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Top 18 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga: January 2019

Posted: November 11, 2018

Let me be perhaps the first person to wish you a Happy New Year, as I survey the new comics publications due to come into stores next January. The graphic novels New Life, The Scar and Off Season grapple with contemporary realities with rare perception… While two late, great virtuosos of comics art - America’s Alex Toth and Italy’s Sergio Toppi - reveal their geniuses in new collections. These are just of few of my strong suggestions for titles to look forward to in this imminent year of 2019… Read my latest PG Tips here…

Top 18 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga: December 2018

Posted: September 28, 2018

Come and explore comics in all their variety and globality in this month’s gleanings. First, let me alert you especially to these two strong commentaries on womanhood and motherhood from France and Canada… Read about these and the rest of my December PG Tips here…

Top 32 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga: November 2018

Posted: September 2, 2018

For me absolute top billing this November has to be the brand-new graphic novel by British wonder Posy Simmonds, Cassandra Darke, her first since Tamara Drewe. I’ve read it and it may well be her best work yet. Also recommended from these shores is 24 Panels, a benefit book with a top-notch roster of contributors, led by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie. Read the rest of my suggestions here…

Vannak Anan Prum: A Graphic Memoir of Modern Slavery

Posted: August 27, 2018

In 2005, former Cambodian soldier and monk Vannak Anan Prum (self-portrait above), newly married and expecting his first child, found himself unable to afford the hospital bill for his wife. Leaving his village on the promise of well-paid work from a bogus ‘job agent’, Prum was relocated to Thailand, where human-smuggling syndicates sold him to a Thai fishing boat owner. Read my profile of him and his new 2-page comic for ArtReview Asia magazine here…

Top 35 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga: October 2018

Posted: August 19, 2018

‘Tis the season for publishing more books than any other time in the year to catch ‘the Christmas/Gift-Giving’ market, so this October overflows with intriguing titles. Take a look at my A to Z of suggestions, from which I have selected these highlights, opening with two ambitious British-created graphic novels. Square Eyes (above) comes from Anna Mill & Luke Jones, former runners-up in the Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize with the four-page story of the same time, which they have finally completed as a dizzying dystopian parable. Rachael Ball’s Wolf is mesmerising allegory about childhood grief (below). Read about all 35 of my suggestions here…

Japan and Beyond: 10 Manga Titles to Start Your Collection

Posted: August 14, 2018

Blimey! BBC Arts cover-features and extracts MANGASIA, my new Thames & Hudson book and touring Barbican Centre exhibition. They invited me to suggest 10 manga and other Asian comics featured in them to explore further So I picked these English-language stand-alone volumes, so please take a look here on the BBC Arts website.
And hope some of you can come to my Edinburgh International Book Festival event on Sunday August 12th at 4pm, as far as I know the very first time the Festival has ever programmed an event about Japanese and Asian comics.

Best Comics of 2017: Brazil

Posted: July 31, 2018

Our new Brazilian correspondent, Heitor Pitombo, selects his choices of the best Brazilian graphic novels of 2017, including Angola Janga - Uma História de Palmares (‘Little Angola - A History of Palmares’) by Eisner-award-winning author Marcelo D’Salete. Read his reviews here…

Mangasia Exhibition: Video Tour (1 of 6)

Posted: July 15, 2018

To whet your appetite to see MANGASIA: WONDERLANDS OF ASIAN COMICS at Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, France till September 16th, watch the first of six short videos I’ve made on YouTube as a brisk guided tour of this landmark show. More to follow… Image ©︎ 2014 Aya Takano/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Steve Ditko: Ditko Unleashed

Posted: July 7, 2018

The reclusive, uncompromising, forthright Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, lived long enough to be given his first major exhibition in his lifetime, not in the USA but in Palma, Mallorca, Spain in the Casal Solleric art gallery, from September 29th 2016 to January 8th 2017. Read my interview with the co-curator and see photos and videos of the original artworks in this remarkable show here…

Top 25 Graphic Novels, Comics & Manga: September 2018

Posted: July 6, 2018

For me the stand-out books this coming September are Home After Dark and A New Jerusalem.  I’ve been awaiting the return to the medium of David Small, since he was acclaimed for his autobiographical debut Stitches. In Home After Dark he addresses the hyper-masculinised and homophobic climate of the America in the Fifties and its damaging effects on an anxious adolescent teenage boy. It’s a climate that has never really gone away.

In A New Jerusalem, another disruptive force on families to this day, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is sensitively explored by Benjamin Dixon, especially its impact between a father and son. Find out more about my highest recommendations in my latest PG Tips column here…

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