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A stellar review of I Date Dead People, the  5th installment in the My Boyfriend is a Monster series, adds to the ongoing list of positive reviews for these highly likable Graphic Universe books.

The recent write-up appeared last week on the hip and informative graphic novel review site No Flying No Tights. (I Date Dead People Review) BTW, No Flying is a worthwhile site to check out in general. Not only because of its great tastes in books (see below) but because they offer a wide range of thoughtful views about graphic novels for all ages and demographics. (

As many of you know, the My Boyfriend is a Monster series is an entertaining mix of romance and horror for the teen market. In each title, a young guy appears to be the perfect match for the teen girl until his true identity is revealed, perhaps he’s a vampire, a werewolf, or even a zombie. In I Date Dead People he happens to be a hundred-year old ghost named Tom who’s trapped in Nora Reilly family’s nineteenth century Victorian home. But he’s not the only ghost squatting there and the other covetous spirits are in no mood for Tom and Nora’s budding romance. Meanwhile, Nora’s parents want nothing more than to rid their house of these poltergeist pests. Will Nora and Tom have enough spirit in them to maintain a relationship? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out but suffice to say that the My Monster is a Boyfriend series does, indeed, have plenty of spirit when it comes to good reviews. Testament to this is aplenty in the recent No Flying, No Tights post. It wrote, “(R)eaders will love this different spin on love, supernatural style!” They continued with, “This fun and romantic ghost story would be a perfect late night spooky read for upper elementary and middle school readers. The story is fast paced and exciting; the mystery is intriguing and captivating.”

Since I’m on the subject of good reviews Kirkus also wrote one earlier this year saying, “The characters all sport oversized manga-esque eyes, the easy-to-follow black-and-white panels are drawn with a loose, expressive realism that effectively captures the plot’s droll and eerie turns.”

Hey, while I’m still at it, I might as well finish with the rest of No Flying No Tights’ glowing observation, “The illustrations by Janina Gorrissen, are simple black and white line drawings, but the characters are extremely expressive, and the ghosts are easily distinguishable from the living. The panels are easy to follow, and this graphic novel would be a great read for those new to the genre. Recommend to readers who like their romance with a side of ghost.”

On any given spring weekend in New York the city comes alive with street fairs and conventions. Last weekend (April 28-29), Graphic Universe was right smack in the middle of one such festival. The annual Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) fest, taking place at the historic 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue, was center stage for aspiring and seasoned comic book artists alike to show off their wares and expand networking. It was also a perfect place for comic book aficionados just to take in a festive atmosphere.


Carol Burrell with GU authors Lars Jakobsen and Colleen AF Venable.    

This year Graphic Universe had prime real estate at the event as well some notable GU authors and illustrators on hand. A continual stream of interest surrounded our booth with special guests like Lars Jakobsen who came all the way from Denmark. He was there to promote his much anticipated, upcoming time-traveling-detective series Mortensen’s Escapades, which is expected to be released this September. Lars also demonstrated his impressive drawing chops by offering free sketches to convention goers. And then there was the always effervescent Colleen AF Venable of Guinea PIg fame—one of Graphic Universe’s favorite and bestselling authors. And to round off the booth was the much admired GU illustrator Alitha Martinez, whose My Boyfriend Bites (from My Boyfriend is a Monster series) was one of the most requested titles there. Other well-received books were The Girl Who Owned A City: The Graphic Novel, and series Lou!, The ElseWhere Chronicles, Nola’s Worlds, and Miss Annie.

Although tiny compared to the New York Comic Con, this fun little convention packs a punch when it comes to artistry and earnestness in comics and graphic novels. Graphic Universe is always proud to be part of it.

Great news for the kids who will be attending the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this  weekend.  Colleen AF Venable, the fantastic author of the highly entertaining series Guinea PIG, Pet Shop Private Eye will be making an appearance and participating in an array of kid events there.  Colleen will speak on a book design panel (her fans may not know this, but Colleen designs graphic novels at her day job).  She’ll also give a live reading for the Carousel cartoon slide show, judge a comic costume contest, and lead a cartooning workshop.

The amazing thing about Coleen and her Guinea Pig books is that they strike the perfect balance of cleverness, humor, and mystery.  Colleen has garnered a whole cadre of enthusiastic kids and kids-at-heart who have been captivated by the adventures of the lovable Hamisher and capable Sasspants.  No doubt she will be a hit this weekend at TCAF.

Speaking of captivated audiences, it appears the judges at Young Adult Library Services Association were similarly enthralled by another great Graphic Universe series called My Boyfriend Is a Monster and specifically the title I Love Him to Pieces by Evonne Tsang and Janina Gorrissen.  The funny, offbeat and suspenseful teen romance series about girls who date boys who happen to be monsters (not figuratively but literally) has just been nominated for the coveted YALSA 2012 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Award in the fiction category. We wish them all the best of luck!


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