Crimes, calamities and capers: a caboodle of contemporary comics

The expressive world of ink on paper expands into vision with the latest comics to be found on our library shelves.  From espionage to architecture and filmmaking this month’s crop of new comics is loaded with talent both in storytelling and artistry.

Fior Manuele, the artist who created the Interview, connects to his training in architecture as he spins a mythic tale of a young man in the thrall of seeking perfection. Red Ultramarine, originally published in 2006, has been recently translated by Jamie Richardis. Michael Bendis and David Mack take the touring artist route into counterintelligence. Global travel and a storytelling cover leads to recruitment and an introduction to several comic artists as the con tour continues in Cover. The watercolour illustration bends in style, referencing the introduction of different artists.

The opposite to perfection sees Penny Nichols helping to create glorious schlock horror movie with a disreputable crew. And politics and family don’t mix in an ode to concrete, The Structure is Rotten, Comrade shows the difference between vision for building and the reality of social needs. Viken Berberian and Yann Kebbi have created a vivid comic with a dynamic style with figures sketched over the architecture that is the centre of the story.

It was tricky to select just a few from this month’s collection of comics, below are some of the great assortment of talent and styles. Enjoy!

Red ultramarine / Fior, Manuele
“The Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus is woven into this psychologically complex graphic novel, for the first time in English! Fausto, a young architect, is a prisoner of his own obsession: the search for perfection. Only the love of Silvia, his girlfriend, can save him. To help him, she goes to a strange doctor, who will guide her on a journey between reality and myth. This is an early work of the internationally acclaimed cartoonist Mauele Fior, rendered in a striking red and black two-color palette.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Cover. Volume one / Bendis, Brian Michael
“Based on a true story, the intelligence community figures out that the traveling band of social misfits who make comic books are an exact match to the profiles of candidates recruited for intelligence and counterintelligence gathering.  A very well-known comics creator is recruited by the agency to live a double life as a spy…And convention season is upon us. With a nod to films like Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and The In-Laws, this comic celebrates comics, comic creators, readers and of course, spies.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The structure is rotten, comrade / Berberian, Viken
“More in love with the alluring properties of cement than he is with his girlfriend, Frunz’s overriding ambition is to become the next legendary architect. His father, known as Mr. Cement, is a builder in bed with the autocrats who run Yerevan, the capital of post-Soviet Armenia. As father and son team up to transform the city into a post-modern mecca of Trumpian high-rises, outraged citizens rise up in Revolution against them and Yerevan’s corrupt regime.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Little girls / Aflleje, Nicholas
“Sam and Lielet are two new friends living in Ethiopia who are dealing with the kind of problems that all kids have: judgmental social cliques, condescending adults, alienation, and a legendary brain-eating monster of folklore. Sure, it’s not going to be easy, but all they have to do is live through it.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hot comb / Flowers, Ebony
Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into black women’s lives and coming-of-age stories. Ebony Flowers re-creates classic magazine ads idealizing women’s need for hair relaxers and products. Realizations about race, class, and the imperfections of identity swirl through these stories and ads, which are by turns sweet, insightful, and heartbreaking.  From her black-and-white drawings to her color construction-paper collages, Hot Comb is a propitious display of talent from a new cartoonist who has already made her mark.” (Catalogue)

Penny Nichols / Reed, M. K
“Stuck working mind-numbing temp jobs, Penny Nichols yearns to break free from the rut she’s found herself in. When, by chance, she falls in with a group of misfits making a no-budget horror movie called “Blood Wedding,” everything goes sideways. Soon her days are overrun with gory props, a horny cameraman, and a disappearing director. This hilarious original graphic novel is a loving tribute to the chaos and camaraderie of DIY filmmaking, and the ways we find our future and our family in the unlikeliest of places.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The dreaming. Volume one, Pathways and emanations / Spurrier, Simon
“Twenty-three years after he was anointed as its master, the lord of dreams has inexplicably abandoned his domain. Lord Daniel’s absence triggers a series of crimes and calamities that consume the lives of those already tangled in his fate. The most senior storytellers are tormented by invasive secrets, the warden Lucien is doubting his own mind, and beyond the gates, something horrific awaits with tooth and talon.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Outer darkness [1] : each other’s throats / Layman, John
“Sci-fi and horror collide in this new series from the creator of Chew. Mankind has colonized the galaxy, but during our interstellar travels, we’ve discovered a terrifying secret out in the Outer Darkness of space. Join Captain Joshua Rigg and the crew of the starship Charon as they encounter demonic possessions, hauntings, cosmic horror and more. Collects Outer darkness #1-6.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Grace : the Jeff Buckley story / DeBartolo, Tiffanie
“California, 1991. All his life, people have told Jeff Buckley how much he looks like his father, the famous ’60s folksinger he barely knew. But Jeff believes he has gifts of his own: a rare, octave-spanning voice and a songwriting genius that has only started to show itself. What follows are six turbulent years of music, heartbreak, hope, and daring. This graphic novel biography uses archival material provided by Jeff’s mother, Mary Guibert, to reveal the young songwriter in the process of becoming a legend.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Avengers readers, assemble! New Marvel comics are on Overdrive!

Continuing on from Comicfest 2019, that happened on May 4th, and the box-office smash hit Avengers: Endgame, we’ve updated our Overdrive collection with new comics and classic comics from the House of Ideas, Marvel Comics! From the tales that inspired the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to new hits that have been the critical darlings of the comic world, there’s enough to satisfy any True Believer!


Overdrive cover Black Panther (2016), Volume 1, Ta-Nehisi Coates (ebook)
“A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) takes the helm, confronting T’Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda that will make leading the African nation tougher than ever before. When a superhuman terrorist group calling itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for its incredible technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Iron Man: Extremis, Warren Ellis (ebook)
“A landscape of terrifying new technologies threatens to overwhelm fragile mankind! What is Extremis, who has unleashed it, and what does its emergence portend for the world?” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Planet Hulk, Greg Pak (ebook)
“Savage alien planet. Oppressed barbarian tribes. Corrupt emperor. Deadly woman warrior. Gladiators and slaves. Battle axes and hand blasters. Monsters and heroes…and the Incredible Hulk!” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover New Avengers (2004), Volume 1, Brian Michael Bendis (ebook)
“In the wake of the systematic destruction of the original Avengers, just what sort of threat to the world could persuade Captain America to assemble an all-new team? How does Cap, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Wolverine sound? Fate has brought them together, and now Captain America wants to make it permanent! Who will take his hand and join the new Avengers? And will they be strong enough to fight the mysterious forces at play around them?” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Amazing Spider-Man (2014), Volume 3, Dan Slott (ebook)
“When the evil Inheritors begin exterminating spider-characters throughout the multiverse, every single Spider-Man ever is needed to save the day! A spider-army gathers to fight Morlun and his deadly family, and the Superior Spider-Man intends to lead it! Our universe’s amazing Spider-Man has an issue with that, but the army doesn’t have time for this in-fighting! When the Prophecy comes to fruition, every spider must fight — and no spider is safe!” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Ms. Marvel (2014), Volume 1, G. Willow Wilson (ebook)
“Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015), Volume 1, Amy M. Reeder (ebook)
“Lunella Lafayette is a preteen genius who wants to change the world, but lives in fear of the Inhuman genes inside her! Now, Lunella’s life is turned upside down when a red-scaled beast is teleported from the prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call…today! Together they’re the most Marvelous Team-Up of all — Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur! But will they be BFFs forever, or just until DD’s dinner time?” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Librarian’s Choice – Graphic Novels on Overdrive

Here’s our recs for the best comics from our Overdrive collection to borrow and download to your electronic device of choice. From supernatural horror and classic manga, slice-of-life and high fantasy, life in the apocalypse to superheroes saving the world, there’s something for everyone on Overdrive!

Overdrive cover Hellboy Omnibus Volume 1, Mike Mignola (ebook)
“The Hellboy saga begins—with over 300 pages drawn by Mignola! For the first time, Hellboy’s complete story is presented in chronological order for the ultimate reading experience. The story jumps from Hellboy’s mysterious World War II origin to his 1994 confrontation with the man who summoned him to earth, and the earliest signs of the plague of frogs. Avoiding his supposed fate as the herald of the end of the world, Hellboy continues with the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, fighting alongside Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and drafting Roger Homunculus into his own ill-fated service with the B.P.R.D.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover JLA: Earth 2, Grant Morrison (ebook)
“They are the world’s gravest super-villains: Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Power Ring and Johnny Quick—the legendary Crime Syndicate of Amerika! Nothing has ever seriously threatened the global corruption they proudly enforce, but now a twisted mirror image of the CSA has arrived from the flip side of reality. Can anything stop this so-called ‘Justice League,’ or will the stable, perfect evil of the Earth 2 fall victim to the tyranny of law, righteousness and freedom?” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover An Aria for the End Times, Andrew MacLean (ebook)
“The premiere graphic novel from underground sensation Andrew MacLean (Head Lopper), ApocalyptiGirl is an action-packed sci-fi epic! Alone at the end of the world, Aria is woman with a mission! Traipsing through an overgrown city with her only companion, a cat named Jelly Beans, Aria’s search for an ancient relic with immeasurable power has been fruitless so far. But when a run in with a creepy savage sets her on a path to complete her quest, she’ll face death head on in the hopes of claiming her prize and, if all goes according to plan, finally returning home.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Giant Days Volume 1, John Allison (ebook)
“Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends because their dorm rooms were next to each other. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 1, Kieron Gillen (ebook)
“Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you?re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (ebook)
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Astro Boy, Volumes 1 & 2, Osamu Tezuka (ebook)
“Dark Horse proudly presents one of the crown jewels of manga-Astro Boy! Created by the late Osamu Tezuka, a revered animator and cartoonist (who created over 150,000 pages of comics in his career!) considered the Walt Disney of Japan, Astro Boy was the first manga series to be adapted to animation and became a worldwide phenomenon, making Astro Boy the Mickey Mouse of anime-a jet-powered, super-strong, evil-robot-bashing, alien-invasion-smashing Mickey Mouse, that is! Exciting, whimsical, and touching, Astro Boy hearkens back to the classic era of comics and animation, featuring stories that readers young and old will enjoy.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Is This Guy For Real?, Box Brown (ebook)
“Comedian and performer Andy Kaufman’s resume was impressive—a popular role on the beloved sitcom Taxi, a high-profile stand-up career, and a surprisingly successful stint in professional wrestling. Although he was by all accounts a sensitive and thoughtful person, he’s ironically best remembered for his various contemptible personas, which were so committed and so convincing that all but his closest family and friends were completely taken in.
Why would someone so gentle-natured and sensitive build an entire career seeking the hatred of his audience?” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Take a journey with our new comics

This month the comic fest is ample illustration that the variety of illustrators, styles and stories to be told are multiple!

This month’s new selection of graphic novels range from creepy horror to tender teenage explorations, epic stories to private landscapes laid bare. Authors and illustrators from Mark Torres to Neil Gaiman bring you tales that tingle with inner recognition or launch you into fantastic realms. Enjoy!

Explore  our collections with the benefit of free reserves, delivering your selection to any open branch that you choose!

Syndetics book coverCold spots / created by Cullen Bunn, story, & Mark Torres, art & design.
“A tale of spine-tingling horror, psychological fright, the undead, and the bitter cold of a supernatural winter come together in this account of unexpected twists and mounting dread. Dan Kerr turned his back on his wife and unborn daughter 10 years ago. Now, both mother and child have gone missing, and Dan must embark on a weird tale of cosmic terror in order to find them again! Ghosts stir when Dan’s estranged daughter is near, and as the dead grow restless, the cold deepens.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThrough a life / Tom Haugomat.
“This powerfully silent graphic novel follows the saga of a boy who grows up to be an astronaut, just like he always wanted, until a fatal space shuttle crash upends his life, and he begins to find solace in beauty here on earth. Told through a series of poignant vignettes, Through A Life is a sweeping story of dreams, expectations, nature, and loss. Rodney spends his life looking through.” (Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverKid gloves : nine months of careful chaos / Lucy Knisley.
“If you work hard enough, if you want it enough, if you’re smart and talented and “good enough,” you can do anything. Except get pregnant. Her whole life, Lucy Knisley wanted to be a mother. But when it was finally the perfect time, conceiving turned out to be harder than anything she’d ever attempted. Fertility problems were followed by miscarriages, and her eventual successful pregnancy was plagued by health issues, up to a dramatic, near-death experience in labor and delivery. Kid Gloves follows Lucy’s personal transition into motherhood, and it also illustrates the history and science of reproductive health from all angles, full of curious facts and inspiring (and notorious) figures in medicine and midwifery.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNeil Gaiman & Charles Vess’ Stardust : being a romance within the Realms of Faerie.
“It is here in Wall that young Tristran Thorn loses his heart to the town beauty-a woman who is as cold and distant as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky on a crisp October evening. To gain the hand of his beloved, Tristran rashly vows to fetch the fallen star and embarks upon a lover’s quest that will carry him over the ancient wall and into a world beyond his wildest imagings…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVietnamese memories. Book 2, Little Saigon / Clement Baloup ; translators, Ceri Pollard with help from Hannah Flixter, Alessandra Cazes, and Olivia Hanks ; Fabrice Sapolsky and Alex Donoghue, U.S. edition editors.
“The personal stories of five family members, over five different time periods, as they are respectively forced to leave their home country of Vietnam when outside forces or inner turmoil shatter their normal lives. Each story follows the journey of a family member as they must leave everything behind, adapt to a new country and culture, and live with the nostalgia of their homeland and their people.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBloom / written by Kevin Panetta ; artwork by Savanna Ganucheau.
“Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band, if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLetter to survivors / by Gébé; translated and with an introduction by Edward Gauvin.
“In the blasted ruins of what was once a picture-perfect suburb, nothing stirs-except the postman. Clad in a hazmat suit and mounted on a bicycle, he is still delivering the mail, nuclear apocalypse or no nuclear apocalypse. One family has taken refuge in an underground fallout shelter, and to them he brings-or, rather, shouts through the air vent-a series of odd, anonymous letters. They describe the family’s prosperous past life, and then begin to get stranger” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFante Bukowski three : a perfect failure / Noah Van Sciver.
“After another year of living in the great American Midwest, self-styled erudite and superstar-to-be Fante Bukowski has a final showdown between his father and his dreams, is hired to ghostwrite a teen celebrity’s memoir, and attends his first local zine fest. Meanwhile, there are hidden forces working behind the scenes to push Fante Bukowski into the critical and financial success he’s always longed for, despite his continued lack of talent.” (Syndetics summary)

Comics to Prepare You for Avengers: Endgame!

Avengers: Endgame, the hotly anticipated conclusion to a saga of 21 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, hit theaters on April 24, and to help you prepare we’ve added a number of Marvel titles to Overdrive. Featuring the original stories that inspired Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the fan-favourite Jonathan Hickman series that introduced the fiendish Black Order and tales that take a terrifying peek into the mind of Thanos, the Mad Titan!

So head over to Overdrive to start borrowing–or check out our eLibrary Getting Started guide!

Overdrive cover The Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath, by Ron Marz (ebook)
“Collects Silver Surfer (1987) 60-66, Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme 36, Warlock & the Infinity Watch 1-6, material from Silver Surfer Annual 5. After defeating Thanos, Adam Warlock won the Infinity Gauntlet–and now has absolute power! Can the most powerful being in the universe be convinced to give up the Gauntlet? And who can be trusted with even a portion of its awesome abilities?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Infinity War, by Jim Starlin (ebook)
“Collects Infinity War #1-6, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #7-10 & Marvel Comics Presents #108-111. When evil dopplegangers of the Marvel heroes appear, it’s all-out war! Why has Magus unleashed them on an unsuspecting world? And is the heroes only hope…Thanos?! Plus, will the Infinity Gauntlet swing the tide of the war?” (Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Avengers (2012), Volume 1, by Jonathan Hickman (ebook)
“Collects Avengers #1-6. The greatest heroes in comics, together as one expansive, unbeatable team! The Avengers’ first mission takes them to Mars, but the secrets of the Garden lead right back to Earth’s Savage Land! Plus, the Shi’ar Imperial Guard and Captain Universe races to decipher the code hidden in the Avengers’ recent adventures!” (Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Thanos Rising, by Jason Aaron (ebook)
“Collects Thanos Rising #1-5. The vile face of Thanos left audiences in shock after last summer’s Marvel Studios’ “The Avengers” movie…but who is this eerily disturbing villain? Discover the hidden truth, as Thanos rises as the unrivaled rogue of wretchedness in this gripping tale of tragedy, deceit and destiny. Where did this demi-god of destruction come from – and more importantly, what does he want from the universe?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Thanos (2016), Volume 1, by Jeff Lemire (ebook)
“Collects Thanos #1-6. Thanos, possibly the most diabolical individual in the Marvel Universe, is back — and he’s out for vengeance on all who would oppose him! Unfortunately for the Mad Titan, he’s also heading for an unexpected reckoning…with his family. Take an ongoing walk on the dark side of the galaxy, and follow the deadly trail of destruction left in the wake of…Thanos! He is pure evil. He is unstoppable. And it’s time for someone — anyone — to take him down.” (Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Infinity Gauntlet, by Jim Starlin (ebook)
“Collects Infinity Gauntlet (1991) #1-6. The Mad Titan Thanos has seized control of Infinity Gauntlet and with it near-omnipotent power! Who can stop this deadly new overlord? All of Marvel’s top heroes star in this epic of cosmic proportions!” (Overdrive description.)

New and Classic Manga on Overdrive!

We’ve recently added a slew of new and classic manga to our eLibrary catalogue on Overdrive, and it’s available for you to download and read on any device! Included are such fan-favourites as Tokyo Ghoul and Attack on Titan, and the original best-selling science-fiction manga Astro Boy by Japan’s own ‘God of Manga‘ Osamu Tezuka.

Due to the closure of the Central Library reserves are now free, and you may request to pick up an item from any Wellington City Libraries branch. So now is the perfect chance to check out our wide selection of Japanese comics, including Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa: A History of Japan and the latest manga from the creator of Tenkonkinkreet. Just ask at any enquiry desk or click the Place Reserve button when you search the item in our catalogue.

AVAILABLE on OVERDRIVE

Overdrive cover Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 1, Sui Ishida (ebook)
Volumes 1 to 5 now available to borrow on Overdrive
“Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own. Rated: T+” (Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover Attack on Titan, Volume 1, Hajime Isayama (ebook)
Volumes 1 to 16 now available to borrow on Overdrive
“In this post-apocalyptic sci-fi story, humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming mankind. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world for years, killing everyone they see. For the past century, what’s left of man has hidden in a giant, three-walled city. People believe their 100-meter-high walls will protect them from the Titans, but the sudden appearance of an immense Titan is about to change everything. Winner of the 2011 Kodansha Manga Award (Shonen) and nominated for the prestigious Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize for 2012.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Astro Boy, Volumes 1 & 2, Osamu Tezuka (ebook)
Volumes 1 to 8 now available to borrow on Overdrive
“Dark Horse proudly presents one of the crown jewels of manga-Astro Boy! Created by the late Osamu Tezuka, a revered animator and cartoonist (who created over 150,000 pages of comics in his career!) considered the Walt Disney of Japan, Astro Boy was the first manga series to be adapted to animation and became a worldwide phenomenon, making Astro Boy the Mickey Mouse of anime-a jet-powered, super-strong, evil-robot-bashing, alien-invasion-smashing Mickey Mouse, that is! Exciting, whimsical, and touching, Astro Boy hearkens back to the classic era of comics and animation, featuring stories that readers young and old will enjoy. This special edition combines the first two volumes of the collected Astro Boy, in one value-priced collection!” (Overdrive description)

AVAILABLE for FREE RESERVE

Showa, 1953-1989 : a history of Japan / Mizuki, Shigeru
“The final volume in the Eisner-nominated history of Japan; one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014 . Showa 1953-1989: A History of Japan” concludes Shigeru Mizuki’s dazzling autobiographical and historical account of Showa-period Japan, a portrait both intimate and ranging of a defining epoch. The final volume picks up in the wake of Japan’s utter defeat in World War II, as a country reduced to rubble struggles to rise again. The Korean War brings new opportunities to a nation searching for an identity. A former enemy becomes their greatest ally as the United States funnels money, jobs, and opportunity into Japan, hoping to establish the country as a bulwark against Soviet Communist expansion. Japan reinvents itself, emerging as an economic powerhouse. Events like the Tokyo Olympiad and the World’s Fair introduce a friendlier Japan to the world, but this period of peace and plenty conceals a populace still struggling to come to terms with the devastation of World War II.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Red snow / Katsumata, Susumu
“Continuing D+Q’s groundbreaking exploration of the fascinating world of Gekiga, this collection of short stories is drawn with great delicacy and told with subtle nuance by the legendary Japanese artist Susumu Katsumata. The setting is the premodern Japanese countryside of the author’s youth, a slightly magical world where ancestral traditions hold sway over a people in the full vigor of life, struggling to survive the harsh seasons and the difficult life of manual laborers and farmers. While the world they inhabit has faded into memory and myth, the universal fundamental emotions of the human heart prevail at the center of these tender stories.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Sunny. 1 / Matsumoto, Taiyō
“The latest manga masterpiece from the Eisner Award-winning creator of Tekkonkinkreet. What is Sunny? Sunny is a car. Sunny is a car you take on a drive with your mind. It takes you to the place of your dreams. Sunny is the story of beating the odds, in the ways that count. It’s the brand-new masterwork from Eisner Award-winner Taiyo Matsumoto, one of Japan’s most innovative and acclaimed manga artists. Translated by Tekkonkinkreet film director Michael Arias!” (Adapted from catalogue)

The Personal and Political (and Giant Alien Robots) with New Graphic Novels

April’s selection of new material begins with Memorabilia, an homage to graphic novels by Italian comic creator Sergio Ponchione. In Black Hammer: Age of Doom Part 1, a group of superheroes are marooned in a creepy rural enclaveAlso for the artists, the gritty reality of a life in animation is explored in the graphic memoir of Natalie Nourigat, and artistic nostril-gazing meanders into the selection with Flem from Belgian/Canadian comic creator Rebecca Rosen.

The Flutter Collection also has gender-jumping Lily faced with the foibles of life. Hobo Mom also sees a family strain around the idea of gender roles. We round off the selection with Sturm’s Off Season, where political tensions literally tear lives apart.

But wait… wasn’t there a giant alien robot? Well yes, it’s a bit hard to miss. And you don’t need to miss out on any of these titles, as reserves are currently free! Have fun!

Memorabilia / Ponchione, Sergio
“This is a fantastical graphic novel fan letter to some of the greatest American comic book creators. This book collects five individual stories illuminating the art and lives of the all-time great comic book artists Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Wallace Wood, Will Eisner, and Richard Corben. Ponchione blends biographical details about each artist with the characters and worlds they created, mixing fact with fiction as a testament to the remarkable imaginations of these masterful comics-makers.” (Catalogue)

The Flutter collection / Wood, Jennie
“Fifteen-year-old Lily shape-shifts into a boy to get the girl, and chaos ensues when she pretends to be someone she’s not. Lily learns that life as a boy is just as difficult, and that she can’t just run away from her problems. With her loved ones in danger, she returns to St. Charles to live as Jesse and protect them. But knowing what she’s capable of, can Lily be content as a popular high school varsity quarterback? Then, Lily gets stuck in a body while shape-shifting, but not just any body, it’s her mother’s! Forced to see the world through the eyes of her estranged mother, Lily must accept that she’ll never life a “normal life” in order to fulfill her true destiny.” (Catalogue)

Black Hammer [3]. Part I, Age of doom / Lemire, Jeff
“Picking up immediately where we left off–Lucy Weber has become the new Black Hammer and right as she’s about to reveal to our heroes how they got stuck on the farm and can escape she vanishes. Now our new Black Hammer finds herself trapped in a gritty world filled with punk rock detectives, emo gods, anthropomorphic humans, absurdist heroes, and many more weirdos, in mad world in which there is no escape Collects Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1-5. ” (Catalogue)

 Hobo mom / Forsman, Charles and Max de Radiguès. 
“Two cartoonists, Forsman and de Radiguès team up to tell the story of a prodigal mother’s return. A cross Atlantic collaboration, Hobo Mom was drawn simultaneously to tell the story of Tom, who lives a simple life with his pre-teen daughter, Sissy. Her mother, Natasha, who left to hop trains and has become a vagrant, shows up on the doorstep of the family she abandoned years ago. There, Natasha finds an upset husband (who is still deeply in love with her), and a little girl yearning for a mother. Can someone who covets independence settle down?” (Catalogue)

Gigantic / Remender, Rick
“Who is this invader demolishing San Francisco? Why is he being attacked by strange alien beings? And why is he so Gigantic? It was a beautiful spring day in downtown San Francisco before a gigantic armored alien appeared from out of nowhere and began smashing things all to hell. A twist on The Truman Show, Gigantic focuses on a brainwashed alien superhero deposited on Earth to be the spotlight of an intrusive, around-the-clock television program being filmed without his knowledge.” (Catalogue)

Off season / Sturm, James
“How could this happen? The question of 2016 becomes deeply personal in James Sturm’s riveting graphic novel Off Season, which charts one couple’s divisive separation during Bernie Sanders’s loss to Hillary Clinton, Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump, and the disorienting months that followed. We see a father navigating life as a single parent and coping with the disintegration of a life-defining relationship.” (Catalogue)

I moved to Los Angeles to work in animation / Nourigat, Natalie
When artist Tally Nourigat left her life in Portland to move to Los Angeles and pursue a job in animation, she realized that despite her research, nothing truly prepared her for the wild world that awaited in the studios of Southern California. From grinding on storyboard test after storyboard test to getting a job at a major studio to searching for an apartment in ‘the Valley’ this autobiographical how-to graphic novel explores the highest highs and lowest lows of pursuing a dream in animation. Brushed with a dose of humor and illustrated advice about salaries, studio culture, and everything in between, I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation is the unique insider experience you won’t find anywhere else.” (Catalogue)

Flem / Rosen, Rebecca
“Fictional biography of a disturbed performance artist Julia Marten’s a mess: she’s running out of inheritance money, failing out of art school, and haunted by the ghost of her depressed mother. And then there’s the compulsive nose-picking thing… When Julia meets a group of radical feminist performance artists in a Brussels squat, she is convinced by their political perspective and enchanted by their counter-cultural lifestyle. But has she found her tribe… or lost her mind?” (Catalogue)

 

 

Higher, further, faster, Overdrive! Captain Marvel comics are now in our eLibrary!

You’ve seen the movie, now read the books!
In 2012, Carol Danvers became the latest character to bear the mantle of Captain Marvel, reinvented by prolific comic writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and reimagined with a brand-new space-age costume courtesy of The Wicked + The Divine artist Jamie McKelvie. Carol soared into comic stores with all-new alien-blasting adventures illustrated by the likes of Dexter Soy (Batman Beyond), Emma Rios (Pretty Deadly), and David Lopez (All-New Wolverine), and those stories went on to inspire the blockbuster film.

And now, you can read them all on our eLibrary Overdrive, available to download to your device of choice!

Overdrive cover Captain Marvel (2012), Volume 1, Kelly Sue DeConnick (ebook)
Collects Captain Marvel (2012) #1-6. The “Mightiest” of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is back! Ace pilot. Legendary Avenger. Carol Danvers has a new name, a new mission – and all the power she needs to make her own life a living hell. As the new Captain Marvel, Carol is forging from a challenge from her past! It’s a firefight in the sky as the Banshee Squadron debut. Witness Captain Marvel in blazing battlefield action that just may change the course of history! Avengers Time Travel Protocols: engage! (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Captain Marvel (2012), Volume 2, Kelly Sue DeConnick (ebook)
Collects Captain Marvel #7-12. Marvel NOW! Captain Marvel goes head to head with…Captain Marvel? Former Captain Monica Rambeau returns, but what’s her problem with Earth’s new Mightiest Hero? What threat is lurking below the ocean’s surface? And can both Captain Marvels stop it before they get ship wrecked? (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Captain Marvel (2014), Volume 1, Kelly Sue DeConnick (ebook)
Collects Captain Marvel (2014) #1-6. One of Marvel’s most beloved Avengers launches into her own ongoing series! Carol Danvers has played many roles in her life; hero, pilot, Avenger, and now, deep-space adventurer! Join Captain Marvel as she attempts to return an alien girl to her home world, and defend the rights of aliens revolting against the Galactic Alliance. Guest-starring Guardians of the Galaxy! (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Captain Marvel (2014), Volume 2, Kelly Sue DeConnick (ebook)
Collects Captain Marvel (2014) #7-11. Captain Marvel’s space adventure with her pet cat, Chewie, continues! But when they have an unexpected alien visitor, Carol learns that Rocket Raccoon was right: There’s more to Chewie than meets the eye! Chewie is a Flerkin…and a mom to hundreds! Is this the end for Carol and her pet? (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Captain Marvel (2014), Volume 3, Kelly Sue DeConnick (ebook)
Collects Captain Marvel (2014) #12-15. Captain Marvel’s time as an astronomical Avenger has pitted her against some of the worst the galaxy has to offer. But now, the Haffensye Consortium has finally caught up to Carol and Tic! Carol was barely able to survive the last time she squared off against the Haffensye — will she be so lucky again? (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Captain Marvel (2016), Volume 1, Michele Fazekis (ebook)
Collects Captain Marvel (2016) #1-5. Oh Captain, my Captain! Carol Danvers soars higher than ever with her greatest mission yet — leading Earth’s first line of defense, the all-new Alpha Flight space program! And some alums of the old-school Flight are along for the ride: Puck, Aurora and Sasquatch! You think your job is tough? Try Captain Marvel’s! (adapted from Overdrive description)

 

ComicFest 2019 – 5 minutes with Ross Murray

ComicFest is back for 2019! On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 2 to 4 of May at the National 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 May the 4th and celebrate Free Comic Book Day, courtesy of GRAPHIC! For full programme click here and follow our updates on our Facebook event.

First up on the blog we have an interview with Ross Murray, an illustrator and comics maker from the Bay of Plenty. His comics ‘Strange Tales From Summer Bay’ and ’Star Wars 90210’ have appeared in VICE and his first graphic novel, ‘Rufus Marigold’, was published in 2019. See more of his work at www.rossmurray.com
Ross Murray appears at ComicFest with the support of the New Zealand Cartoon Archive

 

Q: What first got you interested in comics?
A: Growing up in rural New Zealand in the 1980s, the number of comics that were widely available was very small. Of those, Asterix made the biggest impression. There was something simple and utopian about that small Gaulish village that I still dream of today. I was also an avid reader of the Woman’s Weekly and for awhile they excerpted Star Wars comics within. They had a pink border and I still remember the crushing disappointment I felt when they stopped printing them.

Q: What is your average day like?
A: I arrive at my studio at about 9am after dropping my kids at school. Usually I’ll start with any emailing I need to do, then waste some time on the internet before I start work. To ensure the aforementioned children don’t starve, this will usually involve some form of commercial project – stuff for advertising, publishing, packaging, whatever. In between these jobs or during them when I’m waiting to hear back from clients is when I make comics and personal work. I usually work until 4:30-5pmish but I often end up doing a little more after everyone else has gone to bed, squinting at my laptop until late in the evening and making valuable ground on my path to complete blindness.

Q: Can you tell us about a current or recent project you’ve worked on?
A: This year saw the launch of the collected and extended edition of ‘Rufus Marigold’, published by Earth’s End. ‘Rufus’ was originally a webcomic I made in 2016 but I received a grant from Creative New Zealand last year to expand it into a book. The launch in February doubled as an opening for an exhibition of book-related artwork so I spent time over summer working on material for that which included drawings, paintings and screenprints. It was a lot of work but a really fun experience. I even came close to breaking even which feels like an epic victory.

Q: Do you have any traditions or rituals that help you when you get to work?
A: I usually start with choosing something to listen to while I work. Depending on the task at hand, it’ll either be some kind of music or a podcast. I’m helplessly addicted to American political podcasts. The age of Trump is so distressing and I find some comfort in listening to reports on the resistance and to the sound of the gears of justice grinding ever closer to everyone responsible for that big orange stain. But often it just makes me feel even more depressed. I make myself a plunger of coffee at 10:30am on the dot. I’ll take some kind of break at about 1pm and either walk up Mauao (Mount Maunganui) or go for a swim. Sometimes both. But never at once.

Q: Who/what is your biggest influence or inspiration?
A: Other artists telling deeply personal stories. Those who use their art to share something vital about themselves. David Foster Wallace, David Bowie, David Lynch. Basically, people named David.

Q: What or who are your favourite NZ comics or creators?
A: There are way too many to name but here are a few: Karl Wills, Dylan Horrocks, Sarah Laing, Ant Sang, Mat Tait, Alex Cara, Zoë Colling, Theo McDonald, the late great Barry Linton, Anthony Ellison, Toby Morris, Rachel Smythe, Jem Yoshioka, Ned Wenlock, Ralphi, the awesome Team 3000 Press. Aotearoa has so many wonderful creators.

Q: What is your dream comic project?
A: Perhaps a one-man anthology? Something with extremely wide parameters and space for experimentation across different genres and different types of storytelling. Artistically I like to work across a range of styles too so something like this seems like it would be fun.

Q: What are you excited to share with ComicFest attendees? Just a taster!
A: I guess I’m excited about sharing ‘Rufus Marigold’. In the book, Rufus feels conflicting impulses about sharing his own art and I do too! But every creator knows the thrill of showing something you’ve made to others so I’m hoping that thrill will prevail over wanting to hide in a corner!

Q: If you were to enter our cosplay contest, who/what would you dress up as?
A: Rusty Brown.

You can find Ross online in the following places:
Instagram: @rossmurrayillustration
Blog/Website: www.rossmurray.com

Talent filled graphic novels

The graphic novels collection has some great new and classic reprints appearing on the shelves. The complete collection of the cyberpunk manga classic Battle Angel Alita contrasts the gritty Japanese world of Tado Tsuge in Slum WolfYoung warriors also feature in Wood and Chater’s Sword daughter, where brutality brings a father and daughter to gritty resolve.  

More translated work features the talented French graphic novelist Edmond Baudoin’s childhood, in his visually eclectic memoir named for his brother, Piero. Also translated from French is Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval. This beautifully illustrated tale is a dark fantasy of female warriors magically residing in the teeth of a beautiful ghost who bewitches a young bored holiday maker, it gets weirder, with dream battles with skeletal wolves and an ancient octopus king. But beautiful! So beautiful!

A twist on Fables, the emotional journey in Wolf, and all the back story you could wish for in the first installation of Dirk Gently’s the Salmon of doubt round off this selection of our new adult comics.

Slum wolf / Tsuge, Tadao
“A gritty collection of graphic short stories by a Japanese manga master depicting life on the streets among punks, gangsters, and vagrants. Though virtually unknown in the United States, Tadao Tsuge is one of the original masters of alternative manga, and one of the world’s great artists of the down-and-out. Never before available in English, this new selection of his stories from the late sixties and the seventies depicts the lives of punks, vagrants, gangsters, and other lost souls with gritty lyricism. It is a raucous, exhilarating vision of street brawls and dive bars, shantytowns and brothels, and an unsettling portrait of postwar Japan” (Catalogue)

Sword Daughter. Volume 1, She brightly burns / Wood, Brian
“A father and daughter seek revenge against the ruthless Vikings that destroyed their lives, discovering that their fierce purpose can mend the bonds of family. One thousand years ago, a murderous clan known as the Forty Swords burned a village to the ground, leaving just two people alive: a shattered father and his teenage daughter. Setting off on a revenge quest that will span the width of Viking Age Europe, they find the key to repairing their damaged relationship lies in the swords they carry. Sword Daughter is a visually stunning, emotionally poignant story of parental guilt and acceptance of loss.” (Catalogue)

Piero / Baudoin, Edmond
“This English translation of Edmond Baudoin’s most intimate and inviting book, his graphic memoir of growing up with his beloved brother, Piero.  They confront Martians, battle octopuses, stage epic battles between medieval castles, and fly high over the earth. Inevitably, they begin to grow apart, and their shared artistic life is replaced by schoolwork, romance, dances, motorcycles, and the struggle to decide what sort of people they want to be.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Battle Angel Alita. Deluxe edition, volume 1 / Kishiro, Yukito
In a dump in the lawless settlement of Scrapyard, far beneath the mysterious space city of Zalem, disgraced cyber-doctor Daisuke Ido makes a strange find: the detached head of a cyborg woman who has lost all her memories. He names her Alita and equips her with a powerful new body, the Berserker. While Alita remembers no details of her former life, a moment of desperation reawakens in her nerves the legendary school of martial arts known as Panzer Kunst. (Adapted from Amazon.com)

Fables [13] : the great Fables crossover / Willingham, Bill
The Great Fables Crossover features appearances from Fables favorites such as Snow White, Bigby Wolf, Rose Red, Jack Frost, Beauty and The Beast. All nine issues of the long awaited crossover between Vertigo’s two popular series Fables and Jack of Fables are collected here.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Watersnakes / Sandoval, Tony
Three-time Eisner Award-nominated writer/artist Tony Sandoval presents a wondrous world of secret places and dreamlike magic hidden in the everyday corners of our sleeping imagination. Mila is a solitary teenager ready to put another boring summer vacation behind her until she meets Agnes, an adventurous girl who turns out to be a ghost. And not just a regular ghost, but one carrying the essence of an ancient fallen king and a mouth full of teeth that used to be his guardian warriors.” (Catalogue)

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency : the salmon of doubt. Volume 1 / David, Arvind Ethan
“Dirk Gently, created by Douglas Adams and currently the star of his own television series from BBC America returns to comics in The Salmon of Doubt, brought to you by executive producers of the show Arvind Ethan David and Max Landis with artist Ilias Kyriazis. Plagued by nightmares about a childhood he never had, Dirk returns to Cambridge University to seek the advice of his former tutor, the time-traveling Professor Reg Chronotis. There he discovers that an holistic detective can have more than one past, and his adventures have only just begun!” (Catalogue)

Wolf / Ball, Rachael
“Hugo, the youngest child of three, is walking with his father in the woods. There, he comes face-to-face with a wolf–and from that moment on, his life will never be the same again. Soon after, a tragic accident leaves Hugo desolate and disoriented. The family, now grieving and incomplete, moves to a new home. Among Hugo’s new neighbors is the Wolf Man, a dangerous recluse, according to the boy next door. Spellbound by the movie The Time Machine and desperate to return to the days before the accident, Hugo draws up plans to build a contraption that will turn back time. But only the Wolf Man has the parts Hugo needs to complete his machine, and that will mean entering his sinister neighbor’s house. Beautifully illustrated in pencil, Wolf is a captivating and poignant graphic novel about confronting childhood grief and overcoming the loss of a loved one.” (Catalogue)