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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.

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