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Top 12 Best Graphic Novels:

December 2015

To celebrate the first ten years of this website, here are my latest Best titles - twelve comics in book form - from upcoming releases starting in December 2015 - explore, discover and enjoy!


Butter and Blood
by Steven Weissman
Big Planet / Retrofit Comics
$13.00

The publisher says:
Better known for explorations of childhood friendship (Yikes!) and life in pre-apocalyptic America (Barack Hussein Obama), Butter and Blood showcases Steven Weissman’s wider, weirder range as a cartoonist. Butter and Blood collects work created for patrons as varied as Giant Robot, Vice, Mome, Playboy, The Stranger and Nickelodeon, as well as sticker designs, sketchbook pages and much more. Featuring roving gangs of drug-addled rabbits, Guns N’ Roses in their Jewish deli days, ghost stories and talking dogs with nothing to say, Butter and Blood is packed cover-to-cover with beautiful drawing, dumb ideas and funny, funny jokes. 96pgs B&W paperback.


Dad’s Not All There Any More
by Alex Demetris
Jessica Kingsley Publishers /Singing Dragon
£7.99

The publisher says:
‘Louie what?’ John’s dad, Pete, was already diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when he began to have some very strange experiences, not least of which was the little red-haired girl who followed him around the house. Eventually diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), his hallucinations and other symptoms became more frequent and intense, and Pete moved into a care home. Based on his family’s experience of his father’s LBD, Alex Demetris’ comic explores with tenderness and humour one of the most common yet often unheard of types of dementia; what it is, its symptoms, living in a care home and the impact on people living with the condition and their families. 36pgs colour paperback.


Different Ugliness, Different Madness
by Marc Malès
Humanoids
£14.99

The publisher says:
America, 1930, the Golden Age of Radio. A stunningly beautiful woman, Helen, travels aimlessly, across the United States, taking the first train that comes without knowing the destination. Her path crosses that of the reclusive Lloyd Goodman, better known as the attractive and sexy voice of the “playboy of radio.” But he has a secret. His voice is as dazzling as his face is repulsive. Lloyd, embarrassed by his appearance, disappeared from the limelight. As Helen struggles with the terrible memories of a personal trauma, her meeting with Lloyd will change their lives forever. Marc Malès’s lyrical prose and expressive art tell a heart-wrenching story of the healing power of human connection. 128pgs colour hardcover.


Ding Dong Circus
by Sasaki Maki
Breakdown Maki
£16.99

The publisher says:
Ding Dong Circus collects the best of Sasaki Maki’s work from alt-manga super magazine Garo. Drawn between 1967 and 1974, the fifteen stories within follow Sasaki’s unprecedented exploration of collage methods in comics storytelling. Weaving through references to the Beatles, the Vietnam War, and Andy Warhol, Ding Dong Circus demonstrates that Sasaki was not only a manga pioneer, but also an essential figure in Japanese Pop Art and the critical avant-garde art scene of the 1960s. Edited and translated by Ryan Holmberg. 256pgs B&W paperback.


Feathers
by Jorge Corona
Boom Studios
160pgs colour hardcover

The publisher says:
Created, written, and illustrated by incredible breakout talent and Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award winner Jorge Corona (We Are Robin, Teen Titans Go!), Feathers is a tale of danger, friendship, and adventure that really tugged on our heartstrings. We’re so excited to bring Corona’s first original series to readers in a beautiful collected hardcover edition. Born covered in black feathers, abandoned as a baby in the slums of the Maze, Poe has lived his entire 11-year-old life hidden away under the protection of his adoptive father, Gabriel. He spends his days secretly helping the Mice, bands of orphans who roam the slums, but there is a whisper of an altogether more sinister figure in the shadows, making street children disappear. When Bianca, an over-protected girl from the wealthy City beyond the Wall, escapes into the Maze in search of adventure, their worlds collide. Collects the complete six-issue limited series plus never-before-seen artwork. 160pgs colour hardcover.


Giganto Maxia
by Kentaro Miura
Dark Horse
$13.99

The publisher says:
From Berserk creator Kentaro Miura comes Giganto Maxia, a science-fiction/fantasy manga of titanic proportions. One hundred million years in the future, the Empire of Olympus uses colossal mutant beasts to crush its adversaries. Only the gladiator Delos, the mystic Prome, and the titan Gohra can hope to prevent genocide. 232pgs B&W paperback.



Good News Bible : The Deadline Strips of Shaky Kane
by Shaky Kane
Breakdown Press
£18.99

The publisher says:
The most extensive collection of work yet from Shaky Kane, one of British comics’ greatest geniuses. This major retrospective of comics and illustration from essential British cartoonist Shaky Kane collects the entirety of his work from the classic ‘90s magazine Deadline for the first time. Heavily influenced by the great Jack Kirby, Shaky produces comics that combine intensity and bombast with a psychedelic and unmistakably British cynicism. 240pgs B&W paperback.


Mandrake the Magician: The Hidden Kingdom of Murderers (Sundays: 1935-1937) Vol.1
by Lee Falk & Phil Davis
Titan Comics
$39.99

The publisher says:
From the very beginning in 1934, these are the original adventures of the famous comic strip detective - collected in full for the very first time! Mandrake is a master of hypnosis, whose ability causes his opponents to encounter wild illusions, giving the heroes the upper hand in a fight. His enemies cover a broad spectrum, including gangsters, mad scientists, alien creatures, and characters from other adventures. His greatest ally is Lothar, “Prince of the Seven Nations” who gave up his crown to join Mandrake in his globe-trotting adventures. They are accompanied by the beautiful Narda, princess of a European nation and Mandrake’s romantic interest. Mandrake’s exploits are among the most stunning and exciting in the realm of comic strips. 160pgs colour hardcover.



Red Red Rock And Other Stories
by Hayashi Seiichi
Breakdown Press
£16.99

The publisher says:
A definitive, career-spanning collection of stories from one of Japan’s most famous alternative cartoonists. Totalling more than 200 pages, Red Red Rock collects over a dozen of Hayashi Seiichi’s most famous stories from his most prolific period, spanning his debut for Garo in 1967 to his adult work for Yagyo in the early 70s. This great collection is the most comprehensive of Hayashi’s work ever translated into English. Edited and translated by Ryan Holmberg. 256pgs B&W paperback.


The Only Child
by Guojing
Schwartz & Wade
$22.99

The publisher says:
Like Shaun Tan’s The Arrival and Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman, this gorgeous and imaginative 100-page graphic picture book is utterly transporting and original. A little girl—lost and alone—follows a mysterious stag deep into the woods, and, like Alice down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in a strange and wondrous world. But . . . home and family are very far away. How will she get back there? In this magnificently illustrated—and wordless—masterpiece, debut artist Guojing brilliantly captures the rich and deeply-felt emotional life of a child, filled with loneliness and longing as well as love and joy. Guojing is an illustrator from the Shanxi Province of China. Since graduating from the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, she has worked as a concept artist for games and animated television shows. Due to China’s birth control policy, Guojing is an only child, and she has drawn on her childhood memories of loneliness and isolation while developing this, her first book. 112pgs colour hardcover.



The Private Eye
by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin
Image
£37.99

The publisher says:
The EinserAward-winning ‘Best Gifital Comic’ is finally available in print.  Because retailers, readers, and Robert Kirkman demanded it, the online sensation from PanelSyndicate.com’s Brian K Vaughan (Saga, Paper Girls) and Marcos Martin (The Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Strange: The Oath) is finally coming to print with this gorgeous deluxe hardcover edition, presented in the story’s original widescreen format. Years after the digital cloud “bursts” and exposes all of our worst secrets, The Private Eye is set in an inevitable future where everyone has a secret identity. Following an unlicensed P.I. who is thrust into the most important case of his life, this sci-fi mystery explores the nature of privacy with frightening prescience. Collects The Private Eye issues #1-10, written by Brian K Vaughan, with art by Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente, and cover artwork by Marcos Martin. 304pgs colour hardcover.


Trauma Is Really Strange
by Steve Haines & Sophie Standing
Jessica Kingsley Publishers/Singing Dragon
£7.99

The publisher says:
What is trauma? How does it change the way our brains work? And how can we overcome it? When something traumatic happens to us, we dissociate and our bodies shut down their normal processes. This unique comic explains the strange nature of trauma and how it confuses the brain and affects the body. With wonderful artwork, cat and mouse metaphors, essential scientific facts, and a healthy dose of wit, the narrator reveals how trauma resolution involves changing the body’s physiology and describes techniques that can achieve this, including Trauma Releasing Exercises that allow the body to shake away tension, safely releasing deep muscular patterns of stress and trauma. 32pgs colour paperback.

Posted: September 25, 2015

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