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)
This selection of the best new Graphic Novels recently added to our collection includes the manga psychological horror story Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asana. It is highly recommended and provides a great reading experience. It is bound to convert many comic novel readers into manga fans, if they weren’t already.
Noah / written by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel ; illustrated by Niko Henrichon.
“Aronofsky and Handel adapt their script for the recently released motion picture of the same name. This Noah encapsulates elements of the cinematic samurai legend: a deeply conflicted man and warrior, vigorous but aging, wishing only for peace with his beloved family, but drawn into a conflict greater than himself. Following the line of the movie, the book reinvents the Bible story as an action epic, complete with PG-rated sex scenes, attempts to symbolize Creationism with depictions of DNA, and a subplot involving a family mutiny against Noah.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Nijigahara holograph / Inio Asano ; translator, Matt Thorn.
“Asano, best known for the acclaimed manga Solanin, delivers a dark and twisted psychological horror story that links together a series of characters and tragic events in one timeline that have devastating ramifications for a second timeline. Equally parts are beautiful and highly disturbing, this story of love and loss, obsession and vengeance, with layered depths that encourage multiple readings.” (Adapted from Syndetic summary)
Death / writer, Neil Gaiman ; illustrated by Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, Mike Dringenberg, Colleen Doran, P. Craig Russell, Malcolm Jones III, Mark Pennington, Dave McKean, Jeffrey Jones.
“The first story introduces the young, pale, perky, and genuinely likable Death. One day in every century, Death walks the Earth to better understand those to whom she will be the final visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal girl named Didi, Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart. In the second story, a rising star of the music world wrestles with revealing her true sexual orientation just as her lover is lured into the realm of Death that Death herself should make an appearance. These stories are honest, intelligent and illuminate the ‘miracle of death’.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Ted McKeever’s Miniature Jesus / created, written, illustrated, and lettered by Ted McKeever.
“Critically-acclaimed writer/artist Ted McKeever returns to the theater of the bizarre, as a small town pastor thinks that the eight-inch Jesus that descended from a cross on the church’s wall is the work of the Devil. Meanwhile, Chomsky, our recovering alcoholic, is about to find out that the constant barrage of screaming voices in his head are not all imaginary.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Dream thief. Volume 1 / story, Jai Nitz ; art & lettering, Greg Smallwood.
“After John Lincoln steals an Aboriginal mask from a museum, vengeful spirits possess his body and mind while he sleeps. As the Dream Thief, he accrues the memories and skills of murder victims and fights to stay awake, before he kills again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The undertaking of Lily Chen / Danica Novgorodoff.
“In contemporary China, Deshi accidentally kills his older brother, Wei, by shoving him in front of a moving jeep, and his furious mother, calling on the ancient tradition of ghost marriage, demands that he find the unmarried Wei a corpse bride, a recently deceased single woman who will accompany him in the afterlife. Guilt-ridden Deshi seeks the help of a matchmaker, a grave robber, and a hospital attendant before he runs into stubborn, spirited Lily, who would make a perfect bride if she weren’t so alive. Is Deshi prepared to commit murder to fulfill his mother’s request? Or will he find a way to give his parents some peace while preserving his own happiness?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Over easy / Mimi Pond.
“An autobiographical graphic novel, set in California at the end of the 1970s, describes the period shortly after the author left art school due to a lack of funds, taking a job first as a dishwasher, then as a waitress at the Imperial Cafe in Oakland, Calif. All the regulars and staff at the cafe have pseudonyms, and she becomes Madge. She’s on the cusp of adulthood, and society is about to move from an era of dreamy love to one of angry punk.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
47 Ronin / writer, Mike Richardson; artist, Stan Sakai; editorial consultant, Kazuo Koike.
”The epic mission of loyal Japanese warriors to avenge their wronged master epitomizes the samurai code of honor, and 47 Ronin recounts the sweeping saga of duty and duress in all its violent grandeur. Opening with the tragic incident that sealed the fate of young Lord Asano, this graphic novel follows a dedicated group of Asano’s vassals on their unwavering road to bloody vengeance.” (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 by investigative journalist and artist Philippe Squarzoni, Climate Changed weaves together scientific research, extensive interviews with experts, and a call for action.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
White cube / Brecht Vandenbroucke.
“Belgian cartoonist Vandenbroucke’s debut consists mostly of single-page stories that follow the adventures of bald, pink twins as they struggle to understand and lampoon-often savagely-modern art. The strips range from irreverent, highbrow satire to the surreal to the purely scatological.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
From apocalyptic to dystopian, historical to everyday life, along with plenty of science fiction, all represented in this month’s selection of new graphic novels. With four new series also included there is a great choice of reading for all comic fans.
Thanos rising / writer, Jason Aaron ; artist, Simone Bianchi with Riccardo Pieruccini.
“Discover the hidden truth, as Thanos rises as the unrivalled rogue of wretchedness in this gripping tale of tragedy, deceit and destiny. Where did this demi-god of destruction come from, and more importantly, what does he want from the universe?” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Suicide risk. Volume one, Grudge war / created and written by Mike Carey; art by Elena Casagrande.
“Heroes are dying, and cops are dying twofold. Humanity is underpowered in the face of their onslaught, and people are suffering untold casualties trying to stem the flow. After barely surviving a super-powered bank heist gone horribly wrong, beat cop Leo Winters vowed to try and find a way to stop them. Following a lead, he discovered two lowlifes who seemed to be able to grant a person powers, for the right price. The problem is: you don’t get to choose which power.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Sheltered : a pre-apocalyptic tale  / co-created and illustrated by Johnnie Christmas ; co-created, written and lettered by Ed Brisson.
“The adults of Safe Haven stockpile guns, food, and supplies, prepared for any disaster, whether natural or man-made. But the real threat comes from within, as their own children turn on them. Lucas leads the teenage killers, claiming a disaster is coming and sacrifices are necessary, but outsider Victoria and her friend Hailey doubt his motives and must try to survive long enough to escape.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Room for love / Andrea Meyer.Room for Love
“Jacquie Stuart has just turned 32 and she wants to do a major rewrite on her life. Needing moonlighting money, she gets the idea of investigating a new dating trend; looking for Mr. But can the key to her happiness lie right under her very own roof?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Zero. Vol. 1, An emergency / written by Ales Kot ; illustrated by Michael Walsh [and 4 others].
“Kot (Wild Children) crafts a thriller about war, technology, and the human condition through the eyes of trained spy Edward Zero and his life of merciless killings. Each of the five issues collected here is illustrated by a different artist and encapsulates a specific time in Zero’s life. What does it mean that children are washed of emotion and trained to murder without ever questioning the sanctity of life? Should we care if the schooled assassins might be clones?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
UXB / by Colin Lorimer.
“In a shattered future London, experimental lifesuits are grafted to the bodies of three brothers, affording the boys great power, and great license. As the siblings settle into the abandoned Buckingham Palace, the problems of the world fade from sight in a whirlpool of old movies, violent video games and porn.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Hartlepool monkey / story, Wilfrid Lupano ; art, Jérômie Moreau.
“A yarn from the Napoleonic Wars tells of a French ship wrecked off the British coast, the single survivor a chimpanzee, the captain’s pet. The ignorant and bloodthirsty British villagers mistook the hapless simian for an enemy seaman and hanged the creature. Lupano expands this story with zest and inventiveness, working in a cabin boy, a young Charles Darwin, and the nascent naturalist’s doctor father.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
FBP : Federal Bureau of Physics. Volume 1, The paradigm shift / Simon Oliver, writer ; Robbi Rodriguez, artist.
“The Federal Bureau of Physics is a new series set in a world where earth’s physics have gone haywire. Adam Hardy, a new agent on the FBP’s payroll, is tasked with closing a troublesome Bubbleverse. Although it should have been a standard operation, Hardy’s trip is made more complicated by his partner’s hidden agenda. Hardy must escape the Bubbleverse, confront his partner, and solve the mystery of his famous physicist father’s death; all while trying to keep both feet in earth’s gravitational pull.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Aâma. 1, The smell of warm dust / Frederick Peeters.
“At the start of the first volume of this French SF thriller trilogy, set in the distant-future Verloc Nim wakes in a molten crater, his eyes filled with tears over his lost daughter, and his memories a blur. Moments later, he’s approached by a robot gorilla named Churchill who’s thrilled to see him and hands him his journal. The journal reveals how Verloc’s younger brother, Conrad, cajoled Verloc into accompanying him and Churchill to an isolated experimental colony at the edge of the cosmos. Upon their arrival, the true purpose of Conrad’s visit is revealed, as is Verloc’s role in it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The park / Oscar Zarate.
“On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, an incident takes place in a North London park. Chris is accidentally bitten by an excited dog, and aims a defensive kick at it. The owner, well-known polemicist Ivan Grubb, takes to his blog to express his outrage, spinning the story to sit happily within his own narrative. When Ivan and Chris relate the event to their children, they are surprised and confused by the strength of feeling their reactions have provoked. The Park is a delicate examination of how anger, repression and powerlessness can overwhelm even the most logical and well-intentioned person in a confusing modern world.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Three new series are among the selected new graphic novels this month. As always we have chosen a wide range of story lines and artistic styles that we hope you will enjoy. Highly recommended is Red Light Properties: previously-haunted real estate by Dan Goldman.
Sherlock Holmes and the vampires of London / story by Sylvain Cordurié ; art by Laci.
“Sherlock Holmes died fighting Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. At least that’s what the press claims. However, Holmes is alive and well and taking advantage of his presumed death to travel the globe. Unfortunately, Holmes’s plans are thwarted when a plague of vampirism begins haunting Britain.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Celebrated summer / Charles Forsman.
“With high school over, Mike and Wolf, two apathetic teens in an unnamed suburban sprawl, have all the time in the world to do what they want, which includes a day of dropping acid, hiking to the top of a mountain, and then driving to the beach. As the acid kicks in, action ensues. What could have been merely a day in the life of a couple of teenagers on drugs is ratcheted up by breakaways to Wolf telling stories from his life, which paint a sad, familiar portrait.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary
Red Light Properties : previously-haunted real estate. 01 / written & realized by Dan Goldman.
“Jude, certified phenomenologist, with Cecilia, licensed real estate broker, run the Miami-based paranormal exorcisms real estate business Red Light Properties and have come to an impasse rooted in misunderstanding and distrust; it could mean the end. Cecilia can’t connect to Jude and doesn’t understand his almost violent experiences with death and his viewpoint of the magic of life. With honesty built from their love and flaws, can Jude and Cecilia move forward, save their marriage and family, and develop their business to its fullest potential.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Black is the color / Julia Gfrörer.
“Black is the Color begins with a 17th-century sailor abandoned at sea by his shipmates, and as it progresses he endures, and eventually succumbs to, both his lingering death sentence and the advances of a cruel and amorous mermaid. The narrative also explores the experiences of the loved ones he leaves behind, on his ship and at home on land, as well as of the mermaids who jadedly witness his destruction.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Mr Unpronounceable adventures / Tim Molloy. “Welcome to The City Of The Ever Open Eye, a dream world metropolis of surreal wonder and dark nightmare. Nestled between the scorched wastes of The Endless Plain and the rolling expanse of The Hundred Year Ocean stands The City, eternal and yet ever changing. Through its labyrinthine alleys and dusty plazas stumbles Mr Unpronounceable, seeker of secrets, a homeless necromancer, madman, sweating and delirious, moving from one horrifically comedic nightmare to the next.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Rage of Poseidon / Anders Nilsen.
“Nilsen’s latest collection of six variations on Greek, Roman, and Hebrew myths and a single-panel serious joke mixing Greek and Christian deities he ventures into yet another manner: black-and-white silhouette. Each panel on the more than 40-foot accordion-fold page contains a single image over text. Sometimes the figures are black and the background white; sometimes vice versa.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Couch tag / Jesse Reklaw.
“In this looping and circular five part autobiography about his family, youth, and early career, the author takes the mundane and gives it a part-comic, part-tragic twist.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Ten grand. Volume 1 / writer, J. Michael Straczynski ; artist, Ben Templesmith.
“After button man Joe Fitzgerald fell in love with Laura, he tendered his resignation. But the button man assigned to Joe is a genuine demon, so after it kills Laura, and Joe is dying, an angel makes a proposal: work for the good guys and whenever he is offed, he will get five minutes with Laura before resurrecting for the next job. In this first volume of a new series, Joe takes the case of a missing girl who may be the victim of Laura’s killer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
X. Volume 1, Big bad / story, Duane Swierczynski ; art, Eric Nguyen. “A masked vigilante known only as “X” dispenses justice without mercy to the criminals who rule the decaying city of Arcadia. When muckraking blogger Leigh Ferguson snoops down the wrong alley, she gets swept into X’s bloody war with a politically powerful crime lord.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Ghosted  : haunted heist / Joshua Williamson, writer ; Goran Sudzuka, artist.
“Just busted out of prison, silver-tongued con man Jackson T. Winters can win permanent freedom if he can deliver a free-floating, full-torso, vaporous apparition to a filthy-rich collector. A suit, a shave, and one fantastic heist-crew-assembly montage later, Winters discovers that the old collector might have ulterior motives in sending him and his team to the old manor to find a ghost.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Our monthly selection of the best new Graphic Novels this month includes Pachyderme, a surreal story from the French writer Frederik Peeters, whose first graphic novel Blue Pills: a positive love story, was an instant hit. Also this month we have the first volumes of three new series.
Thumbprint / written by Jason Ciaramella ; art by Vic Malhotra ; based on the novella by Joe Hill. “Private Mallory Grennan had done terrible things as an Abu Ghraib prison worker. After being discharged from the army, Mal thought she was leaving her sins behind to start a new life back home. But some things can’t be left behind; some things don’t want to be left behind.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Thrud the Barbarian / written and illustrated by Carl Critchlow.
“Thrud’s axe has always done his talking, whether he’s stomping a dragon, or accidentally laying waste to an entire town during a battle with his arch-nemesis, ‘The Black Currant’. In this first collected volume, Thrud faces down the necromancer To-Me Ku-Pa, protects his beer supplies against fierce Frost Giants, and gets his pint spilled on a mission into the depths of the jungle!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Planetoid. Volume one / Ken Garing. “Silas, an ex-soldier turned space pirate, finds himself stranded on a mysterious planet in alien territory. As he explores the long-abandoned industrial ruins of the planet’s surface, he will have to fend off roving cyborg militias and a hostile alien military with a bounty on his head. Ultimately, Silas will have to build a coalition amongst the planetoid’s nomadic tribes in order to make a final stand against the larger tyrannical forces that rule over them.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Sabertooth Swordsman and the mayhem of the malevolent mastodon mathematician / by Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley. “When his village is enslaved and his wife kidnapped by the malevolent Mastodon Mathematician, a simple farmer must find his inner warrior. Being granted the form of the Sabertooth Swordsman by the Cloud God of Sasquatch Mountain, he embarks on a treacherous journey to the Mastodon’s fortress, encountering on the way ogres, plague mutants, the king’s army, and goats.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Storm Dogs. Volume 1 / script, David Hine ; art, Doug Braithwaite.
“Dispatched to the protected world of Amaranth to investigate mysterious deaths, Commander Burroughs and her team find a planet in which the rain itself is lethal, the treaties protecting the natives are willfully ignored, technological bans are systematically broken, and corruption infests every branch of government. Hints of sophisticated civilization seemingly incompatible with what is believed of the local Elohi and Joppa tribes, along with evidence of predators as yet undocumented, foreshadow revelations that will reward the hubris of the off-worlders.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
JSA Liberty Files : the Whistling Skull / B. Clay Moore, writer ; Tony Harris. “This six-part mini-series is set in 1940s Europe. With the Nazi war machine on the move, crimes are still committed even in the smallest hamlets. From the world of the JSA: Liberty Files, witness the birth of a new hero for the ages.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)
Mister X : Eviction and other stories / written, illustrated, and colored by Dean Motter ; introduction by Brian Michael Bendis.
” This new collection of short stories follows the titular character as he prowls Radiant City, a town combining a Fritz Lang-inspired futuristic art deco grandeur with Blade Runner’s claustrophobic grime, sorting out political corruption, rampaging robots, and all manner of madmen.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary
Pachyderme / Frederik Peeters ; written and illustrated by Frederik Peeters, translated by Edward Gauvin.
“The fictional Pachyderme begins in a traffic jam created by an elephant in the middle of the road. Out of the fray walks a stylishly dressed woman en route to her hospitalized husband. Even before she reaches the hospital, the woman begins to see things (alien-looking babies) and when she wanders the building there is more: a spy-type capable of emerging from a pipe in the wall and, in the morgue, the reanimated corpse of an old woman who may be herself-to-come.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Bad houses / written by Sara Ryan ; illustrated by Carla Speed McNeil.
“Teenagers Anne and Lewis cross paths and together refuse to succumb to the fate of the older generation as they discover the secrets of their hometown and their own families”(Adpated from Syndetics summary)
Look straight ahead : a graphic novel / by Elaine M. Will.
“Although fictional, this story of a young man’s breakdown and subsequent institutionalization captures the experience of mental illness and the slow path of treatment. Jeremy is a loner at school, with a crush on his friend’s girlfriend, general insecurity, and insomnia. Then things spiral out of control. An early sequence of his drawing, which descends into his own visions, is both startlingly accomplished cartooning and a disturbing foreshadowing of what’s to come, as Jeremy succumbs to his illness. He starts having hallucinations, and after he fights back against school bullies, he’s sent to treatment.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).