FPI’s Most Wanted – Coming This Month – August 2016
And here we are, just a quick selection of comics to break open the wallet for in August 2016. Enjoy.
Lost In The Lot by Guillaume Guerse and Marc Pichelin (Les Requins Marteaux) – Les Requins Marteaux founders Guerse and Pichelin were invited by arts organisation Derrière le Hublot to create a book about the river Lot, which runs through the city of Capdenac-Gare and is the natural border between the départements Aveyron and Lot in the South of France. For five years the two would explore the region, meet with the people and write a book-with songs that, in true Requins fashion, is both irreverent and profound.
Talc de Verre by Marcello Quintanilha (Ca et La) – The newest novel by Brasilian cartoonist Quintanilha tells the story of Rosangela who to all intents and purposes, lives the perfect life. She’s a famed dentist with her own practice; her two children attend private schools and she lives with her loving husband in one of the posher areas of Rio de Janiero. But her niece, with her no-good husband and her derelict life, makes her reconsider her blessings end sends her into a maelstrom of selfdestruction. Even if you don’t read French, Quintanilha’s graphics are a sight to behold.
Les Ombres de Monsieur Andersen (Mister Andersen’s Shadows) by Nathalie Ferlut (Casterman) – This new biography of Danish fabled storyteller and fairy tale writer Hans Christan Andersen tries to make the bridge between Andersen’s rather troubled life and his stories by mixing and contrasting elements from the two. Even though she is used to a very lively, almost baroque, colourl style, Ferlut sought inspiration for this book in the typical Danish art of silhouette cutting, as also practiced by Andersen himself. On her blog you’ll already get a pretty amazing advance.
La Grande Aventure Du Journal Tintin (Le Lombard) – 70 years ago Tintin magazine was founded, the magazine that would grow into one of the hotbeds of the classic Franco-Belgian comic, with creators like Jacques Martin, Tibet, Grzegorz Rosinski, Jean Graton and, of course, Hergé. In a play to the magazine’s baseline (for the super-youth of 7 to 77) this book contains 777 pages of short stories and artwork by many of the great artists that contributed to the magazine until its demise in 1988. The word indespensible was coined for books like this one.
Black Dog by Dave McKean (Dark Horse) – Of all the modernist painters that chronicled the First World War, Paul Nash in my opinion is one of the most gripping, as he syntesizes a representation of the reality around him with a deeply alienating, almost surrealist style that provides a supertext to the image beyond a mere message. Nobody is more fit to evoque Nash’s life and work than Dave McKean, himself a master of strangely beautiful and beautifully strange, layered imagery.
Cosplayers by Dash Shaw (Fantagraphics) – Dash Shaw’s work for me is a submersion into the totally other, and is always a quest for the foundations of my own prejudices and limited views. As cosplay for me is the most alien aspect of fandom that at the same time seems to continuously define it, I’m quite looking forward to this newest book of his, with stories set deeply in the cosplay culture of self-reliance both in spirit and practice.
March Book Three, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell, Top Shelf
The third and final installment of congressman John Lewis’ graphic memoirs of the early decades of fighting in the Civil Rights movement. Books one and two have made my best of the year lists and impressed me with their honesty and power, covering recent, living history in an accessible manner by one who was there. The series also makes clear that history is never over, never just the past; just in the last few days this now elderly activist and politician parked himself on the House floor as part of a sit-in by Democratic politicians protesting congress and the senate’s failure to consider new gun control laws following the Florida massacre. Lewis is still fighting the good fight.
We Told You So : Comics As Art Hardcover, Tom Spurgeon, Fantagraphics
Tom Spurgeon’s Comics Reporter is daily reading for me, and here he is exploring the history of one of my favourite comics publishers, the redoubtable Fantagraphics, not just as a fine Indy publisher but for the way they have actually helped to shape this modern era where comics are now getting the sort of appreciation as an art form that they have always enjoyed in France and Belgium, for instance. This will be required reading for any of us who are interested not just in excellent comics, but in the way the medium has evolved over the last few decades.
Bera, the One-Headed Troll, Eric Orchard, First Second
I adored Eric’s Maddy Kettle book from Top Shelf a couple of years ago, a wonderful fantasy adventure for children and adults, and I’ve been following glimpses of his upcoming Bera on his Twitter. Eric and First Second were kind enough to let us run a few pages as a preview recently, and this looks delightful, go and have a wee peek here.
Equinoxes Hardcover, Cyril Pedrosa, NBM
Pedrosa has come up several times as one of the new talents to watch our for on the European comics scene, and this large (over 330 pages) work from NBM, following the lives of different people criss-crossing in and out of other’s lives as they seek to try and find some balance, spread over four talbleaux, this sounds pretty intriguing.
Ro-Busters : The Complete Nuts & Bolts Volume 2 Hardcover, Pat Mills, Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Kevin O’Neill, Rebellion
A second big hardback collection of the earlier Ro-Busters stories, one of the classics from the early years of 2000 AD, getting the hardback treatment it deserves and boasting art from Kev O’Neill and the mighty Dave Gibbons, some classic Brit comics sci-fi.
Hellboy and the BPRD 953, Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Ben Stenbeck, Michael Walsh, Dark Horse
While the Hellboy in Hell series (recently concluded with a final issue) wrapped up Big Red’s after life Mignola has also been going back to HB’s earlier days and his first forays into the field as a BPRD Agent, and they have been terrific fun, as well as filling in some previously unseen parts of his history. This next volume includes a rare field outing in partnership with his adoptive human father, the BPRD’s head Professor Bruttenholm.
King’s Road, Peter Hogan, Phil Winslade, Dark Horse
I always enjoy Peter’s work, and this was a nice twist on the fantasy genre, with a normal, suburban family attacked by strange creatures and the family’s kids learning their parents are part of a lineage from another realm, royalty in fact, and that events back in the kingdom their father left have spilled over into their attempt at normalcy in our world. You can check out an interview with Peter about the series here on the blog.
Silver Surfer Volume 4: Citizen of Earth, Dan Slott, Mike Allred, Marvel
Oh this has just been such an utter joy of a series so far, mixing galactic adventure with the more personal level: friendship, family, love. He’s shown Earth girl Dawn the wonders of the universe, but she’s showing the Surfer something just as wonderful, about the vital importance of belonging somewhere, among people who matter to you. All wrapped up in that simply glorious Allred artwork…
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, Scholastic
Here’s a quick comic shop test for you. Go in and ask what recommendations they have for a 10-year old girl. If they don’t t least mention Raina Telgemeier’s work, especially Smile and its follow up Sisters, then maybe you should consider going elsewhere. Telgemeier’s work is a sensation, alongside Jeff Smith’s Bone, she’s made Scholastic’s graphix imprint a phenomenal success, and her appeal to pre-teens is something I’ve seen first hand. We have eight copies of Smile in our school library that serves 200 pupils. There’s usually only one or two copies in at any one time. The children adore it, will read it again and again and again. It’s an essential for any young comics fan.
And here’s her fourth original graphic novel, her second non-autobiographical. This is the tale of Catrina, whose family are moving to the coast of Northern California to help with Catrina’s sister Maya’s cystic fibrosis. They move to the town of Bahia de la Luna, where neighbours tell them that there are ghosts all around, and although Maya really wants to meet one, Caitlin wants none of it.
It’s going to be a wonderful book, another Telgemeier bestseller.
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua (Penguin)
Padua’s webcomic featuring two of computing’s greatest pioneers, Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, has long been a source of tremendous fun and invention, putting forward an alternative history where the pair build a Difference Engine and use it to fight crime. Fabulously whimsical, wonderfully funny, a guaranteed smiler.
Fresh Romance Volume 1 by Marguerite Bennett, Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sarah Kuhn, Trungles and more. (Oni Press)
Originally available as a digital comic funded through Kickstarter, Fresh Romance brings together a group of incredibly talented comic makers to make modern romance comics, something really lacking in comics today.
Squish Volume 8: Pod Vs Pod by Jennifer and Matthew Holm (Random House)
From the creators of Babymouse, Squish is a fabulous comic for youngsters (and us oldies) featuring the exploits of an comic book loving amoeba that’s both fabulously silly and scientifically sound.
Dream Gang by Brendan McCarthy (Dark Horse)
McCarthy’s psychedelic stylings in a new graphic novel? Yes please! Plague-bombs, dreamfields, a Dream Voyager, psychic travellers…. yep, sounds about as wonderfully insane as you might expect.
Alack Sinner: The Age Of Innocence by Carlos Sampayo and Jose Munoz (IDW)
Hard-boiled detective comics of the highest caliber, finally available in a complete, two volume edition. Alack Sinner’s cases play out to a jazz soundtrack, Marlowe meets Miles Davis. Beautiful stuff.
Lost Tales by Adam Murphy (David Fickling Books/Phoenix Comics)
Adam and Lisa Murphy’s Lost Tales have been a fixture of The Phoenix Comic for a while now, telling folk tales from around the world with humour and some great artwork. Whether it’s hermits in the Punjab or lonely princesses in Brazil these tales are full of wonder.
Private Beach by David Hahn (Dover Publishing)
Fans have been waiting 15 years for the conclusion to this smart and funny graphic novel. Now the original seven issues are newly available with a brand-new 30-page ending by the series creator.