Category Archives: New Comics for New Readers

Every Wednesday, The Comics Observers recommends three New Comics for New Readers

New Comics for New Readers – June 5, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. Sometimes we list more on really good weeks. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

TodayIsTheLastDayoftheRestofYourLife

Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust

Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life
Written and illustrated by Ulli Lust
Published by Fantagraphics Books
Genre: Autobiography, Memoir
Ages: 16+
464 pages
$35.00

A powerful debut graphic memoir, Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is the rollicking story of two teenaged girls’ wild hitchhiking trip across Italy from Naples to Sicily.

Back in 1984, a rebellious, 17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive, and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece.

Miraculously combining a perfect memory for both emotional and physical detail with the sometimes painful lucidity two and half decades’ distance have brought to her understanding of the events, Lust meticulously shows the who, where, when, and how (specifically, how an often penniless young girl can survive for months on the road) of a sometimes dangerous and sometimes exhilarating journey. Particularly haunting is her portrait of her fellow traveler, the gangly, promiscuous devil-may-care Edi who veers from being her spunky, funny best friend in the world to an out-of-control lunatic with no consideration for anything but her own whims and desires.

Universally considered one of the very finest examples of the new breed of graphic novels coming from Europe, Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life won the 2011 Angoulême “Revelation” prize, and Fantagraphics is proud to bring it to English speaking readers.

The-Hollows

The Hollows by Chris Ryall and Sam Keith

The Hollows
Written by Chris Ryall
Illustrated by Sam Keith
Published by IDW Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Ages: 16+
104 pages
$21.99

Sam Kieth and Chris Ryall transport you to a near-future Japan, where burned-out husks – the Hollows – wantonly devour souls throughout the city. Far above, a segment of society lives safely in giant tree-cities, but the problems below have a way of growing out of control…

To combat the catastrophic death of a decaying Japan, survivors create genetically engineered supertrees – wooden leviathans capable of supporting entire cities suspended above the radioactive wastes below. Traveling via jetpacks to stay above the toxic air below, the survivors must also band together against the Hollows, irradiated husks whose humanity has been supplanted by an unquenchable desire to consume human energy!

The Hollows is the premiere of a wildly original new world realized in the vivid, expressive tones that can only emanate from Sam Kieth’s hands.

The-End

The End by Anders Nilsen

The End
Written and illustrated by Anders Nilsen
Published by Fantagraphics Books
Genre: Autobiography
Ages: 16+
80 pages
$19.99

Assembled from work done in Anders Nilsen’s sketchbooks over the course of the year following the death of his fiancée in 2005, The End is a collection of short strips about loss, paralysis, waiting, and transformation.

It is a concept album in different styles, a meditation on paying attention, an abstracted autobiography and a travelogue, reflecting the progress of his struggle to reconcile the great upheaval of a death, and finding a new life on the other side.

The book blends Nilsen’s disparate styles, from the iconic simplicity and collaged drawings of his Monologues for the Coming Plague to the finely rendered Dogs and Water and Big Questions.

Originally released in magazine form in 2007 (which received an Ignatz Award nomination for Outstanding Story), The End has been updated and expanded to more than twice its original length, including 16 pages of full color.

New Comics for New Readers – May 29, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. Sometimes we list more on really good weeks. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

OddDuck

Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon

Odd Duck
Written by Cecil Castellucci
Illustrated by Sara Varon
Published by First Second Books
Genre: Fiction
Ages: 6+ / Grade: 1+
96 pages
$15.99

Theodora is a perfectly normal duck. She may swim with a teacup balanced on her head and stay north when the rest of the ducks fly south for the winter, but there’s nothing so odd about that.

Chad, on the other hand, is one strange bird. Theodora quite likes him, but she can’t overlook his odd habits. It’s a good thing Chad has a normal friend like Theodora to set a good example for him.

But who exactly is the odd duck here? Theodora may not like the answer.

Sara Varon (Robot Dreams) teams up with Cecil Castellucci (Grandma’s Gloves) for a gorgeous, funny, and heartwarming examination of the perils and pleasures of friendship.

GoodDog

Good Dog by Graham Chaffee

Good Dog
Written and illustrated by Graham Chaffee
Published by Fantagraphics Books
Genre: Fiction
Ages: 8+
96 pages
$16.99

Ivan, who is plagued by terrible nightmares about chickens and rabbits, is a good dog — if only someone would notice. Readers accompany the stray as he navigates dog society, weathers pack politics, and surveys canine-human interactions.

Good Dog‘s story and pen-and-ink art are deceptively simple, but Chaffee uses the approachability of the subject matter as a device to explore topics such as independence, security, assimilation, loyalty, and violence. Preteen-and-up dog fanciers, especially, will warm to the well-meaning Ivan and his exploits with a motley assortment of Scotties, Bulldogs, and mutts. Chaffee combines illustrative gravitas with cartooning verve and creates a richly textured, dog’s-eye view of the world. The story is a rousing Jack London-esque adventure as well as a moral parable.

Good Dog marks the welcome return of alternative cartoonist Graham Chaffee, who, after his successful 1995 collection of short stories, The Most Important Thing and Other Stories, and his acclaimed1997 graphic novel The Big Wheels, took a detour to devote himself to the art of tattooing, before charging back with his new, beautifully conceived graphic novel.

Journalism

Journalism by Joe Sacco

Journalism
Written and illustrated by Joe Sacco
Published by Metropolitan Books
Genre: Non-Fiction
Ages: 13+
208 pages
$22.00

“The images Sacco draws are so powerful that they burn deep into your retina and reconfigure how you see the world… Journalism displays Sacco at the top of his game.”—National Post (Toronto)

Over the past decade, Joe Sacco has increasingly turned to short-form comics journalism to report from conflict zones around the world. Collected here for the first time, Sacco’s darkly funny, revealing reportage confirms his standing as one of the foremost war correspondents working today. Journalism takes readers from the smuggling tunnels of Gaza to war crimes trials in The Hague, from the lives of India’s “untouchables” to the ordeal of Saharan refugees washed up on the shores of Malta. And in pieces never published before in the United States, Sacco confronts the misery and absurdity of the war in Iraq, including the darkest chapter in recent American history—the torture of detainees.

Vividly depicting Sacco’s own interactions with the people he meets, the stories in this remarkable collection argue for the essential truth in comics reportage, an inevitably subjective journalistic endeavor. Among Sacco’s most mature and accomplished work, Journalism demonstrates the power of our premier cartoonist to chronicle lived experience with a force that often eludes other media.

New Comics for New Readers – May 22, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. Sometimes we list more on really good weeks. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

Sunny

Sunny by Taiyo Matsumoto

Sunny Volume 1
Written and illustrated by Taiyo Matsumoto
Published by VIZ Media
Genre: Fiction
Ages: 13+
224 pages
$22.99 / $9.99 (digital)

What is Sunny? Sunny is a car. Sunny is a car you take on a drive with your mind. It takes you to the place of your dreams.

Sunny is the story of beating the odds, in the ways that count. It’s the brand-new masterwork from Eisner Award-winner Taiyo Matsumoto, one of Japan’s most innovative and acclaimed manga artists.

Translated by Tekkonkinkreet film director and visual effects artist Michael Arias!

Taiyo Matsumoto has won extensive international critical acclaim for his rough and often-unflinching depictions of disaffected youth drawn in an unconventional and surrealist art style. His Tekkonkinkreet: Black & White won the 2008 Eisner Comic Industry Award for the Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan, and was also adapted into an anime feature film. Another of Matsumoto’s manga works, Ping Pong, was made into an award-winning live action film.

TheProperty

The Property by Rutu Modan

The Property
Written and illustrated by Rutu Modan
Published by Drawn and Quarterly
Genre: Fiction
Ages: 16+
232 pages
$24.95

The award-winning author returns with a story about families, secrets, and the complex bonds of love.

After the death of her son, Regina Segal takes her granddaughter Mica to Warsaw, hoping to reclaim a family property lost during the Second World War. As they get to know modern Warsaw, Regina is forced to recall difficult things about her past, and Mica begins to wonder if maybe their reasons for coming aren’t a little different than her grandmother led her to believe.

Rutu Modan offers up a world populated by prickly seniors, smart-alecky public servants, and stubborn women – a world whose realism is expressed alternately in the absurdity of people’s behavior, and in the complex consequences of their sacrifices. Modan’s ever-present wit is articulated perfectly in her clear-line style, while a subtle, almost muted color palette complements the true-to-life nuances of her characterization.

The Property is a work that will inspire, fascinate, and delight readers and critics alike. Savvy and insightful, elegant and subtle, Modan’s second full-length graphic novel is a triumph of storytelling and fine lines that will cement Modan’s status as one of the foremost cartoonists working today.

MyDirtyDumbEyes

My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt

My Dirty Dumb Eyes
Written and illustrated by Lisa Hanawalt
Published by Drawn and Quarterly
Genre: Humor
Ages: 16+
120 pages
$22.95

Sharply observant, laugh-out-loud funny comics

My Dirty Dumb Eyes is the highly anticipated debut collection from award-winning cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt. In a few short years, Hanawalt has made a name for herself: her intricately detailed, absurdly funny comics have appeared in venues as wide and varied as The Hairpin, VanityFair.com, Lucky Peach, Saveur, The New York Times, and The Believer.

My Dirty Dumb Eyes introduces Lisa Hanawalt as a first-rank cartoonist/humorist/stalker for an audience that likes its humor idiosyncratic, at times anthropomorphic or scatological, often uncomfortable, and always sharp witted. Her world vision is intricately rendered in a full spectrum of color, unapologetically gorgeous and intensely bizarre.  With movie reviews, tips for her readers, laugh-out-loud lists and short pieces such as “Rumors I’ve Heard About Anna Wintour,” and “The Secret Lives of Chefs,”  Hanawalt’s comedy shines, making the quotidian silly and surreal, flatulent and facetious.

My Dirty Dumb Eyes intermingles drawings, paintings, single-panel gag jokes, funny lists, and anthropomorphized animals, all in the service of satirical, startlingly observant commentary on pop culture, contemporary society, and human idiosyncrasies. Her wild sense of humor contrasts strikingly with the carefully rendered lines and flawless draftsmanship that are Hanawalt trademarks. Whether she’s revealing the secret lives of celebrity chefs or explaining that what dogs really want is a tennis-ball bride, My Dirty Dumb Eyes will have readers rolling in the aisles, as Hanawalt’s insights into human (and animal) behavior startle and delight time and again.

New Comics for New Readers – May 15, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. Sometimes we list more on really good weeks. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

Miles-Away

Miles Away by Anthony Montgomery, Brandon Easton and Jeff Stokely

Miles Away
Written by Anthony Montgomery and Brandon Easton
Illustrated by Jeff Stokely
Published by Antarctic Press
Genre: Action/Adventure
Ages: 12+
128 pages

Created by hyperspace heartthrob Anthony Montgomery (Star Trek: Enterprise), and co-written by Brandon Easton (WB’s new Thundercats series), Miles Away is an epic action adventure about Maxwell Miles, a shy, teenage orphan with super-photographic reflexes. Max’s already odd life goes beyond Twilight Zone territory when he encounters alien refugees who involve him in an interstellar war connected to his family’s dark past! Aided by remarkable companions, young Max battles evil entities on two worlds: Future Earth and Ro-Twyla!

16-year-old Maxwell Miles is like most teenagers – full of questions and insecurities. For ten years, one question has haunted him: “Why did I lose so much, so early in my life?” With both parents disappearing under mysterious circumstances and a guardian who doles out vague and limited information, Max’s thirst for knowledge is rarely quenched. Unlike most teenagers, Max develops a superhuman ability, he is enlisted by a shadowy organization to battle evil around the globe, he allies with two aliens on the run, he saves their planet from destruction, he prevents an alien invasion and he has to maintain a solid grade point average despite having the laziest study partner on Earth. Max learns the hard way that some questions should never be asked because the truth hurts much more than curiosity.

Kinski1

Kinski by Gabriel Hardman

Kinski
Written and illustrated by Gabriel Hardman
Published by MonkeyBrain Comics
Genre: Comedy
Ages: 12+
23 pages
$0.99 (digital only)

Frustrated with his dead end career as a chicken feed rep, Joe is looking for something. Turns out that “something” is a four-month-old black lab puppy named Kinski. Joe is going to save this dog. What at first seems like a simple rescue mission escalates into a righteous crusade…but crusades don’t usually work out so well, do they?

Kinski is written and drawn by Gabriel Hardman, the illustrator/cartoonist on Hulk and Agents of Atlas for Marvel, and the original graphic novel Heathentown from Image/Shadowline. He is also a storyboard artist for movies such as Inception, Tropic Thunder, and X-Men 2.

Strange-Attractors

Strange Attractors by Charles Soule and Greg Scott

Strange Attractors
Written by Charles Soule
Illustrated by Greg Scott
Published by Archaia Entertainment
Genre: Science Fiction
Ages: 14+
128 pages
$19.95

The City is an Engine. Heller Wilson has found the key.

From acclaimed writer Charles Soule (27, Strongman, Swamp Thing) comes a mathematical thriller about Chaos, Probability, and the race to stop a citywide disaster.

In 1978, Dr. Spencer Brownfield saved New York City from itself, bringing the city back from the verge of collapse and ruin. And for thirty years, his small, unnoticed adjustments to the city’s systems have kept the city afloat. Or so he claims to Heller Wilson, a young graduate student that Dr. Brownfield has chosen as his successor. But are Dr. Brownfield’s claims about The Butterfly Effect and how his “complexity math” apply to the city’s patterns of life real, or are they the ravings of a man broken by the death of his wife and daughter, desperate to find some kind of control over the world around him?

Part sci-fi, part philosophical exploration, part thriller, Strange Attractors examines what you can control in your life and what you can’t, and how important it is to recognize the difference.

TheDreamMerchant1

The Dream Merchant by Nathan Edmondson and Konstantin Novosadov

The Dream Merchant #1 (of 6)
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Illustrated by Konstantin Novosadov
Published by Image Comics
Genre: Science Fiction
Ages: 16+
64 pages
$3.50

Haunted by recurring dreams, a boy named Winslow is hunted by mysterious beings and protected by an old traveler. Soon Winslow will realize that what is in his dreams is what the rest of the world has been made to forget — and what strange entities will stop at nothing to erase from his mind.

A double-size issue to kick off a new sci-fi series from Nathan Edmondson and newcomer Konstantin Novosadov.

New Comics for New Readers – May 8, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. Sometimes we list more on really good weeks. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

BennyBreakiron1

Benny Breakiron in The Red Taxis by Peyo

Benny Breakiron Vol. 1: The Red Taxis
Written and illustrated by Peyo
Published by Papercutz
Genre: Humor, Adventure
Ages: 7+
64 pages
$11.99

Benny Breakiron is an honest, polite little boy with an an exceptional quality: he possesses superhuman strength, can leap over huge distances, and can run unbelievably fast! This little kid packs quite a punch, and he devotes his play time to stopping crime and injustice.

In this first volume, a new taxi service has moved into Benny’s town threatening to put Benny’s friend, taxi driver Mr. Dussiflard, out of business. The more Benny learns about the Red Taxi Company, the more he realizes something isn’t right. Who’s behind this mysterious enterprise, and just what are they up to? Benny aims to find out and put a stop to it once and for all, and hopefully keep the property damage to a minimum!

NothingCanPossiblyGoWrong

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong
Written by Prudence Shen
Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
Published by First Second Books
Genre: Young Adult
Ages: 12+
288 pages
$16.99

You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.

It’s only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club’s robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!

In Faith Erin Hicks’ and Prudence Shen’s world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong.

WillandWhit

Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge

Will & Whit
Written and illustrated by Laura Lee Gulledge
Published by Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Ages: 12+
192 pages
$12.95

Wilhelmina “Will” Huxstep is a creative soul struggling to come to terms with a family tragedy. She crafts whimsical lamps, in part to deal with her fear of the dark. As she wraps up another summer in her mountain town, she longs for unplugged adventures with her fellow creative friends, Autumn, Noel, and Reese. Little does she know that she will get her wish in the form of an arts carnival and a blackout, courtesy of a hurricane named Whitney, which forces Will to face her fear of darkness.

Laura Lee Gulledge’s signature visual metaphors will be on full display in this all-new graphic novel, a moving look at shedding light on the dark corners of life.

RedHanded

Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes by Matt Kindt

Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes
Written and illustrated by Matt Kindt
Published by First Second Books
Genre: Crime
Ages: 14+
272 pages

Welcome to the city of Red Wheelbarrow, where the world’s greatest detective has yet to meet the crime he can’t solve—every criminal in Red Wheelbarrow is caught and convicted thanks to Detective Gould’s brilliant mind and cutting-edge spy technology.

But lately there has been a rash of crimes so eccentric and random that even Detective Gould is stumped. Will he discover the connection between the compulsive chair thief, the novelist who uses purloined street signs to write her magnum opus, and the photographer who secretly documents peoples’ most anguished personal moments? Or will Detective Gould finally meet his match?

Matt Kindt operates with wit and perception in the genre of hard-boiled crime fiction. Red Handed owes as much to Paul Auster as Dashiell Hammett, and raises some genuinely sticky questions about human nature.

YoureAllJustJealousOfMyJetback

You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld

You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack
Written and illustrated by Tom Gauld
Published by Drawn and Quarterly
Genre: Humor
Ages: 14+
160 pages
$19.95

A new collection from The Guardian and New York Times Magazine cartoonist

New York Times Magazine cartoonist Tom Gauld follows up his widely praised graphic novel Goliath with You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, a collection of cartoons made for The Guardian. Over the past eight years, Gauld has produced a weekly cartoon for the Saturday Review section of Britain’s most well regarded newspaper. Only a handful of comics from this huge and hilarious body of work have ever been printed in North America – exclusively within the pages of the prestigious Believer magazine.

You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack distils perfectly Gauld’s dark humor, impeccable timing, and distinctive style. Arrests by the fiction police and fictional towns designed by Tom Waits intermingle hilariously with piercing observations about human behavior and whimsical imaginings of the future. Again and again, Tom Gauld reaffirms his position as a first rank cartoonist, creating work infused with a deep understanding of both literary and cartoon history.

GoodRiddance

Good Riddance by Cynthia Copeland

Good Riddance
Written and illustrated by Cynthia Copeland
Published by Abrams ComicArts
Genre: Memoir
Ages: 16+
224 pages
$17.95

When you think you live in a Norman Rockwell painting—married 18 years, three kids, beautiful old house in the country, successful career as a writer—you don’t expect there’s another side to the canvas. Until you read a lovesick e-mail to your husband… that didn’t come from you!

Good Riddance is an honest and funny graphic memoir about suffering through and surviving divorce. Cynthia Copeland chronicles the deep pain, confusion, awkwardness, and breakthroughs she experiences in the “new normal” as a wife who’s been deceived, a mom who’s now single, a divorcée who’s dating, and a woman who’s on her own figuring out what she truly wants from her life. Copeland tells her story with an emotional candor and spot-on humor that makes Good Riddance poignant, painful, and hilarious all at once.

New Comics for New Readers – May 1, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three (sometimes a little more on really good weeks) brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

GreatPacific

Great Pacific by Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo

Great Pacific Vol. 1: Trashed!
Written by Joe Harris
Illustrated by Martin Morazzo
Published by Image Comics
Genre: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction
Ages: 12+
144 pages
$9.99

When fugitive oil heir Chas Worthington settles the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch, plants a flag, and declares it his own sovereign nation, the reality of the environmental catastrophe is only the beginning of his odyssey.

From acclaimed writer Joe Harris (Ghost Projekt, Spontaneous) and artist Martin Morazzo (Absolute Magnitude) comes a sprawling adventure across earth’s newest, strangest frontier!

This volume collects the first arc of this breakout hit series – a sprawling adventure across earth’s newest, strangest frontier!

 

PeterBaggeOtherStuff

Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff

Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff
Written and illustrated by Peter Bagge and others
Published by Fantagraphics Books
Genre: Humor
Ages: 12+
144 pages
$19.99

Peter Bagge’s one-offs, with an all-star cast of cartoonist collaborators such as Alan Moore, Robert Crumb, Daniel Clowes, and Adrian Tomine.

During the 1990s and 2000s, Peter Bagge worked mostly on his “Buddy Bradley” stories in Hate and a series of standalone graphic novels (Apocalypse Nerd), but in-between these major projects this ever-energetic cartoonist also cranked out dozens of shorter stories, which are now finally being collected in this riotously anarchic book.

Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff includes a few lesser-known Bagge characters, including the wacky modern party girl “Lovey” and the aging bobo “Shut-Ins” — not to mention the self-explanatory “Rock ‘N’ Roll Dad” starring Murry Wilson and the Beach Boys. But many of the strips are one-off gags or short stories, often with a contemporary satirical slant, including on-site reportage like “So Much Comedy, So Little Time” (from a comedy festival) and more. Also: Dick Cheney, The Matrix, and Alien!

Other Stuff also includes a series of Bagge-written stories drawn by other cartoonists, including “Life in these United States” with Daniel Clowes, “Shamrock Squid” with Adrian Tomine, and the one-two parody punch of “Caffy” (with art by R. Crumb) and “Dildobert” (with art by Prison Pit’s Johnny Ryan)… plus a highlight of the book, the hilarious, literate and intricate exposé of “Kool-Aid Man” written by Alan Moore and drawn by Bagge. (Other collaborators include the Hernandez Brothers and Danny Hellman.)

Bagge is one of the funniest cartoonists of the century (20th or 21st), and this collection shows him at his most free-wheeling and craziest… 50 times over.

TheGreyMuseum

The Grey Museum by Lorenz Peter

The Grey Museum
Written and illustrated by Lorenz Peter
Published by Conundrum Press
Genre: Science Fiction
Ages: 16+
216 pages
$20.00

Set in the future, The Grey Museum is a galactic romp, following a small group of survivors as they fend with mystic beings, interstellar parasites and themselves. Everything here is decided by narcissistic gods and goddesses, disturbed spirits, and bored aliens. Our clueless captives are left to wander, meandering their way among ruins, souvenirs, and impossible trails, and the 300-year-old television station attempts to capture it all. The Greys, a cloned race of coffee-drinking pseudo-humanity, have created a machine to “contemplate” things from a distance and annihilate them by turning them into “Awht”. We experience death, rebirth and everything in between. The fate of all Earthly life is up to these eight hairy humans preserved in jelly, they just don’t know it yet.

New Comics for New Readers – April 24, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three (sometimes a little more on really good weeks) brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

MarbleSeason

Marble Season by Gilbert Hernandez

Marble Season
Written and illustrated by Gilbert Hernandez
Published by Drawn & Quarterly
Genre: Autobiography; Coming-of-Age
Ages: 12+
128 pages
$21.95

The untold coming-of-age story from a contemporary comics master

Marble Season is the all-new semiautobiographical novel by acclaimed cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez, author of the epic masterpiece Palomar, and co-creator of the groundbreaking Love and Rockets comic book series, along with his brothers Jaime and Mario. Marble Season is his first book with Drawn & Quarterly and one of the most anticipated books of 2013. It tells the untold stories from the American comics legends’ youth, but also portrays the reality of life in a large family in suburban 1960s California. Pop-culture references—TV shows, comic books, and music—saturate this evocative story of a young family navigating cultural and neighborhood norms set against the golden age of the American dream and the silver age of comics.

Middle child Huey stages Captain America plays and treasures his older brother’s comic book collection almost as much as his approval. Marble Season subtly and deftly details how the innocent, joyfully creative play children engage in (shooting marbles, staging backyard plays, and organizing treasure hunts) changes as they grow older and encounter name-calling naysayers, abusive bullies, and the value judgments of other kids. An all ages story, Marble Season masterfully explores the redemptive and timeless power of storytelling and role play in childhood, making it a coming-of-age story that is as resonant with the children of today as the children of the ’60s.

WhoIsAC

Who is AC? by Hope Larson and Tintin Pantoja

Who is AC?
Written by Hope Larson
Illustrated by Tintin Pantoja
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster
Genre: Fantasy; Superhero; Action/Adventure
Ages: 12+
176 pages
$21.99 (hardcover); $14.99 (paperback)

In this breakthrough graphic novel from the award-winning author of Mercury, there’s a new superhero in town—and she’s got kick-butt cyberpowers.

Meet Lin, a formerly average teenage girl whose cell phone zaps her with magical powers. But just as superpowers can travel through the ether, so can evil. As Lin starts to get a handle on her new abilities (while still observing her curfew!), she realizes she has to go head-to-head with a nefarious villain who spreads his influence through binary code. And as if that weren’t enough, a teen blogger has dubbed her an “anonymous coward!” Can Lin detect the cyber-criminal’s vulnerability, save the day, and restore her reputation?

With ingenious scripting from graphic novel phenom Hope Larson and striking art from manga illustrator Tintin Pantoja, this action-packed story brims with magical realism and girl-power goodness.

HowToFakeAMoonLanding

How to Fake a Moon Landing by Darryl Cunningham

How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Science Denial
Written and illustrated by Darryl Cunningham
Published by Abrams ComicArts
Genre: Non-Fiction
Ages: 12+
176 pages
$16.95

Is hydro-fracking safe? Is climate change real? Did the moon landing actually happen? How about evolution: fact or fiction? Author-illustrator Darryl Cunningham looks at these and other hot-button science topics and presents a fact-based, visual assessment of current thinking and research on eight different issues everybody’s arguing about. His lively storytelling approach incorporates comics, photographs, and diagrams to create substantive but easily accessible reportage. Cunningham’s distinctive illustrative style shows how information is manipulated by all sides; his easy-to-follow narratives allow readers to draw their own fact-based conclusions. A graphic milestone of investigative journalism!

Praise for How to Fake a Moon Landing:

“Cartoonist Darryl Cunningham… is a welcome voice, shedding some much needed light on the darker areas of science and culture… Cunningham does a remarkable job with difficult material and for high school students, just opening their eyes to the world around them, this is a terrific primer.” — ComicMix

Jerusalem

Jerusalem by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi

Jerusalem: A Family Portrait
Written by Boaz Yakin
Illustrated by Nick Bertozzi
Published by First Second Books/Macmillan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Ages: 12+
400 pages
$24.99

Jerusalem is a sweeping, epic work that follows a single family—three generations and fifteen very different people—as they are swept up in chaos, war, and nation-making from 1940-1948. Faith, family, and politics are the heady mix that fuel this ambitious, cinematic graphic novel.

With Jerusalem, author-filmmaker Boaz Yakin turns his finely-honed storytelling skills to a topic near to his heart: Yakin’s family lived in Palestine during this period and was caught up in the turmoil of war just as his characters are. This is a personal work, but it is not a book with a political ax to grind. Rather, this comic seeks to tell the stories of a huge cast of memorable characters as they wrestle with a time when nothing was clear and no path was smooth.

New Comics for New Readers – April 17, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

Transfusion

Transfusion by Steve Niles and menton3

Transfusion
Written by Steve Niles
Illustrated by menton3
Published by IDW Publishing
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Ages: 14+
104 pages
$17.99

In a future overrun by out-of-control machines and monsters, a handful of human survivors try to fight their way back to a normal life. But what is normal in a world where both monsters and machines need human blood? And which are the real bad guys?

Find out in this horrific new story by 30 Days of Night co-creator Steve Niles and menton3, the demented artist behind Monocyte!

 

 

 

 

Happy

Happy! by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson

Happy!
Written by Grant Morrison
Illustrated by Darick Robertson
Published by Image Comics
Genre: Crime
Ages: 16+
96 pages
$12.99

Meet Nick Sax, a corrupt, intoxicated ex-cop turned hit-man, adrift in a stinking twilight world of casual murder, soulless sex, eczema, and betrayal. With a hit gone wrong, a bullet in his side, the cops and the mob on his tail, and a monstrous child killer in a Santa suit on the loose, Nick and his world will be changed forever this Christmas.

By a tiny blue horse called Happy…

 

 

 

 

MarshalLaw

Marshal Law: The Deluxe Edition by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill

Marshal Law: The Deluxe Edition
Written by Pat Mills
Illustrated by Kevin O’Neill
Published by DC Comics
Genre: Satire, Super-Hero
Ages: 16+
480 pages
$49.99

In the spirit of Judge Dredd and the current hit series The Boys, Marshal Law is a violent, satirical series about a futuristic law official charged with policing super-heroes gone rogue by any means necessary, all while fighting his own self-hatred for being the thing he hates most: a super-hero.

Featuring art by Kevin O’Neill, illustrator of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the centerpiece of this massive volume is the original six-part tale in which Marshal Law hunts down the Sleepman, a serial killer who is somehow connected to the popular hero known as The Public Spirit.

New Comics for New Readers – April 10, 2013

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Photo by Christopher Butcher

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

Unico

Unico by Osamu Tezuka

Unico
Written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka
Published by Digital Manga Publishing
Genre: Fantasy
Ages: 6+
410 pages
$34.95

With love, anything’s possible

A little unicorn named Unico lives with his mistress Psyche, bringing her happiness and good fortune in return for her unconditional love. The goddess Venus, however, grows jealous of Psyche’s legions of admirers and flings Unico across time and space! When he awakens, he’s facing down mean buffalo in the American West, with no memory of Psyche or his past life.

It’s the first of many exciting adventures that will bring Unico face to face with high society in Imperial Russia, characters from fairy tales and Shakespeare, and even an automated factory intent on blotting out the sun.

Straight from the mind of Osamu Tezuka, internationally beloved creator of Astro Boy and Buddha, the entire three volume series of Unico has been collected into one astounding 400 page omnibus edition. Presented in its original full color format, Unico is a magical series of adorable and thought-provoking adventures that’s the perfect first manga to read with the little ones, as well as an absolute necessity for any manga enthusiast.

Relish

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
Written and illustrated by Lucy Knisley
Published by First Second Books/Macmillan
Genre: Memoir, Cookbook
Ages: 14+
192 pages
$17.99

Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe—many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy’s original inventions.

A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a graphic novel for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product.

PointOfImpact

Point of Impact by Jay Faerber and Koray Kuranel

Point of Impact
Written by Jay Faerber
Illustrated by Koray Kuranel
Published by Image Comics
Genre: Mystery, Crime
Ages: 16+
pages
$14.99

A gripping, provocative murder mystery from acclaimed writer Jay Faerber and stunning artist Koray Kuranel begins with one woman’s murder and branches out to follow the investigation by three people with personal connections to her: her husband, an investigative reporter; her lover, an ex-soldier; and her friend, a homicide detective. Her death will change all of their lives.

New Comics for New Readers – April 3, 2013

Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?

Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.

While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, see comiXology, ComicList.com and PREVIEWSworld.

(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)

LettingItGo

Letting It Go by Mariam Katin

Letting It Go
Written and illustrated by Miriam Katin
Published by Drawn and Quarterly
Genre: Non-Fiction
Ages: 13+
pages
$24.95

A Holocaust survivor struggles to let go of the past

Miriam Katin has the light hand of a master storyteller in this flowing, expressive, full-color masterpiece.  A Holocaust survivor and mother, Katin’s world is turned upside down by the news that her adult son is moving to Berlin, a city she’s villainized for the past forty years. As she struggles to accept her son’s decision, she visits the city twice, first to see her son and then to attend a museum gala featuring her own artwork. What she witnesses firsthand is a city coming to terms with its traumatic past, much as Katin is herself. Letting It Go is a deft and careful balance: wry, self-deprecating anecdotes counterpoint a serious account of the myriad ways trauma inflects daily existence, both for survivors and for their families.

Katin’s first book, We Are On Our Own, was a memoir of her childhood, detailing how she and her mother hid in the Hungarian countryside, disguising themselves as a peasant woman and her illegitimate child in order to escape the Nazis. The stunning story, along with Katin’s gorgeous pencil work, immediately garnered acclaim in the comics world and beyond. With Letting It Go, Katin’s storytelling and artistic skills allow her to explore a voice and perspective like no other found in the medium.

JuliosDay

Julio’s Day by Gilbert Hernandez

Julio’s Day
Written and illustrated by Gilbert Hernandez
Published by Fantagraphics
Genre: Fiction
Ages: 13+
104 pages
$19.99

It begins in the year 1900, with the scream of a newborn. It ends, 100 pages later, in the year 2000, with the death rattle of a 100-year-old man. The infant and the old man are both Julio, and Gilbert Hernandez’s Julio’s Day (originally serialized in Love and Rockets Vol. II but never completed until now) is his latest graphic novel, a masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling that traces one life — indeed, one century in a human life — through a series of carefully crafted, consistently surprising and enthralling vignettes.

There is hope and joy, there is bullying and grief, there is war (so much war — this is after all the 20th century), there is love, there is heartbreak. While Julio’s Day has some settings and elements in common with Hernandez’s Palomar cycle (the Central American protagonists and milieu, the vivid characters, the strong familial and social ties), this is very much a singular, standalone story that will help cement his position as one of the strongest and most original cartoonists of this, or any other, century.

Julio’s Day is a story of one man’s life, but it’s a great deal more than that as well. It’s the story of the life of a century, also told as if a day. Beginning with Julio’s birth in 1900 and ending with his death in 2000, the graphic novel touches on most of the major events that shaped the 20th century.” – Brian Evenson, from his introduction

“A haunting performance and about as perfect a literary work as I’ve read in years. Hernandez accomplishes in 100 pages what most novelists only dream of — rendering the closeted phlegmatic Julio in all his confounding complexity and in the process creating an unflinching biography of a community, a country and a century. A masterpiece.” – Junot Díaz

PunkRockJesus

Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy

Punk Rock Jesus
Written and illustrated by Sean Murphy
Published by Vertigo/DC Comics
Genre: Science Fiction
Ages: 16+
224 pages
$16.99

A reality TV show starring a clone of Jesus Christ causes chaos across the U.S. of the near future in Punk Rock Jesus, a new graphic novel written and drawn by Sean Murphy, the acclaimed illustrator of Joe the Barbarian and American Vampire.

J2 causes both outrage and adulation. Religious zealots either love or hate the show, angry politicians worry about its influence on the nation, and members of the scientific community fear the implications of cloning a human being at all, let alone the Son of God. And what effect will this all have on Gwen, the young woman who is selected, through an American Idol-style process, to be the mother of the new Messiah?

Thomas McKael is the clones’s bodyguard and former IRA operative, who despite his turbulent past is hired to protect the new Jesus—a baby who captivates the world, but grows up to become an angry teenager.

When falling ratings force the network to cut Jesus’s mother from the series the young star runs away, renounces his religious heritage and forms a punk rock band. And what starts off as babysitting for Thomas becomes an epic battle, as Jesus goes to war against the corporate media complex that created him.