historical fiction

Nanjing: The Burning City

nanjing

Nanjing:The Burning City opens right in the middle of the action, with the Captain and Private Lu having just barely survived a brutal assault on Chinese forces by Japanese troops. They have decide what to do and quickly. Lu is…

Toshiro

Toshiro

In the Dark Horse press release for Toshiro, author Jai Nitz describes his work as a horror graphic novel that “…bends and blends genres to make something altogether new”. He wrote, “Janusz and I wanted to play with Victorian steampunk,…

American Heathen

It is a tricky thing to make a collaborative comic book—and an even trickier thing to make one that is appealing and memorable to anyone beyond the immediate circle of those who collaborated on it. Add to the mix the…

Kill My Mother

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For those of us who grew up on The Phantom Tollbooth and later came to know Jules Feiffer as an illustrator and storyteller of adult tales, it is still a bit disconcerting to see his characters acting out a frantic…

The Borgias

borgias

  Borgia: the name is nearly synonymous with deceit and debauchery, a family whose infamy, deserved or not, has become entrenched in Western cultural memory for over 500 years. A tangled web of power, religion, sex, and violence, the Borgias…

The Fade Out

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      Hollywood, California, 1948. Fade in on professional screenwriter and semi-professional drunkard Charlie Parrish as he slowly wakes up after a wild night on the town. Charlie finds himself in a hotel bathtub, unable to remember anything about…

Girl In Dior

girlindior

  Girl In Dior is a dreamy book—a frothy, flighty confection full to the brim with evening dresses and post-war Parisian vignettes. It doesn’t amount to much story-wise, but that is by no means the point. It achieves its goal:…

Law of the Desert Born

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It is 1887 and New Mexico is wracked by a drought unlike anyone can remember. It is a place where family is supposed to mean something and fidelity is ensured by a man’s handshake and his word. When Tom Forrester…

Blue Morning, vols. 1-4

Blue Morning 1

Akihito Kuze has lived with his sickly mother in the family’s quiet country villa for the first ten years of his life, so he is completely unprepared when the death of his parents thrusts him into the complicated, turbulent world of Meiji-era…

Sakuran

sakuran

Moyoco Anno is a big name in the manga industry. Notable titles such as Sugar Sugar Rune and Happy Mania have delighted and challenged her audiences. In Sakuran, Anno gives us an intimate look into the life of an Oiran, or courtesan,…

Vinland Saga, Books 1-3

Vinland Saga Book One Cover

  Makoto Yukimura’s claim to fame before Vinland Saga was a relatively brief manga series called Planetes. It was a “hard sci-fi” series that focused on the lives of a team of orbiting garbage collectors. There was a default main…

Rubicon

Rubicon cover image

Depicting modern warfare in comics or film is tricky business. Mark Long, Dan Capel, and their collaborators approach the topic in a unique way with Rubicon. In this graphic novel, Long and Capel take the plot of the Japanese medieval epic,…

Ayako

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Ayako is a story of post-war Japan, told from the perspective of the Tenge family. Made wonderfully rich by the vast amount of farmland they’ve owned, the American occupation of Japan has helped to establish new reforms that will now…

Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, vols. 1-8

Ooku 3

What if a persistent small pox-like epidemic reduced 17th century Japan’s male population by three-quarters, leaving the traditionally paternalistic country’s fate in the hands of its women? It’s a fascinating question and one which creator Fumi Yoshinaga handles beautifully and…

Message to Adolf Part 2

Message to Adolf Part 2 Cover

Where the first part of Message to Adolf sets the stage for the story, in this second part, the stage is mostly ruined. Criticisms that were expressed in the review of the first part of the story (that the story…