Dave Roman has a sequel to his Astronaut Academy graphic novel coming out this month called Astronaut Academy Re-entry. Right now it is being published online so you can check it out before you buy the paper version May 14th.
Have I mentioned that I mostly took off writing about comics in 2012 (even though I wound up blogging here quite a bit); maybe I should stop mentioning that I still have no firm idea or plan for the not-dead ComixTalk site. Anyhow, I don’t think I ever got around to writing a proper review of Raina Telgemeier’s second graphic novel Drama (that’s not counting the Babysitters Club graphic novel adaptation she did).
I did review her first graphic novel (and Eisner winning!) Smile, which not only I loved, but both of my kids did as well. Actually I found a couple of other articles on Raina in the archives of ComixTALK, including a 2004 interview with her, from when she was still serializing an earlier version of Smile online, and a 2007 interview with her and her husband Dave Roman who is also a talented comic creator.
Drama which came out in the fall of 2012 is a great tale — I don’t think it’s a sequel to Smile but it could be. It shares a tone and sensibility with Raina’s first graphic novel. Raina’s stories are a comforting combination of humor, honesty and an ultimately positive message about life.
Drama is set in middle school which I assure if you are in it right now or don’t remember it, can be a tough adjustment period. My oldest daughter has just started this phase of childhood (what the marketers call ‘tweenhood) and knock on wood, so far so good. She is a voracious reader with pretty firm opinions about what she reads. She loved this book. I can see why — it’s a good story with a school play and friendships and cute awkwardness and a happy ending.
Also check out this recent appearance Raina made on Jerzy Drozd’s podcast Comics Are Great: