A very diverse selection from our new Graphic novels this month, that illustrates so well the breadth and depth of this collection. From philosophy to Orcs, gothic horror to political history, humour to murder, all brilliant. The best and a must read is The Red Diary or The Re(a)d diary, by Teddy Kristiansen and Steven T. Seagle, a graphic novel in a class of its own.
Fatale. Book one, Death chases me / by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.
“Occult forces and gut-wrenching horror collide in 1950s San Francisco, as a corrupt cop and a smitten reporter go head-to-head over Jo, an ageless beauty with the looks of a Vargas girl and the heart of a rattle snake, who is desperate to escape the grasp of a satanic cult and their demonic, shape-shifting leader.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Crossed. Volume 1 / Garth Ennis, story ; Jacen Burrows, artwork.
“In the blink of an eye, humanity is lost, and the Crossed are upon us. Men, women, and children alike fall victim to the mystery infection that makes killers out of parents and rapists out of lovers. Ruthless, berserk, and evil beyond measure, these cackling demons spread their plague across the Earth, brining humanity to near-extinction. Now, a small band of survivors make their cautious way across a deserted America, existing in a state of constant terror. The only thing they have in common is their determination to survive but in this frightening new world, survival has a cost all its own.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The making of / Brecht Evens ; translated by Laura Watkinson & Michele Hutchison.
“Peterson, a moderately successful artist, is finally given a chance to shine at the Beerpoele biennial festival. However, upon arriving in the village, he realises the festival is a little more amateur and its organisers a little more laid-back than he had expected. Still hoping for his fifteen minutes of fame, Peterson takes matters into his own hands and tries to rally the other participants with a grandiose project. It will not go to plan.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Best of enemies : a history of US and Middle East relations / Jean-Pierre Filiu & David B ; [translated from the French edition by Edward Gauvin].
“Lies, greed, imperialism, cruelty, intolerance: the history of U.S. and Middle East relations involves bad behavior on both sides, dating back centuries. Filiu and David B. draw striking parallels between ancient and contemporary political history in this look at the US-Middle East conflict. The reader is transported to the pirate-choked Mediterranean sea, where Christians and Muslims continue the crusades, only this time on water. As the centuries pass, the traditional victims of the Muslim pirates, the British, French, and Spanish, all become empire-building powers whose sights lie beyond the Mediterranean.” (Only skin : new tales of the slow apocalypse / by Sean Ford.
“A young woman and a boy get off a bus at a gas station and garage in the desert. It was their father’s business, he’s disappeared and presumed dead, and they’re taking it over. Their dad isn’t the only one who goes missing in the course of this graphic novel resuscitation of the 1950s B-movie horror thriller. This is a grim exploration of the hallucinatory and tragic landscape of modern rural America,” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Sunset / created and written by Christos Gage ; art by Jorge Lucas.
“Long ago, Nick Bellamy stole millions from his mob employer, Mr. Gianelli. He left the mob and married the woman he loved. It’s 30 years later, and Nick’s now-comatose wife requires most of his time while his life is less eventful. But Gianelli has found Nick and is determined to destroy his life. Although Nick avoids Gianelli’s every attempt at ending his life, his wife is murdered, and this one-time enforcer returns to violence to get revenge.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Philosophy : a discovery in comics / Margreet de Heer.
“Philosophy is thinking about thinking. That’s where de Heer begins in this charming, personal work, which features her and her husband, Yiri, as guides. What is thinking, anyway? How do we know we know? Who are we? Well-known Western cogitators like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle have considered these questions, as have the medieval Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, followed by Erasmus, Descartes, and Spinoza. For modern philosophy, however, she pulls back into the personal realm by letting friends and relatives speak about their own philosophies and who inspires them, from Nietzsche to George Carlin. She draws philosophy out of the abstract, academic ether and connects it to real people and their lives.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Freeway / Mark Kalesniko.
“A 416-page tour de force chronicling a single day, a few hours even, in the life of his recurring dog-headed alter ego, Alex Kalienka. Stuck in a horrendous traffic jam on his way to his increasingly miserable job as an animator at Mickey Walt Studios, a burnt-out and depressed Alex alternately rages, reminisces, fantasises and hallucinates. Then again, are they in fact fantasies or prescient flashes? Is a threatening car tailing Alex just a paranoid fantasy or a genuine threat?” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
The red diary ; the re(a)d diary / [Teddy Kristiansen & Steven T. Seagle].
“Artist and writer Kristiansen and writer Seagle, have collaborated in an unconventional way for this beautiful, dual-story graphic novel. Published in French, Kristiansen’s original story chronicles the search of a biographer for the truth behind the life of an unknown artist who died during WWI. Seagle uses the same images to tell a different tale of war, art, and identity, as an old man searches to connect to the diaries of his youth. Seagle, who had not read the original before creating his own story, has done a remarkable job of creating a tale similar in tone and scope to Kristiansen’s original, while also telling a story wholly its own.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Orcs : forged for war / story by Stan Nicholls ; adapted and drawn by Joe Flood.
“This story centers on a troop of Orcs bound in service-or, more accurately, slavery-to a vicious, magic-wielding queen and tasked with protecting a secret weapon under the control of a goblin sorcerer and his underlings. The Orc commander, Stryke, must lead his soldiers and maintain order in their occasionally fractious ranks while also putting up with abuse from both the queen and the goblins, whose race has long been bitter enemies with Stryke’s people.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)