such all-American champions as Samaritan, Winged Victory and
Crackerjack. In a departure from the angst of darker comic book fare,
Busiek creates a life-affirming world of fantasy and adventure where
underground trolls, time travelers and real-life superheroes reweave
The action is grittier and more atmospheric in Frank Miller's
"Daredevil Visionaries." In a volume that celebrates one of the comic
book industry's top talents, the stories star such bigger than life
characters as Kingpin, sovereign of the New York Underworld, and
Daredevil, attorney by day and urban vigilante by night.
With similar grit, Mark Millar reinvents comics' most popular
superhero team in "Ultimate X-Men: The Tomorrow People." In the
nonstop saga, humanity faces Homo-Superior mutants--a mysterious
sub-species with frightening powers. For readers who can't get enough
of the X-lineup, this one is sure to please.
There's humor as well as fast-paced action and lovable characters
in "Undercover, Underwear," the newest in Peter David's addictive
SpyBoy Series. In this episode, teenager-turned-super-spy Alex
Fleming faces Takematsea, Barbie Q, Madam Imadam and Slackjaw. As an
added plus, SpyGirl makes her debut.
A sheltered young girl is on center stage in Barbara Kesel's
"Meridian" series. Along with an intriguing story set in a fantasy
world where islands float through the sky, the four-volume set
features fabulous art by a team comprised of penciler, inker,
colorist and letterer. Library Journal rates it the best of CrossGen
Comics' four initial series.
For teens so inspired by graphic novels they'd like to create
their own, MAD magazine artist Christopher Hart reveals secrets of
comic book art, animation and joke-writing in four nonfiction
volumes. Check out "Anime Mania: How to Draw Characters for Japanese
Animation," his latest offering, for a crash course in the hugely
popular Japanese animation style of heavy shading, dramatic camera
action and fabulous special effects.
For more literary inspiration, as well as motivation for reading
assigned titles on school summer reading lists, teens can sign up for
"Get Wild ... Read." As participants in the 2003 summer reading
program for seventh- through 12th-graders, they'll qualify to win
books, T-shirts, movie and Boomers passes, and other prizes. Visit
any Newport Beach Public Library anytime before Aug. 15 to sign up.
* CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public
Library. This week's column is by Melissa Adams in collaboration with
Terri Wiest. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers
by accessing the catalog at www.newportbeachlibrary.org.