mysteries and thrillers

Blacklung

Blacklung cover image

What on earth is going on in Blacklung? Why do these characters have faces that look like they were all constructed from the castoff remains of the faces of pugilists, who were also prolific knife-fighters? What about their grotesque hairstyles?…

Ayako

ayako_tezuka

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…

The Arctic Marauder

arctic_marauder

Jacques Tardi’s The Arctic Marauder is a rip roaring, rollicking yarn set on the icy seas. When a young doctor searches for his uncle, he is lead down a path of mystery involving the destruction of sailing vessels within the…

Angel Para Bellum, vol. 1

angel_para_bellum

One of the most interesting aspects of manga is how western stories end up being transmogrified into something new by Japanese writers and artists. Often the result is a work that will make western audiences feel, well, a little squirmy.…

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…

Grandville, vol. 3: Bete Noire

grandville bete noire

The story of Grandville continues in the third volume of the adventures of Detective-Inspector Lebrock of Scotland Yard. If you aren’t familiar with the world of Grandville, it is a deeply engrossing “scientific-romance thriller,” as the subtitle says. Grandville is…

Message to Adolf, Part 1

Message to Adolf part 1.

There is a thing that happens when you read enough Osamu Tezuka: you keep comparing each work that you read to his greater body of work. That’s not necessarily fair, but it happens, and in this case Message to Adolf,…

Nexus Omnibus vol. 1

Deep in space, on the planet Ylum, a figure sleeps and dreams. Emerging from his chamber, he speeds through space to deliver justice and death to the criminals of the universe. It is Nexus! Feared and revered, Nexus is something…

Batman: Heart of Hush

For the purposes of disclosure, I am more than a little biased towards Paul Dini. His work on some of my regularly scheduled after school television shows has long endeared me to a man that has made a career on…

Road Rage

This gritty, violent, and gory graphic novel collects the limited series “Throttle,” originally inspired by Richard Matheson’s classic tale of suspense “Duel,” and co-authored by the dynamic father-son duo, Stephen King and Joe Hill. This first collaboration between the two…

JimJoe – Den of Thieves

Full Dislosure: JimJoe – Den of Thieves was published by Dog Ear Publishing – a vanity publishing house. This note is included as a courtesy to those libraries that have a policy against adding such materials to their collections. In…

Smoke and Mirrors

Magic and magicians form the foundation and the exhilaration for this tale of two distinct types of magic and two diverse but similar universes. Writer Mike Costa’s fascination with magic and the people who perform it introduced him to magician…