First of the month and as usual that means it is time for our regular FPI’s Most Wanted list, part one – graphic novels and comics coming this month that the blog crew would especially like to get their hands on:
Vote Loki, Christopher Hastings, Langdon Foss, Marvel
This last year has seen politics both here in the UK and over in the US go off the deep end until it almost becomes some bizarre satire of itself. It’s not easy to actually craft a satire that outdoes the actual real-world craziness of politics right now, but Vote Loki manages to just tip the actual world nuttiness over the edge, with the supposedly reformed trickster god deciding to run for president of the USA after accidentally becoming involved in a terrorist incident and saving the day. Or did he? Was it all a scheme of the devious Loki to make him look good and allow him to run? And even if it is all lies, could he be worse than the actual candidates?? (you can read a review of the first issue here)
Hellboy in Hell Volume 2 : the Death Card, Mike Mignola, Dark Horse
Continuing the afterlife of Big Red, the brilliant Mignola follows the now deceased Hellboy through a Hell which has been dramatically changed by his actions. Absolute must-have for all Mignola fans.
Black Dog : The Dreams of Paul Nash, Dave McKean, Dark Horse
We’ve already covered this a couple of times in our news round up, Stuff, but anything by the superb Dave McKean is always welcome, and this book promises to be exceptionally interesting, following the life of WWI surrealist painter Paul Nash and using real soldier’s memoirs to combine into a unique vision of warfare.
Moebius Library : the World of Edena Hardcover, Moebius, Dark Horse
Another one we’ve flagged up previously in our Stuff news round up posts, and how can any of us resist this – Dark Horse doing library editions in English of one of the greatest European comic creators of all time, Moebius? Some of it in English for the very first time. Wonderful to see this alchemist of the comics page being given this treatment in English.
The Fade Out Deluxe Edition Hardcover, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Image
Brubaker and Phillips are always a team you are going to want to check out, and with The Fade Out they offer up an irresistible Noir-tinged story of murder, intrigue, conspiracy, abuse, emotional trauma and guilt around the tail-end of the Studio System of Hollywood, back when the studios pretty much owned their stars, writers and directors, moulded their public persona while fixers took care of any dirty laundry, the sleaze and corruption behind the magical glamour mask of golden-era Tinsel Town. (you can read a review of the first paperback volume here)
Rolling Blackouts : Dispatches From Turkey, Syria, and Iraq HC, Sarah Glidden, Drawn & Quarterly
Glidden impressed with her How To Understand Israel in Sixty Days, so I am intrigued to see what she has done with this new piece of comics reportage, exploring the Middle East and the effects the Iraq War has had on the entire region, I suspect this is going to be essential reading to go alongside Sacco’s work or the fascinating Best of Enemies volumes for giving insight into one of the most troubled parts of a troubled world.
The Can Opener’s Daughter, Rob Davis, SelfMadeHero
Rob’s The Motherless Oven was one of our favourite reads of the year on the blog when it came out, and I had the extra pleasure of chatting to him about it at the Edinburgh Book Festival, where he also teased us with the next volume. And here it is, focusing more on Vera this time, promising that similar, intoxicating mixture of the everyday with the delightfully – sometimes terrifyingly – bizarre. Strong feeling this will end up on my best of the year list somehow…
Becoming Andy Warhol, Nick Bertozzi, Pierce Hargan, SelfMadeHero
Love him or loath him, Warhol remains one of the face of 20th century art, and he arguably changed the face of pop art and pop culture forever. Bertozzi and Hargan explore a pivotal moment in his life in the 1960s, when he came up against the reactionary old guard, like infamous city planner Robert Moses, an incident which would help shape what Warhol would become to the art world.
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary Volume 1, M.R James, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Various, SelfMadeHero
As summer’s hold hath too short a lease and we move, inexorably into autumn and longer shadows and earlier twilights and nightfalls, summer evenings in the garden are replaced by a good book by the fireside of an autumn evening. And for the longer nights what is better than a good ghost story? M.R. James is one of the kings of the short, spooky tale, and here Leah Moore, John Reppion and a group of artists have adapted several for your spine-tingling delight…
Mega City Undercover Volume 3, Rob William, Andy Diggle, D’Israeli, Ben Wilsher, Rebellion
Another helping of the seamy, morally murky, hidden side of Mega City One’s Justice Department – while we normally see the Judges on the streets, dispensing instant justice, there is also the Wally Squad of undercover Judges, their nickname coming from the fact when you ask a Judge to blend in and act like a regular citizen you end up with crazies. And the line between their fictional cover life and the reality of being a covert Judge is a very shady, blurred one…
Dreaming Eagles Volume 1 Hardcover, Garth Ennis, Simon Coleby, Aftershock
In latter years Ennis has become known for his war comics, and he is especially deft at showing the effects of combat on the ordinary soldier, a regular person suddenly forced into extraordinary circumstances. Here he takes an angry young son in the 60s, eager to hear the words of Doctor King but also keen to fight, physically, for the equality denied to black people in the US. Against this background his father, seemingly the most placid of men, slowly starts to tell his son of his youth and his fight, against the Nazis but also against racism among his own countrymen as he became one of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. (you can read a review of the first issue here)
To End All Wars, edited by Jonathan Clode and Brick, Soaring Penguin
Okay, I feel a little awkward putting this one in as it is the paperback edition of a WWI anthology I had a story in myself (the closing story, Memorial to the Mothers, with art by Kate Charlesworth). So excuse the plug, but on the other hand I plug so many other people’s work, and in all fairness I only have a few pages here, but the rest of this large volume is full of some astonishing tales by a great variety of writers and artists from around the world, who gave their efforts to mark the centenary years of the Great War and tell stories from all sides with no jingoism or nationalist rhetoric, all inspired by actual people or events, and frankly I am damned proud of what my fellow writers and artists achieved here. The hardback edition sold out its print run so I am delighted to see it getting a paperback run.
The Can Opener’s Daughter, Rob Davis, SelfMadeHero
Well, seeing as Davis’ The Motherless Oven was by far my book of 2014 (wow, it’s been that long?), the odds of this, the follow up, being quite something really are incredibly high. It’s more of the same, but when the same is a wonderful surrealist mix of the fantastical and the mundane, all wrapped up in Davis’ beautiful artwork, I’m just fine with that. Essential.
Demon Volume 1, Jason Shiga, First Second
Shiga’s webcomic gets a printed volume. You know how this works, right, I notice Shiga’s doing a webcomic years back, make a note to follow it. Fail completely. So here’s the catch up chance. Join Jimmy, hopping his consciousness from body to body in an attempt to protect his family. Clever and fun, just as you’d expect from Shiga.
Black Widow: SHIELD’s Most Wanted, Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, Marvel Comics
File this under another one of those Marvel titles I meant to look at when it came out in single format, but we all know how that works, don’t we? Anyway, it’s Waid and Samnee, whose Daredevil run was excellent, so well worth a look.
Last Gang In Town, Simon Oliver, Rufus Dayglo, DC/Vertigo
Punk art heist cracker from Oliver and Dayglo. Read and loved issue 1, managed (oh, surprise) to miss the rest of the 6-issue series. Looking forward to this one in collection.
Thought Bubble 10th Anniversary Anthology, Various, Image Comics
Heck, 10 bloody years of Thought Bubble? Time does fly. The best comics festival in the UK has been putting out an annual anthology for a fair number of years now and this collection features a host of great names. And of course, all profits go to Barnardos.
Mega City Undercover Volume 3, Rob Williams, Andy Diggle, D’Israeli, Ben Wilsher, Rebellion
Join the Wally Squad for more chaos, mayhem, and brilliance from the underbelly of MC1. Dirty Frank by Williams and D’Israeli a cracker.