An eagerly awaited collection of an indie standout and a print edition of a notoriously complicated webcomic are among the highlights of this spring’s graphic novels.
All the Answers
Michael Kupperman. S&S/Gallery 13, May 15
Kupperman is best known for his absurdist humor and here turns to memoir with the story of his father, Joel Kupperman, a famed “quiz kid” who entranced America with his 200+ IQ.
Nate Powell. IDW/Top Shelf, July 1
Powell won an Eisner Award for Swallow Me Whole and returns with the story of a town in the Ozarks with secrets and monsters.
The Comic Book Story of Baseball: The Heroes, Hustlers, and History-Making Swings (and Misses) of America’s National Pastime
Alex Irvine, Tomm Coker, and C.P. Smith. Ten Speed, May 8
With its colorful characters and storied lore, baseball is well suited to a comics-style examination of its history, and the authors provide a full panorama of the national pastime.
Fab 4 Mania
Carol Tyler. Fantagraphics, June 26
Acclaimed cartoonist Tyler returns, recreating her own diary from 1965 to explain what it means to be a 13-year-old girl in love with the Beatles, capturing the era with her signature warmth and humor.
Erin Nations. IDW/Top Shelf, June 1
Even in a category with many trans voices, Nations is a standout, portraying his experience with humor and honesty, and with distinctive, whimsical art.
Homestuck, Book 1: Act 1 & Act 2
Andrew Hussie. Viz Media, Apr. 13
Hussie’s long-running, indescribable webcomic has a cult following. This annotated print edition will either baffle or intrigue even more readers.
Is This Guy for Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman
Box Brown. First Second, Feb. 6
Brown won acclaim for his graphic biography of Andre the Giant, and he brings the same touch to the story of the complicated, paradoxical comedian Andy Kaufman.
Manfried the Man
Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow. Quirk, May 1
The idea of a world where cats keeps small humans as pets is ripe for humor, but this graphic novel based on a Tumblr webcomic is a surprisingly sweet story about companionship.
Nick Drnaso. Drawn & Quarterly, May 22
Tiny claustrophobic panels and affectless dialogue capture the dark side of our electronic world as a soldier becomes involved with the kidnapping of a young woman, in a powerful work by an important new cartooning voice.
Hartley Lin. AdHouse, May 1
Lin’s fluid, expressive black-and-white art nails the anxieties of millennial life via the story of law clerk Frances Scarland, whose promotion just creates more problems for her.
Comics & Graphic Novels
Landscape by Simon Hanselmann (June 12, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-937541-38-5). In this latest installment in the Ignatz Award–winning series, Megg, Mogg, and Owl continue to amuse, appall, and inspire empathy with sharp satire on the contemporary art comics community in the age of real-time critiques and fighting via social media. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York by Peter J. Tomasi and Sara Duvall (Apr. 17, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-2852-5) shows the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the marriage of Washington and Emily Roebling—based on intellectual equality and mutual support—that made the construction of the landmark structure possible.
Young Frances by Hartley Lin (May 1, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-935233-42-8), the first collection from Pope Hats, tells how insomniac law clerk Frances Scarland is recruited by her firm’s most notorious senior partner and seems poised for advancement. But when her impulsive best friend Vickie decides to move to the opposite coast, Frances’s confusing existence starts to implode.
Jimmy’s Bastards, Vol. 1 by Garth Ennis and Russ Braun. (Feb. 20, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-935002-71-0). Jimmy Regent, Britain’s #1 superspy, has it all: intrigue, adventure, a license to shoot whoever he likes, and beautiful women falling at his feet. He also has a new partner who isn’t quite as impressed by Jimmy as all other women appear to be.
Comics for Choice by Hazel Newlevant et al. (May 1, trade paper, $25, ISBN 978-1-68148-598-0) is an anthology of comics about abortion. A varied group of illustrators, activists, historians, and storytellers create comics about the history of abortion rights, the current politics of abortion, and their vast array of personal experiences.
Grass Kings, Vol. 1 by Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins (Feb. 20, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-68415-115-8). This critically acclaimed rural mystery series chronicles the tragic lives of the Grass Kings, three brothers who are rulers of a self-sufficient trailer park kingdom—a fiefdom of the hopeless and lost seeking a promised land.
Weegee: Serial Photographer by Max de Radiguès and Wauter Mannaert (May 8, trade paper, $18, ISBN 978-1-77262-023-8). New York photographer Weegee often appeared on the scene immediately after accidents and crimes, sometimes even before the police got there. Mannaert and de Radiguès capture the contrasts in Weegee’s life in pictures.
American Gods, Vol. 1: Shadows by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, and Scott Hampton (Feb. 28, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-50670-386-2). Gaiman’s popular fantasy novel about one man’s road trip through myth and danger is adapted into comics by Russell and Hampton, with additional art by Becky Cloonan, Skottie Young, Fabio Moon, Dave McKean, and more.
Finder: Chase the Lady by Carla Speed McNeil (Apr. 17, trade paper, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5067-0543-9). Rachel Grosvenor doesn’t have time to celebrate her recent Llaverac clan victories. Her new title comes with too many responsibilities, and the Ascians who have adopted her also fill her house with complications. Then Jaeger returns.
Dark Nights: Metal by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (June 12, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-4012-7732-1). Batman has uncovered one of the lost mysteries of the universe—one that could destroy the DC Universe. The Dark Multiverse is revealed in all its devastating danger, and the story examines every choice a hero doesn’t make and every path he doesn’t walk.
The American Way: Those Above and Below by John Ridley and Georges Jeanty (Apr. 24, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4012-7835-9). Academy Award–winner Ridley offers a sequel to his alternate U.S. history. It’s been a decade since the Civil Defense Corps was exposed as a fraud created by the U.S. government for propaganda purposes, but the New American still carries on.
Drawn & Quarterly
Blame This on the Boogie by Rina Ayuyang (June 26, hardcover, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-318-9). Ayuyang chronicles the real-life adventures of a Filipino-American girl born in the decade of disco who escapes life’s hardships and mundanity through the genre’s feel-good song-and-dance numbers.
Love That Bunch by Aline Kominsky-Crumb (May 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-305-9). The early work of the pioneering feminist cartoonist is collected in an updated edition, tracing her steps as a Beatles-loving fangirl, an East Village groupie, and a 1980s housewife and mother. A new, 30-page story, “Dream House,” looks back on her childhood.
Sabrina by Nick Drnaso (May 22, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-316-5). The follow-up to Beverly, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Drnaso’s new graphic novel depicts a modern world devoid of personal interaction and responsibility, where relationships are stripped of intimacy and replaced by glowing computer screens. In an indictment of contemporary culture, Drnaso contemplates the dangers of a fake-news climate.
Magnus: Between Two Worlds by Kyle Higgins et al. (Mar. 27, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-5241-0578-5). Artificial intelligences, rather than becoming overlords, have settled into an uneasy symbiosis with humanity, working among people as colleagues and servants and earning vacation time that they spend in a boundless digital universe.
Dull Margaret by Jim Broadbent and Dix (May 29, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-098-0). Pieter Breughel’s Dulle Griet painting shows a breastplated woman with a sword in one hand in front of the mouth of hell. Academy Award–winning actor Broadbent uses that single, vivid image as a launching point to explore the rest of Dull Margaret’s bleak existence.
Fab 4 Mania by Carol Tyler (June 26, trade paper, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-061-4). The author of the Soldier’s Heart trilogy recreates the exhilaration and excitement of Beatlemania in 1965, Tyler’s personal obsession with the Beatles, and her odyssey that leads her to the famous Beatles concert in Chicago that year.
Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life by Ellen Forney (May 29, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-101-7). In the follow-up to her acclaimed Marbles, Forney writes and draws a survival guide for people with bipolar disorders, offering a survival guide of tips, tricks, and tools from someone who has been through it all.
Is This Guy for Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman by Box Brown (Feb. 6, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-62672-316-0). Comedian and performer Andy Kaufman had an impressive résumé, but why would someone so sensitive build an entire career seeking the hatred of his audience? Brown (Andre) takes on Kaufman’s complex and often hilarious life.
Kid Lobotomy, Vol. 1: A Lad Insane by Peter Milligan and Tess Fowler (June 19, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-68405-244-8). In the winding hallways of the Suites, anything can happen. Kid, the proprietor of the fine hotel, he tries to hold on to his father’s business—and his own sanity.
A Strange and Beautiful Sound by Zep (May 29, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-68405-162-5). William chose silence 25 years ago by joining the Carthusian religious order. When an inheritance forces him to leave the monastery for Paris, he must master a whole new world and question certainties forged long ago.
IDW/Library of American Comics
Screwball! the Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny by Paul Tumey (Feb. 27, hardcover, $59.99, ISBN 978-1-68405-187-8) features the story of screwball comics, with new research and rare art from iconic cartoonists. Comics scholar Tumey traces the development of screwball as a genre in magazine cartoons and newspaper comics.
Come Again by Nate Powell (July 1, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-60309-428-3). National Book Award–winner Powell returns with a haunting tale of intimacy, guilt, and collective amnesia. As the sun sets on the 1970s, the spirit of the Love Generation still lingers among the aging hippies of one “intentional community” high in the Ozarks.
Gumballs by Erin Nations (June 1, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-60309-431-3). Even in a category with many trans voices, Nations is a standout, relating his experience with humor and honesty, and with distinctive, whimsical art. This is a one-man variety show spanning graphic memoir, observational comedy, character studies, and stories of a socially inept, lovestruck teenager.
The Dying and the Dead by Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim (Mar. 20, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-53430-382-9). A murder at a wedding reveals a 50-year-old secret. At great cost, a man with a dying wife is given the opportunity to save her. Seemingly disparate events force relics from the Greatest Generation to come together for one last mission.
The Family Trade by Justin Jordan, Nikki Ryan, and Morgan Beem (Apr. 10, trade paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-53430-511-3). In an alternate world where alchemy exists, the Float is an ocean-borne city. And the Family, a sprawling network of thieves, con men, and assassins has one goal: make sure the Float keeps floating.
Somnambulance by Fiona Smyth (May 22, trade paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-927668-54-2) collects comics by Canadian cartoonist, painter, and illustrator Smyth. Over 30 years of comics reveal in all its feminist glory her world of sexy ladies, precocious girls, and vindictive goddesses.
A Western World by Michael DeForge (May 22, trade paper, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-927668-48-1). DeForge’s recent short stories from Lose and elsewhere are collected, with more explorations of identity and modern life, showing that his most powerful work has often been his most pithy.
Algeria Is Beautiful Like America by Olivia Burton and Mahi Grand (Apr. 24, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-94130-256-9). Olivia had always heard stories about Algeria from her maternal grandmother. After her grandmother’s death, she resolves to travel to Algeria and experience the country for herself.
Terminal Lance Ultimate Omnibus by Maximilian Uriarte (Apr. 24, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-316-41224-7). Uriarte (The White Donkey) collects his popular military comic strip, covering the rules governing the wearing of military uniforms, the most popular (and the most disgusting) MREs, the difficulty of keeping a long-distance relationship alive across thousands of miles, and the struggles Marines face upon returning home.
Marvel Legacy by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic (Feb. 27, hardcover, $39.99, ISBN 978-1-30291-101-0). It begins at the dawn of the human race and ends with a child’s prayer. In between, empires fall, mysteries brew, secrets are revealed, quests are undertaken, and legends are forged, all leading up to the dramatic return the Marvel Universe has been waiting for.
X-Men: Grand Design by Ed Piskor (Apr. 3, trade paper, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-30290-489-0). Piskor (Hip- Hop Family Tree) applies his skill as a historian to a pulse-pounding look at more than six decades of X-Men history, from their riotous birth in the ’60s to their legendary reboot in the ’70s and their battle against extinction in the ’00s.
Niki de Saint Phalle: The Garden of Secrets by Sandrine Martin and Dominique Osuch (May 1, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-158-1). Niki de Saint Phalle was a French-American sculptor, painter, and filmmaker and one of the few women artists widely known for monumental sculpture. This graphic biography explains how she knew art could save the world because art saved her.
New York Review Comics
The New World: Comics from Mauretania by Chris Reynolds, edited by Seth (Mar. 27, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-68137-238-9). This underappreciated cult classic offers a surreal vision of a post–alien-invasion Earth, where human beings still have to deal with quotidian frustrations, ennui, and understanding their place in the world.
Dalston Monsterzz by Dilraj Mann (Mar. 27, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-910620-35-9). In Mann’s graphic novel debut, all eyes turn to East London, where freakish monsters and megalomaniacal property developers are competing to see who can destroy it first. Standing in the way of the apocalypse? Hipsters, hotties, and nerds.
The Ghost Script by Jules Feiffer (July 31, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-63149-313-3). Concluding his graphic novel trilogy, Feiffer plunges back into the blowzy, boozy world of blacklist Hollywood, circa 1953: witch hunts, Reds, pinkos, starlets, and a mysterious, orchid-growing mastermind who runs a back-channel clearinghouse for victims of the entertainment world’s purge.
The Altered History of Willow Sparks by Tara O’Connor (Mar. 6, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-62010-450-7). Willow Sparks and her best friend Georgia Pratt are at the bottom of the social ladder at Twin Pines High School. When Willow finds a mysterious book that allows her to literally change her life, it feels like her luck is finally turning.
Manfried the Man: A Graphic Novel by Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow (May 1, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-68369-015-3). In this graphic novel, the roles of cats and humans are reversed. Manfried is a stray human taken in by Steve Catson, a slacker with a dead-end job and nonexistent love life. Soon Manfried becomes the Garfield to Steve’s Jon Arbuckle. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Little Stranger by Edie Fake (July 17, trade paper, $21.95, ISBN 978-0-99919-350-1). Edie Fake’s comics forged an entire aesthetic of art and queer culture, and his work from various underground anthologies and zines is finally collected.
Simon & Schuster/Gallery 13
All the Answers by Michael Kupperman (May 15, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-5011-6643-3). Eisner Award–winner Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle) tries to understand the life and mindset of his once-famous father—Joel Kupperman, the Quiz Kid who rose to fame then public derision in the ’50s—before the father succumbs to dementia.
Spit and a Half
The Complete Strange Growths: 1991–1997 by Jenny Zervakis (Apr. 3, trade paper, $20, ISBN 978-1-68148-597-3). Zervakis was part of a wave of underground, do-it-yourself cartoonists who came of age during the zine revolution of the 1990s. Her autobiographical zine was warm, understated, and emotionally bare; for the first time, these inspirational and groundbreaking comics are collected.
The Comic Book Story of Baseball: The Heroes, Hustlers, and History-Making Swings (and Misses) of America’s National Pastime by Alex Irvine, Tomm Coker, and C.P. Smith (May 8, trade paper, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-399-57894-6) provides an illustrated look at the beginnings (both real and legendary), developments, triumphs, and tragedies of baseball, including the cultural impact and significance of the sport worldwide.
Kamo, Vol. 1 by Ban Zarbo (May 15, trade paper, $10.99, ISBN 978-1-4278-5867-2). Born with a failing heart, Kamo has fought death his whole life. As he readies to draw his final breath, he’s visited by a powerful spirit named Crimson, who offers him a deal: defeat and capture the souls of 12 spirits in exchange for a new heart.
Draw Stronger: Self-Care for Cartoonists and Other Visual Artists by Kriota Willberg (Apr. 8, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-941250-23-5) is a comprehensive guide for artists interested in sustaining a pain-free, lifelong drawing practice. Cartoonist Willberg draws from decades of experience as a massage therapist and educator, creating a comprehensive guide to injury prevention for cartoonists.
Bloodshot Salvation, Vol. 1: The Book of Revenge by Jeff Lemire, Mico Suayan, and Lewis LaRosa (Apr. 3, trade paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-68215-255-3). In a new era for Bloodshot, Ray Garrison escapes his past to build a family. When a hateful secret from his true love’s past threatens their fragile peace, Bloodshot will be forced to run headlong into a barrage of blood.
City, Vol. 1 by Keiichi Arawi (Mar. 27, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-945054-78-5) is a new slapstick comedy series from the creator of Nichijou, about a penniless college student who moves to a town filled with bizarre people. Nagumo struggles with money, and maybe getting a job will settle things. But that means working and not having fun in the big city.
Dead Dead Demon’s Dededededestruction, Vol. 1 by Inio Asano (Apr. 17, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-4215-9935-9). Three years ago, the aliens invaded Tokyo, but after a while, even impending doom starts to feel ordinary. Meanwhile, high school student Kadode Koyama avidly tracks the aliens’ movements on social media and, less enthusiastically, studies for college entrance exams.
Homestuck, Book 1: Act 1 & Act 2 by Andrew Hussie (Apr. 13, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4215-9940-3). Years ago a webcomic launched that captivated legions of devoted fans around the world. Now this sprawling saga has been immortalized with notes from Hussie explaining what he was thinking as he brought this monster to life.
Stupid Love Comedy by Sakurai Syusyusyu (Apr. 7, trade paper, $25, ISBN 978-0-316-44851-2). Suzu Sakura, a shoujo manga artist, is shocked at the news that the editor she’s been working with since her debut is leaving her. The good news is that her new editor is a super-hot guy. Bad news? He looks down on shoujo manga.