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PREMIUM

Killadelphia. Vol. 1: Sins of the Father

A strong sense of place, an offbeat take on vampire mythology, and gorgeously grim illustration combine to make this first volume in an ongoing horror series a memorable standout.
PREMIUM

Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party

Rall combines prose, photographs, and single-panel political cartoons in this carefully researched, fervent plea for a reorganization of the current political system.
PREMIUM

Shame Pudding: A Graphic Memoir

A sensitive coming-of-age story and tribute to how the author’s family shaped her into the artist she is, illustrated in loose pen and ink lines and distorted forms that exude Noble’s warmth for her characters.

Trots and Bonnie

An intelligent, uncompromising, and singularly candid chronicle of young womanhood.

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics

Scioli details Kirby’s life with the same passion and crackling energy the King of Comics brought to his own work. An essential text for fans of the medium.
PREMIUM

Wendy, Master of Art

A savage lampooning of the art world’s self-seriousness that makes some serious points about the artistic establishment and the difficulty that accompanies dedicating oneself to creative expression.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist

A hilarious, frequently cringe-inducing masterpiece from a fearless artist at the height of his powers.
PREMIUM

Ghostwriter

Pulido packs enough twists and turns to fill a door-stopping epic into 18 brilliantly concise chapters in this slim volume, which won Spain’s 2017 National Comic Book Award.
PREMIUM

Titan

Vigneault’s (The Immersion Program) decision to establish his cast and world at a slow burn over the first few chapters pays dividends in the high-stakes second half of this thoughtful and unabashedly political sf thriller.

Cruel Summer

The powerhouse creative team of Brubaker and Phillips (Pulp) combine elements of noir and coming-of-age stories in this psychologically and emotionally complex drama about desperate men and women daring to strive for better lives in a violent world where hope and love are dangerous liabilities.

PREMIUM

Rai. Bk. 1

Abnett (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Omnibus) grants Rai, who yearns for a life of peaceful simplicity, even as he ruthlessly destroys his enemies, an impressive complexity, and illustrator Ryp (X-O Manowar: Deluxe Edition. Bk. 2) renders carnage with panache. Postapocalyptic cyberpunk samurai odysseys don’t get much better than this
PREMIUM

The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel

Fordham (To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel) retains much of Fitzgerald’s singular prose, which Morton (His Dream of the Skyland) illustrates with an eye toward period detail and restraint that blossoms into expressive tableaus of vivid color at key moments. Here, Fitzgerald’s incisive exposé of the shallow excesses of the elite feels startlingly fresh nearly 100 years after its original publication.
PREMIUM

Family Tree. Vol. 1: The Sapling

The shocking twists and intriguing mysteries packed into this first volume of an ongoing series will have readers clamoring for future installments.

PREMIUM

Dancing After TEN

A prime example of the graphic medicine genre, which illustrates medical conditions, often through lived experience, this work is engaging and informative but never feels teachy or preachy. [See Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 4/20.]
PREMIUM

Pollock Confidential

Readers looking for an in-depth study of Pollock’s life, work, or inadvertent involvement with the CIA might be disappointed by this somewhat breezy account, but Catacchio’s respect for his subject is clear and ultimately infectious. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 4/20.]
PREMIUM

Royal City. Bk. 1: The Complete Collection

An emotionally raw, thematically rich, intricately plotted saga with strong appeal for more literary-minded readers from the prolific Lemire (Gideon Falls. Vol. 4: The Pentoculus).

Bix

 Eisner-nominated Chantler (Two Generals) utilizes the deliberate cadence of panels alternating with layered multipanel visual bursts to denote musicality and the excitement of life in this nearly worldless graphic biography, a daring and bold experiment that stunningly succeeds. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s Graphic Novels Preview, "Picture This," LJ 4/20.]
PREMIUM

A Quick & Easy Guide to Sex & Disability

This fun and informative guide, with clean, expressive art, delivers body positivity messages and nonmedical advice with a sense of mischievous, contagious fun. Rather than dwell on physical restrictions, the central thrust is showing what can be done, making sex with disability a experience worth pursuing.
PREMIUM

Everything Is Beautiful, and I’m Not Afraid: A Baopu Collection

This compelling and illuminating collection brings together new and previously published online material from a courageous and deeply sensitive artist.
PREMIUM

Plate Tectonics: An Illustrated Memoir

Motin’s character is crass and often exasperating, but in the end she provides an endearing portrait of a woman doing her best, and adult readers will relate to the struggle.
PREMIUM

Jujutsu Kaisen. Vol. 1

Recommended for fans of Tite Kubo’s Bleach or Hitoshi Iwaake’s Parasyte.
PREMIUM

The Harrowing of Hell

Crafted to make complacent Christians and disinterested atheists alike squirm, this is a thought experiment in the form of church teaching, in the form of a monster-laden indie comic, a surprising, special book. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s Graphic Novels Preview, “Picture This!” LJ 4/20.]
PREMIUM

Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir

Feder’s colorful, realistic illustrations, rendered in unusual paneling styles, bring her cherished mother to life and offer a refreshing take on a subject no one wishes to talk about, compelling readers to reexamine their own understanding of the grieving processes and that of others.

Giant

French Canadian creator Mikaël constructs a heartfelt, minutely detailed, and beautiful epic about the everyday lives, loves, trials, and triumphs of hard-working laborers, the immigrant experience, and finding forgiveness. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s Graphic Novels Preview, “Picture This!” LJ 4/20.]
PREMIUM

Rascal

Abundant with snapshots recognizable to cat lovers the world over, Rascal appeals unapologetically to its base, but may alienate foolish cat-shunning detractors.
PREMIUM

Churchill: A Graphic Biography

Complex enough for adults seeking entrée into the Churchill mystique while also great reading for historically minded teens down through middle-schoolers.

The Stringbags

An epic tribute to little-known heroes, featuring frenzied depictions of midair combat by Holden (Judge Dredd: Every Empire Falls).

Fire on the Water

MacGregor bases his first full-length work on the horrific true story of the 1916 Waterworks Tunnel disaster, and with artist Dumm (American Splendor) compellingly utilizes biographical elements, political machinations, corruption, humor, and even light touches of fantasy to weave a nuanced tapestry about the richness of human experience under the most trying circumstances. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 4/20.]

Dead Eyes. Vol. 1

Watching Dead Eyes outsmart, outmaneuver, and outgun his enemies is a total blast in this first collection of what will hopefully be a long-running series.
PREMIUM

Paul Is Dead: When the Beatles Lost McCartney

Overall, an interesting examination of the events surrounding one of the strangest conspiracy theories in the history of popular culture. Yet ultimately, the work is slight and anticlimactic owing to an unsuccessful twist ending. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 4/20.]

Bog Bodies

A fast-paced, thrilling noir perfect for fans of the Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’s Criminal and David Lapham’s Stray Bullets.

Fire Power. Vol. 1: Prelude

Kirkman (Oblivion Song. Vol. 3) and Samnee (Black Widow: The Complete Collection) have created a fun homage to classic martial arts films and comic books, and while this volume serves as a prelude to an upcoming monthly series, it includes more than enough action and intrigue to satisfy on its own.
PREMIUM

The Pits of Hell

Not for everyone, but fans of surreal or psychological horror are sure to embrace this collection.
PREMIUM

Mitchum

While readers desiring a strong sense of narrative might not be impressed, Blutch successfully elicits a range of emotions through unforgettable illustrations in these stories, first published in French and available in English for the first time.

Seeds and Stems

Hilarious, upsetting, and thoroughly brilliant.
PREMIUM

The Labyrinth: An Existential Odyssey with Jean-Paul Sartre

A great primer for anyone, but especially YA readers interested in existentialism
PREMIUM

The Lab

An unsettling vision from an exciting and distinctly talented newcomer.

Dragman

Imaginative and uncommonly moving, with extra poignance provided via an afterword by the author detailing his personal connection to the text. [See Prepub Alert, 10/14/19.]
PREMIUM

Department of Mind-Blowing Theories

Gauld’s intelligence and wit permeate every page of this clever volume.

Phoolan Devi: Rebel Queen

A woman operating with an eye-for-an-eye attitude is a rare and powerful thing, and this heroic tale of Phoolan’s journey from despair and abuse to justice and renown, is intoxicating.

Paying the Land

Sacco’s reporting, accompanied by impressively drawn black-and-white illustrations, is occasionally overwhelmingly detailed, but with good reason: this is a vitally important story about an underrepresented people.

Eight-Lane Runaways

Fantastically ambitious, funny, and delightfully weird.
PREMIUM

Grafity’s Wall: Expanded Edition

Illustrator Radhakrishnan heaps images and faces together in a disorienting, dynamic jumble to capture the fast-paced hustle and bustle of life in Mumbai, and author V’s (These Savage Shores. Vol. 1) skillfully develops endearing characters and slyly, eschewing melodrama, establishes how economic inequality oppresses them all.

Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice!

A delight for fans of either series and a surprisingly great jumping-on point for new readers.
PREMIUM

Everything Is an Emergency: An OCD Story in Words & Pictures

Katzenstein is witty and fearlessly honest. The rapid pace at which his story unfolds can be a little disorienting at times, but ultimately it proves the right choice for conveying the experience of his daily life.

Portrait of a Drunk

An uncommonly vicious swashbuckling romp with a cruel protagonist, but absolutely entertaining and fantastically illustrated.
PREMIUM

Berserker Unbound. Vol. 1

Lemire and Deodato Jr. put an unpredictably poignant spin on the sword-and-sorcery genre. This hardcover collects the entire four-issue series.
PREMIUM

Poems To See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry

Peters’s virtuosity as an illustrator and keen understanding of the texts included here results in a beautiful, memorable volume.

A Radical Shift of Gravity

A remarkably moving parable that captures the particular uncertainty of 21st-century life.
PREMIUM

Bites of Terror: Ten Frightfully Delicious Tales

Cutesy presentation, witty humor, and genuine depravity combine to create a memorably weird and wonderfully entertaining compilation.
PREMIUM

Bluebeard

Metaphrog (creative duo John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs; “Louis” series) offers a pastel-hewn modern take on the venerable tale that is delightfully offbeat and thrilling, with an actively heroic lead and unexpected magical menaces. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 4/20.]

The Daughters of Ys

National Book Award–winning author Anderson (Traitor to the Nation) and artist Rioux (Cat’s Cradle) present delicate, soft-hued picture-book imagery that disarmingly explores the corruptive legacy of raw power in this most compellingly philosophical and thoughtful fantasy. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 4/20.]

Tinderella

A funny, extremely perceptive debut from a cartoonist to watch.

PREMIUM

Go To Sleep (I Miss You): Cartoons from the Fog of New Parenthood

For a more narrative approach, consider Knisley’s earlier comic about her pregnancy and birth, Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos, which delves deeper and more satisfyingly into the topic than the sketchbook format allows. For a busy new (or veteran) parent, these bite-sized laughs are just what the pediatrician ordered.

PREMIUM

Taarna

While this Taarna isn’t as great a betrayal as her film version, it is still a huge missed opportunity

The Golden Age. Bk. 1

Debut writer Moreil joins cocreator Pedrosa (Portugal) on this first chapter in an ongoing series that is filled with enough intrigue, magic, and mystery for an entire saga. Pedrosa’s background working as an animator for Disney is clear in the fluid, expressive figures he renders, and his coloring gives each page a staggeringly impressive, vivid glow.

PREMIUM

Feminism: A Graphic Guide

No single volume could encapsulate such a complex subject--thankfully there are primers such as this to give readers the essential basics, plus suggestions as to how they might continue their learning. Recommended for all nonfiction collections with an area for feminism.

PREMIUM

Faithless

In this first collection in an ongoing series, Azzarello (Batman: Damned) and Llovet (Loud) turn in an unusually compelling, erotically charged horror romance that offers philosophic gems to enrich the lovely boudoir action.
PREMIUM

A Letter to Jo

Leaning hard on cultural wartime tropes and cartoonish bouts of combat, this tale misses an opportunity to share a meaningful, specific story by painting in the broadest of strokes.
PREMIUM

In Search of Lost Time: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower

Let cynics and snobs consider this project Proust for Dummies--kudos to Heuet and translator Marris (creative writing, Boston Univ.) for bringing Proust to both new audiences and the paneled page with class. Recommended to lovers of classic literature, fans of nonsuperhero sequential art, and anyone putting off tackling Proust.
PREMIUM

Year of the Rabbit

A powerful portrayal of one of the most sorrowful events of the 20th century.

The Winter of the Cartoonist

While structurally challenging, Roca’s massively appealing illustration and masterly sense of narrative make this true story exceptionally compelling.
PREMIUM

Space Bandits

Watching Cody and Thena wreak havoc is a total blast in this fast-paced, Day-Glo romp.
PREMIUM

Oscar Martin’s Solo: Survivors of Chaos

A beautifully drawn, gripping action-adventure, coming-of-age story in which the protagonist must grapple with ferocious enemies and an existential crisis.
PREMIUM

Sea of Stars. Vol. 1: Lost in the Wild Heavens

If Sam Peckinpah had directed a Pixar film, it would probably a lot like what coauthors Aaron (War of the Realms) and Hallum (Star Wars: Vader

Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës

Greenberg not only shows how the juvenile “scribblemania” of the Brontës prefigured later literary accomplishments, such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, but also crafts a story that resonates within our own century. Engrossing for both adults and teens attracted to alt-history fantasy or the Brontës. (See also, Catherynne M. Valente’s The Glass Town Game, SLJ 6/17.)

The Strange Ones

A sensitive, understated depiction of how miraculous it feels to encounter a soul similar to one’s own.

PREMIUM

A Is for Anonymous: How a Mysterious Hacker Collective Transformed the World

A thought-provoking history of an oft-misunderstood subject, as well as the evolution of social protests over the past three decades.
PREMIUM

Becoming Horses

Wallander’s ideas about art are provocative, and her illustrations are incredibly striking in this memorable debut.

Familiar Face

DeForge (Leaving Richard’s Valley) pushes his ability to wring pathos out of surreal situations further than ever in this dazzling satire of technology run rampant that doubles as a meditation on the sense of alienation that often grows out of heartbreak.
PREMIUM

Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams

Allred’s pop art–style illustration, heavily influenced by 1960s and 1970s fashion, pop culture, and psychedelia, is perfectly suited to the era, and his adoration for his subject shines through carefully captured period details and likenesses and lovingly re-created famous photographs and album covers. Most impressive, Allred employs superimposed imagery and surrealistic flourishes to capture the raw energy of live musical performances in scenes depicting Bowie and the band in concert.
PREMIUM

A Gift for a Ghost

Elegantly crafted, with delicate cartooning and a brilliant autumnal color palette, González’s first full-length work delivers a quietly emotional evocation of the universal hopes and desires linking characters across centuries.

Big Black: Stand at Attica

Améziane’s (Muhammad Ali) gritty, expressive illustration and muted color palette present this unflinching depiction of the brutal price the Attica inmates paid for demanding civil rights in a style evocative of the 1970s Hollywood Renaissance aesthetic. Sure to be one of the most discussed books this year.

Sports Is Hell

A lacerating, darkly hilarious howl against racism, sports fandom, and tribalism in general by an artist with a distinct and necessary vision.

Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio

An incendiary corrective to the myths and misconceptions surrounding these events and a memorial to the lives lost or forever altered that should be required reading for all Americans.
PREMIUM

House of X/Powers of X

Intricately plotted, dense with new ideas and daring reinterpretations of beloved characters, but more important, a lot of fun.
PREMIUM

Battle Born: Lapis Lazuli

Uriarte’s attempts at exploring the ideological differences between members of the squad (especially between a self-described redneck and a Hispanic woman) are admirable but rely on slightly cliché dialog; the story works best as a tragic meditation on the value of honor and justice in a world ruled by violence. [See Prepub Alert, 12/3/18.]
PREMIUM

Silver Surfer: Black Treasury Edition

A gorgeous interstellar adventure dedicated to Silver Surfer cocreator Stan Lee.
PREMIUM

Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival

A stunning collection that viscerally highlights the pervasiveness of sexual violence and the multitude of ways survivors process trauma.
PREMIUM

DCeased

A successfully scary and thrilling vision of the apocalypse, and a surprisingly moving examination of how beacons of hope cope with the realization that the end is nigh. Collects the entire best-selling miniseries.
PREMIUM

Pittsburgh

A thoughtful account of family and place that will be especially enjoyed by fans of graphic memoir. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]
PREMIUM

La Voz De M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo. Vol. 1

Barajas’s passion for his subject is clear, but haphazard pacing and a lack of context regarding the legal and tribal issues involved in the dispute make for an occasionally confusing read. Nevertheless, this is still an essential volume in what Frederick Luis Aldama’s introduction calls “reclaiming, restoring, and affirming Lantinxs as significant shapers of the historical record.”
PREMIUM

Witchfinder: Omnibus. Vol. 1

Riveting mysteries and thrilling action combine in stories with ongoing ramifications for the larger Hellboy universe. A solid purchase.
PREMIUM

Naomi: Season One

An exciting mystery and coming-of-age superhero origin story introducing an original heroine and a cliff-hanger ending sure to have readers eager for future installments. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]
PREMIUM

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights

An incredibly comprehensive resource for readers seeking a look at women’s history that diverges from what is typically taught in school.

Lupus

Peeters is a compositional genius, utilizing stunning swaths of negative space and thick fields of inky darkness that imbue nearly every panel on every page of this volume with dynamism and pathos.

Holy Hannah

Dinksi (Trying Not To Notice) borrows heavily from the life of charismatic cult leader Jim Jones and the tragic events at Jonestown to create commentary on social media and the dangers of group think, illustrated in a deceptively simple cartooning style that makes the inevitable tragic ending truly jarring.
PREMIUM

The Man Without Talent

While the opening chapters deliver a portrait of an artist’s ennui, later scenes depicting Sukesawa’s interactions with the owner of a bird store and a bookseller in his village reveal that Tsgue’s (Nejishiki) actual interest lies in a withering dissection of male entitlement in a rapidly changing society.

Street Angel: Deadliest Girl Alive

Unimpressed at meeting Santa Claus but ebullient while serving out a prison sentence, Jesse is a scrappy yet supremely confident spitfire with appeal to readers of all ages.

No Longer Human

If the internationally acclaimed master of horror Ito (Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection) seems at first a strange choice to adapt Dazai’s 1948 novel, his skill for stories mixing existential dread, body horror, and nightmarishly surreal imagery quickly prove him matched to the material. This unsparingly intense vision of life as a journey through hell, reminiscent of Dostoyevsky and Kafka, just might be Ito’s magnum opus.
PREMIUM

The House

Celebrated Spanish creator Roca’s (Twist of Fate) cartoonishly drawn characters are juxtaposed against highly detailed backgrounds, showcasing the strange dislocation they feel inhabiting a space that ought to feel much more like home in this melancholy and deeply sympathetic meditation on sibling dynamics and the role memory plays in the grieving process. [Note: a simultaneously released Spanish-language edition is also available from the publisher.
PREMIUM

Swimming in Darkness

Harari’s adept skills as a storyteller are elevated even further by his talents as a designer with a strong sense of color, as pleasantly round, cartoonish characters wander angular planes and inhabit a world filled with warm, glowing red rooms and grainy, foreboding purple skies.

Inappropriate

Memoir and fiction stand side by side, often in the same story, in this frequently hilarious, occasionally melancholy collection that affirms Bell’s status as one of the best cartoonists of her generation.

Making Comics

An engaging combination of how-to and why-you-must, perfect for Barry superfans, budding cartoonists, and anyone with a story itching to be told. [See the author interview, p. 77.]
PREMIUM

Blade Runner 2019. Vol. 1

This first chapter in an ongoing series that promises to bridge the gap between the classic 1982 film and the 2017 sequel from coauthors Green (Blade Runner 2049) and Johnson (Star Trek vs. Transformers) and artist Guinaldo (Justice League Dark) cleverly captures the tone of the source material while thrillingly expanding the scope of the larger world only hinted at in the films, resulting in the rare licensed title that feels essential instead of perfunctory.
PREMIUM

Bradley of Him

Willumsen pokes fun at the vapidity of celebrity culture and seems interested in satirizing a particularly American sense of entitlement, but ultimately he obscures whatever point he has in mind in favor of remaining willfully, and fascinatingly, perplexing.

Spider-Man: Life Story

A fantastic collection suggesting that Peter Parker, even more than his spandex-clad alter ego, is actually one of the greatest comic book characters of all time.
PREMIUM

Doomsday Clock: Part 1

A tense and gripping homage to Watchmen’s dissection of costumed crime fighters that also seems interested in probing the limits of its ongoing influence. A must for series followers, and a boon for DC fans seeking next chapters in its ever-expanding universe.
PREMIUM

Blossoms 666

The horrors of teen cliques as well as the machinations of demonic forces blossom throughout this latest from Bunn (Harrow County), Braga (Bombshells), and colorist Herms (Sonic Boom), unleashing a tense high school terror tale with vibrant visuals reminiscent of Patrick Nagel. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novels spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]
PREMIUM

Batman: Damned

Bermejo’s richly painted vision of Gotham City is brilliantly gritty and terrifying, and Azzarello’s script is ambitious and complex if occasionally hard to follow, as mood and tone tend to trump narrative drive.
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