News Blog > ComicFest 2014 this Friday & Saturday!

ComicFest 2014 this Friday & Saturday!

Comics are fantastic – they’re visual, they’re literary, they’re fun, they’re for all audiences and on the 2nd and  3rd of May, we’re celebrating comics in a big way with our first ever ComicFest at the Central library.

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Wellington City Libraries have joined forces with GRAPHIC comic store to provide hundreds of free comic books on Saturday the 3rd of May, for kids, teens and adults. Free Comic Book Day, is an international event, celebrated across the comic reading world on the first Saturday in May, with the aim of promoting comics as a dynamic, modern medium, but also has the main and important aim of giving away FREE comics!

That’s just the start.

We’ve arranged two drawing comics workshops with talented bro’Town designer and comic book creator Ant Sang and illustrator and Animation artist Gavin Mouldey.

We’ve got author talks, the first involving Auckland’s comic supremo Ant Sang again, but Wellington’s own Grant Buist, creator of Jitterati and Robyn Keneally, comic book artist and creator of fab web comic Steve Roger’s American Captain: A diary comic.

The second talk features Greg Broadmore, creator of the blackly funny ‘Dr Grordbort’ series and Paul Tobin, editor of the sci-fi, fantasy anthology ‘White Cloud Worlds.’ They’ll be discussing their comic-related work but also their projects for Weta Workshop. Check out the  Weta Cave display items and props on Central Library’s first floor from the 17th of April!

Don’t forget our comic book holiday activities, running through the holidays right up to International Comic Book Free Day on Saturday the 3rd of May.

We’ll also be running a costume competition that day  at the Central library and all are invited to attend, dressed as their favourite cartoony, comics-related character  – prizes for best dressed kid, teen and adult.  Get dressed up, get involved in our comics workshop, grab a free comic and (maybe) win prizes!

Our event calendar will soon show the complete programme – and expect more blog posts too at wcl.govt.nz/comicfest over the next few weeks, including author profiles, event info and articles, as we build up to the event…

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New Graphic Novels

This month’s selection of new Graphic Novels recently added to the collection included the first volumes of three new series. Highly recommended is Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler, from this veteran cartoonist, who also produced Kitaro, NonNonba, and Showa: A History of Japan, in three volumes.

Syndetics book coverSouthern bastards. Book one / Jason Aaron, writer ; Jason Latour, art & color ; created by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour.
“Earl Tubb is an angry old man with a big ol’ stick. Coach Euless Boss has buried more bodies under his bleachers than there are championship rings on his fingers. And they’re just two of the kind of bastards that have always seemed to flourish in Craw County, Alabama. When Earl comes home after 40 years, he finds some family business that still needs settling and Coach Boss is at the center of it all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEi8ht [1] : outcast / story and art, Rafael Albuquerque ; script, Mike Johnson.
“Welcome to the Meld, an inhospitable dimension in time where Joshua, a chrononaut, finds himself trapped. With no memory or feedback from the team of scientists that sent him, he can’t count on anything but his heart and a stranger’s voice to guide him to his destiny.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSuiciders. Vol. 1 / Lee Bermejo, writer & artist.
“After a devastating earthquake, the Southland has seceded from the union, leaving the city split in two: the walled-off, wealthy New Angeles and the criminal-run ghetto Lost Angeles. But what unifies them all is Suiciders: an extremely popular reality sport in which murder, mayhem and merciless brutality rule. Two of these fighters from very different backgrounds struggle to claw their way to the top. But in this new world order, what will it take to be the best?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverManabeshima Island Japan : one island, two months, one minicar, sixty crabs, eighty bites, and fifty shots of shochu / Florent Chavouet.
“Japan is made up of thousands of sacred islands, artificial islands, industrial islands, resort islands, wild islands and exploding islands…but artist Florent Chavouet had only ever visited two of them. This graphic novel is the story of one summer when he decides to get to know one more, the tiny island of Manabeshima. This speck of dirt in the Inland Sea, off the coast of Osaka, has a total population of 300, and he sets himself the task of recording everything and everyone he meets there in quirky detail on the pages of his sketchbook.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLafcadio Hearn’s “The faceless ghost” and other macabre tales from Japan : a graphic novel / Sean Michael Wilson ; illustrated by Michiru Morikawa.
“Over one hundred years ago, the writer Lafcadio Hearn gathered and translated into English a selection of traditional Japanese ghost/mystery stories. They were published as Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. This graphic novel, retells six of these stories. All of them are very well known in Japan, where ghosts and demons are often called yokai, meaning “the mysterious and weird”.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHunter S. Thompson’s Fear and loathing in Las Vegas : a savage journey to the heart of the American dream / adapted by Troy Little.
“In proud partnership with the Hunter S. Thompson Estate, Top Shelf Productions is pleased to present Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a delightfully bonkers graphic novel by Eisner-nominated artist Troy Little adapting Thompson’s seminal book of the same name.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Kitchen / Ollie Masters, writer ; Ming Doyle, artist.
“New York City, late 1970s. Times Square is a haven for sex and drugs. Th ecity teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, while blackouts can strike at any moment. This is the world of THE KITCHEN. The Irish gangs of Hell’s Kitchen rule the neighborhood, bringing terror to the streets and doing the dirty work for the Italian Mafia. Jimmy Brennan and his crew were the hardest bastards in the Kitchen, but after they’re all put in prison, their wives. Kath, Raven and Angie, decide to keep running their rackets. And once they get a taste of the fast life and easy money, it won’t be easy to stop.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrankenstein underground / story by Mike Mignola ; art by Ben Stenbeck.
“After a fight with Hellboy, Frankenstein’s monster escapes the terrible Mexican laboratory where he was imprisoned and discovers strange creatures beneath the desert, where he’ll learn some of the greatest secrets of the mystical world in the strangest Hellboy spinoff yet.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShigeru Mizuki’s Hitler / translation by Zack Davisson.
“A master cartoonist and veteran tells the life story of the man who started the Second World War Seventy years after his death, Adolf Hitler remains a mystery. Historians, military tacticians, and psychologists have tried in vain to unravel his complex motivations for leading Germany into the Holocaust and World War II.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBalkans Arena / Philippe Thirault, writer ; Jorge Miguel, artist.
“When widowed former soldier Frank Sokol returns to his native Croatia with his Canadian-born son, Ben, he must face his estranged family and the ghosts of the civil war. When 11-year old Ben is kidnapped by the local mafia and forced into the underground world of illegal online cage-fighting, Frank will stop at nothing to get him back. But the cost may be even higher than he’s willing to pay, and his son could be changed forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The following titles have been chosen from our monthly new fiction selections. They are all highly recommended for great reading.

Syndetics book coverVictim without a face / Stefan Ahnhem ; translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles.
“A gripping, tense thriller, from one of the best Scandinavian mystery writers.”

Syndetics book coverUniversal war one. Volume 1, Genesis / by Denis Bajram ; translated by Virginie Selavy.
“Six volumes in this edition, telling a gripping science fiction epic by this brilliant French comic writer and artist.”

Syndetics book coverThe drowned detective / Neil Jordan.
“A wonderfully realized tale of chilling suspense.”

Syndetics book coverThis census-taker : a novella / China Miéville.
“A brilliant imaginative novella, that is haunting and thought provoking.”

Syndetics book coverDad art / Damien Wilkins.
“The latest novel set in to-day’s Wellington by one our own most satisfying writers. A must read.”

This month some of DC’s biggest selling graphic novels have become available as eBooks through Overdrive. It’s a great chance to try a new series or enjoy an old favourite. If you want lots more graphic novels, check out Comics Plus Library Edition which all library users can now access through My Gateway.

Overdrive cover All-Star Superman, by Grant Morrison (eBook)
“The amazing creative team of writer Grant Morrison (BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM) and artist Frank Quitely (WE3) join forces to take Superman back to basics and create a new vision of the World’s First Super-Hero. Witness the Man of Steel in exciting new adventures featuring Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Bizarro, and more. Collects ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #1-12″ (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Suicide Squad, Volume 1, by Adam Glass (eBook)
“Writer and co-creator of the CW show Supernatural Adam Glass rolls out an all-new team of death-row super villains recruited by the government totake on missions so dangerous-they’re sheer suicide! The story begins with the Suicide Squad defeated, imprisoned and being interrogated about their newest mission. Harley Quinn, King Shark, Deadshot and company must make it out alive without revealing who’s pulling the strings behind their illegal operations. Who will be the first to crack under the pressure? More importantly will they make it all out alive? Collects issues #1-7.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Watchmen: International Edition, by Alan Moore (eBook)
“This Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin. One of the most influential graphic novels of all time and a perennial bestseller, WATCHMEN has been studied on college campuses across the nation and is considered a gateway title, leading readers to other graphic novels.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Flash, Volume 1, by Brian Buccellato (eBook)
“The Fastest Man Alive returns with the writer/artist team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato. The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but he has seemingly met his match when he faces DC Comics’ hottest new Super Villain, Mob Rule, who really can be everywhere at once! As Mob Rule wages a campaign of crime across Central City, including an electromagnetic blast that plunges the city into darkness, The Flash learns the only way he can capture Mob Rule and save Central City is to learn how to make his brain function even faster than before—but as much as it helps him, it also comes with a steep price.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Supergirl, Volume 1, by Michael Green (eBook)
“Meet Supergirl. She’s got the unpredictable behavior of a teenager, the same powers as Superman – and none of his affection for the people of Earth. Crash landing on a strange new planet, Supergirl must come to grips with Krypton’s destruction with her cousin Superman and learn about her own recent past. But an ingenious new foe wants that same information – and will do anything to get it. Presenting an all-new take on Superman’s cousin Kara! Collects issues #1-7.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Constantine, Volume 1, by Ray Fawkes (eBook)
“The star of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK and HELLBLAZER—the longest-running Vertigo series—is unleashed in his own DCU title! Liar, cheater, manipulator…John Constantine is all of these, and yet he uses these skills and more to protect the world from the darkest corners of the DC Universe. Collects Constantine #1-6.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Batman, Volume 1, by Scott Snyder (eBook)
“After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest. As the Caped Crusader begins to unravel this deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to the origins of the city he’s sworn to protect. Could the Court of Owls, once thought to be nothing more than an urban legend, be behind the crime and corruption? Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Sandman, Volume 1, by Neil Gaiman (eBook)
“NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision. In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. Collects issues #1-8.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Fables, Volume 1, by Bill Willingham (eBook)
“WINNER OF FOURTEEN EISNER AWARDS When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf, to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber. Collects FABLES #1-5.” (Overdrive description)

The selections for this month from the new Graphic Novels not only include some great stories, but some of the most outstanding art work, all visually and mentally rewarding. Highly recommended is the French best seller by Riad Sattouf, titled The Arab of the future: a childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984.

Syndetics book coverRedhand : twilight of the gods / Kurt Busiek & Marti Alberti, Sam Timel & Bazal.
“The perfect warrior is unleashed in an age of barbarism and magic, but all he wants is the peaceful life he’s destined never to have. Touched by a prophecy, imbued with incredible fighting skills and immune to magic, he is fated to one day destroy the gods. But Redhand has no interest in this prediction, and no use for his destiny. Yet how can a man escape his own fate?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUniversal war one. Volume 1, Genesis / by Denis Bajram ; translated by Virginie Selavy.
“2058. Humanity has colonized our entire solar system. In the middle of a civil war between the core planets and distant outlying planetary settlements, an immense black wall appears, cutting our solar system in two. The black wall absorbs all light and matter, and it’s up to a band of disgraced soldiers to investigate the phenomenon.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe inflatable woman / Rachael Ball.
“Iris (or balletgirl-42 as she’s known on the internet dating circuit) is a zookeeper looking for love when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. Overnight, her life becomes populated with a carnival of daunting hospital characters. Despite the attempts of her friends, Maud, Granma Suggs, Larry the Monkey and a group of singing penguins, to comfort her, Iris’s fears begin to encircle her until all she has to cling to is the attention of a lighthouse keeper called sailor_buoy_39.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRed Rosa : a graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg / written and illustrated by Kate Evans ; edited and with an afterword by Paul Buhle.
“A giant of the political left, Rosa Luxemburg is one of the foremost minds in the canon of revolutionary socialist thought. But she was much more than just a thinker. She made herself heard in a world inimical to the voices of strong-willed women. She overcame physical infirmity and the prejudice she faced as a Jew to become an active revolutionary whose philosophy enriched every corner of an incredibly productive and creative life, her many friendships, her sexual intimacies, and her love of science, nature and art.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDistance mover / Patrick Kyle.
“Mr. Earth can move incredible distances in his improbable Distance Mover, a wondrous vehicle that reflects the fantastic world it traverses. He, and his young art-star protégée Mendel, explore culture-rich crystalline cities, challenge the mighty Council of the Misters, try to overcome the all-conquering Ooze, and much more.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe eternaut / written by Héctor Germán Oesterheld ; drawn by Francisco Solano López ; translator, Erica Mena.
“This originally appeared as weekly installments from 1957-59. Juan Salvo, the inimitable protagonist, along with his friend Professor Favalli and the tenacious metal-worker Franco, face what appears to be a nuclear accident, but quickly turns out to be something much bigger than they had imagined. With Cold War tensions, aliens of all sizes, space, and time travel, this graphic novel has it all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Arab of the future : a graphic memoir : a childhood in the Middle East (1978-1984) / Riad Sattouf ; translated by Sam Taylor.
The Arab of the Future was the #1 French best-seller, and tells the unforgettable story of Riad Sattouf’s childhood, spent in the shadows of 3 dictators, Muammar Gaddafi, Hafez al-Assad, and his father. In striking, virtuoso graphic style that captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism, Riad Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gaddafi’s Libya, and Assad’s Syria, but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian Pan-Arabist who drags his family along in his pursuit of grandiose dreams for the Arab nation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe last broadcast : an urban exploration adventure / written by André Sirangelo ; illustrated by Gabriel Iumazark.
“A group of urban explorers in San Francisco discovers a secret bunker belonging to the long-vanished 1930s stage magician, Blackhall the Incredible, at the same time as young, out-of-work magician Ivan receives a mysterious package that points him toward a possible conspiracy involving Blackhall’s death in 1934. Both groups dive into the mystery, not yet realizing that it’s about the change their lives forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUsername : Evie
“Evie is a socially-isolated teenage girl who struggles to fit in at high school. Always looking for a way to escape, she spends her nights supporting her terminally-ill father, who is tirelessly working on a computer program. When her father passes away, Evie is forced to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, Mallory, who is the bane of Evie’s existence. One night, Evie stumbles on a strange file that sucks her into a virtual world. As Evie explores this strange, new land, she learns it was the project her father was working on: a virtual Eden where Evie can get away and be herself. However, Mallory also discovers the world and her presence causes the idyll to descend into chaos. Now Evie must save the virtual world or lose her last connection to her father.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA year without mom / [written and illustrated by] Dasha Tolstikova.
“Follows twelve-year-old Dasha through a year full of turmoil after her mother leaves for America. It is the early 1990s in Moscow, and political change is in the air. But Dasha is more worried about her own challenges as she negotiates family, friendships and school without her mother. Just as she begins to find her own feet, she gets word that she is to join her mother in America, a place that seems impossibly far from everything and everyone she loves.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

This month’s selection of new Graphic Novels includes four historical stories, set in Spain, New York, Kashmir and China. There are also several science fiction stories, a couple of horror stories and of course, one very amusing satire, being the first volume of Lady Killer by Joelle Jones.

Syndetics book coverThe art of flying / Antonio Altarriba, Kim ; translated from the Spanish by Adrian West ; with a prologue by Stuart Green.
“Winning six major prizes including the 2010 National Comic Prize, this is a deeply touching synthesis of individual and collective memories. A deeply personal testament, with the author’s account of what led his father to commit suicide at the age of ninety is a detective novel of sorts, one that traces his father’s life from an impoverished childhood in Aragon, to service with Franco’s army in the Civil war, escape to join the anarchist FAI, exile in France when the Republicans are defeated, to return to Spain in 1949 and the stultifying existence to which Republican sympathisers were consigned under Francoism.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRobert Moses : the master builder of New York City / Pierre Christin, Olivier Balez.
“From the subway to the skyscraper, from Manhattan’s Financial District to the Long Island suburbs, every inch of New York tells the story of one man’s mind: Robert Moses, the architect who designed it all. In this graphic biography, the rest of Robert’s story is told.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChicago : a comix memoir / by Glenn Head.
“Abandoning suburbia for art school and then the gritty streets of Chicago, young Glenn finds himself fending off street predators and fighting depression. A visit to Playboy offers entry into the world of comix and R. Crumb, but it’s a chance encounter with Muhammad Ali that allows young Glenn to prove his mettle.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLady killer. Volume 1 / story by Joëlle Jones & Jamie S. Rich ; art by Joëlle Jones.
“Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother, but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer. She balances cheerful domestic bliss with coldly performed assassinations, but when Josie finds herself in the crosshairs, her American-dream life is in danger.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDescender. Book one: Tin stars / written by Jeff Lemire ; illustrated by Dustin Nguyen.
“A rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey, that pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling epic. Young Robot boy TIM-21 and his companions struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMunnu : a boy from Kashmir / Malik Sajad.
“Seven-year-old Munnu is growing up in Indian-administered Kashmir. Life revolves around his family: Mama, Papa, sister Shahnaz, brothers Adil and Akhtar and, his favourite, older brother Bilal. Munnu’s is a childhood experienced against the backdrop of conflict. Bilal’s classmates are crossing over into the Pakistan-administered portion of Kashmir to be trained to resist the occupation; Papa and Bilal are regularly taken by the military to identification parades where informers will point out terrorists; Munnu’s school is closed; close neighbours are killed and the homes of Kashmiri Hindu families lie abandoned, as once close, mixed communities have ruptured under the pressure of Kashmir’s divisions.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEffigy [1] : idle worship / written by Tim Seeley ; art by Marley Zarcone, Jesse Hamm, Jen Vaughan, Mike Norton.
“Chondra Jackson is a star who fell to Earth. A preteen actress who was an idol to millions, she solved space crimes before dinnertime, playing Bebe Soma on the smash-hit kids’ TV show Star Cops. But all stars fade, and after Chondra aged out of the spotlight, the sex tape she made in an attempt to extend her 15 minutes wound up destroying her career. Now she works as a beat cop in her hometown of Effigy Mound, Ohio, where she’s about to catch a case as crazy as anything the Star Cops ever faced. Chondra’s fans, it turns out, are still obsessively dedicated to her, having built a close-knit community through message boards, conventions and cosplay. And someone is killing them, one by one.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGoners. Volume 1, We all fall down / Jacob Semahn, creator/writer ; Jorge Corona, creator/artist ; Steve Wands, inker/letterer.
“In a world where the mythic co-exists with the mortal, the world famous Latimer Family has been humanity’s first line of defense against paranormal horrors for centuries. The modern-day progenitor, Raleigh Latimer and wife, Evelyn Latimer, have turned the family tradition into a profitable brand. Selling life rights and starring in their own reality show, the Latimers have found a way to fund their endeavors against those that would try to overthrow humanity. But on a routine case, Raleigh and Evelyn are murdered on live television, while their children, Josiah and Zoe, are left helpless to watch. With a widening power vacuum, devils and opportunists alike hunt the ill-prepared children as they set out to solve their parent’s murder and find out what inheriting the family business truly means.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLong walk to Valhalla : an original graphic novel / written by Adam Smith ; illustrated and lettered by Matthew Fox.
“There are many things that Rory would like to forget - his alcoholic father, absent mother, his ex-girlfriend, now married to his ex-best friend. Sometimes, he’d even like to forget about his older brother Joe. Joe saw the world differently than other people, seeing what he always called “the Pretty Things.” But sometimes the Pretty Things turned ugly and bad things happened. When Rory’s car breaks down on the side of the road just out of town, a young girl named Sylvia appears from the corn fields. Sylvia is a Valkyrie sent by the Norse god Odin to deliver Rory to Valhalla. Because today is the day he’s going to die. Together, Rory and Sylvia walk back through the memories of Rory’s childhood, this time seeing them the way Joe saw them. Rory must face the Pretty Things, the Ugly Things, and all the real life in between before it’s time to say goodbye.” (Adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverNanjing : the burning city / by Ethan Young.
“After the bombs fell and shook the walls of Nanjing, the Imperial Japanese Army entered and seized the Chinese capital. Through the dust of the demolished buildings, screams echo off the rubble. Two abandoned Chinese soldiers are trapped and desperately outnumbered inside the walled city. What they’ll encounter will haunt them, but in the face of horror, they’ll learn that resistance and bravery cannot be destroyed by the enemy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The following titles have been chosen from our monthly new fiction selections. They are all highly recommended for great reading.

Syndetics book coverOur lady of the ice / Cassandra Rose Clarke.
Steampunk Antarctica is the setting for this complex and brilliant science fiction mystery.

Syndetics book coverPostal. Volume 1 / created by Matt Hawkins ; Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins, writers ; Isaac Goodhart, artist.
A very dark suspense filled graphic novel, that is reflected in the great cover.

Syndetics book coverParis nocturne / Patrick Modiano ; translated from the French by Phoebe Weston-Evans.
A thrilling classic, that demonstrates the skill of this Nobel prize winning author.

Syndetics book coverMy name is Lucy Barton : a novel / Elizabeth Strout.
A compelling, compassionate novel, writing that is perfect.

Syndetics book coverThe treacherous net / Helene Tursten ; translation by Marlaine Delargy.
Yes, another Scandinavian crime novel, they just keep getting better and better.

This month’s selection of new Graphic novels covers most fiction genres and includes the first volumes of three new series. The first volume in the new series created by Matt Hawkins, titled Postal, promises everything a great graphic novel should have – a terrific story line, suspense, some horror and amazing art work.

Syndetics book coverThe Autumnlands. Volume one, Tooth and claw / by Kurt Busiek, writer, and Benjamin Dewey, artist.
“When a secret conclave of wizards brings a legendary hero back from the forgotten past to save their dying world, they get a hero unlike anything they expected, and trigger a crisis none of them may survive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe king in yellow / adapted & illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard from the short stories of Robert W. Chambers.
“The supernatural stories that make up Robert W. Chambers’s classic piece of weird fiction are tied together by a play that brings madness to all who read it: The King in Yellow. It’s a book that draws readers in with an irresistible yet innocent opening act, and then drives them insane with the poisonous words of Act 2. It’s a book that cannot be suppressed, spreading like a disease from city to city, continent to continent.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPostal. Volume 1 / created by Matt Hawkins ; Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins, writers ; Isaac Goodhart, artist.
“The townsfolk of Eden, Wyoming wake up to the first official murder the town has seen in 25 years. Their reaction to this isn’t normal and there’s a reason for that. Eden operates as a haven for fugitive criminals who remain here while new identities, often including facial reconstruction, are created for them. There is zero tolerance for any illegal activity that might draw attention to the town and an “official murder” is the last thing they want. A single, tight-knit family runs Eden with the youngest oddball son Mark Shiffron overseeing the postal branch, the only means of shipping in or out of the city. THE FBI has repeatedly been foiled trying to insert an undercover here; they see Mark as the weak link to exploit. This murder gives them a new opportunity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to pass as human : a guide to assimilation for future androids / by Nic Kelman ; illustrations by Pericles Junior.
How to Pass As Human is an attempt on the part of the world’s first android to understand the irrational, unpredictable, eclectic creatures known as human beings. In this field guide, complete with sketches, graphs, flow charts, and other reference materials, Android Ø (a.k.a. Zach) has compiled a variety of useful information for future androids on how to pass undetected as human beings. Along the way, he also attempts to solve the mystery of his own creation with the help of Andrea, who has taken an interest in him that may be more than friendly, which eventually leads him to meet his maker (literally) and discover the surprising purpose of his existence.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Divine / written by Boaz Lavie ; art by Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka.
“Mark’s out of the military, these days, with his boring, safe civilian job doing explosives consulting. But you never really get away from war. So it feels inevitable when his old army buddy Jason calls with a lucrative military contract for a mining job in an obscure South-East Asian country called Quanlom. They’ll have to operate under the radar as Quanlom is being torn apart by civil war, and the US military isn’t strictly supposed to be there. With no career prospects and a baby on the way, Mark finds himself making the worst mistake of his life and signing on with Jason. What awaits him in Quanlom is going to change everything.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnnihilator / Grant Morrison, writer ; Frazer Irving, illustrator ; Bob Schreck, editor.
“Washed-up Hollywood screenwriter Ray Spass is caught in a downward spiral of broken relationships, wild parties and self-destruction. Out of luck and out of chances, he’s one failed script away from fading into obscurity. Little does he know he’s about to write the story of his life. As his imagination runs rampant, Ray must join forces with his own fictional character Max Nomax on a reality-bending race to stop the entire universe from imploding, without blowing his own mind in the process.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhite trash! / written by Gordon Rennie ; artwork by Marin Emond.
“Slacker surfer dude Dean and The King, legendary gold-lamed rock’n’roller, as they take their pink Cadillac into the soft, white supremacist, Evangelical brimstone underbelly of the United States.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHigh crimes / by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa.
“Disgraced Olympic snowboarder Zan Jensen runs a sideline business as a high-altitude grave robber. When a body is found at the summit of Everest with a treasure of state secrets under its skin, Zan finds herself in the crosshairs of a government hit squad. As she races to the roof of the world, Zan will navigate bullets and avalanches to find salvation in the deadliest place on Earth.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSacred heart / Liz Suburbia.
“The children of U.S. small-town Alexandria are just trying to live like normal teens until their parents’ promised return from a mysterious, four-year religious pilgrimage, and Ben Schiller is no exception. She’s just trying to take care of her sister, keep faith that her parents will come back, and get through her teen years as painlessly as possible. But her relationship with her best friend is changing, her younger sister is hiding a dark secret, and a terrible tragedy is coming for them all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThey’re not like us. Volume one, Black holes for the young / Eric Stephenson, story ; Simon Gane, art.
“We all have advantages over one another, but what if you were capable of things most of us can only imagine? What would you do and who would you be? Everyone has to make a choice about how to use the abilities they’re born with, but they’re not like us.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

This wonderful selection from our most recently received new Graphic novels highlight the diversity of this genre. Highly recommend is the American debut by British cartoonist Julian Hanshaw, titled T!m G!inger.

Syndetics book coverExquisite corpse / Pénélope Bagieu ; English translation by Alexis Siegel.
“Zoe isn’t exactly the intellectual type, which is why she doesn’t recognize world-famous author Thomas Rocher when she stumbles into his apartment and into his life. Zoe doesn’t know Balzac from Batman, but she’s going to have to wise up fast because Rocher has a terrible secret, and now Zoe is sitting on the literary scandal of the century.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChild of the storm / Manuel Bichebois, writer ; Didier Poli & Giulio Zeloni, artists.
“Adopted by a woodsman clan, the orphan Laith possesses miraculous and terrifying powers when the weather turns tempestuous. When his path crosses with the sinister Professor Finrhas, and the power-hungry Minister Alghard, Laith’s world is turned upside down and he must battle to save his foster family, his friends, and discover his origins in order to control his immense power. But Alghard’s political machinations threaten to plunge the world into war. There’s a storm coming, and Laith is at its centre.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDrifter, Vol. 1, Out of the night / Ivan Brandon, script ; Nic Klein, full color art and cover.
“In its frantic rush to survive itself, humanity has spread across the universe, colonizing and strip-mining countless planets. Abram Pollux barely survives a crash landing on Ouro, a lawless backwater world where life is cheap. There he meets Marshal Lee Carter, an earnest woman giving her all to maintain order, a grizzled Preacher, convinced that Pollux’s coming is a sign from God, and Emmerich Bell, the man who shot him down not moments after he dragged his body from the wreckage of his ship. What starts, as a struggle for survival quickly becomes a journey to the very edges of what it means to be human, as Pollux searches for answers among the ruins of this forgotten world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe king in yellow / adapted & illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard from the short stories of Robert W. Chambers.
The King in Yellow is one of the most important works of American supernatural fiction. In this dangerously un-put-downable graphic-novel adaptation, I. N. J. Culbard brings to life a thrilling tale of horror that will make readers laugh and cry and tremble with fright.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverT!m G!nger / Julian Hanshaw.
“Once a government test pilot, now a widow, Tim enjoys a quiet retirement in New Mexico, until a conspiracy theorist starts asking uncomfortable questions, and the haunting reappearance of an old friend provokes some hard choices about when to let go and when to hold on.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrip : the strange world of men / story and art by Gilbert Hernandez.
“Collected here for the first time, Grip provides a glimpse into the stranger side of Hernandez’s imagination. When Mike Chang wakes with no memory and nothing but a lipstick smudge and someone else’s suit and I.D., he finds himself thrown into a world of criminal gangs, crime-fighters, people who swap skins, and a tiny one-eyed girl with bizarre powers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverApocalyptiGirl : an Aria for the end times / Andrew MacLean.
“Alone at the end of the world, Aria is woman with a mission. Traipsing through an overgrown city with her only companion, a cat named Jelly Beans, Aria’s search for an ancient relic with immeasurable power has been fruitless so far. But when a run in with a creepy savage sets her on a path to complete her quest, she’ll face death head-on in the hopes of claiming her prize and, if all goes according to plan, finally returning home.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFather’s day [1] / story, Mike Richardson ; art, Gabriel Guzmán.
“Once a feared Chicago mob enforcer, Silas Smith has gone underground and found peace in seclusion until his estranged daughter shows up on his doorstep with a major axe to grind. And though Silas abandoned his violent past, his former bosses are now on his trail with scores to settle, intent on teaching Silas that crime doesn’t pay.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTowerkind / Kat Verhoeven.
Towerkind is an oblique end-of-the-world story as seen through the eyes of a diverse group of kids in Toronto’s St James Town, a neighborhood densely filled with high rise apartments. The kids in this ‘towerhood’ become aware of an impending catastrophe through their strange supernatural abilities. Something is revealing itself through cracks, crevices, and through the children in the neighborhood.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEverything is teeth / Evie Wyld, Joe Sumner.
“An intimate and unique visual memoir by the multi-prizewinning Evie Wyld. Evie Wyld was a girl obsessed with sharks. Spending summers in the brutal heat of coastal New South Wales, she fell for the creatures, their teeth, their skin, their eyes; their hunters and their victims. Everything is Teeth is a delicate and intimate collection of the memories she brought home to England, a book about family, love and the irresistible forces that pass through life unseen, under the surface, ready to emerge at any point.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

This selection of the new Graphic novels recently added to the collection highlights some great narratives and as usual some brilliant art work. One highly recommend example of this is Jan Cleijne’s Legends of the Tour.

Syndetics book coverSyllabus : notes from an accidental professor / Lynda Barry.
“Writing exercises and creativity advice from Barry’s pioneering, life-changing workshop. Barry teaches a method of writing that focuses on the relationship between the hand, the brain, and spontaneous images, both written and visual. It has been embraced by people across North America-prison inmates, postal workers, university students, high-school teachers, and hairdressers-for opening pathways to creativity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLegends of the tour / Jan Cleijne.
“Since Maurice Garin’s inugural victory in 1903, hundreds of thousands of kilometers have been covered in pursuit of the yellow jersey and few of them have been without incident or drama. Here are the Tour’s legends: Eugene Christophe welding his bicycle back together at the foot of the Pyrenees in 1913; Bartali V Coppi, 1949; Poulidor shoulder-to-shoulder with Anquetil on the Puy de Dome, 1964; Tommy Simpson’s death on Ventoux, 1967; Lance Armstrong’s domination and disgrace; finishing with Bradley Wiggins’ and Chris Froome’s victories back-to-back victories for Britain in 2012 and 2013.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBenito mambo / Christian Durieux.
“Benito dreams of becoming a mambo dancer. But his outraged billionaire father forbids the little boy’s dancing destiny and exiles him from the family home. On the fantastical journey that follows, young Benito will meet a host of quirky characters, traverse the globe, and experience love and friendship.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWoody Guthrie and the dust bowl ballads / by Nick Hayes.
“Forged in the Dust bowl of the 1930s, in an America crippled by the Great World Recession, Woodie Guthrie found solace in song, and soon those songs became the voice of the people, men and women who had seen their lives deracinated and destroyed by the vicissitudes of global economic forces beyond their control.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSkandalon / Julie Maroh ; translated by David Homel.
“A fiery, intense story about the recklessness of fame. Skandalon, found in the Gospels, refers to a persistent trap or obstacle, such as the one that confounds the mesmerizing, Jim Morrison-like lead character Tazane. He is a true rock icon: passionate, arrogant, selfish, and sometimes violent, the charismatic singer is a beacon for controversy and scandal. But the public that worships him and the media that lavishes attention on him are waiting for him to fall from grace. At times shocking, Skandalon is a powerful and relentless meditation on the high cost of fame, and the demons awaiting anyone who refuses to be wary of them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOink : Heaven’s butcher / written and drawn by John Mueller.
“In a dark, oppressive future, pig-men work tirelessly feeding a society they cannot fathom as slaves of human masters. When Oink realizes that the dogma being forced on them is all lies, he undertakes a path of revenge and revelation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIs? / Luke Ramsey.
“A loose story is told that involves a society of giant people, strange art, and inexplicable scientific experiments utilizing nonexistent technology. Factories and tree houses teem with life, and the city nestles up against a landscape filled with dinosaurs, apes, and dragonflies living peacefully side by side. This book is meant to be read forward and backward and returned to and treated like a mystical text.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCochlea & Eustachia / Hans Rickheit.
“Cochlea & Eustachia appear to be twin human girls, but this has yet to be confirmed. Their actions seem to be motivated less by curiosity than boredom and an inclination towards purposeless destruction. Any connate objective remains to be determined. They never stray apart from each other, out of an unspoken proclivity. Perhaps they keep together because they resemble each other; a mixture of vanity and comfort is the foundation of their constant companionship. They seem to consider any creature with dissimilar features as inept or untrustworthy. They do not seem particularly malicious, just meddlesome.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe other side of the Wall / Simon Schwartz ; translated by Laura Watkinson.
“Simon Schwartz was born in 1982 in the GDR (East Germany). One and a half years later, he left the country with his parents, and the family resettled in West Berlin. As political dissidents, his parents experienced harassment by the Stasi and a lack of understanding from members of their own family. This striking graphic novel memoir chronicles the family’s difficult journey to get to the other side of the Berlin Wall.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Squidder / writer, artist, & letters, Ben Templesmith.
“An old soldier from a forgotten war in a post-apocalyptic world that has left him behind. He was one of the last of the legendary Squidder Legions. Can a discarded relic with a death wish and a rebellious Squid priestess overthrow humanity’s tentacled alien overlords?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

There are some terrific new Graphic novels this month selected from the new additions to the collection and it includes the first books in four new series. Highly recommended is New Zealand’s own Maori language graphic novel published by Huia Press and written by Andrew Burdan, titled Hautipua Rererangi.

Syndetics book coverEvil Empire. 1, We the people / created and written by Max Bemis ; illustrated by Ransom Getty and Andrea Mutti.
“Politics is war without bloodshed. War is politics with bloodshed. Politically charged rapper Reese decries injustice. As she sneers at election year advertisements, the star of the ad, Sam Duggins, makes a surprise appearance backstage. The aspiring politician seeks to tap into the energy of Reese’s fanbase by befriending her and, presumably, winning her endorsement. Then one action tears the country apart in a debate over the meaning of right and wrong, and Reese is not about to stand by as the American people support the rantings of a mad man. But how far will people go to take a stand in what they believe in?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHautipua rererangi / nā Andrew Burdan ngā pikitia ; [na Julian Arahanga ngā kōrero mō tēnei o ngā pukapuka].
“Shot down off the coast of Germany, Pohe was held prisoner at Stalag Luft III, near Sagan in present-day Poland. Digging a tunnel under the camp, Pohe was one of the prisoners who escaped in a mass breakout which was immortalized in the film The Great Escape.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLulu anew / Étienne Davodeau ; translation by Joe Johnson.
“At the end of yet another unproductive job interview, Lulu, on a whim, takes off for the shore just to get away from it all. She’s got a husband and kids left bewildered but it’s nothing against them. This is just her time, getting away from the grind and with no other plan than savoring it. Surprised at her own temerity, she meets other people on the edge of the world. It wasn’t meant to be for long. It wasn’t meant to be anything but in the end thrilling, fun, and possibly dangerous, this improvised experience will make of Lulu a different woman.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPunks, the comic. Vol. 1, Nutpuncher / Joshua Hale Fialkov, story ; Kody Chamberlain, art.
“Abe, Fist, Skull, and Dog live in a house, get into fights, murder gnomes, and punch each other in the nuts.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverDay Men. Volume one, Lux in tenebris / written by Matt Gagnon & Michael Alan Nelson ; illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze.
“The Children of the Night have found a way to use the sun to their advantage, they are the Day Men. For thousands of years, the world has been controlled by the “50 Families”, a secret network of vampire covens engaged in a timeless struggle for power. But when the sun rises, the vampires are forced to employ the services of a human who acts as their daytime fixer and protector.Trained for centuries to be the mortal soldiers of their vampire employers, the Day Men go forth at sunrise, alone into the world, to do the bidding of their sleeping benefactors.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Terminator : enemy of my enemy / script, Dan Jolley ; pencils, Jamal Igle ; inks, Ray Snyder.
“When an unstoppable killer from the future targets Dr. Elise Fong, her only hope for survival comes in the unlikely form of Farrow Greene, the ex-CIA operative tasked with kidnapping her for a shady firm.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBushido [1] : the way of the warrior / written by Rob Levin ; art by Jessada Sutthi.
“Kichiro is an outsider in feudal Japan. Lacking the Japanese blood that would allow him to become a samurai, Kichiro must fulfill his dreams of serving the shogun in a less traditional manner by eliminating every foreign supernatural threat that rears its fangs!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, with interesting & curious anecdotes of celebrated and distinguished characters fully illustrating a variety of instructive and amusing scenes ; as performed within and without the remarkable difference engine, embellished with portraits and scientifick diagrams / Sydney Padua.
“Victorian London’s most dynamic duo: Charles Babbage, the unrealized inventor of the computer, and his accomplice, Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the peculiar proto-programmer and daughter of Lord Byron. When Lovelace translated a description of Babbage’s plans for an enormous mechanical calculating machine in 1842, she added annotations three times longer than the original work. Her footnotes contained the first appearance of the general computing theory, a hundred years before an actual computer was built.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLow. Volume 1, The delirium of hope / Rick Remender, writer ; Greg Tocchini, artist.
“Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth’s surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun’s scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArkwright integral / written and illustrated by Bryan Talbot ; introduction by Michael Moorcock ; afterword by Warren Ellis.
“An adult science-fiction epic of boundless imagination and audacious vision, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and Heart of Empire are brought together for the first time in one essential hardcover volume, including bonus material and an afterword by Warren Ellis.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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