Americus, which is due out in print this August. Neil Barton is an Oklahoma teenager making the transition from junior high to high school, but he has little to be excited about. His best friend has just been sent away and he'll be facing high school alone. His divorcee mother means well, but is overwhelmed by her new single parenthood. And perhaps worst of all, a Christian activist group is trying to ban his favorite book series, The Chronicles of Apathea Ravenchilde, The Huntress Wytch , a high fantasy stand-in for Harry Potter.
The early chapters of Americus have a clear villain in Nancy Burns, the Bible-thumping mother of Neil's best friend Danny. But the comic is stronger when it focuses on Neil -- his burgeoning awareness of punk rock, his silent observations of his fellow high school students -- even if the town hall meetings to discuss banning Apathea Ravenchilde are great fun, especially when the revelation of a half-dragon character in the books prompts charges of bestiality.