews from the past year, from Glorkian Warrior to Alan Mendelsohn Read the rest

The Return of Zita the Space Girl

Ben Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl kids' comics are a huge favorite around these parts. In The Return of Zita the Space Girl, Hatke wraps up his first story arc in a way that can only be called an absolute triumph. Cory Doctorow reviews it.

Return of Zita the Space Girl: exclusive preview!

I absolutely adored Ben Hatke's bestselling, science-fictional kid-comic Zita the Space Girl, and the sequel, Legends of Zita the Space Girl, was the perfect followup. Hatke captures the madcap lunacy of Vaughn Bode and the Mos Eisley Cantina, throws in a kick-ass girl adventurer, and great art, and it's just about perfect.

Now comes the good news that there's a third (and final) volume in the Zita trilogy coming on May 13: The Return of Zita the Space Girl.

Gina from FirstSecond sez, "Ben Hatke brings back our intrepid space heroine for another delightful sci-fi/fantasy adventure in the final volume of this New York Times Best-Selling trilogy. Zita the Spacegirl has saved planets, battled monsters, and wrestled with interplanetary fame. But she faces her biggest challenge yet in the third and final installment of the Zita adventures. Wrongfully imprisoned on a penitentiary planet, Zita has to plot the galaxy's greatest jailbreak before the evil prison warden can execute his plan of interstellar domination!"

FirstSecond were good enough to supply us with an exclusive preview of this book -- see after the jump! Read the rest

My most popular book-reviews: Part II (Fall 2012)

As said yesterday, I love reviewing books on Boing Boing. A lifetime spent flogging books has addicted me to the rare pleasure of helping other people fall in love with my favorite books. This week, I'm looking at the past year's most popular book reviews and rounding them up quarter-by-quarter. Here's today's installment, Fall 2012:

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Gift Guide 2012

Welcome to this year's Boing Boing Gift Guide, a piling-high of our most loved stuff from 2012 and beyond. There are books, comics, games, gadgets and much else besides: click the categories at the top to filter what you're most interested in—and add your suggestions and links in the comments.
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Zita the Space Girl: delightful kids' science fiction comic that's part Vaughn Bode, part Mos Eisley Cantina

Zita the Space Girl is Ben Hatke's 2011 kids' science fiction graphic novel about a young girl's adventures on a distant world that she is transported to after clicking a mysterious button that she finds in the center of a meteor crater. It's a pure delight. Zita's friend Joseph is sucked through the portal first, and she bravely pursues him, and finds herself on a world that's half Vaughn Bode, half Mos Eisley Cantina, populated by the motleyest assortment of robots, aliens, and beasts you could ever hope to meet. She quickly collects some powerful enemies -- primarily a tentacle-beast assassin in the employ of the Scriptorians, the planet's indigenous death-cultists, who engineered the kidnap of Joseph so that they could sacrifice him, fulfill an ancient prophecy and divert the doomsday asteroid that's set to destroy their world in a matter of days.

But Zita also finds allies: the immensely strong, none-too-bright steveadore Strong Strong; a rascally rogue of a showman called Piper (he can lull his enemies to sleep with his high-tech tin whistle); a vengeance-minded flying battledroid called One; a giant mouse with a printer around its neck called Pizzicato, and a shaky, neurotic robot called Randy. Together, they must penetrate the badlands, fight off the minions of the Scriptorians, and rescue Joseph, and either avert or escape the asteroid that is hurtling toward them.

Creator Ben Hatke's story fires on all cylinders -- Zita's adventures are funny, exciting, well-paced, and suspenseful. The art is fabulous, expressive and imaginative, and the characters are delightful. Read the rest