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)