realism

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 this young…

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 at…

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 character,…

Mayo Chiki! vol. 1

Mayo Chiki! Volume 1

Sakamachi Kinjiro, aka Jiro, is a boy with problems. First he walks in on Konoe Subaru, the coolest boy in school, in the bathroom. As if that weren’t embarrassing enough, in doing so he discovers that Konoe is a pervert…

The Man of Tango

Man of Tango, The

In a Buenos Aires coffee house, Spanish-born tango aficionado Angie speaks with an old flame about his latest breakup. He confesses that he feels emotionally detached from his partners, whether he is on the dance floor or in bed, and…

Oreimo, vols. 1-2

Oreimo Cover Art volume 1

Kyousuke Kousaka is an average high schooler with an above-average little sister. Popular Kirino is perfect in every way, a star student with supermodel good looks. Because of their differences, the siblings have grown apart and Kyousuke can’t even remember the last time he…

7 Holes for Air

7 Holes for Air cover image

They don’t make men like Bob anymore. Stoic and tough, Bob drinks heroic quantities of beer when he’s not at work and while he’s at work, he’s a tough-as-nails iron worker who isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right…

Anything That Loves

Anything that Loves cover image

The title, Anything That Loves, references the old adage, and oftentimes, insult, that bisexuals, unable to chose between women or men, are eager to have sex with anything that moves. The term was swiftly and proudly reclaimed by many members…

Happy Marriage?!, vols. 1-3

Happy Marriage! 2

Cynical Chiwa doesn’t have the time, energy, or money for the pursuit of love; she struggles with two jobs to pay off her foolish father’s massive debt. When her day job’s company chairman suddenly offers to pay her father’s debt on the condition that she…