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Top 18 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga:

July 2017

I’ve been waiting since it was first published in French for Chloe Cruchaudet’s Mauvais Genre, her sensual and searing indictment of the First World War, and how one brave objector attempts to evade its butchery, to appear in English. And finally it has, from Knockabout Comics as Deserter’s Masquerade- and still in time to deepen our empathy for so-called deserters amid the current centenary remembrances.

This month also brings some ravishing art books on geniuses like Crumb, Kirby and Moebius, and faithful or playful interpretations of great novels by Charlotte Bronte, Pearl S. Buck (by Nick Bertozzi, below) and Sax Rohmer, as well as some worthwhile debuts and classic reprints. I hope you’ll find some comics to enjoy among my latest PG Tips…

by Christophe Chabouté
Gallery 13 Comics / Simon & Schuster

The publisher says:
Available in English for the first time—the internationally bestselling graphic novel and an Official Selection at France’s prestigious Angoulême International Comics Festival by master illustrator-storyteller Chabouté (Park Bench, Moby-Dick). On a tiny lighthouse island far from the rest of the world, a lonely hermit lives out his existence. Every week a supply boat leaves provisions, its occupants never meeting him, never asking the obvious questions: Who are you? Why do you hide? Why do you never leave? What is it like to be so alone? Years spent on a deserted rock—a lifetime, really—with imagination his sole companion has made the lighthouse keeper something more than alone, something else entirely. For him, what lies beyond the horizon might be…nothing. And so, why not stay put? But one day, as a new boatman starts asking the questions all others have avoided, a chain of events unfolds that will irrevocably upend the hermit’s solitary life…. Filled with stunning and richly executed black-and-white illustrations, Alone is Chabouté’s masterpiece—an unforgettable tale where tenderness, despair, and humour intertwine to flawlessly portray how someone can be an everyman, and every man is someone. 384pgs B&W paperback.

A Theory of Narrative Drawing
by Simon Grennan
Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels
$109.00 / £74.50

The publisher says:
A Theory of Narrative Drawing offers an original new conception of visual story telling, proposing that drawing, depictive drawing and narrative drawing are produced in an encompassing dialogic system of embodied social behavior. It refigures the existing descriptions of visual story-telling that pause with theorizations of perception and the articulation of form. The book identifies and examines key issues in the field, including: the relationships between vision, visualization and imagination; the theoretical remediation of linguistic and narratological concepts; the systematization of discourse; the production of the subject; idea and institution; and the significance of resources of the body in depiction, representation and narrative. It then tests this new conception in practice: two original visual demonstrations clarify the particular dialectic relationships between subjects and media, in an examination of drawing style and genre, social consensus and self-conscious constraint. The book’s originality derives from its clear articulation of a wide range of sources in proposing a conception of narrative drawing, and the extrapolation of this new conception in two new visual demonstrations. 277pgs black-and-white hardcover.

Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!: 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History
by Pat Mills
Millsverse Books

The publisher says:
The story begins in a garden shed in Scotland sometime in 1971… Pat Mills is the creator of 2000AD and one of the comic’s top writers. He is also the creator of Action, co-creator of Battle, Misty, Marshal Law, Requiem Vampire Knight, Charley’s War (described as “the greatest British comic strip ever created”) and the black comedy text novel Serial Killer. As 2000AD and Judge Dredd celebrates its 40th birthday, Pat at last writes the definitive history of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, and the turbulent, extraordinary and exciting events that shaped it. Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave! is the infamous slogan of Torquemada, the comic’s favourite villain. It once appeared on the Berlin Wall, and symbolizes the subversive nature of 2000AD that changed so many readers’ lives and influenced generations of film directors, actors, rock bands, novelists and even school headmasters. Everything you’ve always wanted to know about Judge Dredd, Slaine, Nemesis, ABC Warriors, Flesh, Bill Savage and more, is in this book. Plus the writers and artists who created them and the real-life people and events they drew on for inspiration. The scandals, the back-stabbing and the shocking story that was regarded as “too sensitive” to ever see the light of day is finally told. Pat relates the dark story of the maths teacher who inspired his version of Judge Dredd, the creators’ angry battles with the censors and each other, why certain writers, stories and even readers have been banished from the comic, a step-by-step account of how Judge Dredd was created, and how to write or draw for 2000AD today. There are new insights on the 2000AD creators’ invasion of American comics, their failed French invasion, the Judge Dredd films, the forthcoming Judge Dredd TV series, other possible films featuring 2000AD heroes, the unusual secret of the comic’s current success, the tough challenges it faces today, and its exciting future. From the hilarious origins when Judge Dredd writer-creator John Wagner and Pat began their careers writing together in a garden shed by paraffin lamp, to the tragic stories of legendary comic artists who have passed, and the challenges as 2000AD fought for survival against The Suits determined to destroy it, this is a unique, personal, and passionate account by the man who made 2000AD happen. Funny, sad, angry, defiant, and outrageous: it’s the Comic Book memoir of the year. 266pgs B&W paperback.

Deserter’s Masquerade
by Chloe Cruchaudet

The publisher says:
Paul and Louise love each other, Paul and Louise get married, but World War I escalates and separates them. Paul, who wants at all costs to escape the hell of the trenches, becomes a deserter and finds Louise in Paris. He is safe but condemned to remain hidden in a hotel room. To put an end to his clandestine existence, Paul imagines a solution: to change his identity. Now he’ll be known as… Suzanne. Between gender confusion and the trauma of war, the couple will arrive at a very unusual destiny. Inspired by real facts, Deserter’s Masquerade is the amazing story of Louise and her transvestite husband who both loved and were torn apart in the Paris of the Roaring. 160pgs colour paperback.

by Akine Brosh McKenna & Ramón K. Pérez
Boom! Studios

The publisher says:
A reimagining of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre set in present day, written by acclaimed screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna and Eisner Award-winning illustrator Ramón K. Pérez. Growing up in a broken home in a small fishing town, Jane dreamed of escaping to art school and following the allure of New York City. When that dream becomes a reality however, it’s not long before she feels out of place by the size of the city and the talent of her peers. She soon discovers her place as she begins to nanny a young girl named Adele, but that is upended when she falls for the girl’s father, Rochester, a sardonic man of power, wealth, and unexpected charm. Jane learns that in the world of New York’s elite, secrets are the greatest extravagance and she’ll have to decide if she should trust the man she loves or do what ever it takes to protect Adele from the consequences of his deception. 240pgs colour hardcover.

Jerome K. Jerome Bloche, Vol. 1: The Shadow Killer
by Alain Dodier, Pierre Makyo & Serge Le Tendre
IDW / EuroComics

The publisher says:
The series stars an endearing young private-eye-in-training who solves crimes as he scoots around Paris on his trusty motorised bicycle. Given his general clumsiness, he seems more Will Ferrell than Humphrey Bogart. Translated in English for the first time.
Wearing an old trenchcoat and his indispensable felt hat, the 20-year-old Jérôme tries to look the part of a seasoned sleuth. By day he translates detective novels and fantasises about being one. By night he’s enrolled in Professor Maison’s correspondence course for would-be private eyes. His girlfriend, Babette, is a flight attendant who brings him recordings for his collection of police sirens from around the world. And then, his first “case”: In the past two months, fifteen people in Paris have been killed by poisoned darts. All that witnesses saw was a feathered shadow and a blowgun. The job of capturing the flamboyant assassin is entrusted to Jérôme by Professor Maison. Things get off to a rocky start, however, when the professor appears to be victim number sixteen! 56pgs colour hardcover.

Kirby 100
by various artists
TwoMorrows Publishing
$45.95 / $34.95

The publisher says:
The party starts here! TwoMorrows and the Jack Kirby Collector magazine celebrate Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday in style with the release of KIRBY100, a full-colour visual holiday for the King of comics! It features an all-star line-up of 100 comics pros who critique key images from Kirby’s 50-year career, admiring his page layouts, dramatics, and storytelling skills, and lovingly reminiscing about their favorite characters and stories. Featured are Bruce Timm, Alex Ross, Walter Simonson, John Byrne, Joe Sinnott, Steve Rude, Adam Hughes, Wendy Pini, John Romita Sr., Dave Gibbons, P. Craig Russell, and dozens more of the top names in comics. Their essays serve to honour Jack’s place in comics history, and prove (as if there’s any doubt) that Kirby is King! This double-length book is edited by John Morrow and Jon B. Cooke, with a Kirby cover inked by Mike Royer. 240pgs colour limited hardcover / 224pgs colour paperback.

Moebius Library: The Art of Edena
by Moebius
Dark Horse

The publisher says:
A companion volume to the critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling World of Edena graphic novel, Moebius Library: The Art of Edena collects four fantastic Edena-related short stories and a motherlode of Moebius illustrations. A celebration of the imagery and creative enthusiasm Moebius held for his Edena universe and his characters Stel and Atan, the short stories “Seeing Naples,” “Another Planet,” “The Repairmen,” and “Dying to See Naples” are collected here, as Moebius explores his imagination with two of his favourite characters. Working closely with Moebius Production in France, Dark Horse presents the second volume in the Moebius Library series. Out-of-print stories and hard to find images—collected in an affordable hardcover. Timeless science fiction stories and illustrations from a celebrated master. The perfect companion volume to Moebius’s World of Edena graphic novel. 176pgs colour hardcover.

Federico Fellini says:
I consider [Moebius] more important than Doré.

My Pretty Vampire
by Katie Skelly

The publisher says:
A vampire has sex-positive adventures in this “pop shojo”-style graphic novel.
Clover ― the “pretty” vampire of the title ― is a Bardot-esque blonde who dreams of the (now-dead) girl she once was four years ago before becoming a fanged bloodsucker. She is being kept prisoner by her brother, Marcel, who fears Clover will be hunted by the outside world (and who may have other, more selfish motivations as well). Clover’s curiosity, however, will not be suppressed: impetuous, sensual, strong-willed, and fearless, she plans her escape. The resultant havoc would make Dario Argento proud. 108pgs colour hardcover.

R. Crumb: From The Underground To Genesis
by R. Crumb

The publisher says:
The Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris (Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris) presents a premier retrospective exhibition on one of the greatest illustrators of the past fifty years: Robert Crumb. A unique look at the life and work of underground comix pioneer R. Crumb, who represents a mythical figure in American counter-culture. In 2012 Crumb had his first comprehensive museum retrospective at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. Created to accompany the exhibit, this hefty volume spans almost fifty years of Crumb’s career, and includes over 700 drawings and more than 200 comix magazines and covers, plus another 200 previously unpublished or unseen colour illustrations. Context is provided by texts from Jean-Luc Fromental, Sébastien Gokalp, Fabrice Hergott, Todd Hignite, Jean-Pierre Mercier and Joann Sfar. 240pgs part-colour hardcover.

Sax Rohmer’s Dope
by Trina Robbins

The publisher says:
A talented young actress becomes fatally ensnared in London’s mysterious and glittery drug culture of the early 20th century. Trina Robbins’ graphic novel adaptation of Sax Rohmer’s sensational 1919 novel, DOPE was both the first novel to speak openly about the world’s international drug trade, and the first story to centre around the death of a celebrity by drug overdose. As for the art, it is considered by many (including Trina herself) to be her best work ever as an illustrator. 80pgs B&W hardcover.

She And Her Cat
by Makoto Shinkai & Tubas Yamaguchi
Vertical Comics

The publisher says:
Award-winning director and author Makoto Shinkai returns with an adaptation of his very first work. Recently adapted into a television series, She and Her Cat is a slice of life story of loneliness, sadness and eventually perserverence expressed by a young woman many people can relate with. On a rainy spring day, a young woman finds a cat she would come to call Chobi outside and brings him home with her. Chobi falls in love with his owner because of her kindness and beauty. On an autumn day she has a long conversation over the phone. When it’s over she cries and becomes depressed. Time goes on and it becomes winter. She continues going to work and moves on with her life. 180pgs B&W paperback.

Ten Thousand Years In Hell
by Maurice Tillieux

The publisher says:
In this adventure graphic novel, there’s a prison break, and much more.
Ten Thousand Years in Hell is a rollicking, comedic South American prison escape yarn, starring the classic Franco-Belgian action-adventure P.I. The second story, Boom and Bust, finds a countryside jaunt turned into an ad-hoc investigation by a spectacular vehicular washout and a suspiciously noisy enclosure.  96pgs colour hardcover.

The Death Of Stalin
by Fabien Nury, Thierry Robin & Lorien Aureyre
Titan Comics

The publisher says:
The graphic novel that inspired the new Armando Iannucci movie which includes an all-star cast – Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin, and Jeffrey Tambor. Fear, corruption and treachery abound in this political satire set in the aftermath of Stalin’s death in the Soviet Union in 1953. When the leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, has a stroke, the political gears begin to turn, plunging the super-state into darkness, uncertainty and near civil war. The struggle for supreme power will determine the fate of the nation and of the world. And it all really happened. 120pgs colour hardcover.

The Good Earth
by Pearl S. Buck, adapted by Nick Bertozzi
Simon & Schuster

The publisher says:
Pearl Buck’s 1931 Pulitzer Prize–winning classic about the rise and fall of Chinese villagers before World War I comes to life in this evocative graphic novel by New York Times bestselling author Nick Bertozzi. In The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck paints an indelible portrait of China in the 1920s, when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings. This moving story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-Lan is must reading to fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during the last century. Though more than eighty years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics in American literature. Now Nick Bertozzi brings Buck’s timeless, epic novel to life with incredible imagery in this vivid graphic novel. Through his Eisner Award-winning talents, Bertozzi retraces the whole cycle of life depicted in the unforgettable original: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions, and its rewards. Buck’s brilliant novel—beloved by millions of readers—is a universal tale of an ordinary family caught in the tide of history, now accompanied by beautiful, evocative images. 144pgs colour hardcover

The Leopard Of Lime Street
by Mike Western & Eric Bradbury
Rebellion / 2000 AD
£14.99 / $18.99

The publisher says:
Billy Farmer lives with his Aunt Joan and Uncle Charlie, when he is scratched by a radioactive leopard at the local zoo. Gaining leopard-like strength, speed, reflexes, and tree-climbing abilities, when he’s not fighting crime, Billy sells photographs of himself to the local paper, using the money to support his frail aunt while contending with his violent, greedy and lazy uncle. With warmth, wit, and stunning artwork by Mike Western and Eric Bradbury, The Leopard from Lime Street is a gem of 1970s and 1980s British comics. 160pgs B&W paperback

The Other Side: Special Edition
by Jason Aaron & Cameron Stewart
Image Comics

The publisher says:
The Other Side: Special Edition is a hardcover collection of the Eisner-Award Nominated miniseries that started it all for writer Jason Aaron (Southern Bastards, Scalped!). With amazingly visceral artwork from Cameron Stewart (Motor Crush, Batgirl) and vivid colours from Dave McCraig (American Vampire), The Other Side tells an unforgettable Vietnam war story from the point-of-view of two young soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Private Bill Everette is a US Marine. His opposite number, Vo Binh is a fighter for the People’s Army of Vietnam. These two young men have never met. They are not even aware of each other’s existence. And yet, in the battle-scared country of Vietnam, fighting a war that no sane mind can fully comprehend, their destinies are on a deadly collision course. The Other Side: Special Edition will not only showcase this powerful war story but also include loads of extra materials straight from the files of both writer and artist. Cameron Stewart was so committed to this project that he travelled to Vietnam to do preliminary research and this collection will feature pictures, drawings and journal entries from that trip.  144pgs colour hardcover.

The Story Of Men
by Zep

The publisher says:
After parting ways a number of years back, a group of friends — former members of the rock group Tricky Fingers — head to the English countryside for a reunion. While some have found success, others have been less lucky. The last time that Tricky Fingers found themselves in the same spot was eighteen years ago for a concert in the BBC studios that was supposed to launch their career… but instead ended in catastrophe. Since then, this group of friends that once harboured dreams of revolutionising rock has parted ways, most drifting into musical obscurity. Except Sandro. His initiative brings the group together for the weekend to find out where life has taken them. How their fortunes have faired. To see if they’ve learned anything since they were teenagers. 64pgs colour hardcover.

The Wendy Project
by Veronica Fish & Melissa Jane Osborne

The publisher says:
Sixteen-year-old Wendy Davies crashes her car into a lake on a late summer night in New England with her two younger brothers in the backseat. When she wakes in the hospital, she is told that her youngest brother, Michael, is dead. Wendy ― a once rational teenager – shocks her family by insisting that Michael is alive and in the custody of a mysterious flying boy. Placed in a new school, Wendy negotiates fantasy and reality as students and adults around her resemble characters from Neverland. Given a sketchbook by her therapist, Wendy starts to draw. But is The Wendy Project merely her safe space, or a portal between worlds? 96pgs colour paperback.

Posted: May 5, 2017


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Comics Art by Paul Gravett from Tate Publishing

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