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Spring is often when publishers take risks, and this season offers plenty to discover, including ambitious debut memoirs from gag cartoonists, weighty topics addressed with frank humor, and edgy sex comedy.
Blood of the Virgin
Sammy Harkham. Pantheon, May 2 ($30, ISBN 978-0-593-31669-6)
L.A. Times Book Prize winner Harkham returns after 14 years to deliver a “panoramic period piece… thrumming with energy and painful insights,” per PW’s star review, featuring a struggling filmmaker crashing through the grindhouse underground of 1970s Hollywood.
Rick Parker. Abrams ComicArts, Apr. 11 ($24.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-6159-1)
Parker (Marvel’s Beavis & Butthead series) looks back on his experiences as a reluctant young soldier drafted during the Vietnam War, revealing the fallout of forced conscription.
Benji Nate. Drawn & Quarterly, May 23 ($24.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-663-0)
The webcomics provocateur presents her buzzy series starring a sex-crazed and catty clique of roommates. This one is NSFW.
Going Remote: A Teacher’s Journey
Adam Bessie and Peter Glanting. Seven Stories and Censored Press, Feb. 7 ($18.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64421-270-7)
After Covid upended the lives of students and teachers, community college professor (and cancer patient) Bessie brings readers inside the high-stakes national experiment of remote education.
Homicide: The Graphic Novel, Part 1
David Simon and Philippe Squarzoni. First Second, July 25 ($29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-62462-8)
The groundbreaking narrative of crime and consequence from the creator of HBO’s The Wire goes graphic with Squarzoni (Climate Changed).
Impossible People: A Completely Average Recovery Story
Julia Wertz. Black Dog & Leventhal, May 9 ($30, ISBN 978-0-7624-6825-6)
New Yorker cartoonist and urban adventurer Wertz combines her trademark curmudgeonly wit with fresh vulnerability in a recovery story that takes on themes usually not explored so funnily.
The Man in the McIntosh Suit
Rina Ayuyang. Drawn & Quarterly, May 2 ($22.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77046-666-1)
An immigrant Filipino farmworker follows a mystery from the fields to San Francisco nightclubs in 1929 in this noir-styled historical from Eisner nominee Ayuyang.
Marry Me a Little: A Graphic Memoir
Rob Kirby. Graphic Mundi, Feb. 21 ($21.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63779-039-7)
Ignatz winner Kirby’s “intimate and urgent exploration of what marriage means perfectly argues how the personal is profoundly political,” per PW’s review.
Archie Bongiovanni. Surely, Feb. 7 ($29.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-568-8)
Fans of Bongiovanni’s punky Grease Bats comics will rally to this boozy brunch set of stories of queer friends transitioning from the club scene to careers and parenthood.
Darrin Bell. Holt, June 6 ($27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-80514-0)
Syndicated cartoonist and Pulitzer winner Bell explores in a graphic memoir the conversations that Black parents are forced to have with their children about police violence.
Adult Comics & Graphic Novels Listings
The Bomb: The Weapon That Changed the World by Didier Alcante, Laurent-Frédéric Bollée, and Denis Rodier, trans. by Ivanka Hahnenberger (July 11, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-5209-4). This graphic narrative history of the development and deployment of the atomic bomb circles the blast site of the first weapon of mass destruction.
Why Are You Like This? An Artbymoga Comic Collection by Meg Adams (Mar. 7, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5248-7426-1) brings together Adams’s webcomics on the everyday humor she finds in her marriage-of-opposites to the reserved Carson, with bonus antics by the pair’s pups.
Big Ugly by Ellice Weaver (June 22, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-910395-66-0) After character Mel invites her brother, who is having a tough time, to move in as a roommate, she must deal with the emotional consequences.
Under the Banner of King Death: Pirates of the Atlantic, a Graphic Novel by David Lester et al. (Feb. 7, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-8070-2398-3) storms the high seas with a historical graphic novel based on scholar Marcus Rediker’s research on early-18th-century pirates, following the adventures of a diverse mutinous crew.
The Cola Pop Creemees: Opening Act by Desmond Reed (Apr. 1, $15 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-957795-20-1) follows the ups and downs of the members of a fictional psychedelic band, touching on love, loss, and addiction, among other shenanigans.
The Jewish Deli: An Illustrated History of the Chosen Food by Ben Nadler (May 2, $24.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-79720-524-3) scoots readers up to the counter of the corner store to sample the delectable offerings of Jewish cuisine (think bagels, schmears, soups, and treats) while illuminating the cultural history of the deli.
Why You’ll Never Find the One: And Why It Doesn’t Matter by Sarah Akinterinwa (Feb. 7, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-79722-253-0) offers advice on dating (from romantic partners to taking oneself out to town) from a Black woman’s perspective, with ample anecdotes, tips, and affirmations.
Kettle Harbour by Kyle Vingoe-Cram (May 9, $25 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77262-083-2), a debut graphic novel, delves into queer love and family dynamics, memory, and trauma, with an ensemble cast anchored by two cousins brought back together in their Nova Scotian coastal hometown.
Elixir by Frank Barbiere and Ricky Mammone (Mar. 29, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-50673-366-1) pits magic against technology in a futuristic fantasy world where the Druids try to save a secret elixir that could keep their culture of mysticism from being taken over by corporations.
The Lonesome Hunters by Tyler Crook (Feb. 8, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-50673-101-8) pairs a rusty senior monster hunter with a youngster as the duo fight off all manner of evil creatures and learn from each other in unexpected ways.
Failsafe (Batman #1) by Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jiménez (Mar. 21, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-77951-993-1) starts the dark knight saga up again from a series of bad dreams that Bruce Wayne can’t shake, as a villain from the past resurfaces. 80,000-copy announced first printing.
Nightmare Country (The Sandman Universe #1) by James Tynion IV and Lisandro Estherren (Apr. 4, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-77951-841-5). Tynion IV takes on a new series arc within Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman universe, as the Corinthian stalks the earth tracking a monster beyond the progeny of lord Dream. 60,000-copy announced first printing.
Drawn & Quarterly
Brooklyn’s Last Secret by Leslie Stein (Mar. 7, $29.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77046-634-0). A struggling offbeat rock band goes on tour from Brooklyn hoping to get discovered in this outing from the musician and L.A. Times Book Prize winner.
Where I’m Coming From by Barbara Brandon-Croft (Feb. 7, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-568-8) collects the cartoon strip series published 1989–2005 by Croft, who was the first Black woman cartoonist with a nationally syndicated newspaper comic, capturing her humorous and insightful takes on everyday life’s ups and downs.
StewDio: The Naphic Grovel ARTrilogy of Chuck D by Chuck D (June 6, $49.95, ISBN 978-1-63614-100-8) collects three volumes of illustrated journals by the rapper that combine takes on the Covid pandemic and shifting American political landscape with insider glimpses on Public Enemy’s continuing activism.
Elise and the New Resistance by Tardi and Dominique Grange, trans. by Jenna Allen (July 18, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-755-2), finds the cartoonist who has been lauded for noir and war comics turning to the story of a pop singer and activist in Paris who fights for peace and justice in the late 1960s.
The Heavy Bright by Cathy Malkasian (Mar. 28, $39.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-692-0). Malkasian follows Percy Gloom with another skewed fantasy, here imagining a harmonious land corrupted by the appearance of ominous eggs that evil men hoard to maintain power—until two young women who fall in love challenge their reign.
Hogbook and Lazer Eyes by Maria Bamford and Scott Marvel Cassidy (May 16, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-773-6) depicts the romance of the comedian and actor Bamford (Lady Dynamite!) and artist Cassidy as told through the viewpoint of the couple’s pet pugs. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
The He-Man Effect: How American Toymakers Sold You Your Childhood by Brian “Box” Brown (July 11, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-26140-3) turns the clock back to the 1980s, when shows like He-Man and GI Joe tied to toys and products began to dominate childhood culture.
Nuking Alaska: Notes of an Atomic Fugitive by Peter Dunlap-Shohl (June 6, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63779-047-2). Dunlap-Shohl (My Degeneration) recalls growing up during the Cold War in Alaska, where nuclear threat and close-call disasters were ever-present facts of life.
Glass Half Empty by Rachael Smith (Apr. 11, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78578-897-0). Smith follows up Wired Up Wrong with more comics about mental health, told in wry shorts featuring anthropomorphized emotions like Barky, the loud doggy symbol for intrusive thoughts.
Arca by Van Jensen and Jesse Lonergan (July 11, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68405-998-0). Earth’s wealthiest inhabitants jet off to space when apocalypse looms, tricking a group of teens into becoming servants on a new planet, until a young woman named Persephone defies their plots.
Crashing by Matthew Klein and Morgan Beem (July 4, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68405-987-4). A doctor who treats superheroes gets caught in the middle when healthcare is denied to the superpowered. As just an ordinary human, dealing with her own struggle for sobriety, she stands up for superhuman rights.
Eight Billion Genies by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne (Mar. 21, $39.99, ISBN 978-1-5343-2353-7) plays out in interlinked comics stories the thought experiment of every person in the world getting one wish granted by a personal magic genie, and the spiraling chaos that ensues.
Love Everlasting by Tom King and Elsa Charretier (Feb. 21, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5343-2464-0). It’s a never-ending romantic roller coaster for Joan, who is trapped in a melodrama-mystery genre. Just as high-stakes plots seem to reach a happy ending, she’s whisked to another parallel world.
Iron Circus Comics
Lackadaisy by Tracy Butler (July 11, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63899-103-8). In Prohibition-era Missouri, a cast of mobster cats and flapper kitties frequent a speakeasy run by the inimitable feline Mitzi May.
The Science of Ghosts by Lilah Sturges, El Garing, and Alitha Martinez (May 30, $23.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68116-086-3). A trans woman who can chat with ghosts solves paranormal mysteries but finds her relationships with living folks pose more trouble.
The Tiger’s Tongue by Olivia Stephens and Diansakhu Banton-Perry (Feb. 1, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-952303-32-6) features a pair of princesses at odds in a fantasy land at war, as animal familiars and ancient prophecies guide their path.
Tao Bang by Daneil Pecqueur, Olivier Vatine, and Didier Cassegrain, trans. by Dan Christensen (Mar. 21, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-951719-70-8) sends a brothel owner and a knave on a quest to the Isle of Mermaids, to capture a siren—but the pirate Tao Bang presents a challenging foe.
The Phantom Scientist by Robin Cousin, trans. by Edward Gauvin (Feb. 21, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-262-04786-9) boots up a mystery based in computer science and set in an institute designed following the Fibonacci sequence where scientists go missing and the clue to solving odd happenings is embedded in systems theory.
Darkly She Goes by Hubert and Vincent Mallié, trans. by L. Benson (June 20, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-313-4) spins a classic fantasy tale with a banished knight seeking redemption and princesses with a complicated legacy.
New York Review Comics
The Gull Yettin by Joe Kessler (Mar. 28, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68137-739-1) wordlessly depicts the plight of a young boy orphaned by a fire and saved by a magical gull that morphs into various new forms to help the boy find his way forward.
Vern, Custodian of the Universe by Tyrell Waiters (June 6, $20.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-913123-09-3).
When Vern moves back to his hometown in search of a fresh start, he takes a menial cleaning job at the mysterious corporation Quasar—and accidentally pulls the plug on a machine that opens up the multiverse.
Foretold (Hustle & Heart #1) by Heath Amodio et al. (Feb. 21, $21.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63715-099-3). Professor Derek Flynn keeps blacking out and coming to in waking dreams of disasters, which as the cycle restarts, seem like premonitions—and when the law starts hunting him down, he’s not sure if he’s a seer or a criminal.
Museum of Degenerates: Portraits of the American Grotesque by Eli Valley (July 18, $34.95, ISBN 978-1-68219-387-7). Valley delivers radical political cartoons and caricatures critiquing contemporary America and American society and media.
Boys Weekend by Mattie Lubchansky (June 6, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-31671-9) brings together a trans woman and her old college buddies for a bachelor-party weekend trip that goes terribly wrong in this queer horror-humor hybrid from the editor of The Nib.
Escape from the Great American Novel by Drew Lerman (Apr. 18, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-9963989-3-0) collects the webcomic Snake Creek into a tale about books and bombs, as friends Roy and Dav decide whether to become activists or authors to save America.
Flic: The True Story of the Journalist Who Infiltrated the Police by Valentin Gendrot and Thierry Chavant, trans. by Frank Wynne (June 6, $25 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-957363-32-5) tells the story of a French journalist (drawn as a cat) who goes undercover with the Paris police and reports on the racism and corruption in the force, as well as difficulties officers face in the field.
2AM Eternal by Erik Kostiuk Williams (May 30, $24.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-8-9855863-3-6) goes all night and into the dawn, detailing Toronto’s queer nightlife through poster art, comics, and other ephemera, including the way these artifacts suddenly changed in the Covid era.
Prince in a Pastry Shop by Marek Bienczyk and Joanna Concejo, trans. by Benjamin Paloff (Apr. 18, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-64421-284-4) weaves a fable for adults in picture book style, where the Not-So-Little-Prince and Prickly Pear get together to eat some treats and wonder together over the fleeting nature of happiness.
The Sucker by Elle Shivers (Apr. 26, $13.99 trade paper, ISBN 979-88-86200-18-8) reunites a marine biologist and a photographer who knew each other back when, and suddenly find themselves on an expedition to a remote island in the Philippines.
The Last Gay Man on Earth by Ype Driessen, trans. by Lenny Kouwenberg (June 6, $21.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-951491-23-9). Ype’s afraid to fly, but his boyfriend wants to take a trip. Then things get weird when a robot vacuum starts telling its side of the story.
Nervosa by Hayley Gold (Apr. 11, $21.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-951491-24-6) opens up the experience of living with an eating disorder and the challenges of navigating family and a healthcare system that doesn’t seem to understand how to treat those suffering.
Grand Slam Romance by Ollie Hicks and Emma Oosterhous (May 23, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-5801-0) plays out a love story between queer girl softball stars who dabble in magic on and off the field, with plenty of intrigue pitched between team politics, mystical practices, and secret smooching. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
The Witches of World War II by Paul Cornell and Valerie Burzo (Mar. 7, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-952203-18-3) blends real-life occult historical figures like Aleister Crowly and Wiccan Gerald Gardner into a fantastical plot involving a bevy of witches who conspire to stop Hitler by going after Rudolf Hess.
The Second Fake Death of Eddie Campbell & The Fate of the Artist by Eddie Campbell (July 11, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-60309-524-2) continues Campbell’s introspective metafictional memoir style (including a deluxe reissue of The Fate of the Artist) with a Covid-era mystery story. Eddie’s wife thinks he’s been replaced by a masked fake, and mayhem ensues.
Damnation Diaries by Peter Rostovsky (May 23, $24.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-941250-54-9) takes readers straight to hell to peek in on the sessions between tortured soul PKRx354 and the underworld’s resident Freudian therapist—until a hellbound terrorist act turns the satire topsy-turvy.
Out Beyond the Dust n’ Dark (West of Sundown #1) by Tim Seeley, Aaron Campbell, and Jim Terry (Feb. 21, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63849-155-2). East Coast vampires strike out for New Mexico to flee monster-hunters, only to find that the place has already been claimed by rival supernatural creatures. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
Everything Is Fine by Mike Birchall (May 16, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-990259-77-7) collects the online comic where round-headed homogenous denizens of a shiny suburb cheerfully accept constant surveillance, thought police, and uncanny events, until one couple starts to break the facade.
Fifty States in Forty-Five Days: How to Be in a Band, Go on Tour, and Completely Lose Your Mind by Elizabeth Jancewicz and Eric Stevenson (May 23, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5131-3924-1) presents comics dispatches from Touring Test webcomic’s Jancewicz and Stevenson’s band, Pocket Vinyl, as they undertake a seemingly impossible tour to play all 50 states in fewer than 50 days.
What a Life
Graphic biographies are accessible entry points and often take innovative or unusual perspectives in drawing the lives of their subjects. This season brings an array of illuminated portraits covering pugilist Jack Johnson, Princess Diana, the rock band Queen, and more.
Anaïs Nin: A Sea of Lies
Léonie Bischoff, trans. by Jenna Allen. Fantagraphics, June 1 ($29.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-759-0)
Winner of the audience favorite prize at Angoulême, Bischoff’s biography of the literary erotica scribe of the 1920s and ’30s depicts in swirling colored pencil drawings her blossoming as a writer along as well as her professed dalliances with paramours including author Henry Miller and her own therapist.
Black & White: The Rise and Fall of Bobby Fischer
Julian Voloj and Wagner Willain. Abrams ComicArts, Apr. 4 ($24.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-5986-40)
Voloj and Willain set out to capture the tumultuous life of chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (1943–2008), who took the global spotlight when he bested the Soviet world champ during the height of the Cold War, but later devolved into paranoia and mental illness.
Diana: My Graphic Obsession
Sivan Piatigorsky-Roth. Street Noise, May 2 ($19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-951491-22-2)
An autistic cartoonist fixates on the life and death of the princess of Wales in this unusual, often wordless blend of a graphic memoir and royal biography.
Last on His Feet: Jack Johnson and the Battle of the Century
Youssef Daoudi and Adrian Matejka. Liveright, Feb. 21 ($29.99, ISBN 978-1-63149-558-8)
Daoudi (Monk!) partners with poet and Pulitzer finalist Matejka for a winning biography of Black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. It’s focused on his 1910 fight against the “Great White Hope,” James Jeffries, and lands as a “big brawl of a book that, like the greatest boxing matches, finds the poetry in the violence,” per PW’s starred review.
Ms Davis: A Graphic Biography
Sybille Titeux de la Croix and Amazing Ameziane, trans. by Jenna Allen. Fantagraphics, Mar. 14 ($24.99, ISBN 978-1-
Angela Davis, the 1970s activist and scholar who made the FBI’s most wanted list, and her many fellow travelers in communist circles of the period are drawn in this reimagining by Ameziane (Muhammad Ali).
Queen in Comics!
Emmanuel Marie and Sophie Blitman, trans. by Christopher Pope. NBM, May 2 ($27.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-311-0)
Led by the flamboyant iconoclast Freddie Mercury, the hit band Queen put out such classics as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions” in the 1970s and ’80s. The group’s antics on and off stage are captured in this comics tribute.
Resisted, Arrested, Deported: The Concentration Camp Memoir of Francine R.
Boris Golzio. Dead Reckoning, June 2 ($24.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68247-891-2)
Golzio’s graphic biography of a WWII concentration camp survivor is based on interviews with a French woman who, due to her family’s politics and resistance to the Nazis, was arrested in 1944 by the Gestapo and deported to Germany.
These adaptations borrow, remix, and refresh story lines from classic novels or contemporary film and television.
Alice Ever After
Dan Panosian and Giorgio Spalletta. Boom! Studios, Feb. 21 ($16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68415-885-0)
Grown-up Alice still taps into Wonderland when she wants to get away from reality, but getting there requires ever-more dangerous feats (including criminal behavior) to trigger her transformation in this gritty sequel that’s far from a fairy tale.
Blade Runner 2039
Mike Johnson and Andres Guinaldo. Titan Comics, June 20 ($17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78773-844-7)
There’s a new breed of approved, perfectly behaved replicants out in 2039, but the older models are still hunted down in this first volume of the final arc featuring now ex–Blade Runner Ash.
The Children of Bathala: A Mythology Class Reunion
Arnold Arre. Tuttle, Mar. 21 ($16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-8048-5543-3)
The sequel to Arre’s The Mythology Class, based on myths and monsters of the culture of the Philippines, brings a magical group of students back together.
Dune: The Waters of Kanly
Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, and Francesco Mortarino. Boom! Studios, Feb. 14 ($24.99, ISBN 978-1-68415-886-7).
Gurney Halleck of House Atreides sets out on a revenge-fueled side trip within the Dune universe to take down the Harkonnens, and runs afoul of the Space Guild.
The Last Count of Monte Cristo
Ayize Jama-Everett and Tristan Roach. Megascope, Apr. 25 ($24.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-4550-8)
The planet has drowned in postapocalyptic climate change, and a betrayed count stews in imprisonment and plots revenge, updating Dumas’s 19th-century novel in Afrofuturist style. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
K. Briggs. Avery Hill, July 27 ($22.95, ISBN 978-1-910395-73-8)
The regicide and witchery on display in this graphic adaptation run true to Shakespeare’s script.
Jamie Lee Curtis, Russell Goldman, and Karl Stevens. Titan Comics, June 27 ($24.99, ISBN 978-1-78773-913-0)
Actor Curtis scripts her debut graphic novel, adapting her eco-horror film that will release alongside the book, wherein a young woman sabotages an oil rig and unleashes dormant evil in New Mexico.
The Prophet: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Kahlil Gibran, A. David Lewis, and Justin Renteria. Graphic Mundi, June 30 ($21.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63779-050-2)
Gibran’s 1923 free verse poetic work that imagines an exiled prophet gets adapted into comics, in drawings that mimic Ottoman style of the period.
Stuff of Nightmares: The Monster Makers
R.L. Stine and A.L. Kaplan. Boom! Studios, Apr. 11 ($16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68415-892-8)
That master of scares, Stine, returns with a skewered set of Frankenstein-family horror comics.
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