This month’s selection of new Graphic novels includes the first volumes of two new series and the anthology High Water, showcasing eleven of New Zealand’s best graphic artists.
Magneto  : infamous / writer, Cullen Bunn ; artists, Gabriel Hernandez Walta & Javier Hernandez.
“Once most feared mutant mastermind on the planet, Magneto is no longer the man he was. After allying with Cyclops and the X-Men, he became a pawn. Determined to fight for mutantkind’s survival on his own terms, Magneto sets out to regain what he’s lost. Magneto will safeguard the future of the mutant race by hunting down each and every threat that would see his kind extinguished and bloody his hands that they may never be a threat again. But as horrors from his past loom large and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents pursue him, will Magneto become the villain he once was?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
A second chance at Sarah / created & written by Neil Druckmann ; art by Joysuke Wong.
“Johnny couldn’t be happier with his life. He has a beautiful wife and a baby on the way. But once the baby is born, tragedy strikes. Sarah slips into a mysterious coma which no doctor can diagnose. Johnny discovers that Sarah dabbled in the occult when she was younger and made a deal with a demon; she is now in a coma because her soul has been ‘collected’. Desperate to free her from limbo, he makes his own deal with the demon and goes back in time to stop Sarah’s initial deal.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
High water / editing: Damon Keen.
“Change is coming. With a mixture of sardonic wit and unsettling insight, eleven of New Zealand’s best comic artists speculate on the looming threat of climate change and what it means for us, our children, and our future as a species” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Kinski / written and drawn by Gabriel Hardman.
“A salesman’s self-styled mission to save a puppy from its neglectful owners escalates into a righteous crusade in this quirky crime thriller.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
C.O.W.L. Volume 1, Principles of power / story, Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel ; art, Rod Reis ; additional art issue 4, Stéphane Perger.
“Welcome to the “Chicago Organized Workers League”,the world’s first Super-Hero Labor Union! While C.O.W.L. once stood as a beacon of hope against an epidemic of organized crime and an unbeatable “brotherhood” of Super-Villains, the union now faces its fiercest foe yet, a disillusioned public. In targeting the last of the great villains, C.O.W.L. attempts to prove its value to the world and to each other, while staving off villainy from both outside and inside its offices.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The sculptor / Scott McCloud.
“David Smith is giving his life for his art–literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn’t making it any easier.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Alone forever : the singles collection / by Liz Prince.
“Liz Prince’s , finally brings her popular webcomic to printed form, Alone Forever explores the joys of flying solo, free to focus on what really matters: comics, punk rock, and cute boys with beards.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Drumhellar. Volume one, Badlands and bad trips / Riley Rossmo, story, art, colors ; Alex Link, script.
“When shock-induced visions drive Drum Hellar, a detective specializing in the paranormal, to a small town in South Dakota, he finds himself up against a flesh-hungry bog-man, their mutual ex-girlfriend (actually a werewolf?), and a demon that’s stolen his arsenal of psychedelics. Then things start to get weird. With his ghostly sidekick Harold, who has powers so mysterious even he doesn’t understand them, Drum Hellar sets out on this weird, and wicked adventure. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Doctors / Dash Shaw.
“Dr. Cho is the creator of the Charon, a device that allows his staff to take the form of a memory in a dead patients’ consciousness’s, and bring them back to life, with one catch: the experience is traumatic and the process kills them again soon thereafter. But for some bereaved, the opportunity is priceless. So when Bell is killed in a random accident, her daughter hires Dr. Cho’s team to bring her back. But what if Bell didn’t want to come back? The dying unconsciously create the afterlife they want, or feel they deserve, in their minds before everything fades to black. Isn’t that better than the reality, and no less meaningful than life itself? (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Saint Cole / a novel by Noah Van Sciver.
” Saint Cole depicts four days in the life of a twenty-eight-year-old suburbanite named Joe, who works at a pizzeria to support his girlfriend Nicole and their infant child, and then Nicole invites her troubled mother to move into their two-bedroom apartment until she lands on her feet again. Joe reacts by retreating into alcohol: he wants out, and he’s angry. He’s in a position to act rashl, and he does.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Another fabulous selection of the best Graphic Novels added to the Wellington City Libraries collection. There is as always a diverse range of genre, and art work, making this collection one of our library’s most popular and heavily read.
I remember Beirut / written by Zeina Abirached ; art by Zeina Abirached ; translation by Edward Gauvin.
“Zeina Abirached grew up in Beirut in the 1980s as fighting between Christians and Muslims divided the city streets. Abirached recalls the details of ordinary life inside a war zone.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Deathblow / story by Brandon Choi and Jim Lee ; art by Jim Lee and Tim Sale with Trevor Scott.
“As an lite mercenary working in the shadowy realm of special operations, Michael Cray was a one-man arsenal and one of the world’s deadliest killers. But that was before the cancer began to eat away at his brain and remorse began to eat away at his soul. To those with faith, redemption is always possible. Cray never had a lot of faith, but the agents of Hell sent to recruit him are about to adjust his attitude.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Monsieur Jean : from bachelor to father / Phillipe Dupuy & Charles Berberian.
“Follow the hapless writer, Jean, through his meandering life, from bachelor novelist through to the responsibilities of fatherhood, as he deals with relationships and exasperating friendships in this touching slice-of-life comedy drama. And all the while, Jean’s flights of fancy help the novelist through his battles with his irascible landlady, his insecurities and his occasional insomnia.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The bunker. Volume 1 / written by Joshua Hale Fialkov ; illustrated, colored and lettered by Joe Infurnari.
“The story of five friends who find mysterious letters inside a time capsule they buried long ago. And it’s no wonder none of them remember writing the letters; they’re written by their future selves. To add to the mystery, each one warns of an impending apocalypse, which they apparently caused.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
3 guns / created and written by Steven Grant ; art by Emilio Laiso.
“After racing headlong across the Southwest, desperately outrunning Feds and mobsters alike while trying to clear their names, Trench and Steadman are pulled into another impossible situation: brokering gun deals between the Russians and anti-government revolutionaries from opposite sides. And little do they know, a Third Gun has her eyes set on the ultimate prize,and she won’t go down without a fight.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Krampus! / Brian Joines, writer ; Dean Kotz, illustrator.
“Meet the Krampus, yuletide terror and punisher of wicked children. Long imprisoned for his outdated methods, the holiday horror suddenly finds he is freed and tasked with a mission: recover the stolen power of the Secret Society of Santa Clauses! With his flying wolf Stutgaard, the Krampus crosses the globe, encountering various figures of winter lore and uncovering a sinister scheme to topple the Santas and change Christmas as we know it forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The hospital suite / John Porcellino.
“Poetic musings on illness and the art of getting by from a mini-comics master The Hospital Suite is a landmark work by the celebrated cartoonist and small-press legend John Porcellino, an autobiographical collection detailing his struggles with illness in the 1990s and early 2000s. The Hospital Suite is a testimony to this subtle strength, making his struggles with the medical system and its consequences for his mental health accessible and engaging.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Royals : masters of war / written by Rob Williams ; pencils by Simon Coleby ; inks by Simon Coleby (chapters 1-3), Gary Erskine (chapters 4-6).
“The year is 1940. As the Blitz destroys London and kills thousands, the Royal Family looks on. But in this world, the only people with special abilities are Royalty, and the purer the bloodline, the greater their abilities. So why don’t they stop the carnage with their powers? A truce between the Earth’s nobles has kept them out of our wars, until now. When England’s Prince Henry can take no more and intervenes, will it stop the planet’s suffering or take it to another level?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Legenderry : a steampunk adventure / writer, Bill Willingham ; artist, Sergio Fernandez Davila.
“A mysterious woman named Magna Spadarossa searches the many kingdoms of her Steampunk world to find her missing sister, Sonja but she’s pursued by strange and dastardly villains. Thankfully, each glamorous airship, clockwork city, and primordial jungle hosts a brave hero to aid in her quest. (Adapted from Syndetics summary
Another great selection from this month’s new Graphic Novels. Two new series begin, The Wicked and the Divine, and V Wars. Within the usual mixture, from horror to comedy we have included a Steampunk Graphic Novel, titled The leaning Girl by Francois Schuiten. We highly recommend all the titles in this selection.
Tales of an imperfect future / Alfonso Font.
“These science fiction tales, as told by an extraterrestrial, warn of the dangers that await us as human beings if we continue to behave as stupidly and selfishly as we have done up until now. Our actions have put the entire universe in danger. Take a vast leap into the imagination of one of the finest comic artists of this generation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Adventures of a Japanese business man / José Domingo.
“A Japanese businessman heads home after a regular day at the office. He doesn’t know it yet, but a long succession of strange and fantastical events is about to be thrown at him. Previously published in Spanish and French this won Best Book Award at the 2012 Ficomic Festival in Barcelona, Spain.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The wicked + the divine. Vol. 1, The Faust act / Kieren Gillen, writer ; Jamie McKelvie, artist.
“Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
V-Wars  : Crimson queen / written by Jonathan Maberry ; art by Alan Robinson.
“A non-stop thrill ride of action, horror and suspense, welcome to the V-WARS. These all-new tales chronicling the early days of the Vampire Wars offers the first salvo in the battle between humans and hundreds of new species of vampires. No matter how it ends, the world is going to bleed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Mars attacks : first born / story by Chris Ryall & Sam Kieth ; written by Chris Ryall ; art by Sam Kieth.
“When Mars attacked Earth, the battle left no side unscarred, least of all a lonely old man and his blind niece along with the first Martian child born on Earth. Will the child’s warlike ways take over, or is there more going on here than it seems?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Michael Jordan : bull on parade / written + drawn by Wilfred Santiago ; Sanlida Cheng, editor.
“This graphic novel explores Jordan’s public successes and private struggles. Jordan became a national celebrity at the age of 19, scoring the winning jump shot in the final seconds of the 1982 NCAA Championship, earning him the moniker ‘Air.’ In 1992 he joined the Dream Team, an assembly of 12 legendary NBA players who steamrolled everyone at the Barcelona Olympics and brought the gold back home.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The leaning girl / Schuiten-Peeters ; photography by Marie-Françoise Plissart ; featuring Martin Vaughn-James ; translation by Stephen D. Smith.
“A freak mishap on a roller coaster leaves young Mary Von Rathen leaning at a perpetual 45-degree angle, to the embarrassment of her feckless parents, who ship her off to a boarding school. She runs away to join a traveling circus, where her slanting balancing act makes her a star attraction. A journalist who admires Mary’s performance tells her about a scientist who is developing a rocket to reach a planet whose gravitational pull might be responsible for Mary’s odd condition.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The amateurs / by Conor Stechschulte.
“A local medical expert and sheriff are summoned to investigate a strange sighting, a severed human head that still seems to be talking.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Foligatto / Alexios Tjoyas, writer ; Nicolas de Crécy, artist.
“In order to revive the image of the town of Eccenihilo, a big carnival is organized with a grand finale: the homecoming of the local golden child, the famous opera star and eunuch, Foligatto.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The collector / written and illustrated by Sergio Toppi, translated by Edward Gauvin.
“Far from the auction halls of the elite, The Collector seeks out rare and mysterious artifacts across the world. At home in the salons of Paris as he is in the jungles of Borneo, The Collector is a man who has dedicated his life to finding objects very special and almost unknown , which tracks through his research in a variety of locations. But beware, a man who comes into possession of such items does not hesitate to use any means without scruple. Set against the backdrop of late 19th-century colonialism, The Collector is a delightful, swashbuckling adventure”. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
This month’s selection of new Graphic Novels, not only provides some great story lines, it includes several first volumes of new series, and of course brilliant art work throughout. Highly recommended is Kill my Mother by Jules Feifer, just for something a little different.
Art schooled / Jamie Coe.
“Coe’s new graphic novel chronicles his past as a small-town boy living his dream of attending art school in London. However, he soon realizes that art school is a bittersweet experience. Students and faculty are more concerned with making a statement than with learning techniques, being a “normal” guy makes him stand out. The author captures all of this with a wry sense of humor and an honest awareness of his own biases.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The gigantic beard that was evil / Stephen Collins.
“This is the mysterious and often wryly funny story of Dave, who lives on the Island of Here, a place of order, calm, and crushing boredom. There is a constant lurking threat of disorder coming from the outside world, from the dreaded There. One day, Dave unwittingly starts growing some major facial hair. He cuts I, but it grows back. It grows out of his window, through the yard, and threatens to consume the island. The solutions conceived to combat the beard are innovative, creative, and a bit out There. The effects of the beard, for Dave, for the people of Here, and for society, are at odds showing society’s viselike grip on its members, and examination of nonconformity.” (Adpated from Syndetic summary)
Edgar Allan Poe’s spirits of the dead / adaptation and art by Richard Corben.
“This is the complete collection of Edgar Allan Poe classics stories and includes,Spirits of the dead — Alone — The city in the sea — The sleeper — The assignation — Berenice — Morella — Shadow — The fall of the house of Usher — The murders in the Rue Morgue — The masque of the red death — The Conqueror Worm — The premature burial — The Raven — The cask of Amontillados.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Moon Knight : from the dead / writer, Warren Ellis ; artist, Declan Shalvey ; color artist, Jordie Bellaire ; letterer, VC’s Chris Eliopoulos.
“Marc Spector is Moon Knight! Or is he? It’s hard to tell these days, especially when New York’s wildest vigilante protects the street with two-fisted justice and three different personalities” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Kill my mother : a graphic novel / Jules Feiffer.
“Bitchy teen, Annie Hannigan declares she wants to murder her mom, Elsie, assistant to a booze-soaked private eye. But as bodies fall dead and backstories come out of the closet, the network of vindictiveness among a broader and very quirky bunch of characters becomes clearer. This is noir tragicomedy in the grand manner, with a twisty plot confounding expectations most delightfully.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Kiss me, Satan! / script by Victor Gischler ; art by Juan Ferrerya.
“Cassian Steele is boss of the werewolf mafia in the Big Easy, and he’s got a problem. The old witch Verona has discovered his secret and gone into hiding. Cassian wants her dead. So he sends out the word: An open contract. The first monster to dust Verona gets a big payday. So an assortment of Werewolf mobsters, vampire maids, a voodoo cowboy, zombie ninjas, and even a playboy wizard show up to try to collect the bounty. What they don’t realize is that Barnabus Black, a demon desperately trying to regain his halo, is her protector.” (Adpated from Syndetics summary)
Juice Squeezers  : the great bug elevator / written, illustrated, and created by David Lapham.
“Weeville, Calif., is afflicted with a plague of giant bugs, who live in caves around town, but the Juice Squeezers, a team of kids who, posing as a basket-weaving club to misdirect adults, go underground and slaughter the bugs before they do harm.” (Adpted from Syndetics summary)
Skin trade. Volume 1 / Daniel Abraham, sequential adaption ; Mike Wolfer, artwork & covers ; George R.R. Martin, story.
“Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin’s World Fantasy Award winning horror story crosses into the world of hard-nosed private eyes and frightful werewolves. Randi Wade is a survivor. She followed in the footsteps of her father, became a cop, and now is working the P.I. trade. But her past still haunts her and the vicious animal attacks that took her father’s life have started anew.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Lazarus. The first collection / written by Greg Rucka ; art and letters by Michael Lark with Brian Level ; and production assistance and letters by Jodi Wynne ; colors by Santi Arcas.
“The world has been divided into 16 territories, each ruled by a family that must constantly enforce its will and prepare for invasion if it is to maintain its power. Lazarus tells the story of Forever Carlyle, the genetically enhanced and virtually unkillable youngest daughter of the Carlyle family, who is not exactly who she thinks she is. Forever must deal with internal and external threats to her family, in a world that has suffered economic collapse and now faces extreme wealth disparity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Arsène Schrauwen / drawn by O. Schrauwen.
“The 1947 voyage of the author’s grandfather Arsène to the colony to aid his cousin in his quest to construct a modernist city of the future in the dense jungle. The thickheaded and thick waisted Arsène immediately finds himself over his head, unable to cope with his cousin’s maniacal bravado or the enormity of the project and his responsibility commanding its crew. An eerie jungle virus and his infatuation with his cousin’s wife put the already unsteady Arsène on the edge of delirium.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)
This month’s selection of new Graphic Novels includes the first volumes in six new series, and the much anticipated second novel from talented New Zealander, Dylan Horrocks, titled Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen.
The drops of God. Volume 1 / story by Tadashi Agi ; art by Shu Okimoto ; [translation, Kate Robinson].
“Kanzaki Shizuku is the son of a recently deceased, world-renowned wine critic, Kanzaki Yutaka, who owns a vast wine collection. In order to take ownership of his legacy, he must find 13 wines, known as ‘The Twelve Apostles’ and ‘Les Gouttes de Dieu’ that his father described in his will. He has a competitor by the name of Toomine Issei, an acclaimed young wine critic who just happens to be his father’s adopted son. Shizuku has never drunk, nor had any previous knowledge of wine, but with strong senses he submerges himself in the world of wine to solve the mysteries of the 13 wines.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Jaybird / Lauri & Jaako Ahonen.
“The story of a very small and very scared little bird, who lives a lonely, isolated life in a great big house with his infirm mother. He’s never been outside the house, curious but terrified of the world outside, and he will never leave if his mother has a say about it. Winner of 2013 “Comic Book Finlandia” prize.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Furious  : fallen star / story by Bryan J.L. Glass ; art by Victor Santos.
“Staring into a fractured mirror of her life, the world’s first superhero, Furious, seeks to atone for her past sins by dishing out rage fueled justice! But the spotlight of our celebrity-obsessed media threatens to undo her noblest efforts and expose her true identity before she can achieve redemption.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Sam Zabel and the magic pen / Dylan Horrocks.
“Cartoonist Sam Zabel hasn’t drawn a comic in years. Stuck in a nightmare of creative block and despair, Sam spends his days writing superhero stories for a large American comics publisher and staring at a blank piece of paper, unable to draw a single line. Then one day he finds a mysterious old comic book set on Mars and is suddenly thrown headlong into a wild, fantastic journey through centuries of comics, stories, and imaginary worlds.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Fuse. Vol. 1, The Russia shift / writer, Antony Johnston ; artist, Justin Greenwood.
“Working homicide on an orbiting energy platform, in a five-mile-long, jury-rigged steel city stuffed with a half-million people, and no help from your so-called colleagues back on Earth, is more than tough, it’s murder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Storm / Tim Minchin with DC Turner & Tracy King ; foreword by Neil Gaiman.
“A storm is brewing in the confines of a London dinner party. Small talk quickly descends into a verbal and intellectual battle between science and belief, as comedian Tim goes head to head with the mysterious fifth guest at the table, a hippy named Storm. STORM is the illustrated book born from the acclaimed internet sensation, the animation that has become an anthem for critical thinking.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
(In a sense) Lost & found / by Roman Muradov.
“The first graphic novel by rising star Roman Muradov explores the theme of innocence by treating it as a tangible object-something that can be used, lost, mistreated.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Chronicles of hate. Volume one / art & writing by Adrian Smith.
“In a world where the sun is frozen and the moon burns, an unlikely hero rises to free the Earth Mother from her chains. His path lies in shadows, his enemies’ legion.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The witcher  : House of Glass / written by Paul Tobin ; art by Joe Querio.
“The first two Witcher videogames have sold over 5.5 million copies worldwide, with a third due for release in 2014. Based on Polish novels extremely popular in Eastern Europe, the games now transfer to comic novel form. This first collected volume of the Witcher comics is an atmospheric and absorbing adaptation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The woods. Vol. 1, The arrow / created and written by James Tynion IV ; illustrated by Michael Dialynas.
“None of that matters anymore. On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Where are they? Why are they there? The answers will prove stranger than anyone could possibly imagine.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Another great selection from the new Graphic Novels received this month. As always there is a mixture of superheroes, horror, humour, thrillers, manga, and just whimsical, the choice is yours. Highly recommended is Robbie Morrison’s White Death, set during the First World War, great artwork and a gripping story.
Onslaught : excessive space violence for girls & boys / written and illustrated by Greg Broadmore.
“In this anthology edition from the retro-sci-fi world of Dr Grordbort, master illustrator and yarn-spinner Greg Broadmore digs deeper into the interplanetary voyages of Lord Cockswain and his heroic pursuit of exhilaration, exploration and excessively violent colonialism. As well as containing the first three instalments from the Dr Grordbort universe, this edition contains a never-before-seen full-colour comic adventure, brand new illustrations, plus spoof ads, character profiles and concept art straight from the brainstem of Greg Broadmore.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Shoplifter / Michael Cho.
“Corrina Park used to have big plans. Studying English literature in college, she imagined writing a successful novel and leading the idealized life of an author. But she’s been working at the same advertising agency for the past five years and the only thing she’s written is copy. Corrina knows there must be more to life, but and she faces the same question as does everyone in her generation: how to find it? This brilliant debut graphic novel is about a young woman’s search for happiness and self-fulfillment in the big city.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Blood lad. 1 / Yuuki Kodama ; [translation: Melissa Tanaka].
“The vampire Staz is one of the most powerful district bosses in the demon world, fending off everyone who dares challenge him. But secretly, the fearsome Staz is obsessed with human culture, especially video games, manga, and everything that comes from Japan! When a Japanese girl wanders into the demon world, Staz can’t wait to meet the human and learn everything he can about her world. Unfortunately, before he’s able to ask her anything, the girl is killed by one of his would-be usurpers, leaving just her bare soul behind. Staz vows to help the girl restore her body and return to her former life-especially since it means taking a trip to the human world himself!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
An age of license : a travelogue / by Lucy Knisley.
“An Age of License is a funny and charming account of Knisley’s whimsical tour of the continent, taking in her many encounters with cute cats, occasional romantic endeavours and her trademark illustrations of the food she ate along the way. But it’s not all kittens and crêpes: Knisley’s experiences are coloured by anxieties, introspective self-enquiry and a series of revelatory experiences, made even more intense for occurring in an unfamiliar country.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)
White Death / Robbie Morrison, writer ; Charlie Adlard, artist.
“In 1916, Pietro Aquasanta, an Italian rifleman, returns to his childhood home of the Trentino mountain range to find that it’s no longer the realm of wonder and adventure he remembers, but has become a place of death and despair, where the elements are as great a threat as the enemy. No weapon of war was more feared than the White Death, thundering avalanches deliberately caused by cannon fire which consumed everything in their path.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Tomboy : a graphic memoir / by Liz Prince.
“Growing up, Liz Prince wasn’t a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing Pretty Pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn’t exactly one of the guys either, as she quickly learned when her Little League baseball coach exiled her to the outfield instead of letting her take the pitcher’s mound. Liz was somewhere in the middle, and Tomboy is the story of her struggle to find the place where she belonged. A memoir told anecdotally, Tomboy follows author and zine artist Liz Prince through her early childhood into adulthood and explores her ever-evolving struggles and wishes regarding what it means to “be a girl.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Rogue Trooper : last man standing / writer, Brian Ruckley ; artist, Alberto Ponticelli.
“Nu-Earth, just another planet ravaged by a galaxy-wide war, its atmosphere poisoned by chemical weapons. Created to fight in such conditions were the G.I.s, genetically engineered infantrymen. But now only one remains, the man known as Rogue Trooper.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Leaving Megalopolis. Volume 1 / by Gail Simone & J. Calafiore.
“When the caped heroes of the world’s safest city inexplicably turn into homicidal maniacs, no one is safe. The only rational thing to do is to get out of town. If only it were that easy. A small group of terrified survivors make a desperate run for the city limits, chased by unspeakable evil!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
X-Force : Dirty/tricks / by Si Spurrier ; artist, Rock-He Kim.
“Almost every sovereign state in the Marvel Universe makes use of sanctioned superhumans to protect national interests and pursue a covert agenda. The United States has the Secret Avengers. The United Kingdom has MI13. And mutantkind has X-Force. Cable. Psylocke. Fantomex. Marrow. They are mutantkind’s protectors, spies, assassins and torturers! But just what has driven each of them to join the most deadly incarnation of X-Force yet? This edition collects X-Force 1-6.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Cyanide & happiness : punching zoo / Kris [Wilson], Rob [DenBleyker], Matt [Melvin] & Dave [McElfatrick].
“Generating over a million hits a week, this webcomic is one of the longest-lasting strips and everyone can relate to its hilarious slice-of-life depictions. Since the dawn of man, stick figures have been used as an important device for storytelling. Cyanide & Happiness has taken this language and mashed it up with Internet culture, resulting in some of the best satire and dark comedy around.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
In this month’s selection from our recently received new graphic novels, you will find several biographies, short stories, thrillers, horror and humour. Included and highly recommended is the amazing anthology titled, Above the dreamless dead: World War 1 in poetry and comics, published to mark the centenary. The publishers have brought together some of the industry’s best illustrators for this important moving volume.
Above the dreamless dead : World War I in poetry and comics / edited by Chris Duffy.
“The contributing artists have taken the poems they illustrate very seriously, including Hunt Emerson’s raucously comical, big-nose takes on three very vulgar soldiers’ songs. George Pratt trades pen-and-ink for rollers, putty knives, and acrylic to sculpt as much as draw the charnel figures of dead soldiers for Wilfred Owen’s Greater Love. Rather than illustrate Siegfried Sassoon’s ruefully sarcastic The General, comics writer Garth Ennis composes an angry tribute to the Tommies, whom artist Phil Winslade draws with photorealistic accuracy. Animating a night episode from a prose work, The Great Push (1916), by Patrick MacGill, and Eddie Campbell shrouds everything in Goyaesque darkness. These and the 18 other cartoonists’ portrayals of 22 further poems are equally original and evocative of the pity fearful, terrified, mournful, enraged which the poetry inhabited and embodied, as Owen so famously wrote.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Fire / written & drawn by Brian Michael Bendis.
“Loosely based on events in the American intelligence community during the Reagan administration, Fire tells the unique and powerful story of a young man’s journey through the complex world of international intelligence. A globe-spanning thriller for fans of Bond, pulp spy novels and true-world crime stories.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Shackleton : Antarctic odyssey / Nick Bertozzi.
“Earnest Shackleton made several attempts to reach the South Pole in his career as an explorer, but he never managed to see it. Bertozzi covers one such expedition, during which Shackleton and his crew spent almost two years in and out of ice packs, drifting in lifeboats, and desperately trying to find a way back to civilization. For all the peril, though, the slightly obsessive (but never foolhardy) Shackleton comes across as an exceptional leader, maintaining a positive, enterprising attitude and never losing his probably life-saving spirit of camaraderie.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
How to be happy / Eleanor Davis.
“The excellence and variety of the art in this short comics story collection is matched only by the painful incisiveness of the stories, most circling around attempts both foolish and sincere to find happiness. This is a powerful collection that resonates with all the ills, real and imagined, of our modern life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Secret / writer, Jonathan Hickman ; artist, Ryan Bodenheim.
“Through corporate espionage and intimidation, Grant Miller and his company, Steadfast Security, have obtained a lucrative security contract with a large Washington-based law firm. But when Grant and his team dig into the firm’s history, they uncover a covert conspiracy involving both CIA and KGB agents during the Cold War. Grant and his team must stay one step ahead to stay alive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
What we need to know / Willy Linthout ; [translated from the Flemish by Laura Watkinson].
“What We Need to Know is the sequel to the prize-winning graphic novel Years of the Elephant, but uses a wideangle lens to encompass the entire family, specifically three brothers who each need to cope with their own ghosts.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Toshiro / script by Jai Nitz ; art by Janusz Pawlak.
“The mechano-samurai Toshiro travels a Victorian clockwork world, battling horrors too dark for mankind. With his mysterious partner, the world-famous adventurer Quicksilver Bob, Toshiro must face Earth’s greatest foe yet: the soul-stealing, zombie-creating jellyfish from beyond.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Benson’s cuckoos / Anouk Ricard ; translation by Helge Dascher.
“Richard thinks he’s in luck when he snags a job at the cuckoo-clock factory, but things start to go wrong right off the bat. First of all there’s his boss, who doesn’t seem to have the strongest grip on reality and has an odd penchant for silly hats. Then there are his coworkers, who are alternately evasive and idiotic when asked about anything pertaining to actually getting work done. Finally there’s George, the employee Richard’s replacing, who supposedly quit but whose family has just appeared on national TV pleading for his safe return. It’s all adding up to a very strange workplace, and when the company goes on a retreat, everything spools quickly out of control.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Gast / By Carol Swain.
“English cartoonist Swain’s first graphic novel in a decade is a spooky and beautiful journey into the mind of a confused young girl who has moved to the Scottish countryside near the border of England. Helen spends her days alone, picking up what facts she can about her neighbor Emrys, who recently committed suicide. Through conversations with Emrys’s dogs and ram, the most endearing and vividly drawn characters in the book-and other neighbors and townspeople, Helen slowly paints a picture of the eccentric, divisive character she’ll never meet.” (Adapted from syndetics summary)
The infinite wait and other stories / by Julia Wertz.
“With acerbic wit and ribald humor the cartoonist describes jobs she has had, her illness and discovery of comics, and her home-town library.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
This month’s selection of new graphic novels shows the diversity in story and character that is expected with this genre. Included is new novels titled Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley author of the very popular Scott Pilgrim series.
The extinction parade. Volume 1 / Max Brooks, story & script ; Raulo Caceres, pencils & inks.
“With human populations dwindling from the zombie apocalypse, the vampire race plans to wipe out the undead in order to save humanity for their own nefarious purposes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Andre the Giant : life and legend / Box Brown.
“Larger-than-average Andre the Giant had a larger-than-life personality to match, and award-winning cartoonist Brown manages to capture the legendary wrestler’s career in wrestling, his movie roles, his insatiable drinking (reportedly once running up a $40,000 bar tab), and the many health problems he faced. Throughout, Andre comes across as a good-natured, gentle giant with a playful sense of humor and love for showmanship and he was, of course, no stranger to controversy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Night of the living Deadpool / writer, Cullen Bunn ; artist, Ramon Rosanas.
“Deadpool awakes from a food coma to find the zombie apocalypse has occurred. Now, can the Merc with a mouth avoid becoming the Merc in their mouths? Cullen Bunn, writer of the fan-favorite Deadpool Killogy, brings us one of Deadpool’s darkest tales ever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Photobooth : a biography / Meags Fitzgerald.
“In this graphic history/memoir debut, Fitzgerald journeys around the world to find old photo booths and help other enthusiasts catalogue and preserve them, capturing her own lifelong fascination with the chemical development techniques that they used. As Fitzgerald points out, images from chemical photo booths offer a fleeting serendipity, privacy, and beauty that can’t be found in digital photography.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
God is dead. Volume one / written by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Costa; art by Di Amorim.
“The gods of old begin to reappear on earth and claim the domain of man for their own. The world is thrown into a state of utter anarchy. Now Horus walks the streets of Egypt, Zeus has taken over the Sistine Chapel, and Odin is coordinating the dissection of the earth among the returned deities. Mankind held sway over the world for thousands of years and their hubris over that time has made them powerful, but when faced with the divine, can mortal weapons put an end to this second coming?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Darklight / created and written by Chad Kultgen ; art by Piotr Kowalski.
“Humanity in the distant, distant future has made a shocking discovery: the universe has stopped growing and will soon end. To avert this fate, humanity brokers a peace between the Luminids, an entirely mechanized society, and the Duron, a genetically engineered and severely caste-based society, and all three team up to save the universe. But just when it looks like things might work out, peace falls apart, and suddenly humanity is at war with both species.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Dead Boy Detectives. Vol. 1, Schoolboy terrors / Toby Litt, writer-story ; Mark Buckingham, penciller-layouts-story ; Gary Erskine, Andrew Pepoy, inkers.
“The Dead Boy Detectives Edwin and Charles, the ghosts of two abused boys who pal around together and solve crimes, were created by Neil Gaiman in The Sandman as a morbid commentary on boarding schools. This series adds Crystal Palace, the daughter of two spoiled, neglectful performance-artist celebrities, who’s attending Edwin and Charles’s school, which is now co-ed. The boys, who help her fight the threat of demonic possession and rescue spirits trapped in a mirror.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Seconds / Bryan Lee O’Malley with Jason Fischer, drawing assistant.
“The bestselling author of the Scott Pilgrim series returns with another hit. Twenty-nine-year-old chef Katie runs a restaurant called Seconds; it’s successful, but she dreams of starting a restaurant of which she can be part-owner. Katie is frustrated in her love life, having lost her boyfriend, Max, and construction of the new restaurant is moving slowly, with many setbacks and added expenses. In a desperate state, Katie discovers the house spirit of Seconds, a crouching sprite who lives off scraps, who unwillingly gives her a chance to reverse a recent error that led to a grisly accident in the kitchen. Katie soon becomes addicted to this magical method of fixing mistakes, but as she changes more and more about her world, reality itself starts to deteriorate.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary
The other dead / created by Joshua Ortega & Digger T. Mesch ; written by Joshua Ortega ; art by Qing Ping Mui.
“A deadly hurricane threatens New Orleans just as a frightening and mysterious outbreak hits the animal kingdom.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Black Science. Volume 1, How to fall forever / Rick Remender, writer ; Matteo Scalera, artist.
“As the lead researcher of the Anarchist Order of Scientists, McKay has fractured the rules governing interdimensional travel and taken his expedition (including his family) into other worlds. What begins as an accomplishment of science and wonder quickly becomes a nightmare when McKay realizes the machine that brought them here is now jumping between dimensions at random intervals.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Some very serious themes are included in this month’s selection of the best new graphic novels. The diary of a brave cancer sufferer, artist, and writer, Matt Freedman is gut wrenching. Also Climate Changed by French writer Philippe Squarzoni is a brilliant expose of everything you need to know and more about global warming. Of course we have also included the usual super-heroes, evil doers and several lighter, more whimsical graphic novels for your enjoyment.
Celeste / written & illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard.
“In Los Angeles, Ray is sitting in gridlock when he receives a call from an LAPD officer with news about his wife. Fearing the worst, he listens intently, but suddenly the caller and everyone else around him disappears. In London, the moment two commuters catch sight of each other on a packed Monday morning tube train, everyone around them vanishes. In Japan, comic artist Yoshi has come to the Aokigahara Forest to hang himself. But when the attempt fails and he slides free, the forest comes alive with mythological creatures. Taking us through the empty freeways of Los Angeles, the deserted streets of London, and the dream world of the Aokigahara Forest, Celeste is an ambitious and profound graphic novel that explores what it means to be alive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Relatively indolent but relentless : a cancer treatment journal / Matt Freedman.
“From October 3 to November 28, 2012, artist, writer and curator Matt Freedman underwent radiation and chemotherapy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, for treatment of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, a rare cancer that had spread from his tongue to his neck to his lungs by the time it was discovered. This is the journal he kept during that time, his 35-day course of treatment.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Retroworld / Patrick Galliano, writer ; Cedric Peyravernay, Bazal, artists ; adapted from the work of Julia Verlanger.
“Humans have scattered and occupied the known universe for so long that many worlds have forgotten their true, Earthly origins. The planets which retain the memory of the ‘Formers’ have allied together, creating a Galactic Federation, whereas the ‘Retros’ are worlds that have returned to a more archaic, primitive and isolationist way of life. The Federation entrusts its best agent, Marce, with a delicate, yet vital, mission to help a retroworld called Almagiel evolve. But political machinations, brutal living conditions and deadly creatures may prove to be the agent’s undoing.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Ghostface / Min-woo Hyung.
“The island Sodo is home to the most reprehensible criminals, who live there in isolation without fear of further prosecution by the state. The only rule felons must abide by is this: never leave the island, otherwise become a Ghostface, hunted and killed like a feral animal. But when the wrongly-accused threatens to shatter the very foundation of the island, a mass paranoia consumes Sodo, and the line between tormenter and prey suddenly becomes blurred.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Snowpiercer. Volume 1, The escape / written by Jacques Lob ; art by Jean-Marc Rochette ; translated by Virginie Selavy ; lettering by Gabriela Houston.
“In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice. The surviving community is not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Sunny. 1 / Taiyo Matsumoto ; [translation by Michael Arias ; lettering by Deron Bennett].
“What is Sunny? Sunny is a car. Sunny is a car you take on a drive with your mind. It takes you to the place of your dreams. Sunny is the story of beating the odds, in the ways that count. It’s the brand-new masterwork from Eisner Award-winner Taiyo Matsumoto, one of Japan’s most innovative and acclaimed manga artists.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Bojeffries saga / words by Alan Moore ; pictures by Steve Parkhouse.
“Jobremus Bojeffries is like any other father, trying to keep the peace in a house stuffed with two kids (Ginda and Reth), uncles Raoul and Festus, a baby, and old Grandpa Podlasp. Never mind that one’s a werewolf, one’s a vampire, Grandpa is in the last stages of organic matter, and the baby puts off enough thermonuclear energy to power England and Wales, they’re no ordinary family. With stories spanning decades, Alan Moore shows an affectionate and penetrating grasp of human nature.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Climate changed : a personal journey through the science / Philippe Squarzoni ; introduction by Nicole Whittington-Evans, Alaska Regional Director, The Wilderness Society ; translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger.
“What are the causes and consequences of climate change? When the scale is so big, can an individual make any difference? Documentary, diary, and masterwork graphic novel, this up-to-date look at our planet and how we live on it explains what global warming is all about. With the most complicated concepts made clear in a feat of investigative journalism by artist Philippe Squarzoni, Climate Changed weaves together scientific research, extensive interviews with experts, and a call for action. Weighing the potential of some solutions and the false promises of others, this groundbreaking work provides a realistic, balanced view of the magnitude of the crisis that An Inconvenient Truth only touched on.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Polina / Bastien Vives ; translated from the French by Polly McLean.
“As a very young girl, Polina Oulinov is taken on as a special pupil by the famous ballet teacher Professor Bojinsky. He is very demanding and refuses to adapt his standards to the talents of his pupils, and Polina has to work hard and make great sacrifices in order to reach the level Bojinsky senses she has the talent for. When she graduates and is admitted to the official theatre school, she discovers that Bojinsky’s view of ballet is only one of many and that she can’t adapt to new rules, new visions. She flees Russia for Berlin, where she meets a group of drama students. Together they create a new form of theatre and conquer the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Sex criminals. Volume 1, One weird trick / Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky ; Becka Kinzie, Christopher Sebela, color flatting ; Thomas K, editing ; Drew Gill, production.
“Suzie’s just a regular gal with an irregular gift: when she has sex, she stops time. One day she meets Jon and it turns out he has the same ability. And sooner or later they get around to using their gifts to do what we’d ALL do: rob a couple banks. A bawdy and brazen sex comedy, but underneath this is a story of the beginning of a relationship: its exciting newness, the terrifying possibilities, the ups and downs, and the secrets and understandings.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
This month’s selection includes two New Zealand titles, Incomplete Works by Dylan Horrocks and Dreamboat, dreamboat by Toby Morris. Highly recommended is the visually stunning Just So Happens by Fumio Obata.
The Harlem Hellfighters / Max Brooks ; illustrated by Caanan White.
“The riveting story of the highly decorated, barrier-breaking, historic black regiment–the Harlem Hellfighters In 1919, the 369th infantry regiment marched home triumphantly from World War I. They had spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture, and winning countless decorations. Though they returned as heroes, this African American unit faced tremendous discrimination, even from their own government. The Harlem Hellfighters, as the Germans called them, fought courageously on and off the battlefield to make Europe, and America, safe for democracy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Triple helix / created, written, and drawn by John Byrne.
“Where Trio stopped, Helix starts! There’s a monster on the loose in the City but will the mysterious Changelings of triple Helix destroy it before they realize it’s really an old friend?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Buzzkill / written by Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek ; art by Geoff Shaw.
“Ruben is not your average alcoholic; he’s an unstoppable superhero who derives his powers from imbibing massive amounts of alcohol. After all the disasters his addiction has caused, he’s ready to get clean. When he joins a twelve-step recovery program, the city’s supervillains couldn’t be happier.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Hinterkind  : the waking world / Ian Edginton, writer ; Francesco Trifogli, artist.
“In a post-apocalyptic world where humans have been pushed to the edge of extinction by the creatures of fantasy and fables. Fifty-seven years after an unspecified biological event has all but wiped out the human race, a green hand has moved over the face of the Earth. Leaf, root and shoot have steadfastly smothered the works of man, remorselessly grinding the concrete, glass, and steel back into the minerals from whence they came. The Hinterkind have returned. They come from hiding places in the lost corners of the world: Centaurs, Satyrs, Elves, Dwarves, Ogres, Trolls, Werewolves, and Vampires. The menagerie that mankind has hung its tales of myth and magic upon but these aren’t fairy tale creatures. They are flesh, blood and passion, and they have a long simmering hatred of humanity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Incomplete works / Dylan Horrocks.
“Daydreams, fantasy, true love, and procrastination feature strongly in this selection of Dylan Horrocks’s shorter comics running from 1986 to 2012. It is both the chronicle of an age and a portrait of one man’s heroic struggle to get some work done.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Amala’s blade  : spirits of Naamaron / story and lettering, Steve Horton ; art and coloring, Michael Dialynas.
“The kingdom of Naamaron is bitterly divided into warring factions, Purifiers and Modifiers, with both sides fearing the Great Vizier’s deadliest assassin, Amala. With a price on her head and a ghost monkey on her back the future of both kingdoms may rest in her bloodstained hands.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Dreamboat dreamboat / by Toby Morris.
“Dreamboat, dreamboat is set in Dannevirke, New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s and is the story of a group of teenagers who set up a rock’n’roll band. The teenagers encounter some of the good and bad of the culture of the time, along with legendary music and the cars there is the seedier side where racism, sexism and parochialism come to the fore.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Just so happens / Fumio Obata.
“Yumiko is a young Japanese woman who has made London her home. She has a job, a boyfriend; Japan seems far away. Then, out of the blue, her brother calls to tell her that her father has died in a mountaineering accident. Yumiko returns to Tokyo for the funeral and finds herself immersed in the rituals of Japanese life and death and confronting a decision she hadn’t expected to have to make.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Jan’s atomic heart and other stories / Simon Roy.
“From the mind of Simon Roy, co-writer and artist of the Eisner Award-nominated series Prophet, comes a collection of gloriously imaginative tales that span time, space, and species.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Mocking Dead. Volume 1 / written by Fred Van Lente ; art by Max Dunbar.
“A small outbreak can turn into a worldwide apocalypse but only through a long string of screw-ups. Once actual zombies begin popping up in our world, a lone intelligence analyst realizes real-life events are beginning to mimic the events of a long-lost, Grade-Z, drive-in horror flick. As he races to save humanity with this knowledge, he quickly learns the only thing more dangerous than ravenous walking corpses is the ineptitude of the living.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)