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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.

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.


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.

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.”


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

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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

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.

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.


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.

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.


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

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



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.]


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.

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.]

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.

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.



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

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.]

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.

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.]

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.]

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

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.]

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).


 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.]

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.

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.

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.


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.]

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.]

Jujutsu Kaisen. Vol. 1

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

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.


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

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.

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.]

The Stringbags

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

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.]

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.

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.

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.

The Pits of Hell

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


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.

The Labyrinth: An Existential Odyssey with Jean-Paul Sartre

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

The Lab

An unsettling vision from an exciting and distinctly talented newcomer.


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.]

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bites of Terror: Ten Frightfully Delicious Tales

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


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.]


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


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.



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.


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.


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