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PG Previews:

September 2013

Here are my latest PG Tips for your panelogical enlightenment, ranging widely and wildly from politics to fairytales, from Venn diagrams to spirituality, from the histories of Pompeii and Hartlepool to China’s Boxer Rebellion, from little boys lost to an abandoned polar bear, from the legalities of superheroics to a century and a half of Japanese comics. If I had to pick one solo highlight of September 2013, it would have to be The Black Project by Gareth Brookes (from Myriad Editions), a landmark, once read, not easily forgotten. At times, you won’t quite believe what you are reading and seeing, all executed in embroidery and lincouts, four years in the making. Exquisite, excruciating and exceptional.

A Brief History of Manga
by Helen McCarthy
$12.99 / £7.99

The publishers says:
Manga has become ubiquitous in the West over the past 25 years, but how much do you actually know about the artists, writers, and publishers of some of the most beloved comics in the world? A Brief History of Manga is the only concise book of its kind to provide a snapshot of the past 150 years of this sequential art form. Filled with anecdotes, quotes, facts, and figures, the title places Manga in a cultural and social context—not just in Japan, but around the world. Containing everything you need to know, from Akira to Mazinger Z, it is fully illustrated with color examples of manga and photos of the creators behind them. It also has an easy-to-reference timeline running throughout, featuring key publication launch dates, historical events and the births and deaths of the biggest creators in the industry. Written by one of the West’s most renowned and respected anime and manga experts, this 96-page book is an authoritative and essential guide, providing a crash course on the world’s most prevalent and popular art form.

Bandette Vol. 1
by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover
Dark Horse

The publishers says:
Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover’s enchanting, Eisner-nominated digital series comes to print! The world’s greatest thief is a costumed teen burglar in swinging Paris by the nome d’arte of Bandette! Gleefully plying her skills on either side of the law, Bandette is a thorn in the sides of both police inspector Belgique and the criminal underworld. But it’s not all breaking hearts and purloining masterpieces when a rival thief discovers that an international criminal organization wants Bandette dead! This beautiful hardcover includes the first arc, tales of Bandette’s street urchin helpers by guest artists, an original illustrated story, and more! 144-page hardback.

Boxers and Saints
by Gene Yang
First Second
$18.99 & $15.99

The publishers says:
China,1898. In Boxers, bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers - commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from “foreign devils.” Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of “secondary devils” - Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity. In Saints, an unwanted fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn’t even given a proper name by her family. She finds friendship—and a name, Vibiana—in the most unlikely of places: Christianity. But China is a dangerous place for Christians. The Boxer Rebellion is murdering Westerners and Chinese Christians alike. Torn between her nation and her Christian friends, Vibiana will have to decide where her true loyalties lie . . . and whether she is willing to die for her faith. Boxers & Saints is an innovative new graphic novel in two volumes - the parallel stories of two young people caught up on opposite sides of a violent rift. American Born Chinese author Gene Luen Yang brings his clear-eyed storytelling and trademark magical realism to the complexities of the Boxer Rebellion and lays bare the foundations of extremism, rebellion, and faith.

by Farel Dalrymple
AdHouse Books

The publishers says:
Delusional is a book of comics and drawings by cartoonist Farel Dalrymple. You might have seen them in various anthologies, or posted on the internets, but now they are collected into one beautiful tome. Farel’s previous work includes Pop Gun War, Omega the Unknown and the occasional Prophet. Farel has won both the Xeric Grant and a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators for his work. 232-page hardback.

Fairy Tale Comics
by Chris Duffy & various artists
First Second

The publishers says:
From favorites like “Puss in Boots” and “Goldilocks” to obscure gems like “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper, and more. Edited by Nursery Rhyme Comics’ Chris Duffy, this jacketed 128-page full-colour hardcover is a beautiful gift and an instant classic. Here’s the line-up of stories and creators:
Sweet Porridge! – Bobby London; The 12 Dancing Princesses – Emily Carroll; Hansel and Gretel –Gilbert Hernandez; Puss in Boots – Vanessa Davis; Little Red Riding Hood – Gigi D.G.; The Prince and the Tortoise – Ramona Fradon & Chris Duffy; Snow White – Jaime Hernandez; The Boy Who Drew Cats – Luke Pearson; Rumpelstiltskin – Brett Helquist; Rabbit Will Not Help – Joseph Lambert; Rapunzel  – Raina Telgemeier; The Small Tooth Dog – Charise Mericle Harper; Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Graham Annable; Baba Yaga – Jillian Tamaki; Bremen Town – Karl Kerschl; Give Me the Shudders – David Mazzucchelli; and Azzolino’s Story Without End – Craig Thompson.

Fight The Power! A Visual History of Protest
by Sean Michael Wilson, Benjamin Dickson & Hunt Emerson, John Spelling & Adam Pasion
New Internationalist
$19.95 / £9.99

The publishers says:
According to Gandhi, the Four Stages of Protest are as follows: First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win! In Fight the Power!, comics authors Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson team up with illustrators Hunt Emerson, John Spelling, and Adam Pasion to show how this process has been played out again and again throughout history—and has slowly but surely led to hard-won rights for the people along the way. Focusing on the English-speaking nations, Wilson and Dickson chronicle the struggles of the Luddites and Swing Riots in the early 1800s, through the Irish Rebellions that lasted through 1922; from the suffragettes in 1918 to Rosa Parks and the bus boycott of the mid-1950s; from the trial of Nelson Mandela to the Occupy movement that has only just begun. By illuminating the variety of protests—and the valuable connections among them—through an accessible art form, Fight the Power! shows that there is a point to the struggle, fight by fight, win by win. 192-page paperback.

Little Fish: A Memoir
by Ramsey Beyer
Zest Books

The publishers says:
Told through real-life journals, collages, lists, and drawings, this coming-of-age story illustrates the transformation of an 18-year-old girl from a small-town teenager into an independent city-dwelling college student. Written in an autobiographical style with beautiful artwork, Little Fish shows the challenges of being a young person facing the world on her own for the very first time and the unease—as well as excitement—that comes along with that challenge. 272-page hardback.

Little Tommy Lost: Vol. 1
by Cole Closser
Koyama Press

The publishers says:
Separated from his parents on a trip to the big city, a lost little boy unknowingly sets out on a great adventure as he searches for a way home in Little Tommy Lost: Book One. Reminiscent of the newspaper strips and lushly illustrated Sunday comics of the early twentieth century, Cole Closser’s work is steeped in cartooning history, but filled with an unparalleled sense of the new. 72-page paperback.


by Frank Santoro

The publishers says:
Frank Santoro’s latest graphic novel—his first in six years—takes place just before the eruption of Pompeii in 79 AD. The story follows Marcus, a young expat artist from Paestum who works as an assistant to Flavius, a seemingly well-regarded painter. Aside from mixing paint, Marcus is entangled in the older artist’s romantic deceptions, while stuck figuring out his own. Nicole Rudick wrote of this work in The Comics Journal: “Santoro’s drawings are wonderful; his reduction of figures to tone and line and shape recall illusionistic Roman frescoes and the drawings of Giacometti and Émile Bernard, but endowed with comic-strip dynamism. But if Pompeii were just a series of clever sight lines and intriguing artwork, it would not be as satisfying [ ] the story’s physical structure is married to its themes, and to be aware of one is to be more appreciative of the other.” 144-page paperback.


Ray and Joe: The Story of A Man and His Dead Friend and Other Classic Comics
by Charles Rodrigues, edited by Bob Fingerman & Gary Groth

The publishers says:
National Lampoon cartoonist finally gets his due in this collection of his gross and hilarious cartoons. Fantagraphics is proud to announce the release of the first volume of another great, under-appreciated, quintessentially American cartoonist. “Black as sin and decay and perversion” is how National Lampoon editor Tony Hendra described the work of Charles Rodrigues. By all accounts, this small, politically conservative, devout Catholic, was a good-natured dumpling of a man. But inside lurked an untapped vein of savage wit that only the National Lampoon saw fit to unleash. Given carte blanche by its young editors, Rodrigues produced a 20-year tsunami of hilarious self-contained comic strips, themed gag spreads, and serials that boggled the mind and challenged all sense of decency and propriety. In this first-ever collection of his comics, readers are treated to the misadventures of conjoined twins The Aesop Brothers; Sam deGroot, a private detective in an iron lung (whose life actually gets worse when he is sprung from his enclosure); Deirdre Callahan, a girl so hideous that to look upon her causes madness and suicide; and the heartwarming (in relative terms) titular tale of Ray and Joe, the saga of a man and his dead best friend. Also included are his brilliant “biographies” of Marilyn Monroe, Abbie Hoffman, Eugene O’Neill, and others. Rodrigues rendered his cast of grotesqueries and naïfs in a ragged, unpretty line within dense panels and pages, that perfectly reflects his uniquely bizarre, riotous and repellent world. Charles Rodrigues may be gone and, if not forgotten, insufficiently remembered, and this collection will rectify at least one of those tragedies. Black & white illustrations throughout. 192-page hardback.

R. Crumb The Weirdo Years: 1981-‘93
by Robert Crumb
Last Gasp / Knockabout Comics
$29.95 / £19.99

The publishers says:
All of Robert Crumb’s work from his very influential Weirdo magazine. Widely considered to be some of his best work ever. Weirdo was a magazine-sized comics anthology created by Robert Crumb in 1981, which ran for 28 issues. It served as a “low art” counterpoint to its contemporary highbrow Raw. Early issues of Weirdo reflect Crumb’s interests at the time: outsider art, fumetti, Church of the SubGenius-type anti-propaganda and assorted “weirdness.” The incredibly varied stories include TV Blues, Life of Boswell, People Make me Nervous, The Old Songs are the Best Songs,Uncle Bob’s Mid-Life Crisis, Kraft Ebbing’s’ Psycopathia Sexualis, Goldilocks, The Life of Philip K Dick, and many more. Also within are several photo strip stories featuring Crumb himself and various of his trademark well-built women including his wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb in tales such as Get in Shape and Unfaithful Husband. 256pp hardcover with an introduction by Aline Kominsky-Crumb.

Scene But Not Heard
by Sam Henderson
Top Shelf Productions

The publishers says:
Sam Henderson: Ignatz-nominated creator of Magic Whistle, Emmy-nominated writer and storyboard artist for SpongeBob SquarePants... and also the nutty mind behind Scene But Not Heard, the longest-running feature in the history of Nickelodeon Magazine! Now all those strips—the hilarious, wordless adventures of a man and a bear—are collected all in one handsome hardcover. Just try and keep up with Sam’s wild imagination! A full-color hardcover, 6” x 9”, 128 pages, co-published by Top Shelf Productions and Alternative Comics.

Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe
by Tim Leong
Chronicle Books
$18.95 / £12.99

The publishers says:
The comic book universe is adventurous, mystifying, and filled with heroes, villains, and cosplaying Comic-Con attendees. This book by one of Wired magazine’s art directors traverses the graphic world through a collection of pie charts, bar graphs, timelines, scatter plots, and more. Super Graphic offers readers a unique look at the intricate and sometimes contradictory storylines that weave their way through comic books, and shares advice for navigating the pages of some of the most popular, longest-running, and best-loved comics and graphic novels out there. From a colorful breakdown of the DC Comics reader demographic to a witty Venn diagram of superhero comic tropes and a Chris Ware sadness scale, this book charts the most arbitrary and monumental characters, moments, and equipment of the wide world of comics. 196-page paperback.

The Art of Sean Phillips
by Sean Phillips with Eddie Robson
Dynamite Entertainment

The publishers says:
The Art of Sean Phillips is a lavish, career-spanning retrospective of the acclaimed artist behind Criminal, Sleeper, Incognito, and Fatale. Sean has personally selected the very best, most interesting examples of his art for inclusion, from comic strips assembled with childhood friends in his bedroom, through his work for British girls’ comics and 2000AD, to his role as a key artist in the early years of Vertigo, through his superhero work for Marvel, DC, and WildStorm, and finally from his creator-owned series with Ed Brubaker. Also, the renowned artist has been extensively interviewed, along with many of his key collaborators, for the book’s in-depth commentary on his work and career. 312-page hardback.

The Big Wet Balloon
by Ricardo Liniers
Toon Books

The publishers says:
When her little sister, Clemmie, refuses to go out in the rain, Matilda sets out to teach her all the delights of a wet Saturday. But after her enthusiasm leads her to make a big mistake, it’s Matilda who will end up learning an unforgettable lesson. The world-renowned Argentinian cartoonist Liniers gives us a funny and sweet portrait of his daughters that is sure to become every beginning reader’s favorite story. 32-page hardback.


The Black Project
by Gareth Brookes
Myriad Editions

The publishers says:
Getting yourself a girlfriend is easy, according to Richard. All you need is papier mache, string, soft material, a balloon, some old fashioned bellows, and a good pair of scissors. The difficult bit is keeping her secret. Set in an English suburb in the early 1990s, this is the story of Richard’s all-consuming passion for creating ‘girls’ from household objects. But as his hobby begins to flourish, his real life friendships and family relationships deteriorate. 208-page paperback.


The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story
by Vivek J. Tiwary & Andrew C. Robinson
Dark Horse

The publishers says:
The Fifth Beatle is the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided the Beatles - from their gigs in a tiny cellar in Liverpool to unprecedented international stardom. Yet more than merely the story of “The Man Who Made the Beatles,” The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Brian himself died painfully lonely at the young age of thirty-two, having helped the Beatles prove through Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that pop music could be an inspirational art form. He was homosexual when it was a felony to be so in the United Kingdom, Jewish at a time of anti-Semitism, and from Liverpool when it was considered just a dingy port town. This collector’s edition of this groundbreaking graphic novel features a textured cover and a section of bonus materials including unique Beatles and Brian Epstein memorabilia, artist sketches, and alternate covers. 168-page hardback.

The Hartlepool Monkey
by Wilfrid Lupano & Jeremie Moreau
Knockabout Comics

The publishers says:
1814, off the Durham coast, near the village of Hartlepool, a war-ship in the Napoleonic fleet founders during a storm and sinks. At day-break, fishermen discover a survivor: a monkey dressed in full military regalia, the mascot. The good people of Hartlepool despise all Frenchmen, though they have never seen one in the flesh. Nor have they ever see a monkey. But this brutish, bestial castaway tallies with the impression they have of the enemy, and the ape is court-martialled. Inspired by this famous legend, this is a tragi-comic fable of war and jingoism. 96pp colour hardcover.

The Law of Superheroes
by James Daily & Ryan Anderson
Gotham Books

The publishers says:
An intriguing and entertaining look at how America’s legal system would work using the world of comic books.

The dynamic duo behind the popular website breaks down even the most advanced legal concepts for every self-proclaimed nerd.

James Daily and Ryan Davidson—attorneys by day and comic enthusiasts all of the time—have clearly found their vocation, exploring the hypothetical legal ramifications of comic book tropes, characters, and powers down to the most deliciously trivial detail.
The Law of Superheroes asks and answers crucial speculative questions about everything from constitutional law and criminal procedure to taxation, intellectual property, and torts, including: Could Superman sue if someone exposed his true identity as Clark Kent? Are members of the Legion of Doom vulnerable to prosecution under RICO? Do the heirs of a superhero who comes back from the dead get to keep their inherited property after their loved one is resurrected? Does it constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” to sentence an immortal like Apocalypse to life in prison without the possibility of parole? Engaging, accessible, and teaching readers about the law through fun hypotheticals, The Law of Superheroes is a must-have for legal experts, comic nerds, and anyone who will ever be called upon to practice law in the comic multiverse. 320-page hardcover.

The Lost Boy
by Greg Ruth
$12.99 / $19.99

The publishers says:
Some mysteries are too dangerous to leave alone. Nate’s not happy about his family moving to a new house in a new town. After all, nobody asked him if he wanted to move in the first place. But when he discovers a tape recorder and note addressed to him under the floorboards of his bedroom, he’s thrust into a dark mystery about a boy who went missing many, many years ago. Now, as strange happenings and weird creatures begin to track Nate, he must partner with Tabitha, a local girl, to find out what they want with him. But time is running out, for a powerful force is gathering strength in the woods at the edge of town, and before long Nate and Tabitha will be forced to confront a terrifying foe and uncover the truth about The Lost Boy. 192-page hardcover.

Tropic of the Sea
by Satoshi Kon
Vertical Inc.

The publishers says:
Before he joined the anime industry, visionary creator Satoshi Kon created manga, the first of which was Kaikisen (Tropic of the Sea). Publisher Vertical Inc. gives you the chance to enjoy the late Kon’s work in English. It tells the tale of the sea town of Amide, home to the legend of a pact between local priests and people of the sea that has ensured prosperous fishing for as long as anyone can remember. Things begin to change as the legend attracts media and property developers, some doubt the existence of the sea people, and the pact threatens to unravel. 220-page paperback.

by Emilio Ruiz & Anna Miralles
Lerner Publishing Group

The publishers says:
Young Waluk is all alone. His mother has abandoned him, as is the way of polar bears, and now he must fend for himself. But he doesn’t know much about the world—and unfortunately, his Arctic world is changing quickly. The ice is melting, and food is hard to find. Luckily, Waluk meets Manitok, a wise old bear with missing teeth and a bad sense of smell. Manitok knows many survival tricks, and he teaches Waluk about seals, foxes, changing seasons, and—when Manitok is caught in a trap—human beings. Has Waluk learned enough from his friend to find a way to save him? 56-page paperback.

Wu Wei
by various artists & edited by Mike Medaglia
Wu Wei Comics

The publishers says:
Wu Wei is a spiritual comics anthology with a focus on eastern philosophy. It is a space to give writers, illustrators and cartoonists a chance to creatively explore questions of spirituality in modern life. A beautifully produced 80-page book with funny and inspirational stories, illustrations, poetry and words of wisdom from 25 different artists, Wu Wei will have a mix of comics and illustrations and will also include a separate origami comic insert and a pull out concertina. Cover by Glyn Dillon.

Posted: July 7, 2013


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Comics Art by Paul Gravett from Tate Publishing

1001 Comics  You Must Read Before You Die edited by Paul Gravett

Comics Unmasked by Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning from The British Library