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Top 27 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga:

April 2018

Among my recommendations for your comics-reading this coming April, top of the list is The New World, a substantial compilation of Chris Reynolds’ endlessly fascinating Mauretania Comics, originally self-published in the British independent scene of the 1980s, and some of them featured in Escape Magazine. Beautifully edited and designed by Canadian cartoonist and Reynolds-admirer Seth for New York Review Comics, it makes an emphatic case for hailing this oeuvre as one of the modern masterpieces of the medium.

Also strong contenders are these two translations by European masters…

And again from Britain, the definitive collection of Charley’s War, scanned direct from the original artworks, in time for the centenary of the ‘end’ of the First World War – and a fresh, reflective fantasy by Julian Hanshaw, always an author to watch out for… 

I hope you find some special comics to enjoy from this month’s list of suggestions…

A Bunch Of Jews (And Other Stuff)
by Max B. Person, Trina Robbins & various artists
Renegade Arts Entertainment

First published as a book in Yiddish in 1938, A Bunch of Jews is a collection of stories by Max B. Perlson, focused on a small shtetl called Duboy in Belarus, and Brooklyn, New York, in the early 20th century. This adaptation is by the author’s daughter, Trina Robbins, and a collection of fine artists. Featuring stories of arrogant schoolteachers, boastful travellers, stingy merchants, adoring pets, and all the disasters and triumphs that can happen to families and tight-knit communities, this comic is a loving tribute to Jewish culture before the coming of the war that would change things forever. 82pgs B&W paperback.

A Quick & Easy Guide To They / Them Pronouns
by Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson
Oni Press

Archie, a snarky genderqueer artist, is tired of people not understanding gender neutral pronouns. Tristan, a cisgender dude, is looking for an easy way to introduce gender neutral pronouns to his increasingly diverse workplace. The longtime best friends team up in this short and fun comic guide that explains what pronouns are, why they matter, and how to use them. They also include what to do if you make a mistake, and some tips-and-tricks for those who identify outside of the binary to keep themselves safe in this binary-centric world. A quick and easy resource for people who use they/them pronouns, and people who want to learn more. 64pgs B&W softcover.

About Betty’s Boob
by Véro Cabot & Julie Rochereau
Boom! Studios

An inspiring and surprisingly comedic tale of loss and acceptance told largely through silent sequential narrative, About Bettyfs Boob is a seminal work from master storytellers Véro Cazot and Julie Rocheleau. Betty lost her left breast, her job and her guy. She does not know it yet, but this is the best day of her life. 192pgs colour hardcover.





Algeria Is Beautiful Like America
by Olivia Burton & Mahi Grand
Lion Forge

Olivia had always heard stories about Algeria from her maternal grandmother, who had emigrated to France after the Algerian War of Independence. Years after her grandmother’s death, Olivia decides to travel to Algeria and experience the country for herself; she arrives alone, with only a single phone number in her pocket of an Algerian, Djaffar, who will act as her guide. Olivia’s quest to understand her origins will bring her to face questions about heritage, history, shame, friendship, nostalgia and memory. A combination travelogue and memoir exploring the rich heritage and tumultuous modern history of Algeria and its connections to Europe and colonialism. An appealing story about a strong, modern woman and her desire to understand her family’s origins, set within the urgent politics of the Middle East and the West. 176pgs colour hardcover.

by Matt Fitch, Chris Baker & Mike Collins
$24.99 / £15.99

In 1969, humankind set foot on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins carried the fire for all the world. Backed by the brightest minds in engineering and science, the three boarded a rocket and flew through the void, just to know that we could. In Apollo, Matt Fitch, Chris Baker, and Mike Collins unpack the urban legends, the gossip and the speculation to reveal a remarkable true story about life, death, dreams and the reality of humanity’s greatest exploratory achievement. 176pgs colour hardcover.

Bear’s Tooth Volume 1: Max
by Yann & Alain Henriet

Silesia, 1930. Three children play with toy airplanes. Three friends - Max the Polish Jew, Werner and Hanna the Germans. All dream of becoming pilots, but they won’t all have the same opportunities, and the world is heading down a dark road. 1944. Max is now an ace in the US Navy, while Hanna is one of Germany’s top test pilots. Will anything remain of their old friendship, as the sides they each chose are locked in a struggle to the death? 56pgs colour paperback.


Blackbird Days
by Manuele Fior, translated by Jamie Richards
Fantagraphics Books

With the release of his Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel 5,000 KM Per Second in 2016 and this year’s equally acclaimed The Interview, Italian cartoonist Manuele Fior has established himself as one of the unequivocally great graphic novelists working today. Blackbird Days further underscores Fior’s virtuosic talents with this diverse collection of ten short stories created over the past decade for various anthologies and international magazines. The title story, “Blackbird Days” — set in the same world as The Interview — tells the story of an engineer, anxious about being caught for a crime, who is asked to inspect something unusual at a marble quarry. Blackbird Days also showcases Fior’s passion for architecture and international settings: stories are about a recently relocated father who loses his young son in Berlin’s Tempelhof Park (“Help!”); a maligned teacher who abandons her students on a class trip to Paris (“Class Trip”); a young woman writing about her first impressions of Oslo (“Postcard from Oslo,” a story which directly relates to 5,000 KM Per Second); a couple tries to enjoy a vacation in Southern Italy after receiving bad news (“Postcard from Salento”); a man suffering violently in France during WWI (“The Story of Gabriel C.”); the painter Arnold Böcklin visiting the baths on Ischia before painting his famous masterpiece, “The Island of Death” (“The Painter”); and, an immigrant grandmother’s tale of how she escaped war in Indochina. Blackbird Days is rounded out with an autobiographical snapshot of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Fior’s current home of Paris, and a final divertissement in which two giant robots battle it out in metropolitan Paris. 88pgs colour hardcover.

Carnet de Voyage
by Craig Thompson
Drawn & Quarterly

Carnet de Voyage is a gorgeous sketchbook diary of Craig’s travels across Europe and Morocco, as he finds intellectual and spiritual stimulation amidst the day-to-day work of being an author-promoting Blankets and researching Habibi. From wandering around Paris and Barcelona between events, to navigating markets in Fez and fleeing tourist traps in Marrakesh, we see glimpses of each place, rendered in Thompson’s exquisite ink line. as he finds intellectual and spiritual stimulation amidst the day-to-day work of being an author. 256pgs B&W hardcover.

Charley’s War: The Definitive Collection Vol. 1: Boy Soldier
by Pat Mills & Joe Colquhoun

Join 16 year-old Charley Bourne as he eagerly signs up to fight on the Western front in 1916. The idealistic working class boy experiences the perilous arena of trench warfare, where every waking moment is a bitter fight for survival. As visceral, thrilling and compelling as on its debut, this intensely dramatic war story is the finest the comic book medium has ever produced. Written with acute political and historical insight by British comics legend Pat Mills, it is illustrated throughout with the breathtaking artwork of Joe Colquhoun. This first volume of Charley’s War includes Charley’s harrowing participation in one of the bloodiest encounters in human history, the Battle of the Somme. 320pgs B&W hardcover.

Cloud Hotel
by Julian Hanshaw
Top Shelf Productions / IDW

Remco knows he is special. He was chosen. God took a shine to him, after a bright light in a clear northern sky brought Remco to the incredible Cloud Hotel, a wondrous place that he never wants to leave. But Remco has outstayed his welcome… and it’s time to check out. LA Times Book Prize finalist Julian Hanshaw (Tim Ginger) returns with another feast of visual imagination and emotional intensity that will haunt readers’ dreams long after the book is closed. 160pgs colour paperback.


Coin-Op Comics
by Peter Hoey & Maria Hoey
Top Shelf Productions / IDW

This first-ever collection by the award-winning team of siblings Peter and Maria Hoey encompasses the very best of their inventive and mysterious comics. The compilation ranges from the Hoeys’ early comics in Blab! Magazine to their groundbreaking newest series, Coin-Op. All in all, it’s more than twenty short stories and vignettes-about music and film, the comic and the absurd, the past and the future-all sparkling with innovative storytelling and design. 196pgs colour hardcover.

Dave McKean: Short Films
by Dave McKean
Dark Horse Comics

Best known for his work with Neil Gaiman and his Harvey Award-winning graphic novel Cages, comes this Blu-ray collection of Dave McKean’s surreal short films collected in a behind the scenes hardcover book. Dark Horse proudly presents Dave McKean’s short cinema on Blu-Ray included in a 9 1/2” x 11” hardcover book featuring photos, posters, stills, drawings, and more. A must-have for McKean fans. Foreword by Michael Sheen. 80pgs colour hardcover with Blu-Ray.

Dead Dead Demon’s DeDeDeDe Destruction
by Inio Asano
Viz Media

The Japanese Self Defense Forces are still looking for a way to combat the looming alien threat three years after the invasion, but so far conventional weapons have no effect on the mothership. Maybe it’s time to try something unconventional. Meanwhile, Kadode Koyama is in high school. She and her best friend avidly track the aliens’ movements on social media and less enthusiastically study for college entrance exams. When the end of the world is overhead, you learn to take it one step at a time. For mature audiences. 196pgs B&W paperback.

Die Laughing
by André Franquin
Fantagraphics Books

What do you do when you find yourself gazing into the abyss of modern life? Laugh, says André Franquin, the master Belgian cartoonist. A collection of stand-alone comic strips, Die Laughing highlights the psychological torments of human existence, from the daily futility of the rat race to the global horrors of nuclear annihilation. Executed in stark black and white, Franquin’s loose-but-meticulous linework features expressionistic shadows and silhouettes that infuse his depressed, repressed, and oppressed characters with a disturbing manic energy. Die Laughing takes aim at everyone and everything in this scathing critique of modern life, but is particularly ruthless toward animal abusers, the military industrial complex, and death penalty enthusiasts. Prepare yourself to be exquisitely uncomfortable. Businessmen skipping merrily across the bodies of workers to get ahead, racehorses murdering their jockeys, fighter jets turning into excrement mid-air, cannibals in love: Die Laughing is filled with visual gags and gag-inducing visuals that will haunt you. 72pgs B&W hardcover.

by Lisa Maas
Arsenal Pulp Press

Forward is a life-affirming LGBTQ graphic novel about two women, both of whom are unable to move “forward” and put the pieces of their lives back together. Still in pain years after a horrible breakup, Rayanne diligently buries herself in her work. Aside from work, she has her cat. And other than her cat, she has her crushes: crushes that she prides herself on being able to resist. Ali is still feeling lost and numb almost a year after the death of her wife. Then one ordinary day something extraordinary happens: she is ambushed by her attraction to another woman that is both invigorating and fantastically inappropriate. Funny, moving and full of heart, Forward is a novel that explores the parameters of second chances and the tricky emotions of grief, fear, vulnerability and desire. 198pgs part-colour paperback.

Imagine Wanting Only This
by Kristen Radtke
Jonathan Cape

Imagine Wanting Only This is a haunting graphic memoir about leaving, and those left behind. After the sudden death of a beloved uncle, Kristen becomes obsessed with abandoned places – derelict Midwestern mining towns, an Icelandic village preserved in volcanic ash, Cambodian temples reclaimed by jungle. At the same time, she examines what it means to be an artist, to be hungry for the next experience, to be always in transit. Beautifully illustrated in black and white, Imagine Wanting Only This confirms Kristen Radtke as an important new voice in the comics world. Originally published in April 2017 by Pantheon Books in the USA. 288pgs B&W hardcover.

by B. Mure
Avery Hill Publishing

In the city of Ismyre, Ed the sculptor works as his widower neighbour sings strange melodies late into the night. He places the finished figurine and notices there is an empty space on the shelf where another one should be. Perplexed, he sleeps, whilst his neighbour continues to croon. Meanwhile, across the city, a government building explodes into a mess of plants and flowers… Exploring themes of loneliness in cities, ecology, craftsmanship and the self doubt that goes with making things, Ismyre is a quiet and fantastical mystery tale, set in an old world of ordinary magic. B. Mure is a comic artist and illustrator from Nottinghamshire, with a love of drawing animal people, fantasy worlds and exploring the human condition. 72pgs colour paperback.

Kabul Disco Vol. 1 (of 2): How I Managed Not To Be Abducted In Afghanistan
by Nicholas Wild

A satirical autobiography about a young Frenchman and his hilarious, yet poignant, adventures in the heart of the Middle East. It’s 2005. Nicolas Wild is a French cartoonist. He’s broke and about to be homeless. He’s a man without a plan. That is until destiny shows up in his inbox: a paid job… In Afghanistan.u In his graphic Travelogue series, Nicolas Wild brilliantly explores the differences between the Afghan cultures around him and his own, as he and his fellow expat friends crash Asura celebrations, avoid the afterlife and muse on the differences between Christian Easter egg hunts and Islamic penance.160pgs B&W paperback.

Out In The Open
by Jesús Carrasco & Javi Rey
$24.99 / £14.99

After suffering violence and betrayal at home, a young boy flees into an uncompromising landscape ravaged by drought. Without food or water, exposed to the heat of the sun and the violence of his pursuers, the boy sets out across the Spanish plains. An encounter with an elderly goatherd offers hope of survival. The old man can help him stay ahead of the dangers that lie outside - but he can’t fix the internal drama that plays out in the boy’s mind. Based on the award-winning novel by Jesús Carrasco, Out in the Open is about escaping abuse and finding humanity in a world torn apart by the violence of men. 168pgs colour hardcover.

Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy Vol. 1
by Stephen McCranie
Dark Horse

Amy lives on a mining colony out in deep space, but when her dad loses his job the entire family is forced to move back to Earth. Amy says goodbye to her best friend Jemmah and climbs into a cryotube where she will spend the next 30 years frozen in a state of suspended animation, hurtling in a rocket toward her new home. Her life will never be the same, but all she can think about is how when she gets to Earth, Jemmah will have grown up without her. Currently serialized on with over 50,000 unique readers (19,000 from the US alone). 248pgs colour paperback.

Super Dimensional Love Gun
by Shintaro Kago
Fakku Books

Be warned, this book is not for the faint of heart. Collecting fifteen different short stories from his almost thirty year career, Super-Dimensional Love Gun features stories of neurotic dark humour and unease. Konno just recently started dating a classmate, but his greatest sexual desire maybe something that could be too much for her to stomach. Miss Toomezuka has a hobby that would make others skin crawl, but when a student introduces her to a club of like-minded individuals, she has an itch to try more. Known around the world for his “fashionable paranoia” style, Kago stories involve satirical situations along with grotesque subject matters and sexual body modification. His art has been featured in numerous collections, including Fakku’s own Metempsychosis and BookLoud’s ComicLoud Magazine. Love Gun will be Kago’s second English language release, behind the UK’s UDWFG printing of Industrial Revolution and World War (2016). Legendary Seattle based indie comics publisher Fantagraphics will be releasing a collection of Kago art in the summer of 2018. 214pgs B&W paperback.

The Bridge: How The Roeblings Connected Brooklyn To New York
by Peter J. Tomasi & Sara Duvall
Abrams ComicArts

More than 130 years after its completion, the Brooklyn Bridge remains one of the most extraordinary landmarks and symbols of Brooklyn and New York City, and the story behind this architectural marvel is just as extraordinary. In this inspiring graphic novel from Peter J. Tomasi (Superman) and Sara Duvall you’ll see the building of the Brooklyn Bridge as it has never been seen before, and the marriage of the Roeblings, one based on intellectual equality and mutual support, that made the construction of this iconic structure possible. 208pgs colour hardback.

The Complete The Killer
by Matz & Luc Jacobin
Boom! Studios

Artist Luc Jacamon and writer Matz (The Black Dahlia) deliver the definitive collection of the Eisner Award-nominated crime saga, The Killer, a hardboiled noir series following a hitman lost in a world without a moral compass. Get inside the mind of a professional assassin, a man of few scruples, nerves of steel and a steady trigger finger. A man whose crimes might be catching up with him. A man on the verge of cracking. After misadventures in Central and South America and having earned enough money to retire comfortably, the Killer retires to Mexico, but his colleagues are still in need of his irreplaceable skills and before long he’s drawn back into the great geopolitical game between Cuba, Venezuela and the United States. 768pgs colour paperback.

The New World:
Comics From Mauretania

by Chris Reynolds
New York Review Comics

Since the mid-1980s, the British cartoonist Chris Reynolds has been assembling a world all his own. On the surface, it seems much like ours. But the closer you look, the weirder it gets. After losing a mysterious intergalactic war, Earth is no longer in humanity’s control. Blandly friendly aliens lurk on the margins and seem especially interested in the mining industry. Mysterious figures suddenly appear in childhood photos, family members disappear forever without warning, power outages abound, and certain people gain the power of flight. A helmeted man named Jimmy is somehow causing local businesses to shutter and is being closely watched by the “trendy new police force,” Rational Control. The world is being remade, but in what image? 276pgs B&W hardcover.

The Pervert
by Michelle Perez & Remy Boydell

A surprisingly honest and touching account of a trans girl surviving through sex work in Seattle. With excerpts published in the Eisner-nominated anthology Island, the full-colour volume, drawn and painted by Remy Boydell, is an unflinching debut graphic novel, written by Michelle Perez. 160pgs colour paperback.





The Prisoner: Original Art Edition
by Jack Kirby, Steve Engelhard & Gil Kane
Titan Comics

Drawn by two of the greatest comic book legends, Jack Kirby and Gil Kane, this is an art-sized, hardcover collection of the ‘long lost’, previously unpublished comic books based on the cult classic 1967 British TV show, The Prisoner. The first six pages of the Jack Kirby strip were inked and lettered by Mike Royer. The Gil Kane pages are pencils only. This collection includes facsimiles of the original script written by Steve Englehart and includes bonus features written by Englehart and Bob Wayne. 64pgs B&W hardcover.

What To Do When I’m Gone:
A Mother’s Wisdom to Her Daughter

by Suzy Hopkins & Hallie Bateman

One sleepless night while she was in her early twenties, Hallie Bateman had a painful realisation: someday, her mother would be gone. The prospect was devastating, and also scary - how would she navigate the world without the person who gave her life? She thought about all the motherly advice she would miss, advice that could help her through the challenges to come, including the ordeal of losing a parent. The next day, Hallie asked her mother, writer Suzy Hopkins, to record step-by-step instructions for her to follow in the event of her mom’s death. The project became a way for mother and daughter to discuss everyday realities with humour, openness and gratitude. Combining Suzy’s witty and heartfelt advice with Hallie’s quirky and colourful style, What to Do When I’m Gone is the illustrated instruction manual for getting through life without one’s mom. 144pgs part-colour hardcover.

Posted: February 16, 2018


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