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Top 27 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga:

February 2018

A Mexican photographer’s biography, a lifelong lesbian love-story between two black women, a meditation on the role of art and the artist, and a suite of graphic impressions of jazz and its legends.

Just some of the individualistic, involving comics on the menu for your perusal and pleasure this coming February. Explore and enjoy…

A Doorway To Joe: The Art of Joe Coleman
by Joe Coleman

The publisher says:
Finally, the complete monograph with all the work of the unique and subversive artist Joe Coleman. The visions of Joe Coleman – monstre sacré of the New York City art scene, infamous for his explosive performances and the eschatological sentiments of his icon-like paintings – have often been described as subtended by binary oppositions—the sacred and the profane, sinfulness and morality, the hero and the outcast, the artist within and/or against the rest of the world. These contradictory forces coexist, dividing us all, and Coleman’s paintings, like obsidian mirrors, reflect them in their perpetual and often disquieting negotiation. 400pgs colour hardcover.

A Girl in the Himalayas
by David Jesus Vignoli
Archaia Press / Boom! Studios

The publisher says:
Beyond the peaks and valleys of the Himalaya Mountains lies a magical sanctuary. Protected from the chaos of man, it is home to immortal beings and mystical creatures. When Vijaya, a young human, is brought into the sanctuary for her protection, some immortals fear her presence may lead to their ruin. But as mankind draws ever closer to the sanctuary’s border, Vijaya will have to prove that there is more to being human than the violence her new family fears beyond their borders. David Jesus Vignolli’s debut graphic novel A Girl in the Himalayas explores the astonishing potential of the human spirit. 176pgs part-colour paperback.

Ben Katchor Conversations
by Ben Katchor, edited by Ian Gordon
University Press of Mississippi

The publisher says:
Author Michael Chabon described Ben Katchor (b. 1951) as “the creator of the last great American comic strip.” Katchor’s comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories, which began in 1988, brought him to the attention of the readers of alternative weekly newspapers along with a coterie of artists who have gone on to public acclaim. In the mid-1990s, NPR ran audio versions of several Julius Knipl stories, narrated by Katchor and starring Jerry Stiller in the title role. This volume features career-spanning interviews with the creator of the contemporary American comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories and other works. 192pgs B&W hardcover.

Best of Enemies: A History of US and Middle East Relations: Part Three: 1984-2013
by Jean-Pierre Filiu & David B.
£14.99 / $24.99

The publisher says:
A graphic history of US and Middle East relations which covers the tumultuous period that began with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and ended with Obama’s decision in 2013 not to intervene in Syria. Spanning 30 years of conflict and diplomacy, Best of Enemies is a breezy and engaging guide to the geopolitical events that shaped the politics of today. 104pgs B&W hardcover.

Bingo Love
by Tee Franklin, Jenn St. Onge & Joy San
Image Comics

The publisher says:
When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realising their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage. From Tee Franklin (Nailbiter’s The Outfit, Love is Love) and Jenn St-Onge (Jem & the Misfits), Bingo Love is a touching story of love, family, and resiliency that spans over sixty years. 88pgs colour paperback.

Dave Sheridan: Life with Dealer McDope, The Leather Nun, and The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers
edited by Mark Bursting
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
Dave Sheridan collects the best of the legendary underground cartoonist’s tripped-out comic strip hilarity. It includes Sheridan’s solo comics, many reprinted for the very first time, and his collaborations with Fred Schrier and Gilbert Shelton (who writes the foreword), along with his record covers, beer labels, and advertisements for more…cough, cough…organic products. The book includes a biography and reminiscences from fellow artists, friends, and family members. 276pgs colour hardcover.

Devilman Classic Collection Vol. 1
by Go Nagai
Seven Seas Entertainment LLC

The publisher says:
The original horror manga classic that inspired the genre for decades. For ages, the demons that once ravaged the earth have been trapped, leaving earth to enjoy a time of relative peace. But that peace is coming to an end. Demons have risen once again, tipping the world ever closer to Armageddon. Gentle Akira Fudo may seem like an unlikely hero, but due to his pure heart, he is able to become Devilman - a human with demonic powers, and the planet’s only hope of salvation. 680pgs B&W paperback.

Downward To Earth
by Robert Silverberg, Philippe Thirault & Laura Zucchini

The publisher says:
Ex-lieutenant Eddie Gundersen returns to Belzagor, where he had left behind his youthful illusions, the love of his life and his shameful past as a coloniser. He finds the planet re-turned to its two intelligent species: the Nildoror and the Sulidoror. Taking the lead on a scientific expedition to the borders of the indigenous lands, Gundersen must face his own demons and settle the score with a planet which still has hidden secrets. 108pgs colour hardcover.

Dust-Ship Glory
by Elaine M. Will
Renegade Arts Entertainment

The publisher says:
The adaptation of Andreas Schroeder’s 1986 novel Dust-Ship Glory tells the true story of Damanus “Tom” Sukanen, a Finnish immigrant farmer who planned to escape the Dust Bowl conditions that laid waste to the Canadian prairies in the 1930s by building a full-sized ship in his farmyard, hundreds of miles from the sea. 176pgs part-colour paperback.



Flayed Corpse and Other Stories
by Josh Simmons & various artists
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
Josh Simmons (Black River) returns with a harrowing and genre-bending collection of more than two dozen short stories. The individual stories in Flayed Corpse stand on their own and also complement each other in ways that only heighten the anxiety and dread pouring from the pages. Flayed Corpse also collects several collaborations between Simmons and other cartoonists, including James Romberger, Anders Nilsen, Tara Booth, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, and Eric Reynolds, amongst others. 164pgs part-colour hardcover.

by Ben Rankel
Renegade Arts Entertainment

The publisher says:
A historical mystery set in the tragedy of Frank Slide, one of Canada’s deadliest natural disasters. Eve Lee is in a self-destructive spiral—her big plans for a new life in Frank have not at all turned out how she had planned. As Eve hits the bottom, she’s forced to confront her expectations when her former lover disappears under questionable circumstances. But is there something sinister at play or is she simply being obsessive and self-centred? And will she be able to put her past behind her before she finds herself buried under it? 112pgs colour hardcover.

by Ho Che Anderson
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
A sprawling contemporary saga with a science-fiction edge, Godhead explores the collision course between science and religion when a corporation creates a device that can talk to God. Is this humanity’s salvation or the equivalent of a Doomsday machine? Godhead is Ho Che Anderson’s most conceptually and thematically ambitious graphic novel to date, his first in over ten years. 192pgs part-colour paperback.

Incognegro Renaissance #1 (of 5)
by Mat Johnson & Warren Pleece
Dark Horse Comics

The publisher says:
After a black writer is found dead at a scandalous interracial party in 1920s New York, Harlem’s cub reporter Zane Pinchback is the only one determined to solve the murder. Zane must go “incognegro” for the first time-using his light appearance to pass as a white man-to find the true killer, in this prequel miniseries to the critically acclaimed Vertigo graphic novel, now available in a special new 10th Anniversary Edition. With a cryptic manuscript as his only clue, and a mysterious and beautiful woman as the murder’s only witness, Zane finds himself on the hunt through the dark and dangerous streets of “roaring twenties” Harlem in search for justice.  A page-turning thriller of racial divide, Incognegro: Renaissance explores segregation, secrets and self-image as our race-bending protagonist penetrates a world where he feels stranger than ever before. 32pgs B&W comic book.

Is This Guy For Real?
by Box Brown
First Second

The publisher says:
Comedian and performer Andy Kaufman’s resume was impressive - a popular role on the beloved sitcom Taxi, a high-profile stand-up career, and a surprisingly successful stint in professional wrestling. Although he was by all accounts a sensitive and thoughtful person, he’s ironically best remembered for his various contemptible personas, which were so committed and so convincing that all but his closest family and friends were completely taken in. Why would someone so gentle-natured and sensitive build an entire career seeking the hatred of his audience? What drives a performer to solicit that reaction? Graphic novelist Box Brown takes on the complex and often hilarious life of Andy Kaufman. 272pgs B&W paperback.

Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy
by Tom Batik
Black Squirrel Books

The publisher says:
Tom Batiuk spent several years as a middle school art teacher before creating the comic strip Funky Winkerbean in 1972. In 1999, Lisa Moore, one of Funky’s friends and a main character, discovered she had breast cancer. Batiuk approached the topic with the idea that mixing humour with serious and real themes heightens the reader’s interest. The Lisa’s Legacy Trilogy collects three volumes - Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe, the collection of strips of Lisa’s battle with breast cancer, as well as Prelude, the collection of strips about Lisa’s courtship with Les, and The Last Leaf, which shows how Les and family cope with Lisa’s death and continue their lives. 862pgs in three part-colour hardcovers in slipcase.

Lone Sloane: Gail
by Philippe Druillet
Titan Comics / Statix Press

The publisher says:
Lone Sloane, the Ulysses of space, cosmic freebooter and rebel, endlessly struggles against dark gods, robotic entities and alien forces. Written and drawn by Philippe Druillet, known for his graphic adaption of Michael Moorcock’s Elric hit fantasy series Elric, The Return to Melnibone, and his work for Heavy Metal, such as City of Flowers. Third in the series, following The 6 Voyages of Lone Sloane and Lone Sloane: Delirius. 64pgs colour hardcover.

by James Kochalka
IDW / Top Shelf

The publisher says:
Two lovable dirtbag teens, tired of being bullied, build a robot battle suit to take revenge on their entire high school. But they never expected to become… kind of popular? Experience the thrill of keg parties, gym classes, bear attacks, first kisses, cafeteria trays, and car crashes… but with mechanical enhancement! It’s an action-packed dark-comedy teen-romance for the ages, from Eisner Award-winning cartoonist James Kochalka (American Elf, Superf*ckers). Kochalka’s first book for older readers in some time is like a love-child of Superbad, Carrie, Mean Girls and Transformers! Genuine high-school sweetness mixed in with robot action and insanity! 192pgs B&W paperback.

Neon Visions: The Comics of Howard Chaykin
by Brannon Costello
Louisiana State University Press

The publisher says:
In the 1980s, Howard Chaykin broke new ground in American comic books with a series of formally innovative, iconoclastic works that turned the traditional action-adventure tales of mainstream comics into a platform for personal expression, political engagement, and aesthetic experimentation. His original creations American Flagg!, Time² and the notorious Black Kiss, along with his reshaping of familiar titles like The Shadow and Blackhawk, generated acclaim and often controversy as they challenged expectations of the visual design and subject matter permissible in popular comics. Today, Chaykin remains a vital and prolific artist, but despite the original and influential nature of his work, he receives scant critical attention. In Neon Visions, Brannon Costello offers the first book-length critical evaluation of Chaykin’s work and confronts the blind spots in comics scholarship that consign this seminal artist to the margins. He argues that Chaykin’s contributions are often overlooked because his comics eschew any pretensions to serious literature. Instead, Chaykin’s work revels in the cliffhanger thrills of heroic-adventure genres and courts outrage with transgressive depictions of violence and sexuality. Examining Chaykin’s career from his early successes to compelling contemporary series such as City of Tomorrow, Dominic Fortune and the controversial Black Kiss 2, Costello explores how this inventive body of work, through its evolving treatment of the theme of authenticity, incisively investigates popular culture’s capacity to foster or constrain individual identity and political agency. Challenging prevailing assumptions about the types of comics deemed worthy of scholarly attention, Costello reveals that the work of an artist as distinctive as Howard Chaykin demands a nuanced reading―one that confronts his unique approach to the comics medium, his blending of autobiographical themes and genre trademarks, and his engagement with comic books as artefacts of consumer culture. 384pgs B&W paperback.

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide
by Zeke Peña
Getty Publications

The publisher says:
Graciela Iturbide was born in Mexico City in 1942, the oldest of 13 children. When tragedy struck Iturbide as a young mother, she turned to photography for solace and understanding. From then on Iturbide embarked on a photographic journey that has taken her throughout her native Mexico, from the Sonora Desert to Juchitán to Frida Kahlo’s bathroom, to the United States, India, and beyond. Photographic is a symbolic, poetic and deeply personal graphic biography of this iconic photographer. Iturbide’s journey will excite readers of all ages as well as budding photographers, who will be inspired by her resolve, talent and curiosity. 96pgs B&W hardcover.

Speak: The Graphic Novel
by Laurie Halse Anderson & Emily Carroll
Farrer, Straus & Giroux

The publisher says:
The critically acclaimed, award-winning, modern classic Speak is now a stunning graphic novel. “Speak up for yourself―we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless―an outcast―because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night: She was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. With powerful illustrations by Emily Carroll, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak: The Graphic Novel comes alive for new audiences and fans of the classic novel. 384pgs B&W hardcover.

The Beatles Story
by Angus P. Allan & Arthur Ranson
£12.99 / $17.99

The publisher says:
The original long-lost Beatles graphic novel. This was the very first graphic novel to chart the creation, evolution and break-up of the fab four, first published in 1981. The Beatles Story is an exceptionally drawn account of the band from one of the UK’s leading artists of his generation, Arthur Ranson (Batman, Judge Dredd, Button Man). Written by Angus Allan, it includes fascinating insights into Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s first encounter, their early gigs in Hamburg’s Kaiser Keller, through to the recording of the legendary Abbey Road album and the band’s break-up. First published in the pages of legendary UK youth magazine Look In, this beautifully illustrated account is a treat for both the devoted Beatles admirer and new fans alike. This new edition is published in the Treasury of British Comics line, a series devoted to restoring lost comics classics. 56pgs B&W hardcover.

The Beef #1 (of 5)
by Richard Starkings, Tyler Shainline & Shaky Kane
Image Comics

The publisher says:
The creator of Elephantmen and the creator of The A-Men join forces with Tyler Shainline (Liberty Justice) to bring you the story of Meat Men. Chuck is a mild-mannered meat factory worker who is a little in love with a strawberry picker named Mary Lynn. But everything changes when Mary Lynn falls victim to the Vodino Brothers…. 32pgs colour comic book.


The Highest House #1
by Mike Carey & Peter Gross

The publisher says:
The creators behind the Hugo Award-nominated The Unwritten, Mike Carey and Peter Gross, invite you into The Highest House, the story of a slave boy named Moth, who makes friends with a powerful entity called Obsidian that promises advancement and happiness. Clearly, Obsidian has a hidden agenda, but Moth has ambitions and plans of his own. Series covers by award-winning illustrator Yuko Shimizu. 32pgs colour comic book.


The King of Birds
by Alexander Utkin
Nobrow Press
£12.99 / $16.95

The publisher says:
‘Greetings, best beloved, my name is Gamayun. I am a magical human-faced bird from Slavic mythology. Today I will tell you an amazing tale: the King of Birds. This is the story of how a small golden apple started a great battle. It all began with a mouse and a sparrow, but soon all the animals and birds were waging a mighty war. After all, the King of Birds forgives no one… but what will happen when he finds himself at the mercy of a plucky merchant?’ When a merchant nurses the King of Birds back to health after he is injured in a great war, he is offered a great reward. Together they travel far across the land to the domains of the King’s three sisters to claim the merchant’s prize… but will they give up that which is most precious to them? Enter a world of magic and adventure in this stunningly illustrated comic based on traditional Russian folklore. Debut author Alexander Utkin retells the Slavic myths of his youth, illustrated in a bold new style. Utkin is an illustrator, comic artist, designer and musician from Russia. He studied at Moscow State University of Printing Arts, graduating in 2006 with a Master of Arts. 72pgs colour hardcover.

The Prince and The Dressmaker
by Jen Wang
First Second
$16.99 / $24.99

The publisher says:
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age. Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride - or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia, the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion. Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances, one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art and family. 268pgs colour paperback / hardcover.

Total Jazz
by Blutch
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
In this freewheeling collection of short stories and vignettes, the famed French cartoonist examines not only the music, but the nature of the jazz subculture. The grumpy festival goer, the curmudgeonly collector, and many other fan “types” are the targets of his unerring gimlet eye, drawn in a range of styles as improvisational as Coltrane and Mingus. 96pgs part-colour hardcover.

Why Art?
by Eleanor Davis
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
What is “Art”? Art can be self-indulgent, goofy, serious, altruistic, evil or expressive, or any number of other things. In Why Art?, acclaimed graphic novelist Eleanor Davis (How To Be Happy) unpacks some of these concepts in ways both critical and positive. A work of art unto itself, Davis leavens her exploration with a sense of humour and a thirst for challenging preconceptions of art worthy of Magritte. 200pgs part-colour paperback.

Your Black Friend and Other Strangers
by Ben Passmore
Silver Sprocket

The publisher says:
Passmore masterfully constructs comics about race, gentrification, the prison system, online dating, gross punks, bad street art, kung fu movie references, beating up God, and lots of other grown-up stuff with refreshing doses of humour and lived relatability, earning an Eisner nomination, an Ignatz Award for “Outstanding Comic,” and NPR praise. 64pgs colour hardcover.

Posted: December 5, 2017


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Comics Unmasked by Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning from The British Library

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

Comics Art by Paul Gravett from Tate Publishing