Cover Image: Check, Please! Book 1: # Hockey

Check, Please! Book 1: # Hockey

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Member Reviews

Very cute graphic novel. I went on to read this with my book club and talk it up at library events. Good choice for a lighthearted romance.
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This was an entertaining and heart-wrenching read that is perfect for YA readers and adults alike. I'd highly recommend this to any teen or adult, regardless of whether they're into sport or lgbtq reads! Also, I love books that make me both laugh out loud and cry happy tears.
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I've been following the webcomic for a few years, and was so pleased that it has been published. This series is tooth-achingly sweet, hilarious, and has absolutely wonderful art.
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I have loved this comic from its inception on tumblr and reading it in physical form brought me so much joy. The art is gorgeous and the characters are sweet. I want everyone to read this comic.
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Fun, engaging YA graphic novel that will appeal to male and female readers, despite being about a hockey team. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the artwork.
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I've heard about the original webcomic, so when it came out as a book, I was very excited to finally give it a try. It was super cute and very enjoyable.
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I adore this comic and I'm so happy that it has been published as a book and I hope more people will read it.
I love that a black woman has been published with her gay hockey comic and I'm just very happy about it.
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I found myself both racing through Check Please: #Hockey and attempting to savor it at the same time. This made me feel like I was living in the Haus right there with them. I loved every moment of this. The art isn't overly complicated, but it was detailed and expressive. My favorite books are the ones that make my heart race and soar--they usually make me feel like my heart has been beaten up in a back alley first, but as long as the ending is worth it, I don't mind the initial pain. The first collected volume of Check Please absolutely did all those things. Did I ever think I would (figuratively) cry, "I just love Shitty so damned much!" in my life? No, I absolutely did not, but that was the kind of thing that happened on a regular basis throughout this book. 

I know this is a webcomic, and these comics aren't anything new or that I couldn't have read online ages ago. However, in my experience, webcomics are hard for me to keep up with. I usually end up forgetting to check up on them for so long that finding where I left off the last time I checked in feels like a futile effort, and it isn't long before I don't bother anymore. Check Please was something I wanted to check out, but just didn't because of my track record with webcomics in general (with the possible exception of 'The Adventures of God'). I'm so grateful that someone decided to publish it in a nice volume for people like me who struggle with webcomics or are just 'Luddites' in general. It's well worth checking out, and I'm looking forward to the next volume.
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Having been a massive fan of the Tumblr comic, I was SO excited to read the print version. It did not disappoint and I literally bought my own copy even after reading the arc because I LOVE BITTY SO MUCH! Sweet, funny, charming, and so beautifully illustrated, this is one of the best YA comics out there. It is already circulating well at my library and I couldn't be more excited!
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Ngozi Ukazu’s immensely popular webcomic Check, Please! is here collected in the first of two volumes. Check, Please!: #Hockey covers the freshman and sophomore years of “Bitty”, a former figure-skating champion who’s playing hockey in college. He’s not your typical athlete, since he’s also an excellent baker and coming to terms with his authentic self. He’s also deathly afraid of being checked on the ice.

This comic, like its lead, is adorable. It’s told as if we’re watching Bitty’s video blog. His enthusiasm is contagious, and it’s wonderful to see how accepting his more typical teammates are of him. I don’t actually believe that a house full of college hockey players would be this charming — I would expect more casual sexism and violence — but the portrayal is lots of fun. (And has lots of profanity. THAT seems very authentic.)

The vlog format allows focus on the character’s emotions, which well suits a story about a boy’s growing up during the formative college years. The character designs are attractive, with a manga look and an animation influence that is balanced by the more detailed backgrounds.

I appreciated the extras here. The author’s foreword, in which she expresses her love of hockey as “this fast-paced, explosive, wild, and beautiful game” and explains how the comic began, brought new insight to a topic I didn’t know much about. Also included are some bonus comics explaining hockey traditions and Bitty’s Twitter feed.

I can see why Check, Please has so many dedicated fans. It’s a fun, exciting, charming read that turns a traditionally macho sport on its head. Even when elements are familiar — team captain Jack, for example, is the son of a famous hockey player and struggling with the weight of those expectations placed on him — Bitty’s presence makes them fresh, since he’s such a non-traditional hero for these kinds of stories.
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Check Please is a delightful story. I had teens asking me for it almost a year ago (though I had seen solicitations at the time, I didn't realize it was a webcomic, which is probably why they knew it), so I knew I was going to buy it already, but I was very pleased to be able to read it beforehand and see what about the series they loved. My library has a ton of LGBT+ teen patrons and so I always try to buy things that represent them anyway, but this is one of the better titles in that vein. Our teen librarian has already checked it out on my suggestion to take and talk up to the high school, where I'm sure it will be a huge hit.
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I don't laugh out loud at very many books, but this one had such heart and humor that I found myself chuckling. It is a refreshing, unique graphic novel about Eric Bittle (AKA Bitty) and his first year in college. Bitty loves to vlog and bake and ice skate. Now at college, Bitty tries out for the hockey team where he excels because of his speed. Although he is smaller than the average player, Bitty becomes the heart of the team. 

Bitty is also gay. He comes out to one teammate early in the book, but the rest of the time it is not made a big deal out of. The other guys accept him for who he is and never bat an eye at him being different than them. In fact, all the guys on the team are unique in their own ways. I really liked all the characters and the way they interacted with each other. It was sweet and entertaining and lighthearted. 

Bitty does start to have feelings for the star of the team, Jack. He's unsure if Jack even likes him as a person for most of the book because Jack is so focused on hockey and being the best. Eventually they do grow closer just in time for Jack to graduate and go off to play in the NHL. We are left with a cliffhanger and I cannot wait to see what happens next. 

I really enjoyed this book and think it will become a graphic novel staple.

**I received an e-ARC from Netgalley**
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This story was super cute and made me interested in hockey, something I never thought was possible. I liked the realistic college setting and how quickly the plot moved. The baking and vlogging made it relatable and current. I do think the romance was not as prominent as I thought it would've been, nothing really happened until the end, but it was still super cute and I can't wait to read the next volume. The art style wasn't particularly for me, but it was right for the tone of the book and didn't take me out of the story.
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Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar     

In hockey, checking is anything that hinders a player with possession of the puck.” – Bitty.

Check, Please!: # Hockey, is the story of Eric “Bitty” Bittle a first and second year at Samwell University and him joining the hockey team to help him with a scholarship and because he likes to ski on ice. Before moving to Samwell, Bitty was the captain of his school hockey team and was an ice skater, thanks to his skater skills he was able to join the team at Samwell. Bitty tells his story in the form of video blogs (vlogs) to his internet followers, but at the same time, we get glimpses of the things that happen outside of the vlogs.



Over the course of the first couple of chapters, we meet all the members of the current and later hockey team. The most prominent members are Captain Jack Zimmermann, Shitty, Holster, Ransom, and Lardo. While the story centers around Bitty adapting to the new team and his new friends, we also get to experience Bitty’s college ups and downs at Samwell.

I really like the story of Bitty during his first year in Samwell, it was a very relatable tale for anybody who currently is in or went to college. It was fun to read Bitty’s journey in college as he befriends his new teammates and is trying to become a better hockey player.

The story also touches the topic of Bitty’s sexual orientation. Over the course of the first semester at Samwell and Bitty getting to know the hockey players better, he comes out as gay to them and the team is accepting of him. He doesn’t act as total jock as the other members, but his teammates accept his personality and become protective of him as another brother to them. It was nice to see the reaction of the other team members and how easily they accepted Bitty and adjusted their lives to make him more comfortable. Bitty likes to bake and once he moves into the Haus (hockey team house) he uses the available kitchen to his full use and feeds the house members, for which they are grateful.

I liked the characters in this book, at first, we only meet the team members of Samwell but later on, we meet the new recruits. I think anybody that reads Check, Please!: # Hockey, will agree with me that my favorite character of this story, after Bitty, was Shitty. I really liked his personality and him trying to help and take care of everybody. Jack was another good character, I liked the illustrations of him because the author did a great job illustrating his emotions and personality.



With the case of Jack, we also touch upon the topic of mental illness. We learn about Jack’s past as he tried to live up to all the expectation his family and the world had for him, and how all the stress and anxiety caused him to break.  We saw glimpses of the past where he overdoses with his anxiety medication and had to be hospitalized, later on, we see that he decides not to party so hard as the rest of the team members or residents of the hockey team house. In my opinion, the author did a good job portraying Jack and the stress that sports players have to deal with to be able to get into higher leagues.

At the end of the book, we get to see the senior members of the team graduating and going on their respective ways, some of them to join official hockey teams and others continuing their education.  At the same time, feelings come up to the surface and a declaration is made, leaving the story in a to-be-continued for the following year at Samwell. I would love to read the following year to learn what more is going to happen to Bitty and his team members.



The book is a bundle of Bitty’s stories, Check Please! Year One and Check Please! Year Two.  The two stories were previously printed separately, but this new version comes with them together and additional content, some of its: Hockey Shit with Ransom and Holster, and Bitty’s twitter posts.  These additional parts are very funny, and we get a glimpse of the backstories that are happening around the main story.

If you like comics sports related, with LGBT characters, pies, and fun characters then I recommend you, Check, Please!: # Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu. This story tells the journey of a young man through his first years in college who has joined the university’s hockey team; new experiences and people await Bitty in this new chapter of his life, and he and his team will check their way into your heart. and his team will check their way into your heart.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
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Check, Please! is a fantastic young adult graphic novel chronicling Eric Bittle's first two years at Samwell University on the hockey team. The characters introduced are compelling and fully formed, the issues raised are sensitively dealt with, and the story leaves the reader hanging at each chapter, right to the end. The artwork is both clear and beautiful. A strong recommendation.
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I originally read Check, Please as a webcomic. It was recommended to me as year 3 was coming out and I binged to catch up then waited impatiently for the end (so worth it). Now as I read year 4 in real time, I have the great pleasure of reviewing the first graphic novel volume, #Hockey. 
Volume 1 covers years 1 and 2 of Eric “Bitty” Bittle’s story. For the most part, it translates well into a graphic novel. I was a little thrown by the “glossary” comics being grouped together at the end rather than interspersed throughout the story, but because they are formatted as their own mini-series it makes sense. 
As far as the story goes, I cannot say enough nice things. The only thing I might have liked was to see more of Jack’s built-up towards the big event at the end of year 2, but because the comic is from Bitty’s point of view this again makes sense. I love Bitty’s character, I love his interactions with the other characters, and I love how every character develops over the two years. I enjoyed the art style and the tone of the book. The hockey culture made me reminiscent of days cheering for our small-town team when I was a kid. And finally, seeing a gay character who gets to be himself without worrying about stereotypes was an absolute delight. 
This graphic novel is a wonderful addition to the niche of queer sports stories as well as the wider audiences of contemporary graphic novels. I would recommend it to fans of Fence and Running with Lions.
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Back when "Check, Please!" was just a serial comic on Tumblr, I was an avid reader of it. I followed along with Bitty and the gang as they went to college. I loved it then, and I love it now that it’s been picked up by Macmillan!

The illustration style is quirky and oh so cute. It suits the main character, Bitty, and the tone of the story perfectly. I love how there are panels with very little dialogue to add to the dramatic effect. That ending though!

The story is set up as Bitty telling his viewers because he’s, get this, a vlogger. I love it! It makes it feel like we’re having a conversation with Bitty, like we’re involved in the story. It’s a great way to draw readers in.

Bitty is such a cute character. The story begins with him as a freshman at college, and we do see him grow over the course of the book. I love his baking habits, his energy, and his drive to improve at hockey. Of course, seeing him be supported by his teammates is wonderful. Healthy platonic male friendships are so important to see on the page (of course I could’ve done without some of the language used to discuss women, but I know it’s accurate for college-aged men).

But my favourite part of the story is…the romance. It is so swoon-worthy. I’d say it is definitely a hate-to-love or friends-to-lovers romance. Bitty and Jack initially have a lot of tension, and they clash sometimes - okay, more like Jack is a grouch, but it’s due to his dad - but to see them grow closer was wonderful.

"Check, Please!: #Hockey" is such a fun, sweet story. I guess for me this was a re-read, since I followed the comic before it was published. However, I still really enjoyed it and I liked the extra comic pieces at the end (especially Bitty’s Twitter feed).
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I'm going to try not to fangirl and be professional but I loved everything about Check, Please. Bitty was adorable. The hockey was action packed and accurate. The surprise romance was perfect. I can't wait to read the next in the series.
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5 stars!

*

about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.

“EAT MORE PROTEIN.”
Check, Please!: #Hockey is a lighthearted and delightful comic about hockey, friendship, college life, and love! There is so much cuteness and emotion in each and every panel of this story, from well developed characters to chirping to a slow build kind of romance that is as sweet as Bitty’s pies. Every single thing about Check, Please! is amazing!

Ngozi Ukazu has created such a wonderful world with Samwell University. The introduction and development of each and every character is done so seamlessly and with so much humor you can’t help but be charmed. The hockey primers, extra comics, and tweets are the icing on an already delicious pie. There is nothing about this that I don’t love, omg y’all.

This has been such a fun read. I started reading Check, Please back when it was still on Tumblr, so to have it as an ARC and read the first two years of Bitty’s Samwell life in one go is such a treat! There’s so much development through each and every panel and I love how Ngozi builds Bitty’s life and relationships. I also love love love the way she deals with difficult topics like homophobia and anxiety. It’s done so in a very serious way, but never so it attacks the overall happy atmosphere of the comic.

Each and every single character here is gold. They’re so complex and layered and funny. Bitty is, most of the time, the narrative voice that gets the story going, but all of Samwell’s Hockey Team shines through the comic. Jack, Shitty, Lardo, Ransom and Holster, Dex, Nursey, our bb Chowder. They all have something unique to them and for us to love.

The very very super slow build relationship between Bits and Jack is probably my favorite thing. They have a not-so-great start, but slowly they come to know each other and become friends. That slow shift of their relationship and feelings is done so well and their interactions turn from tense to incredibly sweet. And the ending, combined with all the extra comics and tweets, omg!

Check, Please!: #Hockey is a breath of fresh air. It’s funny, sweet, and hooks you right from the start. The art, the characters, the story, the relationships, everything is so well done and absolutely lovely. Definitely recommend this to all hockey fans, comic fans, and people looking for positive queer representation that focuses way more on the happy parts of life.
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Collects the the freshman and sophomore years of the much-loved webcomic with the relevant tweets in a book (now that’s transmedia!)

Sweet story about hockey, first love, pies, hockey bros, coming out, and adjusting to college (not necessarily in that order.) Although i read the webcomic — year 4 just began — i enjoyed rereading them. The story holds together very well and the art improves. Cannot wait for the next volume collecting years 3 and 4.
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