It was a good month for graphic novels here at Graphic Novel Universe, so much so that I’m having to split the list up. I’ll cover half of the March titles today and the other half next time.
aama: The Smell of Warm Dust (2011/2014) Frederik Peeters (SelfMadeHero)
Frederick Peeters’s sf graphic novel (translated from the French) is a compelling, strange ride, one I highly recommend. My discussion of this book with Derek Royal should be available in the next day or two at The Comics Alternative Podcast.
A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium (2013) Rick Geary (NBM)
No one does true crime graphic novels quite like Rick Geary. All of his work is worth your time, but this collection of several of his works is a must-read. You can see Geary's artwork and storytelling techniques sharpen and develop throughout the volume, and although some of the tales have problems (The early stories, especially "Jack the Ripper," are often inked too heavily), they're still quite good. If you enjoy true crime stories and haven't yet encountered Geary, you're missing a real treat. In addition to “Jack the Ripper,” this volume includes “The Beast of Chicago” (H.H. Holmes and the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago) and “Fatal Bullet” (the assassination of President James A. Garfield).
Jane, the Fox and Me (J 2012/2013) Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood Books)
As often happens, girls can be pretty cruel to each other at school (although girls do not have a monopoly on school-age cruelty), and Hélène is learning this the hard way. She finds comfort only in the pages of her favorite novel, Jane Eyre. On a school trip, Hélène encounters a wild fox, an animal she feels strangely drawn to...
This is one of those stunning graphic novels about children that’s probably best appreciated by those who have successfully made it through childhood. Although it’s probably in the J or Children’s graphic novel section, this is a wonderful book for teens and adults, too.
Fatale Vol. 4: Pray for Rain (2014) Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips (Image Comics)
All of the Fatale volumes have been good, but Pray for Rain delivers the strongest, most cohesive arc yet. Not only do we find out more about Josephine and her powers, we also get a non-stop, full-throttle story that absolutely blisters. Stunning stuff. If you’re into either horror or noir, start reading this hard-hitting series now.
The Park (2014) Oscar Zárate (SelfMadeHero)
This realistic graphic novel has a lot to say about culture and even more about relationships. Discussed at The Comics Alternative Podcast.
The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble (J 2013) Frank Cammuso (Abrams)
Fun-filled graphic novel for kids previously discussed at Graphic Novel Universe.
Locke & Key Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows (2010) Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
I'm not sure if it took me three volumes to get used to Gabriel Rodriguez's art style or if the story finally solidified, but Crown of Shadows seems the strongest entry in the Locke & Key series so far. Hill has managed to give each volume an individual, distinctive flavor while moving the overall story in a very compelling way. If the rest of the volumes are this good, this could be a horror classic in the making.
The Undertaking of Lily Chen (2014) Danica Novgorodoff (First Second)
Please read my review at The Comics Alternative.
Part II coming up soon! And please let me know what you read and liked (or didn’t) in March.