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Top 16 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga - February 2017

Posted: December 10, 2016

My first Top PG Tip for February 2017 is the jubilant return of that baroquely decadent marvel Starstruck, in an expanded and expansive reworking from creators Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta. It’s wonderful to plunge into more pages of one of true zeniths of recent science-fiction comics.

And my second PG Tip must be the overdue translation of one of the true ‘mistress-pieces’ of family history and autobiography, Pretending Is Lying by Dominique Goblet. Years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dominique in Cambridge at Sarah Lightman’s first conference on comics by women. Speaking of which, you’ll find a fair few titles by ‘Comix Creatices’ among my international recommendations, as well as graphic biographies ranging from Caravaggio to Calamity Jane, and much more besides. Check out my suggestions here… 


Top 16 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga - January 2017

Posted: November 19, 2016

A Brand New Year beckons and here are my suggestions for the comics, manga and graphics novels to look forward to and look out for. 2017 marks several anniversaries - both Jack Kirby and Will Eisner would have been 100. So I am highlighting the sumptuous catalogue for the Will Eisner Centennial Celebration exhibition, to run on both side of the pond, at the Musée de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême, France, and at The Society of Illustrators in New York. I am truly chuffed to have contributed one of the essays, exploring Eisner’s international influences. Take a look through my PG Tips for January 2017…


Top Ten Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga: December 2016

Posted: November 6, 2016

As usual, slightly leaner pickings in the holiday month of December, but take a look through my suggestions below and you may find one or more essential reads before the end of this year. My personal PG Tip has to be Krazy, the substantial biography by Michael Tisserand of George Herriman, the genius behind Krazy Kat and other early American newspaper strip gems. At 560 pages, there’s never been such an in-depth life-story of this fascinating cartoonist. And if you’re looking for some Christmas-tinged manga-influenced fantasy, I’m drawn to Cassandra Jean’s Reindeer Boy. Happy Holiday Comics-Reading! Read my latest recommendations here…


Top 20 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga: November 2016

Posted: October 11, 2016

Here are my suggestions for your comics reading this coming November as the pre-Christmas release schedule reaches its climax. Lots to choose from, hopefully something for pretty much everyone. As my most eagerly anticipated, I’ve picked out Untitled Ape’s Epic Adventure (above) by Steven Tillotson, a breakthrough multi-layered fable by a truly original British cartoonist, released by the UK’s feistiest small press graphic novel publisher, Avery Hill Press. This and more, all for your consideration…  Check out my PG Tips here…


Gaijin Mangaka: A Constant Light

Posted: September 18, 2016

Something extraordinary is happening right now in the wider global manga movement outside Japan, a further sea-change in its irrepressible revolution and evolution, and the special 25th issue of Latvian colour mini-format anthology š! captures a vital snapshot of this through 164 full-colour A6-size pages of brand-new work by some key current innovators working outside Japan. From the ceaseless two-way ebb-and-flow of influences between manga and Western comics, co-editors Berliac and David Schilter have gathered an exciting crop of contemporary ‘gaijin mangaka’, so-called ‘foreign comics creators’, predominantly young writer-artists from Europe and North and South America. Read my introduction to this landmark compilation here…


François Boucq : Twisted Tales

Posted: September 6, 2016

Meet the versatile French virtuoso who brings colourful life to the maverick westerns of movie-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky, the intrigues of novelist Jerome Charyn and his own delirious fantasies. In his award-winning graphic novel written by Jerome Charyn, The Magician’s Wife, a detective as dapper as Hercule Poirot observes: “People aren’t really like the image they try to project… they ignore their own mystery.” People, and things, are frequently not what they seem in the unnervingly skewed observations of the phenomenal comics creator François Boucq. Read my profile of Boucq here…


Marcel Ruijters: Hieronymus Bosch

Posted: August 28, 2016

Hieronymus is a vibrant graphic biography commissioned by the Bosch500 Foundation from award-winning Dutch underground cartoonist Marcel Ruijters. He cleverly refers to several of Bosch’s works and creatures, but avoids any attempt to re-create actual paintings, instead illustrating with a vigorous woodcut style and aptly grotesque caricaturing. Read my profile and interview of Ruijters and his new 2-page ‘bonus’ Bosch Strip here…


Top 22 Comics, Graphic Novels & Manga: October 2016

Posted: August 19, 2016

You can tell Christmas is coming! Blimey, this is quite a month’s worth! The histories of Muhammad Ali, Salvador Dalí, John James Audubon, even the game phenomenon Tetris are all told in comics for you. And there’s plenty of daring original graphic fiction on offer here, ranging from the second volume in Rob Davis’s mind-warping alternative England, to a new manga thriller by the duo behind Death NoteRead my Pg Tips for October 2017 here…


Alexander Tucker: In The Forcefield

Posted: August 5, 2016

What Tucker began as a series of single-page episodes as a distraction from the demands of the Shandor epic has culminated this year in his new ongoing graphic novel World in the Forcefield from Breakdown Press. Read my profile and interview with Tucker and his new 2-page comic for ArtReview magazine here…


Blutch: American Dreaming

Posted: July 30, 2016

Although he is fixated on American culture, French cartoonist Blutch is not widely known in English-speaking countries. Blutch is admired and influential for his daring draughtsmanship and ceaseless innovation of his bandes dessinées. He was born Christian Hincker in 1967 in Strasbourg, France. He would go on to win the Grand Prix in Angoulême in 2009. With Peplum, one of his masterworks, newly translated from New York Review Comics (below). it’s the right time to talk to this acclaimed, ever-challenging creator. Read my interview with him here…


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