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April 3, 2022

2 Great New Books for Graphic Novel Fans

by MK French

I love reading graphic novels. They are usually quick reads and great for getting lost in after a stressful day. I recently read two new graphic novels that were great reads. If you need a little break from real life, then definitely pick up these two stories.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

Season of the Bruja by Aaron Duran and Sara Soler

cover of fantasy graphic novel Season of the Bruja by Aaron Duan
March 2022; Oni Press; ebook (28 pages)

Althalia Cabrera seems like a witchy Portland hipster, but she had studied actual witchcraft with her abuela because she is the youngest in a long line of witches. But darkness has found her, testing her in ways she might not be prepared for.

In the first volume, we meet Althalia and friends performing an exorcism. She has actual powers and was in training, but has the assistance of a shapeshifter and lizardlike creature. We also meet a creepy tattoed priest who comes across as a rude and racist jerk, attacking Althalia and threatening her before getting her handcuffed in the museum. It's quite the cliffhanger and definitely makes me want to see the second book.

Buy Season of the Bruja at Amazon

Chef's Kiss by Jarrett Melendez, illustrated by Danica Brine, colored by Hank Jones, lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

book cover of romantic graphic novel Chef's Kiss by Jarrett Melendez
April 2022; Oni Press; 978-1620109045
ebook, print (160 pages); romance

Ben Cook is having a hard time finding any job at all, let alone a job that uses his English degree. When he takes on a restaurant job that doesn't require prior experience, Ben finds that he actually has some skill. This keeps him employed while he can look for a writing job. In the meantime, he develops a crush on Liam, one of the cooks, and spends more time with him than with his old friends. Suddenly his future isn't as clear as he thought it was.

This is an adorable romantic comedy, and Ben's problems finding a job in chapter one will resonate with anyone currently looking now. Most places want to hire someone with experience, so having absolutely no professional experience means Ben isn't called back once. His nerdy stress is taken out with cooking, so getting the restaurant job actually does call on the experience he does have. The biggest conflict for Ben is figuring out what he wants for his future; everyone expects him to focus on writing, since he's said he loves it since he was a boy and majored in English. In fact, a big joke in the opening pages is how many books he has in the apartment they all share, both in physical copy and on his tablet. The reality of the writer's life isn't something that he expected or liked, and the creativity of cooking really called to him.

The art is crisp and well colored, fleshing out the characters and backgrounds to match the written word. Comics and graphic novels rely on a meld of story and art to convey the emotions, and this was well done. We also get Ben's recipe, as well as character outlines at the end of the book, of the main characters in the book as well as the creators. I enjoyed the bonus art, from closing credits-type scenes showing the characters after the end of this book, as well as pinup-style art. This is a great read, and an adorable romance.

Buy Chef's Kiss at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 

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