To read (or not): The Brothers Lionheart

I came across a reference to The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren (1973, but OOP in the US) in Lucy Knisely's An Age of License: A Travelogue (Fantagraphics Books, 2014) and like Lucy, I'm a bit skeptical! In Knisely's book, Lucy and her Swedish sort-of boyfriend Henrik are comparing their favorite books from their youth. Lucy's is Harry Potter; Henrik's is The Brothers Lionheart. It's about (he tells her) two young boys who die tragically and then go to Nangijala, where they join a war over slaves and land. Lucy is all, "Wait, what?" Apparently, The Brothers Lionheart is beloved in Sweden, but I might have to stick to Pippi and Ronia, the Robber's Daughter, my favorite of Lindgren's characters, unless someone out there can convince me otherwise.

I can, however, recommend An Age of License, especially to young adults and recent college graduates! It's a travelogue, in comics, of Lucy Knisely's 2011 Scandinavian and European book tour (a sequel of sorts to Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, which won a 2014 Alex Award), so it touches on her career (and a creepy con experience), as well as traveling alone, with family and friends, and with the aforementioned Henrik. I like Knisely's clean, uncluttered drawing, the variety of layouts (there's lots of white space, not really any panels), and the occasional splash of watercolor. A companion book, Displacement, is forthcoming from Fantagraphics in January 2015, although that one promises to be a bit more serious and sad (it's about her relationship with her aging grandparents).