Title: Check, Please!: #Hockey, Vol. 1
Author: Ngozi Ukazu
Genres: Graphic novel, superhero
Availability: Available now!
Summary: Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking (anything that hinders the player with posession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jack—his very attractive but moody captain.
A collection of the first half, freshmen and sophmore year, of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life. This book includes updated art and a hilarious, curated selection of Bitty’s beloved tweets. [Image and summary via Goodreads]
Review: I’ve been following the Check, Please series online (it’s a webcomic!) for several years now, and I love it, so this isn’t going to be much of a review. What I’ve been telling my friends, foes, and random passerbys is that Check, Please is the gay hockey comic of your dreams. Of course, that’s putting it way too simply — there’s pies, bros, friendship, and the list goes on. The series follows Eric Bittle, known as Bitty, as he navigates his college years on the hockey team and falls in love along the way.
As of last month, you can now get this webcomic in graphic novel book form, complete with extras such as bonus tweets. (That’s just how awesome this series is. After reading it, you’ll want to read the tweets.) The series is hilarious, heartwarming, and thought-provoking, touching on queerness, masculinity, and friendship in the context of college hockey. I can’t recommend it enough, and I’m truly looking forward to what creator Ngozi Ukazu decides to do after this series wraps up. Buy the newly released graphic novel if you want some joy in your life — and of course, you do! When you’re done reading, and you’re thinking, “Now what?” Fear not, you can read the rest of the (currently updating) webcomic online, and that’ll tide you over until Vol. 2 comes out later on.
Recommendation: Buy it now!
Further reading: Interview with Ngozi Ukazu at The Mary Sue