Politics dominates spring’s comics offerings, with journalism and memoirs from established names including Derf Backderf, Joe Sacco, Leslie Stein, and Adrian Tomine.
Battle Born: Lapis Lazuli
Maximilian Uriarte. Little, Brown, May 12 ($28, ISBN 978-0-316-44896-3)
Bestseller Uriarte (Terminal Lance), a Marine turned cartoonist, returns with an ambitious graphic novel in which the U.S. military battles in Afghanistan to wrest control of the lucrative lapis lazuli gem market from the Taliban.
Brian “Box” Brown. First Second, June 30 ($19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-250-15407-1)
Brown’s canny portrayals of lives changed by fame (including those of Andy Kaufman and Andre the Giant) reach a zenith in this composite character portrait of a 1980s child star.
Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës
Isabel Greenberg. Abrams ComicArts, Mar. 3 ($24.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-3268-3)
In the mid-19th century, the grieving Brontë children escaped into an imaginary world, and Greenberg blends historical research with fanciful drawings to recreate it in “this lyrical, endlessly inventive book [for] lovers of history, literature, and metatextual fantasy,” per PW’s starred review.
Moa Romanova, trans. by Melissa Bowers. Fantagraphics, Feb. 11 ($24.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-283-0)
In this graphic memoir, Romanova matches with an older celebrity on a hook-up app while dealing with panic attacks; her retro stylings and caustic wit make this import a hipster discovery.
I Know You Rider
Leslie Stein. Drawn & Quarterly, May 5 ($24.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-401-8)
Stein (Present) juxtaposes the story of her abortion against her encounters with mothers (including her own) and children (of her friends and strangers) as she processes a hard experience, relevant to many, that few talk about.
Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio
Derf Backderf. Abrams ComicArts, Apr. 7 ($24.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-3484-7)
Backderf (My Friend Dahmer) inspects the tragedy at Kent State in May 1970, when the Ohio National Guard shot a group of unarmed college protesters. PW’s starred review called it an “expertly crafted chronicle of this defining moment in U.S. history.”
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist
Adrian Tomine. Drawn & Quarterly, May 26 ($24.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-395-0)
Awkward and cringe-inducing moments on the fringes of growing literary fame haunt Tomine (Killing and Dying) as the popular indie cartoonist (and frequent New Yorker cover artist) looks back at his life’s trajectory.
The Mueller Report
Shannon Wheeler and Steve Duin. IDW, Apr. 7 ($15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68405-668-2)
Journalist Duin teams up with Eisner Award–winning satirist Wheeler (Sh*t My President Says) to transform the Mueller report into accessible comics, with contextual editorializing and cartoon antics.
Oak Flat: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West
Lauren Redniss. Random House, Apr. 21 ($30, ISBN 978-0-399-58972-0)
In a hybrid of text and intermixed colored-pencil drawings, MacArthur “genius grant” recipient and National Book Award finalist Redniss (Thunder and Lightning) movingly conveys the strife between an Apache family and a mining dynasty in the Arizona desert.
Paying the Land
Joe Sacco. Metropolitan, May 5 ($28, ISBN 978-1-62779-903-4)
Eisner Award– and American Book Award–winning Sacco (The Great War) delves, in his dense and detailed cartooning style, into fracking on Native land, with on-the-ground reporting of the Dene people in the Canadian Mackenzie River Valley.
Comics & Graphic Novels Listings
Abrams Comic Arts
Drawing the Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Voting in America by Tommy Jenkins and Kati Lacker (Apr. 21, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-3998-9) combines analysis, statistics, and cartooning to chart the history of voting rights in the U.S. up to the challenges and trends that led to the 2016 presidential election results, with guidance to make voting practices fair and accurate.
A Gift for a Ghost by Borja González (May 5, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-4013-8). Four young women pushing against the conventions of their era, one living in 1856 and three friends in 2016, collide through parallel dimensions, in this fantastical graphic novel, in which a rebellious poet haunts untalented punk rockers.
Everything Is Beautiful, and I’m Not Afraid: A Baopu Collection by Yao Xiao (Mar. 3, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5248-5245-0). A young, queer immigrant comes of age as she searches for her community in the U.S. in this collection of Xiao’s monthly web-comics column from Autostraddle, which draws on her own life. (With added, previously unpublished material).
Big Black: Stand at Attica by Frank “Big Black” Smith, Jared Reinmuth, and Améziane (Feb. 18, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68415-479-1). Smith, a prisoner at the center of the 1971 uprising at Attica State Prison in New York State, details the injustices that led to the riot and its aftermath, in this postmortem graphic narrative based on interviews and illustrated by Améziane (Muhammad Ali).
We Served the People by Emei Burell (Apr. 28, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-68415-504-0). Burell’s mother was one of a generation of young people shipped from city schools to rural work during China’s Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960s; these are her stories of truck driving, farm work, bureaucracy, romance, and her struggle to educate herself, in Burell’s graphic nonfiction debut.
Bronx Heroes in Trumpland by Tom Sciacca and Ray Felix (Apr. 14, $11.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-55152-805-2). Astron Star Soldier, an astronaut/alien warrior from Sciacca’s 1970s Astral Comics series, joins forces with African-American boxer/superhero Black Power, from Felix’s ’90s comics, to confront a supervillain named Donald Trump, along with FLOTUS, Putin, and various nefarious MAGA hat–wearing characters.
Art Life by Catherine Ocelot, trans. by Aleshia Jensen (Apr. 7, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77262-046-7). Ocelet interviews seven artists from different disciplines and juxtaposes their advice and anecdotes with scenes from her own “art life” in this memoir through conversations.
A for Anonymous: How a Mysterious Hacker Collective Transformed the World by David Kushner and Koren Shadmi (Mar. 31, $26, ISBN 978-1-56858-879-7). The origins of the leaderless “hacktivist” group Anonymous and its actions against targets like Sony, the Church of Scient-ology, and the Ferguson Police Department are reported by Rolling Stone journalist Kushner and cartoonist Shadmi (coauthors of Rise of the Dungeon Master).
Once & Future, Vol. 1, by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora (Mar. 31, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68415-491-3). A retired British monster hunter trains her grandson to battle a magically resurrected foe of Arthurian legends, in this first volume of an ongoing series from Gillen (The Wicked + the Divine series) and Mora (Buffy the Vampire Slayer series).
Langosh and Peppi: Fugitive Days by Veronica Post (May 5, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77262-044-3). Post’s debut graphic novel—set during the 2015 European “migrant crisis” in Budapest—features impish Langosh and his dog, Peppi, whose transient lifestyle winds through the war-torn region’s alleys, train stations, cheap rooms, abandoned buildings, and countryside.
Manor Black by Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, and Tyler Crook (Mar. 3, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5067-1201-7). In-fighting breaks out in a family of sorcerers when the patriarch of Manor Black selects an adopted mage as the benefactor of his powers, in this gothic horror fantasy mash-up from the creators of the Sixth Gun series.
No One Left to Fight by Aubrey Sitterson and Fico Ossio (Mar. 24, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5067-1304-5). Inspired by Street Fighter video games and Dragon Ball manga, this comic asks what happens to heroes after they’ve run out of foes to fight and are left to reconcile their pasts and grow apart from their friends.
Everything, Vol. 1, by Christopher Cantwell and I.N.J. Culbard (Apr. 21, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5067-1492-9). In a quiet Michigan town, a department store offers customers anything and everything they ever need. But when disturbances rock the community, some folks begin to suspect the boundless shopping is behind it all.
DC Black Label
Batman: Last Knight on Earth by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (Apr. 7, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-4012-9496-0). The team behind Dark Knights: Metal return to cast a tale set 20 years in the future, when Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum with no memory of ever being the Dark Knight, and must turn to the Joker to reassemble the past.
Harleen by Stjepan Sejic (Feb. 11, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-7795-0111-0). Dr. Harleen Quinzel keeps dreaming about one of the criminals she’s been interviewing at Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum: the Joker. He seems to truly see who she is, and thus begins a demented love affair and a new, dark take on Harley Quinn’s origin story.
The Stringbags by Garth Ennis and PJ Holden (May 20, $29.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68247-503-4). Ennis (the Preacher series) and Holden (World of Tanks) offer a history of the machines and men of the WWII British Royal Navy’s Swordfish crews, who fought in out-of-date monoplanes the modern torpedo bombers of Germany, Japan, and Italy.
Drawn & Quarterly
Constitution Illustrated by R. Sikoryak (June 30, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77046-396-7). The satirical mind behind the illustrated version of Apple’s Terms and Conditions again mashes up mimicry and homage in rendering the U.S. Constitution in more than a century of American art styles, from Bechdel to Marvel and The Simpsons.
The Swamp by Yoshiharu Tsuge (May, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-384-4). Part of a series of translated Tsuge titles to be released by the publisher, this collection presents the early realist work of the influential midcentury literary manga creator, focusing on the desperate lives of Japanese citizens in the postwar period.
The Machine Never Blinks: A Graphic History of Spying and Surveillance by Ivan Greenberg, Everett Patterson, and Joseph Canias (Mar. 17, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-282-3). From the Trojan Horse to the “war on terror” and the infiltration of everyday privacy via online data collection, this graphic history of surveillance considers the technologies, proponents, and victims of government and corporate spying.
Portrait of a Drunk by Olivier Schrauwen, Jerome Mulot, and Florent Ruppert (Apr. 14, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-289-2). Guy, a cowardly drunk and petty criminal, stars in this nonheroic tale of an 18th-century pirate’s life, a dark comedy collaboration between three European cartoonists.
A Story by Gipi (June 30, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-319-6). The Italian cartoonist spins a dual-threaded narrative into a tapestry of inherited trauma, featuring Silvando Landi, a writer in his 50s whose family life and sanity is falling apart, and his great-grandfather, Mauro, a soldier entering the fray of WWI.
Apsara Engine by Bishakh Som (April 14, $24.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-936932-81-8) collects fantasy stories in comics form that playfully approach gender, time, and the nature of reality, as well as academic research into postcolonial cartography, among other things.
The Golden Age, Book 1, by Roxanne Moreil and Cyril Pedrosa, trans. by Montana Kane (Feb. 11, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-23794-1). When Princess Tilda is ousted in a coup following the king’s death, she wanders her kingdom in search of a magic talisman prophesied to bring about a golden age, in what PW’s review called a “sumptuous, epic fantasy.”
Go to Sleep (I Miss You): Cartoons from the Fog of New Parenthood by Lucy Knisley (Feb. 25, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-250-21149-1). This “charmingly honest and humorous account of raising babies,” according to PW’s review, collects sketches from the popular Instagram feed of Knisley (Kid Gloves), documenting little moments from early motherhood.
Unrig: The Broken Systems of U.S. Democracy and How to Fix Them by Daniel G. Newman and George O’Connor (July 7, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-250-29530-9). Activist Newman and artist O’Connor follow the money and manipulations of lobbyists and others to unpack what’s gone wrong with the U.S. democratic system—and highlight the efforts of those trying to counter corruption in American politics.
Omni, Vol. 1: The Doctor Is In, by Devin Grayson and Alitha Martinez (Mar. 17, $14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64337-619-6). Dr. Cecilia Cobbina was a well-regarded physician until an incident forced her out of Doctors Without Borders. When she acquires an unexpected superpower, thinking faster than the speed of light, she can suddenly answer any question, except one: What’s behind “the Ignited”?
Blossoms and Bones: Drawing a Life Back Together by Kim Krans (Mar. 3, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-298638-2). In this vulnerable memoir, Krans draws throughout her retreat at an ashram, where she’s healing from an eating disorder, multiple miscarriages, and a divorce. “In a moment when self-love messages are often glib... Krans’s attempt is enjoyably messy,” says PW’s review.
Canto, Vol. 1: If I Only Had a Heart, by David Booher and Drew Zucker (Mar. 31, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68405-621-7). Canto is among an enslaved people who have clocks implanted in place of their hearts and are forbidden to love. Then Canto rebels and strikes out on a quest to recover the heart of his beloved tin girl in this Oz-inspired all-ages adventure tale.
SFSX (Safe Sex), Vol. 1: Protection, by Tina Horn et al. (June 1, $9.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5343-1585-3) At the Dirty Mind, a club run by queer sex workers in an alternate reality America where sex is strictly policed, stiletto-heeled avengers employ BDSM to fight against governmental control, in a series scripted by kink writer Horn, drawn by various artists.
Iron Circus Comics
The Harrowing of Hell by Evan Dahm (Mar. 10, $15, ISBN 978-1-945820-44-1). The author of Rice Boy reimagines the story of the descent of Christ into Hell in this graphic novel that casts humanitarian Jesus as a political revolutionary, discarding vengeful versions of Christ and painting him instead as a defiant, dying man who believed in salvation.
Little Josephine by Raphael Sarfati and Valérie Villieu (Apr. 7, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64337-534-2). Villieu, a visiting nurse, draws her unusual friendship with an elderly patient, Josephine, portraying the sweetness of their communication and connection through humor, which sustained the pair as Josephine’s health declined.
Red Mother with Child by Christian Lax (June 15, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-257-1). Commissioned by the Louvre in a series of titles by artists inspired by the museum, this graphic novel focuses on a 14th-century sculpture of a mother and child, and envisions the journey of a young African refugee fleeing religious extremism to carry the art object to France.
Paris 2119 by Zep and Dominic Bertail (July, $21.99, ISBN 978-1-942367-62-8). In 22nd century Paris, people can transport themselves instantaneously, but Tristan Keys is a Luddite who still takes the Metro or walks across the rainy city. But when he discovers his world crumbling, he begins to question what he truly believes.
Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle by Nick Spencer et al. (Apr. 14, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-302-92138-5). Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, is summoned by S.H.I.E.L.D. and sent on a worldwide quest, with the fate of mankind hanging in the balance; featuring appearances by Nick Fury, Wolverine, Peter Porker (yes, “Spider-Ham”), and a mysterious prisoner in a steel box.
Valkyrie: Jane Foster, Vol. 1: The Sacred and the Profane by Jason Aaron and Al Ewing (Feb. 4 $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-302-92029-6). Dr. Jane Foster—Thor, Goddess of Thunder—returns as Valkyrie, guide and ferrywoman to the dead, to fight against Bullseye, who has gotten hold of the Asgardian weapon Dragonfang, in this multiverse afterlife adventure.
Giant by Mikael (Apr. 15, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-253-3). The lives and loves of 1930s Irish immigrant workers building Rockefeller Center, dangling high while wielding riveting guns, are glorified in this drama featuring Giant, a bruiser with a heart of gold. When one of his fellow steelworkers dies, he begins secretly corresponding as the dead man with his fellow steelworker’s widow in Ireland (but can’t bring himself to reveal her husband’s dead).
New York Review Comics
The Man Without Talent by Yoshiharu Tsuge, trans. by Ryan Holmberg (Feb. 11, $22.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68137-443-7). Tsuge’s autobiographical graphic novel observes him trying out odd jobs—becoming a used camera salesman, a ferryman, and a stone collector—only to fail repeatedly. This is the alternative manga master’s first full-length graphic novel translated into English.
The Art of Drag by Jake Hall et al. (May 5, $24, ISBN 978-1-910620-71-7). Drag was a phenomenon well before RuPaul, as this illustrated guide shows, starting from the earliest history of the art form and tracing it up to the present day, with stops along the way at Kabuki theaters, the Stonewall riots, and the underground New York City ballroom scene.
Guadalcanal by Georgia Ball and Esteve Polls (Feb. 18, $26 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4728-3873-5). On August 7, 1942, Japanese-held Guadalcanal was invaded by American troops, whose campaign would last more than six months; this illustrated military history depicts the battles from the perspective of ground troops in this key stage in the War of the Pacific.
The Dairy Restaurant by Ben Katchor (Mar. 10, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-8052-4219-5). Katchor (Cheap Novelties) brings his peculiar collector’s gaze to this text/art hybrid history of Judaism and the rise of dairy restaurants, from biblical laws about food preparation to a detailed look at the dairy restaurants that once peppered New York City and have now almost disappeared. Copublished with Nextbook in the Jewish Encounter series.
The Marchenoir Library by A. Degen (June 9, $21.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-9991935-8-7). Made up entirely of book covers for a mysterious series by an ex-celebrity songstress turned superheroine, this volume is a puzzle that challenges readers to decipher the plot of a book by its covers.
The Emotional Load by Emma (Apr. 1, $13.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-60980-956-0). Following up on her graphic work The Mental Load, Emma continues to address in chatty cartoons the ways that women are burdened with taking care of others in society, from individual relationships to systemic political and cultural expectations.
Crash Course: If You Want to Get Away with Murder Buy a Car by Woodrow Phoenix (Apr. 7, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-951491-01-7) asks why society remains complacent about the violent toll of car culture, unpacking everything from the ubiquitous nature of traffic fatalities to cars driven as a weapon and the vulnerability of “driving while black.”
Little Victories by Yvon Roy (May 12, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78773-230-8). Roy learns to adapt to the challenges of raising his son with autism in this graphic memoir, which uses humor and a compassionate approach to the daily and larger life struggles of parenting a child with special needs.
An Embarrassment of Witches by Sophie Goldstein and Jenn Jordan (Feb. 11, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-60309-462-7). Two opposite-personality BFFs, who happen to be witches, balance dating, family, and figuring out their adult lives in this comedy that addresses perennial coming-of-age issues like “will this warlock call me back?” and “what spell-casting praxis should I focus my grad thesis on?”
The Grot: The Story of the Swamp City Grifters by Pat Grant (May 19, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-60309-466-5). Australian teenage brothers Penn and Lipton Wise hope to strike it rich in a dystopian swamp city, where hustlers and swindlers compete for fortune in this hot, wet, and stinky urban landscape of the future.
Tinderella by M.S. Harkness (Feb. 14, $14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-941250-37-2). Harkness’s autobiographical comics record the foibles of a broke, posturing 20-something, from awkward Tinder dates, overdoing-it workout sessions, and the embarrassing oversharing of personal health issues and emotional failures.
The Visitor, Vol. 1, by Paul Levitz and MJ Kim (July 7, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68215-364-2). Eisner Hall of Fame inductee Levitz (Legion of Super-Heroes series) scripts a sci-fi mystery centered around “the Visitor,” a possibly impossible-to-thwart force who has world leaders running scared, with art by Kim (Faith: Dreamside series).
After-School Bitchcraft, Vol. 1, by Yuu Shimizu (Feb. 18, $13 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-975399-22-1). Sorcerer Renji Fuyumi hides his true identity at his day job as a science teacher, but opens up to the alluring, fashion-obsessed Ririka Kirise, making her his disciple.
Free Comics: The Untold Story of the Wacky to the Wonderful, the Giveaways That Sold Shoes, Fought Commies, Taught Sex-Ed... and Much More, edited by Craig Yoe (May 12, $49.99, ISBN 978-1-68405-654-5) is an ode to giveaway comics, from evangelical and instructional booklets, including rare promotional samples drawn by the likes of Jack Kirby, Charles Schulz, Will Eisner, and Stan Lee.