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!

ComicFest 2015 is over. Thanks everyone!

2015 was our second year hosting a ComicFest extravaganza at the Central Library to coincide with Free Comic Book Day on Saturday the 2nd of May. Building on our previous year’s success, there was an impressive line-up of high calibre guests for our comics workshops, discussion panels and presentations. Thank you to all who came to take part in our drawing workshops, cosplay and manga competitions, and came to listen to comic artists, curators and historians.

A big thank you for the wonderful help and sponsorship from the NZ Book Council, Alexander Turnbull Library, NZ ComicCon, Pikitia Press, Unity Books and Weta Cave; and to GRAPHIC Comics who sponsored over 1000 comics on Free Comic Book Day.

To revisit these three great days, have a browse through our ComicFest 2015 photo galleries on our Flickr page. You can also listen or re-listen to the discussions that are now available as podcasts on Mixcloud.

Here is a small selection of images from the events :

5 Minutes with Gavin Mouldey – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May – that’s TODAY! – to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Gavin MouldeyToday we’re revisiting our last interview with Gavin Mouldey, who created the awesome Comicfest artwork you surely know & love by now! At the age of seven, Gavin Mouldey ran away from home to live in his parent’s back yard with a stack of paper and a lunchbox full of crayons. It wasn’t long before he started feeling peckish, but he’d failed to bring any food. So Gavin sat in a towering jungle of grass and drew himself some lunch. He then drew a monster eating his lunch and went home to show his Mum. Gavin has been drawing silly pictures ever since. His doodles have featured in children’s books, television, magazines and newspapers, as well as on T-shirts and concrete walls. Gavin now scribbles every day for a living from his own backyard studio in Raumati Beach, a giant’s stones-throw away from the dinosaurs and mythological beasties of Kapiti Island. You can view some of his latest doodles at dittybox.co.nz, or facebook.com/dittybox

Your Dittybox facebook page says that you’re a painter and graphic designer, but I know you’ve worked as an animation artist as well – is there one kind of art process that you enjoy the most?
What I enjoy the most in my process (whether digital or hands on), is the rush of motivation that comes after deciding how to tackle a brief. The first stage when a job comes in tends to be staring at a blank screen or page, completely befuddled. This is often followed by searching for inspiration, finding reference material, or outright procrastination (coffee, a pie, crossword, having a shower, watching a cartoon, etc). Eventually I’ll start doodling, and something will click. Then a job which seemed like a chore suddenly becomes exciting, and I lose all sense of time. It’s like being hypnotised. Sometimes my wife leaves the house in the morning and I think “I’ll do the dishes and hang the washing out and pick some flowers and make dinner before she gets home”, then she returns 8 hours later and my head hasn’t turned away from the page. I’ll be still in my boxer shorts, empty tummy, dry mouth… Like a nerd zombie.

Gavin Mouldey

You’ve spent some time employed as a production designer in Australia on the TV show ‘Dogstar’ – how did this rate as a professional experience?
My experience in animation has mostly involved creating backgrounds and character/prop designs. Pretty similar to my role as an illustrator. The only real difference is how I get paid, and in the case of Dogstar, the pace of turnaround. The job was great, and I met a lot of future collaborators, but I don’t think I was built for big cities. I like the pace of Wellington, or specifically Island Bay.

What are some stand-out projects you have worked on as a freelance artist? Is this satisfying work?
Posters are always fun, as they offer a lot more creative freedom than other briefs. It just has to catch the viewer’s attention. Most of my past work has been for children’s books, educational resources, and magazine publications. I’m not often happy with a finished illustration by the time it comes out in print, as it’s too fresh in my mind.

Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to draw for a living. The term artist gets over used. It’s becoming so vague, and pretentious. I think of my job as a trade, like carpentry or gardening. Art is a whole set of industries, and basically anyone can call themselves an artist without any formal education or practice. Considering that, it’s odd that creating “Art” is treated by some cliques as an intellectual and cultural virtue. Willie Saunders, one of my all-time favourite comic artists who seems to have disappeared, once used the term “cerebral vomit”. That’s probably out of context, but I think it represents a lot of what artists do (myself begrudgingly included). I’m more proud when my illustrations fulfill a set function, than when they just seem like my soul self-indulgently spilt on a canvas.
Gavin Mouldey

5 minutes with Chris Guise – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Chris GuiseToday we’re talking to Chris Guise about his work, and what we can look forward to at his Comicfest panel. Chris Guise was a self-employed shopping mall caricature artist when special effects company Weta Workshop hired him to work on Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. During the film’s production he worked in a number of areas including the Miniatures, Armour/Weapons, Painting and Sculpting/Merchandising departments. He was then incorporated into the design department and was employed on a wide variety of projects including “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, “King Kong”, “Jane & the Dragon”, “Black Sheep” and “The Wotwots”. Chris then went on to become Weta Workshop’s Lead Conceptual Artist for the Steven Spielberg film “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” following which he wrote and art directed the book “The Art of the Adventures of Tintin” as well as the critically acclaimed iPad app version of the book. 16 years after first being hired, Chris is still currently working as conceptual designer for Weta Workshop.

What is the first significant comic related job or project you remember working on?
I used to make a living as a shopping mall caricature artist before I joined Weta Workshop. Half an hour to draw an A3 sized likeness of someone in full colour pencil while occasionally having unwanted hamburger pickles thrown at me from the mall food court. Suppose it got me used to working under stress. At least flying food isn’t involved anymore.

Chris GuiseCan you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
Because of multiple confidentiality agreements I’ve signed, the most recent thing I did a bit of work on that I can actually mention is the current Te Papa Gallipoli exhibition and Peter Jackson’s Conflict Museum exhibition. As for film projects, if I told you I’d have to either kill you or spend the rest of my life on the run from the law.

Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
Film wise – Anything and everything. Especially Steve Spielberg films.
Comic wise – MAD Magazine especially artists Mort Drucker, Don Martin and Sergio Aragonés. Classic Looney Toons from the golden age (especially episodes directed by Chuck Jones). “Asterix” creators Goscinny and Uderzo. And, last but not least, Herge – creator of “Tintin”

What are you excited to share with ComicFest attendees? Just a taster!
Taking a popular 2D graphic book series and bringing it into a “realistic” filmic world isn’t exactly easy. There were many challenges in the making of the “Tintin” movie that the average movie viewer wouldn’t even realise. Heck, most of us that worked on the film didn’t even know these challenges existed until we came face to face with them.

If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
Since I’m pretty scruffy at the moment and have access to a ships captain’s hat, I suppose I’d probably go as Captain Haddock. (Gee. What a surprise.)

You can catch Chris at his Comicfest panel at the following time:
Saturday 2nd of May 12 – 1.00pm – ‘Tintin – the journey from comic to film’
Captain Haddock - Chris Guise

5 minutes with Sarah Laing – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

SarahLaing-selfieToday we’re talking to Sarah Laing about her comic work, and what we can look forward to at her Comicfest panel and workshop. Sarah Laing is a Wellington-based novelist, cartoonist and graphic designer. She’s contributed regular comics to Metro magazine, Little Treasures, the AA magazine and many international anthologies. She ran a comics blog, Let Me Be Frank, for a number of years before she put it on hold to complete her Katherine Mansfield-inspired graphic novel. Pikitia Press published five issues of comics selected from her blog. Her most recent novel, The Fall of Light, encapsulates drawings evoking the dreamscape of a troubled architect. Sarah has also illustrated children’s books, and although her work mainly deals with adult themes, her children are petitioning her to draw a kids’ comic next.

What is the first significant comic related job or project you remember working on?
When I had my first son in 2003, I started a Mama diary, recording all the frustrations and minutiae of motherhood, and my attempts to finish my first novel. I’d just finished Marjane Satrapi’s Persoplis series and I was inspired to start drawing again.

Can you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
I am working on a memoir/biography inspired by Katherine Mansfield, charting her life and my desire to be ‘a writer, a real writer’*. I have also just completed a short residency at Wai-Te-Ata press at Victoria, working on comics inspired by Patricia Grace’s novel ‘Tu’.
*’Oh to be a writer, a real writer’ is a quote from Mansfield’s diaries.

SarahLaing05Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
Before I wanted to be a writer or a cartoonist I wanted to be a singer. I think one of my biggest inspirations are musicians – at this moment I most admire Björk. She is constantly reinventing herself, she reveals her most intimate, visceral experiences, she is avant-garde, innovative, and uses her entire voice – the ugly and beautiful parts of it.

What are you excited to share with ComicFest attendees? Just a taster!
I want everybody to know that they can make comics – you don’t need to be a good drawer. And comics can be anything: poetry, abstract art, a rip-roaring yarn, a diary. Comics is a powerful medium in which to express your own take on the universe, your own world view.

Do you have another job outside of comic creation, or any significant hobbies you enjoy?
I’m a novelist and a short story writer. I voraciously consume novels and podcasts and I also love watching all the great TV series that are coming out these days. I used to go to the movies and bands all the time, before I had my 3 kids. Now I garden, cook, work as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.

You can catch Sarah at her Comicfest workshop and panel at these times:
Saturday 2nd of May 10 – 11.30am – Comics 101 workshop with Sarah Laing
Saturday 2nd of May 1 – 2.00pm – Panel: New Zealand Women’s Comics with the editors of Three Words
SarahLaing04

5 minutes with Jonathan King – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Jonathan KingToday we’re talking to Jonathan King about his comic work, and what we can look forward to at his Comicfest panel. Jonathan King makes films and comics in Welington. He has directed feature films Black Sheep, Under the Mountain and REALITi and was the co-writer of The Tattooist. His comics have been published in Faction, High Water, From Earth’s End: The best of New Zealand Comics, online at www.jking.co.nz and in his own recent collection Perplexing Stories.

Can you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
I have a collection of surreal adventure stories called Perplexing Stories just out. It’s a compilation of stuff I’ve put online over the last couple of years, and a new story.

Jonathan KingWhat is your favourite part of your working process?
Uninterrupted drawing time! (Which I rarely get!) Making people and places out of thin air and seeing them become ‘real’; looking back and wondering how I did it!

Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
Hergé, originally. Later Dylan Horrocks, Daniel Torres, Yves Chaland, Darwyn Cooke, Milton Caniff

Do you have another job outside of comic creation, or any significant hobbies you enjoy?
I make films. I’d love to bring these two worlds closer together — make short films as easily as I can make ‘fantastic’ comics and I’d love to animate (more — I’ve been playing).

If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
Freddy Lombard!

You can catch Jonathan at his Comicfest panel at the following time:
Friday 1st of May 7 – 8.00pm – Panel: The current and future state of New Zealand comics
Jonathan King

5 minutes with Matt Emery – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Matt EmeryToday we’re talking to Matt Emery about his comic work, and what we can look forward to at his Comicfest panels. Matt Emery has been intermittently active as a cartoonist for twenty years in New Zealand and Australia. Currently based in Melbourne, Matt set up micro publisher Pikitia Press in 2012 publishing works by several New Zealand and Australian cartoonists. He is also active writing and researching historical and contemporary cartooning in Australasia. Online at: pikitiapress.com and guzumo.com

Can you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
Personally finishing a comic about how making offensive comments can affect your life. Also publishing a wonderful comic by David Blumenstein, #takedown: My evening on a pier with pick-up artists and protesters, it goes to print in a week and is available to pre-order now!

What is your favourite part of your working process?
The daydreaming phase of writing while I’m menial day-jobbing or commuting. When I’m doing the writing/editing phase I’ve usually worked everything over in my head and the hard work is done. I found it fascinating to see other writers work similarly there is a great clip of Ray Bradbury discussing his method for percolating ideas.

MattEmery02I also like the inking stage, I can pick up a new brush, a fresh pot of hot black coffee, and have some laughs at my own stupid jokes.

Who/what are some of influences and inspirations?
I admire these people or their work for a lot of reasons, My Mum and Dad, Mai, Ed Wood, Karl Wills, Marjane Satrapi, Gary Groth, Kim Thompson, Tim Bollinger, Moira Bertram, Joe McCulloch, Judge Dredd, Dean Mullaney, Osamu Tezuka, Los Bros Hernandez, H. W. Bennett, Michael Hill Jeweller, Steve Ditko, and countless others…

What are you excited to share with ComicFest attendees? Just a taster!
I’m excited to talk to Rae, Sarah and Indira about the Three Words anthology which is shaping up to one of the most revelatory publications/happenings/conversation starters in New Zealand comics ever. I’ve learnt a lot about comics, cartoonists and people from the conversation around this book already without having seen a page of it.

If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
Possum Von Tempsky from James Davidson’s Moa comics.

You can catch Matt at his Comicfest panels at these times:
Friday 1st of May 7 – 8.00pm – Panel: The current and future state of New Zealand comics
Saturday 2nd of May 1 – 2.00pm – Panel: New Zealand Women’s Comics with the editors of Three Words
Matt Emery

5 minutes with Sharon Murdoch – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Sharon MurdochToday we’re talking to Sharon Murdoch about her comic work, and what we can look forward to at her Comicfest panel. Sharon is a political cartoonist for The Sunday Star Times and the Christchurch Press. Born in Invercargill, Sharon moved to Wellington to attended Design School. Most of her working life has been as a graphic designer, and sometime illustrator, most notably with Wellington Media Collective, and a stint in South Africa working with a Xhosa women’s community development group, where they did comics on early childhood education and AIDS prevention. Gradually, over the past few years, Sharon has moved into cartooning full-time, although she still doesn’t regard herself as a “real” cartoonist. As well as the political cartoons, Sharon does a cartoon of a ginger cat, called Munro, which runs in the Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press. She has done over 500 drawings of this cat now. She also has two daughters, two cats and one husband. You can follow Sharon on Twitter at @domesticanimal

Can you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
I’m doing political cartoons 3 days a week for newspapers and draw a cartoon of a cat, Munro. I took part in the upcoming Three Words Anthology of women’s comics – I think I made a bit of a hash of it and if I was doing it again I would do it quite differently. Because I trained as a graphic designer I always seem to feel torn between a “designed graphic” and a more spontaneous, freer drawing.

Sharon MurdochWhat is your favourite part of your working process?
Doing the preliminary sketches – exploring an idea. They quite often seem to have something that is hard to retain in the finished work.

Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
Lynda Barry, Wanda G’ag, Lat (a Malaysian political cartoonist), Tomi Ungerer, George Grosz – a German cartoonist/artist from the 1920s-50s, Kliban, Leunig, Tove Jansson. There are many more…

What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
Amongst others, Dylan Horrocks, Ant Sang, Trace Hodgson’s early work, Tim Bollinger, Sarah Lang and my step-daughter Hannah Salmon who does the zine Daily Secretions.

Do you have another job outside of comic creation, or any significant hobbies you enjoy?
I also work as a designer. I’m mother to a 13 year old, which is fairly preoccupying. And I like watching the world go by.

You can catch Sharon at her Comicfest panels at the following time:
Thursday 30th of April 6 – 7.00pm – Panel: From cartoons to comics
Sharon Murdoch

5 minutes with Tim Bollinger – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Tim BollingerToday we’re talking to Tim Bollinger about his comic work, and what we can look forward to at his Comicfest panels. Tim Bollinger has been drawing and self-publishing comics from his home town of Wellington since the early 1980s. His work ranges from 40-page ‘funny animal’ and political parables to shorter satirical and autobiographical pieces, many set in a fictionalised urban landscape based on the geography of his home city. He is a regular contributor to international underground arts magazine White Fungus where, as Comics Editor, he also publishes work by veteran New Zealand comic writer Barry Linton. Tim has extensively researched New Zealand’s nascent comics history, and through his articles and exhibitions has helped shine light on many otherwise little known comic book artists and publishers of yesteryear.

What is the first significant comic related job or project you remember working on?
‘Joe Sputnik and the Mystery of Ravioli’s Father’ a year-long serial for Victoria University’s student newspaper Salient in 1979. (Actually, ‘The Hevs, the Rads and the Straights’ for the Onslow College school magazine in 1975 – but I don’t really talk about that…)

Tim BollingerCan you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
Apart from the odd 1-pager, the last big story I drew was a 20-page comic for White Fungus Issue 13, called ‘Dovetail’, a year or two back. I’m currently working on a long-form narrative in three parts as well as completing a couple of the older stories like ‘Little Eye’. Not to mention my ongoing endeavour to document New Zealand’s undiscovered comics history.

What is your favourite part of your working process?
Drawing comics is the most satisfying, but the hardest work, that I have ever done. My favourite part of the process is looking at the finished pages.

What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
Toby Morris, Chris Slane, Sharon Murdoch, Dylan Horrocks, Hayden Currie, Indira Neville, Brent Willis etc. etc. (too many to name – you know who you are!)

Do you have another job outside of comic creation, or any significant hobbies you enjoy?
Like most NZ comic artists, I have a day job, 9 to 5. Plus I write a lot for other people and spend time as a community activist. My favourite thing is reading other people’s comics.

You can catch Tim at his Comicfest panels at these times:
Thursday 30th of April 6 – 7.00pm – Panel: From cartoons to comics
Friday 1st of May 7 – 8.00pm – Panel: The current and future state of New Zealand comics
Tim Bollinger

5 minutes with Cory Mathis – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is almost here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Cory MathisToday we’re talking to Cory Mathis about his comic work, and what we can look forward to at his Comicfest panel. Hailing from the small town of Waihi, Cory turned his back on a life on the farm and moved to Auckland to study classical animation. Upon completion he travelled south to the city of Wellington where he endeavoured to pursue a career as some kind of an artist. While living in the capital he dabbled in book-store retail, even more study, comicbook making and in general made a nuisance of himself by constantly drawing all the people in the cafes – of which there were many. Fortunately for the general public (and much to the chagrin of anyone with a position in politics), Cory won the 2013 NZ Listener Young Cartoonist award and promptly found himself enjoying brief stints as a political cartoonist, caricaturist and storyboard artist. Flush with his winnings and hard earned “art-monies,” he fled to Europe to study painting and learn how not to speak Italian. He promptly ran out of the aforementioned funds and is now back in Wellington, employed as a concept-artist at the videogame company Pikpok, where they keep him closely supervised and securely chained up.

What is the first significant comic related job or project you remember working on?
It’d have to be my fantasy adventure series, Saurian Era. Significant because it always kept me working on my art and aiming for deadlines in my spare time. It started as an animation when I was a student, then mini-comics which I printed off and sold at expos. In the past couple of years it’s been accepted into the Faction comics kiwi anthology books which has pushed me into using full-colour and taking so much more of the storytelling and world building seriously. It was a massive milestone to see my comic in Faction vol.2 in the comic section here at the library!

CoryMathis05Can you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
My most recent was the climate change themed comic for the Faction – Highwater edition. It was a great challenge to work on a comic outside of my usual dinosaur-centric stories. (Though I still managed to hide a dinosaur in the story!) Right now I’m working on the second part of my, Saurian Era ‘The Reef’ series. I’ve learnt way too much in the last year since I finished part one and am finding it difficult to keep within my original plans – all part of being your own boss I suppose!

What is your favourite part of your working process?
Finishing something! Though the part at the beginning where it’s all crazy brainstorming, drawing and writing at the same time is pretty exciting too. Trying to find the thread that will pull you through to the finished product is always a challenge – especially if your making it solo. I’ve started to really focus on what makes each stage of the creation special, be it thumbing, pencilling, inking or colouring. It can sometimes feel like you’re repeating yourself hitting the pictures over and over again. I take a joy in not finalising any of the text until all the pictures are finished. The characters dialogue develops much like the pictures until the end where I feel like I can finally hear what they are actually saying.

Do you have another job outside of comic creation, or any significant hobbies you enjoy?
I’m working at the video game company, Pikpok, as a concept artist so the comic making has had to take a bit of a backseat as I wrap my head around managing my time with that. There’s a great community of artist here in Wellington so I spend a fair bit of time going to figure, or costume life drawing.
Something non-art related? Whaaaaaat?!

If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
Haha, since I’m going a bit crazy for the new Last Man comic series coming out of France at the mo, I reckon I could pull off a good Richard Aldana!

You can catch Cory at his Comicfest panel at the following time:
Thursday 30th of April 6 – 7.00pm – Panel: From cartoons to comics
CoryMathis02

5 minutes with Tim Gibson – Comicfest feature

Comicfest 2015 is almost here! Head over to the Facebook event for all the details and to receive event updates. There are panels and workshops for comic-lovers of all ages, and don’t forget to come along to the Central Library on Saturday 2nd May to pick up a free comic book on Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC!

Tim GibsonToday we’re talking to Tim Gibson about his comic work, and what we can look forward to at his Comicfest panel and workshop. Tim Gibson has produced illustrations for clients as diverse as Garage Project to the School Journal, Peter Jackson to Steven Spielberg. In 2012 he was awarded Creative New Zealand funding to write and illustrate his debut comic series ‘Moth City’ which has since gained a substantial digital readership, the support of leading American creators and was named as one of Comixology’s Top Comics for 2013. This year he took part in the Le Monde’s COMICS ZUR LAGE DER WELT exhibition in Berlin, and visited Taiwan as part of a comic residency exchange.

What is the first significant comic related job or project you remember working on?
I did some comic book colouring (painting under someone else’s pencils) for Christian Gossett’s Red Star comic series when I worked at Weta Workshop. It was my first professional taste of making comics, and it was a long time between drinks before I got another one.

Tim GibsonCan you tell us about your current, or most recent project?
I completed the art for a small comic project for the School Journal last year which told the story of front-line Kiwi miners in WWI. It was interesting not being responsible for the story as a whole, but artists still have to make very ‘directorial’ decisions with regard to placing the viewpoint, the expressions (or acting) of the characters and the general pace and flow of things.

It was great to be included in a piece of NZ reading history like the School Journal, so a bit of a milestone there.

What is your favourite part of your working process?
Playing with the characters in my head, having them interact with one another or their world. The further the story gets to being readable by others, the less avenues and options the characters and I have, so there’s always a bit of a bittersweet conclusion to finishing something. There’s nothing better than having an idea that changes the entire world that exists in your head.

What are you excited to share with ComicFest attendees? Just a taster!
I’m hoping to share my passion for digital comics and animation during my Digital Comics Workshop. It should give people a few tools to tell comic stories differently now that creators don’t have to default to paper. That said, there’ll still be tree-flesh at the workshop, so bring pens.

Do you have another job outside of comic creation, or any significant hobbies you enjoy?
I subsidise my modest life-style with freelance illustration and design work, and the two worlds play very well together and often influence each other. It probably means that my commercial work is more vibrant and experimental, and my experimental comic work is more polished and commercial looking than it might be otherwise.

You can catch Tim at his Comicfest workshop and panel at these times:
Friday 1st of May 5 – 6.30pm – Digital comics workshop with Tim Gibson
Friday 1st of May 7 – 8.00pm – Panel: The current and future state of New Zealand comics
Tim Gibson


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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