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Top 28 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga:

August 2016

Rich pickings this coming August. It’s not every month you get original and translated graphic novels from Jules Feiffer, Moebius, Raina Telgemeier, Cyril Pedrosa, Dash Shaw, Nate Powell, Greg Cook, Ben Haggarty & Adam Brockbank, not to mention newcomers like Sarah Lippett and the English debuts of Lucas Varela (a recommended wordless science fiction gem, cover below) and Ezequiel Garcia from Argentina, and Pablo Auladell and a whole anthology of other creators from Spain. Then among the books about comics, throw in a lavish catalogue for a major Steve Ditko exhibition and a nearly 600-page history of pioneering publishers Fantagraphics Books.

Still, for me the standout has to be Black Dog: The Dreams Of Paul Nash, Dave McKean’s dream-life story of War Artist Paul Nash. I think this may be McKean’s most evocative and provocative total masterwork yet, a new highpoint in his already stratospheric creative flow. I was lucky enough to get a front-row seat on May 28th for the world premiere at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival of the intensely moving live multi-media performance which accompanies it. It will be performed again this October at Lakes (more details here) and is totally unmissable and unforgettable.



’At The Shore’
by Jim Campbell
Alternative Comics
$19.99

The publisher says:
Bernard, Dean, and Jorge look forward to some serious Frisbee-tossing and are psyched when Astrid shows up to swim, but Gabi is so freaked out she doesn’t want to leave the car. Why is Gabi demanding they head home before dark? Maybe if anyone paid attention to her childhood tales of seaweed harvesting, they’d know something lurks beneath the waves. 208pgs colour paperback.


Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash
by Dave McKean
Dark Horse
$24.99 / $79.99

The publisher says:
Best known for his collaborations with Neil Gaiman, McKean defied expectations with his stunning debut as writer and artist in Cages, winner of multiple awards for Best Graphic Album. Dark Horse proudly presents a new original graphic novel by the legendary artist based on the life of Paul Nash, a British surrealist painter during World War 1. Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash deals with real soldiers’ memoirs, and all the stories will add up to be a moving piece about how war and extreme situations change us, how we deal with that pain, and, in Nash’s case, by turning his landscapes into powerful and fantastical psycho-scapes. 120pgs colour paperback / limited edition hardcover.


Cosplayers
by Dash Shaw
Fantagraphics Books
$22.99

The publisher says:
This graphic novel takes a humanistic look at cosplayers, the Storm Troopers and Sailor Moons that have become the symbol of comic cons in America. This graphic novel is an ode to the defining element of fandom. It celebrates both the culture’s theatricality and D.I.Y. beauty―as well as its often-awkward conflation of fantasy with reality―in seven interconnected short stories about two young women. Cosplayers is an affectionate, funny book about how fandom can be much more inclusive and humanistic than the stories and characters it’s built upon. 116pgs colour hardcover.


Cousin Joseph
by Jules Feiffer
Liveright
$25.95

The publisher says:
Meet Big Sam Hannigan. Tough, righteous, a man on a mission. Only problem is, it’s the wrong mission. With the New York Times bestseller Kill My Mother, legendary cartoonist Jules Feiffer began an epic saga of American noir fiction. With Cousin Joseph, a prequel that introduces us to bare-knuckled Detective Sam Hannigan, head of the Bay City’s Red Squad and patriarch of the Hannigan family featured in Kill My Mother, Feiffer brings us the second instalment in this highly anticipated graphic trilogy. Our story opens in Bay City in 1931 in the midst of the Great Depression. Big Sam sees himself as a righteous, truth-seeking patriot, defending the American way, as his Irish immigrant father would have wanted, against a rising tide of left-wing unionism, strikes, and disruption that plague his home town. At the same time he makes monthly, secret overnight trips on behalf of Cousin Joseph, a mysterious man on the phone he has never laid eyes on, to pay off Hollywood producers to ensure that they will film only upbeat films that idealise a mythic America: no warts, no injustice uncorrected, only happy endings. But Sam, himself, is not in for a happy ending, as step by step the secret of his unseen mentor’s duplicity is revealed to him. Fast-moving action, violence, and murder in the noir style of pulps and forties films are melded in the satiric, sociopolitical Feifferian style to dig up the buried fear-mongering of the past and expose how closely it matches the headlines, happenings, and violence of today. With Cousin Joseph, Feiffer builds on his late-life conversion to cinematic noir, bowing, as ever, to youthful heroes Will Eisner and Milton Caniff, but ultimately creating a masterpiece that through his unique perspective and comic-strip noir style illuminates the very origins of Hollywood and its role in creating the bipolar nation we’ve become. 128pgs colour hardcover.



Ditko Unleashed
by Steve Ditko
IDW
$59.99

The publisher says:
Steve Ditko’s astounding career is presented here from the early 1950s to the present. Examples of his work for Charlton, Warren, Marvel and DC are shown, both as printed pages and scans from Ditko’s beautiful original art. This is a Museum catalogue that will accompany a massive exhibition of this hugely influential artist’s work (Ditko co-created Spider-Man and Dr. Strange) in Palma de Mallorca Spain in the Fall of 2016. By the same Eisner Award-nominated team who have created the gold-standard for museum catalogues and exhibits of classic comic artists, previous books in the series include: Woodwork: Wallace Wood 1927-1981, Flesh & Steel: The Art of Russ Heath, and Big John Buscema: Comics & Drawings. 368pgs part-colour hardcover.



Equinoxes
by Cyril Pedrosa
NBM
$49.99

The publisher says:
In an equinox, day is as long as night, as if the world found perfect equilibrium between shadow and light, a fleeting equilibrium, similar to the stakes of our human destinies. Segmented into four tableaux for four seasons, unrelated people of all social backgrounds seeking equilibrium cross paths with other solitudes, weaving in and out of one another’s lives- all captivated and tormented by the enigmatic meaning of life. Every season has its visual identity and its individual voice, culminating in summer and, possibly, an answer. Equinoxes is a unique ground-breaking work of rare intensity and narrative sensibility by a rising bestselling star of European comics. 336pgs colour hardcover.


Friends Is Friends
by Greg Cook
First Second
$19.99

The publisher says:
Friends Is Friends tells the story of complicated friendships through a series of funny, bittersweet vignettes. Greg Cook’s deceptively sweet storybook world is imbued with grown-up humor that is both dark and whimsical. The result is a fable for adults, where the only clear moral is this: friendship isn’t easy, whether you’re a hobo or a snowman or a ghost. Friends Is Friends is indie-favorite Greg Cook’s first major work in over a decade. This long-awaited tragicomedy is a great stand-alone work for both new and established graphic novel readers. 208pgs B&W hardcover.


Forging The Past: Seth and The Art of Memory
by Daniel Marrone
University Press of Mississippi
$60.00

The publisher says:
At once familiar and hard to place, the work of acclaimed Canadian cartoonist Seth evokes a world that no longer exists―and perhaps never existed, except in the panels of long-forgotten comics. Seth’s distinctive drawing style strikingly recalls a bygone era of cartooning, an apt vehicle for melancholy, gently ironic narratives that depict the grip of the past on the present. Even when he appears to look to the past, however, Seth (born Gregory Gallant) is constantly pushing the medium of comics forward with sophisticated work that often incorporates metafiction, parody, and formal experimentation. Forging the Past offers a comprehensive account of this work and the complex interventions it makes into the past. Moving beyond common notions of nostalgia, Daniel Marrone explores the various ways in which Seth’s comics induce readers to participate in forging histories and memories. Marrone discusses collecting, Canadian identity, New Yorker cartoons, authenticity, artifice, and ambiguity―all within the context of comics’ unique structure and texture. Seth’s comics are suffused with longing for the past, but on close examination this longing is revealed to be deeply ambivalent, ironic, and self-aware. Marrone undertakes the most thorough, sustained investigation of Seth’s work to date, while advancing a broader argument about how comics operate as a literary medium. Included as an appendix is a substantial interview, conducted by the author, in which Seth candidly discusses his work, his peers, and his influences. 208pgs B&W hardcover.


Ghosts
by Raina Telgemeier
Graphix
$10.99 / $24.99

The publisher says:
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbour lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake—and her own. Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible. 256pgs colour paperback / hardcover.


Growing Up In Public
by Ezequiel Garcia
Fantagraphics Books
$22.99

The publisher says:
A 30-something Argentine cartoonist copes with gentrification and uncertain finances in this graphic novel. Ezequiel García explores the trials and tribulations of transitioning into his 30s as a working artist where the only thing more uncertain than the source of his next pay cheque is the future of his hometown ― Buenos Aires. Garcia’s visual storytelling alternates among finely crafted, architecturally breathtaking depictions of Buenos Aires, revelatory, intimate self-examination, and phantasmagorical metaphorical flights, drawn in nuanced, expressive, grungy brush strokes. 128pgs part-colour paperback.


Insexts Vol. 1
by Marguerite Bennett & Ariela Kristantina
AfterShock
$19.99

The publisher says:
Collecting the first seven issues of the hit series Insexts, from writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Ariela Kristantina. At the dusk of a century, a pair of vengeful Victorian vixens discover a horrifying power that transforms them into rich and strange new creatures. Armed with their dark, evolving forms, they descend into a world of the cultured and occult, with new senses and new sensuality, to forge a life for themselves and the child of their love. 152pgs colour paperback.


Kuroko’s Basketball Vol. 1
by Tadatoshi Fujimaki
Viz Media
$16.99

The publisher says:
Kuroko Tetsuya doesn’t stand out much. In fact, he’s so plain that people hardly ever notice when he’s around. Though he’s just as unremarkable on the basketball court, that’s where his plainness gives him an unexpected edge-one that lets him execute awesome moves without others noticing. And now that he’s a high school student, he’s on a mission to defeat each member of his legendary middle school team, known as the Miracle Generation, with the help of a new transfer student fresh from the U.S.-Taiga Kagami. When incoming first-year student Taiga Kagami joins the Seirin High basketball team, he meets Tetsuya Kuroko, a mysterious boy who’s plain beyond words. But Kagami’s in for the shock of his life when he learns that the practically invisible Kuroko was once a member of “the Miracle Generation”— the undefeated legendary team—and he wants Kagami’s help taking down each of his old teammates. 400pgs B&W paperback.


Lucy & Andy Neanderthal
by Jeffrey Brown
Crown Books
$12.99

The publisher says:
For fans of the New York Times bestselling Jedi Academy books comes a hilarious new graphic novel series about two young cave kids living 40,000 years ago. The laugh-out-loud adventure features Lucy and her goofball brother Andy, as the Paleo pair take on a wandering baby sibling, bossy teens, cave paintings, and a mammoth hunt. But what will happen when they encounter a group of humans? Humorous and entertaining, Jeffrey Brown’s signature comical touch enlivens the scientific and historical content, including a special paleontologist section that helps to dispel common Neanderthal myths. 224pgs B&W hardcover.


March: Book 3
by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell
Top Shelf Productions
$19.99

The publisher says:
Welcome to the stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling March trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today’s world. 256pgs B&W paperback.


Mezolith Vol. 2: Stone Age Dreams And Nightmares
by Ben Haggarty & Adam Brockbank
Boom! Studios
$24.99

The publisher says:
‘It is true that we are all children of mother Red Hand, but you are Kansa - and the honour of the Kansa is at stake. Don’t let it be said that you lack courage! ’10,000 years ago, the Kansa tribe live on the eastern shores of Stone Age Britain, where danger is never far away. Step by step, Poika’s journey into manhood continues - caught in a mesh of tribal hunts, gatherings, and feasts determined by the waxing and waning of thirteen moons. But he’s not alone. Greed, appetite, and desire dance under watchful eyes in the shadows. The boundary between the real and imagined worlds blur as more and more of the Kansa cosmology is revealed in the dreams, nightmares, and ancestral beauty of Mezolith. 96pgs colour hardcover.


Moebius Library: The World of Edena
by Moebius
Dark Horse
$49.99

The publisher says:
Working closely with Moebius Productions in France, Dark Horse is putting the work of a master storyteller back in print, with some material in English for the first time. Stel and Atan are interstellar investigators trying to find a lost space station and its crew. When they discover the mythical paradise planet Edena, their lives are changed forever. The long out-of-print Edena Cycle from Moebius gets a deluxe hardcover treatment. Moebius’s World of Edena story arc is comprised of five chapters - Upon a Star, Gardens of Edena, The Goddess, Stel and Sra - which are all collected here. A storyboard artist and designer (Alien, Tron, The Fifth Element, among many others) as well as comic book master, Moebius’s work has influenced creators in countless fields. 344pgs colour hardcover.


Paradise Lost
by John Milton & Pablo Auladell
Jonathan Cape
£20.00

The publisher says:
Paradise Lost, Milton’s epic poem, charts humanity’s fall from grace and the origin of the struggle between God and Satan, good and evil, life and death. In the aftermath of the Angels’ devastating defeat in the war for Heaven, Satan determines to seek his revenge. Meanwhile, Adam and Eve have newly awakened in the Garden of Eden. First published nearly 350 years ago, Paradise Lost has now been reimagined by the Spanish artist Pablo Auladell. His astonishing artwork portrays the complexity and tragedy of one of the great stories of all time. His bleak and surprising imagery captures the lyricism of Milton’s original for a new audience, and is a masterful tribute to a literary classic. 320pgs colour hardcover.


Rachel Rising Omnibus
by Terry Moore
Abstract Studio
$75.00

The publisher says:
Rachel rises from the grave to track down her own murderer in this chilling tale of suspense. With the help of a 10-year old serial killer carrying the remains of Satan’s sword, and a sister who is literally the first woman to ever exist, Rachel uncovers the wicked secrets of small town Manson and its terrible role in earth’s final days. Can Rachel learn from her past in time to save the future? Find out in this critically acclaimed series from Terry Moore. 840pgs part-colour hardcover.


Scotland Yardie
by Bobby Joseph & Joseph Samuels
Knockabout Comics
$14.95

The publisher says:
With institutionalised racism at an all-time high, the Metropolitan Police embark on their yearly drive to recruit more ethnic people in the police force. With little or no success they bring over Jamaica’s most feared policeman - Scotland Yardie, a ganja smoking, no-nonsense bad bwoy cop who breaks all the rules to enforce his own harsh sense of justice. But what happens when cultures clash? Can the average criminal handle the street -wise Jamaican Lethal Weapon rolling through downtown Brixton? Will south London ever be the same again? With his reluctant partner P.C. Ackee-Saltfish, Scotland Yardie embarks on an adventure that deals with the disappearing drug trade in Brixton, corruption, the death of innocent people at the hands of racist cops, assassinated cats, immigration fears and the emergence of the addictive blue chicken. Written by the voice of urban UK comic books, Bobby Joseph. He is credited as the creator of the cult comic classics Skank Magazine and Black Eye. He has written satirical pieces for Vice.com, Loaded Magazine, The Voice newspaper, BBC1’s Lenny in Pieces and Radio 4. He is credited on the BBC website as instrumental in featuring some of the “first comics by black creators featuring black characters.” Illustrated by Joseph Samuels, credited as one of the most popular comic artists to grace the pages of Skank Magazine and Black Eye. He is the co-creator of the popular Afro Kid comic strip on vice.com. 100pgs B&W paperback.


Spanish Fever
edited by Santiago Garcia
Fantagraphics Books
$29.99

The publisher says:
This is an anthology of short comics stories by up-and-coming Spanish cartoonists. Fantagraphics Books is proud to introduce American readers to more than 30 artists working on the cutting edge of the form. Spanish Fever is an anthology showcasing the best of the new wave of art comics from a country with one of the strongest cartoon traditions in Europe. It includes the work of masters of the form such as Paco Roca, Miguel Gallardo, David Rubín and Miguel Ángel Martín as well as newcomers like José Domingo, Anna Galvan, Álvaro Ortiz and Sergi Puyol. Introduction by Eddie Campbell. 304pgs part-colour paperback.


Stan And Nan
by Sarah Lippett
Jonathan Cape
£16.99

The author says:
My nan wrote me many letters back in 2011. They were about the love of her life, my grandad, Stanley Burndred. I’ve never met him, he died long before I was born, but his drawings, paintings and ceramics have been in my life for as long as I can remember. Every wall of Nan’s house would be decorated by his artworks and every windowsill bore his ceramic creations. Whenever we visited Nan in the Black Country I would study the ornaments and pictures, wondering who had made them. It wasn’t until I wrote to Nan many years later, receiving in return beautiful handwritten letters detailing his life, that it became apparent that the work was his. The letters were so beautiful I felt my nan’s story had to be told.

The publisher says:
Stan and Nan is the story of an ordinary couple and the people who loved them. The narrative follows their lives from Stan’s working-class background, to his premature death, through to Nan’s struggle to cope, and the perils of ageing. It is a memoir about the importance of family, and about death, love, living and human connection. 96pgs colour hardcover.


Ten Count Vol. 1
by Rihito Takarai
Sublime
$12.99

The publisher says:
Corporate secretary Shirotani suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. One day he meets Kurose, a therapist who offers to take him through a ten-step program to cure him of his compulsion. As the two go through each of the ten steps, Shirotani’s attraction to his counselor grows. 178pgs part-colour paperback.

 


The Comics Of Hergé: When The Lines Are Not Clear
edited by Joe Sutliff Sanders
University Press of Mississippi
$60.00

The publisher says:
As the creator of Tintin, Hergé (1907–1983) remains one of the most important and influential figures in the history of comics. When Hergé, born Georges Prosper Remi in Belgium, emerged from the controversy surrounding his actions after World War II, his most famous work leapt to international fame and set the standard for European comics. While his style popularised what became known as the ‘clear line’ in cartooning, this edited volume shows how his life and art turned out much more complicated than his method. The book opens with Hergé’s aesthetic techniques, including analyses of his efforts to comprehend and represent absence and the rhythm of mundaneness between panels of action. Broad views of his career describe how Hergé navigated changing ideas of air travel, while precise accounts of his life during Nazi occupation explain how the demands of the occupied press transformed his understanding of what a comics page could do. The next section considers a subject with which Hergé was himself consumed: the fraught lines between high and low art. By reading the late masterpieces of the Tintin series, these chapters situate his artistic legacy. A final section considers how the clear line style has been reinterpreted around the world, from contemporary Francophone writers to a Chinese American cartoonist and on to Turkey, where Tintin has been reinvented into something meaningful to an audience Hergé probably never anticipated. Despite the attention already devoted to Hergé, no multi-author critical treatment of his work exists in English, the majority of the scholarship being in French. With contributors from five continents drawing on a variety of critical methods, this volume’s range will shape the study of Hergé for many years to come. 192pgs B&W hardcover.


The Greatest Of Marlys
by Lynda Barry
Drawn & Quarterly
$22.95

The publisher says:
Eight-year-old Marlys Mullen is Lynda Barry’s most famous character from her long-running and landmark comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, and for good reason. Given her very own collection of strips, Marlys shines in all her freckled and pig-tailed groovy glory. The trailer park where she and her family live is the grand stage for her dramas big and small. Joining Marlys are her teenaged sister Maybonne, her younger brother Freddie, their mother, and an offbeat array of family members, neighbours, and classmates. Marlys’s enthusiasm for life knows no bounds. Her childhood is one where the neighbourhood kids stay out all night playing kickball; the desire to be popular is unending; bullies are unrepentant; and parents make few appearances. The Greatest Of Marlys spotlights Barry’s masterful skill of chronicling childhood through adolescence in all of its wonder, awkwardness, humour, and pain. 248pgs B&W hardcover.

Raina Telgemeier says:
Lynda Barry’s comics were my YA, before YA really even existed. She’s been writing teen stories with an incredibly clear voice since the early 80s. [The Greatest Of Marlys] is raw, ugly, hilarious, and poignant.


The Longest Day Of The Future
by Luca Varela
Fantagraphics Books
$24.99

The publisher says:
This graphic novel about a flying saucer crash-landing in a world run by two mega corporations works as sci-fi, a thriller, and social commentary. In a futuristic city, two mega-companies share power, while indulging in a thankless war to eliminate the other, by any means necessary. The crash of an extraterrestrial flying saucer will, perhaps, change that. This masterfully crafted, witty and irreverent graphic novel is Argentine cartoonist and graphic designer Lucas Varela’s debut. 112pgs colour hardcover.



The White Donkey: Terminal Lance
by Maximilian Uriarte
Little Brown & Company
$25.00

The publisher says:
A graphic novel of war and its aftermath. A powerful, compulsively page-turning, vivid, and moving tribute to the experience of war and PTSD, The White Donkey tells the story of Abe, a young Marine recruit who experiences the ugly, pedestrian, and often meaningless side of military service in rural Iraq. He enlists in hopes of finding that missing something in his life but comes to find out that it’s not quite what he expected. Abe gets more than he bargained for when his journey takes him to the middle east in war-torn Iraq. This is a story about a Marine, written and illustrated by a Marine, and is the first graphic novel about the war in Iraq from a veteran. The White Donkey explores the experience of being a Marine, as well as the challenges that veterans face upon their return home, and its raw power will leave you in awe. 288pgs two-toned hardcover.


We Told You So: Comics As Art
by Tom Spurgeon & Michael Dean
Fantagraphics Books
$49.99

The publisher says:
This is an oral history of Fantagraphics, the iconoclastic independent comic book publisher who reshaped the medium so that cartoonists such as Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, and many more could thrive. In 1976, a group of young men and women coalesced around a fledgling magazine and the idea that comics could be art. In 2016, comics intended for an adult readership are reviewed favourably in the New York Times, enjoy panels devoted to them at Book Expo America, and sell in bookstores comparable to prose efforts of similar weight and intent. Comics As Art: We Told You So tells of Fantagraphics Books’ key role in helping build and shape an art movement around a discredited, ignored and fading expression of Americana the way insiders share the saga with one another other: in anecdotal form, in the words of the people who lived it and saw it happen. Comics historian and critic Tom Spurgeon and longtime Comics Journal editor Michael Dean assemble an all-star cast of industry figures, critics, cartoonists, art objects, curios, and groundbreaking publications to bring you a detailed account of Fantagraphics’ first 40 years. Comics as Art is a detailed catalog of the look of a cultural awakening. It’s a story that includes appearances by Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Harlan Ellison, Jim Shooter, Stan Lee, Dan Clowes, Frank Miller, Peter Bagge, Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Dave Sim, Steve Geppi, Todd McFarlane and every other major figure in the arts or business end of modern comics. More than a corporate history or a fond look back, Comics As Art: We Told You So makes the warts-and-all case for Fantagraphics Books’ position near the heart of the modern reclamation of the comics art form. Prose with photos and illustrations throughout. 576pgs colour hardcover.


Who Are You?: The Life And Death Of Keith Moon
by Jim McCarthy & Marc Olivent
Omnibus Press
£16.99

The publisher says:
The Who drummer Keith Moon was a totally incorrigible yet uniquely generous boy who never grew up and who changed the lives of all who knew him, a phenomenal character and an extravagant hell-raiser who - in a final, uncharacteristic act of grace - actually did die before he got old. Rock’s greatest drummer was also its greatest character and wildest party animal. Fuelled by vast quantities of drink, drugs, insecurities and confusion, Moon destroyed everything with gleeful abandon: drum kits, houses, cars, hotels, relationships and finally, himself.Based on the best-selling biography Dear Boy by Tony Fletcher, Who Are You brings to the page Keith Moon’s incredible life and premature death in a dramatic graphic reconstruction by genre masters Jim McCarthy and Marc Olivent. 160pgs colour paperback.

Posted: June 4, 2016

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