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Top 37 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga:

October 2017

It’s that time of year again and October 2017 brings you probably one of the largest cornucopias of outstanding choices of comics-reading. My absolute highest recommendation goes to the original manga by Fumiyo Kōno which was the basis for the recent critically-acclaimed anime movie, In This Corner of the World. All three volumes are compiled into one truly great graphic novel.

My other strong PG Tips are the very welcome translation of Brazilian Marcelo D’Salete’s Run For It revealing his nation’s history of slavery and an new graphic novel from Roz Chast, need I say any more.

And if you’ll permit me to blow my own trumpet briefly here, my own brand new book MANGASIA is out this month (also in French, Italian and Korean) and will accompany the exhibition I’ve been curating, MANGASIA: WONDERLANDS OF ASIAN COMICS.  Enjoy!   

by Maureen Walker
Meek Tequila Productions

The publisher says:
Friendless homeless and alone, Megan Nightingale is cast adrift until Matthew, a uniformed police officer, picks her up in the street on the night of the New Millennium. But, in taking her to Edgelands Hall, does he deliver her to a safe place to get better or just another stop on the road to Hell? A work of fiction, Maureen Walker’s dark and chaotic debut graphic novel was written as an attempt to make sense out of a frightening and confusing period in her life, and as a means to provide insight into psychosis. 210pgs two-colour paperback.

Akira: 35th Anniversary Box Set
by Katsuhiro Otomo
Kodansha Comics

The publisher says:
In 1982, Kodansha published the first chapter of Akira, a dystopian saga set in Neo-Tokyo, a city recovering from thermonuclear attack where the streets have been ceded to motorcycle gangs and the rich and powerful run dangerous experiments on destructive, supernatural powers that they cannot control. An all-new, complete 35th anniversary hardcover box set of one of the most acclaimed and influential comics of all time, with the original Japanese art and right-to-left reading format for the first time! The science fiction epic that changed anime and manga forever is presented in six beautiful hardcover volumes, plus the hardcover Akira Club art book and an exclusive patch with the iconic pill design. 2,530pgs B&W hardcovers.

As The Crow Flies
by Melanie Gillman
Iron Circus Comics

The publisher says:
Charlie Lamonte is thirteen years old, on her own, and questioning what was once a firm belief in God. So naturally, she’s spending a week of her summer vacation stuck at an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp. As the journey wears on and the rhetoric wears thin, she can’t help but poke holes in the pious obliviousness of this storied sanctuary with little regard for people like herself - or her fellow camper, Sydney. As the Crow Flies has been nominated for the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize (2013), four Autostraddle Comics & Sequential Art Awards (2014), and an Eisner (2014). 250pgs colour paperback.

Bottoms Up! True Tales of Hitting Rock-Bottom
by various artists
Birdcage Bottom Books

The publisher says:
Bottoms Up! True Tales of Hitting Rock-Bottom collects real stories of addiction - alcohol, narcotics, sex, pornography, body dysmorphia and more - adapted into comics by nearly 40 indie cartoonists. Contributors include Rachel Dukes, Noah Van Sciver, Sara Lautman, Kevin Budnik & more. A portion of proceeds will be donated to a local rehabilitation organisation. The book will include a list of Recovery organisations for those seeking help with addiction. 256pgs B&W paperback.

Cartoon Clouds
by Joseph Remnant
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
In this graphic novel debut, a young man struggles to maintain his ideals and friends after art school. Joseph Remnant’s first original graphic novel Cartoon Clouds follows the recent art school graduate Seth Fallon and his three friends as they try to navigate that anxiety-fuelled time between finishing school and trying to figure out what the hell they’re going to do with the rest of their lives. With a mountain of debt and no clear path to financial or emotional stability, Seth struggles to find a creative direction that won’t leave him homeless. In this world of fashion-conscious art snobs, talentless social media “gurus,” and drug addled, trust-fund hipsters, he tries to hold on to the few meaningful relationships he has when the institution that held them together is no longer a part of their lives. Drawn in a naturalistic style while never losing its essential cartoon idiom and written as an ongoing conversation among the characters that uncannily captures the preoccupations, fears, and ambitions of twenty-somethings embarking upon their life, the philosophical nature of Cartoon Clouds is reminiscent of the films of Eric Rohmer or Noah Baumbach. Cartoonist Joseph Remnant has been a prominent presence in the cartooning scene over the last decade, self-publishing his own comic book Blindspot, illustrating Harvey Pekar’s acclaimed Cleveland, and appearing in such magazines as The Believer. 164pgs B&W hardcover.

Cast No Shadow
by Nick Tapalansky & Anissa Espinosa
First Second

The publisher says:
Doomed romance brings a town to its knees in this teen gothic graphic novel. Greg is new to Lancaster, but he can already tell things aren’t all right in this quiet, gloomy little town. When Greg finds a creepy abandoned house in the centre of town, he thinks maybe he’s getting closer to Lancaster’s secret. But the ghost of a beautiful teenage girl haunting the house is more than Greg bargained for. Before he knows it, Greg’s in love… with a dead girl. From acclaimed comics writer Nick Tapalansky and phenomenal newcomer artist Anissa Espinosa, Cast No Shadow is a moody, gorgeous teen romance with teeth. 224pgs B&W paperback.

by Matt Shean & Malachi Ward
AdHouse Books

The publisher says:
Ten thousand years ago, agents of an advanced civilisation clash with a pacifist cult over control of prehistoric human society. This sci-fi epic from the creators of the critically acclaimed Ancestor also contains additional comics from Brandon Graham and Simon Roy. 252pgs B&W paperback.


4 Kids Walk into a Bank
by Matthew Rosenberg & Tyler Boss
Black Mask Studios

The publisher says:
4 Kids Walk into a Bank is the darkly comedic story of four burgeoning child criminals and their elaborate plans. When a group of bumbling criminals show up in her father’s life looking to pull one last job, young Paige has two choices - let her father get caught up in their criminal hijinks or enlist her three best friends to do the job first. Paige picks the bad one. 180-ish pages of full colour comic-booking about friendship, family, growing up, and grand larceny from rising star writer Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Home,Kingpin, Secret Warriors) and equally rising star artist Tyler Boss (Lazarus, Calexit, Vice Magazine). This volume collects the complete series that Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine, Darth Vader) described as “Imagine Tarantino does Goonies. And excellent”, and Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Y The Last Man) said was “Exploding with ambition and love of the medium!” 192pgs colour paperback.

Fütchi Perf
by Kevin Czap
Uncivilized Books

The publisher says:
What if the future began in a small, queer, punk music show in the basement of a Cleveland, Ohio, house? Romantic friendships, überchic culture, magical solutions, kid think-tanks, and more make up Kevin Czap’s vision of not-so-distant America. Fütchi Perf might not depict aur palette, visualise a utopian dream that seems almost real, but perpetually out of reach. 88pgs two-colour paperback.

Getting Out of Hope
by James Cadelle
Conundrum Press

The publisher says:
Short Cuts meets Rear Window in this hilarious but poignant debut from James Cadelli. It follows six characters in parallel and loosely-connected situations. Three travelling dudes are stranded in Hope, a small, desolate town in the mountains of British Columbia. They find shelter in the basement of an apartment building after their RV breaks down. In this building also lives Jojo, an old woman in mourning. In the apartment above is Tom, an obnoxious drug dealer who plays the piano beautifully. Managing the whole place is Marie, the superintendent (and owner of three pugs) who is all work and no play. Although they all occupy the same building, share a common resentment of their living situation, and annoy each other in the hallways, none of them realise the extent to which their lives are intertwined. Yet they all hope for a better life. And that just might mean getting out of town… by any means necessary. 208pgs B&W paperback.

Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York
by Roz Chast

The publisher says:
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast’s new graphic memoir is a hilarious illustrated ode/guide/thank-you note to Manhattan as only she could write it. For native Brooklynite Roz Chast, adjusting to life in the suburbs (where people own trees!?) was surreal. But she recognised that for her kids, the reverse was true. On trips into town, they would marvel at the strange world of Manhattan: its gum-wad-dotted sidewalks, honey-combed streets, and “those West Side Story-things” (fire escapes). Their wonder inspired Going into Town, part playful guide, part New York stories, and part love letter to the city, told through Chast’s laugh-out-loud, touching, and true cartoons. 176pgs colour hardcover.

Graphic Science: Seven Journeys of Discovery
by Darryl Cunningham
Myriad Editions

The publisher says:
Overlooked, sidelined, excluded, discredited: key figures in scientific discovery come and take their bow in an alternative Nobel prize gallery. Much is known about scientists such as Darwin, Newton, and Einstein, but what about those with lesser-known names who have nevertheless contributed greatly to human knowledge? Celebrated author Darryl Cunningham draws compelling portraits of eight scientists who for reasons of gender, race, mental health, poverty - excessive wealth, even - have not won the recognition they deserve.
Antoine Lavoiser: the father of French chemistry who gave oxygen its name, Lavoiser was a wealthy man who found himself on the wrong side of a revolution and paid the price with his life. The contribution to his work by his wife Marie-Anne Lavoisier is only now being fully recognised.
Mary Anning: a poor, working-class woman who made her living fossil-hunting along the beach cliffs of southern England. Anning was excluded from the scientific community whilst wealthy male experts took credit for her discoveries.
George Washington Carver: born a slave, Carver become one of the most prominent botanists of his time, as well as a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute. Carver devised over 100 products using one major ingredient the peanut.
Alfred Wegener: a German meteorologist, balloonist and arctic explorer, his theory of continental drift was derided by other scientists and was only accepted into mainstream thinking after his death. He died in Greenland.
Nikola Tesla: a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. A competitor of Edison, Tesla died in poverty despite his intellectual brilliance.
Joyce Bell Burnell: a Northern Irish astrophysicist who discovered the first radio pulsars (supernova remnants) as a postgraduate student. Antony Hewish, her thesis supervisor, shared the Nobel Prize in physics while she was excluded.
Fred Hoyle: an English astronomer whose controversial positions were often in direct opposition to prevailing theories, an approach that contributed to his being overlooked by the Nobel committee for his stellar nucleosynthesis work.

(H)afrocentric Comics: Volumes 1-4
by Juliana ‘Jewels’ Smith, Ronald R. Nelson & Mike Hampton
PM Press

The publisher says:
This unflinching visual and literary tour-de-force tackles the most pressing issues of the day—including racism, patriarchy, gentrification, police violence, and the housing crisis—with humour and biting satire. When gentrification strikes the neighbourhood surrounding Ronald Reagan University, Naima Pepper recruits a group of disgruntled undergrads of colour to launch the first and only anti-gentrification social networking site, The motley crew is poised to fight back against expensive avocado toast, muted Prius cars, exorbitant rent, and cultural appropriation. Whether Naima and the gang are transforming social media, leading protests, fighting rent hikes, or working as “Racial Translators,” the students at Ronald Reagan University combine their technically savvy and Black Millennial sensibilities with their individual backgrounds, goals, and aspirations. 136pgs colour paperback.

House of Women
by Sophie Goldstein
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
In this graphic novel, science fiction meets psychosexual drama when four women try to bring “civilisation” to the natives of a remote planet on the fringes of the known universe. Something dark is growing in Mopu. The only question is whether the danger that will undo the women’s delicate camaraderie is outside the gates―or within. House of Women is Goldstein’s second solo graphic novel, following 2015’s The Oven (AdHouse Books), which appeared on many year-end “Best of ” lists, including Publisher’s Weekly and Slate. 192pgs B&W hardcover.

How To Read Nancy
by Paul Karasik & Mark Newgarden
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
This groundbreaking work ingeniously isolates the separate building blocks of the language of comics through the deconstruction of a single Nancy strip from 1959. No other book on comics has taken such a simple yet methodical approach to laying bare how the medium really works. In addition, How to Read Nancy is a thoroughly researched history of how comics are made, from their creation at the drawing board to their ultimate destination at the bookstore. Perfect for students, academics, scholars, and casual fans. 276pgs B&W paperback.

Illegal: A graphic novel telling one boy’s epic journey to Europe
by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin & Giovanni Rigano
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky / Hodder Children’s Books
$14.99 / £14.99

The publisher says:
A powerfully moving graphic novel by New York Times bestselling author Eoin Colfer and the team behind the Artemis Fowl graphic novels that explores the current plight of undocumented immigrants. Ebo is alone.His brother, Kwame, has disappeared, and Ebo knows it can only be to attempt the hazardous journey to Europe, and a better life―the same journey their sister set out on months ago. But Ebo refuses to be left behind in Ghana. He sets out after Kwame and joins him on the quest to reach Europe. Ebo’s epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his family. 144pgs colour hardcover.

In This Corner of the World
by Fumiyo Kōno
Seven Seas Entertainment

The publisher says:
Omnibus edition of the manga trilogy that inspired a critically acclaimed film!
Suzu is a young Japanese woman who has recently married and moved from her home in Hiroshima City to Kure, during the years of World War II. Here she is confronted with the trials of a new family and a world at war, but perseveres to create her own happiness. 450pgs B&W paperback.

Kobane Calling
by Zerocalcare
Lion Forge

The publisher says:
Kobane Calling is the autobiographical memoir of a young Italian cartoonist, writing and drawing under the nom-de-plume Zerocalcare, who volunteers with the Rojava Calling organisation and heads into the Middle East to support and observe the Kurdish resistance in Syria as they struggle against the advancing forces of the Islamic State. He winds up in the small town of Mesher, near the Turkish-Syrian border as a journalist and aid worker, and from there he travels into Ayn al-Arab, a majority-Kurd town in the Rojava region of Syria. As he receives an education into the war from the Kurdish perspective, he meets the women fighting in the all-female Kurdish volunteer army (the Yekeineyen Parastina Jin, or Women’s Defense Units), struggling to simultaneously fight off the Islamic State even as they take strides for Kurdish independence and attempt a restructuring of traditional patriarchal Kurdish society. In a story and style at once humorous and heartbreaking, Zerocalcare presents clear-eyed reportage of the fight against the Islamic State from the front lines. Originally published in the Italian weekly Internazionale, and then collected and expanded in an edition by Italian publisher BAO Publishing. 288pgs B&W paperback.

Letters for Lucardo Vol. 1
by Noora Heikkilä
Iron Circus Comics

The publisher says:
Ed Fiedler is a common man. 61 years old and employed as a scribe in a royal palace, his most regular client is Lucardo von Gishaupt, a forever-young aristocrat… and member of the mysterious and revered Night Court. When the eternally 33-year-old Lucardo and the ageing Ed develop feelings for one another, both are forced to contend with the culture shock of a mortal man’s presence among the deathless, the dangerous disapproval of the sitting Lord of the Night Court, and Ed’s own ever-present mortality, threatening to bring an end to their romance in the blink of an everlasting eye. 140pgs colour paperback.

MANGASIA: The Definitive Guide to Asian Comics
by Paul Gravett
Thames & Hudson
£29.95 / $39.95

The publisher says:
An exhaustive and visually engaging account, MANGASIA: The Definitive Guide to Asian Comics charts the evolution of manga from its roots in late nineteenth-century Japan through the many and varied forms of comics created throughout Asia for more than one hundred years.
World authority on comics art Paul Gravett details the evolving meanings of the myths and legends told and retold by comics artists of every decade and reveals the development and cross pollination of ideas between artists throughout Asia. He explores the explosion of creativity in manga after the Second World War and highlights how creators have responded to political events since 1950 in the form of propaganda, criticism, and commentary in magazines, comics and books. With reproductions from Japan, China, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, and Bangladesh, this book is the first to explain the significance of key themes, the meanings of embodied myths, and the connections between the various traditions of Asian comics. 320pgs colour paperback with flaps.

Marsupilami Vol. 1: The Marsupilami’s Tail
by Franquin, Greg & Batem
£6.99 / $11.95

The publisher says:
Readers of Spirou already know the Marsupilami - that lovable creature with the nature-defying tail. Here, in his own series, we follow the Marsupilami’s life in his natural habitat. And his adventures are as funny as ever. Deep inside the Palombian jungle, a rickety old boat sails up a sluggish river. On board is one of the world’s most famous hunters, and he’s vowed to be the first to capture a Marsupilami. But that’s no easy prey. The long-tailed creature is smart - much smarter than any human believes. And an alliance with the local natives isn’t going to be much help: they hate the Marsupilami who keeps outwitting them, and they’re desperate to find out what he tastes like… 48pgs colour paperback.

Monet: Itinerant of Light
by Salva Rubio & EFA

The publisher says:
The life of the great French painter, one of the founders of Impressionism, is narrated in lush comic art reminiscent of his style. From the Salon des Refusés (“Salon of the Rejected”) and many struggling years without recognition, money, and yet a family to raise, all the way to great success, critically and financially, Monet pursued insistently one vision: catching the light in painting, refusing to compromise on this ethereal pursuit. It cost him dearly but he was a beacon for his contemporaries. We discover in this comics biography how he came to this vision as well as his turbulent life pursuing it. 112pgs colour hardcover.

by Brüno

The publisher says:
Jules Verne’s classic tale is reimagined in this graphic adaptation, which offers a subtle new interpretation of one of literature’s most famous captains. A graphic novel re-telling of the classic 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, NEMO offer an uncompromising look at life underwater, where men are free of society and beasts roam the deep. Brüno Thielleux, who signs with his first name, delivers a nuanced adaptation of this literary masterpiece. A French illustrator and writer born in 1975, Brüno attended the Ecole Estienne in Paris for a year before moving to Rennes, where he received a degree in plastic arts. His first published stories appeared in 1995, in the magazines Kalémia, Troo and Pili-Pili. He’s worked with numerous publishers, including Treize Étrange, Vents d’Ouest and Dargaud. He lives and works in Paris. 160pgs colour hardcover.

Out of the Woods: A Journey Through Depression and Anxiety
by Brent Williams & Korkut Öztekin
Educational Resources Ltd

The publisher says:
Out of the Woods is a book to help people understand and overcome depression and anxiety. It is the author’s own story told entirely through 700 beautifully hand-drawn watercolour illustrations. It is an immensely practical guide for sufferers, their loved ones, and professionals working in the area too. The book’s graphic memoir format blends a compelling personal story with the latest medical research - ideal for people who are in the depths of depression and struggling to read and take on board information. The book doesn’t pretend there is a quick way out of these illnesses and instead encourages people to make small steps to slowly build their own lasting recoveries. This is an inspiring story that will give vital information and hope to many people. 160pgs colour hardcover.

by Nidhi Chanani
First Second
$16.99 / $21.99

The publisher says:
Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions-the topic of India is permanently closed. For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she finds a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colourful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she’s ever dared and find the family she never knew. 176pgs colour paperback / hardcover.

by Eddy Simon & Vincent Brascaglia
First Second
$15.99 / $19.99

The publisher says:
Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to his schoolmates as Pelé, grew up in poverty in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil. He was too poor to afford a real soccer ball, so he played with a ball of newspaper tied together with string. Yet he dominated the youth leagues and signed his first professional soccer contract at the age of fifteen. Within two years he was celebrated internationally, when he led Brazil to victory at the world cup. Known by his fans as “O Rei” (The King), Pelé is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time. But he’s more than just an athlete: he also traveled the world as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Pelé is the living symbol of a sport he dubbed “the beautiful game,” a game that brings people together regardless of race or nationality. 144pgs colour paperback / hardcover.

Run For It: Stories Of Slaves Who Fought For Their Freedom
by Marcelo D’salete
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
This graphic novel tells unforgettable stories about Afro-Brazilian slaves who rebelled against oppression. Run For It, a stunning graphic novel by internationally acclaimed illustrator Marcelo d’Salete, is one of the first literary and artistic efforts to face up to Brazil’s hidden history of slavery. Originally published in Brazil, where it was nominated for three of the country’s most prestigious comics awards, Run For It has received rave reviews worldwide, including, in the U.S., The Huffington Post. These intense tales offer a tragic and gripping portrait of one of history’s darkest corners. It’s hard to look away. 180pgs B&W hardcover.

Scream/Misty Special #1
by various artists

The publisher says:
Two of Britain’s best-loved supernatural comics have been resurrected this Halloween and merged into one terrifying tome featuring all-new stories. Max the crazy computer makes a welcome return in The Thirteenth Floor by Guy Adams, John Stokes and Frazer Irving; the fangs are out in The Dracula File by Grainne McEntee and Tristan Jones; weirdos, warriors and weasels plucked from the pages of various 70s and 80s British comics congregate in Death-Man: The Gathering by Henry Flint; Kek-W and Simon Coleby collaborate on Black Max, the German World War One fighter pilot who is descended from a race of bat-people; the high-rise horrors of Birdwood are back in Return of the Sentinels by Hannah Berry and Ben Willsher; and fairies can be frightening in Fate of the Fairy Hunter by Alec Worley and DaNi. 48pgs part-colour paperback.

Steam Clean
by Laura Kenins
Big Planet / RetroFit Comics

The publisher says:
On a dark autumn night in northern Europe, a group of friends and strangers gather at a sauna for a women’s-only sauna night. Kaisa has been trying out dating apps after a breakup. Miika is conflicted about attending a women’s event as a non-binary person. Maija’s work tensions bring up recollections of other events from the past. Laima feels torn between her role as goddess of women and her sexual orientation. As the sauna heats up, stories come out in the steam. 84pgs colour paperback.

Talking To Gina
by Ottilie Hainsworth
Myriad Editions

The publisher says:
Talking To Gina is a love letter to a dog who came into a family’s life and turned it upside down. It will resonate with anyone who has ever had a pet and is a must-read for anyone who is thinking of getting one. Beautiful, moving, funny, poetic, it will make you laugh and cry. When Gina came into Ottilie’s life she hadn’t expected to fall in love and thought that was all behind her. She was unprepared for the emotional turmoil that would overcome her. For a start, Gina was a fox - or that’s what people said she was. How could she become so in love with a dog - which didn’t even look like one - when she had a husband and two children of her own? As we follow Ottilie’s love affair with Gina, we identify with the emotions and share a heart-stopping anxiety when Gina goes missing. Ottilie has no wish to disguise her own state of besotted affection, and this beautifully observed study of human and dog is viscerally real. It will appeal to anyone who has ever had a dog, cat, budgie - or even a fox. Talking to Gina, a debut graphic memoir, has been based on hundreds of daily drawn records of Ottilie Hainsworth’s life. Her command of facial expressions and body language, of both humans and dogs, combined with a beautifully simple and fluid pen-stroke, and the direct, heartfelt epistolary text, draw the reader in to feel her love and pain. 240pgs B&W paperback.

Tank Tankuro: Prewar Works 1934-1935
by Gajo Nakamoto
Fantagraphics Books

The publisher says:
Published in 1934 and lost in the subsequent turmoil of World War II, Tank Tankuro was one of the first ‘superheroes’ to appear in manga. Gajo Sakamoto’s creation influenced many manga artists and is the foundation from which many masterpieces of manga art would later spring. Famous for its adventure stories full of surrealism and eccentricity, this hidden gem is revived in full color in a deluxe hardcover and book case format, beautifully designed by Chris Ware.

Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City
by Julia Wertz
Black Dog & Leventhal

The publisher says:
In Tenements, Towers & Trash, Julia Wertz takes us behind the New York that you think you know. Not the tourist’s New York, but the guts, the underbelly, of this city that never sleeps. With drawings and comics in her signature style, Wertz regales us with streetscapes “Then and Now” and little-known tales, such as the lost history of Kim’s Video, the complicated and unresolved business of Ray’s Pizza, the vintage trash and horse bones that litter the shore of Brooklyn’s Bottle Beach, the ludicrous pinball prohibition, Staten Island’s secret abandoned boatyard, and the hair-raising legend of the infamous abortionist of Fifth Avenue, Madame Restell. From bars, bakeries, and bookstores to food carts, steet cleaners and apartments both cramped and grand, Tenements, Towers & Trash is a wild ride in a time machine taxi from the present day city to bygone days of yore. 284pgs B&W hardcover.

The Collected Neil the Horse
by Katherine Collins
Conundrum Press

The publisher says:
Neil the Horse ran 15 issues in the 1980s. With its tagline, “Making the World Safe for Musical Comedy”, it is the world’s only musical comic book. It is a totally original hybrid influenced more by Carl Barks and Fred Astaire than by the underground comics of the time. Originally produced under the name Arn Saba, Neil’s creator transitioned to Katherine Collins after the last issue. Neil and his friends Soapy and Mam’selle Poupée are a struggling song-and-dance act. Neil is a happy-go-lucky horse with a mania for bananas. Mam’selle Poupée is a romantic and lovelorn living doll from France, whose wooden body is jointed with hinges. With red circles on her cheeks, curly blonde hair, and large bust, Poupée appears to be a cross between Raggedy Ann and Dolly Parton. Soapy is a street-wise and cynical (with a heart of gold) orange alley cat, a cigar smoker and a drinker, who serves as the brains of the operation. Their magical and absurd adventures take them to outer space, the past, and the future in a mix of slapstick, romance and show business. The book includes brand-new commentary by Collins, rare art, sheet music to accompany the stories, and reprints of early syndicated newspaper strips.
Katherine Collins, born in Vancouver, was known as Arn Saba until 1993 when she came out as a trans-woman. Arn’s mother and great-grandmother were both published cartoonists, and he started drawing comics at around age six. In 1977, he moved to Toronto and began appearing on, and eventually writing and producing for, the CBC Radio program Morningside, and other shows. He produced nearly 100 skits,  adapting classic newspaper strips. In 1979, he wrote and produced The Continuous Art, a five-part CBC documentary, exploring comics’ cultural ghettoization. It featured interviews with some of cartooning’s greatest names. His character Neil the Horse ran in Canadian newspapers from 1975-1982, and subsequently starred in fifteen comic books, from 1983–88. Neil was the first (and last) musical  comic book with original songs. There was a five-part Neil musical comedy play on CBC in 1982. In 1993, Katherine was obliged to leave comics. This year’s Neil book is her first return to the field. Collins was inducted into the Giants of the North, Canadian Cartooning Hall of Fame at the 2017 Doug Wright Awards. 360pgs B&W paperback.

The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution
by Jonathan Hennessy & Jack McGowan
Ten Speed Press

The publisher says:
From the co-creator of the New York Times best-selling The Comic Book Story of Beer, a complete, illustrated history of video games-highlighting the machines, games, and people who have made gaming a worldwide, billion dollar industry/artform, told in a giftable graphic novel style. Jonathan Hennessey and Jack McGowan provide readers with everything they need to know about video games - from their early beginnings during World War II to the emergence of arcade games in the 1970s to the rise of Nintendo to today’s app-based games like Angry Birds and Pokémon Go. Hennessey and McGowan also analyse the evolution of gaming as an artform and its impact on society. Each chapter features spotlights on major players in the development of games and gaming. 192pgs colour paperback.

The Complete Strange Growths 1991-1997
by Jenny Zervakis
Alternative Comics / Spit and a Half Comics

The publisher says:
Jenny Zervakis was part of a wave of DIY cartoonists who came of age during the 1990’s Zine Revolution. When most “alternative comics” of the era were loud and sarcastic, Jenny’s zine, Strange Growths, was warm and emotionally bare. Now, for the first time, these inspirational and groundbreaking comics have been collected in book form. A Spit and a Half production. 240pgs B&W paperback.

The Ghost of Gaudi
by El Torres & Jesus Alonso Iglesias
Lion Forge

The publisher says:
Someone is committing horrible murders throughout Barcelona, focusing on landmarks designed by visionary architect Antoni Gaudi.  The police have no clues, but a young woman is thrust into the investigation by a man resembling the late Gaudi himself… could he be a precognisant ghost? 120pgs colour hardcover.


Trent Vol. 1: The Dead Man
by Rudolph & Leo
£6.99 / $11.95

The publisher says:
A taciturn and solitary Mountie. A beautiful, determined young woman. The savage beauty of the Canadian wilderness. Trent: an authentic western… up north. Sergeant Philip Trent is a ‘Mountie’, a member of the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police. At the end of the 19th century, it’s up to him and his fellow officers to criss-cross the vast open spaces of Canada to maintain law and order. Sent after a small-time killer, he finds himself saving the beautiful Agnes from a pack of hungry wolves. The young woman has come from the city to find her missing half-brother. Against his better judgement, Trent agrees to help her… 48pgs colour paperback.

Voices in the Dark
by Marcel BeyerUlli Lust
New York Review Comics

The publisher says:
Germany, in the final years of the Third Reich. Hermann Karnau is a sound engineer obsessed with recording the human voice in all its variations—the rantings of leaders, the roar of crowds, the rasp of throats constricted in fear—and indifferent to everything else. Employed by the Nazis, his assignments take him to Party rallies, to the Eastern Front, and into the household of Joseph Goebbels. There he meets Helga, the eldest daughter: bright, good-natured, and just beginning to suspect the horror that surrounds her… Based on an acclaimed novel by Marcel Beyer, Voices in the Dark is the first fictional graphic novel by Ulli Lust, whose award-winning graphic memoir Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life appeared in English in 2013. It is the story of an unlikely friendship and of a childhood betrayed, a grim parable of naïveté and evil, and a vivid, unsettling masterpiece. 368pgs part-colour paperback.

Yellow Negroes
by Yvan Alagbé
New York Review Comics

The publisher says:
A timely collection of work about race and immigration in Paris by one of France’s most revered cult comic book artists. Yvan Alagbé is one of the most innovative and provocative artists in the world of comics. In the stories gathered in Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures—drawn between 1994 and 2011, and never before available in English—he uses stark, endlessly inventive black-and-white brushwork to explore love and race, oppression and escape. It is both an extraordinary experiment in visual storytelling and an essential, deeply personal political statement. With unsettling power, the title story depicts the lives of undocumented migrant workers in Paris. Alain, a Beninese immigrant, struggles to protect his family and his white girlfriend, Claire, while engaged in a strange, tragic dance of obsession and repulsion with Mario, a retired French-Algerian policeman. It is already a classic of alternative comics, and, like the other stories in this collection, becomes more urgent every day. 120pgs B&W paperback.

Posted: August 5, 2017


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My Books

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