New additions to Comics Plus

June?!! How is it we’re practically half-way through 2024 already? Whether school’s now out for you or you’re just enjoying the changing seasons, hopefully you’ve already checked out some of our Summer Reading suggestions… but get ready because I’m about to pile on with a whole bunch more recent additions to have debuted on Comics Plus last month!

This year has boasted all sorts of great new titles added to Comics Plus — from the entertaining to the poignant, and everywhere in between — and last month proved to be no different. In fact, I daresay we may actually have had too many good titles added recently, certainly too many to do them all justice here… especially considering the (admittedly self-imposed) pressure to make sure I do my best to at least highlight the “poignant ones.”

I’ll give it the ol’ college try, but definitely make sure to give the “honorable mentions” some extra consideration, too.


Our Picture Book collection continues to grow and the options for our youngest readers has consequently been swelling. This reading level may not be where one necessarily expects to find the next piece of “high literature,” but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few that can transcend your expectations. One such instant classic that stood out for me was Walter Finds His Voice (Red Comet Press), a sweet, gentle tale of a very introverted crocodile who must find the courage to stick up for his bullied friend. I say instant classic because the charming watercolors are done in an almost cut-paper style reminiscent of many beloved children’s books of the past, but with its own updated look. Perfect for emerging readers, but also for any introverts you may know who are struggling to find their own voice.


Picture Books aren’t just for emerging readers, either, as some are slightly more conceptually complex than others. The playfully engrossing artwork of Street Monsters (Cherry Lake)  definitely leans into the spooky, but it’s really more about confronting the monsters conjured from our imagination and seeing how maybe they’re not that scary at all.

My top pick here has to go to the cleverly bilingual, Isabel and Her Colores Go to School (Cherry Lake). And yes, while the book does indeed sport English text with a Spanish translation, this title manages to go beyond two parallel experiences, focusing more on bridging the gap between the languages, as well as the modes of communication that transcend them… like art, for instance. I found the way the book equated the sounds of each language to colors to really be quite charming (English is “blustery blues and whites” while Spanish is “warm oranges and pinks.”), and we can all hope that a few more stories like Isabel’s will help us to create a more “aquamarine” world. I wound up liking this book so much I actually bought a print copy for my little nephew who’s enrolled in a bilingual primary school; I imagine that counts both as a personal endorsement, and the power of library discovery.


There’s no denying that any number of Disney properties are likely to make their way onto our Popular list at some point. Kids of all ages still appreciate the House of the Mouse, but our readers seem to really like the new Disney Villains (Dynamite) series in particular, and I really appreciate Soo Lee’s magnificent work on the Maleficent Collection (Dynamite). A complete love letter to everyone’s favorite evil sorceress, the art on every page drips with sumptuous color and rich linework… plus, it’s kinda the ultimate grrl-power story!

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! (Dark Horse) is one of those manga liable to teach you all about a subject without your hardly realizing it. In this case, it’s all about the business of anime, and what it takes for our three talented heroines to create an animation from the ground up. For a stronger dose of education, though, I strongly suggest taking a look at Magical History Tour #11: Slavery (Papercutz). The entire Magical History Tour series is a terrific STEM/STEAM resource for young readers, but this one potentially requires a disclaimer for some, as it gives a rather unflinching portrayal of a deplorably long chapter of human history. Although it’s an age-appropriate book for kids, it doesn’t really pull its punches, and there’s a lot of worthwhile knowledge to be gleaned from giving it a serious read, particularly as part of a History unit.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight the collection of The Godfather of Manga, Osamu Tezuka’s adaptations of some of The Bard’s most celebrated works in Shakespeare Manga Theatre (Ablaze). Like Manga Classics, this title can serve as a tool for educators to help readers engage with the classic source material in a more accessible way.

The steampunk, manga-influenced The Inventor (Papercutz) is definitely a fun romp (if not a bit intense at times), while The Great British Bump-Off (Dark Horse) is a high-energy whodunnit with a frenetic style that successfully blends European-style cartooning with more traditional manga sensibilities. I also have to admit I was a bit surprised by how cool Space Ghost (Dynamite) wound up actually being.

It’s my bias as a cat lover, though, that solidified Cat + Gamer (Dark Horse) as my #1 pick. A hardcore gamer must utilize all her video game knowledge to conquer the challenges of being a first-time cat owner. While it’s cover-to-cover adorable, it’s not a kawaii kind of cute (cats don’t need the help!). It’s less Shoujo, more Josei, if you know what I mean. (If you don’t, then be sure to check out our Manga Starter Guide).


I honestly don’t even know where to start here, as there were nearly a dozen new YA books added last month that I think are worth spotlighting a little bit. They range from the entertaining to the poignant, but I’ll leave it to you to judge which is which from the handful below, as well as the “honorable mentions” at the end, which you should be sure to check out, too.

Savage Bastards (Mad Cave) is a classic gritty, blood-soaked, Western revenge tale, and the “a-ha” connections drawn between serpents and vampires in the sci-horror The Matriarchs (Dark Horse) are just too fun to pass up. Meanwhile, Hotelitor: Luxury-Class Defense and Hospitality Unit (Lerner) is a hilarious blend of dystopian sci-fi, shady business politics, cults, and even kaiju!

I could go on and on, but I think I’ll just skip to my top pick, another challenging title that got me thinking. Black Solstice (Dark Horse) asks the question: What if every Black person in the world suddenly gained superpowers for one day; what would people want to do with them? Or better yet, with a year to plan, what to do if they come back again next year? This graphic novel imagines the plans of one ambitious “supergroup,” and it’s one of those “nail-on-the-head” ideas that makes you want to see it explored in multiple different directions, perhaps even by different creative teams. Regardless, I’m left wanting more.


For our mature readers, there are plenty of new-to-Comics Plus choices too. The imaginative and often disturbing Robert Silverberg’s Belzagor (Humanoids) is definitely worth a look for any sci-fi aficionados out there, while hardcore pro wrestling fans are sure to get a kick out of the fictional “90s era” world of Over the Ropes (Mad Cave).

My top pick is yet another important book giving voice where one is clearly needed. APB: Artists against Police Brutality (Rosarium Publishing) is a powerful anthology of work featuring a myriad of fears, frustrations, and thirst for justice, aimed to strike us right where we live. I could truly keep going, there’s so much more to say, but sometimes less really is more…

Honestly, that’s just a small sample of the great comics, manga, and picture books added to Comics Plus last month. With literally thousands of titles to choose from across a wide range of genres, I could keep writing forever! Be sure to check in every month for more highlights, and browse our expanding list of past Rob’s Advisory selections.

Until next month, here are some more honorable mentions that (mostly for space reasons) didn’t quite make my list, but you may also enjoy checking out:

Read All The Comics!

With Comics Plus, schools and libraries can offer readers unlimited access to thousands of digital comics, manga, and picture books from popular publishers like ABDO, Andrews McMeel, BOOM! Studios, Capstone, Cherry Lake, Dark Horse, Europe Comics, Fantagraphics, Humanoids, Image Comics, Kodansha, Lerner, Manga Classics, Oni Press, Papercutz, Tokyopop, TOON Books, UDON Entertainment, Yen Press, and dozens more.

No holds, wait lists, or monthly borrowing limits—all at a price that won’t break your materials budget.

Learn more at and sign up for a free demo account.

Rob Randle is the Production Director for LibraryPass, and has worked in and around the comic book industry in various capacities, including as a book reviewer for the NY Journal of Books, and a judge for various comic book industry awards—the 2006 Eisner Awards, among others. Before joining LibraryPass, he had been the Director of Publishing for iVerse Media LLC since 2010, and prior to that was a purchasing manager for Diamond Comic Distributors where he helped to manage the monthly Previews catalog for close to a decade starting in 2002. Additionally, Rob occasionally does freelance work as a comics creator, and is the author of the critically acclaimed graphic novel Serial Artist. Rob holds a B.A. of Illustration from the Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA).