News Blog > ComicFest

Welcome to ComicFest

Wellington City Libraries and GRAPHIC comic store are once again joining forces to celebrate international Free Comic Book Day. From workshop and panel discussions with leading cartoonists, to costume and Manga competitions, exhibitions and free comic giveaways - there's something for comic lovers of all ages!

5 minutes with Sally Bollinger – Comicfest feature

This year’s ComicFest event was a huge success, with over 1300 attendees on the day! Thanks to all that came along, and if you couldn’t make it, podcasts of the panel discussions will be available online soon. Until then, you can enjoy the last of our 5 minutes with interviews with our guests!

Next up we have Sally Bollinger, creator of both webcomics and video webseries. At Comicfest, Sally was on the A Wellington View – Local Cartoonists panel, along with Jem Yoshioka, Giselle Clarkson and Robyn Kenealy. Find out more from Sally below:

Image by Sally Bollinger

Image by Sally Bollinger

Q: What first got you interested in comics?
A: We had a lot of Tintin books in my house as a child. And when my dad would read to us (chapter books mostly) I’d draw the scenes and characters. Then I brought a graphic novel of the Hobbit and realised I could be doing this myself. So I did.

Q: What is your average day like?
A: Sadly an average day isn’t necessarily comics related, but it is always about stories! The week is usually about webseries, and the weekend is hopefully about comics. So I’ll chat to my flatmates, answer emails, edit a script or a video, drink tea, stare at the script with a feeling of doom, tidy (because I need to “think”), actually finish the script (because it turns out I haven’t forgotten what words are). Storyboard a loose comic, then get to drawing! (Yay!) I’ll do a couple of warm-up drawings, sketch out several pages, ink, scan, maybe colour or just tidy up the image. Maybe I’ll have a meeting in the evening. Then I might play Mah Jong with my flatmates or we’ll dance to musical numbers while we make dinner.

Q: Can you tell us about a current or recent project you’ve worked on?
A: Recently I’ve been creating a zine called the “Comic of Whimsy” about the silly things my flatmates get up to. But on a bigger scale I’m embarking on a webcomic with the Candle Wasters that is a part-webseries, part-webcomic adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Our Hamlet is a 14-year-old girl who draws angst comics in her Wellington bedroom and who’s best friend is a cactus. It’s got a lot of magic realism elements that we couldn’t pull off on screen but can do in comic form! (also I get to learn how to draw a giant, maniacal, human-faced horse.)

Image by Sally Bollinger

Image by Sally Bollinger

Q: Do you have any traditions or rituals that help you when you get to work?
A: Going for a walk before I start working, so my brain feels alive. Putting on a wash first thing. Lots of tea. Listening to music while I ink. But when I really get into the work it’ll be midnight before I think to check the time.

Q: Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
A: Chris Riddell, Shakespeare, fairy tales and the opinion of my younger sister. As well as Dylan Horrocks and Tim Bollinger.

Q: What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
A: I always go back to Toby Morris’ Alledaags: a year in Amsterdam and Katie O’Neill is excellent in every way.

Q: What is your dream comic project?
A: Whenever I read a really good fantasy novel I always imagine I’d make an excellent comic. So, if ever JK Rowling or Patrick Rothfuss suddenly, oddly wanted a New Zealand comic version of their works I’d be keen. Basically I’d love to explore a fantasy world, or just do a good adaptation of Hamlet.

Q: What are you excited to share with ComicFest attendees? Just a taster!
A: I’m keen to have a big ol’ chat about what everyone’s favourite comics are. But also excited to talk visual storytelling across media, and I always have a few Shakespeare facts up my sleeve.

Q: If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
A: Comic book character would be Black Jack by Tezuka. Or Kvothe from The Name of the Wind.

You can find Sally’s work online in a number of places!
Online comics: quietly-exploding.tumblr.com
Online webseries: The Candle Wasters on Youtube
Hamlet webseries/webcomic pilot: on YouTube!

5 minutes with Giselle Clarkson – Comicfest feature

ComicFest is back for 2017! On Saturday May 6th at the Central Library there will be panels and workshops all day long for comic-lovers of all ages. You can also pick up a free comic from us on the day and celebrate Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC! Head over to the ComicFest Facebook event for all the details, and to receive event updates.

Giselle Clarkson is a Wellington-based freelance illustrator who is also interested in tramping, growing veggies and making music. She currently has a monthly comic being published by NZ website The Sapling, often featuring the influence of books on her as an illustrator. At ComicFest Giselle will be on our A Wellington View – Local Cartoonists panel along with Jem Yoshioka and Sally Bollinger, moderated by Robyn Kenealy. Come along to get an idea what it’s like to be making comics in NZ’s capital city!

Q: What first got you interested in comics?
A: There were lots of comics/cartoons on the bookshelves when I was a kid – Tintin, Asterix, The Far Side, Raymond Briggs, Spike Milligan, Rupert Bear – all things that had belonged to my parents or older brother. I loved reading them but it never occurred to me that they were a thing I could ask for more of.
It wasn’t until I was 16 or 17 and discovered webcomics that I realised what the possibilities were! But after that it was years before I started really making and sharing comics myself.

Comic by Giselle Clarkson

Comic by Giselle Clarkson

Q: What is your average day like?
A: I work freelance from home – I wake up early, make coffee, drink it at my desk, fluff around online for at least an hour and then start work. I like to take my breaks in the garden – poking around for interesting insects or something edible.
I love working in my pyjamas and having a flexible schedule, but I’m often working late at night and weekends don’t really exist. Going into town for a meeting is pretty exciting for me!

Q: Can you tell us about a current or recent project you’ve worked on?
A: I visited the New Zealand subantarctic islands last year and I’ve been making science communication comics about all the amazing stuff down there and the environmental threats the region is facing. Travelling on a ship for 19 days with a fairly small group of people was a pretty incredible – in a positive way! – experience in itself so I plan on telling a story about that too.
I’m also doing a regular comic about picture books for kids’ literature website The Sapling. Coming up with a good comic idea every month is not easy – I am in total awe of people who do it every day, or every week!

An image from Giselle's work on The Sapling

An image from Giselle’s work on The Sapling

Q: Do you have any traditions or rituals that help you when you get to work?
A: When I’m writing or plotting I need silence, or I have a fan going to make white noise. When I’m tidying up my line art or colouring it in I go into a sort of auto-pilot mode and if I don’t have something interesting to listen to and keep my mind focused I go absolutely spare with distraction. So I use podcasts to fix that problem.

Q: Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
A: The NZ outdoors and the need to protect what we’ve got here. I’m really in love with all our wild places.
And people I meet, there are so many genuinely brilliant characters out there.

Comic by Giselle Clarkson

Comic by Giselle Clarkson

Q: What is your dream comic project?
A: Tagging along on scientific expeditions to remote places, drawing and writing about the environment, the science, the people and my experiences.

Q: If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
A: Hilda from Luke Pearson’s comic series! She always looks comfortable.

You can see more of Giselle’s work online at www.giselledraws.com and on Twitter at @giselledraws

5 minutes with Sam Orchard – Comicfest feature

ComicFest is back for 2017! On Saturday May 6th at the Central Library there will be panels and workshops all day long for comic-lovers of all ages. You can also pick up a free comic from us on the day and celebrate Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC! Head over to the ComicFest Facebook event for all the details, and to receive event updates.

Sam Orchard is the author of the popular webcomic Rooster Tails. At ComicFest, Sam will be on our panel Should we all be writing political comics? along with Toby Morris and Sarah Laing, and moderated by the National Library’s Hannah Benbow. Check out Sam’s A’s to our Q’s below:

Q: What first got you interested in comics?
A: I’ve always loved drawing – as a kid it was always a really nice way to get lost in my thoughts and feelings and imagination… it still is, actually.
I’ve always loved words and pictures together – kids books by Babette Cole, and all of the Where’s Wally books would keep me entertained for hours. But it wasn’t until I was coming out in my late teens , when I went in search of representations of queer characters, that the power of comics (and in particular webcomics) became apparent. I was trying to find people like me, people I could relate to, and people who made me feel less alone. Up until that point I had been a total TV and Film nerd, but all the representations of of LGBT folk, at that time, were all pretty negative. But on the internet I found amazing queer webcomics by people like Paige Braddock, Kris Dresen and Erika Moen, and it opened up a whole new world for me.

Comic by Sam Orchard

Comic by Sam Orchard

Q: What is your average day like?
A: Well, I work part-time as a comic artist, and part-time as a personal assistant for a guy who runs an organisation in the accessibility/disability sector. So in any given week I’ll be balancing working for my boss, and finding time to draw. Both roles work really well for me, I often get to be part of really interesting conversations in my PA role, and that helps me to think about topics I want to draw comics about. There’s a nice balance of a quite social PA role, and my solitary drawing role.

Q: Can you tell us about a current or recent project you’ve worked on?
A: At the moment my big project is finishing up a children’s book I’ve co-authored, which is being published by Flamingo Rampant (http://www.flamingorampant.com) . Flamingo Rampant is an independent book publisher who published feminist, racially diverse, LGBTQ-positive books , and I’m so excited to be working with them! Our book is a counting book about a little kid’s birthday party – it also celebrates different family structures, queerness, transness, polyamory, disability, and I’m just super proud of it.

Q: Do you have any traditions or rituals that help you when you get to work?
A: I need a lot of noise when I work. So when I sit down for the day to draw I pop my headphones on and listen to podcasts or tv. Shortland Street is my fave to draw to – I found a youtube channel that had put up episodes from around 2003 so I’ve been making my way through the last 15 years of it. It’s perfect because the plot is fairly slow (which means it’s ok when I don’t pay attention, because they’ll repeat it), it’s pretty light (so I don’t get pulled in to the emotions) and it’s just a great show so it keeps me entertained.

Comic by Sam Orchard

Comic by Sam Orchard

Q: Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
A: Ohhhh, I don’t think I have just one – I’m really influenced by Alison Bechdel, she’s been exploring queerness and queer communities for decades, and her stuff is amazing, complex, and dykes to watch out for is eerily relevant to today. Other big comic inspirations for me are Erika Moen, Lynda Barry, Lucy Knisley, and I’m really loving Blue Deliquanti’s stuff at the moment too. But I get inspired by a whole host of other people too – people like Janet Mock and Laverne Cox, but also the queer and trans activist scene in New Zealand too – people in No Pride in Prison’s, the Gender Minorities organisation, the list goes on.

Q: What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
A: I’ve been a big fan of Robyn Keneally and CocoSolid for years, when I stalked them both on myspace.

Q: What is your dream comic project?
A: A few years ago I published the first three issues of my comic series ‘Family Portraits’ which is a series of short stories about queer and trans people in New Zealand. I’ve got the stories for the next book but I just haven’t had time to sit down and draw them. So that’s my dream right now – to get time and space to crack that next issue.

Q: If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
A: Steven Universe – he is my fave.

You can read Rooster Tails online here: http://www.roostertailscomic.com/
Find Sam on Twitter at @Sam_Orchard

5 minutes with Dylan Horrocks – Comicfest feature

ComicFest is back for 2017! This Saturday May 6th at the Central Library there will be panels and workshops all day long for comic-lovers of all ages. You can also pick up a free comic from us on the day and celebrate Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC! Head over to the ComicFest Facebook event for all the details, and to receive event updates.

Syndetics book coverNext in our Q&A line-up is Dylan Horrocks, author of several graphic novels, his latest titled Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen. At Comicfest, Dylan will be in conversation with Sarah Laing in the Creating Graphic Novels panel from 12-1pm. Dylan is also hosting a critique session for comic creators which we’re sure will be absolutely invaluable. Spots for this workshop have already been filled, but you can email us at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz if you would like to be added to the workshop waitlist.

Q: What first got you interested in comics?
A: Apparently my first words were “Donald Duck,” so whatever it was, it happened so early I can’t remember! There were always good comics around the house, because my father has been into comics since he was a kid. So I grew up on a steady diet of Tintin, Asterix, Robert Crumb, Carl Barks, and many more. My parents were always happy to feed me more comics…

Q: What is your average day like?
A: It depends on the day, and what’s on my plate at the time. If I’m writing, I divide my time between the computer and a notebook; when I get stuck, I change media (and sometimes location), because sometimes that helps shift my state of mind and get going again. If I’m drawing, I’m usually sitting at my drawing board in the studio, lost in the process. I love the way drawing is a physical craft: you’re making something with your hands, out of paper, pencil and ink. There’s nothing like sitting back at the end of the day and looking at a page you made yourself.

From "Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen"

From “Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen”


Q: Can you tell us about a current or recent project you’ve worked on?
A: The most recent thing I’ve published is a short mini-comic called ‘Faultlines,’ which I drew in a single day in my sketchbook, a week after the November earthquake (and floods, tornadoes, Trump winning the US election, etc!). It’s about living with uncertainty in a fragile, damaged world, and it felt good to get it onto paper.

From "Faultlines"

From “Faultlines”


Q: Do you have any traditions or rituals that help you when you get to work?
A: No, and I’m open to suggestions. Sometimes it’s difficult to get started…. I have two quotes on the wall over my desk that help. One is a sticker I was given at Chromacon in Auckland last month: “We’re not here to be perfect.” The other is from a wonderful American cartoonist called Leela Corman: “We can be feral. We are the wilderness. We don’t need to go inside.” Both are excellent advice for artists and writers of all kinds.

Q: Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
A: There are so many, and they wax and wane in importance over time. But some who have stayed significant for decades are Hergé (Tintin), Robert Crumb, Tove Jansson (the Moomins), Charles Schulz (Peanuts), and my family.

Q: What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
A: An all-time favourite – and a big influence – is Barry Linton. There’s a big book of his comics (from the early 1970s to the present) coming out soon from Pikitia Press, and I can’t recommend it enough. Also, Bob Kerr (Terry & the Gunrunners), who I’m lucky enough to share a studio with. Tim Bollinger, a great Wellington cartoonist. Sophie MacMillan, Timothy Kidd, Karl Wills, Adam Jamieson, and so many more. There are too many great New Zealand cartoonists to mention them all! Ant Sang, Sarah Laing, Toby Morris, Cornelius Stone, Roger Langridge – all these people have inspired and influenced me at various times.

To The I Land - An appreciation of Barry Linton

To The I Land – An appreciation of Barry Linton


Q: What is your dream comic project?
A: The ones I’m working on at the moment. That’s why I’m working on them!

Q: What are you excited to share with ComicFest attendees? Just a taster!
A: What I’m most looking forward to is seeing other people’s work at the workshop.

Q: If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
A: Sam Zabel – because all I’d have to do is take off my glasses.

Check out Dylan’s website at http://hicksvillecomics.com/
Dylan is on Twitter too – find him @dylanhorrocks

5 minutes with Hannah Benbow – Comicfest feature

ComicFest is back for 2017! On Saturday May 6th at the Central Library there will be panels and workshops all day long for comic-lovers of all ages. You can also pick up a free comic from us on the day and celebrate Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC! Head over to the ComicFest Facebook event for all the details, and to receive event updates.

Comicfest image

Hannah Benbow is the cartoon librarian at the National Library. During ComicFest Hannah will be hosting a breakout session called From Where We Started: Reading NZ Comic History, to be held at the National Library. There, you’ll be able to look at all kind of archival NZ comic material, an opportunity you won’t often have the chance to experience. Hannah will also be moderating discussion at our last panel of the day, titled Should we all be writing political comics? featuring the likes of Toby Morris, Sam Orchard and Sarah Laing. It should be a fantastic end to a jam-packed day! Check out Hannah’s answers to our Q’s below.

Q: What first got you interested in comics?
A: My older cousin’s drawings, which I thought were super cool. He was heavily inspired by Beavis and Butt-head …

Q: What is your average day like?
A: I’m a cartoon librarian, so my days are a mix of reading new cartoons as they come in, helping researchers to find cartoons and comics, and looking for new and better ways to promote and provide access to the NZ Cartoon Archive collection.

Q: Can you tell us about a current or recent project you’ve worked on?
A: Ludicrous likenesses: The fine art of caricature. An exhibition opening at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery in August and chock-full of amazing works by New Zealand cartoonists and caricaturists, co-curated by Dr Oliver Stead and myself.

New Zealand Cartoon Archive Collections website

New Zealand Cartoon Archive website

Q: What is your dream comic project?
A: Anything that gets more people making and reading political comics and cartoons.

Q: What are you excited to share with ComicFest attendees? Just a taster!
A: I’m excited to explore some of the older comics we have in the collection, and to share my favourite ever zine – Fission Chips.

Q: If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
A: Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, to relive the greatest cosplay experience of my childhood.

Find the NZ cartoon archive online: https://natlib.govt.nz/collections/a-z/new-zealand-cartoon-archive
and find Hannah on Twitter: @MrHannahleeb

5 minutes with Jem Yoshioka – Comicfest Feature

ComicFest is back for 2017! On Saturday May 6th at the Central Library there will be panels and workshops all day long for comic-lovers of all ages. You can also pick up a free comic from us on the day and celebrate Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC! Head over to the ComicFest Facebook event for all the details, and to receive event updates.

Image by Jem YoshiokaJem Yoshioka is one of the featured cartoonists on our “A Wellington View: Local Cartoonists” panel, which will take place from 1:30-2:30pm during ComicFest. Jem is an illustrator and storyteller based in Wellington, and her comics often feature autobio stories.

Q: What first got you interested in comics?
A: As a kid I was really interested in animation and picture books. I learned storytelling from a mixture of these two things, which seemed to distill into something kindof comic-y.
I got interested in making comics when I was a teenager, on the early 2000s internet. It seemed like the most efficient way to begin to share the epic fantasy stories that were brewing in my head. The internet shaped my adolescence. It gave me access to other artists – both peers and mentors – who really helped to drive my illustration and comic work forward.

Q: What is your average day like?
A: I have a day job, so I get up and go to work. This is awesome because it pays my bills and means I can eat and sleep, which are important if you want to make comics. I then tend to do 20 minutes of gesture drawing more or less as soon as I get home. Sometimes that’s all the drawing I do in a day, but other times I try and expand it out to an illustration or comic project after dinner. I’ll usually have TV on in the background while I work, and I aim to be in bed between 10pm and 11pm. Depending on the day that can mean between 1-4 hours of drawing.
The routine is really important to me. I find I’m as productive if not more productive with full time work, because it forces me to maintain a healthy schedule. Sleep and time away from drawing mean I’m at less risk of injury, less likely to overwork or get into unhealthy sleeping and eating cycles. While my output is lower than someone working full time on drawing, I’m still really pleased with what I manage to get done with this routine. It works really well for me for now.

Image by Jem YoshiokaImage by Jem Yoshioka

Q: Do you have any traditions or rituals that help you when you get to work?
A: When I get a new sketchbook I always write the date on the first page. Then when the sketchbook is finished I write the finish date. I’ll always leave a few pages at the end of the book, too. It’s like a hello and goodbye to the book. I feel like dating the first page helps to clear off any ‘blank page’ magic that might prevent me from getting my ideas down. The final date is a goodbye and a thank you for all the work and traveling the sketchbook’s done with me over the months.

Q: Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
A: I think as a creator it’s important to have many influences and inspirations. I have a lot of artists I admire and whose work has influenced mine. I also love photography, video games, traditional Japanese printmaking, fashion, animation, film, fine art, dance and novels. I collect what I can together and pull the bits out that I feel work for me and what stories I’m trying to tell. I’m a selfish sponge of visual and literary information.
If you’re looking for a specific name, the one that’s stuck with me ever since I was a teen is Shaun Tan. An Australian illustrator and picture book author, Shaun’s style of storytelling’s was definitely a huge influence on me as a kid, especially how he handled the relationship between words and pictures. His sense of timing, pace, composition, and colour have all had a huge effect on me.

Image by Jem YoshiokaQ: What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
A: I really love Katie O’Neill’s work. Princess Princess Ever After is a cute and sweet story, and her new webcomic The Tea Dragon Society is building up in a really interesting way. Katie’s sense of colour especially draws me into the worlds she makes with her work.

Q: What is your dream comic project?
A: I’d really love to do a comic diary project over a year in Japan. I want to get familiar with a neighbourhood, learn its streets and trees and people. I want to live in a Japanese city and be small and lost, but find something there I wasn’t expecting. I’ve had holidays in Japan, but it’s the wrong pace and speed for the kind of project I want to make. I need something longer, something with more repetition and a chance to get comfortable and familiar. And I want to write it all down in a way I can share.
But that might be more about spending a year living in Japan than the diary project part.

You can find all of Jem’s online comics at http://jemshed.com/comics/ and on social media.
Twitter: @jemyoshioka
Facebook: /jem.yoshioka.art
Instagram: @jemyoshioka

5 minutes with Ben Milsom – ComicFest feature

ComicFest is back for 2017! On Saturday May 6th at the Central Library there will be panels, talks and workshops all day long for comic-lovers of all ages. You can also pick up a free comic from us on the day and celebrate Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC! Head over to the ComicFest Facebook event for all the details, and to receive event updates.

We’ve caught up with Ben Milsom from Pukeko Pictures, Production Designer and an Episodic Director on Thunderbirds Are Go! At ComicFest, Ben will be presenting the process of re-imagining the 1960’s classic for a new generation. Catch him from 11am-12pm at ComicFest – all attendees to Ben’s talk will go in the draw to win a family pass to the Miniatures Stage Tour: Thunderbirds Are Go from Weta Studio Tours!

You can also pop in to the Central Library to see our amazing Thunderbirds Are Go display, courtesy of Ben and the Pukeko Pictures team!

Thunderbirds Are Go display

Thunderbirds Are Go display at the Central library

Q: Can you tell us about a current or recent project you’ve worked on?
A: I have been involved with Thunderbirds Are Go for over 3 years now as Production Designer and an Episodic Director. Before, I worked on a western cowboy movie called ‘Slow West’ starring Michael Fassbender, being in charge of all of the actors hand props on set. Before that, I was on the Hobbit trilogy for 3 years as the main unit Art Director.

Thunderbirds Are Go Behind the scenes

From ITV Studios / Pukeko Pictures / Weta Workshop
Pictured: A uranium mine from the episode Crosscut.

Q: Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
A: I have always been massively interested in the horror/scifi genre. The most influential film for me has been Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’. It blew my mind as a 10 year old, and sparked my interest in film making, practical effects and ‘fantasy’ environment building. Parallel to this, I have always been fascinated by the work of HR Giger, and his uniquely original style and approach to Art and Design. Other influential movies for me have been: John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’, Clint Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven’ and Luc Besson’s ‘Leon’ aka ‘The Professional’ to name a few.

Q: What is your average day like?
A: Generally very busy. This year is great because I can focus solely on the Thunderbirds Are Go project. Plenty of meetings and prep work as we build up to the start of the shoot. As we start to build the season 3 sets, I will get a lot more ‘hands on’ and join the art department as we create the physical miniature world of Thunderbirds Are Go. I can’t help myself!

Thunderbirds Are Go Behind the scenes

From ITV Studios / Pukeko Pictures / Weta Workshop
Pictured: Marine laboratory.

Q: Do you have any traditions or rituals that help you when you get to work?
A: We shoot live action plates, animate our characters (and many sequences). One thing I always do for every sequence, as we shoot it or animate it, is physically go through the beats of the action myself. I find this immensely helpful for timing and pacing of each sequence, dialogue notes and overall feel for a scene. The more reality and true emotion you throw into any scene, the more satisfying it is for me and hopefully our audience.

Q: What is your dream comic project?
A: I would love to re-visit the ‘Alien Vs Predator’ universe – and be involved in a darker, grittier Movie adaptation of some of the Dark Horse material. This could be SO AWESOME!

Thunderbirds Are Go!

Thunderbirds Are Go!

Find Pukeko Pictures online:
Facebook: /pukekopictures.nz
Twitter: @pukekopictures
Website: pukekopictures.com

5 minutes with Sarah Laing – ComicFest feature

ComicFest is back for 2017! On Saturday May 6th at the Central Library there will be panels, talks and workshops all day long for comic-lovers of all ages. You can also pick up a free comic from us on the day and celebrate Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC! Head over to the ComicFest Facebook event for all the details, and to receive event updates.

Sarah Laing self-portraitFirst up on the blog we have an interview with Sarah Laing, who recently authored her first graphic novel, Mansfield and Me. At ComicFest, Sarah is running a character design workshop from 10-11am, and from 12-1pm Sarah will be in conversation with Dylan Horrocks discussing how they each create longform graphic novels. It’s a super exciting line-up, and we hope to see you there!

Q: What first got you interested in comics?
A: We always had comics at my house – the usual suspects – Tintin and Asterix, Donald Duck, Charlie Brown, Footrot Flats. I grew up reading them. My interest was rekindled in my 20s through Tank Girl and Julie Doucet, and later by Marjane Satrapi, coinciding with the rising popularity of graphic novels, a contentious term in comics circles! It did mean that there were more comics to get out from the library.

Q: What is your average day like?
A: I drop my kids off to school then I come home and mess about a bit – I tidy up and read stuff on social media, hating myself a bit as I do it. If I have paid work – an illustration or comics commission – I’ll work on that, or else I will draw comics for my blog or work on my big project, which right now is a kids’ comic about the houseboat and giant stingray world of post-climate-change New Zealand. I try to work on paper, since I spend too much time on screens, but I find myself using digital media all the time, whether it’s google images for picture reference or it’s spotify or my podcast list for stuff to listen to as I draw.

Page from Mansfield & Me

A page from ‘Mansfield & Me’ by Sarah Laing

Q: Can you tell us about a current or recent project you’ve worked on?
A: Last year my graphic memoir Mansfield and Me was published by VUP and I’m still recovering from that! It’s about me wanting to be a writer, and Katherine Mansfield, NZ’s most famous writer, and how our lives overlap. I like to think that Mansfield would’ve been a comics fan too.

Q: Do you have any traditions or rituals that help you when you get to work?
A: I always feel like I should have tea and toast at 10am and when I get to the inking/colouring stage I get to binge listen to podcasts. I just finished S-town, which is a fascinating character study of an ordinary/extraordinary life in small-town America. I am also driven by a completion complex so once I get momentum up I work quite quickly. I try to update my blog weekly now that I’ve got a Patreon page, and I generally dedicate Tuesday or Wednesday to those comics.

Q: Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
A: My biggest inspiration is life, observed, around me.

Flowers for the Teacher comic

Flowers for the Teacher comic from Sarah’s blog “Let Me Be Frank”

Q: What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
A: I hate picking favourites! And in fact I’m not sure if I believe in the concept. There are creators whose work I always really enjoy – the obvious ones, like Dylan Horrocks, Toby Morris and Ant Sang. When I was co-editingThree Words I got to know work by lots of amazing women – Giselle Clarkson, Sophie Watson, Jem Yoshioka, Sally Bollinger, Zoë Colling for starters. Indira Neville’s comics are always hilariously irreverent, and she’s just co-curated an amazing collection of LP-sized comics that go with music, Sonic Comic. Last year I enjoyed Ross Murray’s series about anxiety, Rufus Marigold. And Jonathan King’s comics are gloriously surreal. Arrgh! So many people! I’m missing people out! I always feel a low punch in the gut when I don’t see my name on a list.

Q: What is your dream comic project?
A: I have never collaborated on comics and I think I’d really like to try that out. You know how collaborations in music always work out better? Lennon and McCartney, Morrissey and Marr… I want to find somebody or something to spark off.

Q: What are you excited to share with ComicFest attendees? Just a taster!
A: I am really looking forward to talking with Dylan Horrocks about writing longform comics – his process is quite different from mine and I always find how to talks quite inspiring – they give you a fresh perspective on your niggling or roaring narrative problems.

Q: If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
A: I don’t know, Björk? Or maybe Rachael from Blade Runner – she had the most amazing suits and hair.

You can find Sarah online in the following places:
Twitter: @sarahelaing
Instagram: @sarahelaing
Blog: https://sarahelaing.com/

What’s on at ComicFest 2017?

Love comics? Come along to ComicFest 2017, Saturday May the 6th at the Central library.

Comics go to school

Sponsored by The Ministry of Education

Over the course of its hundred-year history, the School Journal has included work from New Zealand’s greatest authors and illustrators. In recent times, this has included comics from the likes of Dylan Horrocks, Ant Sang, and Andrew Burdan. Visit the Central Library to view a few highlights, new and old, in the lead up to ComicFest.

Comic drawing competition

On Free Comic Book Day, come to the library and draw a comic story using just 4 panels and you could win an armful of comics! Feel free to come to Sarah Laing’s character creation workshop on Saturday morning for inspiration. Entry forms available from Central Library on the day. All ages and drawing levels welcome.

9.30am onwards | Free Comic Book Day

Sponsored by GRAPHIC comics

Grab some free comics from us and chat comics with our librarians at the Central Library!

Comics from all different publishers and for all age ranges are included in the selections, so there will be something for everyone. Thanks to Graphic for providing us with all the awesome free comics!

10am–11.00 | Workshop: Comics character development workshop with Sarah Laing

Mezzanine Meeting Room, Central Library

Sponsored by Wellington City Libraries

Who’s going to star in your comic? A superhero, a cybernaut, a talking sausage or a kid like you? Come to this comics workshop and we’ll work on your character, from its backstory to the way it’s drawn. Bring your own pens and pencils, and we’ll have mountains of paper. Work on different expressions and poses, experimenting with line weight and form. We’ll put them in some tricky situations to see how their story plays out in panels. All drawing levels welcome!

10.30am–11.30am | National Library: From where we started: Reading New Zealand’s comic history

Session held at the Alexander Turnbull Library to enable access to heritage collections

Sponsored by Alexander Turnbull library

The Alexander Turnbull Library collects New Zealand’s documentary heritage and is home to a comic treasure trove. From early newspaper strips and children’s annuals, through to contemporary graphic novels and zines, the Library offers a window into this unique and fascinating part of our history.

Join research librarian Hannah Benbow for a hands on look at almost a century of New Zealand comics.

11am-12noon | Thunderbirds Are Go: Re-imagining the much loved brand for a new audience

Young Adult Ground Floor Area

Sponsored by Pukeko Pictures

Ben Milsom, Production Designer and Episodic Director for Thunderbirds Are Go takes you through the process of re-imagining the 1960’s classic for a new generation. Ben will guide you through the unique production process of this multi-media (CGI animation with live action miniature sets) series paying tribute to the legacy of model locations from the classic series.

Ben will showcase the inspiration taken from the original series and discuss how Thunderbirds Are Go was brought to life in animation, toys and comics through slides and video and present an opportunity to have your questions answered with a Q&A section. All attendees of this presentation go in to a draw to win a family pass to the Miniatures Stage Tour: Thunderbirds Are Go from Weta Studio Tours.

12noon–1pm | Panel: Creating graphic novels with Sarah Laing and Dylan Horrocks

Young Adult Ground Floor area

Sponsored by NZ Book Council

Both Dylan Horrocks and Sarah Laing have authored popularly received and well regarded long form graphic novels including recent publications ‘Mansfield and Me,’ and ‘Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen.’
This informal, personal conversation will highlight the creative process involved in making a graphic novel, but also examine publishing, the graphic novel format and comics in New Zealand.

1pm–1.30 | Cosplay competition

Sponsored by Unity books

Dress up as your favourite character for a shot at a comic prize! There are prizes for all categories, including children, teens and adults.

1.30pm–2.30pm | Panel: A Wellington view – Local Cartoonists

Young Adult Ground Floor Area

What’s it like to be making comics in NZ? Join us for a discussion between local Wellington comic artists Jem Yoshioka, Giselle Clarkson and Sally Bollinger about their unique experiences making comics about life, nature, tradition, culture, and doing all this from Wellington.
Moderated by Robyn Kenealy.

2.30pm–3.30pm | Workshop: Taking your comics to the next level, with Dylan Horrocks

Mezzanine Meeting Room, Central Library

Sponsored by NZ Book Council

Gather up your comics (or that graphic novel plan) and bring them along to the Central library for a sit-down chat with Dylan. This is a chance to examine your ideas and process, to share ideas and techniques and to take things to the next level. Limited to 10 participants. Email at enquiries@wcl.govt.nz to book your place.

3.30pm–4.30pm | Panel: Should we all be writing political comics?

Young Adult Ground Floor area

Sponsored by Alexander Turnbull library

In spite of their subject matter, artistic responses to Trump and the current political climate have been witty, elegant, colourful and empowering. Join a group of panellists including Sam Orchard and Grant Buist to discuss how they have responded to recent events in their work, and the ongoing power of comics to satirise and protest. Panel discussion moderated by Hannah Benbow.

All events are free and unless stated open to participants of all ages.

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Comicfest 2015 roundup – the podcasts!

Sadly Comicfest is over for another year, but you can relive it right here! We mentioned in our last post that you could listen to podcasts of the panel discussions on Mixcloud, but we thought it would be good to have them all here on the blog too, for your convenience. We had a great turnout to the panels, and some exciting discussion came out of them, thanks to the input of our fantastic Comicfest guests. Have a listen below!

Thursday 30th April 2015: Cartoons to comics: Sharon Murdoch, Toby Morris, Cory Mathis, Tim Bollinger & Melinda Johnston

Friday 1st May 2015: Panel: On NZ comics with Jonathan King, Tim Gibson, Matt Emery and Tim Bollinger

Saturday 2nd May 2015: New Zealand Women’s Comics with the editors of Three Words – Rae Joyce, Indira Neville and Sarah Laing, with Matt Emery


New Graphic Novels

This month’s selection of recently received new Graphic Novels includes the first volumes in three new series with one by the prolific Brian Wood. There is also the continuation of the award winning graphic memoir by Riad Sattouf, The Arab of the Future 2: a graphic memoir: a childhood in the Middle east (1984-1985)

Syndetics book coverBecoming Andy Warhol / by Nick Bertozzi ; illustrated by Pierce Hargan.
“Celebrated during his lifetime as much for his personality as for his paintings, Andy Warhol (1928-87) is the most famous and influential of the Pop artists, who developed the notion of 15 minutes of fame, and the idea that an artist could be as illustrious as the work he creates. This graphic novel biography offers insight into the turning point of Warhol’s career and the creation of the Thirteen Most Wanted Men mural for the 1964 World’s Fair, when Warhol clashed with urban planner Robert Moses, architect Philip Johnson, and Governor Nelson Rockefeller.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeath of the artist : a graphic novel / by Karrie Fransman and friends.
“On 13 August 2013 graphic novelist Karrie Fransman invited four old friends from university to an isolated cottage on the misty moors of the Peak District to join her for a week of hedonism and creativity. Like Shelley and Byron before them, they would use the retreat to tell stories. Except these would be comics, collected together in this very book. The theme would be The Death of the Artist. None of the five friends realised how appropriate this theme would become.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRolling blackouts : dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq / Sarah Glidden.
“Cartoonist Sarah Glidden accompanies her two friends, reporters and founders of a journalism non-profit, as they research potential stories on the effects of the Iraq War on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees. Joining the trio is a childhood friend and former Marine whose past service in Iraq adds an unexpected and sometimes unwelcome viewpoint, both to the people they come across and perhaps even themselves. As the crew works their way through Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, Glidden observes the reporters as they ask civilians, refugees, and officials, “Who are you?” Everyone has a story to tell: the Iranian blogger, the United Nations refugee administrator, a taxi driver, the Iraqi refugee deported from the US, the Iraqis seeking refuge in Syria, and even the American Marine.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMarch. Book one / John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell.
“This graphic novel is Congressman John Lewis’ first-hand account of his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a climax on the steps of City Hall.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHead Lopper. Vol. 1, The island or A plague of beasts / written and drawn by Andrew Maclean.
“The Head Lopper, Norgal, and the nagging severed head of Agatha Blue Witch arrive on the Isle of Barra to find it overrun with beasts; minions of the Sorcerer of the Black Bog. When Queen Abigail hires Norgal and Agatha to slay the Sorcerer, they trek across the island relieving the horrors of their heads, and playing right into the hands of a master manipulator.”(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe discipline. Volume 1, The seduction / writer, Peter Milligan ; artist, Leandro Fernández ; colorist, Cris Peter ; letterer, Simon Bowland.
“When frustrated Manhattan wife Melissa Peake allows herself to be seduced by a mysterious stranger, she is drawn into an ancient war between The Discipline and the creatures known as The Stalkers. She must discover previously unimagined potential within herself to survive, but at what cost?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEquinoxes / Pedrosa ; translation by Joe Johnson.
“In an equinox, day is as long as night, as if the world found perfect equilibrium between shadow and light, a fleeting equilibrium, similar to the stakes of our human destinies. Segmented into four tableaux for four seasons, unrelated people of all social backgrounds seeking equilibrium cross paths with other solitudes, weaving in and out of one another’s lives- all captivated and tormented by the enigmatic meaning of life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Arab of the future 2 : a graphic memoir : a childhood in the Middle East (1984-1985) / Riad Sattouf ; translated by Sam Taylor.
“Riad has settled in his father’s hometown of Horms, gets to go to school, where he dedicates himself to becoming a true Syrian in the country of the dictator Hafez Al-Assad. Told simply yet with devastating effect, Riads story takes in the sweep of politics, religion, and poverty, but is steered by acutely observed small moments: the daily sadism of his schoolteacher, the lure of the black market, with its menu of shame and subsistence, and the obsequiousness of his father in the company of those close to the regime. As family strains to fit in, one chilling, barbaric act drives the Sattoufs to make the most dramatic of changes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDisillusioned illusions : a graphic novel / Greg Stump.
“When a pair of washed-up silhouettes abandon the optical illusion business to make a graphic novel, they desperately hope the book will rocket them to fame and fortune. They’ll do just about anything to finish their project, anything, that is, except put forth any kind of effort whatsoever. Instead, they enlist a Juilliard-trained actor named Rodney to bear the burden of the work while they bicker, smoke, and relax in the break room. But their ingenious attempts at evading the hard labors of proper storytelling backfire when the three become entangled in a labyrinthine narrative of deception, adoption, and betrayal. Alliances and identities are forged and discarded with the turn of a page as the trio hurtles towards a thrilling courtroom conclusion that threatens to pull back the curtain on closely-guarded secrets and conspiracies” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlack Road. Vol. 1. The holy North / story, Brian Wood ; art and cover, Garry Brown ; colors, Dave McCaig ; lettering and production, Steve Wands.
“1000 A.D. The Christian conversion of pagan lands is well underway, turning the Viking north into a bleak war zone of occupation and violence. Magnus The Black is an ex-warrior turned fixer for the Church, only looking to ease his people through this painful time. But when a Vatican official under his care is murdered on the infamous “Black Road”, he uncovers a secret, something so big it threatens to change the balance of power in all of Europe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

There are some great graphic novels included in this month’s selection from our recently received new material. Two visually stunning works come highly recommend, Hubert by Ben Gijsemans and Garbage by Mathew Reichertz. There is also a new graphic novel from the very talented Jason Shiga that is brilliant.

Syndetics book coverJohn Milton’s Paradise lost / Pablo Auladell ; translated from the Spanish by Ángel Gurría.
“Paradise Lost , Milton’s epic poem, charts humanity’s fall from grace and the origin of the struggle between God and Satan, good and evil, life and death. In the aftermath of the Angels’ devastating defeat in the war for Heaven, Satan determines to seek his revenge. First published nearly 350 years ago, Paradise Lost has now been reimagined by the Spanish artist Pablo Auladell.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHubert / Ben Gijsemans ; translated from the Dutch by Julia Blackburn and Sandra van Beek.
“Hubert is a solitary man who shapes his life by going to museums. He talks to few people and only about museums and art. When his neighbor downstairs, a lonely woman, tries to seduce him, he doesn’t understand. He takes photos of the pictures he likes, usually of beautiful women, and paints copies of the paintings at home. There is only one real woman who fascinates him; she lives in the opposite building and he can see her balcony from his window.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLucia / Andy Hixon.
“Lucia is a hard town, full of hard people. It stands looking out across the unforgiving sea that is slowly swallowing it. Its people are all unemployed, with nothing to live for but a pint and fight. Among them are Brick and Morty, one a disabled, heartbroken divorcee and aspiring writer, the other his best friend and protector, a fantasist and aspiring Ultimate Fighting Welterweight Champion of the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStardust nation / [written by] Deborah Levy ; [illustrated by] Andrzej Klimowski.
“For the high-flying, heavy-drinking advertising boss Tom Banbury, the art of persuasion relies on an infiltration of the consumer’s mind. In the case of his colleague and confidante Nikos Gazidis, the overdeveloped sense of empathy that makes him so well suited to the business has resulted in a strange psychiatric condition. Nick has unwittingly crashed into the consciousness of his boss. While Tom drinks to forget the troubles of his earthly life, Nick is forced to confront a past that is not his own. But can this peculiar bond be broken? Or has Nikos Gazidis taken an empathetic leap too far?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSP4RX / Wren McDonald.
“SP4RX is the story of mankind clawing for survival. Set in a future where a class system has emerged, the world is divided into four levels, with the elite ruling from the extravagant top level. SP4RX, a young hacker who lives off grid, hacks into corporations and sells stolen data to wealthy buyers on the black market – just your average thief. Mega Corporation Structus Industries introduces a welfare program called the “Elpis Program”, which allows the working class to apply for Cybernetic implants to make workers more efficient. On the surface, it seems like a program to empower the poor and allow them to rise to the ranks of the elite. But SP4RX soon discovers all is not as it seems.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLast gang in town / Simon Oliver, writer ; Rufus Dayglo, artist.
“1976: the country coming apart at its flared corduroy seams, a decade after the Great Train Robbery, when British crime has gone decidedly soft in the middle. Time for a new generation of criminals to rise: a band of snotty nosed heroes driven by destiny and cheap cider, who will strike fear back into the establishment, put art back into crime and crime back into art, and pull off what will become known as the heist of the century.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKill six billion demons. Book one / created by Tom Parkinson-Morgan.
“In this the first story collection of the popular web comic Kill Six Billion Demons, sorority sister Allison Ruth must travel to Throne, the ancient city at the center of the multiverse, in an epic bid to save her boyfriend from the clutches of the seven evil kings that rule creation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGarbage / Mathew Reichertz ; [introduction by Benjamin Woo ; afterword by Robin Metcalfe].
“Garbage is an architectural-scale series of panels that transform a gallery into a comic book. Taken together the paintings tell the story of neighbours in Halifax’s North End and a mysterious couch which shows up one morning on the narrator’s front curb. As the narrator confronts his neighbours, asking where it came from, he gains insight into their lives as well as his own. Garbage collects these paintings into a graphic novel with a commentary by curator Robin Metcalfe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMirror : the mountain / by Emma Rios & Hwei Lim.
“A mysterious asteroid hosts a collection of strange creatures, man-animal hybrids, mythological creatures made flesh, guardian spirits, cursed shadows, and the humans who brought them to life. But this strange society exists in an uneasy truce, in the aftermath of uprisings seeking freedom and acceptance that have only ended in tragedy. As the ambitious, the desperate and the hopeful inhabitants of the asteroid struggle to decide their shared fate, a force greater than either animal or human seems to be silently watching the conflict, waiting for either side to finally answer the question: what is worthy of being human?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDemon. Volume 1 / Jason Shiga.
“No matter how hard he tries, Jimmy Yee cannot die. A noose around his neck, a razor across his wrist, and even a bullet to his head all yield the same results: he awakes from each suicide attempt, miraculously unharmed, in his shabby room at the Sunbeam Motel. Has he gone mad? Or has he truly died and found himself in hell? Jimmy is willing to tear the world down around him to get at the truth. Highly analytical and utterly unscrupulous, he is uniquely suited to unraveling this bizarre mystery.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

This month’s selection form the recently received new Graphic Novels includes the first volumes in two new series by popular writers, Huck by Mark Millar and Dragon Ace by Greg Rucka. Also included are two debut graphic novelists, one a memoir by American Amy Kurzweil, and the other by Argentinean Lucas Varela.

Syndetics book coverCarthago / [Christophe Bec, writer ; Eric Henninot, Milan Jovanovic, artists].
“The megalodon, the prehistoric ancestor of the great white shark, was the most ferocious predator of the seas, an 80-foot killing machine extinct for millions of years. But when divers drilling in an underwater cave are attacked by this living fossil, oceanographer Kim Melville discovers that this creature may not only have survived, but thrived, and is reclaiming its place at the top of the food chain.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency : a spoon too short / written by Arvind Ethan David ; art by Ilias Kyriazis.
“After the many and conflicting versions of the legendary Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams created Dirk Gently: a detective with a belief in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, a troubled relationship with the laws of probability and quantum physics, and a love of cats and pizza. Dirk finds himself investigating a bizarre case of poaching, dumbstruck tourists, and the inner membranes of a rhinoceros’ nose.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMooncop / Tom Gauld.
“The lunar colony is slowly winding down, like a small town circumvented by a new super highway. As our hero, the Mooncop, makes his daily rounds, his beat grows ever smaller, the population dwindles. A young girl runs away, a dog breaks off his leash; an automaton wanders off from the Museum of the Moon. Each day that the Mooncop goes to work, life gets a little quieter and a little lonelier.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOne hundred nights of hero / Isabel Greenberg.
“A feminist fairy-tale of betrayal, loyalty, madness, bad husbands, lovers both faithful and unfaithful, wise old crones, moons who come out of the sky, musical instruments that won’t stay quiet, friends and brothers and fathers and mothers and above all, many, many sisters.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrivate beach / David Hahn ; with a new foreword by Jeff Parker.
“Everyday life takes on touches of the bizarre in these tales of sexy and cynical Trudy Honeyvan and her circle of twenty-something friends. From oddball coincidences to occasional UFO sightings to an ominously cryptic message from a Magic 8 Ball, Trudy’s world is becoming increasingly weird, right up to the point when a pair of mysterious men in black ask her to “lend ambiance” to a nightclub called Heaven’s Rift.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFlying couch : a graphic memoir / Amy Kurzweil.
“Amy Kurzweil’s debut, tells the stories of three unforgettable women. Amy weaves her own coming-of-age as a young Jewish artist into the narrative of her mother, a psychologist, and Bubbe, her grandmother, a World War II survivor who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto by disguising herself as a gentile.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHuck [1] : All-American / Mark Millar, writer ; Rafael Albuquerque, artist ; created by Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque.
“In a quiet seaside town, a gas station clerk named Huck secretly uses his special gifts to do a good deed each day. But when his story leaks, a media firestorm erupts, bringing him uninvited fame. As pieces of Huck’s past begin to resurface, it’s no longer clear who his friends are, or whose lives may be in danger.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBurning fields / written by Michael Moreci & Tim Daniel ; illustrated by Colin Lorimer.
“Dana Atkinson, a dishonorably discharged army investigator, is pulled back to the Middle East when a group of American oil technicians disappears under bizarre circumstances. With the help of an Iraqi investigator, Dana discovers a series of unusual incidents at the drill site, which lead her and an unlikely ally to discover a mythic evil that has been released, one that threatens both the lives of the entire region and the fragile peace that exists.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDragon Age [1] : magekiller / script, Greg Rucka ; pencils, Carmen Carnero ; inks, Terry Pallot.
“Tessa and Marius are mercenary partners united by an unbreakable bond and compelled to eliminate those who use magic to hurt others. When they betray a powerful patron who intended to kill them once their job was completed, they’re forced to run and join the Inquisition. With the breach in the sky tearing the world apart, there’s more to fear than Venatori and an angry former employer. Can Tessa, Marius and the Inquisition overcome the greatest threat Thedas has ever faced?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe longest day of the future / Lucas Varela.
“In a futuristic city, two mega-companies share power, while indulging in a thankless war to eliminate the other, by any means necessary. The crash of an extraterrestrial flying saucer will, perhaps, change that. This masterfully crafted, witty and irreverent graphic novel is Argentine cartoonist and graphic designer Lucas Varela’s debut.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

An exciting selection of new Graphic Novels this month, with the first volumes in three new series, that includes Monstress, by Marjorie Liu. This series promises to become hugely popular, as Marjorie Liu is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer, best known for her urban fantasy, paranormal romance fiction.

Syndetics book coverAlena / a graphic novel by Kim W. Andersson ; dialogue written in collaboration with C-M Edenborg.
“Alena’s life is a living hell. Since starting at the snobbish boarding school Alena’s been harassed every day by Philippa and the girls on the lacrosse team. But Alena’s best friend Josephine is not going to accept that anymore, not from the counsellor or principal, not from Philippa, and not from anyone at that horrid school. If Alena does not fight back then Josephine will take matters into her own hands. There’s just one problem, Josephine has been dead for a year.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAdventures in the Rifle Brigade / Garth Ennis, writer ; Carlos Ezquerra, artist.
“Determined to win the war on their own, the Rifle Brigade are Britain’s top commando team, skilled, deadly, and with no more grip on reality than absolutely necessary. Captain Darcy, “Doubtful” Milk, Sergeant Crumb, Corporal Geezer, Hank the Yank and the Piper give Adolf’s jackbooted goons the thrashing they richly deserve.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCousin Joseph : a graphic novel / Jules Feiffer.
Cousin Joseph is a prequel that introduces us to Detective Sam Hannigan, patriarch of the Hannigan family featured in Kill My Mother, the second installment in this American noir graphic trilogy. Set in Bay City in 1931 in the midst of the Great Depression. Big Sam sees himself as a righteous, truth-seeking patriot, defending the American way, as his Irish immigrant father would have wanted, against a rising tide of left-wing unionism, strikes, and disruption that plague his home town. At the same time he makes monthly, secret overnight trips on behalf of Cousin Joseph, a mysterious man on the phone he has never laid eyes on, to pay off Hollywood producers to ensure that they will film only upbeat films that idealize a mythic America: no warts, no injustice uncorrected, only happy endings.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrowing up in public / Ezequiel García.
“Ezequiel Garcia explores the trials and tribulations of transitioning into his 30s as a working artist where the only thing more uncertain than the source of his next paycheck is the future of his hometown, Buenos Aires. His visual storytelling alternates among finely crafted, architecturally breathtaking depictions of Buenos Aires, revelatory, intimate self-examination, and fantastic metaphorical flights.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe return of the honey buzzard / written and illustrated by Aimée de Jongh; translated from Dutch by Michele Hutchison.
“Simon, a bookseller, has hit hard times. The financial crisis has struck and sales have slumped; his store looks set to close, and he has become increasingly withdrawn. Returning from his storage facility in the woods, he stops at an isolated railroad crossing. There, he witnesses a suicide. The moment hits him like a bomb. Withdrawing deeper into himself, Simon is haunted by memories from his past, memories repressed, from a time he’d prefer to forget. It is only by chance that he meets Regina, a young girl who begins to provide the comfort and support he needs. But who is Regina, and can she help him come to terms with the loss of a childhood friend?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMansfield and me : a graphic memoir / Sarah Laing.
“Sarah Laing wanted to be a real writer, a writer as famous as Katherine Mansfield, but not as tortured. Mansfield and Me charts her journey towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield’s dramatic story, set in London, Paris, New York and New Zealand. Part memoir, part biography, part fantasy, it examines how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMonstress. Volume one, Awakening / Marjorie Liu, writer ; Sana Takeda, artist.
“Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, Monstress tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpanish fever : stories by the new Spanish cartoonists / foreword, Eddie Campbell ; editor, Santiago García ; translator, Erica Mena.
Spanish Fever is an anthology showcasing the best of the new wave of art comics from a country with one of the strongest cartoon traditions in Europe. It includes the work of masters of the form such as Paco Roca, Miguel Gallardo, David Rubin and Miguel Ángel Martín as well as newcomers like José Domingo, Ana Galvañ, Ãlvaro Ortiz and Sergi Puyol.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSlash & burn [1] / Si Spencer, writer ; Max Dunbar, penciller ; Ande Parks, inker.
“Another day, another hot date. Firefighter Rosheen Hayes takes her relationships with conflagration seriously, whether it’s the trigger-happy burn victim with his sights on her partner or a chance encounter igniting memories of arson at the orphanage. But is she the super-sleuth fire whisperer or twisted firestarter?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI hate Fairyland. Volume 1, Madly ever after / written and drawn by Skottie Young.
“Gert, a forty year old woman locked in a six year olds body who has been stuck in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly thirty years.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

From horror to science fiction, biography to suspense thrillers, and everything in between, all are included in this month’s selection of new Graphic novels. Also included are the first volumes of three new series, Space-Mullet by Daniel Warren Johnson, Old man Logan by Jeff Lemire, and Mystery Girl by Paul Tobin.

Syndetics book coverDeath follows / story by Cullen Bunn ; art by A.C. Zamudio.
“Birdie, her sister, their pregnant mother, and their sickly father all live together on a struggling farm. When an itinerant farmhand named Cole comes to their aid, the children should be relieved. Instead, they find their lives spiraling into nightmare, as Cole regards Birdie with menacing desire. To make matters much worse, wherever he goes, the dead grow restless. As the horror threatens to consume her home and her family, Birdie is haunted by a chilling warning: some secrets are meant only for the dead.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to talk to girls at parties / by Neil Gaiman ; adaptation, art, & lettering by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá.
“Enn is a sixteen-year-old boy who just doesn’t understand girls, while his friend Vic seems to have them all figured out. Both teenagers are in for the shock of their young lives, however, when they crash a local party only to discover that the girls there are far, far more than they appear!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCarbon Grey / story, script & lettering, Paul Gardner ; created by Hoang Nguyen, Khari Evans, Mike Kennedy ; art, Khari Evans, Hoang Nguyen, Kinsun Loh.
“The Sisters Grey are warriors, sworn to protect their Kaiser. But as a great war rages, the Kaiser is found dead, and one sister, Giselle Grey is accused of his murder. Pursued by enemies, Giselle must unravel the prophecy of the Carbon Grey before history itself unravels.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpace-Mullet! [1] : one gamble at a time / written and illustrated by Daniel Warren Johnson.
“Ex space marine Jonah and his co-pilot Alphius rove the galaxy, just trying to get by. Drawn into one crazy adventure after another, they forge a crew of misfits into a family that must face the darkest parts of the universe together.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn Olympic dream : the story of Samia Yusuf Omar / by Reinhard Kleist.
“The image of Samia Yusuf Omar running for last place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics will forever be imprinted in the minds of all who saw it: The lean Somalian, wearing knee-length leggings and a baggy T-shirt, came in seconds behind her competitors. What the cheering crowd couldn’t know then was what it took to get there. An Olympic Dream follows Omar’s second attempt to represent her country at the Olympics, this time in London. Reinhard Kleist pictures the athlete training in one of the most dangerous cities in the world; her passage through Sudan and into Libya; and her fateful attempt to reach Europe” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Steam Man of the prairie and the Dark Rider get down / story by Joe R. Lansdale ; script by Mark Alan Miller ; art by Piotr Kowalski.
“On the great plains of the old American west, enormous steam-powered robots march across the countryside. Their mission: to defend the populace against invading Martians and armies of killer albino apes. The Steam Man, a giant metal man operated by a team of monster hunters, seems to have the defence of the West well in hand, until a crazed and powerful vampire comes to town with the intention of bringing forth the apocalypse.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOld man Logan [1] : Berzerker / writer, Jeff Lemire ; artist, Andrea Sorrentino.
“Fifty years from now, Logan, the man who no longer calls himself Wolverine, will have endured many atrocities: The Marvel Universe’s villains will have banded together and rid the world of its heroes. Logan’s closest friend, Hawkeye, will have been murdered in cold blood right before his eyes. And driven mad by the same radiation that gave him his superhuman strength, Bruce Banner will have fathered a family of hillbilly Hulks that eventually went on to slaughter Logan’s wife and two children. But now, in the present, Old Man Logan wakes up to discover himself in a world before these atrocities, before the Wasteland. And he’s going to seize this opportunity and change history to ensure that his future never comes to pass.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLovf : the illustrated diary of a man literally losing his mind / Jesse Reklaw.
“LOVF is the sketchbook companion of a man literally losing his mind. Homeless and broke after giving all his stuff to punk-rock heroin dealers, he ends up off his meds and on a secret quest from Portland to Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Seattle. Jammed with cartoons, mad schemes, psychedelic portraits, and notes from the road, LOVF is a travel journal and a mirror of the post-traumatic dream world its author can’t escape from.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBird in a cage / Rebecca Roher.
“Once a sharp, strong-willed and independent woman, Roher’s grandmother’s life took an unexpected turn when an accident left her with a brain injury, leading to early onset dementia. An unlikely protagonist, grandma was an elderly woman trapped by her deteriorating mind, aging body and the walls around her. This story illuminates the often overlooked narrative of a senior, her complicated history and inner life. Loveable and tragic, she is determined to get back to a familiar place, to be home again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMystery Girl. Volume 1 / script by Paul Tobin ; art and cover by Alberto J. Alburquerque.
“Trine Hampstead knows everything. Just knows it. Ask her a question like, ‘Where are my keys?’ or, ‘Is my husband cheating on me?’ or, ‘How can there be perfectly preserved mammoths in the ice of Siberia when the ice isn’t that old?’ and she just knows the answer. She’s the Mystery Girl. The only thing she doesn’t know is anything about the last ten years of her own life, including what happened to give her this ability” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Another fantastic selection of new Graphic Novels recently added to our most popular collection, from noir crime to horror, historical memoirs to suspense/thrillers, science fiction to comedy. There is something for all fans of this genre. Highly recommended is the brilliantly illustrated Cruising through the Louvre by David Prudhomme.

Syndetics book coverThe Black Dahlia / based on the novel by James Ellroy ; adapted by Matz, with David Fincher ; illustrated by Miles Hyman.
“LAPD investigators Bucky Bleichart and Lee Blanchard find themselves enthralled with the mysterious and brutal murder of a beautiful young woman, Elizabeth Short. Their obsession takes a dark turn as they delve into the underbelly of Hollywood and the heart of the dead woman’s tortured and twisted past. It is a case that will test their mettle and their sanity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHot dog taste test : a cook [crossed out] book / by Lisa Hanawalt.
“With devastatingly funny comics, saliva-stimulating art, and deliciously screwball lists Lisa Hanawalt skewers the pomposities of foodie subculture. She muses on pop culture, relationships, and the animal in all of us.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWe stand on guard / Brian K. Vaughan, Steve Skroce.
“A subversive, action-packed military thriller. Set 100 years in our future, the story follows a heroic band of Canadian civilians turned freedom fighters who must defend their homeland from invasion by a technologically superior opponent, the United States of America.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParacuellos : children of the defeated in Franco’s Fascist Spain/ Carlos Giménez ; translation, Sonya Jones.
“An autobiographical account of the plight of the children of the defeated Republicans in Fascist Spain.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJacked. Volume 1 / Eric Kripke, writer ; John Higgins with Sally Jane Hurst and Marc Olivent, artists.
“Josh Jaffe, a neurotic family man mid-midlife crisis, buys an online “smart pill” to increase his focus and jolt him out of his slump. But to Josh’s surprise, the pill gives him incredible strength and power, but its cost is that it’s extremely addictive. This irreverent and brutally realistic story examines both the mighty highs and humiliating lows of being a real-life superhero.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDay of the magicians / Michelangelo La Neve and Marco Nizzoli ; introduction by Alexandro Jodorowsky.
“Drazen; a child kidnapped, trained by a mysterious band of magicians, and destined to seek out and destroy his own father. Lancaster; a father who will stop at nothing to achieve his own plans, including manipulating his son’s childhood friend. Torn between destiny and desire, the young magician will be forced to confront these conflicts, with terrible consequences.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSavior / story, Todd McFarlane, Brian Holguin ; cover/story art, Clayton Crain.
“A mysterious man appears, with no background, no memory and no place to call home. But he has powers that seem to resemble those we learned about in Sunday School. Is it possible that he is our ‘Savior’ in the flesh? And if he is, then why doesn’t he know who he is or how he got his unique abilities? Some will see him as a hero or more. Others will see him as an enemy with God-like powers, here to disrupt the status quo of what we already believe. Many will rally behind him, while many others will denounce him. But none of us will be able to ignore him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCruising through the Louvre / David Prudhomme ; translation by Joe Johnson.
“Author David Prudhomme meanders through the Louvre, feeling as if in the panels of a giant comic while he himself is creating his own. In this institution, all manner of people from all over the world rub elbows quietly. So he decides to cruise through the Louvre at a quick pace, not to look at the art but to observe the people and their interaction with it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverClean room. Volume 1, Immaculate conception / Gail Simone, writer ; Jon Davis-Hunt, artist.
“Somewhere between the realms of self-help and religion lies the Honest World Foundation. Its creator started out as an obscure writer of disposable horror fiction who decided to change the world, one mind at a time. Now its adherents rule Hollywood while obeying their leader’s every command. That’s almost all that anyone knows about the movement, or cult, founded by reclusive guru Astrid Mueller. But reporter Chloe Pierce is sure that there’s something deeper hiding behind Honest World’s facade. Her fiancé was a devoted follower of Mueller, right up to the moment that he blew his brains out while holding a copy of her book. Now Chloe wants answers from the woman whose words command the loyalty of millions, and she’s ready to storm the top-secret sanctuary known as the Clean Room to get them.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIrmina / Barbara Yelin ; afterword by Alexander Korb.
“In the mid-1930s, Irmina, an ambitious young German, moves to London. At a cocktail party, she meets Howard Green, one of the first black students at Oxford, who, like Irmina, is working towards an independent existence. However, their relationship comes to an abrupt end when Irmina, constrained by the political situation in Hitler’s Germany, is forced to return home. As war approaches and her contact with Howard is broken, it becomes clear to Irmina that prosperity will only be possible through the betrayal of her ideals.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

There are many exciting new Graphic novels in this month’s selection from our recent additions to the collection. Highly recommended is the graphic memoir about loss and survival by Edie Fassnidge, titled Rinse, spin, repeat. Also a new Garth Ennis, titled Pride and Joy and a new series that looks fascinating, titled Empty Zone, by Jason Shawn Alexander. There is much to enjoy.

Syndetics book coverEmpty zone. Volume one, Conversations with the dead / Jason Shawn Alexander.
“Corinne White, a woman with peculiar technological powers who is haunted by ghosts from her past. When the souls of Corinne’s dead friends are enslaved by a deranged billionaire, she’s drawn back into the life that scarred her many years ago.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHarrow County [1] : countless haints / script, Cullen Bunn ; art and lettering, Tyler Crook.
“Plagued by a witch of unfathomable powers, the folk of Harrow County capture and burn her, but not before she furiously screams her revenge. Eighteen years later, we find farm girl Emmy coming of age, gifted with unnatural talents. When a spirit warns her of her impending doom at the hands of the town, she hurries off into the haunted forest, running for her life while trying to uncover her own twisted history.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe infinite loop / written and lettered by Pierrick Colinet ; illustrated and colored by Elsa Charretier.
“A science-fiction series that asks the age-old question, “What would you risk for a chance at true love?” Teddy is a young woman who lives in a faraway future where time traveling is a common practice and her job is to maintain the status quo by correcting time paradoxes. But when she meets Ano, “a time paradox” and the girl of her dreams, Teddy must decide between fixing the time stream or the love of her life, both of which have unique consequences.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPride & joy / Garth Ennis, writer ; John Higgins, artist & colorist.
“Still mourning the loss of his wife, Jimmy Kavanagh lives quietly in the backwoods of New England, raising his devoted daughter and resentful teenage son. But fate has come calling in the worst possible way, as Jimmy’s criminal past threatens to destroy his entire family, raising the spectra of his crushing guilt for an old and awful crime.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRinse, spin, repeat : a graphic memoir of loss and survival / Edith Fassnidge.
“On Boxing Day in 2004, Edie Fassnidge set off for a day of kayaking off the coast of Thailand with her boyfriend, mother and sister. That’s when disaster struck. She felt a shift in the air; she spotted something on the horizon; and seconds later, the first wave came crashing down upon them. Separated from her family and covered in open wounds, Edie battled for hours to get to safety: colliding with rocks; tumbling underwater as if in a giant washing machine; grappling with overgrown branches and venomous ants, all the while hanging on to the hope that she wasn’t the only one to survive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary).

Syndetics book coverMythic. Volume one / Phil Hester, script ; John McCrea, art.
“Apache shaman Waterson, Greek immortal Cassandra, and cell phone salesman Nate Jayadarma are the crack field team assigned with keeping the gears of the supernatural world turning, and more importantly, keeping you from ever knowing about it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStringers / written by Marc Guggenheim ; illustrated by Justin Greenwood.
“Life as a stringer is dangerous. As freelance reporters, stringers film police chases while dodging bullets, trying to get the perfect shot and make a buck. This has been the reality for cameraman Paul and driver Nick night after night, until they uncover a story bigger than either one of them could have imagined. Now hiding from both the police and drug lords, Paul and Nick have to uncover the conspiracy of what went wrong and what they saw.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDifferent ugliness, different madness / Marc Malès, writer & artist ; Jonathan Tanner, translator.
“A radio star of the 1930s returns to the airwaves after a yearlong absence. A dying woman tells her life story to her daughter on a deserted railway platform. These dual stories spin together in Malés’ moody, mysterious tale, spotlighting the enigmatic nature of identity and personal reflection. In a flashback, Helen, a woman with a possibly-imaginary twin, travels Depression-era roads in search of her own identity, a journey that eventually uncovers the radio star’s secret.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRed virgin and the vision of utopia / Mary M. Talbot, Bryan Talbot.
“The incredible and outrageous life of Louise Michel, the revolutionary feminist dubbed ‘The Red Virgin of Montmartre’. A utopian dreamer, notorious anarchist, teacher, orator and poet, she was decades ahead of her time. Always a radical, she fought on the barricades defending the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871 against the reactionary regime that massacred thousands of French citizens after the Commune’s defeat. Deported to a penal colony on the other side of the Earth, she took up the cause of the indigenous population against French colonial oppression.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKaptara. Volume one, Fear not, tiny alien / Chip Zdarsky, Kagan McLeod.
“While flying into a wormhole, sarcastic scientist Keith and his team become marooned on Kaptara, a strange alien planet. Rescued by Kaptara royalty, Keith and a group of heroes set out to track down his crew while stopping the villains seeking to capture Earth and rule Kaptara.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

This month’s selection of new graphic novels includes seven first volumes of new series, with one from well-known writers Brian K. Vaughan and Brian Wood. There are stories about superheroes, horror stories and historical, mysteries and science fiction, all very different, but all provide great entertainment.

Syndetics book coverCluster / created by Ed Brisson ; & [illustrated by] Damian Couceiro.
“In the distant future, as mankind discovers life on other planets, it needs soldiers to defend its colonies and outposts across the stars. In order to increase the number of boots on the ground, criminals are offered the opportunity to serve in the place of incarceration. But as wars wage on and more soldiers are needed, small-time crimes are given long-term punishments. When a rag-tag group of prisoners serving their time as soldiers become stranded and abandoned on a war-torn planet, they’ll need to work together to survive and uncover the truth behind Earth’s role in deep space.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Paybacks. Volume 1, Payback’s a bitch / script by Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal ; art by Geoff Shaw.
“Heroism doesn’t come cheap, so when superheroes borrow money to finance their genetic enhancements, robotic suits or crime-fighting supercomputers, their debts make student loans look like IOUs. Enter the Paybacks, a repo squad composed of bankrupt former heroes like Night Knight and Miss Adventure, here to foreclose on everybody’s secret lairs. But now the Paybacks have discovered a fate far worse than debt: a murderer is on the loose, and it just may be one of their own.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beauty. volume 1.
“Modern society is obsessed with outward beauty. What if there was a way to guarantee you could become more and more beautiful every day? What if it was asexually transmitted disease? In the world of The Beauty, physical perfection is only one sexual encounter away. The vast majority of the population has taken advantage of it, but Detectives Vaughn and Foster will soon discover it comes at a terrible cost.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCovenant. Volume one, Siege / created and written by Rob Liefeld ; illustrated by Matt Horak.
“The legendary Ark of the Covenant has laid waste to entire armies. Now, it has been raided and stolen, ripped from the field of battle by the terrible Philistine forces. THE COVENANT tells the story of Samuel, the last Judge of Israel, and his fight to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant from the clutches of the Philistine nation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSomething new : tales from a makeshift bride / by Lucy Knisley.
“DIY maven Lucy Knisley was fascinated by American wedding culture, but also sort of horrified by it. So she set out to plan and execute the adorable DIY wedding to end all adorable DIY weddings. And she succeeded.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWolf. Volume 1, Blood and magic / writer, Ales Kot ; artist, Matt Taylor.
“Antoine Wolfe, a hard-boiled paranormal detective with a death wish, has to cope with sudden responsibility for an orphaned teenage girl who might be the key to the impending apocalypse “California” style.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCigarette girl / Masahiko Matsumoto ; foreword by Yoshihiro Tatsumi ; translated by Spencer Fancutt, with assistance of Atsuko Saisho.
“Welcome to the quiet, evocative urban dramas of Masahiko Matsumoto, one of the leading lights of the Japanese alternative-comics movement known as “gekiga.” Originally published in 1974, these eleven stories now form the first English-language collection of Matsumoto’s mature work. His shy, uncertain heroes face broken hearts, changing families, money troubles, sexual anxiety, and the pressures of tradition, but with a whimsy and lightness of touch that is Matsumoto’s trademark.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPaul up North / Michel Rabagliati.
“Rabagliati continues his award-winning semi-autobiographical Paul series in this coming of age story. The action takes place in 1975-76 just before and during the summer Olympics in Montreal. Paul is now 16, a teenager, and he finds new experiences, changes schools, hitchhikes, falls deeply in love, gets dumped, smokes pot and drinks beer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWe stand on guard / Brian K. Vaughan, Steve Skroce.
“Set 100 years in our future, this action packed military thriller follows a heroic band of Canadian civilians turned freedom fighters who must defend their homeland from invasion by a technologically superior opponent, the United States of America.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRebels. Volume 1, A well-regulated militia / story, Brian Wood ; art, Andrea Mutti (Chapters 1-6 & 9), Matthew Woodson (Chapter 7), Ariela Kristantina (Chapter 8), Tristan Jones (Chapter 10).
“This is 1775. With the War for Independence playing out across the colonies, young Seth and Mercy Abbott find their new marriage tested at every turn as the demands of the frontlines and the home front collide. Not merely rehashing the tales of the most famous men of the time, Rebels details the epic story of the colonists, explorers and traders, wives and daughters, farmers and volunteer soldiers who, in a few short, turbulent years, created the brand new nation of America.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

This month’s selection from the recently received new Graphic Novels includes the first volumes of four series, one being Providence. Act 1 by Alan Moore and is an examination of the work by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. For sheer beauty of art work, Italian writer Manuele Fior’s 5,000 km per second is highly recommended.

Syndetics book coverKaijumax. Season one, Terror and respect / by Zander Cannon.
“Welcome to Kaijumax, an island prison where the worst of the worst Kaiju monsters are securely locked away from the human world whether they be villains, anti-heroes, eco-parables, or nuclear metaphors.” (Adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverBloody Mary / Garth Ennis, writer ; Carlos Ezquerra, artist.
“In a world only slightly worse than our own, a third great European conflict has dragged the major powers into a lethal war of attrition. Whole nations are ruined, with the death toll running into many millions. Now, Mary Malone, the most dangerous assassin in a land of killers, finds herself set against adversaries whose evil insanity knows no bounds. Together with her sidekick the Major, delusional but deadly, Mary must face both a man who cannot die and a crazed cult leader whose flock are all too ready to die for him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCurb stomp / written by Ryan Ferrier ; illustrated by Devaki Neogi.
“Machete Betty leads a small gang of women under the self-appointed task of protecting their home of Old Beach, one of three boroughs surrounding a rich metropolitan city. When Betty takes the life of a rival gang member in an act of self-defense, she sets off a chain reaction of retaliation, gang warfare, and unlikely allies.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover5,000 km per second / Manuele Fior ; translated from Italian by Jamie Richards.
“In the courtyard of an Italian apartment building, teenager Piero falls instantly in love with new neighbor Lucia, much to the derision of his bold sidekick, Nicola. Their meeting ends the first chapter, and years pass between each of the four subsequent chapters. Locations change drastically, too, as Lucia leaves Italy to study in Sweden, and Piero works as an archaeologist in Egypt. Nicola, whom we hear about only later, stays behind. While apart, Piero and Lucia continue to think of one another as they marry other people, have children, and explore their new worlds.” (Adapted from Syndectics summary)

Syndetics book coverMegg & Mogg in Amsterdam : and other stories / Simon Hanselmann.
“Megg the witch, Mogg the cat, their friend Owl, and Werewolf Jones struggle unsuccessfully with their depression, drug use, sexuality, poverty, lack of ambition, and their complex feelings about each other. Megg and Mogg decide to take a trip to Amsterdam for some quality couple time, although the trip gets off to a rocky start when they forget their antidepressants. They need Owl to come and help them save their relationship” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAgatha : the real life of Agatha Christie / Anne Martinetti, Guillaume Lebeau, Alexandre Franc.
“This graphic biography begins with Agatha Christie’s self-staged disappearance in 1926, weaving back and forth through her life and memories until readers have eventually seen Christie at almost every age, learning to read, flying a plane, dusting off artifacts on an archaeological dig, as well as her life’s disappointments her father’s death while she was a young girl, and her failed marriage.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTerminal hero [1] : the death and life of Rory Fletcher / written by Peter Milligan ; illustrated by Piotr Kowalski.
“Rory Fletcher is a good man dying of an inoperable brain tumour, with only two months to live. When his best friend discovers the top secret Treatment Q, buried by the government due to its shocking and unpredictable side effects, Rory figures it can’t be any worse than dying. However, as the chemicals attack the tumour in his right parietal, they unlock the brain’s unlimited potential, triggering psychokinesis and manifesting his worst fears and nightmares as visions and physical constructs! Can he curb his dangerous impulses before the bodies of loved ones and innocent bystanders start piling up?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverProvidence. Act 1 / story, Alan Moore ; art, Jacen Burrows.
“Alan Moore’s quintessential horror series has set the standard for a terrifying examination of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It is being universally hailed as one of Moore’s most realized works in which the master scribe has controlled every iota of the story, art, and presentation. The result has been a masterpiece like no other, unparalleled in tone and content, and a true must have addition to his essential works in the field.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDare to disappoint : growing up in Turkey / Özge Samancı.
“Growing up, Özge knew what she should do: study hard, get into a good high school, and become an engineer or a doctor. That was the only way her father believed she would have a good life, where she wouldn’t have to worry about money or stability. Özge’s sister, Pelin, believed that, too, but when Özge tried to follow Pelin down that steady, predictable path, she met failure, time and again. Özge recalls her earliest memories of happily watching Pelin at school through binoculars from the balcony of her building and works her way through the turbulence of Turkey in the late twentieth century as she struggles to please both herself and her family.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWelcome back. Volume one, Help, I’m alive / Sebela, Sawyer, Roe, Zamudio.
“Reincarnated assassins Mali and Tessa have lived hundreds of different lives throughout time, caught up in an eternal cycle as they take part in a war so old that neither side remembers what they’re fighting for anymore. As Mali wakes up in her newest life, she suddenly becomes self-aware and starts to question everything, especially why she continues to fight. But elsewhere, Tessa is already on the hunt.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Another great selection of recently received Graphic Novels, from award winning to heart wrenching, there is something for every fan of this collection. Highly recommend is Beverly by Nick Drnaso. Do not be deceived by the subtle art work, in this work every frame depicts modern American life, not necessarily at its best.

Syndetics book coverPablo / by Julie Birmant & Clément Oubrerie ; translated by Edward Gauvin.
“This award-winning graphic biography of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) captures the prolific and eventful life of one of the world’s best-loved artists. Pablo explores Picasso’s early life among the bohemians of Montmartre, his turbulent relationship with artist/model Fernande Olivier, and how his art developed through friendships with poets Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire, the painter Georges Braque, and his great rival Henri Matisse. Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie depict a career that began in poverty and reached its climax with the advent of cubism and modern art.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover365 days / by Julie Doucet.
“A year in the life of a world-renowned artist. This visual journal, starting in late 2002, is an idiosyncratic collision of her various creative interests, wherein personal narrative, collage, and drawing begin to tell the story of her pursuits into printmaking and beyond, chronicling her maturation as a mid-career artist and her fluid extension into a broader arts community.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeverly / by Nick Drnaso.
“A darkly funny portrait of middle America seen through the stunted, numb minds of its children. Connected by a series of gossipy teens, the modern lost souls of Beverly struggle with sexual anxieties that are just barely repressed and social insecurities that undermine every word they speak. A group of teenagers pick up trash on the side of the highway, flirting, preening, and ignoring a potentially violent loner in their midst. A young woman experiences a traumatic incident at the pizza shop where she works and the fallout reveals the racial tensions simmering below the surface. Precisely and hauntingly recounted, each chapter of Beverly reveals something new and yet familiar, about the world in which we live.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRosalie Lightning : a graphic memoir / by Tom Hart and Rosalie Lightning and Leela Corman and the residents of New York City, Gainesville, Florida, New Mexico, and Hawaii, as well as various singer-songwriters, film directors, actors, animators, comic artists, donors, lovers and friends.
“Cartoonist Tom Hart’s New York Times bestselling is a touching and beautiful graphic memoir about the untimely death of his young daughter, Rosalie. His heart-breaking and emotional illustrations strike readers to the core, and take them along his family’s journey through loss. Hart creatively portrays the solace he discovers in nature, philosophy, great works of literature, and art across all mediums in this expressively honest and loving tribute to his daughter.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKill your boyfriend / Vinamarama : the deluxe edition / written by Grant Morrison ; art by Philip Bond with D’Israeli.
“Originally published in 1995, Kill Your Boyfriend is an over-the-top black comedy of rebellion and teen romance topped with a heady mix of random violence and dark humor. In the complete miniseries Vinamarama #1-3, Ali and his witty, vivacious arranged bride, Sofia, are forced to delay their new life together in order to stop a stream of ancient Indian demons that have crawled from the bowels of Earth to use Britain as a battleground.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMidnighter. Volume 1, Out / written by Steve Orlando ; art by ACO, Stephen Mooney, Alec Morgan, Hugo Petrus.
“Between the supercomputer wired into his brain and the enhancements saturating his body, the living weapon known as Midnighter doesn’t face a lot of real challenges to his uncanny combat skills. But someone has managed to do the impossible: break into the God Garden, defeat Midnighter’s creator, the Gardener, and make off with every piece of exotically lethal tech that she had locked away for safekeeping. Now, insanely dangerous weapons are beginning to pop up all over the globe, wreaking havoc on society and complicating Midnighter’s professional and personal life. As the outbreaks pile up, tracking them back to the original thief becomes an overriding imperative– especially since weapons weren’t the only things stolen from the Gardener’s vault.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWas she pretty? / Leanne Shapton
“A dreamy exploration of relationships and jealousy, pithy and deadpan, this is no self-help book. What’s left when a relationship ends? Where does jealousy come from? Delicately and sensitively, Was She Pretty? brings the reader deep into a circle of phantoms: its intimate liaisons, embarrassing secrets, and sardonic anecdotes, a testimonial to the power of observation and misapprehension.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSecret Six. Volume 1, Friends in low places / written by Gail Simone ; art by Ken Lashley, Dale Eaglesham, Tom Derenick, Drew Geraci.
“Six strangers are brought together under mysterious circumstances for an explosive first issue that will leave everyone asking, “What is the Secret?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInsufferable. Volume 1 / writers, storytellers, artists, Mark Waid, Peter Krause, Nolan Woodard.
“What happens when your crime-fighting sidekick grows up to be an arrogant, ungrateful thug who makes Kanye look humble? Worse, what on Earth could force the two of you together for one last case? Nocturnus and his former protege, Galahad, will find out-if they don’t kill one another first.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStarve. Vol. 1 / created by Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj and Dave Stewart.
“Once the world’s most famous chef, Gavin Cruikshank’s been in a self-imposed exile for years. His little foodie television program has since evolved into Starve, an arena sport that pits chef against chef for the pleasure of their super-rich patrons. It’s a stain on a once-noble profession, and Chef Gavin is ready to go to war to stop it. Two things stand in his way: his arch rival Roman Algiers, and his adult daughter Angie, who probably just wants her dad back and acting normal.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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