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Top 26 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga:

November 2017

Each month brings another smörgåsbord of sequential art, their creators all hoping to find an appreciative audience and build their reputations. My considered gleanings for November have turned up trumps with some first-rate works worthy of your attention. The French author Julie Maroh, acclaimed for Blue is the Warmest Colour, returns to affairs of the heart in her ensemble piece Body Music. From Japan’s dark, urgent dramas of ‘gekiga’ comes Slum Wolf, a compelling compendium by Japan’s Tadao Tsuge, proving again how varied manga truly are.

I’m also eager anticipating the start of an unconventional graphic mystery, The Case of the Missing Men by Canadian collaborators Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes, as well as the delayed but now completed Satania by the striking and inimitable couple of bande dessinée, Kerascoët. I hope you will keep stepping outside your comfort zones and exploring with me just how far comics can take you…




Adrift
by Grégory Mardon
Humanoids
$14.95

The publisher says:
Gregory Mardon pays a heartfelt homage to his grandfather, who left from Northern France in the 1930s to enlist in the French Navy and went on countless globe-spanning adventures. A story full of tenderness, humour, and melancholy, told with keen insight and intimacy. 116pgs B&W paperback.

 



Asakawa Under The Bridge Vol. 1
by Hikaru Nakamura
Vertical Comics
$17.95

The publisher says:
Best-selling mangaka Hikaru Nakamura (Saint Young Men) makes her English language debut with this surreal comedy starring a 620-year-old water sprite, a man with a star for a head, a nun, and a samurai who runs a barber shop under Tokyo’s Arakawa Bridge. “Could you help me fall in love?” Kou Ichinomiya, a young man born with a silver spoon in his mouth and raised with the mantra “never owe anyone” suddenly finds himself deeply indebted to a young homeless woman, Nino, who lives on the Arakawa river bank and claims to originally be from the planet Venus. When Nino rejects all of Kou’s mundane offers of money or housing, Kou is at a loss for how to repay his debt, until Nino suddenly asks him to teach her about love. A daunting task, but the over-achieving Kou is determined to return Nino’s favor. And so begins Kou’s life under the bridge, along with a band of eccentric characters who have formed their own little community outside the boundaries of typical Tokyoite life… 366pgs B&W paperback.



A Small Revolution
by Boum
Soaring Penguin Press
$13.99

The publisher says:
A Small Revolution is a story of dictatorship and revolution as seen through the eyes of a little girl, and her love for the music of Boris Vian. Florence is a young orphan in a city-state ruled by a dictator. A revolution is being organised to overthrow the government, and Florence desperately wants to be part of it – even if she doesn’t fully understand what it implies. She will, however, lead her own personal small revolution. 96pgs B&W paperback.



Awaiting The Collapse
by Paul Kirchner
Editions Tanibis
24€

The publisher says:
This third collaboration between French publishing house Tanibis and comic book artist Paul Kirchner is a collection of the artist’s works, most of them initially published in counter-culture magazines in the 1970s and the 1980s and some dating from his return to comics in the 2010s. Roughly a third of the stories star Dope Rider, the pot-smoking skeleton whose psychedelic adventures take him through colorful vistas equally reminiscent of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western films and of the surrealistic paintings of René Magritte and Salvador Dalí. These stories were originally drawn for the marijuana-themed magazine High Times, but were also for Kirchner an excuse to create his very own brand of visual poetry. Another third of the book is a miscellaneous collection of comics whose stories range from the loony (the sextraterrestrial invasion of Earth in ‘They Came from Uranus’) to the satirical (‘Critical mass of cool’) and the outright subversive (if you ever wondered what games toys play at night, read ‘Dolls at Midnight’). This book also features a broad selection of the covers Kirchner made for the pornographic tabloid Screw in the 1970s. Awaiting the Collapse finally contains a previously unpublished essay by Paul Kirchner about his career and his influences, which helps put in perspective the works published in this book. 152pgs colour hardcover.



Body Music
by Julie Maroh
Arsenal Pulp Press
$26.95

The publisher says:
Julie Maroh’s first book, Blue Is the Warmest Colour, was a graphic novel phenomenon; it was a New York Times bestseller and the controversial film adaptation by French director Abdellatif Kechiche won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. Maroh’s latest book, Body Music, marks her return to the kind of soft, warm palette and impressionistic sensibility that made her debut book so sensational. Set in the languid, European-like neighbourhoods of Montreal, Body Music is a beautiful and moving meditation on love and desire as expressed in their many different forms―between women, men, and gender non-conformists alike, all varying in age and race. In twenty separate vignettes, Maroh explores the drama inherent in relationships at different stages: the electricity of initial attraction, the elation of falling in love, the trauma of breaking up, the sweet comfort of a long-standing romance. Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship will see themselves in these intimate stories tinged with raw emotion. Body Music is an exhilarating and passionate graphic novel about what it means to fall in love, and what it means to be alive. 300pgs colour paperback.



Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Cartoon Make-Believe
by Cullen Murphy
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
$27.00

The publisher says:
A poignant history of the cartoonists and illustrators from the Connecticut School.
For a period of about fifty years, right in the middle of the American Century, many of the the nation’s top comic-strip cartoonists, gag cartoonists, and magazine illustrators lived within a stone’s throw of one another in the southwestern corner of Connecticut―a bit of bohemia in the middle of those men in their grey flannel suits. Cullen Murphy’s father, John Cullen Murphy, drew the wildly popular comic strips Prince Valiant and Big Ben Bolt, and was at the heart of this artistic milieu. Comic strips and gag cartoons read by hundreds of millions were created in this tight-knit group―Superman, Beetle Bailey, Snuffy Smith, Rip Kirby, Hagar the Horrible, Hi and Lois, Nancy, Sam & Silo, Amy, The Wizard of Id, The Heart of Juliet Jones, Family Circus, Joe Palooka and The Lockhorns, among others. Cartoonists and their art were a pop-cultural force in a way that few today remember. Anarchic and deeply creative, the cartoonists were independent spirits whose artistic talents had mainly been forged during service in World War II. Illustrated with never-before-seen photographs, cartoons, and drawings, Cartoon County brings the postwar American era alive, told through the relationship of a son to his father, an extraordinarily talented and generous man who had been trained by Norman Rockwell. Cartoon County gives us a glimpse into a very special community―and of an America that used to be.272pgs part-colour hardcover



Combed Clap of Thunder
by Zach Hazard Vaupen
Big Planet / Retrofit Comics
$6.00

The publisher says:
Combed Clap of Thunder collects three short graphic stories by Zach Hazard Vaupen: The Lonely Autocannibal, The Scientist, Bodhisattva and The Real Jesuses, centred around themes of emotional and spiritual confusion. 44pgs B&W comic book.

 

 



Fiction House: From Pulp to Panels
by Mitch Maglio
IDW / Yoe Books
$49.99

The publisher says:
From sexy jungle girls to even sexier ray gun toting space women and beyond, Fiction House Comics had it all. Now for the first time the entire history of Fiction House, the leading purveyor of Good Girl art during the Golden Age of Comics, is told in a single volume. Stuffed with breathtaking cover reproductions, original artwork and full-length stories, Fiction House: From Pulp to Panels tells the story of one of the most successful publishers through the works of legends such as Matt Baker, George Tuska, Lou Fine, Bob Lubbers, and Lily Renee. 300pgs colour hardcover.



Freedom Hospital
by Hamid Sulaiman
Jonathan Cape
£16.99

The publisher says:
It is spring 2012 and 40,000 people have died since the start of the Syrian Arab Spring. In the wake of this, Yasmin has set up a clandestine hospital in the north of the country. The town that she lives in is controlled by Assad’s brutal regime, but is relatively stable. However, as the months pass, the situation becomes increasingly complex and violent. Told in stark, beautiful black-and-white imagery, Freedom Hospital illuminates a complicated situation with gut-wrenching detail and very dark humour. The story of Syria is one of the most devastating narratives of our age and Freedom Hospital is an important and timely book from a new international talent. Winner of the 2017 PEN Translates Award and the 2017 Burgess Grant. 288pgs B&W hardcover.

Joe Sacco says:
With the intimacy of a person who has lived the tragedy himself but with the restraint of a true artist, Hamid Sulaiman tells a powerful tale of Syria’s descent into cataclysm while reminding us of those still tending the seeds of the revolutionary spring.



Godshaper
by Simon Spurrier & Jonas Goonface
Boom! Studios
$19.99

The publisher says:
Ennay is a man without a god. Bud is a god without a human. Together, they might just survive. In 1958, the laws of physics stopped working: ignition, electricity, and combustion. But an alternative was provided, and people found themselves each accompanied by their own personal god, the new fuel and currency of the world. Varying in shape, size, and influence, these companion deities changed everything. Ennay, however, was born without a god and he’s not alone. Men and women like him are Godshapers, godless but with the ability to mold and shape the gods of others. Paired with Bud, a friendly god without a human, he goes on the road looking for food, shelter, and a paying gig. Despite their efforts to keep a low profile, Ennay and Bud stumble upon a mystery that will have lasting ramifications for god and man alike. Written by visionary author Simon Spurrier (The Spire, X-Men Legacy) and illustrated by breakout talent Jonas Goonface, Godshaper introduces a vast world teeming with bold ideas exploring ownership, freedom, and the pettiness of possession—both physical and spiritual. 160pgs colour paperback.



Lights of the Amalou
by Christophe Gobelin & Claire Wending
IDW
$39.99

The publisher says:
An epic fantasy drawn by the internationally-renowned illustrator Claire Wendling that won the Press Award at the Angoulême Comics Festival, in its first English translation. Long ago, no living creatures existed in the Legend world, except for a magician by the name of Théo…and a giant oak tree. The two beings made a pact: one would imagine and draw the form of the creatures, to which the second would give life. In exchange, the magician would become immortal. The world is now populated by a wide array of species, including the human-like Transparents—and one in particular, a young woman named Orane. But as time passes, the Great Oak begins to weaken, and Théo wants to acquire its power…and then there are Yz and Meth, two hybrid demons who threaten to turn the world upside down. 240pgs colour paperback.



Love Song
by Christopher
IDW
$24.99

The publisher says:
Like the best rock n’ roll bands, Love Song is four parts that harmonise the muddy and messy chords of life into a breathtaking resolution. Follow the day-to-day life of four contemporary adults united by one passion: rock music. Each album is a first-person narrative by one of the four characters. Each volume is composed of a sequence of short stories, like the songs of an album. Love Song begins on a lighthearted note, but little by little, the humour gives way to a darker and more serious tone. 200pgs colour hardcover.


Magritte: This Is Not A Biography (Art Masters Series Vol. 6)
by Vincent Zabus & Thomas Campi
SelfMadeHero
$14.99

The publisher says:
Intoxicated by the promise of a promotion, Charles Singular for once allows himself a small extravagance: he buys a bowler hat. But there’s a problem: this is no ordinary hat. This one once belonged to the surrealist painter René Magritte, and by donning it Charles has unwittingly stepped into the artist’s off-kilter world. What’s more, he can’t escape—at least, not until he has illuminated the secrets behind Magritte’s work. What follows is a hallucinatory journey through Magritte’s imaginative landscape, a place where facial features mutate, the crescent moon appears in unexpected places, and answers prove frustratingly elusive. In Magritte: This is not a Biography, Vincent Zabus and Australian artist Thomas Campi have created a panoramic and revealing portrait of the great surrealist, employing a playfulness and wit reminiscent of Magritte himself. 72pgs colour paperback.



Michael Chabon’s The Escapist: Amazing Adventures
by Michael Chabon & various artists
Dark Horse Comics
$24.99

The publisher says:
In the fictional world of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, the Escapist—the epitome of the Golden Age superhero–was conceived. This anthology is a collection of the hero’s history and his exploits, created by an all-star cast of comic book luminaries. The Escapist and his associates are heroes to all who languish in oppression’s chains. They roam the globe, performing amazing feats to foil diabolical evildoers. From preventing a prison break and attack on Empire City, to facing a demonic horde in Japan, to crushing a galactic takeover in the year 2966, and to surfacing a sunken submarine from 300 fathoms, the Escapist brings hope and liberation. As the history of his creators, Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay, was chronicled in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, now a multitude of the Escapist’s adventures are collected here, along with the patchwork publishing history of the character. This volume also contains the adventures of the Escapist’s associate, Luna Moth. The stories and art within are by amazing talent like Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Y—The Last Man), Kyle Baker (The Fifth Beatle), Eduardo Barreto (Batman), Howard Chaykin (American Flagg, Star Wars), Gene Colan (Daredevil, Howard the Duck), Matt Kindt (Pistolwhip), Kevin McCarthy (Circuit-Breaker), Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin), Jim Starlin (Captain Marvel) and, of course, Michael Chabon. Containing a total of twenty-six tales, along with two never-before-collected stories, this volume also contains six never-before-published stories, as well as a robust gallery of pinups celebrating the world of the Escapist from artists including Brian Bolland (Judge Dredd), Jöelle Jones (Lady Killer), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Eric Wight (My Dead Girlfriend), Jae Lee (Before Watchmen), and more! 400pgs colour paperback.


Niourk
by Stefan Wul & Olivier Vatine
Dark Horse Comics
$24.99

The publisher says:
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, where mankind has regressed to a handful of primitive tribes hunting and foraging for a meager, oppressed existence, a lone black child, shunned by other members of his tribe, sets out on an epic journey to what used to be known as New York, land of the gods! Written by Stefan Wul, author of cult favorite Fantastic Planet, illustrated by acclaimed French comics artist Olivier Vatine, this unusual hero’s journey is a memorable examination of a child’s compassion — and the human race’s cruelty. 176pgs colour hardcover.

 


Out of Nothing
by Daniel Locke & David Blandy
Nobrow Press
£16.99

Spanning millennia, Daniel Locke’s ambitious graphic novel explores humanity’s inherent ‘dreaming mind and its impact on our world. Surreal sequences take us from Gutenberg’s printing press to Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web via Picasso, Einstein, Grandmaster Flash and more. Locke shows how our basic instinct to observe, record and connect has formed the basis for all human invention and progress. Locke and Blandy show how our unique ‘Dreaming minds’ and basic instinct to observe, record, and connect have been the catalyst for all progress and discovery. Includes an introduction by Dr Adam Rutherford Supported by The Wellcome Trust. 256pgs colour hardcover.

 


POS: Piece Of Sh*t
by Pierre Paquet & Jesus Alonso
Lion Forge
$24.99

The publisher says:
A young man struggles to build a publishing company, find love, and discover who he really is, with his one true trusted companion being the dog who truly seems to understand him. In the end, he realises that for far too long he has been a self-absorbed piece of sh*t. A touching autobiographical story by Swiss BD publisher Pierre Paquet, the spiritual sequel to Paquet’s Eisner-nominated A Glance Backward, which recounted his experience dealing with the death of his father at age 11. 256pgs colour hardcover.


Satania
by Kerascoët & Fabien Vehlmann
NBM
$24.99

The publisher says:
Charlotte—aka Charlie—a pretty redhead, sets up an expedition to find her brother. The young scientist, who disappeared underground several months ago, claimed, to everyone’s astonishment, to be able to prove the existence of Hell by using Darwin’s theory of evolution. The little group, led by Charlie, plunge underground in his pursuit. The deeper they progress into the entrails of our planet, the more they enter another world that hides other forms of life heretofore never experienced. The discovery changes them gradually in a way they cannot at first perceive… 128pgs colour hardcover.


Skinned
by Jeremy Holt & Tim Daniel
Insight Comics
$24.95

The publisher says:
In a future obsessed with virtual reality and fantasy, two star-crossed lovers will do whatever it takes to bring down the OccupEye system and free cView City from its virtual prison. iRIS is the perfect marriage of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, serving as the backbone for enhanced-reality contact lenses that provide users with an antidote to reality’s many maladies. From pop culture–inspired fantasies to manifestations of their own imagination, users can see the world precisely as they wish. Citizens of cView City are fitted with a pair of these ubiquitous lenses at birth as a means of ensuring societal tranquility. But when Aldair—a teenage programming heiress—gets a glimpse of life with her own eyes, the world she once knew will never be the same again. 128pgs colour hardcover


Slum Wolf
by Tadao Tsuge
New York Review Comics
$22.95

The publisher says:
A gritty collection of graphic short stories by a Japanese manga master depicting life on the streets among punks, gangsters, and vagrants. Though virtually unknown in the United States, Tadao Tsuge is one of the original masters of alternative manga, and one of the world’s great artists of the down-and-out. Never before available in English, this new selection of his stories from the late sixties and the seventies depicts the lives of punks, vagrants, gangsters, and other lost souls with gritty lyricism. It is a raucous, exhilarating vision of street brawls and dive bars, shantytowns and brothels, and an unsettling portrait of postwar Japan. Translated and with an introduction by Ryan Holmberg. 270pgs B&W paperback.


Snakes and Ladders
by Stefano Munarini & Mauro Ferrero
Epicenter Comics
$10.99

The publisher says:
If you want to become a comic book writer you need a constant effort and creative mindset, but even that may not be enough. Or you can instead choose a shortcut and just impersonate an established writer. You may receive invitations to comic book shops, get free vacations, sign autographs and get laid. Some shortcuts however, may lead you back to start, just like in the game of Snakes and Ladders. 100pgs colour paperback


Street Fighting Men: Spain Vol. 1
by Spain Rodriguez
Fantagraphics Books
$29.99

The publisher says:
In this first volume of a complete collection by the seminal underground cartoonist, autobiographical stories about running with a motorcycle gang are mixed in the adventures of Trashman―and much more. A motorcycle outlaw and one of the original seven cartoonists behind Zap Comix, this is the first volume in a series celebrating the influential force in the underground movement. Spain’s Trashman stories form the backbone of this volume, along with his firsthand accounts of riding with the Road Vultures Motorcycle Club (a gang once considered so dangerous that the police chief of Buffalo, New York, declared war on them) and his 1969 East Village Other series about cop corruption, Manning. This first volume is rounded with an informative, inside account of Spain’s life and loves in the emerging counterculture of New York’s Lower East Side. 280pgs B&W paperback.



The Altered History of Willow Sparks
by Tara O’Connor
ONI Press
$19.99

The publisher says:
What happens when you can finally get everything you ever wanted? Willow Sparks and her best friend Georgia Pratt are at the bottom of the social ladder at Twin Pines High School, just trying to get through each day relatively unscathed. But when Willow finds a mysterious book that allows her to literally change her life, it feels like her luck is finally turning. Becoming more and more popular with each entry into the book, her old life, including her friendship with Georgia, seems miles away. Yet as Willow will discover, every action has a reaction, and the future has unusual―even dangerous―ways of protecting itself. 152pgs two-colour paperback.


The Case of The Missing Men
by Kris Bertin & Alexander Forbes
Compendium Press
$20.00

The publisher says:
The Case of the Missing Men is the first part of an ongoing mystery thriller set in a strange and remote East Coast village called Hobtown. The story follows a gang of young teens who have made it their business to investigate each and every one of their town’s bizarre occurrences as The Teen Detective Club (a registered after-school program). Their small world of missing pets and shed-fires is turned upside down when real-life kid adventurer and globetrotter Sam Finch comes to town and enlists them in their first real case—the search for his missing father. In doing so, he and the teens stumble upon a terrifying world of rural secret societies, weird-but-true folk mythology, subterranean lairs, and an occultist who can turn men into dogs. The Case of The Missing Men is at turns funny, intriguing, eerie and endearing, and is beautifully illustrated in a style reminiscent of classic children’s pulp series like Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. 280pgs B&W paperback.



The Expanding Art of Comics: Ten Modern Masterpieces
by Thierry Groensteen
University Press of Mississippi
$65.00

The publisher says:
In The Expanding Art of Comics: Ten Modern Masterpieces, prominent scholar Thierry Groensteen offers a distinct perspective on important evolutions in comics since the 1960s through close readings of ten seminal works. He covers over half a century of comics production, sampling a single work from the Sixties (Ballad of the Salt Sea by Hugo Pratt), Seventies (The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius by Moebius), Eighties (Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons), and Nineties (Epileptic by David B.). Then this remarkable critic, scholar, and author of The System of Comics and Comics and Narration delves into recent masterpieces, such as Building Stories by Chris Ware. Each of these books created an opening, achieved a breakthrough, offered a new narrative model, or took up an emerging tendency and perfected it. Groensteen recaptures the impact with which these works, each in its own way, broke with what had gone before. He regards comics as an expanding art, not only because groundbreaking works such as these are increasing in number, but also because it is an art that has only gradually become aware of its considerable potential and is unceasingly opening up new expressive terrain. Translated by Ann Miller. 240pgs B&W hardcover


The Graphic Canon of Crime and Mystery Vol. 1
Editied by Russ Kick, by various artists
Seven Stories Press
$29.95

The publisher says:
The first of two volumes builds on the brilliant and original Graphic Canon series in retelling classic works of literature as comics and other visual forms. Organised thematically, Volume 1 opens with “The Act” (think In Cold Blood and A Clockwork Orange), followed by sections dedicated to “Criminals,” Whodunit,” “Judgment” (Scarlet Letter, anyone?), and “Punishment.” Here you’ll find stunning and suspenseful adaptations starring classic PIs Sherlock Holmes, Auguste Dupin, Hercule Poirot, Father Brown, Mike Hammer, and teenage girl-detective Violet Strange. But the mystery, intrigue, and foul play don’t end (or begin) there. The artists also bring to life crime stories from the Arabian Nights, the Bible, The Canterbury Tales, China’s Song Dynasty, Shakespeare, James Joyce’s Dubliners, Patricia Highsmith, Truman Capote, and current writers like Stephen King, Jo Nesbo, and Sara Paretsky. Rick Geary brings his crisp style to Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Teddy Goldenberg gives us a dense, murky treatment of Dashiell Hammett’s The Road Home, often considered the first hardboiled detective story ever published. C. Frakes resurrects the forgotten novella Talma Gordon, the first mystery written by an African American; and Shawn Cheng renders the first serial-killer story, the so-called fairy tale Bluebeard by Charles Perrault. Even the very natures of crime, justice and punishment are up for grabs. Landis Blair reimagines The Trial as a choose-your-own-adventure story that you cannot win, Ted Rall retells an O. Henry story about a petty criminal who just can’t get arrested. From The Marquis de Sade to James Cain, Aeschylus to Paula Hawkins, crime and mystery has never been so brilliantly reimagined. 352pgs colour paperback.



The Green Hand and Other Stories
by Nicole Claveloux
New York Review Comics
$24.95

The publisher says:
Nicole Claveloux’s short stories—originally published in the late 1970s and never before collected in English—are among the most beautiful comics ever created: whimsical, intoxicating, with the freshness and splendour of dreams. In hallucinatory colour or elegant black-and-white, she brings us into lands that are very different from our own but oddly recognisable. They are lands filled with murderous grandmothers and lonely city dwellers, bad-tempered vegetables and walls that are surprisingly easy to fall through, lands in which the very air seems alive and capable of telling you a dirty joke (or the meaning of life). In the title story, a new houseplant becomes the first step in an epic journey of self-discovery and a witty fable of modern romance—complete with talking shrubbery, infantile gourmands, a wised-up genie, and one very depressed bird. This new selection is the perfect introduction to the work of an unforgettable, unjustly neglected master of French comics. 108pgs part-colour hardcover.



The Smell of Starving Boys
by Loo Hui Phang & Frederik Peeters
SelfMadeHero
£24.99 / $29.99

The publisher says:
Texas, 1872. With the Civil War over, exploration has resumed in the territories to the west of the Mississippi, and the geologist Stingley is looking to capitalize. Together with photographer Oscar Forrest, who catalogues the terrain, and their young assistant, Milton, Stingley strikes out into territory that might one day support a new civilization. But this is no virgin land. As the frontiersmen move west, it becomes clear that the expedition won’t go unchallenged. Stingley has led them into a hostile region: the native Comanches’ last bastion of resistance. In a spectacular landscape, under the looming threat of attack, the boundaries between two worlds dissolve. As social conventions disappear and personal inhibitions go into retreat, an intimate relationship develops between Oscar and Milton. The Smell of Starving Boys is an intense Western about the clash of two worlds: one old, one new; one defined by rationality and technology, the other by shamanism and nature. 112pgs colour hardcover.



The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head
by David Gaffney & Dan Berry
Top Shelf
120pgs colour paperback.
$19.99

The publisher says:
British comedy blended with universal regret, this darkly funny graphic novel uses surreal and beautiful visions to explore the ways we remain haunted by our ex-lovers. Valerie has a rich interior life. Serially unlucky in love, to feel better she imagines that her previous boyfriends are dead and that their bodies are kept downstairs in the cellar in a strange, mummified state. Every day she brings them upstairs and speaks with them about what went wrong. What follows is a series of peculiar and funny, and sometimes disturbing short tales about inept lovers, weird obsessions, and socially malfunctioning men who repeatedly fail to build a relationship with poor Valerie. Apart from Stanley. Stanley was special. Could he be the one to save her? The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head is a dark comedy about relationships, memory, loneliness and obsession and is the first collaboration between ultra-short fiction writer David Gaffney and comic artist Dan Berry. 120pgs colour hardcover.


Why Comics? From Underground To Everywhere
by Hillary Chute
Harper
$40.00

The publisher says:
The massive impact that comics have had on our culture becomes more and more clear every day, from the critically acclaimed musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking comic, to the dozens of superhero films hitting cinemas every year. What is it that makes comics so special? What can this unique art form do that others can’t? In Why Comics?, comics scholar Hillary Chute reveals the history of comics, underground comics (or comix), and graphic novels, through deep thematic analysis, and fascinating portraits of the fearless men and women behind them. As Scott McCloud revealed the methods behind comics and the way they worked in his classic Understanding Comics, Chute will reveal the themes that Comics handle best, and how the form is uniquely equipped to explore them. The topics in Why Comics? include:
• Why Disaster: with such major works focusing on disasters, from Art Spiegelman’s work, which covers the Holocaust and 9/11 to Keiji Nakazawa’s work covering Hiroshima, comics find themselves uniquely suited to convey the scale and disorientation of disaster.
• Why Suburbs: through the work of Chris Ware and Charles Burns, Chute reveals the fascinating ways that Comics illustrate the quiet joys and struggles of suburban existence.
• Why Punk: With an emphasis on DIY aesthetics and rebelling against what came before, the Punk movement would prove to be a fertile ground for some of the most significant modern cartoonists, creating a truly democratic art form.
Chute has created an indispensable guide to comics for those new to the genre, or those who want to understand more about what lies behind their favourite works. 464pgs part-colour hardcover.


Zegas
by Michel Fiffe
Fantagraphics
$19.99

The publisher says:
Neorealism and the visually impossible collide to make the perfect heart beat in Michel Fiffe’s Zegas. Zegas details the surreal urban adventures of the recently orphaned Zegas siblings. The ambitious Emily and her moody brother, Boston, are young adults who confront their new relationship dynamic in the face of a family tragedy that never gets talked about. The world of Zegas is set in a hyper-stylised landscape, but the down-to-earth characters and their conflicts are what anchor the story. At its core, Zegas is a collection of interactions that map out Emily and Boston’s most primal concerns: survival, sex and mortality. 96pgs colour paperback.

Posted: September 15, 2017

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