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PREMIUM

Asadora!, Vol. 2

Answers remain elusive as to how Asa’s story connects to the modern-day kaiju rampage depicted in volume one of the series, but Urasawa’s masterful storytelling and brisk pacing result in an entertaining page-turner.
PREMIUM

The Black Ghost

An appealingly gritty, hard-boiled tale reminiscent of classic pulp thrillers, featuring a charismatic, complex, and deeply human protagonist. This volume collects five issues originally available online through Comixology.

Fictional Father

Ollmann (The Abominable Mr. Seabrook) explores dysfunctional family dynamics and the sometimes complex motivations behind artistic expression with incredible empathy. An absorbing, enthralling work.
PREMIUM

Little Victories: Autism through a Father’s Eyes

This charming depiction of a father’s quest to understand his son’s needs arrives having already garnered multiple awards, including the Best Biography Award from the Disability Fund and Society.
PREMIUM

Seven Secrets, Vol. 1

Taylor (Suicide Squad: Bad Blood) provides a propulsive, action-packed plot without sacrificing character development, and builds to an unexpected cliffhanger ending that’s sure to leave readers excited for future installments.
PREMIUM

In

This exploration of the isolation brought on by self-absorption is occasionally dark, but ultimately deeply moving and profound.
PREMIUM

Celestia

An imaginative and skillfully told story about characters and a world reeling from trauma but poised for a new beginning. Fior’s talent for conveying emotion evokes both heartache and awe.
PREMIUM

Usagi Yojimbo: Homecoming

Sakai’s (47 Ronin) meticulous research and unparalleled storytelling have kept Usagi’s adventures compelling for nearly 40 years; the resonant, action-packed stories in this collection suggest the best may be yet to come. This volume collects issues 8–14 of the current full-color series.

The Knights of Heliopolis

The story begins as a riff on The Man in the Iron Mask but quickly twists, turns, and defies easy categorization. It includes mystical rituals, a secret history of the world, talking gorillas, an exploration of sex and gender roles, and brutal brawls between superhuman combatants. Fun to read and epic in scope.

Lovesickness

Ito’s boundless imagination and his skill for evoking dread and visceral terror are on full display in this collection, which is sure to be embraced by his wildly devoted and rapidly growing fanbase.

Stone Fruit

Lai presents a tender and emotionally raw examination of three women struggling to form and maintain their identities within and outside of their immediate family, illustrated in a loosely expressive style that conveys both bombastic catharsis and silent anguish with aplomb.
PREMIUM

The Stringer

Marc proves to be a charismatic protagonist, reminiscent of Breaking Bad’s Walter White, but he remains slightly underdeveloped. Rall’s (Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party) real interest seems to be using international intrigue to deliver a pointed critique of how technological advancement has destroyed journalistic integrity.
PREMIUM

Fist of the North Star, Vol. 1

Originally published in Japan between 1983 and 1988, this is one of the most beloved and bestselling manga of all time. Long out of print in English translation, this first volume of the reissued manga is sure to create legions of new fans
PREMIUM

Heavy, Vol. 1

Bemis (Black Terror: Dark Years) provides a script rich with pathos and epic action, illustrated with jittery dynamism by Donovan (All We Ever Wanted). This volume collects issues 1–5 of the ongoing series.
PREMIUM

200

A promising, playful sci-fi noir, this title isn’t perfect or particularly original, but it buzzes with neon energy that leaves readers eager for more.
PREMIUM

Robotech Archives: The Masters Vol. 1

As Baron says in his introduction, the basic story is “a theme as old as fiction”--unfortunately, this means there’s a lot of competition. Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and Hideaki Anno’s Neon Genesis Evangelion tell the story better. Not recommended, except for serious Robotech fans.

And Now I Spill the Family Secrets: An Illustrated Memoir

An empathetic, uncommonly nuanced, and thoroughly brilliant family saga presented with real daring and true artistry.

Asadora!, Vol. 1

While this opening volume is largely devoted to worldbuilding and character development, Urasawa’s masterful storytelling, idiosyncratic plotting, and richly complex, empathetic characters combine for a thoroughly entertaining and intriguing introduction to what promises to be an epic story.

PREMIUM

Crash Site

Readers willing to roll with the bawdy humor and gore on display will find themselves increasingly engaged in a legitimately suspenseful plot and anxiously awaiting follow-ups from this wildly talented debut author.

The Grande Odalisque

Readers will devour this action-packed, wildly sexy, witty, and ultra-cool crime story built around the complicated relationship between three charismatic women and rejoice to discover a note at the end promising they’ll return for further adventures in future volumes.
PREMIUM

Poison Flowers & Pandemonium

A genuinely fun, energetic collection, as well as a lasting testament to Sala’s distinct talent.

Count

A fast-paced science fiction spin on "The Count of Monte Cristo" that adds jets packs, superhuman assassins, and flying motorcycles while retaining the spirit of the source material.

 

 

Adler

Tidhar (By Force Alone) propels an ensemble of historical figures and literary characters through a knotty and thrilling plot packed with intrigue and visceral action, illustrated with a keen eye for historical detail by McCaffrey (Anno Dracula–1895: Seven Days in Mayhem).
PREMIUM

The Tankies

Ennis’s talent for revealing character through naturalistic dialogue combines with illustrations detailing the chaotic brutality of battle to emphasize the human cost and spiritual toll of war in this stirring, tragic trilogy.
PREMIUM

Okay, Universe: Chronicles of a Woman in Politics

As Simone’s quest to win municipal office progresses, readers will find themselves unable to resist rooting for her victory, and even inspired to become more politically active.

When I Came Out

Both poignant and funny, Louise’s life-changing decision to leave her marriage and live as a lesbian evokes the classic coming-of-age tale, skewed older yet still universal. A readalike for fans of Tee Franklin’s Bingo Love.

Bad Mother

A short five-issue story that is a must-read for mature readers. Fans of the common woman defying odds to save a loved one will enjoy.
PREMIUM

The Philosophy of Spider-Man

This garishly eye-catching book is no doubt intended for well-meaning gift givers, but DK’s various Spider-Man books would better serve that purpose.
PREMIUM

The Times I Knew I Was Gay

As Western culture becomes increasingly gay-friendly, Crewes’s experience will—fortunately—become more and more typical. The story of her journey will be much appreciated by young people who are curious about themselves and their friends.
PREMIUM

Juliet Takes a Breath

Rivera (America. Vol. 2: Fast and Fueronta) adapts her own novel with artist Moscote, and while some sequences feel unsatisfyingly summarized, it’s difficult not to root for a character as empathetic as Juliet.

Billionaire Island

A riotous, scathing satire of the absurd excesses of the ultrarich and the broader culture that allows them to run rampant, from a creative team with a unique comedic sensibility rooted in equal parts exasperation and deep compassion for their fellow humans. [An LJ 2020 Best Book.
PREMIUM

The Complete Hate

Bagge’s distinct vision of American life, conveyed through intense, exaggeratedly cartoony illustration and brilliant dialog, feel as revelatory and relevant as ever.

Under-Earth

A perfectly paced page-turning meditation on the possibility of grace from a creator who grows more impressive with every release.

PREMIUM

Reckless

While obviously inspired by classic characters such as Travis McGee and Jack Reacher, Brubaker and Phillips’s (Cruel Summer) Reckless transcends the creators’ influences in this complex portrait of the heartbroken melancholy of a disillusioned idealist who can’t quite give up on his fellow man.
PREMIUM

BANG!

While comics featuring casts consisting of characters crafted to pay homage to classic pulp adventure heroes aren’t exactly rare, few exude the genuine affection for the genre and originality displayed on every page of this twisty, consistently surprising romp.
PREMIUM

Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale

Fielder’s (The Day Chronicles: The Secret Life of Mary Day) boldly painted illustrations exhibit raw power on every page of this staggeringly ambitious epic.

Remina

Ito (Venus in the Blind Spot) is internationally renowned as a master of creeping terror and surrealistically nightmarish imagery, and while this new volume lacks in the former, it raises the bar when it comes to the latter, presenting unforgettable images that range from a gruesome crucifixion to a lascivious tongue lashing a continent-sized groove across the planet. A berserk thrill.

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen: Who Killed Jimmy Olsen?

This dazzlingly unpredictable, pleasantly surreal celebration of Silver Age comics is one of the most purely enjoyable, unashamedly fun, and funny mainstream releases in years. [An LJ 2020 Best Book.]

PREMIUM

Dune: The Graphic Novel. Bk. 1

Illustrators Allén and Martín (both, Harbinger Wars 2: Deluxe Edition) enliven this extremely faithful adaptation with cleverly designed pages that highlight various characters’ inner turmoil and deliver satisfyingly awe-inspiring depictions of the gargantuan sandworms native to Arrakis and central to series iconography.
PREMIUM

The Pull

Orlando (Martian Manhunter: Identity) introduces a steady stream of heady sf concepts, perfectly suited to Ortiz’s (Black Panther vs. Deadpool) lively, anime-inspired illustration.
PREMIUM

Adventureman. Vol. 1: The End and Everything After

An immensely engaging cast, compelling mystery, and intriguing cliff-hanger ending will have readers excited for future volumes in this ongoing series.

Wonder Woman: Dead Earth

At a glance, it may seem as though Johnson’s thrilling battle sequences are the main draw here, but he quickly establishes his profound understanding of what makes Wonder Woman a unique and enduring character. Grand adventure infused with real emotion
PREMIUM

Afterlift

Zdarsky (Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky. Vol. 4) delivers a richly imagined, action-packed story, in which artists Loo (Pitiful Human Lizard: Far From Legendary) and Alleyne deliver with vigorous flair. This collection included the entire five-issue series, originally published online and the winner of an Eisner Award for Best Digital Series in 2020.
PREMIUM

The Butcher of Paris

While chapters covering the investigation feel slightly underdeveloped, a final sequence detailing Petiot’s trial is truly captivating.
PREMIUM

Mickey All-Stars

A total delight with high appeal for children and adult readers alike.
PREMIUM

Lonesome Days, Savage Nights. Vol. 1: The Manning Files

Illustrator Kudranski’s (Superman: Action Comics. Vol. 3: Leviathan Hunt) use of eerie red and purple tones to highlight otherwise murkily dark scenes is truly stunning. Otherwise, this is a relatively stock noir story line enlivened, but not quite redeemed, by an infusion of horror tropes.
PREMIUM

Dracula, Motherf**ker

Amazing neonoir expressionistic art by Henderson (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) is unfortunately fatally drained of lifeblood by undernourished characters and the uneven narrative of de Campi (Archie vs. Predator). Still, die-hard Dracula fans and enthusiasts of the award-winning creators may want to give this a try.
PREMIUM

Paul at Home

A darker addition to the Paul canon, this slice of midlife feels achingly true for long-time fans, but might be a tricky place to start in the ongoing saga of one man’s unassuming, yet richly realized, life.

Blackwood: Vol. 1: The Mourning After

With this second in an ongoing series, veteran scribe Dorkin (Beasts of Burden) unleashes his trademark humor and honest humanity in a spellbinding horror adventure, while Veronica and Andy Fish’s (Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Something Wicked) evocative and impressionistic art uses a blacklight color scheme that perfectly complements the carnival atmosphere and graveyard thrills.
PREMIUM

Fangs

Andersen’s knack for macabre banter and focus on how intimacy is established through an aggregate of grandly romantic moments and relatively mundane exchanges result in a funny, sweet volume about two uncommonly endearing supernatural predators.

The Book Tour

Watson’s adeptness at capturing body language and facial expressions combines with nuanced dialog and a keen sense of irony to create a hugely entertaining page-turner. After having spent several years creating work for younger readers, the author’s long-anticipated return to more mature themes dazzles.
PREMIUM

Lon Chaney Speaks

Dorian evokes Chaney’s personality in richly detailed scenes made even more impressive by the fact that an introductory note stresses that his subject’s extreme aversion to divulging details of his private life necessitated that this be “an imagined biography…inspired by real events and research.”

Monsters

This exquisitely illustrated epic bursts with emotion, insight, and empathy. Five decades into his already influential career, Windsor-Smith has created his magnum opus.

American Terrorist

The Bourne Identity meets The Fugitive à la Noam Chomsky? As smart and edifying as that, but with greater entertainment value and gravity. Essential for mature readers interested in American politics, race relations, civics, and ethics.

Gung Ho: Vol. 1

Von Kummant’s illustration is stunning and matches the lively tone of von Eckartsberg’s script, which puts a new spin on dystopian survival tales in the Walking Dead vein by focusing the narrative around a teenage cast. A refreshingly original, promising start to the series.
PREMIUM

We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe

Markoe’s reflections and interrogation of her memories are hilarious and presented with a surrealistic flair in scenes depicting everything from an interview of a hippopotamus representing her own hippocampus to a commiserating of her modern and adolescent selves.

Batman. Vol. 2: Curse of the White Knight

This sequel expands on the already massive scope of its predecessor and builds to a genuinely exciting final twist that will have readers clamoring for future installments.

PREMIUM

Chasin’ the Bird: A Charlie Parker Graphic Novel

Chisholm’s compelling creative college presents a portrait of Parker that reveals the lasting influence of a vital artist.

Basketful of Heads

Hill (Full Throttle: Stories) packs this wildly entertaining debut release from his new horror imprint, Hill House, with plenty of twists and turns, as June’s journey results in a dark secret coming to light and many, many more decapitations.

Ghosted in L.A. Vol. 2

Filled with likable, sensitive characters, this spookily romantic tale from Grace (Iceman), combined with Keenan’s (Jem and the Holograms) luxurious and expressive art, makes this second in an ongoing series a scrumptious, séance-like delight.
PREMIUM

Constitution Illustrated

This creative and playful tribute makes reading the Constitution a more engaging experience. Of interest to those tasked with explaining government and civic concepts to younger audiences and, tangentially, to those interested in the history of comics.
PREMIUM

The Big She-Bang: The Herstory of the Universe According to God the Mother

A perfectly imperfect read for a moment of existential reckoning with masculine conceptions of spirituality, this book gleefully reminds us how much feminine energy lies bubbling underneath patriarchal systems, barely concealed, and nearly ready to burst free.
PREMIUM

Orphan of the Moon: Notebook of a Girl in a Moscow Station | Spotlight Review

Libin’s lyrical, short prose poems are consistently bleak and sometimes maddeningly vague, but she occasionally hits on an evocative image that transports readers straight to the frigid midnight streets of Moscow. The book’s design will appeal to fans of zines and other DIY literature, making it a good fit for edgier, experimental adult collections.
PREMIUM

The Contradictions

Yanow’s voice is pointed, her cartooning delightfully specific without being precious or showy. This debut subtly, effectively challenges readers to dig into their own internal dissonance.
PREMIUM

Moms

Offering a unique account of contemporary Korea and the world from the perspective of women who might otherwise be overlooked, this is a fresh entry that would be a solid addition to any adult collection.
PREMIUM

Aquatlantic

Carpinteri’s imaginative worldbuilding and astonishing illustration more than compensate for a relatively slight plot. Recommended for larger graphic novels collections.
PREMIUM

The Sky Is Blue with a Single Cloud

A long overdue and revelatory collection of masterfully crafted and deeply affecting stories.

Slaughter House-Five

Wih this work, North and Monteys have created the best, and most effective, graphic novel adaptation of a literary novel in recent memory.
PREMIUM

Spellbound: A Graphic Memoir

Som’s experimental approach to autofiction is intriguing, and her illustration and composition bring a sense of dynamism to short, diary-style chapters that coalesce into a fascinatingly complex portrait.

Maids

Skelly (The Agency) reveals the horror of the Papin sisters’ crimes on the very first page of this tense gem, but her perceptive examination of the complex bond between Catherine and Lea evokes incredible sympathy for the two nonetheless.
PREMIUM

Sweet Time

Pixin’s compassion and artistic ambition are evident on every page of this memorable debut.

I Want You

A brilliant collection from an audacious and boldly inventive cartoonist with a distinct and necessary perspective.

Vision

Gfrörer’s deliberate pacing creates a sense of creeping dread and impending tragedy in this memorably disturbing, sexually charged ghost story.
PREMIUM

Post-Apocalypto

A funny and surprisingly heartfelt ode to friendship delivered with the manic energy of artists excited to transgress. [See author Q&A on p. 58.]

PREMIUM

Blackhand & Ironhead. Vol. 1

López (Captain Marvel. Vol. 4: Earth’s Mightiest Hero) is acclaimed for his work illustrating superhero spectacle, but his writing debut reveals a rich, playful imagination and sophisticated sense of character development in this action-packed superhero/sf family saga.
PREMIUM

Algériennes: The Forgotten Women of the Algerian Revolution

Meralli (És Meu!) and Deloupy (Pour la peau) capture the complex legacy of the war through a tapestry of intersecting stories and convincingly argue that denying the trauma is to prolong its impact. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s Graphic Novels Spotlight “Picture This,” LJ 6/20.]
PREMIUM

The Sacrifice of Darkness

Based on Gay’s (The Banks) short story “We Are the Sacrifice of Darkness,” and adapted into the graphic form by Gay and writer Oliver, this deeply romantic sf/fairy tale hybrid exploring class issues, identity, and survivor’s guilt is brought to life through Kirby’s (Now: The New Anthology of Comics) graceful illustrations.
PREMIUM

Superman Smashes the Klan

Yang and Gurihuru (Avatar: The Last Airbender-- The Promise Omnibus) spin a thrilling and timely, all-ages adventure that explores the immigrant experience, bigotry, and internalized racism through a range of perspectives that includes an African American police inspector and a young Klan member forced to confront his family’s legacy of hatred.

PREMIUM

Folklords

A cleverly written, engaging metafictional adventure featuring a memorable and complex cast of characters.

Artful Impact: Teaching and Investigating Comics in Higher Education | Comic-Con@Home 2020

Child Star

This complex portrait of how entertainment stories and personalities permeate the airwaves to become a part of people’s genuine lives, from those watching at home to those involved in the show’s creation, is thought provoking and poignant yet honest in its humanity. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 6/20.]

Count Crowley: Reluctant Midnight Monster Hunter

Actor–turned–comics scribe Dastmalchian and dynamite artist Ketner (Witch Doctor. Vol. 1) join forces to create a superior horror comedy adventure with genuine dramatic tension that revels in its own rich graveyard walk as much as it celebrates the midnight tradition of the television horror host. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 6/20.]
PREMIUM

Willie Nelson: A Graphic History

Teaming with many different artists, Kirsch’s work lovingly delivers a visual concert for the famed musical icon, capturing the rhythm of his life in black and white with a “greatest hits” approach utilizing Willie’s own lyrics for insight into pivotal moments.
PREMIUM

Unrig: How To Fix Our Broken Democracy

An informative and surprisingly optimistic primer on American democracy’s challenges and how to combat them, communicated with a dry, deliberate seriousness that may not spark the interest of every reader. [Previewed in Douglas Rednour’s “Picture This,” LJ 6/20.]
PREMIUM

The Silent Invasion. Vol. 3: The Abductions

Following up their previous two volumes in the series (Red Shadows and The Great Fear), Cherkas and Hancock continue their exploration of Cold War–era sf paranoia with just the right amount of rich film noir sensibility combined with a striking artistic grafting of midcentury modern cartooning with expressively sinewy line work. Recommended for collections with the earlier books in the series.
PREMIUM

The Grot: The Story of the Swamp City Grifters

A strong optional choice for general graphic novel readers fond of postapocalyptic and noir fiction. Apart from general grossness, contains profanity, mature themes, and some gory and disturbing scenes.
PREMIUM

Camp Spirit

Elodie’s foray into the wilderness is oddly paced but also oddly endearing, imperfect yet weirdly adorable, appropriate and best for its target audience of teens and nostalgic young adults.
PREMIUM

The Courage Party: Helping Our Resilient Children Understand and Survive Sexual Assault

Full pages of text between Oparaku’s illustrations make categorizing this as a graphic novel a bit of a reach, but its association with comics creator Harvey Pekar (Brabner and Danielle appear as characters in Pekar’s “American Splendor” comics and the 2003 film) will interest comics fans. Timely and important content make it a worthy addition to any adult or YA collection.
PREMIUM

Jughead: The Hunger vs. Vampironica

Unexpected humor complements this cracking good horror adventure yarn from Tieri (Absolute Carnage) and Eisma (Riverdale. Vol. 1), which unites multiple strands of the Archie multiverse of characters with subtle nods to the long-developed continuity of the Archie books.
PREMIUM

Drawing the Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Voting in America

Written with a progressive tone, this work’s clear factual nature makes it a worthy read for anyone across the political spectrum, with the straightforward art and fast pace complimenting a thorough if breezy and complex history of the vote.
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.
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

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.

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