realism

Killing and Dying: Stories

killinganddying

Does it even need to be said? Adrien Tomine is one of the major reasons graphic novels hold the small but significant market share and critical acclaim that they do today—his storytelling prowess, his understated and precise illustration style, his…

Here

Here

One of the great things about the graphic novel format is how flexible it is. A gifted creator can look at topics in unique ways that neither books nor cinema can approach. Richard McGuire’s Here is an example of stunning…

Mercy: Shake the World

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Dreams, surrealism, compassion, time and space. Woodcut infused images, muted colors, deliberate in feel. This is not a description of the T.A.R.D.I.S. from Doctor Who. These are just few of the adjectives that describe Mercy: Shake the World, the graphic…

Lulu Anew

Lulu Anew

In Lulu Anew, by Étienne Davodeau, middle-aged housewife Lulu has just finished yet another disastrous job interview in an attempt to return to work after years of being a stay-at-home mom. On impulse, she decides to stay the night at an…

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…

Alive

Alive

Alternative manga is often obtuse, which can be a detriment or a delight. Taguchi Hajime’s Alive is often both at once. The book is a collection of loosely-connected stories: teenagers hiding from their exams on a rooftop; a man who is afraid to love, cohabiting with a…

Gast

gastswain

Helen has just moved to rural Wales with her parents. She’s quiet and solitary, but she isn’t shy. She’s the kind of child whose mother must ask her not to bring any more dying animals to the house. Helen loves watching nature…

Shoplifter

shoplifter

Once upon a time, perhaps ten or fifteen years ago, the world of graphic novels was a much smaller one, with fewer artists getting published, and thus fewer themes being explored and fewer artistic styles being used. Happily, as readers…

What Did You Eat Yesterday?, vols. 1-3

What Did You Eat Yesterday 1

Some people find their joy in gardening, sailing, or building things with their hands. Forty-something Shiro Kakei finds his joy in creating delicious homemade meals on a shoestring budget, and the support and appreciation of his partner, Kenji Yabuki, make it all…

Susceptible

susceptible-cover

    Susceptible‘s black and white illustrations, expressive use of shading, tiny cursive written speech bubbles, and the variety of the size and shapes of its panels all add up to a pensive expedition for the reader as they follow…

The Strain, vol. #1

The Strain Vol. 1

  Graphic novels are getting a pretty sweet slice of the multimedia pie these days. From adult fare like Game of Thrones and True Blood to cartoons like Adventure Time and My Little Pony, comic adaptations have been pretty successful…

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…

Qu33r

Qu33r cover image

In this unique collection, originally produced as a pre-sale Kickstarter campaign, 33 queer comics creators offer samples of their work, their stories, and their voices as both a statement of the existence of contemporary LGBTQ comics and a preview of…

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…