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Top 22 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga:

July 2018

You wait for ages, and then three of your graphic novels get translated in the same month. This July, Belgian ‘scénariste extraordinaire’ Thierry Smolderen has three of his great BD albums released from three different publishers, demonstrating his virtuosity and versatility. For me, the standout has to be the compilation of his semi-fictionalised biography of Winsor McCay, a radiant, mind-expanding work I’ve been waiting for ages to see published in English.

It’s also not every day that an 89-year-old veteran of comic books and strips, the truly great Jules Feiffer, completes his remarkable noir trilogy with The Ghost Script.

Tardi, a loud, clear voice of pacifist passion, reveals how his father endured and survived as a prisoner of war.

While the persistently inventive Lisa Hanawalt skews the Western genre in her Coyote Doggirl...

...and finally, it was only in our dreams that we ever hoped to see the classic gymnastic soap opera from 1970’s British girls’ weekly comic Tammy, ‘Bella at the Bar’, compiled into book form. But rub your eyes, Rebellion are releasing the first volume of it. Wonders truly never cease in the world of comics!


Art Comic
by Matthew Thurber
Drawn & Quarterly
$29.95

The publisher says:
Matthew Thurber’s Art Comic is a blunt and hilarious assault on the swirling hot mess that is the art world. From sycophantic fans to duplicitous gallerists, fatuous patrons to self-aggrandising art stars, he lampoons each and every facet of the eminently ridiculous industry of truth and beauty. Art Comic is brimming with references and cameos, outsized personalities and shuddering nonsense - Robert Rauschenberg smashes a beer bottle, Francesca Woodman, a wine glass. Amidst it all, Thurber’s twisting drawings and laugh-out-loud dialogue convey a complicated picture of an industry at the intersection of fantasy and reality. 200pgs colour hardcover.


A Sea Of Love
by Wilfred Lupano & Gregory Panaccione
Lion Forge: Magnetic Collection
$24.99

The publisher says:
The planet is covered by it. Water… and Love. When an old fisherman fails to return after a storm, his doting wife goes on a madcap adventure across the ocean to find him. Each morning, a frail, old, bespectacled fisherman heads out to sea, leaving his doting, matronly wife at home patiently caring for the house, awaiting his return in the evening. But one evening he doesn’t come home, instead accidentally snared by a much larger, industrial fishing trawler that absentmindedly carries him across the Atlantic. Back home, the village wonders what might have happened, assuming his death, but his wife refuses to give up hope. She consults a fortune teller who sees his visage in a crepe . . . alive in Cuba. Convinced her husband is still alive, she sets off on an improbable mission to save him. Completely wordless, this heartwarming and often hilarious adventure is a testament to not only the power of sequential storytelling, but the power of love itself. 224pgs colour hardcover.


Atomic Empire
by Thierry Smolderen & Alexandre Clérisse
IDW
$24.99

The publisher says:
An astonishing and captivating original graphic novel by Thierry Smolderen and Alexandre Clérisse. Inspired by a real psychological case, Atomic Empire is both a psychiatric enigma and a space opera. 1953: The world has entered the age of the Atom, but one man wonders what it means for civilisation. His name is Paul, a sci-fi writer who, since childhood, has been in telepathic contact with a hero from the distant future. But when a well-known Pentagon consultant begins to take an interest in him, “the man who communicates with the future” will commit an unforgivable sin and break an oath to his friend, Zarth Arn, hero of the Galactic Empire. Smolderen and Clérisse deliver a beautiful and contemporary tale, immersed in the fluid and aerodynamic imagery of 1950s sci-fi. 144pgs colour hardcover.


Bella At The Bar Book 1
by Jenny McDade & John Armstrong
Rebellion
£10.99

The publisher says:
In this modern-day Cinderella story, orphan Bella Barlow is a young girl with a great natural talent for gymnastics. Unfortunately her dreams and aspirations to be a world-class gymnast are being hindered by her legal guardians - Uncle Jed and Aunt Gertrude, who force and bully Bella to their own advantage. Can Bella escape a life of abuse and servitude? Will she finally realise her dreams of gymnastic stardom? The epic serial begins here. 96pgs B&W paperback.


Coyote Doggirl
by Lisa Hanawalt
Drawn & Quarterly
$22.95

The publisher says:
An homage to and lampoon of westerns, Coyote Doggirl is a self-aware, playful subversion of tropes, from the producer/production designer of the hit series Bojack Horseman. Coyote is a dreamer and a drama queen, brazen and brave, faithful yet fiercely independent. Together with her trusty steed Red, there’s not much that’s too big for her to bite off, chew up, and spit out right into your face, if you deserve it. But when Coyote and Red find themselves on the run from a trio of vengeful bad dogs, get clobbered by arrows, and are tragically separated, our protagonist is left fighting for her life, and longing for her displaced best friend. 156pgs colour hardcover.


Criminy
by Roger Langridge & Ryan Ferrier
Dark Horse
$12.99

The publisher says:
From the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning creator of Snarked and writer of the acclaimed comic series D4VE comes this humorous, absurd adventure tale about a family on the run. Daggum Criminy’s peaceful life is suddenly interrupted as pirates invade his island, casting Criminy’s family out as refugees into the wild unknown in search of a new home. Soon, the Criminys find themselves hopping from one strange locale to another, each with their own bizarre environment, people and challenges, putting Daggum and family in constant peril as they search for a new, peaceful place to call home. 96pgs colour paperback. 


Ghost Money
by Thierry Smolderen & Dominique Bertail
Lion Forge: The Magnetic Collection
$24.99

The publisher says:
Intriguing characters and plotlines intertwine in a near-future political thriller drawing on contemporary world events and actual growing technology contributing to a cyberwar in both reality and virtual reality. When Lindsey, a young student in London, is rescued from a riot by Chamza, a young woman from the Arab world, they begin a relationship based on both fascination and convenience. Before she knows it, Lindsey is drawn into a world of vast wealth and intrigue; her new friend seems to have ties to political movements and revolutionaries throughout the Islamic world, but it is not clear what their agenda might be, or where her great wealth comes from. Could it be the fabled legendary lost treasure of Al-Qaeda, supposedly amassed through insider trading prior to 9/11? Unbeknownst to either Lindsey or Chamza, a set of US contractors, all veterans of war in Iraq and the CIA’s rendition programme, are focusing their sites on Chamza, believing her wealth is indeed the key to a larger threat to the entire world economy. The series looks at surveillance, clandestine military action and class warfare in the twilight of the current War on Terror, all within the context of a thriller that ultimately seeks to find out what controls the global economy. 296pgs colour hardcover.


Herakles Book 1
by Edouard Cour
Lion Forge: The Magnetic Collection
$19.99

The publisher says:
Half-god, but way too human… Author Edouard Cour revisits one of the greatest Greek myths by painting the often-heroic Herakles as, well . . . somewhat of a jerk. Crude and stubborn at times, in little glimpses we meet a man—half-human, after all—with a psychology more complex than he appears, entangled in guilt over the ghosts who have haunted him since childhood. A mournful sadness seizes him as he crosses the fleeting silhouettes of a woman and her three children.  “Friends or foe, all those who cross his path end up stiff and worm food,” comments Linos, the ghost of his childhood music teacher. Brimming with pathos and dark humour, this portrait of Herakles is a graphic whirlwind leaving little respite and often revealing beautiful surprises. 160 pgs colour hardcover.


In The Future, We Are Dead
by Eva Müller
Birdcage Bottom Press
$15.00

The publisher says:
In the Future, We Are Dead by Eva Müller is a collection of nine short comics thematically linked in their exploration of mortality. Some stories focus on a young Müller coming to terms with her growing terror of death, others show a grown Müller still grappling with her fears. 156pgs colour paperback.

 

 

 


I, René Tardi, Prisoner of War in Stalag IIB Vol. 1
by Jacques Tardi
Fantagraphics Books
$29.99

The publisher says:
In September 1939, René Tardi went to war. Less than a year later, the French army was defeated and he was a prisoner of war, like 1.6 million other French soldiers. After 4 years and 8 months in a POW camp, René returned home, bitter and ashamed. Stalag IIB is Jacques Tardi’s homage to his father and a testimony to the silent suffering of a generation of men. Based on René‘s memories, Stalag IIB - the first of two volumes - recounts brutal years of captivity under the Nazis and the POWs’ attempts to reclaim moments of humanity. René recalls the roll calls in sub-zero temperatures, daily acts of resistance, crushing boredom - and especially the omnipresent hunger. With four decades of cartooning and almost two dozen graphic novels behind him, Jacques Tardi masterfully recreates historical and personal details with remarkable fidelity, guided by extensive research and his father’s notes. Featuring some of Tardi’s most intense and meticulous drawing, punctuated by somber greys and punches of red and blue rendered beautifully by Rachel Tardi, Stalag IIB is a personal and artistic triumph. 192pgs two-colour harcover.


Little Stranger
by Edie Fake
Secret Acres
$21.95

The publisher says:
Have you ever got turned on while stuffing a turkey? Get a Little Stranger this spring with Edie Fake. What’s silly, scary and sexy? Edie Fake’s comics forged an entire aesthetic of art and queer culture. Since his Ignatz Award-winning Gaylord Phoenix, Fake’s comics have only appeared in underground anthologies and zines. At last, these rare comics can all be found under the covers of a Little Stranger. You’ll never look at a turkey the same way again. 176pgs B&W paperback.


Madame Cat
by Nancy Peña
Humanoids Inc.
$12.95

The publisher says:
Madame means mischief in this series of slice-of-life vignettes that present the private love, laughter and frustrations of a pet who thinks she’s an owner. Whether she’s tearing up clothes, spilling ink on the carpet or filling the air with stinky tuna-breath, Madame is both wonderfully frustrating and endearingly whimsical. With narrative mastery, Nancy Peña brings us small, hilarious sketches that appeal to cat lovers of all ages. 128pgs colour paperback.


McCay
by Thierry Smolderen & Jean-Philippe Bramanti
Titan Comics
$39.99

The publisher says:
Get ready for a dizzying dive into the “McCay Dimension” with this equally true and false tribute to the undisputed master of the imagination. McCay is an “invented biography”, chronicling authentic - though only partially true - stories of the life of the future creator of Little Nemo in Slumberland, Winsor McCay, in which McCay’s life is enriched by an imaginary encounter with British mathematician and science fiction writer Charles Hinton. And glimpses of the fourth dimension… 232pgs colour hardcover.


Permanent Press
by Luke Healy
Avery Hill Publishing
£10.99 / $14.99

The publisher says:
Luke is depressed, afflicted by a severe case of metaphoritis and deadlines that don’t really exist. Afraid of being forgotten by the comics community and unable to find motivation in anything besides jealousy, he sets out to create an award-winning comic that will remedy all of his problems. Exploring themes of art and existence through worlds of words and numbers both real and imagined, Luke Healy’s new graphic novel includes the Ignatz Award and Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize nominated story “The Unofficial Cuckoo’s Nest Study Companion.” 136pgs B&W paperback.


Songs Of Silence
by Noel Ummels, Didier Kassai, Stephani Soejono & others
Rosarium Publishing
$14.95

The publisher says:
Music makes us think, makes us dance, makes us feel. No matter the tempo, music moves us. Songs of Silence is an international comics project put together by artists from Europe, Africa, and Asia, inspired by the power of music. Each story (written by Dutch author, Noël Ummels) is inspired by a popular song from our past. They explore such universal concerns as injustice, abuse, intolerance, deception and exploitation, but they also speak of love and inspiration. Some stories may be sad or distressing, ironic or completely in earnest. 78pgs colour paperback.


Sugar
by Matt Hawkins & Yishan Li
Image
$9.99

The publisher says:
A companion book to both Sunstone and Swing, Sugar is about a couple who embark on a relationship that starts as more of an arrangement and ends with them falling in love…but that love has consequences. Julia works three jobs and is trying to finish college in her early 20’s. John is recently divorced, still stinging from that breakup and trying to start anew. Neither has ever done anything like this before and the emotional swings they face challenge what could be a perfect match. 128pgs colour paperback.

 



The Ghost Script
by Jules Feiffer
Liveright
$26.95

The publisher says:
Eighty-nine-year-old Jules Feiffer delivers the tour de force of his illustrious career in this epic finale that dares “to try things that film noir could only dream of” (Chris Ware). In The Ghost Script, Feiffer plunges us into the blowzy, boozy world of Blacklist Hollywood, circa 1953: witch hunts and Reds and pinkos and starlets and a mysterious, orchid-growing mastermind, the renamed “Cousin Joseph,” running a back-channel clearinghouse for victims of the entertainment world’s purge. Stumbling his way through this maze is private eye Archie Goldman, a tough-talking good guy, always a step or two behind in this fast-moving story of plots, counterplots, and goon violence. Meet Lola Burns, the buxom Blacklistee, desperate to get back into pictures, and O. Z. McCay and Fay Bloom, the booze-swilling, hard-living communist screenwriters. In this satiric assault on our past and present, Feiffer shows how the arc of American history evolves from starry dreams to thwarted and sold-out dreams. 128pgs colour hardcover.


The Kurdles Adventure Magazine #1
by Robert Goodin, Cathy Malkasian & others
Fantagraphics Books
$10.00

The publisher says:
This all-new, all-ages comic magazine will thrill kids and parents alike, featuring 48 pages of brand-new comics by acclaimed cartoonists Robert Goodin (The Kurdles), Cathy Malkasian (Percy Gloom), and other surprises. Starring the Kurdles, Greta Grump, Howdy Pardner and Pacho Clokey. The best kids comic mag since the demise of Nickelodeon magazine. 48pgs colour comic.

 



The Song of Aglaia
by Anne Simon
Fantagraphics Books
$19.99

The publisher says:
The Song of Aglaia is the first solo graphic novel by cartoonist Anne Simon, presenting a beautifully crafted female spin on the classic heroic myths of Greek literature, tracing the journey of a victimised and then almighty woman with a graceful understanding of human relationships and loving nods to the Bronte sisters, David Bowie and the Beatles. 120pgs B&W hardcover.

 

 


Trent
by Dino Stamatopoulos & Leah Tiscione
Starburns Industries Press
$24.99

The publisher says:
Trent is a light tragedy with music about the dangers of hope and the delusions of love. When Bob and Doris lose their baby boy, Trent, to a foolish mistake, they fall back on the old optimism of the classic musical.  Singing their pain away and defying their doubts, their love of Trent teaches them that just because someone is gone, it doesn’t mean you stop loving them. Written by Dino Stamatopoulos, the writer and actor who immortalised Starburns on Community, and illustrated by Leah Tiscione, with a complete, free, downloadable soundtrack featuring the singing voices of Scott Adsit, Britta Phillips and Jay Johnston, bathe in the glory that is the graphic novel that launched Starburns Industries into comics. 185pgs colour paperback.


Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend Vol. 1
by Toshio Maeda
Fakku Books
$29.95

The publisher says:
There is a legend that in 3,000 years an unbeatable god of the demon world known simply as the Overfiend will be resurrected into the body of a young man. Amano, a half demon, travels to the human world to find the Overfiend before his pure demon rivals find the god-like being. Unfortunately, he keeps on being side-tracked by Tatsuo Nagumo, a shy, bumbling lecherous teen and future classmate, who keeps finding himself in all sorts of trouble with beings from the Demon Realm. If Amano can’t find the host of the Overfiend, how is going to be able to protect him from the clutches of the oncoming demon horde? 308pgs B&W paperback.


We Shall Fight Until We Win
by Grace Wilson & others
NHP / 404 Ink
£9.99

The publisher says:
100 years of pioneering political women. 404 Ink and BHP Comics have teamed up to bring you We Shall Fight Until We Win, a graphic novel anthology celebrating a century since women gained the right to vote in the UK, and the many pioneering women who are part of the ongoing fight since 1918. We’ll be taking a few women from each decade in the last 100 years and telling their stories in colourful, illustrated snapshots. Some stories are well known, some less so, all worthy of note. Writers and artists include Hannah Berry, Denise Mina, Kathryn Briggs, Sabeena Ahktar, Maria Stoian, Grace Wilson, Wei Ming Kam, Shazleen Khan, and many more. 64pgs colour paperback.

Posted: April 29, 2018

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