An expression of our dark inner demons that is both hilarious and cathartic.

IF UR STABBY

Not all unicorns are full of sunshine, magic, and smiles; some are surly, sarcastic, and hostile.

Stabby, a stout, churlish, teal-colored unicorn, stars in this collection of stand-alone cartoons, paneled strips, reimagined tarot cards, and funny re-imaginings of iconic images, such as Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring featuring Stabby with a bloody horn and an eye dangling from his ear. Starting with the “Stabginnings” and a darker rendition of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” the tone is set as readers see Stabby through a series of job fails such as balloon seller ruining the merchandise or team-building coach whose horn proves deathly in trust falls. A dejected looking Stabby walks through a grocery store stocked with cereals like “Infeerios” and “Shredded Mini Dreams.” Stabby is often gender ambiguous but is noted as the father of assorted hybrid horned zoo animals. In a nod to current events, the irascible unicorn appears as a writer, literally juggling lots of plates when Pandemic, a red-eyed panda, shows up, smashing them all. This collection leans into the macabre—the number of skewered eyes alone is unfathomable—and the gallows humor could easily make it a cult favorite. The color illustrations have verve and energy, perfectly matching the mood of the collection.

An expression of our dark inner demons that is both hilarious and cathartic. (Graphic humor. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-61345-205-9

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Hermes Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times...

ROMEO AND JULIET

From the Campfire Classics series

A bland, uninspired graphic adaptation of the Bard’s renowned love story.

Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times oddly psychedelic-tinged backgrounds of cool blues and purples, the mood is strange, and the overall ambiance of the story markedly absent. Appealing to what could only be a high-interest/low–reading level audience, McDonald falls short of the mark. He explains a scene in an open-air tavern with a footnote—“a place where people gather to drink”—but he declines to offer definitions for more difficult words, such as “dirges.” While the adaptation does follow the foundation of the play, the contemporary language offers nothing; cringeworthy lines include Benvolio saying to Romeo at the party where he first meets Juliet, “Let’s go. It’s best to leave now, while the party’s in full swing.” Nagar’s faces swirl between dishwater and grotesque, adding another layer of lost passion in a story that should boil with romantic intensity. Each page number is enclosed in a little red heart; while the object of this little nuance is obvious, it’s also unpleasantly saccharine. Notes after the story include such edifying tidbits about Taylor Swift and “ ‘Wow’ dialogs from the play” (which culls out the famous quotes).

Pub Date: May 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-93-80028-58-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced...

MACBETH

From the Wordplay Shakespeare series

A pairing of the text of the Scottish Play with a filmed performance, designed with the Shakespeare novice in mind.

The left side of the screen of this enhanced e-book contains a full version of Macbeth, while the right side includes a performance of the dialogue shown (approximately 20 lines’ worth per page). This granular focus allows newcomers to experience the nuances of the play, which is rich in irony, hidden intentions and sudden shifts in emotional temperature. The set and costuming are deliberately simple: The background is white, and Macbeth’s “armor” is a leather jacket. But nobody’s dumbing down their performances. Francesca Faridany is particularly good as a tightly coiled Lady Macbeth; Raphael Nash-Thompson gives his roles as the drunken porter and a witch a garrulousness that carries an entertainingly sinister edge. The presentation is not without its hiccups. Matching the video on the right with the text on the left means routinely cutting off dramatic moments; at one point, users have to swipe to see and read the second half of a scene’s closing couplet—presumably an easy fix. A “tap to translate” button on each page puts the text into plain English, but the pop-up text covers up Shakespeare’s original, denying any attempts at comparison; moreover, the translation mainly redefines more obscure words, suggesting that smaller pop-ups for individual terms might be more meaningful.

Even so, this remains Macbeth, arguably the Bard of Avon’s most durable and multilayered tragedy, and overall, this enhanced e-book makes the play appealing and graspable to students . (Enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: The New Book Press LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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