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Orijit Sen: His River of Stories

Posted: August 18, 2017

In 1994 Orijit Sen won a grant from Kalpavriksha, a Delhi-based environmental organisation, to create and publish his first full-length comic, documenting the building of the contentious Sardar Sarovar Dam across the Narmada River in Western India. He visited the valley for several weeks, researching, sketching and talking with residents who were being displaced by the development and with activists protesting alongside them. Combining these stories with lyrical indigenous myths and sensitive grey-toned drawings, the result is the passionately biased River of Stories. Read his new Strip and interview and my profile of him for ArtReview Asia here…

Hostage by Guy Delisle

Posted: August 12, 2017

Hostage was fifteen years in the making, while Delisle struggled to find the right tone and focus to chronicle the endurance of a kidnap victim in solitary confinement. His solution was to edit and pace as many panels and pages as he needed for the reader to get inside Christophe’s head. It becomes hard for readers not to speculate how they would cope with such a testing, nerve-shredding ordeal. Read my review here…

Top 37 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga: October 2017

Posted: August 7, 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 COMICSEnjoy looking through my suggestions here… 

Top 26 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga: September 2017

Posted: July 23, 2017

My goodness me - don’t you think we live in astonishing times for this medium we all love? Look below and I think you’ll find that we’re blessed to be able to enjoy so many great works of graphic literature, old and new. This September brings no less than three powerful, empathetic LGBTQ graphic novels, including standout British entry Breaks, and some riveting, exemplary autobiography from Canada’s treasured chronicler David Collier and Broken Frontier Young Talent superstar Tillie Walden. I hope you find a future favourite among my suggestions here in my latest PG Tips…

Top 28 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga: August 2017

Posted: June 4, 2017

An especially rewarding range of titles debut this month including plenty of standouts. Among my PG Tips is Mercy On Me, in which Reinhart Kleist, German graphic biographer of Cash, Castro and others, turns his attention to the formative life stories of Nick Cave. RAW alumnus Jerry Moriarty makes his highly anticipated comeback to comics with his revealing memoir Whatsa Paintoonist?. And ‘neo manga’ master Yuchi Yokoyama immerses us into yet stranger territory in his latest translated oeuvre Iceland. Read my 28 recommendations for August 2017 here…

Top 18 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga: July 2017

Posted: May 5, 2017

I’ve been waiting since it was first published in French for Chloe Cruchaudet’s Mauvais Genre, her sensual and searing indictment of the First World War, and how one brave objector attempts to evade its butchery, to appear in English. And finally it has, from Knockabout Comics as Deserter’s Masquerade- and still in time to deepen our empathy for so-called deserters amid the current centenary remembrances.

This month also brings some ravishing art books on geniuses like Crumb, Kirby and Moebius, and faithful or playful interpretations of great novels by Charlotte Bronte, Pearl S. Buck (by Nick Bertozzi, below) and Sax Rohmer, as well as some worthwhile debuts and classic reprints. I hope you’ll find some comics to enjoy among my latest PG Tips here…

Top 21 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga: June 2017

Posted: April 15, 2017

My absolute stand-out PG Tip for June is Threads, Kate Evans’ sensitive and insightful graphic reportage on the real human beings caught up in the refugee crisis.
Music and comics also come together this month in two intriguing graphic novel debuts, Masters Of The Sun from of Black Eyed Peas, and Murder Ballads (below) involving Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys. There’s Philip Pullman’s long-awaited first complete comic, Seventies’ ‘sharksploitation’, a manga masterclass from the creator of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures, Italian erotica, preposterous superheroes and a pointed satire of the fickle art market in Etienne Davodeau’s The Cross-Eyed Mutt (below). These and more besides are presented here for your selection and delectation…

Top 35 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga: May 2017

Posted: March 12, 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”... Read my latest PG Tips right here…

Top 17 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga: April 2017

Posted: February 4, 2017

Here we go with yet more reasons to be grateful for the variety and vitality of contemporary comics from around the globe, all about to be published for you in April 2017. A pair of true modern visionaries from the US and UK, Ron Regé, Jr. and Gareth Brookes, unveil their revelatory new graphic novels, What Parsifal Saw (Fantagraphics) and A Thousand Coloured Castles (Myriad). You have not read their like before.

And from Italy’s Seventies underground fumetti scene comes the eagerly anticipated debut in English of the late but timeless Andrea Pazienza, as his Zanardi is at long last put into the English language. These really ARE the good times for this medium which you and I so enjoy… Read my April 2017 PG Tips here…

Top 21 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga: March 2017

Posted: January 21, 2017

I love the way comics can take anywhere and anywhen, real and imagined. The breadth of subject-matter and approaches in this medium we love continues to astonish and inspire. Who would have thought the familiar crossword puzzle could hide such an intriguing backstory? How did a Dane help establish Tibet’s first football team? What was it really like to grow up in The Philippines under the Marcos regime? Or flee Vietnam to found a whole new life in the New World? From the lives of pop musicians and painters to a photo-journalist’s self-discovery in the Big Apple, and even the never-read Terms and Conditions of iTunes made not only readable but enlightening, this medium is stretching its limits and breaking them. There’s no end to look forward to… See what March titles I’ve selected for your consideration…

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