Staff Picks (July): Check Please! Book 1 — Hockey

As I am writing this staff pick for you, our most superb PREVIEWS reader, to peruse, I am also biting my nails off and cursing under my breath that my favorite NHL team is losing in an NHL playoff game. In my humble opinion, hockey and comics are a perfect pair which is exactly why I am obsessed with Check Please! Book 1: Hockey, written and Illustrated by Ngozi Ukazu from :01 First Second Books.

Meet Eric Bittle, a former junior level figure skating phenomenon turned hockey player at the start of his Freshman year at Samwell College in Boston. Timid, small, kind, and as sweet at the pies that he loves to bake, Eric, nee “Bitty,” takes you through the year of a first-year team member via his vlog and real time updates. Laughs are abundant as gentile southern boy Bitty attempts to build relationships with his teammates who live the typical College Bro lifestyle to a T, and learns that hockey is bigger than what happens on the ice.

For fans of the original web comic will be pleased to see that Ukazu has put together Year 1 and 2 of the series here for a beautifully collected 288-page story. This charming tale of growing up and realizing your life’s truth is charming and sweet. Bitty’s personality pops off the page and reads as though he is speaking to you as your best friend. You’re happy when he’s happy, and nervous for him when he tells his teammates his big secret. The charm and brooding of Jack is what all young love crushes are made of, while the off the ice antics of Random and Holster are hilariously bro-ish (see: Winter Screw).

Check Please! Book 1: Hockey is a fun story about the best years of a young man's life with some body slamming into the boards thrown in for good measure.

Megan Cosman

Publisher: :01 First Second Books
Item Code: JUL181916
Release Date: 9/19/18
SRP: $23.99

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