The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Comics & Graphic Novels

Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles (Manga): Volume 1 by Shibamura Yuri

Rio is a young orphan living in the slums of the kingdom of Beltrum. When he is stricken with a high fever, he dreams of a different world where he is called Haruto. When Rio wakes up from his fever, he realizes he is two people in one, both Rio of the slums and Haruto, from the other world. When Rio is forced to rescue a kidnapped princess, his troubles get even worst. When the nobles find the young princess with Rio, they accuse him of kidnapping, but after the princess awakens, she tells of how Rio saved her. As a reward, he is granted acceptance into the Royal Academy of Beltrum. An act that upsets the kingdoms noble people, who feel he does not deserve this prestigious reward. Whether he succeeds or not, is all up to him and his new professor, Celia. Perfect manga for fans of The Irregular at Magic High School, Magic Knight Rayearth, or Snow White with Red Hair.

Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles (Manga): Volume 1 by Shibamura Yuri, (List Price: $15.99, J-Novel Club, 9781718353442, February 2023)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Ducks by Kate Beaton

As an avid fan of Kate Beaton since her days slinging snarky, hilarious comics in Hark, A Vagrant!, I have been waiting for her graphic memoir for years!! Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is a stunningly beautiful story of Kate’s time working in the male-dominated Alberta oil industry to pay off her student loans, full of gorgeous, melancholy art and powerful emotions just under the surface. It’s an exceptional book about loneliness, labor, survival in a male-dominated world, and finding your way home.

Ducks by Kate Beaton, (List Price: $39.95, Drawn and Quarterly, 9781770462892, September 2022)

Reviewed by Rebecca Speas, One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia

The Witcher: Ronin (Manga) by Rafal Jaki

I had been anticipating The Witcher Ronin for months and pre-ordered it. I was super excited to see Geralt as a ronin and the book didn’t disappoint in that regard. I loved the new Japanese yokai we got to explore in this Manga but with the familiar storyline we all know and love. I was expecting a little more for the book, so that made me a bit sad, but I overall enjoyed what we did get to see in this first installment.

The Witcher: Ronin (Manga) by Rafal Jaki, (List Price: $19.99, Dark Horse Manga, 9781506733500, December 2022)

Reviewed by Cass W, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Captain America: The Ghost Army (Original Graphic Novel) by Alan Gratz

Alan Gratz brings his ability to make young kids want to read to graphic novels, and it’s great! Merging an exciting story with historically accurate information on WII, any fan of history, Marvel, or ghost stories will love this book.

Captain America: The Ghost Army (Original Graphic Novel) by Alan Gratz, (List Price: $14.99, Graphix, January 2023)

Reviewed by Kelley Barnes, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina

Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion, Vol. 2 by Whale

While I’m always here for a slow burn, I can’t help but adore how sweet and tender Noah is towards Raeliana. We often see male romance protagonists in this sub-genre come across as cold, stubborn, and belligerent, which has its own charm, but this is a swoon-worthy change of pace. True to form for this sub-genre, Raeliana is a strong-willed and capable leading lady that never fails to entertain! I can’t wait for volume three!

Why Raeliana Ended Up at the Duke’s Mansion, Vol. 2 by Whale (Original story by Milcha) (List Price: $20, Yen Press, 9781975341107, November 2022)

Reviewed by Lana Repic, E. Shaver bookseller in Savannah, Georgia

Hooky Volume 2 by Míriam Bonastre Tur

Love love love this series! I still can’t wait to own all the volumes for my collection. Volume two expands the world even further and keeps up with its solid character development in such an engaging way!

Hooky Volume 2 by Míriam Bonastre Tur (List Price: $14.99, Clarion Books, 9780358693093, September 2022)

Reviewed by Lana Repic, E. Shaver bookseller in Savannah, Georgia

The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat

Christina Soontornvat’s graphic memoir depicts the challenges & joys of middle school life as a Thai-American in Texas centering around her dream of making the school’s cheer squad. For fans of Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl, Jerry Craft’s New Kid or any of Raina Telgemeier’s many graphic novels.

The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat (List Price: $24.99, Graphix,, 9781338741308, November 2022)

Reviewed by Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Coven by Jennifer Dugan

I haven’t read very many Graphic Novels, but I highly enjoyed coven! The story was intriguing and I loved the characters and the representation. I also really enjoyed the illustration style. It was eye-catching and detailed. Coven is a perfect witchy, fall read.

Coven by Jennifer Dugan (List Price: $17.99, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780593112182, November 2022)

Emma Tara, E. Shaver bookseller in Savannah, Georgia

Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels by Serena Blasco

Enola Holmes is BACK! The high-spirited independent sister of the World Famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, is back for more adventure and mystery. Enola Holmes has been able to avoid her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes so far. At the same time she has solved mysteries, and saved lives. Now she is back for more adventures! Can she continue to evade her brothers, or will she finally have to turn to them for help? Where is her mother? Can she actually be found and reunited with her daughter, or has she truly abandoned her family? The beautiful artwork will draw you in, and the storyline will keep you reading. As with all Enola Holmes stories, at the end of each story are fascinating historical notes, such as the language of fans, cyphers, or how to create invisible ink. The Enola Holmes graphic novels are a perfect read for your younger mystery lovers or your young readers who love graphic novels.

Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels by Serena Blasco (List Price: $14.99, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 9781524871352, November 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Terry’s Crew by Terry Crews, Cory Thomas (illus.)

Terry’s crew at his new school may not look like the typical friend group, but together, they can do any thing they set their minds to! With themes of respect, hard work, school success and commitment to family and friends, this graphic novel from superstar Terry Crews is sure to be a hit.

Terry’s Crew by Terry Crews, Cory Thomas (illus.) (List Price: $12.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316499989, November 2022)

Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Freestyle: A Graphic Novel by Gale Galligan

Gale Galligan is THE BEST! I have been so excited to see her first post-BSC graphic novel and Freestyle surpasses all expectations. It’s quirky, inclusive, inspiring, and so very real. And what a concept! Competitive B-boying yo-yo-ing was fun and interesting to read about and I love the way that Galligan captured motion in her art. This will likely be my favorite kids book of the year!

Freestyle: A Graphic Novel by Gale Galligan, (List Price: $12.99, Graphix, 9781338045802, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Spirit Week by Ira Marcks

A charmingly illustrated and just-spooky-enough graphic novel, Spirit Week is sure to delight readers looking for an inventive mystery to unravel. A clever homage to the works of Stephen King and The Shining, Marck’s middle grade graphic novel follows a group of intrepid kids as they attempt to uncover the secrets of The Underlook Hotel and its reclusive author Jack Axworth. A whole lot of fun!

Spirit Week by Ira Marcks, (List Price: $12.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316278065, October 2022)

Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Wolf Suit by Sid Sharp

The Wolf Suit is an absolutely charming picture book about anxiety through the eyes of a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

The Wolf Suit by Sid Sharp, (List Price: $19.99, Annick Press, 9781773217208, October 2022)

Reviewed by Michelle Cavalier, Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, Louisiana

Afro Samurai Vol.1 by Takashi Okazaki

This was epic. I absolutely can’t wait to get more into this series. Gave me Black Swordsman Arc vibes from Berserk. I hope to see Afro develop more and maybe gain something to care for instead of being purely based on revenge. The setting in the end also gave me Fountainhead Palace vibes from Sekiro.

Afro Samurai Vol.1 by Takashi Okazaki, (List Price: $19.99, Titan Manga, 9781787739000, November 2022)

Reviewed by Ethan Davis, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida

Issunboshi by Ryan Lang

“You don’t need to be a hero to take a stand against evil and fight for good in this world, that is how you become one.” This quote from the graphic novel embodies this story to perfection. The story is gripping and the art work is drawn to perfection. This graphic novel is perfect for any Japanese Manga or Anime fan. When the world began the gods sent down then heavenly spear to create the world. After the land was created, the gods separated the spear into parts. Three belonged to the earth: the trees, the flowers, and the stone. The fourth part is the spirit of the spear, the essence of life itself, stayed in the air. When a great mountain ogre, the Oni, accidentally discovers one of the three earthly pieces of the spear, he becomes obsessed to gain the power of the spear, and release the world of the dead. The only hope for the world is the spirit of the spear. To save the world and stop the Oni, he comes to earth to a lonely couple beseeching the gods for a son. The only challenge is that he is no bigger than your thumb. How can someone so small defeat a powerful Oni? It will take courage, training, and friends.

Issunboshi by Ryan Lang, (List Price: $34.99, Oni Press, 9781637150818, October 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

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