Best Books of the Month: Comics and Graphic Novels

Alex Carr on February 27, 2018
Share

blackpanther.jpg


As February ends, we spotlight 10--count 'em, 10!--graphic novels that showcase the wide spectrum the medium has to offer, from art books to rare reprints, geeky anthologies to highbrow hipsters, and superheroes to the super-strange.

Shop on Amazon
Print Book

Black Panther by Marvel Studios: Maybe you’ve heard of the new film that broke a bunch of blockbuster box office records, launched a B-list character into the mainstream, and gave rise to voices in Afrofuturism? Blank Panther is a gorgeous interpretation of the character, and this hardcover celebration (with slipcase) of the film and the comics that inspired it is a natural purchase for anyone looking to re-live that cinematic experience. There are behind-the-scenes extras, concept designs, and plenty of Kirby-inspired details.

Shop on Amazon
Print Book

Red Colored Elegy by Seiichi Hayashi (translated by Taro Nettleton): Drawn and Quarterly releases a new edition of an influential, experimental classic that “is informed as much by underground Japanese comics of the time as it is by the French New Wave,” according to the publisher. Two young artists fall in love, but their respective ambitions put them on edge. This is the longest single narrative by Seiichi Hayashi, written in the early 1970s, and while it is light on plot and character details, it is heavy on the artistry and aesthetic.

Shop on Amazon
Print Book

Soulwind by Scott Morse: Speaking of reprints: 20 years after it originally appeared, Soulwind by Scott Morse is back in print thanks to Oni Press. The lovely 520-page hardcover follows a sword and a space captain; Arthurian myths are traversed; and an artist finds his voice as his style evolves. A welcome return of a rare artifact.

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

The Secret Loves of Geeks by Various ( Edited by Hope Nicholson): Margaret Atwood, Patrick Rothfuss, Gerard Way, Hope Larson, Amy Chu, and many more contribute illustrated and prose-based stories in this anthology dedicated to love and dating as a geek, nerd, or whatever label you use to describe fantastic fandom. Expect plenty of Star Wars-centric content, but this collection covers enough niche ground to satisfy a readership as diverse as its subject matter.

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

Shade the Changing Girl, Vol. 2: Little Runaway by Cecil Castellucci, Marley Zarcone, and more: Things get weird before they come to an end in Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone’s mind-bending reimagining of an already rub-your-temples-and-blink-until-it-sorta-makes-sense concept. It’s testament to DC’s Young Animal vision that such a tale even got this far (out), and its conclusion deftly maneuvers its many plots and characters to a satisfying close. Plus, there is a great stand-alone issue illustrated by Marguerite Sauvage and meta-goofy back-up stories at the close of each chapter.

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

Moebius Library: Inside Moebius Part I by Moebius: The first in a proposed six-part collection of legendary French artist Jean Girard (Moebius)’s later work, Part I finds the creator facing issues related to substance use and the subsequent detrimental effect on his work. It’s strange and looser than his Incal work, and fascinating. Art for artists.

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

Compulsive Comics by Eric Haven: Eric Haven has been on my radar since his truly bizarre, nearly impossible to categorize Vague Tales. His latest collects a variety of short stories, including “I Killed Dan Clowes,” which will set any comix hipster on edge with its brazen clickbait-courting title and then melt the brain of anyone who finishes it. Humor, horror, and the existential all blend into one, while Haven mixes his own cocktail of pulp and wry self-awareness.

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

X-Men Gold Vol. 3: Mojo Worldwide by Mark Guggenheim, Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina, and more: It’s a breezy trip through the X-Men’s greatest hits in this new crossover, borne from the bloated ego of Mojo, a ratings-obsessed despot and perennial villain to the X-teams. Writers Mark Guggenheim and Cullen Bunn’s whirlwind script is interpreted by a slew of artists, including Peter Mayhew, Jorge Molina, and R.B. Silva, with covers by Art Adams. The latter piece is key, as the caper features the return of his co-created character and (my) cult favorite X-Man, Longshot!

Shop on Amazon
Print Book | Kindle Book

The New Teen Titans: The Judas Contract by Marv Wolfman and George Perez: Nostalgia! The Judas Contract marks a pivotal moment in Teen Titans history and in DC’s 1980s superhero universe. This is when the sidekicks grew up and were betrayed by one of their own. All of that late teen angst is made more palatable thanks to George Perez’s eye-boggling artwork (Jericho's disco-Hobbit costume aside), and it is presented here in a deluxe hardcover.

Shop on Amazon
Print Book

Lights of the Amalou by Christophe Gibelin and Claire Wendling: At the Angoulême Comics Festival, Lights of the Amalou won the Press Award, and now publisher IDW delivers the first-ever English translation of the epic fantasy. This is a dense, 244-page graphic novel about a magician, an oak tree, and an ancient pact. Highbrow European storytelling with even higher artistic standards.

--Alex


Lists + Reviews

Best Books Literature + Fiction Nonfiction Kids + Young Adult Mystery, Thriller + Suspense Science Fiction + Fantasy Comics + Graphic Novels Romance Eating + Drinking

Authors

Interviews Guest Essays Celebrity Picks

News + Features

News Features Awards

Editors

Omnivoracious, The Amazon Book Review

Feeds Facebook Twitter YouTube