Here are the graphic novels and related books I read in October:
Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Universe (NF 2013) Tim Leong
A super-nerdy, super-fun look at comics, comic book characters, statistics and more. Many of the charts and graphs seem to be taken from actual research while others are just plain fun. If you love comics, you’ll want to get Super Graphic.
American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1960s: 1960-64 (NF 2012) John Wells
This enormously ambitious series of American comic book history in from Two Morrows is an amazing undertaking. If the rest of the series is anything like this 1960-64 edition, we can expect some very good research, densely packed into a very nice hardcover edition with a wealth of full-color art. My only quibble is that several times the text focuses on an image or cover that’s not represented in the book. (I also wish each image would credit the artist(s) and include the original issue number.) The series also covers the 50s, 1965-69 (forthcoming), the 70s (forthcoming), and the 80s.
City of Spies (J-Fic 2010) Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan, Rascal Dizin
I have a nostalgic attraction to any story set during WWII that has anything to do with spies (or even potential spies), so I picked up this graphic novel while at Powell’s in Portland, OR last month. Evelyn is a young girl who’s forced to live with her aunt in New York in the early 40s while her father is on his honeymoon with his newest wife. Evelyn passes the time drawing comics until she learns that there may just be Nazi spies afoot. Fun, if somewhat sentimental adventure.
Super Spy (2007) Matt Kindt
Spies again, huh? Well, what can I say? I saw this awhile back and thought it might be a good diversion while waiting for Kindt’s next collected edition of Mind MGMT, another espionage tale. Published before Mind MGMT, Super Spy is a neat collection of interconnected short stories all focusing on espionage and the human element involved in deception. Kindt is always an interesting creator who gives you much to think about.
The Reason for Dragons (J-Fic 2013) Chris Northrup, Jeff Stokley
New School (2013) Dash Shaw * * * *
Intrigued. Often fascinated. Confused. Eager for more.
Those are the four words and phrases that best describe my reaction to Dash Shaw’s New School, my first exposure to Shaw. Thanks to the guys at The Comics Alternative, I decided to check out this coming-of-age story set in a strange, distant land. Shaw is showing us something about sibling rivalry, but also how to navigate a world we don’t really understand. I am amazed at Shaw’s storytelling, but am not quite sure how to interpret his uses of color. This is a definite read-again book.
The First Kingdom Vol. 1: The Birth of Tundran (1974-77/2013) Jack Katz
The Spectral Engine (2013) Ray Fawkes
You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack: Cartoons (2013) Tom Gauld
Last year, I read Gauld’s Goliath, a take on the David and Goliath story from the giant’s point of view. That graphic novel had some dry humor, but also a lot of quiet contemplative moments of real depth. You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, a collection of cartoons rather than a graphic novel, has even more humor, some dry, some LOL-worthy. This is one of those books you can pick up and put down at any time and, more importantly, share with friends and co-workers. They’ll love you for it.
Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family (2013) Greg Rucka, Micael Lark
So..... Let me know what you read last month that was good or not-so-good.