Fall’s graphic novels are teeming with emerging cartoonists exploring life and meaning, while established creators return to favorite themes. Riad Sattouf’s memoir continues, Jason Shiga presents a mind-bending puzzle, Sarah Glidden examines refugee life in Iraq, and Margaret Atwood turns to a fantasy about a cat-bird-man.
A.D.: After Death
Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire. Image, Nov. 11
Two of comics’ finest team up for a provocative story set in a world where death has been cured, a situation that only creates more complications.
Angel Catbird, Vol. 1
Margaret Atwood and Johnnie Christmas. Dark Horse, Sept. 6
Literary legend Atwood has been doodling her own comics for a while, but this frothy tale of a man who turns into a cat-owl is her first long-form comic, aided by lively art from Christmas.
The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984–1985: A Graphic Memoir
Riad Sattouf. Metropolitan, Sept. 20
The first volume of Sattouf’s childhood memoir was an unforgettable portrait of three cultures and how they affected his family. This second volume promises more of the same insights as the author tries to fit into Syrian school life.
Demon, Vol. 1
Jason Shiga. First Second, Oct. 4
From the opening mystery of a man who can’t kill himself no matter how hard he tries, this is at once a mental exercise in problem solving and a thrilling adventure with unforgettable twists and turns.
Cyril Pedrosa. NBM, Aug.
French cartoonist Pedrosa’s books deals with weighty themes—in this one, the meaning of life—but his gorgeous art avoids pretension, capturing nuance and heartbreak.
How to Survive in the North
Luke Healy. Nobrow, Nov.
Irish cartoonist Healy uses a simple style to tell an expansive time-hopping story of how people survive in hostile environments, from the Arctic to stressful modern life.
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters
Emil Ferris. Fantagraphics, Oct. 22
An eye-popping debut that mixes art styles, narration, and dialogue in a multilayered story about a young Chicago girl who tries to solve a neighbor’s murder.
The One Hundred Nights of Hero: A Graphic Novel
Isabel Greenberg. Little, Brown, Dec. 6
Greenberg’s award-winning debut, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, was an astonishing exercise in myth making, and this imagined world of female storytellers is just as rich.
Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq
Sarah Glidden. Drawn & Quarterly, Oct. 4
With a journalist’s eye, Glidden paints a powerful portrait of war-torn communities based on her own travels.
Wonder Woman: The True Amazon
Jill Thompson. DC, Oct. 4
Lush watercolors capture the early life lessons of Princess Diana on her journey from spoiled royalty to true heroine.
Comics & Graphic Novels Listings
After Land, Vol. 1: The Dream You Dream Alone Is Just a Dream... by Chris Taylor (Sept. 13, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-942801-99-3). The Canadian-born artist offers a science-fiction soap opera featuring the exploits of a no-nonsense detective named Nono who is Vangelis meets Jodorowsky.
Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961–1963 by Marcelino Truong, trans. by David Howel (Oct. 11, trade paper, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-55152-647-8), is the story of the early years of the Vietnam war seen through the eyes of a young boy named Marco, the son of a Vietnamese diplomat and his French wife.
Flying Couch: A Graphic Memoir by Amy Kurzweil (Oct. 11, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-936787-28-9). Kurzweil’s debut tells the stories of three unforgettable women and weaves a moving exploration of the Holocaust’s emotional and psychological legacy across three generations: Amy, her mother, and her bubbe.
Toil and Trouble by Mairghread Scott and Kelly Matthews (Sept., hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-60886-878-0) is a daring reimagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The three fates—Riata, Cait, and Smertae—have always secretly guided and protected Scotland. When the sisters have an argument, Riata and Smertae use men as pawns, and Smertae directs Macbeth to a crown he was never meant to have.
Kedzie Avenue: Stories Drawn from a City Street by Darryl Holliday, Jamie Hibdon, and E.N. Rodriguez (Aug. 23, trade paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-940430-59-1). Drawing on a year’s worth of reporting and interviews with a wide range of Chicagoans, the book weaves personal narrative, journalistic reportage, and frame-by-frame illustration into a complex portrait of an American city.
Angel Catbird, Vol. 1 by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas and various (Sept. 6, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-5067-0063-2). On a dark night, young genetic engineer Strig Feleedus is accidentally mutated by his own experiment and merges with the DNA of a cat and an owl. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired superhero adventure—with a lot of feline puns.
Neil Gaiman’s Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran (Oct. 4, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-5067-0008-3). The inimitable Doran adapts Gaiman’s tragic coming-of-age fantasy masterpiece about a young boy who faces demons external and internal.
Aleister & Adolf by Douglas Rushkoff and Michael Avon Oeming (Nov. 15, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-5067-0104-2). Media theorist Rushkoff weaves a mind-bending tale of iconography and mysticism against the backdrop of a battle-torn Europe in a tale featuring some of the most notable and notorious idealists of the 20th century.
The Battles of Bridget Lee: Invasion of Farfall by Ethan Young (Oct. 4, trade paper, $10.99, ISBN 978-1-5067-0012-0). There is no longer a generation that remembers a time before the Marauders invaded Earth. The remaining human outposts have been quiet since, but there are stirrings of another attack. Ex–combat medic Bridget Lee may be the world’s last hope.
Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash by Dave McKean (Oct. 18, trade paper, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5067-0108-0). An original graphic novel by legendary artist McKean is based on the life of Paul Nash, a surrealist painter during WW1, a moving story about how war and extreme situations change us.
The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade by Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, John Romita Jr., and Klaus Janson (Nov. 8, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-4012-6506-9). A prequel to Miller’s classic The Dark Knight explores the Joker and the murder of the last Robin, Jason Todd.
Wonder Woman: The True Amazon by Jill Thompson (Oct. 4, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-4012-4901-4) is a fully painted reimagining of the early years of Amazon Princess Diana by Eisner Award–winning cartoonist Thompson. When young Diana has the fawning attention of a nation, she soon grows spoiled, but a series of tragic events take their toll, and Diana must learn to grow up.
Drawn & Quarterly
The Greatest of Marlys by Lynda Barry (Aug. 16, hardcover, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-264-9). Eight-year-old Marlys Mullen is Barry’s most famous character from her long-running, landmark Ernie Pook’s Comeek, and she shines in all her freckled and pig-tailed groovy glory. The trailer park where she and her family live is the grand stage for her dramas big and small.
Mooncop by Tom Gauld (Sept. 20, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-254-0). The Guardian cartoonist relates the deadpan daily adventures of the last policeman living on the moon. The Mooncop makes his daily rounds, but his beat grows ever smaller as the population dwindles.
Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq by Sarah Glidden (Oct. 4, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-255-7). Cartoonist Glidden offers an account of her two-month-long journey through Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, accompanying two friends as they research stories on the Iraq War’s effect on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees.
Cosplayers by Dash Shaw (Sept. 1, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-60699-948-6). Seven interconnected short stories about two talented young women cosplayers celebrate both the culture’s obvious theatricality and uniquely DIY beauty, as well as its often awkward conflation of fantasy and reality.
Band for Life by Anya Davidson (Sept. 16, hardcover, $34.99, ISBN 978-1-60699-954-7). The adventures of a noise rock band and the bandmates’ community of friends in an alternate reality Chicago. Through disaster and squabbling, they stick together because the band is the fulcrum of their otherwise confounding lives.
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Oct. 22, hardcover, $39.99, ISBN 978-1-60699-959-2). A 10-year-old girl attempts to solve the murder of her upstairs neighbor in a story framed as a notebook full of the iconography of B horror movies—a murder mystery, a family drama, a sweeping historical epic, and a psychological thriller about monsters, real and imagined.
Laid Waste by Julia Gfrörer (Oct. 16, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-60699-971-4). In a plague-ravaged medieval city, survival is a harsher fate than death. As corpses accumulate around her, Agnès, a young widow possessed of supernatural strength, must weigh her obligations to the dead and dying against her desire to protect what little remains.
Demon, Vol. 1 by Jason Shiga (Oct. 4, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-62672-452-5). No matter how hard he tries, Jimmy Yee cannot die. Using only his mathematics training and his complete lack of scruples, Jimmy must push himself to his mental limits to stay one step ahead of the elite team of intelligence operatives devoted to capturing him alive.
Tetris: The Games People Play by Box Brown (Oct. 11, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-62672-315-3). Tetris is as ubiquitous as blue jeans and as addictive as jelly beans. But did you ever wonder where it came from? Most computer programs have fairly undramatic origin stories. Not Tetris.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Best American Comics 2016, edited by Roz Chast and Bill Kartalopoulos (Oct. 4, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-544-75035-7). Fresh off the success of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, New Yorker cartoonist Chast picks the best graphic pieces of the year. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele (Nov. 15, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-78578-071-4). Activist-academic Barker and cartoonist Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQIA+ action in this kaleidoscope of characters who guide us on a journey through the ideas, people, and events that have shaped queer theory. 7,500-copy announced first printing.
Crazy Is the New Normal by Tom Tomorrow (Sept., trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-63140-700-0). Just in time for a crazy election year, celebrated American political cartoonist Tomorrow releases a new collection featuring the best This Modern World strips from the past three years.
Who Killed Kurt Cobain? The Story of Boddah by Nicolas Otero (Oct., hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-63140-726-0). Based on the French novel, Le Roman de Boddah by Heloise Guay de Bellissen, this adaptation recounts real-life events from Cobain’s life, narrated by his childhood imaginary friend, Boddah.
A.D.: After Death by Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire (Nov. 11, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-63215-868-0). An original graphic novel from two of comics most acclaimed creators is set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey.
The Fix, Vol. 1 by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber (Sept. 20, trade paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-63215-912-0) is a story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run Los Angeles—and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels.
Hot or Not: 20th-Century Male Artists by Jessica Campbell (Sept. 13, trade paper, $10, ISBN 978-1-927668-33-7). The history of 20th-century art is filled with men, but one key question remains unanswered: which of these men are hot, and which are not? 5,000-copy announced first printing.
The One Hundred Nights of Hero: A Graphic Novel by Isabel Greenberg (Dec. 6, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-316-25917-0). In the tradition of the Arabian Nights, this is a beautifully illustrated tapestry of folk tales and myths about the secret legacy of female storytellers in an imagined medieval world. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
Draw My Life: How Animation Helped Me Break Out of My Shell and Other Stories by Dominic Panganiban (Oct. 11, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-633534-11-7). Sharing snippets of his life, video star Panganiban brings his unique brand of humor and storytelling to his personal mishaps, life-lessons, and awkward conversations.
The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984–1985: A Graphic Memoir by Riad Sattouf (Sept. 20, trade paper, $26, ISBN 978-1-62779-351-3). Riad, now settled in his father’s hometown of Homs, gets to go to school, where he dedicates himself to becoming a true Syrian—the highly anticipated continuation of Sattouf’s internationally acclaimed #1 French bestseller.
For the Love of God, Marie! by Jade Sarson (Oct. 1, trade paper, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-908434-77-7). Marie is a girl with the gift of understanding, who is often misunderstood, both at home and in her Catholic school, where she confounds her fellow pupils and teachers as she tries to understand and love those few special people who need her help to be themselves.
Marie Antoinette, Phantom Queen by Annie Goetzinger and Rodolphe (July, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-029-4). During the 1930s, Maud, an artist, discovers that a woman from the beyond is attempting to communicate with her. It is the ghost of Marie Antoinette appearing to share a terrible secret that has tormented her for centuries.
Equinoxes by Cyril Pedrosa (Aug., hardcover, $49.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-080-5). Segmented into four tableaux for four seasons, unrelated people of all social backgrounds who are seeking equilibrium cross paths, weaving in and out of one another’s lives—all captivated and tormented by the enigmatic meaning of life. By the author of Three Shadows.
Glenn Gould: A Life Off Tempo by Sandrine Revel (Nov., hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-065-2). This graphic novel biography seeks to understand the eccentric personality behind the famed pianist. Who is the mysterious Glenn Gould? Why did he abruptly end his career as a performing musician? Why did he disappear from the public eye like J.D. Salinger?
New York Review Comics
Pretending Is Lying by Dominique Goblet, trans. by Sophie Yanow (Nov. 15, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-68137-047-7). The first book to appear in English by the acclaimed Belgian artist Goblet is at once an intimate account of love and familial dysfunction and an audacious experiment in graphic storytelling.
Soft City by Hariton Pushwagner (Sept. 20, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-68137-046-0). The only graphic novel by legendary Norwegian pop artist Hariton Pushwagner—completed in 1975, lost for decades, and never before published in the U.S.—is a scathing masterpiece in the tradition of Brazil and Brave New World, with an off-kilter beauty all its own.
How to Survive in the North by Luke Healy (Nov., hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-910620-06-9). This compelling graphic novel intricately weaves together true life narratives from 1912, 1926, and a fictional story set in the present day to portray an unforgettable journey, showing the strength it takes to survive in even the harshest conditions.
SP4RX by Wren McDonald (Dec., trade paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-910620-12-0). A young hacker thief finds himself lost in the nightmare of corporate espionage in this sci-fi graphic novel of survival and corruption that’s a little too close to what our world may become.
Oh Joy Sex Toy, Vol. 3 by Erika Moen (Nov., trade paper, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-62010-361-6). Using humor and research, this webcomic covers everything that relates to sex. Erika and Matthew review sex toys, share sex education, interview sex workers, and crack horrible, horrible puns, all in the name of promoting sex positivity.
Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU by Jenny Jaeckel (Oct. 7, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-941203-11-8). A baby is born with major complications and a family is hurled into unfamiliar territory. Through a maze of hospital corridors and dark corners of the soul, this graphic memoir delves into a five-month saga about an infant and her parents in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The Bind by William Goldsmith (Nov. 1, hardcover, $39.95, ISBN 978-0-224-09702-4) charts the rise and fall of Egret Bindings, once the most prestigious firm of bookbinders in London, in a darkly humorous tale of sibling rivalry and creative one-upmanship,
Dispossession: A Novel of Few Words by Simon Grennan (Nov. 1, hardcover, $32.95, ISBN 978-0-224-10220-9). England, 1873: John Caldigate, a young gentleman, gets into debt gambling and decides to try his luck in the gold fields of New South Wales. Inspired by Anthony Trollope’s 1879 novel John Caldigate.
The Can Opener’s Daughter by Rob Davis (Nov. 15, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-910593-17-2). In this companion to the acclaimed The Motherless Oven, a coming-of-age tale is set in a strange world of animated objects.
The Return of the Honey Buzzard by Aimée de Jongh (Oct. 11, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-910593-16-5). In this debut, a bookseller who’s hit hard times witnesses a suicide at an isolated railroad crossing. Withdrawing deeper into himself, Simon is haunted by memories from his past until a young girl begins to provide the comfort and support he needs.
Trish Trash #1: Rollergirl on Mars by Jessica Abel (Nov. 15, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-62991-614-9). In the first volume of Abel’s new science fiction trilogy set two hundred years from now, Trish “Trash” Nupindju lives on the newly inhabited Mars, whose settlers live under harsh and ruthless conditions. Trish dreams of only one thing: becoming a hoverderby star.
Brighter Than You Think: 10 Short Works by Alan Moore by Marc Sobel, Alan Moore, and various (Sept. 13, trade paper, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-941250-12-9). Critic Sobel provides insightful commentary and context for this collection of Moore’s difficult-to-find comics short stories, from bold experiments through early takes on his favorite subjects to self-critiques of his older work.
Platinum End, Vol. 1 by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (Oct. 4, trade paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-4215-9063-9). Troubled Mirai’s life changes when he gains the power of an angel, but he may need to become a devil to survive in the battle against others just like him. By the creators of Death Note.
Tomie: Complete Deluxe Edition by Junji Ito (Dec. 20, hardcover, $34.99, ISBN 978-1-4215-9056-1). The complete classic horror series is now available in a single deluxe volume. Tomie Kawakami is a femme fatale with long black hair, who can seduce nearly any man and drive him to murder, even though the victim is often Tomie herself.
Tohyo Game, Vol. 1 by G.O., Chihiro, and Tatsuhiko (Oct. 25, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-316-46374-4). The class popularity contest was supposed to be for fun, but now the unpopular ones are dying grisly deaths. The classroom has become a horrific struggle for survival. Someone is keeping the game going, but can anyone survive the game and expose the truth?