“Encyclopedia of Black Comics” by Sheena C. Howard, foreword by Henry louis Gates, Jr., afterword by Christopher Priest
“Draw, Sheriff.” Oh, how you loved to do that. It started with spider-legged people and crooked houses. As you got better, you replicated and created worlds, invented characters, and expanded your tool use. Even today, with sharp pencil or fine pen, you can still make a respectable doodle; in the new book “Encyclopedia of Black Comics” by Sheena C. Howard, you’ll see how you’re right in ‘toon.
“Lookin’ great, man!” Those three words can make you feel ten feet tall. You want to strut when someone says you’re fly because it’s true. You are, and in “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James, you’ll see it happen.
In things of great importance, you stand on the shoulders of giants. Those who came before you gave you a boost to get you where you are. They cleared your path and knocked aside obstacles. You stand on the shoulders of those giants even if, as in the new book “Keep Your Airspeed Up” by Harold H. Brown (with Marsha S. Bordner), the giant was once kinda scrawny.
You know how to use a hammer. It’s not that hard: just grab the end and swing. Easy enough; in fact, there are probably lots of tools you know how to use, although, as in the new novel “Unforgivable Love” by Sophfronia Scott, do you know how to use people?
You know your rights. You’re well aware of what you can and can’t do legally because you’ve armed yourself with knowledge. You have rights and, in the new book “Rossen to the Rescue” by Jeff Rossen, one of them is the right not to be scammed, schemed, or unsafe.
“Write that down.” Your teacher says that all the time in class. Your parents might say it, as a reminder because sometimes, writing things down can be important. And as you’ll see in the new book, “Kid Authors” by David Stabler, illustrated by Doogie Horner, written words can also be magic.
A superhero. Sure, a superhero! Someone who can leap tall problems in a single bound. An invincible mutant who can handle customers, recall conversations in great detail, dispense product in minutes, and stop time in the break room. Yep, for sure, that’s what your business needs, so read “Slugfest” by Reed Tucker.
It struck in a second. If you’d have blinked, you would have missed the flash but you’d’ve known it was there by the rumble that followed. There’s nothing like the power and beauty of a summer thunderstorm to put respect into you – except, as in the new novel “Lightning Men” by Thomas Mullen, maybe the crack of a gun.
“You kids quiet down!” If you’re feeling wild, you’ve no doubt heard that, or PIPE DOWN, or KNOCK IT OFF, or something similar, for sure. You’re a kid, kids make noise, and in the new book “Who are Venus and Serena Williams?” by James Buckley Jr., you’ll read about two girls who were encouraged to make a lot of “racquet!”
Difficult. We all know someone like that, who could charitably be called a challenge. Someone who swims against the current, who rubs people the wrong way, who makes you growly. In the new book “Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green” by Jimmy McDonough, ruffled feathers can come from surprising places.