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Top 35 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga:

May 2017

In all these monthly Previews I’ve compiled over the years, I honestly cannot recall one month offering so many varied and thrilling new comics, graphic novels and manga as this month, May 2017. The line-up of countries says a lot: the UK, US, France, Japan, of course, but also Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, South Korea and Spain. And such a smorgasbord of subject-matter, across the spectrum between factual and fantastical. To quote the title of Jillian Tamaki’s new gatherum from Drawn & Quarterly, the medium of comics is truly proving itself to be “Boundless”...


A Castle in England
by Jamie Rhodes, Isaac Lenkiewicz, Briony May Smith, William Exley, Becky Palmer & Isabel Greenberg
Nobrow Press
£14.99

The publisher says:
A collaboration between writer Jamie Rhodes and the National Trust, A Castle in England is a unique and fascinating graphic fiction project inspired by Scotney Castle in Kent. Using the rich history of this fourteenth-century castle as a starting point, Rhodes has created five short stories that take place over different eras in the castle’s past: The Labourer (Medieval), The Priest (Elizabethan), The Smuggler (Georgian), The Widow (Victorian), and The Hunter (Edwardian). Each of these stories has been illustrated by experienced comic and graphic novel artists Isaac Lenkiewicz, Briony May Smith, William Exley, Becky Palmer, and Isabel Greenberg, creating a visually striking graphic collection that is steeped in historical context. 144pgs colour hardcover.


Billy Holiday
by Carlos Sampayo & José Muñoz
NBM
$19.99

The publisher says:
Born in Baltimore in 1915, and dead too early in New York in 1959, Billie Holiday became a legendary jazz singer, even mythical. With her voice even now managing to touch so many people, we follow a reporter on the trail of the artist on behalf of a New York daily. Beyond the public scandals that marred the life of the star (alcohol, drugs, violence…), he seeks to restore the truth, revisiting the memory of Billie. Through this investigation, Muñoz and Sampayo trace, through the undertones of racism, and in the wake of the blues, the slow drift of a singer who expressed the deepest emotions in jazz. By internationally renowned Argentine artists, featuring Muñoz’ strikingly raw heavy blacks, this is not just a biography but a spell-binding art book tribute. 80pgs B&W hardcover.



Boundless
by Jillian Tamaki
Drawn & Quarterly
$24.95

The publisher says:
The cartoonist of This One Summer and SuperMutant Magic Academy explores the virtual and IRL world of contemporary women via a lens both surreal and wry. Jenny becomes obsessed with a strange “mirror Facebook,” which presents an alternate, possibly better, version of herself. Helen finds her clothes growing baggy, her shoes looser, and as she shrinks away to nothingness, the world around her recedes as well. The animals of the city briefly open their minds to us, and we see the world as they do. A mysterious music file surfaces on the internet and forms the basis of a utopian society–or is it a cult? Boundless is at once fantastical and realist, playfully hinting at possible transcendence: from one’s culture, one’s relationship, oneself. This collection of short stories is a showcase for the masterful blend of emotion and humour of award-winning cartoonist Jillian Tamaki. 248pgs colour paperback.


Descending Stories:
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Vol. 1

by Haruko Kumata
Kodansha Comics
$12.99

The publisher says:
The stage is set. A hapless young man is released from prison with nothing to his name, but he knows exactly what he wants: to train in the art of rakugo comedic storytelling. After seeing an unforgettable performance from one of Japan’s greatest masters, Yakumo Yurakutei VIII, during his time in jail, he will settle for nothing less than to become apprentice to the best. Yakumo, notorious for taking no students, is persuaded to take him on, and nicknames him Yotaro—the fool. Yotaro has no formal training or elegance, but something about his charisma reminds Yakumo of someone from his past. The saga of a generation of love, art, and storytelling begins here. 200pgs B&W paperback.



Do It
by Riana Moller
One Peace Books
$18.95

The publisher says:
“Do it,” is what Riana Moller told herself as she fantasised and planned about the day she would kill her classmates to free herself from their bullying. She wrote a manifesto. She drew maps of the school. But before she ever acted on her violent ambitions, she found an exit from the cycle of pain and delusion that had consumed her. Do It, her debut graphic novel, chronicles her journey from grief and fear to freedom in hopes that other suffering young people will find the peace that she did. 100pgs colour paperback.



Drawing and Life Lessons from Master Cartoonists
curated by Craig Yoe
IDW / Yoe Books
$49.99

The publisher says:
An unparalleled book, the very first of its kind. Taken from uber-rare, never-before reprinted cartooning courses with expert teachings from cartooning’s rock stars: Peanut’s Charles Schulz, Little Nemo’s Winsor McCay, Superman’s Joe Shuster, Flash Gordon’s Alex Raymond, Terry and the Pirates’ Milton Caniff, The New Yorker’s Whitney Darrow, Jr., Betty and Veronica’s Dan DeCarlo, Prince Valiant’s Hal Foster, Barney Google’ Billy Debeck, Plastic Man’s Jack Cole, Gasoline Alley’s Frank King, Popeye’s E.C. Segar, and many more icons of comic art. These Who’s Who’s of Cartooning’s greats teach you in page after page of eye-opening beginning and advanced lessons how to draw and write comics. And these esteemed geniuses act as life coaches with inspiring stories of how they succeeded and give you stirring and wise encouragement to propel you to your own success. For beginners, seasoned professionals, teachers, students in school classes hungry to learn, and even those that are passionate about comics history, this will be an invaluable classic in the field. Edited by Eisner-winner Craig Yoe. 288pgs colour hardcover.


Father and Son
by E.O. Plauen
New York Review Books
$18.95

The publisher says:
Father and Son is one of the most beloved comic strips ever drawn—an uproarious, timeless ode to the pleasures, pitfalls, and endless absurdity of family life. Created in Germany in 1934 by the political cartoonist Erich Ohser (using the pseudonym E.O. Plauen after being persecuted for his opposition to the Nazi regime), the gruff, loving, mustachioed father and his sweet but troublemaking son embark on adventures both everyday and extraordinary: family photo shoots and summer vacations, shipwrecks and battles with gangsters, a Christmas feast with forest animals, and a trip to the zoo. Drawn almost entirely without dialogue, the Father and Son strips overflow with slapstick, fantasy, and anarchic visual puns. Like Calvin and Hobbes or The Simpsons, it is a slyly heartwarming, dizzyingly inventive classic. 312pgs B&W hardcover.


Forgiveness is Really Strange
by Marina Cantacuzino, Masi Noor & Sophie Standing
Singing Dragon
£7.99 / $14.95

The publisher says:
What is forgiveness? What enables people to forgive? Why do we even choose to forgive those who have harmed us? What can the latest psychological research tell us about the nature of forgiveness, its benefits and risks? This imaginative comic explores the key aspects of forgiveness, asking what it means to forgive and to be forgiven. Witty and intelligent, it answers questions about the health benefits and restorative potential of forgiveness and explains, in easy-to-understand terms, what happens in our brains, bodies and communities when we choose to forgive. 64pgs colour hardcover.


Furari
by Jiro Taniguchi
Fanfare / Ponent Mon
$25.00

The publisher says:
Go with the flow. Slowly but surely he takes a promenade through Edo. Furari could be loosely translated as ‘aimlessly’, ‘at random’, ‘bend in the wind’ or ‘go with the flow’. But our stroller this time leaves nothing to chance. Jiro Taniguchi returns with this delightful and insightful tale of life in a Japan long forgotten. Inspired by an historical figure, Tadataka Ino (1745 - 1818), Taniguchi invites us to join this unnamed but appealing and picturesque figure as he strolls through the various districts of Edo, the ancient Tokyo, with its thousand little pleasures. Now retired from business he surveys, measures, draws and takes notes whilst giving free reign to his taste for simple poetry and his inexhaustible capacity for wonder. As he did with the lead character in The Times of Botchan, the writer Soseki, Taniguchi slips easily into the heart and mind of this early cartographer and reveals his world to us in full graphic detail so we may fully perceive and understand. 208pgs B&W hardcover.



Glister
by Andi Watson
Dark Horse Comics
$14.99

The publisher says:
Strange things happen around Glister Butterworth. A young girl living on her family’s English estate, Glister has unusual adventures every day, from the arrival of a teapot haunted by a demanding ghost, a crop of new relatives blooming on the family tree, a stubborn house that walks off its land in a huff, and a trip to Faerieland to find her missing mother. Perfect for ages 8 and up. All four Glister stories collected into one new edition! (Glister: The Haunted Teapot, Glister: The Family Tree, Glister: The House Hunt and Glister: The Faerie Host). 304pgs colour paperback.



Hard Core Logo: Portrait of a Thousand Punks
by Nick Craine
House of Anansi Press
$16.95

The publisher says:
Joe Dick, Billy Tallent, John Oxenburger, and Pipefitter are Hard Core Logo — Vancouver’s legendary but now defunct punk band. Joe Dick coaxes his former bandmates to overcome personal differences and reunite for a benefit concert for their ageing punk mentor, Bucky Haight, who has been shot. But the concert’s not enough for Joe; he wants the band to hit the road again. For the Hard Cores this means the beginning of the end, and they come to realise that they can neither relive nor alter the past. From the pen of the hugely talented Canadian comic artist and illustrator Nick Craine comes a searing rendition of those Hard Core days and nights. In this graphic take on the story originally conceived by Michael Turner and made into a critically acclaimed film by Bruce McDonald, Craine pits the legendary Hard Cores against a collage-like backdrop of bars, hotel rooms, the road, and the Canadian Prairies. Featuring a new introduction by Lynn Crosbie and a tear-out guitar chord book, Hard Core Logo: Portrait of a Thousand Punks weaves together a patchwork narrative of found art, dialogue, songs, and incidental bystanders. Craine skilfully renders his own unique cover-version of this cult film classic in the graphic novel form. 152pgs colour paperback.


Herman By Trade
by Chris W. Kim
SelfMadeHero
$22.95

The publisher says:
Herman is a reclusive, straight-laced street cleaner—or so it seems to those he works with on the city’s waterfront. But he has an extraordinary hidden talent: the ability to transform his appearance at will. When the unsmiling cinematic genius MIO calls an open audition for her new movie, a queue forms along the waterfront, snaking past the industrial park, the beach, the shipyard, and beyond. On the fourth day, Herman joins it. As he waits, swept up in the frenzy of creative ambition that has overcome the city, his past life becomes increasingly remote. By the time he enters the audition room, he might have lost his job, but his talent remains. Dazzled by Herman’s ability to adapt to any role, MIO deems the rest of the cast redundant, sparking a furious outcry. When the cult director’s new film premieres, with Herman performing every role, it doesn’t get the reaction she expects. Spectacularly drawn, Herman by Trade is a captivating graphic novel about art, identity and making space for self-expression. 120pgs B&W hardcover.


Hostage
by Guy Delisle
Drawn & Quarterly / Jonathan Cape
$29.95 / £16.99

The publisher says:
How does one survive when all hope is lost? In the middle of the night in 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André was kidnapped by armed men and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus region. For three months, André was kept handcuffed in solitary confinement, with little to survive on and almost no contact with the outside world. Close to twenty years later, award-winning cartoonist Guy Delisle (Pyongyang, Jerusalem, Shenzhen, Burma Chronicles) recounts André’s harrowing experience in Hostage, a book that attests to the power of one man’s determination in the face of a hopeless situation. Marking a departure from the author’s celebrated first-person travelogues, Delisle tells the story through the perspective of the titular captive, who strives to keep his mind alert as desperation starts to set in. Working in a pared down style with muted colour washes, Delisle conveys the psychological effects of solitary confinement, compelling us to ask ourselves some difficult questions regarding the repercussions of negotiating with kidnappers and what it really means to be free. Thoughtful, intense, and moving, Hostage takes a profound look at what drives our will to survive in the darkest of moments. 426pgs B&W paperback.


H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories
by Gou Tanabe
Dark Horse Comics
$12.99

The publisher says:
A pair of decadent young men pursue the abhorrent thrill of grave robbing…a German submarine’s crew is driven mad by the call of an underwater temple…an explorer in the Arabian desert discovers a hideous city older than mankind. This moody and evocative manga gets back to the dark foundations of the Cthulhu Mythos, adapting three of H.P. Lovecraft’s original stories that first shaped the outlines of cosmic horror. 184pgs B&W paperback.


Instrumental
by Dave Chisholm
Z2 Comics
$24.99

The publisher says:
In the small hours of the morning, on a headlong collision into history, ambition, and magic, a trumpeter wails in the apocalypse: “You are making it happen. All the deaths. All the destruction.” Tom is a solid, but not great, musician. While his bandmates are happy to play gigs for themselves at their own clubs, drinking free beer and shooting the breeze, Tom aches for the next level, whatever that is. And as musicians are wont to do in magical fables, he meets a mysterious stranger with a seemingly simple offer: take a battered old trumpet for free, and just enjoy it, no exchanges and no strings. Whenever Tom plays it, the extraordinary music blows away his growing throngs of fans, and deadly mishaps start to follow. Tom may not have sold his soul for the music of the heavens, but he seems to have bargained away something much more serious. From the critically acclaimed jazz musician Dave Chisholm, Instrumental is a high-spirited, suspenseful, formally inventive, visually musical graphic novel, an epic yet intimate riff on our longing search for what’s next. 224pgs B&W paperback.


In The Pines: 5 Murder Ballads
by Eric Kriek
Fantagraphics Books
$24.99

The publisher says:
A Dutch cartoonist adapts five murder ballads ― some of which have been covered by modern masters like Nick Cave, Steve Earle, and Gillian Welch ― into ruthless graphic narratives. 136pgs colour hardcover.

 



Japanese Notebooks:
A Journey To The Empire Of Signs

by Igor
Chronicle Books
$29.95

The publisher says:
Japan is a place of special fascination for the acclaimed international comics creator Igort, who has visited and lived there more than 20 times, and worked in the country’s manga industry for more than a decade. In this masterful new book—part graphic memoir, part cultural meditation—Igort vividly recounts his personal experiences in Japan, creating comics amid the activities of everyday life, and finding inspiration everywhere: in nature, history, custom, art, and encounters with creators including animation visionary Hayao Miyazaki. With beautifully illustrated reflections on subjects from printmaking to Zen Buddhism, imperial history to the samurai code, Japanese film, literature, and manga, this is a richly rewarding book for anyone interested in Japan or comic arts practiced at the highest level. 184pgs colour hardcover.

Chris Ware says:
As a graphic novelist, I obviously can’t get enough of books about what it feels like to be a cartoonist, and this is a high point in that pantheon; Igort’s memoir is a rich, complicated meditation on art, cultural infatuation and the seen versus the remembered, all told in a collage of words, images, diagrams, photographs, history, ideas, feelings-and most surprisingly-of conflict.

David Mazzucchelli says:
“With evident enthusiasm, Japanese Notebooks describes an artist’s journey to Japan, from Igort’s arrival in 1991 with the preconceptions of an outsider to his discoveries both artistic and personal over many return encounters.


Livestock
by Hannah Berry
Jonathan Cape
£16.99

The publisher says:
Excitement is building for this year’s Twammies and Clementine Darling is hotly tipped to win Best Female Singer and Political Spokesperson. The government is embarrassed about the leak of a confidential email exchange, but have you heard about Clementine’s new beau Devon Ayre? Yes, human cloning appears to have been legalised, but wasn’t Devon once together with Clementine’s arch rival Coral Jerome? And does it really matter what dubious corporate connections helped get this bill into place while Clementine and Coral are locking horns in a violent feud? Livestock is a razor-sharp satire on our relationship with the media from critically acclaimed graphic novelist Hannah Berry. In the fight for the public’s attention, why let public interest get in the way? 96pgs colour paperback.


Mister Morgen
by Igor Hofbauer
Conundrum Press
£21.99

The publisher says:
Legendary Croatian poster artist Igor Hofbauer launches his debut book of dark and visionary graphic stories, based on a combination of classic American underground comics and film noir, pop art, German Expressionism, and Russian Constructivism. Hofbauer’s comics are often surreal and nightmarish stories in strange cityscapes that will be recognised by anyone who has spent time in the concrete housing and brutish planned neighbourhoods of the former Eastern Bloc. 224pgs colour paperback.

Nina Bunjevac says:
Igor Hofbauer is the Charles Burns of the Balkans.


My Brother’s Husband Vol. 1
by Gengoroh Tagame
Pantheon Books
$24.95

The publisher says:
Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it. 352pgs B7W hardcover.


My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness
by Kabi Nagata
Seven Seas Entertainment
$13.99

The publisher says:
The heart-rending autobiographical manga that’s taken the internet by storm.
My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness is an honest and heartfelt look at one young woman’s exploration of her sexuality, mental well-being, and growing up in our modern age. Told using expressive artwork that invokes both laughter and tears, this moving and highly entertaining single volume depicts not only the artist’s burgeoning sexuality, but many other personal aspects of her life that will resonate with readers. 152pgs B&W paperback.



Nothing Lasts Forever
by Sina Grace
Image Comics
$14.99

The publisher says:
Cartoonist Sina Grace returns with another chapter in his growing library of reflective memoir, producing his most compelling and strongest tale to date. Chronicling a year of heartbreaks, writer’s block, career highs, emotional lows, and the emergence of a mystery illness, Nothing Lasts Forever is Grace’s unflinching exploration of how to pick up the pieces and find hope when absolutely everything falls apart. If life’s a show, Grace makes certain that it’s worth every pay-per-view. 176pg colour paperback.


Outburst
by Pieter Coudyzer
SelfMadeHero
£14.99 / $24.95

The publisher says:
Tom is the bespectacled class nerd: clumsy, introverted, and relentlessly bullied. When he leaves his lunchbox unguarded, Tom returns to find it inhabited by ants. When he gazes at the cute girl in class, she responds by sticking out her tongue. And when it is time to partner up on a canoeing trip, he is left to paddle on the river alone…At home, Tom finds solace in recordings of nature and the wild spaces of his imagination. But when he falls prey to a particularly cruel trick, this imaginative wilderness becomes rampant. It wants out. A moment of crisis marks the beginning of a gradual and disturbing metamorphosis. As his limbs turn slowly into branches, Tom is forced to confront adult life as a man transformed. Outburst is a compelling modern fairy tale and a masterpiece of magical realism - dark, imaginative and beautifully drawn. 120pgs colour hardcover.


Pantheon
by Hamish Steele
Nobrow Press
£12.99

The publisher says:
The most important myth in Ancient Egypt is faithfully retold in glorious colour. Horus, son of Isis, vows bloody revenge on his Uncle Set for the murder and usurpation of his Pharaoh father. Based on elements from various versions of the famous Osiris myth, Hamish Steele has resurrected this fantastic story in all its symbolic and humorous glory. Pantheon contains: incest, decapitation, suspicious salad, fighting hippos, flying cows, a boat race, resurrections, lots of scorpions and a golden willy. Hamish Steele is a freelance animation director and illustrator from London. He graduated from Kingston University with First Class Honors in 2013 and since then has worked for the BBC, Frederator Studios, Blink!Ink, BOOM! Studios, Random House and Nickelodeon and Big Finish. Pantheon is his first graphic novel. 216pgs colour hardcover.


Real Friends
by Shannon Hale & LeUyen Pham
First Second
$21.99 / $12.99

The publisher says:
When best friends are not forever… Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends―and why it’s worth the journey.  Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.
Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group―or out? 224pgs colour hardcover / paperback.


Rise of The Dungeon Master:
Gary Gygax and The Creation of D&D

by David Kushner & Koren Shadmi
Nation Books
$16.99

The publisher says:
Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story. Gygax was the son of immigrants who grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, in the 1950s. An imaginative misfit, he escaped into a virtual world based on science fiction novels, military history and strategic games like chess. In the mid-1970s, he co-created the wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons game. Starting out in the basement of his home, he was soon struggling to keep up with the demand. Gygax was a purist, in the sense that he was adamant that players use their imaginations and that the rules of the game remain flexible. A creative mind with no real knowledge of business, he made some strategic errors and had a falling out with the game’s co-creator, his close friend and partner, David Arneson. By the late 1970s the game had become so popular among kids that parents started to worry—so much so that a mom’s group was formed to alert parents to the dangers of role play and fantasy. The backlash only fuelled the fires of the young fans who continued to play the game, escaping into imaginary worlds. Before long, D&D conventions were set up around the country and the game inspired everything from movies to the first video games. With D&D, Gygax created the kind of role playing fantasy that would fuel the multibillion dollar video game industry, and become a foundation of contemporary geek culture. 144pgs B&W paperback.


Samaris
by Benoît Peeters & François Schuiten
IDW
$19.99

The publisher says:
Young officer, Franz Bauer, is asked by the leaders of Xhystos to visit the mysterious city of Samaris and research the rumors that have been circulating. Several before him had left to explore the city and never returned. After a long journey by Altiplan and Aerophele, Franz reaches Samaris, only to find that the rumours he had heard in Xhystos don’t compare to the real secrets held within the walls of this fantastic city. His sanity and the fate of the other explorers is at stake in this, the first instalment of the now internationally acclaimed The Obscure Cities graphic novel series. This edition, marking the 30th anniversary of the original English language publication, features an expanded main story, an all-new creator-approved translation, and new colouring. The book also contains the never before published-in-English The Mysteries of Pahry, a The Obscure Cities story, originally published in four different parts, three in the French Comics magazine, (A Suivre), from 1987 through 1989, and in the December 1994 issue of Macadam-plus. 96pgs colour paperback.


Shattered Warrior
by Sharon Shinn & Molly Ostertag
First Second
$17.99

The publisher says:
It is eight years after Colleen Cavanaugh’s home world was invaded by the Derichets, a tyrannical alien race bent on exploiting the planet’s mineral resources. Most of her family died in the war, and she now lives alone in the city. Aside from her acquaintances at the factory where she toils for the Derichets, Colleen makes a single friend in Jann, a member of the violent group of rebels known as the Chromatti. One day Colleen receives shocking news: her niece Lucy is alive and in need of her help. Together, Colleen, Jann, and Lucy create their own tenuous family. But Colleen must decide if it’s worth risking all of their survival to join a growing underground revolution against the Derichets ... in Sharon Shinn and Molly Knox Ostertag’s Shattered Warrior. 256pgs colour paperback.

Something City
by Ellice Weaver
Avery Hill Publishing
£10.99

Something City is an exploration of modern day living through representations of the lives of different groups of people in an imagined place. Segregated communities of young people, elders, fanatics, techies and the religious live side by side, interweaving and cohabiting in a city they build around themselves. Through snapshots of each community, Ellice Weaver captures both the qualities that make different communities unique, but also what binds them together to make up the modern, multicultural cities that we exist in today. Beautifully composed pages introduce us to each group before we’re taken on a short journey inside each of their worlds. Stunning artwork and wry, odd and moving stories come together to produce a book that is unique, vibrant and universal. 76pgs colour paperback.


Songy of Paradise
by Gary Panter
Fantagraphics Books
$34.99

The publisher says:
Punk comics pioneer Gary Panter “covers” Milton’s Paradise Regained in this graphic novel. Panter’s version doesn’t rely on Milton’s words, but faithfully follows the structure of Milton’s Paradise Regained, with one notable exception: Jesus has been replaced by a hillbilly, Songy, who is on a vision-quest before being tempted by a chimeric Satan figure. 40pgs B&W oversized hardback.


Spill Zone Vol.1
by Scott Westerfield & Alex Puvilland
First Second
$22.99

The publisher says:
Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. The Spill claimed Addison’s parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone’s twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death―or worse. When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits―and it seems to be calling Addison’s name. 224pgs colour hardcover.


Summer Magic:
The Complete Journal of Luke Kirby

by Alan McKenzie & John Ridgeway
Rebellion / 2000 AD
$28.99

The publisher says:
In the summer of 1962, young Luke Kirby is sent to stay with his Uncle Elias (a man he had never met) in a British village called Lunstead, while his mother recuperates from an illness. Elias reveals himself to be a magician, well versed in the alchemical arts and eager to pass his skills onto his young nephew. But as the apprenticeship begins a new, bestial horror begins to stalk those unfortunate enough to wander alone at night in the woods. Will the burgeoning magician be powerful enough to confront the monster? To enter this world of wonder, childhood innocence must be sacrificed…
240pgs part-colour paperback.


The Diary of Menorah Horwitz
by Menorah Horowitz
Alternative Comics / Floating World
$14.99

The publisher says:
From the creator of Miss U.S. of Heya comes a true story about gender, Judaism, and gel nail polish. Michael Horwitz, a shy 29 year-old gay illustrator, combines Judaism and a love of drag in all the wrong ways when he becomes Menorah, Portland’s premiere Anne Frank impersonator. Dressed in a puke-coloured school-girl’s uniform, stripper heels, and nails made from burning candles taped to his fingers, Michael explores Portland’s queer and punk party scene, one bad lip synch at a time. He falls in with drug happy club kids, hot tempered local divas, and some of the world’s most famous drag queens (sometimes disastrously)—all while waking up at 6 am the next morning to bag groceries. But not everyone is happy with Michael’s new alter ego, specifically his very supportive family. Michael’s creative detour takes a detour of its own when he realises that Menorah isn’t a persona but a suggestion of the person he’s always wanted to be. What began as an imitation of someone famous for speaking their truth becomes a transition into his—or rather her—authentic self. An autobiographical comedy about finding your authentic self in the artificial world of drag. A first person account of gender transitioning. An exploration of traditional Jewish identity intersecting with new gender norms. Menorah Horwitz is the drag alter ego of Portland based artist Michael Horwitz. His work has been featured in PDX Contemporary Art, PICA’s Time Based Arts Festival, Disjecta, and Linework NW. In 2015 he was named “A Queer to Watch ” by Advocate.com. 96pgs colour paperback.


The Ladies-in-Waiting
by Santiago Garcia & Javier Olivares
Fantagraphics
$24.99

The publisher says:
This award-winning graphic novel is an examination of the mystery surrounding Velazquez’s painting. In 1656, Diego Velázquez, leading figure in the Spanish Golden Age of painting, created one of the most enigmatic works in the history of art: Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-Waiting). This graphic novel, written and drawn by two of Spain’s most sophisticated comics creators, examines its legacy as one of the first paintings to explore the relationship among the viewer, reality and unreality. It guest stars Cano, Salvador Dalí, Zurbarán, and many others. Olivares’s art moves from clear line to expressionistic; from pen nib to brush stokes; from one colour palette to another, as The Ladies-in-Waiting uses fiction to explore the ties among artists and patrons, the past and the present, institutions and audiences, creators and creativity. 192pgs colour hardcover.


The Park Bench
by Christophe Chabouté
Faber & Faber / Simon & Shuster: Gallery 13
£14.99 / $25.00

The publisher says:
With his masterful illustration style, bestselling French creator-storyteller Chabouté (Alone, Moby Dick) explores community through an everyday, often ignored, object: the common park bench. From its creation, to its witness to the fresh ardor of lovers, the drudgery of businessmen, the various hopes of the many who enter its orbit, the park bench weathers all seasons. Strangers meet at it for the first time. Paramours carve their initials into it. Old friends sit and chat on it for hours. Others ignore the bench, or (attempt to) sleep on it at night, or simply anchor themselves on it and absorb the ebb and flow of the area and its people. Christophe Chabouté’s mastery of the visual medium turns this simple object into a thought-provoking and gorgeously wrought meditation on time, desire, and the life of communities all across the planet. This could be a bench in my hometown or yours—the people in this little drama are very much those we already recognise. 352pgs B&W paperback.



Uncomfortably Happily
by Hong Yeon-Sik
Drawn & Quarterly
$32.95

The publisher says:
When the gentler pace and stillness of the countryside replace the roar of the city, but your editor keeps calling. With gorgeously detailed yet minimal art, cartoonist Yeon-Sik Hong explores his move with his wife to a small house atop a rural mountain, replacing the high-rent hubbub of Seoul with the quiet murmur of the country. With their dog, cats, and chickens by their side, the simple life and isolation they so desperately craved proves to present new anxieties. Hong paints a beautiful portrait of the Korean countryside, changing seasons, and the universal relationships humans have with each other as well as nature, both of which are sometimes frustrating but always rewarding. Uncomfortably Happily is translated by American cartoonist Hellen Jo from the acclaimed Manhwa Today award-winning Korean edition. 576pgs B&W paperback.


Your Black Friend
by Ben Passmore
Silver Sprocket / AdHouse Books
$5.00

The publisher says:
Ben Passmore’s necessary contribution to the dialogue around race in the United States, Your Black Friend is an open letter from your black friend to you about race, racism, friendship and alienation. 12pgs colour comic book.

Posted: March 11, 2017

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