I was very much a reluctant reader in my teens, and to some degree, I still am, at least when it comes to chapter books. While I can certainly enjoy a good prose novel, my main passion has always been comic books, graphic novels, manga and so on. So, I want to share a few fantastic graphic novels that are available on our digital resources!

Ruby’s Digital Comics Round-Up

Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers

by Ryan Parrott, illustrated by Dan Mora

A reimagining of the Power Ranger’s early years, this title is geared more toward a young adult audience rather than the child audience the original show was intended for. Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers presents the characters with a greater internal world, expanding on their relationships, their anxieties and their indomitable spirits.

The art is evocative, introducing new monsters that fit perfectly well with the aesthetics of the original rubber-suited monster while still looking like legitimate threats. Even Rita Repulsa, Madonna cone bra and all, is a genuinely intimidating force in this comic.

It’s a great read whether you’re an old-school Power Rangers fan or not. Also, a great place to start if you want to get into the Boom! Studios Power Rangers comics in general.

Ruby’s Digital Comics Round-Up

Superman Smashes the Klan

by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Gurihiru

My favorite superhero comic at the moment. Lan-Shin “Roberta” Lee’s family moves from Chinatown to downtown Metropolis after her father is hired to work for the city’s health department. And the Klan is not pleased to see an Asian family moving in. Lan-Shin Lee helps Superman take down the Klan in this fantastic read for teens and adults.

My only complaint about this book is that there isn’t nearly enough Klan smashing for my taste. However, what this book has instead of gratuitous amounts of bigot bashing is a touching exploration of Superman as an immigrant and an excellent lead character in Lan-Shin Lee–a brave young girl who relates to Superman in ways only a fellow immigrant can.

And don’t worry; there’s still a good bit of Klan smashing in there, as well.

Ruby’s Digital Comics Round-Up

Pixels of You

by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota, illustrated by J.R. Doyle

An excellent YA sapphic romance between a human and a “human-presenting AI.” After suffering an accident that took Indra’s eye, she comes to have both a fear and a fascination with artificial intelligence (the sci-fi kind, not the glorified spellcheck kind). She expresses this through her photography, but not everyone appreciates her vision.

Fawn, one of the first AI to have a chassis indistinguishable from human flesh, tries so, so hard to lead a “normal” life, but ends up putting her foot in her mouth when she unknowingly badmouths Indra’s photography right in front of her. As a result, their mentor forces them to work together on a project.

This is a slow-burn, rivals-to-friends-to-lovers story with subtle worldbuilding that leaves you wanting to know more about the world these characters live in. The art is breathtakingly beautiful and, at times, heart-stoppingly creepy when the story turns toward the trauma Indra has experienced. The emotional range of this relatively short graphic novel is stunning.

Ruby’s Digital Comics Round-Up

The Ice Guy and the Cool Girl

by Miyuki Tonogaya

You may also know this series by the English anime adaptation’s title, The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague. A cute and cozy office romance between a stoic office worker and her colleague, who just happens to be descended from a snow spirit! Himuro, the titular “Ice Guy,” causes snow flurries any time he catches feelings for Fuyutsuki, the titular “Cool Girl.” Fuyutsuki helps Himuro overcome some of the woes caused by his involuntary ice powers, all the while seemingly oblivious to Himuro’s growing feelings for her–and her own for him.

As is common for romance manga, we also have a secondary couple who are just a little spicier than our mains: foxgirl Komori and human Saejima. Slightly more teasing and flirty with one another, the chapters centering on these two are a nice break from the wholesome cuteness of Himuro and Fuyutsuki.

If you’re into slow-burn romance or low-conflict manga about cute characters doing cute things, I highly recommend this series.