This fall brings a bounty of comics from many genres and voices, and worthy debuts for all tastes.
Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation
David Polonsky and Ari Folman. Pantheon, Oct. 2
Authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation, this adaptation is accessible for younger readers and is a striking reminder of Frank’s diary’s contemporary relevance for anyone who hasn’t read it since school days.
Berlin Book Three: City of Light
Jason Lutes. Drawn & Quarterly, Sept. 4
Decades in the making, the indie-favorite Berlin trilogy reaches its conclusion in this artistic observation of the end of the Weimar Republic.
L. Nichols. Secret Acres, Sept. 15
Nichols, a trans man, looks back on his rural Louisiana childhood in a conservative Christian community in this memoir. His honest portrayal will appeal to any reader who has felt like an outsider.
Home After Dark
David Small. Liveright, Sept. 25
Small returns, following his acclaimed memoir Stitches, with a gorgeously drawn tear-jerker that “unearths an (almost) impossible tenderness,” per our starred review.
The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic
Emma. Seven Stories, Oct. 23
With simple drawings and cutting truth, Emma’s explication of the “mental load” borne by women has been expanded into a volume that’s sure to be this fall’s feminist go-to gift.
Tom King and Mitch Gerads. DC, Nov. 20
This revamp of Jack Kirby’s classic character, escape artist and “New God” Scott Free, has already garnered multiple Eisner Award nominations.
Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir
Liana Finck. Random House, Sept. 18
Finck’s frenetic, expressionist, incisive line drawings of life commentary in the New Yorker mature into this heartfelt graphic memoir about embracing her unique oddity.
Petit: The Ogre Gods, Book One
Hubert Boulard and Bertrand Gatignol, trans. by Jeremy Melloul. Lion Forge, Aug. 21
With boisterous cartooning reminiscent of both Alice in Wonderland and the Saga series, this dark-humored fantasy saga is a delightful discovery.
#Sad! Doonesbury in the Time of Trump
G. B. Trudeau. Andrews McMeel, Sept. 18
Trudeau’s droll and incisive humor again lays bare the absurdity of politics; among the bevy of sendups of the president’s antics, his is likely to find the broadest base and lasting impact.
Comics & Graphic Novels Listings
Fluorescent Mud by Eli Howey (Nov. 13, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-937541-44-6) is a hand-painted graphic novel that maps an unnamed protagonist’s disjointed, insomniac journey across a landscape populated by hipster wanderers, late-night parties, and increasingly bizarre hallucinations.
Minding the Store: How We Started a Business, Hired Our Mothers, Broke Some Dishes, Fired Our Mothers, Picked Up the Pieces, Grew, Shrank by Julie Gaines and Ben Lenovitz (Oct. 30, hardcover, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-61620-662-8). The founder of New York City’s popular housewares store Fishs Eddy illustrates the rise of her family business, well-stocked with quirky city encounters, celebrity cameos, and inspiration for entrepreneurs.
#Sad! Doonesbury in the Time of Trump by G.B. Trudeau (Sept. 18, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4494-8997-7). The Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist follows up his bestselling Yuge, 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump by tackling the first 500 days of the Trump administration, with a trademark blend of humor and pathos.
Sons of El Topo, Vol. 1: Cain by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Jose Ladronn (Dec. 25, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-68415-289-6). Cult filmmaker Jodorowsky reimagines the story of Cain and Abel, whose father has become an enlightened holy man, set in a surreal, haunting Western landscape, in a graphic novel sequel to the film El Topo.
The Antifa Comic Book: 100 Years of Fascism and Antifa Movements Around the World by Gord Hill (Sept. 18, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-55152-733-8). Hill (The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book) illustrates the past 100 years of fascism and the concurrent antifa movements, from post-WWI Europe to contemporary America.
Windhaven by George R.R. Martin, Lisa Tuttle, and Elsa Charretier (Aug. 21, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-553-39366-8). An early fantasy novel from Martin (Game of Thrones) gets a full-color graphic novel adaptation. On the islands of the watery world Windhaven, humans who fly are a class above the land-bound, where young Maris dreams of soaring away.
The Vagabond Valise by Siris (Oct. 9, trade paper, $25, ISBN 978-1-77262-027-6). From a prominent figure in the Quebec underground comics scene (who draws himself with a chicken head) comes the memoir of his troubled childhood, spent in and out of foster homes when not being raised by his alcoholic father.
Hungry Ghosts by Anthony Bourdain et al. (Oct. 2, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-5067-0669-6). The late author of Kitchen Confidential and host of CNN’s Parts Unknown, along with coauthor Joel Rose and a cast of illustrators, stirs up a cauldron of horror stories inspired by the Japanese Edo-period game Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai—complete with recipes.
The Complete Matinee Junkie: Five Years at the Movies by Jordan Jeffries (Sept. 15, trade paper, $20, ISBN 978-0-9826595-7-1). Film-lover Jeffries writes and draws about every screening he attended over five years, combining idiosyncratic movie reviews with updates on his personal life, as he brings friends and lovers with him to the theater, and eats a lot of popcorn.
Assassinistas by Tini Howard and Gilbert Hernandez (Aug. 21, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-68405-271-4). Three women assassins have each taken different life directions after their killing heyday, but Octavia Price is back in the game, now recruiting her son Dominic and his boyfriend Taylor to her schemes. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
Black Mask Studios
Billionaire Killers by Matteo Pizzolo and Soo Lee (Oct. 30, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-62875-218-2). Pizzolo (Calexit) again weaves a thriller that funhouse-mirrors contemporary politics, crafting the saga of a wealthy family whose heirs turn against the greed of their elders.
The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth by Ken Krimstein (Sept. 25, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-63557-188-2). New Yorker cartoonist Krimstein portrays the life and loves of political philosopher Hannah Arendt, in a biography that our review calls “a complicated, moving, uneven story that resonates in just such times.” 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Abbott by Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivelä (Oct. 9, trade paper, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-68415-245-2). Hugo Award–nominated Ahmed and artist Kivelä set a reporter-against-the-system tale in 1970s Detroit, as journalist Elena Abbott searches for truth and uncovers a dark occult underbelly.
On Vinyl by Lorenz Peter (Oct. 1, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-1-77262-029-0). In this indie graphic novel, idealistic Lenny opens a used record shop but realizes that running a small business is rockier than he imagined. When he picks up the trail of a long-lost disco DJ collection, he’s launched on a nostalgic goose chase.
Koshchei the Deathless by Michael Mignola et al. (Oct. 2, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-5067-0672-6). Two dark characters chat at a bar in hell: one of them is Hellboy, the other is Koschei the Deathless, the killer sent by Baba Yaga to destroy him. They reminisce on all the horrors on the road to immortality.
Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads (Nov. 20, trade paper, $22.49, ISBN 978-1-78578-345-6). Reimagining one of Jack Kirby’s “New Gods,” this Hugo-award winning team tracks escape artist Scott Free, aka Mister Miracle, across galaxies and heroics, into membership of the Justice League, and unto the face of death.
Machete Squad by Brent Dulak et al. (Sept. 15, trade paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-68247-100-5). U.S. Army medic Dulak relates his brutal day-to-day in this graphic battlefield chronicle. “This episodic tale of military life has a gritty honesty, like a guy at a dive bar with a story to get off his chest,” reports our review.
Drawn & Quarterly
Berlin Book Three: City of Light by Jason Lutes (Sept. 4, trade paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-327-1). In this d conclusion to Lutes’s dramatic, noir-inspired graphic novel trilogy set in the Weimar Republic as Nazism rises in Germany, “multiple story lines give the narrative a disjointed feeling, mirroring the political and social situation of the time, as disparate characters careen like the nation and the world toward similarly dark ends,” said our review.
Coyote Doggirl by Lisa Hanawalt (Aug. 21, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-325-7). “In this cockeyed western, a pink, half-coyote, half-dog cowgirl named Coyote gallops across the prairie on her faithful horse, Red, ‘pursued by guys’ but mostly luxuriating in the ride,” our review says of this sui generis adventure—and horse-love story—by the popular cartoonist and animator.
I Am Young by M. Dean (Nov. 20, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-139-0). This debut graphic novel—charting a teenage love story set in Scotland between a second-generation Iranian immigrant, Miriam, and a young Welsh visitor, George—opens at a Beatles concert, then follows their relationship as it progresses over decades in parallel to the famed band’s rise and ebb.
Parallel Lives by Olivier Schrauwen (Nov. 20, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-140-6). Schrauwen collects short comics works that feature, among other things alien abduction, dialogue with future agents, and coded messages.
Monk! Thelonious, Pannonica, and the Friendship Behind a Musical Revolution by Youssef Daoudi (Sept. 25, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-62672-434-1). This illustrated biography of jazz legend Thelonious Monk focuses on his relationship with a baroness who became a lifelong friend and patron.
Other People: Days of the Bagnold Summer & Driving Short Distances by Joff Winterhart (Sept. 4, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-5011-9174-9) packages together two novellas about strange and strained relationships: one a mother and son, the other a young man and his mentor.
Rx by Rachel Lindsay (Sept. 4, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-4555-9854-0). This memoir of mental illness is a roller-coaster ride through bipolar disorder. Lindsay lives in the grip of the disease while working at an ad agency churning out antidepressant ad campaigns, only to be forcibly hospitalized before she finds health and stability. 15,000-copy announced first printing.
To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel by Harper Lee and Fred Fordham (Oct. 30, hardcover, $23.99, ISBN 978-0-06-279818-3). Fordham crafts a graphic novel adaptation of Lee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, giving new life to the characters of Scout, Gem, Boo Radley, Atticus Finch, and the small town of Maycomb, Ala.
Superman Isn’t Jewish by Jimmy Bemon (Oct. 2, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-59465-598-2). Benjamin used to proclaim, “I’m Jewish. Like Superman!” But as he grows up, he is caught between identities, love for his Catholic mother, and his belief that his Jewish father is himself heroic.
Antar: The Black Knight by Nnedi Okorafor and Eric Battle (Jan. 15, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-68405-373-5). Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award–winning author Okorafor’s adventure series is based on the life of Antarah ibn Shaddad, a poet and warrior from pre-Islamic Arabia, whose mother was an African slave and his father an Arabic nobleman.
James Brown: Black and Proud by Xavier Fauthoux (Oct. 30, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-68405-338-4). The tumultuous and colorful life of the charismatic talent called “The Godfather of Soul” gets illustrated in this graphic biography, set against the backdrop of the civil rights era and the exploding pop music scene.
My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser (Oct. 10, hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-5343-0846-6). In Brubaker and Phillips’s first original graphic novel, teenager Ellie harbors romantic ideals about drug culture that are shattered when she enters a drug rehab clinic and gets involved in a relationship with deadly repercussions.
Shot All to Hell: A Graphic Novel by Nate Olson, Mark Lee Gardner, and Nic Chapuis (Sept. 4, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-68383-151-8). This graphic adaptation of Gardner’s Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape chases Jesse James and his notorious gang through one of the most famous bank robberies in Western history.
Meal by Blue Delliquanti and Soleil Ho (Oct. 1, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-1-945820-30-4). “In this sunny, charming foodie comic, aspiring cook Yarrow moves across America to work at a new restaurant. The twist: it’s dedicated to entomophagy, or insect-eating,” our review says of this romantic comic, complete with bug-filled recipes.
The Ghost in the Shell: Global Neural Network by Max Gladstone et al. (Sept. 18, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-63236-603-0). Four original short stories launch from the world of the popular manga The Ghost in the Shell by a bevy of Western comics talent, full of mystery, mayhem, and science-fictional madness.
Chlorine Gardens by Keiler Roberts (Sept. 11, trade paper, $12, ISBN 978-1-927668-58-0). Roberts’s deadpan humor dissects pregnancy, child-rearing, art making, mental illness, and an MS diagnosis in this diary style collection of dark humor.
Open Earth by Sarah Mirk, Eva Cabrera, and Claudia Aguirre (Sept. 25, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-62010-501-6). This erotic sci-fi graphic novel chronicles one day on the space station California, a floating community that embraces polyamory, boasts a diverse crew, and has had no contact with the home planet since Earth’s recent political and ecological collapse.
Petit: The Ogre Gods, Book One by Hubert Boulard and Bertrand Gatignol, trans. by Jeremy Melloul (Aug. 21, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-942367-77-2). Petit is a little giant, the son of the Ogre King and hidden by his mother from the death sentence of other small offspring in their species. This is the first volume in an ongoing tale of humans, giants, and the in-between children who can change their fate.
Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels (Sept. 18, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-5493-0292-3). McDuffie Award–winning creator Daniels gets philosophical in this sci-fi graphic novel. When Hank and Molly Nonnar clone themselves in pursuit of another chance at youth, the unexpected results force them to question what defines their identities—and whether they, or their “better selves,” want to survive.
Home After Dark by David Small (Sept. 25, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-87140-315-5). Our starred review recommends this “haunting coming-of-age tale” set in the 1950s, by the author of the bestselling Stitches. The book follows 13-year-old Russell Pruitt, who, our review notes, “grows like a determined weed in the wake of masculinity so toxic it has literally killed a menagerie of pets in the small California town where he lives with his troubled father.”
Part of It: Comics and Confessions by Ariel Schrag (Nov. 13, trade paper, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-328-97244-6). In this graphic memoir, Schrag (Adam) lets readers in on her awkward coming-of-age while always striving to fit in, from schoolyard cliques of mean girls to uncomfortable conversations with coworkers at her first retail jobs.
Avengers, Vol. 1, by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness (Oct. 18, trade paper, $17.99, ISBN: 978-1-302-91187-4). It’s a new era for the Avengers, as members of the team reunite to save the world (again) from longtime foes the Celestials, in a diverse superhero ensemble cast featuring Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and more. This adventure lands just in time to follow up on the popular feature film release.
The Provocative Colette by Annie Goetzinger (Aug. 1, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-170-3). French novelist Colette’s early life is illustrated, in a graphic novel timed to release with the motion picture Colette, starring Keira Knightly. Colette’s writing scandalized in her time, but opened up new freedoms for women and women writers. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
New York Review
Piero by Edmond Baudoin, trans. by Matt Madden (Oct. 16, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-68137-296-9). Baudoin’s graphic memoir is a tribute and elegy to brotherhood, as he and his sibling are bound together through childhood illness and bouts of imagination, only to drift apart as they grow up and individually determine what it means to become adults and men.
An Illustrated History of Filmmaking by Adam Allsuch Boardman (Oct. 9, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-1-910620-40-3). From the earliest, prehistoric plays of light on cave walls to the overwhelming choice in the contemporary streaming media environment, this history covers every era in moviemaking in illustrated detail, featuring profiles of such legends as Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa, George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick, and Agnes Varda. 15,000-copy announced first printing.
Kafkaesque: Fourteen Short Stories by Peter Kuper (Sept. 18, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-0-393-63562-1). “Kafka’s timeless work has never hit so hard, nor more artfully,” our review says of this adaptation of classic short stories by Kuper (Metamorphosis), which reimagine Kafka’s tales with contemporary political relevance, in the artist’s trademark, agit-prop blocky art style.
Merry Men by Robert Rodi, Jackie Lewis, and Marissa Louise (Dec. 4, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-62010-547-4). In a spirited graphic novel based on scholarly speculation about sexual relations in the woods of 13th-century England, Robin Hood is the former lover of King Richard, Prince John has outlawed homosexuality, and the band of merry men fight for their love.
Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation by David Polonsky and Ari Folman (Oct. 2, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-101-87179-9). In this Anne Frank Foundation–authorized adaptation, “Anne blooms like the hardiest, loveliest weed,” according to our starred review, and “the beauty of Anne’s life and the power of her legacy are heartening bookends to the horror of her fate.”
Che: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson and José Hernández (Nov. 13, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-7352-2177-2). This graphic adaptation of Anderson’s biography of Che Guevara follows the revolutionary from his days in medical school, through the battlefields of Cuba, his disastrous period in the Congo, and his execution in Colombia.
Amongst the Liberal Elite: The Road Trip Exploring Societal Inequities Solidified by Trump (Resist) by Elly Lonon and Joan Reilly (Oct. 9, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-57687-905-4). Alex and Michael, a liberal couple, take a road trip across America to try and understand the rise of Trump, to connect with his supporters, and dive into tourist traps along the way; based on a McSweeney’s column.
Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dalí, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made by Josh Frank, Tim Heidecker, and Manuela Pertega (Nov. 13, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-59474-923-0). A recently discovered film script cowritten by Salvador Dalí and the Marx Brothers for a surreal/slapstick film is transformed into a graphic novel, featuring businessman Jimmy (played by Harpo) and his dalliances with “The Surrealist Woman.”
Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir by Liana Finck (Sept. 18, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-50892-2). Of the memoir by a popular New Yorker cartoonist, our review says, “Becoming human is a lifelong task—but Finck illustrates it with humor and panache.” Finck’s frenetically sketched coming-of-age tale relates being ever the odd one out.
Belonging: A German Reckons with Home and History by Nora Krug (Oct. 2, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-4767-9662-8). Krug’s grandparents lived through WWII, and as Krug reflects on her heritage as a German, she is compelled to investigate the past to understand how the atrocities of the Holocaust are woven into the fabric of her identity and nationality.
Flocks by L. Nichols (Sept. 15, trade paper, $21.95, ISBN 978-0-9991935-2-5). Nichols, a trans man, draws himself in this moving childhood memoir like a rag doll, tormented in his conservative Christian community in rural Louisiana. /Our review praises this effort, “written and drawn with equal parts raw honesty and a wide-open heart,” to speak to “the experience of any reader challenged by their gender identity, sexuality, and/or conflicting religious beliefs.”
Wolf by Rachael Ball (Oct. 30, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-910593-54-7). In the summer of 1976, young Hugo has a traumatic loss and becomes obsessed with turning back time. He believes the neighbor he calls the “Wolf Man” has the parts needed to create his time machine, but can he muster the bravery to get them?
The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic by Emma (Oct. 23, trade paper, $18.95, ISBN 978-1-60980-918-8). Emma, creator of a popular webcomic, collects a volume of comics that deal with maternity leave, domestic violence, women’s sexual experience, and other feminist issues.
The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling: A Hardcore, High-Flying, No-Holds-Barred History of the One True Sport by Aubrey Sitterson and Chris Moreno (Oct. 9, trade paper, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-399-58049-9). The Straight Shoot pro-wrestling podcast hosts present a comics history of the theatrical sport, featuring legendary wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, the Rock, and contemporary favorites including John Cena and Sasha Banks.
The Beatles Yellow Submarine by Bill Morrison (Aug. 7, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-78586-394-3). Timed with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, this authorized graphic novel adaptation of the album uses a classic art style to tell the story of how the Captain frees Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from the Blue Meanies.
Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak (Sept. 25, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-60309-438-2). Ignatz Award–winning Nowak (Lumberjanes) collects short comics narratives on adolescent girlhood, blending fantasy and recognizable drama of young women longing for connection, from the story of Diana, who buys a robot boyfriend, to Mary and La-La, who host a podcast on a film no one has ever seen.
The Whistling Factory by Jesse McManus (Aug. 7, trade paper, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-941250-29-7). McManus’s debut is a cartoony, bizarre sprawl featuring monsters, animals, and disturbed children.
Univ. of Texas
Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life by Maraia Hesse, trans. by Achy Obejas (Sept. 4, hardcover, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-4773-1728-0). This biography, told like a memoir (in first-person narrative), celebrates the life of Frida Kahlo, from childhood through the accident that left her in chronic pain, to her relationship with Diego Rivera and her rise to artistic fame.
Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal by the Prophet of the Fox God and Greg Chomichuk (Oct. 16, trade paper, $24, ISBN 978-1-940878-21-8) is the origin story of the Japanese pop-metal kawaii band, Babymetal, presented as a graphic nonfiction work that summons the spirit of metal music.
Correction: A previous version of this article listed in an incorrect subtitle for The Mental Load in one instance.
This review has been updated to remove a title, Run by John Lewis, that is no longer publishing in the Fall 2018 season. (It appeared in the top 10 section.)