The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Comics & Graphic Novels

Space Story by Fiona Ostby

This graphic novel combines three different storylines, each designated by one of the primary colors. There is a story of love, a story of loneliness, and a story of longing. Ostby’s unique use of color perfectly mirrors the emotions expressed within each storyline, and the manner in which they are intertwined feels like fitting puzzle pieces together.

Space Story by Fiona Ostby, (List Price: $16.99, West Margin Press, 9781513128757, June 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Quinn, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina

Wingbearer by Marjorie Liu

Wingbearer is a beautiful fantasy graphic novel written by Marjorie Lu. The world is breathtakingly beautiful along with having an enchanting story. I was at the edge of my seat following Zuli’s journey from the great tree to the world she supposedly came from. I loved the side characters and can’t wait to see the full color version. This is a middle reader fantasy that will draw in even the most reluctant of readers.

Wingbearer by Marjorie Liu, (List Price: $12.99, Quill Tree Books, 9780062741158,  March 2022)

Reviewed by Katlin Kerrison, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia

MonsterMind: Dealing With Anxiety & Self-Doubt by Alfonso Casas

Casas’ most recent graphic novel is a wonderful, poignant dive into living with mental health issues. Creating monsters out of feelings, Casas gives a visual representation of how trauma, anxiety, fear, and other pests affect daily life, especially in the midst of a pandemic. I really appreciated the hopeful but realistic ending of this. It’s a reminder that though these things will always live with us, there are ways to fight them.

MonsterMind: Dealing With Anxiety & Self-Doubt by Alfonso Casas, (List Price: $19.99, Ablaze, 9781950912476, January 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Quinn, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina

Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos

This wordless, gorgeous graphic novel is stunning in its delivery of a story that lives so close to my heart: exile and assimilation after leaving 1960s Cuba. On a personal level, this book’s very existence feels like a major triumph but I think it will reach any reader who picks it up. Hand Isla to Island to fans of Victoria Jamieson & Nidhi Chanani. I can’t wait for more work from Alexis Castellanos!

Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos, (List Price: $12.99, Atheneum Books for Young Readers 9781534469235,  March 2022)

Reviewed by Cristina Russell from Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL

Hilda: The Wilderness Stories by Luke Pearson

Hilda: The Wildnerness Stories is a fun journey through a vast world rich with magic and Pearson expertly captures the childlike sense of wonder one might experience within in. Since these stories feature less dark tones than those seen in some other Hilda storylines, they make a great light read which allow you to test the waters before you decide to swim.

Hilda: The Wilderness Stories by Luke Pearson, (List Price: $29.99, Flying Eye Books, 9781838740719, November 2021)

Reviewed by Deion Cooper, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina

Another Kind by Trevor Bream

Trevor Bream and Cait May deliver an absolutely delightful story with Another Kind. This novel follows the adventures of six cryptid kids who are trying to find their way to a place they can be their selves and call home. I fell in love with these kids and I was rooting for them every step of the way! The art is beautiful and I cannot wait to order this for the story with its wide release. Not only do we have a beautifully diverse cast, we also have some nonbinary representation with one of the kids realizing that is what they are. Handled delicately and honestly without it taking away from the focus of the story, there’s plenty of moments like this that will charm any reader.


Another Kind by Trevor Bream, (List Price: 22.99, HarperAlley, 9780063043541, October 2021)

Reviewed by Katlin Kerrison, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia


I Walk With Monsters by Paul Cornell

Beautifully horrific visuals and genuinely compelling characters, it was a thrilling story that, for better or worse, doesn’t spoon-feed you any extra information and keeps you as in the dark as possible. While this aides the overall foreboding aura the story emits, it also almost tantalizingly keeps it’s secrets just out of our reach. I truly hope to see more in the future, because this collection went by in a flash.

I Walk With Monsters by Paul Cornell, (List Price: $15.99, Vault Comics, 9781638490067, October 2021)

Reviewed by Deion Cooper, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina


Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Move over, Plastics, there’s a new girl squad in town. SQUAD is a high school tale about transformational friendship, belonging, and what we’ll do to fit in. It will absolutely sink its claws into you from the very first page. (Puns ALL intended.)

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, (List Price: 14.99, Greenwillow Books, 9780062943149, October 2021)

Reviewed by Abby Rice, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: California (Deluxe Edition) by Gerard Way

Already being a fan of Way’s work, I very much appreciated his post-apocalyptic masterpiece being compiled into one definitive collection. With afterwords by the creators and a whole lot of concept art included, the deluxe edition is perfect for those who would like to find a deeper connection to this fast-paced story.


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: California (Deluxe Edition) by Gerard Way, (List Price: $79.99, Dark Horse Books, 9781506725994, October 2021)

Deion Cooper, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina


Passport by Sophia Glock

As though growing up wasn’t tough enough on its own. Let’s add a sink-or-swim Spanish immersion school that you transfer to years after your classmates start learning Spanish, even if your parents yank you out after their great experiment (you) fails. Add constantly moving house from country to country, AND your parents don’t even tell you what it is they do (because it’s <redacted>). This memoir told in graphic novel is for young people looking for their people, trying to avoid the watchful eye of their parents, and trying to (depending on the sibs) live up to or escape the shadow of the older sibs. Oh and maybe get a first kiss out of the deal. The art conveys much depth to an already affecting story, particularly in the opening chapters where the sense of place is established.

Passport by Sophia Glock, (List Price: 17.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316459006, November 2021)

Reviewed by Lisa Yee Swope, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina


Tidesong by Wendy Xu

A Fall Read This Next! Selection

Xu’s beautiful artwork in combination with such strong storytelling makes for an enchanting graphic novel. Sophie’s struggles with her inner thoughts reflect much of my own as a child, making this read all the more special. I can see this story so clearly in my mind’s eye as a Studio Ghibli film – it provides such similar comfort in small things, the beauty of nature, and how two young people can have such a central impact on each other. This graphic novel is certainly a favorite for this year.

Tidesong by Wendy Xu, (List Price: 12.99, Quill Tree Books, 9780062955791, November 2021)

Reviewed by Grace Quinn from Foggy Pine Books in Boone, NC


All of the Marvels by Douglas Wolk

Review courtesy of my husband, Tim! In this book, Douglas Wolk does something very few would attempt, much less complete: read literally all the marvels. At the beginning, the book seems to be presented as a tour that recaps the last 60 years and a way for new readers to jump in. I don’t think it worked. I think you need to be pretty well versed with at least the characters if not the events to enjoy this tour. But as an insightful look at the various neighborhoods of the marvelverse, it is brilliant! It provides some history for sure, but Wolk finds the heart of what makes each team, family, and character work in storytelling. The only downsides to me were the sometimes incomprehensible jumping around the timeline. Not unlike some marvel stories. And the lack of pictures to go along with his description of the artwork.

All of the Marvels by Douglas Wolk, (List Price: 28, Penguin Press, 9780735222168, October 2021)

Reviewed by Melissa Taylor, E. Shaver, bookseller in Savannah, Georgia


Treasure in the Lake by Jason Pamment

Iris and Sam are best friends, but where Sam is content to remain in their small town of Bugden, Iris dreams of traveling for far-flung adventure. But one day the lake runs dry and they discover an abandoned town that had been hidden there. There they find themselves on an adventure they never expected and learn the importance of home. This is a delightful story for any kid who has dreamed of traveling to dig for treasure or setting sail for adventure, and a reminder that some of the best adventures can happen right in your backyard.

Treasure in the Lake by Jason Pamment, (List Price: 12.99, HarperAlley, 9780063065178, September 2021)

Reviewed by Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina

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