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2010 Graphic Novel Favorites

Every month Adam Waterreus reviews graphic novels for our newsletter.

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Click the book titles below for more information about each book.
$14.99
ISBN-13: 9781401225650
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Vertigo, 1/2010

$12.99
ISBN-13: 9781401228736
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Vertigo, 8/2010
In the first two of what I hope will be a long and fruitful series, The Unwritten is a comic about stories, all stories, and their importance in our everyday life. It begins with Tom Taylor, the real life inspiration for the world famous fantasy character Tommy Taylor, star of fourteen books, whose identity is suddenly challenged. But it seems that there are forces at play beyond Tom’s understanding, forces that want him dead. The Unwritten is all about the eff ect that stories have, not just in our personal lives, but in important historical events. The second volume features the Song of Roland and ghostly encounter with Josef Goebbels. These are delightful and surprising books and I can’t wait for the following volumes.

The Wild Kingdom (Hardcover)

$19.95
ISBN-13: 9781770460003
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Drawn and Quarterly, 3/2010
Revolving around the mysteries of nature, Kevin Huizenga’s new book, The Wild Kingdom,is quirky and irreverently humorous.In it, Glenn Ganges, explores the vast realm that is our world, from rashes, to small bugs,to large bugs, to pigeons (regular and fancy)and predator birds, to bees and squirrels and even the vast and unknowable cosmos. He even delves into the strange world of TV advertisements and endorsements (which makes up one of the strangest yet funniest part of The Wild Kingdom).

The Sanctuary (Paperback)

$22.99
ISBN-13: 9781606993880
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Fantagraphics Books, 10/2010
The Sanctuary by Nate Neal is one of the most adventurous, exciting, complex and beautiful graphic novels. A clan of pre-historic cave people begins to turn against itself when leadership of the clan comes up for grabs. Meanwhile an artist tells the story of his people on the deepest walls of the caves, and faces the consequences of the impact the story makes on those who see it. Nate Neal creates a language for the clan, and tells the entire story without any recognizable words, making The Sanctuary a quiet and dark collection of gestures and expressions

Hallorave (Hardcover)

$18.99
ISBN-13: 9781606993200
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Fantagraphics Books, 3/2010
Pirus and Mezzo’s King of the Flies is a dark romp through a strange drug filled, sex crazed world of small town Europe. The book is split into several diff erent sections, each dedicated to a particular character, whose story often is not at first so easily connected. These characters are angry, lonely, and totally confused (a strange malaise seems to fill each of their lives) to the point that violence, any and all forms of debauchery, and abuse, seems normal. Pirus and Mezzo aren’t afraid to tell a story full of our darkest desires and needs, but they’re also startlingly poetic (for a taste, check out the story, “Stoned,” on page 48, for a wonderful love story to the Rolling Stones). Mezzo’s art is similar in stroke to Charles Burn, but has an increasingly hypnotic cast to it. For the mature reader only!

$29.95
ISBN-13: 9780980233506
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Radical Publishing, 6/2008
The famous opera retold by renowned artist Yoshitaka Amano (conceptual artist for the Final Fantasy series of games, artist for Neil Gaiman’s The Dream Hunters, and Greg Rucka’s Elektra and Wolverine: The Redeemer) Mateki, is a stunning read. Spare narration accompanies a combination of pencil, pen, and ink drawings, telling of Shaana, the flute playing warrior, and Kouran, the maiden of light, his love, and the evil Yasha, the lord of darkness. It is a well known fantasy but what sets Amano’s adaptation apart is the gorgeous artwork. At times half finished, with webs of lines and partly colored figures, Amano’s pages burst with a sense of fragility and wonder, much like the nature of the fantasy itself. Really, each page is a feat of illustrative skill and daring and does not always directly relate to the action of the narration—preferring instead, it seems, to allow the reader to relish in the art, interpreting for themselves the purpose of each page

$19.99
ISBN-13: 9781606993408
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Fantagraphics Books, 6/2010
Weathercraft, by Jim Woodring, is a beautiful dream and a beautiful nightmare. The Manhog travels his terrifying world looking for enemies and he gets bit by terrible creatures and manhandled by witches with backwards knees. Then he decides to make nice and the creatures love him. But it’s a dangerous place, full of things one can’t imagine. Weathercraft is page after page of utterly original, outrageous, wordless thrills. Somehow, in a place where confusion and chaos seem to reign, Woodring creates sense. The challenge and beauty of Weathercraft is taking hold of that sense, and letting it go when the dream becomes too beautiful to pass up.

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781401226923
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: DC Comics, 6/2010
Need a reason to care about Batwoman? I’ll give you two: Greg Rucka and J. H. Williams III. Gotham’s newest protector, Batwoman, has her hands full with a new leader of the Religion of Crime. Greg Rucka’s writing is as superb as ever, mixing suspense with pitch perfect dialogue. However, the true gem of this collection is J.H. William’s III artwork. He employs a beautiful and exuberant range of layouts: from the sharp, red and black motif of the Batwoman scenes, to the simpler layouts when Batwoman is out of costume, to the complete change of style (in line work, page layout, everything) you’ll see in the flashbacks. If only more superhero comics were like this!

Wednesday Comics HC (Hardcover)

$49.99
ISBN-13: 9781401227470
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: DC Comics, 5/2010
Originally published as newspaper weeklies, DC’s Wednesday Comics, harkens back to the old days, when comics appeared in the Sunday paper as whole page, colorful weeklies. This collection features all of the strips published for 12 weeks, pulsing with adventure and (dare I say it?) total fun! You’ll find the usual superheroes here: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, but also a plethora of the lesser known (or maybe under appreciated), Adam Strange, Deadman, Kamandi, Metamorpho, among others. With a plethora of superstar comic writers and artists—Neil Gaiman, Paul Pope, Brian Azzarello, Dave Gibbons and Adam and Joe Kubert, and many more—this is one of the most exciting things to happen to the superhero comics world in a long time. Don’t miss it!

Collateral Damage (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781606994184
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Fantagraphics Books, 10/2010
C. Tyler continues her inquiry into the true story of her father’s WWII experience with
You’ll Never Know Book Two:Collateral Damage. Her father as barely ever mentioned his wartime experience, even though it has cast a long shadow over his and his family’s life, but recent episodes of anger and frustration begin to flush it all out. Tyler’s colorful panels and line work is a welcome relief to the usual comics format; and her creative shifting of perspective and story (jumping from the Chuck Tyler’s “army scrapbook” to the struggles of raising a child as a single mother) offer just the right amount of energy and relevance to make his book (and the previous volume) one of the best of the year.

$35.00
ISBN-13: 9781603090254
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Top Shelf Productions, 12/2009
Sneaking in at the very end of last year, Eddie Campbell’s, Alec: The Years Have Pants, well deserves its place in the best of the year. Eddie Campbell’s omnibus of his collected memoirs might take you about a few months to read, but it’s well worth it; shifting between his persona “Alec,” Campbell brings to life bar scenes, fist fights, failed and successful relationships, fatherhood, dead-end jobs, life and death, art, and even (in a mind bending educational romp) a whole history of British comics, featuring, among others, Alan Moore (The Magician) and Neil Gaiman. Funny and moving, Alec, is the best in autobiographical comics.

Blacksad (Hardcover)

$29.99
ISBN-13: 9781595823939
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Dark Horse Originals, 6/2010
A decade after its original European release, Dark Horse Comics finally brings France’s current best-selling comic to the United States. This hardcover collection of the first three volumes of Blacksad features the gorgeous watercolors of Juanjo Guarnido,
whose credentials include work as a lead animator on Disney’s 1999 film Tarzan.
Blacksad follows the misadventures of John Blacksad, a feline private investigator in
writer Juan Diaz Canales’ anthropomorphized version of the 1950s. Canales’ expert characterizations of both the bewhiskered Blacksad and a colorful menagerie of supporting cast members will captivate readers and leave them caterwauling
for more.

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781606993828
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Fantagraphics Books, 12/2010
Hinging on one supernatural occurrence after another, the misadventures of Adele Blanc- Sec are surely one of the most welcome events this year. The book takes place in Paris, in 1911, and features thieves, kidnapping, Pterodactyls, flying machines, secret societies, and a whole host of characters, all told with flair and humor and Tardi’s distinguishable colored art. Fantagraphic’s continued translation and publication of Tardi to the U.S. market is hopefully a growing trend—this being only the first off many coming volumes. This is a classic which should not be missed.

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781606993774
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Fantagraphics Books, 9/2010
Fantagraphic’s publication of shojo (Japanese comics which largely appeal to girls from middle school age to high school) superstar, Moto Hagio’s story collection, A Drunken Dream, is a welcome and celebrated relief to the mainstream, translated Japanese comics, giving the reader a meaningful and deeply felt experience. A number of the stories feature supernatural elements, premises which could (but not necessarily) be labeled as sci-fi, though Hagio’s exploration of loss (in “Marie, Ten Years Later,” “The Child Who Comes Home,” and the heart wrenching “The Willow Tree”) and identity (in “Hanshin: Half God,” and the improbable but deeply moving, “Iguana Girl”) is equal to the best that any literature offers.

$29.95
ISBN-13: 9781603090421
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Top Shelf Productions, 10/2010
Since the Topshelf’s announcement two years ago of the planned publication of AX: Alternative Manga I’ve been biting my fingernails in anticipation. Thankfully, when it did release this summer my wait was not in vain: this is a superb collection, unlike anything you’ve seen of Japanese comics (and a welcome addition, at that), offering nearly 400 pages of underground comics, whose experimentalism, challenging non-conformity, vibrant and crude voices, and visceral energy will awaken anyone to a whole new world of what comics can be. Featuring some of Japan’s best alternative cartoonists: Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Hanawa Kazuichi, Nemoto Takashi, Kawai Katsuo and many others, all with styles ranging from the slapstick, heta-uma (or “bad good”) to magical realism, this is by far one of the most exciting releases this year. Want even better news? This is just volume 1!

Akira Volume 2 (Paperback)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781935429029
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Kodansha Comics, 1/2010
The second volume in Katsuhiro Otomo’s science fiction masterpiece, Akira, follows the eff orts of our heroes as they struggle to prevent the awakening of the universal psychic force that is Akira. Having been captured after a showdown against their telekinetic former friend Tetsuo at the end of the first volume, protagonists Kaneda and
Kei must navigate the labyrinthine military complex in order to find Tetsuo before he fully realizes his own psychic abilities and uses them to awaken Akira. The painstaking technical detail of Otomo’s illustrations and the intricacy of the storytelling makes reading Akira an experience like no other.

$99.95
ISBN-13: 9781594650116
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Humanoids, Inc., 12/2010

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS LIMITED EDITION OF "THE INCAL" IS NOW OUT OF STOCK AT THE PUBLISHER AND WE CAN NO LONGER FILL YOUR ORDERS.

The Metabarons: Othon and Honorata
$19.95
Model: 9781594650000

The Metabarons Volume 2: Aghnar and Oda
$19.95
Model: 9781401203818

The Metabarons Volume 4: Aghora and The Last Metabaron
$19.95
Model: 9781594650017
Almost nothing was as momentous as the announcement by Humanoids Inc. of the publication of several well known sci-fi classics from Europe. Including the masterpiece, The Incal, by Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius. This deluxe edition features original colors, high quality printing, oversized and slipcovered, finally getting the treatment the book deserves. Some of the other titles from the Jodorowsky/Moebius team includes The Metabarons, The Technopriests and Madwoman of the Sacred Heart. Humanoids Inc is also publishing books by European comic superstars Juan Giminez, Enki Bilal, and Milo Manara. These are long awaited releases and not to be missed by any fan of comics.

H Day (Hardcover)

$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780982094709
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Picturebox, Inc., 11/2010
A pictorial landscape of smudges and rough pencils--the twining of string--the long trail of ants through a featureless building, surrounding fallen bodies, blowing like smoke across the sky. As either a fantasy landscape or ethereal representation of Renee French’s struggles with migraines and Argentine ants, H Day, is superbly done.

By C F
$18.00
ISBN-13: 9780982094761
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Picturebox, Inc., 12/2010
In C.F’s continuation of his highly acclaimed fantasy series, Powr Mastrs, we are once more transported to a world of intricately designed buidings, vehicles, characters, and short but visibly magisterial scenes which further deepen C.F’s already complex world
of New China.

If'n Oof (Paperback)


ISBN-13: 9780982094754
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Picturebox, Inc., 11/2010
Picturebox’s year certainly wouldn’t be complete without Brian Chippendale’s long awaited new book, If’n Oof, a 900 page, single panel, behemoth. Shifting between one dream to the next, we follow If, one experimental specimen among many. The intensity of the Chippendale’s artwork here is what really impels the reader. From states of psycholdelic zaniness to wide landscapes and quirky, ill-fitting characters, this is a land of dreams and the impossible, exploding with questions and little answers. Magnificently done and worth the wait.