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Americana: (And the Act of Getting over It)

Healy might never quite get to the bottom of America, but his thoughtful storytelling provides a funny and honest peek into a life-changing quest most people will never experience firsthand, making it appealing for hiking enthusiasts and couch potatoes alike.

The Hard Tomorrow

Davis’s subtle take on a major philosophical question is an efficient and affective read for anyone struggling to find purpose in trying times.

House of Whispers. Vol. 1: The Power Divided

A new story existing in Gaiman’s Sandman Universe, this ongoing series, cowritten by Nalo Hopkinson (Midnight Robber) and Dan Watters (24 Panels; Limbo), collects the first story line in a delightfully dark magical adventure that credibly utilizes the wonderful Americana of mythic New Orleans as the enchanted setting.

The Empty Man: Recurrence

Veteran scribe Bunn (Harrow County), with artist Hervás (Lucas Stand) and colorist Guardia, brings dense plotting and chilling body-horror imagery in this gripping first installment of an ongoing series that metaphorically uses social media as a strange virus metastasizing terror.

Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story

Passion and sincerity make this take on Buckley’s tale stand out--just as with Buckley’s music. Recommended not just for Buckley enthusiasts but also for fans of music and biographies of all stripes; some profanity and sensual imagery, suitable for all but the youngest readers.

King of King Court

A visually engaging and human story of early trauma and how art and the imagination persist through the toughest of times. For those interested in real-world stories of accounts of people coping with difficult family situations.

How I Tried to Be a Good Person

Intensely personal and sexually explicit, this chronicle of Lust’s young adulthood life is told with specificity and scrutiny, ideal for adult graphic memoir enthusiasts. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s “Mass Appeal,” 6/19.]

Bad Weekend

With this Eisner Award–winning volume, expanding stories first serialized in the “Criminal” series, the incomparable team of Brubaker and Phillips (My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies; The Fade Out) once again prove themselves among the best creators of crime fiction in any genre.

The Green Lantern. Vol. 1: Intergalactic Lawman

Sharp’s (The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman) illustrations suggest legendary comics artist Neal Adams paying homage to surrealist painter H.R. Giger (or vice versa). Morrison’s (Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus, Vol. 2) script mixes police procedural thriller plot points with mind-boggling sf concepts. Not to be missed. Collecting Issues 1–6 of a new ongoing series.

Rusty Brown

Masterfully illustrated, brilliantly designed, and bursting with compassion for characters united by time and space who nonetheless feel isolated owing to fear and shame, this is without a doubt one of the most exciting releases of the year. [an editor’s pick, see “Fall Fireworks,” p. 23.]

Atar Gull

Fans of Nury’s other works, stories of slave revolts, and seeing the comeuppance of reviled slave owners will find this an outstanding and emotional graphic novel.

Amazing Decisions: The Illustrated Guide to Improving Business Deals and Family Meals

This clear volume makes Ariely’s ideas accessible to a wide audience interested in decision-making in either a personal or business context. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]

The End of the World

An idiosyncratic and strangely poignant marvel from a true visionary

Heavy Liquid

Drawing inspiration from noir films, cyberpunk, manga, and the world of high fashion, this work has a influenced an entire generation of cartoonists but remarkably still feels fresh today

Bad Gateway

Hanselmann (One More Year) is a phenomenally talented, internationally renowned cartoonist who switches between laugh-out-loud absurdist humor and startlingly raw scenes of extreme sadness from one panel to the next, and this is his finest, funniest, and most mature work to date

The Tenderness of Stones

A profoundly moving and curiously playful meditation on the complex swirl of emotions and sense of having entered a surreal world often experienced by caregivers. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novel Spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]


Readers familiar with the themes that the prolific Lemire routinely explores might find the twists and turns here a tad predictable, but the author tells his story with such passion and empathy for his characters that it’s hard not to get swept up and genuinely moved by the ending nonetheless. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novels Spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]

Hot Comb

Readers are sure to find these stories moving and illuminating, and may be shocked to discover, given the talent on display, that this is Flower’s first book

The Envious Siblings: And Other Morbid Nursery Rhymes

The influence of Quentin Blake, Tim Burton, and especially Edward Gorey is clear, but the combination of surreal comedy and imagery far more horrific than any ever created by the artists by whom he was obviously inspired set Blair apart and result in an audacious and entertaining compilation

Heart of Darkness

Incredibly, Kuper has created a faithful adaptation likely to appeal to both devotees and detractors of the source material, which just might cause members of either camp to view the text in a new light. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novel Spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]

Planet of the Apes Omnibus: Before the Fall

Cocreators Hardman and Bechko (Green Lantern: Earth One, Vol. 1) have successfully crafted a tie-in to a favorite sf film that actually lives up to the original. This omnibus edition collects Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes, Exile on the Planet of the Apes, and Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm


This compelling fusion of subject and style brilliantly uses cameos by some of the celebrities Basquiat encountered over his brief life—including Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Madonna (whom Basquiat briefly dated)

Cemetery Beach

Ellis (The Wild Storm, Vol. 3) and Howard (The Astounding Wolf-Man: Complete Collection) deliver what might be the single most fast-paced, action-packed graphic novel of all time, with nearly every page featuring either an explosion, gunfight, or leap from something either very high up or moving extremely fast. This collection of the seven-issue miniseries is a total blast

Once upon a Time in France

Reminiscent of the best novels of John Le Carré, but based on true events, this is an absolutely riveting thriller that asks difficult questions about good and evil and whether actions taken in the heat of battle can be fairly adjudicated in peacetime. It’s easy to see why this work has already won the coveted Angoulême Award and sold over one million copies internationally. [an editor’s pick, see “Fall Fireworks,” LJ 8/19, p. 23.]


Moonshadow: The Definitive Edition

This classic work has been regarded as a beloved masterpiece since its initial release between 1985 and 1987. This new, definitive edition, which features a plethora of production notes, sketches, and script pages, is sure to enhance its reputation

Bitter Root. Vol. 1: Family Business

Walker (The Life of Frederick Douglass), Greene (Black Comix Returns), and Renzi (FBP) present the relentless action that takes place across Issues 1–5 gathered in this volume in a kinetic style that makes good use of 1920s period details to anchor the story, which develops slowly before kicking into high gear halfway through and concluding on a legitimately exciting cliff-hanger

Maggy Garrisson

Moody, modern noir stories are a dime a dozen, but Trondheim’s knack for characterization and the wonderfully detailed and vividly colored illustrations from Oiry (Through the Walls: Slightly Oversized) elevate this one above the rest

Aquaman. Vol. 1: Unspoken Water

DeConnick is in no rush to offer any explanations for Arthur’s new circumstances, which results in occasionally frustrating early chapters, but the story picks up in the second half and heads to a thrilling climax that upends Arthur’s history and promises intriguing escapades to come

Die. Vol. 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker

Fans of any of the genres represented in this volume, which collects Issues 1–5 of the continuing series, will find much to enjoy


They Called Us Enemy

Takei is nothing if not savvy about his cultural influence, and here he uses that to share a fully fleshed-out and articulate vilification of America’s most xenophobic tendencies.[Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novel Spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]

Happy Sugar Life. Vol. 1

Labeled a psychological thriller, this sadistic, eerie tale is anything but sugary or happy, dealing with difficult issues such as rape, stalking, Stockholm syndrome, and murder. Geared toward mature audiences, this certainly isn’t for everyone, but it will likely still appeal to fans of the genre.

Hawkman. Vol. 1: Awakening

Fans of Venditti’s previous work, the DC Universe, and reboots of favorite superheroes will find this new Hawkman on an exciting journey to understand his past.

Monstress: Book One

Liu and Takeda combine steampunk and Lovecraftian-like eldritch horror in a world resembling an early 20th-century matriarchal Asia. Recommended for older teens and adults for mature language and content, and for fans of Tolkien and George R.R. Martin seeking to be immersed in a new fantasy epic.

Fearless Females

Breen’s straightforward style makes this ideal for middle school readers and beyond. Also a great historical supplement for anybody interested in the global rights of women told in a graphic novel format.

The Arab of the Future. Vol. 4: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1987–1992

The difficulty of growing up in a culture you feel no commonality with is powerful in this volume and will definitely resonate with some readers. Others will be touched by the humor amid the drama. A must for most collections, especially those with the previous books in the series.

Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight

A well-paced yet deep look at the path that led to the first man on the moon, including the early lunar myths, philosophies and fantasies that predated it. Appropriate for those interested in the history of space flight and 20th-century culture. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novels Spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]

Livewire. Vol. 1: Fugitive

Overall, an intriguing story that will appeal to fans of the Valiant Event “Harbinger Wars,” who will enjoy the breakout treatment of Livewire. However, newcomers will struggle to follow along, and background reading is necessary to grasping the larger narrative arc.

The Magic Order: Book One

Treating the magician’s heritage like a mob family, Millar (Civil War) and Coipel (Avengers vs. X-Men) deliver a blunt, adult thrill ride with some excellent twisty-twists that will keep even genre veterans guessing as to their resolution.

Catwoman: Vol. 1: Copycats

As conceived by Jones (Lady Killer) and Fernando Blanco (Midnight and Apollo), Catwoman is sultry and morose; still reeling from her failed relationship with Batman, she’s more human than cat. Insight into her past helps flesh her character out and explains the motivation behind some of her actions. This arc is timely considering recent interest in female superheroes’ stories, and would be a good fit for any adult collection.

Excuse Me: Cartoons, Complaints, and Notes to Self

Adult readers from most walks of life will admire Finck’s poignant observations and find something to laugh (or laugh-cry) at, but the author’s fellow Millennials will find her treatment of modern woes especially relatable.

Gideon Falls.

Moody metaphysical horror with echoes of Twin Peaks–style strangeness establishes this mysterious world created by Lemire (Essex County; Roughneck), Sorrentino (Old Man Logan), and Stewart (Hellboy), presented in this first volume of a popular ongoing series. Collects single issues 1–6.

Love: A Discovery in Comics

De Heer’s lighthearted but comprehensive touch on both micro-and macrovisions of love make this entry into the “Discovery” series a treat for almost any curious reader. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19, p. 38.]

Liege-Killer: The Graphic Novel

Recommended for libraries where Hinz’s “Paratwa Trilogy” is popular or where patrons request.

The Forbidden Harbor

From the married creative team of writer Radice (Disney Fairies) and artist Turconi (“Agatha: Girl of Mystery” series) comes a tale that’s far from forbidding. Radice’s flowing prose and Turconi’s fanciful pen invite even the utterly uninitiated to delve into the delight of a sailor’s tale.

The Complete Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Vol. 1

The phenomenally wealthy, unabashedly miserly, and thoroughly adventurous Uncle Scrooge is probably better known in the States as the star of a late 1980s cartoon series. Yet these comics from Rosa (Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge & Donald Duck, Vol 5: The Richest Duck in The World), originally serialized in Denmark’s Anders And & Co. (1992–94) and brought together here in a single volume for the first time, have sold millions of copies internationally. The stunning craft, sense of fun, and stirring action gracing every page of this Eisner Award–winning collection makes it easy to see why.



Wroten’s knack for character development and legitimately witty banter, combined with her expressive cartooning and exquisite use of pastel color, result in a highly engaging story about an occasionally abrasive but ultimately sympathetic character


Gropper’s name is probably better known to historians and illustration buffs than to mainstream graphic novel readers at the moment, but this gorgeously drawn, touching story is sure to linger with anyone who reads it

Marie Curie: A Life of Discovery

Will appeal to curious high schoolers and adults interested in history and science, though some themes will challenge younger readers. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novels Preview, “Mass Appeal,” p. 39.]

The Weatherman. Vol. 1

Nearly every page of this volume, which collects single issues 1–6 of an ongoing series, adds to Fox’s reputation as one of the most talented and dynamic illustrators working in graphic novels today. Not to be missed

The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt

Drawing on von Humboldt’s publications, diaries, and letters, Wulf (The Invention of Nature) brings her subject to life, cleverly allowing him to narrate his story in an affable if possibly anachronistic tone that makes the occasionally complicated scientific theory easily digestible. [See Prepub Alert, 10/29/18.]


In their introduction, the creators insist that “This is not a religious story,” and indeed their interests seem to lie more in exploring self-realization and the visual style of pop art comics produced in the mid-1970s. As a result, this volume is both far less sacrilegious than it sounds and nowhere near as subversive as fans of the creators’ previous work might expect or desire

Superman. Vol. 1: The Unity Saga; Phantom Earth

Bendis’s much-touted takeover of the Superman franchise is the rare superhero comic book event that actually lives up to the hype, and this volume serves as a great jumping-on point

The Secret Voice. Vol. 1

Soto (Power Button) blends tropes of epic fantasy with elements of horror, manga, and underground art comics, kicking off what promises to be an excitingly original adventure

Clyde Fans: A Picture Novel

It’s only June, but Seth’s long-anticipated masterpiece is already a strong contender for one of 2019’s best graphic novels. [See author Q&A on p. 99.]

Mata Hari: The Untold Story of the Original Femme Fatale

A terrific and nuanced biography that proves its subject worthy of reevaluation and announces its author as a talent to watch. [See publisher spotlight, p. 42.]

Leaving Richard’s Valley

Prolific and versatile, DeForge excels at combining wit and pathos, and this collection, originally serialized online, serves as a great entry point for readers interested in his body of work and is quite possibly the best he’s released to date


The Boys Omnibus. Vol. 1

This omnibus volume collects issues 1–15 of the continuing story line that inspired the highly anticipated upcoming Amazon Prime streaming series and should see high interest from readers

Why Don't You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It? A Mother's Suggestions

This brief collection may appeal to hard-core fans of Marx and Chast, so it's best for libraries where their works are popular. The pair have a "rules for couples" collaboration planned for 2020, which hopefully will offer a more satisfying serving.

Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame

By turns harrowing, sad, revealing, and infuriating, this isn't for all readers of graphic novels or memoirs, but those who brave it are in for a challenging, confrontational experience. Optional; frequent profanity, nudity and frank discussions of sex and sexual assault. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp's Graphic Novels Spotlight, "Mass Appeal," LJ 6/19.]

Why Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It? A Mother’s Suggestions

This brief collection may appeal to hard-core fans of Marx and Chast, so it’s best for libraries where their works are popular. The pair have a “rules for couples” collaboration planned for 2020, which hopefully will offer a more satisfying serving.

Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame

By turns harrowing, sad, revealing, and infuriating, this isn’t for all readers of graphic novels or memoirs, but those who brave it are in for a challenging, confrontational experience. Optional; frequent profanity, nudity and frank discussions of sex and sexual assault. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp's Graphic Novels Spotlight, "Mass Appeal," LJ 6/19.]


Credo: The Rose Wilder Lane Story

Those who savor tales of adventurous real-life women will enjoy Bagge’s tribute, whether they have dived into Little House or not.

Coda. Vol. 1

Bergara (Sons of Anarchy; Cannibal) presents visuals that give a dreamlike quality to the brutality of the worldbuilding by Eisner-nominated Spurrier (The Spire), adding layers of complexity to the words. Recommended for adult graphic novel collections owing to violent depictions.

The Wrath of Fantômas

Adapting one of French pulp literature's most lurid diabolical masterminds, debut comics creators Olivier Bocquet and Rocheleau render a Fantômas who spectacularly breaks the shackles of the printed word developed by Souvestre and writing partner Marcel Allain to invade the graphic medium. A midnight-hewn thrill ride whose sophisticated art perfectly captures the electrifying colors and terrifying aftermath of deeds most foul.

The Fearsome Doctor Fang

This rip-snorting, two-fisted pulp adventure is the first of four titles in TKO's debut lineup. Here, filmmaker and TKO publisher/cofounder Chun (7 Deadly Sins), along with Weiss (The Mentalist) and artists McDaid (Firefly) and Miwa (Shaft) take the tarnished tropes of "yellow peril" fiction and flip it, transforming Fang into a Tony Stark-esque superinventor with a heart of gold. With any luck, this will be the first of many globe-trotting, stereotype-crushing adventures.

Peanuts Dell Archive

This well-produced collection will be of interest to fans of Peanuts or vintage children's comic books and may have a nostalgic appeal to readers who grew up with the famous strip.

Graphic Novels, February 8, 2019 | Xpress Reviews



Readers might find themselves reaching for a notepad to keep track of the multiple groups and allegiances here, but a close reading is definitely rewarded.


Fans looking for a straightforward biography of McCay might find themselves thrown by the far-out concepts that appear halfway through the book, but everyone else will enjoy this deeply strange, incredibly fun sf/fantasy noir with artwork that pales only to that of McCay himself.

The Prague Coup

Maybe not quite to the level of the thrillers penned by Greene himself

Nobody's Fool: The Life and Times of Schlitzie the Pinhead

Griffith is renowned for his absurdist comic strip Zippy the Pinhead, inspired by Schlitzie's iconic image, and on some level this biography seems to be an attempt at restoring some dignity to a life he's mined for his own purposes. He succeeds wonderfully.

Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made

A fascinating project inspired by obvious passion from everyone involved, but subpar illustration ultimately results in a volume that will, owing to a few text pieces describing the origins of the project and reprints of Dali's initial treatment and notes, appeal primarily to die-hard fans alone.

Stray Bullets: Sunshine & Roses

This is the latest in a series Lapham has produced on and off since 1995, and part of his brilliance as a storyteller is that every volume works as a great jumping-on point. So if you haven't already jumped on, you really should.

The Sons of El Topo

Those unfamiliar with the film will find this work inscrutable; nevertheless, owing to Jodorowsky's strong following, it should be in high demand.

Letter to Survivors

Originally published in French in 1981 and available now for the first time in English, this odd blend of sf and satire of consumer culture by former Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Gébé raises more questions than it answers, but who needs answers when the cartooning is this elegant and the questions are this fascinating?

Philip K. Dick

While some interesting aspects of Dick's life—in particular, his turn to Christianity

Black Dahlia

Geary is an accomplished cartoonist and storyteller, and these installments in his long-running series on American crime are sure to satisfy fans of graphic novels and true crime alike.

Graphic Novels, February 1, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

I Moved to Los Angeles To Work in Animation

Thoughtful and beautifully done, this is a great introduction for anyone seeking a job in animation, or looking for encouragement to try something new.

Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America

This unabashedly pot-positive polemic is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the subject and its history, and a good—albeit optional—addition to a well-rounded collection of resources regarding the same.

Graphic Novels, January 25, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

Celebrating Culture Through Comics | 2019 Schomburg Center Black Comic Book Festival



Many graphic novels explore mental illness, art, and mother-daughter relations in a more helpful way, including Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother?? and Ellen Forney's Marbles. This work contains mature language and images, but more than anything it's the complete lack of redemption that makes it inappropriate for younger readers—or for anyone struggling to keep a positive outlook.

The Lady Doctor

Adults and older teens interested in behind-the-scenes medical fiction will find this gripping.

Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor; The Many Lives of Doctor Who

Fans of the BBC TV show will delight in the new short stories of each Doctor, and while newcomers will be intrigued, they'll likely need a bit more background to get the full effect. Overall, highly enjoyable for any age group.

Graphic Novels, January 18, 2019 | Xpress Reviews


Graphic Novels, January 11, 2019 | Xpress Reviews


Prism Stalker

Overall, this story is highly enjoyable visually, but the plot falls flat. One hopes future volumes will reel readers back in and offer more in the way of a big picture.

Love Letters to Jane's World

Suggesting Alison Bechdel's Dykes To Watch Out For without the politics, Jane's World gently lampoons romance and gender stereotypes without rancor and can be enjoyed by all genders and orientations. With the complete run of the story collected and published by Braddock's Girl Twirl Comics, this overview offers a meaty omnibus for newbies and a binge read for aficionados.

Graphic Novels, January 4, 2019 | Xpress Reviews


FTL, Y'all! Tales from the Age of the $200 Warp Drive

Lafrenais (Tim'rous Beastie) pulls together a creative, thoughtful collection that manages to be both enjoyable and disturbing. Inspiring fodder for sf fans and storytellers, adults and teens.

Brother Nash

Excellent for readers seeking a fresh, modern take on supernatural fantasy. Recommended for older teens and adults owing to mature language.

Amongst the Liberal Elite: The Road Trip Exploring Societal Inequities Solidified by Trump (RESIST)

Conservative-leaning readers may enjoy laughing at Alex and Michael—the very picture of everything the right loathes about the left—and liberal-tending ones will sympathize with their plight to make sense of the political landscape. Suitable for adult collections.

The Prisoner: The Uncertainty Machine

The original Prisoner's magic proves irreproducible, but this acceptable addendum should appeal to readers of dramas such as Queen and Country and The Coldest City as much as it will to fans of the source material.

Graphic Novels from Baudoin, Brubaker/Phillips, de Radiguès, Gaiman, Buckingham, & Co., Nowak, Roberts, Typex, Van Sciver, and Walker | LJ Reviews, Dec. 2018


Graphic Novels, December 21, 2018 | Xpress Reviews


The Book of Ballads and Sagas

Collecting works first published by Vess's Green Man Press, this is an excellent introduction to folk ballads for anyone interested in fairy tales and folklore. Recommended for teens and adults for language and explicit content.

The Epic of Gilgamesh

This lively, compulsively readable rendition makes the irony, insight, and humor of the epic accessible and even fun. Humans haven't changed much in 5,000 years, a cautionary message for us all. For high school through adult readers who enjoy over-the-top quest stories.

Graphic Novels, December 7, 2018 | Xpress Reviews


Girl Town

Nowak's characters banter, bicker, and yearn for love, connection, and acceptance. Their world isn't quite ours, but their struggles are familiar and very entertaining.

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