The return of 1990s trailblazer Julie Doucet, who quit a mostly homogenous, male-dominated industry, is emblematic of the sea change within comics, showcased in an extraordinarily diverse crowd of creators debuting this spring.
Fine: A Comic About Gender
Rhea Ewing. Liveright, Apr. 5 ($21 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63149-680-6)
Ewing’s debut brings together a decade’s worth of interviews about gender, drawn as diverse portraits alongside the cartoonist’s own coming-of-age and gender transition saga.
The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere.
James Spooner. Harper, May 17 ($26, ISBN 978-0-358-65911-2)
The Afropunk filmmaker sounds out his 1980s teen fandom in this debut graphic memoir that promises to rock with high notes hitting on race and class issues in the emergent punk scene.
Joseph Smith and the Mormons
Noah Van Sciver. Abrams ComicArts, May 3 ($29.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-4965-0)
Ex-Mormon, Eisner-nominated Van Sciver takes on the ambitious task of a graphic biography of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints.
Jordan Crane. Fantagraphics, Mar. 22 ($29.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-518-3)
Behind the drama of a lover’s quarrel looms larger crises, in this graphic novel from cartoonist and graphic designer Crane, who is poised to break out to broader readership.
Gengoroh Tagame, trans. by Anne Ishii. Pantheon, May 24 ($32.50, ISBN 978-1-5247-4856-2)
Tagame follows up his Eisner Award–winning My Brother’s Husband with another queer drama set in contemporary Japan, featuring a closeted young painter with synesthesia.
Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator
Sofia Warren. Top Shelf, June 14 ($24.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-60309-512-9)
The New Yorker cartoonist embeds with activist New York state senator Julia Salazar to document the day-to-day and larger lessons as a grassroots campaign transforms into a functioning political office.
The Third Person
Emma Grove. Drawn & Quarterly, May 3 ($39.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77046-615-9)
Clocking in at almost 900 pages, this graphic memoir debut of comics newcomer Grove gets at gender, trauma, and mental illness from myriad angles.
Time Zone J
Julie Doucet. Drawn & Quarterly, Apr. 19 ($29.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77046-498-8)
Doucet (Dirty Plotte) “vowed” in the 1990s to never draw herself again in a comic, but fans will celebrate her return in this dual-narrative graphic memoir that juxtaposes a 1980s tryst with the present day.
Wash Day Diaries
Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith. Chronicle, June 14 ($19.95, ISBN 978-1-7972-0545-8)
Rowser and Smith’s debut volume of interconnected shorts on Black women, friendship, and self-care, was originally a crowdfunded series named a best book of 2019 by the Comics Journal.
What Is Home, Mum?
Sabba Khan. Street Noise, Apr. 5 ($19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-951491-17-8)
In an intricately drawn first outing, British Pakistani artist Khan digs into identity, culture, family, and global history.
Comics & Graphic Novels Listings
Fever Knights: Official Fake Strategy Guide by Adam Ellis (May 3, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5248-6286-2) plays like a strategy guide for a video game that’s never actually been created, featuring cool kids who investigate mysterious happenings, complete with character stats and other typical gamer goodies.
The Realist: The Last Day on Earth by Asaf Hanuka (June 21, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-64668-570-7). This third volume of the Eisner and Hugo Award–winning Israeli cartoonist’s weekly auto-biographical comics ranges from diary entries to dreams, and covers such topics as parenting, family, politics, and creativity.
Sleeping While Standing by Taki Soma (July 21, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-910395-68-4). In short autobiographical comics, Soma recalls traumatic and funny moments from her life, spanning from her 1980s childhood in Japan, her move to the American Midwest, and adulthood, touching on family conflict and health issues.
House of Slaughter by James Tynion IV et al. (June 21, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64668-449-6) brings readers back in time to the horror landscape of the Something Is Killing the Children series and the origin story of monster hunter Aaron Slaughter’s star-crossed romance in the House of Slaughter. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
Shelterbelts by Jonathan Dyck (May 10, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77262-068-9) weaves together vignettes from a fictional Mennonite community in a rural town in southern Manitoba, where a Christian megachurch sets up and ignites tensions between the more traditional and progressive within the faith, and within families.
The Stretcher Bearers by Reid and Ryan Beaman (Apr. 20, $24.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68247-619-2) memorializes WWI “stretcher bearers” through the character Maxwell Fox and his fellows of Fourth Infantry Ivy Division tasked with the harrowing duty of carrying wounded fighters to safety while risking their own lives.
Lore Olympus: Vol. 2 by Rachel Smythe (July 5, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-593-16030-5). Smythe ascends to the heights of Olympus, collecting the popular web comic that casts gods as if glamorous soap stars, reveling in the relationship drama of Persephone, Hades, Apollo, and their immortal milieu.
Drawn & Quarterly
Hummingbird Heart by Travis Dandro (May 31, $29.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-77046-562-6) picks up after his debut graphic memoir, King of King Court, with Travis now a teenager taking care of his sick grandmother while indulging in rebellion and blasting grunge tunes, all drawn with a focus on small, symbolic details.
Rave by Jessica Campbell (Apr. 5, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-460-5) pairs a dutifully evangelical 15-year-old with the Wiccan goth girl next door for a study-date sleepover. It’s a queer love story that wrestles with sexual awakening and shame, set in the early 2000s against the soundtrack of dial-up internet.
Halcyon by Ron Regé Jr. (Feb. 1, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-511-4) garnered a PW starred review for its “dazzling drawings from a dazzling mind,” as Regé invites fans of The Cartoon Utopia for a tour through New Age visions of battling angels and other dreamscapes.
My Badly Drawn Life by Gipi, trans. by Jamie Richards (Feb. 15, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-68396-521-3), scratches out the coming-of-age story of the caustic cartoonist, quipping his way through stories of sex, sadness, and substance abuse and full of inner longing and loathing, drawn with his trademark inky sketched lines.
Schappi by Anna Haifisch (Apr. 19, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68396-526-8) collects five absurdist animal stories drawn in bold colors, set in a comedic world where lizards are fine art curators, ostriches shimmy across the stage, meat and veg eaters uneasily convene, and weasels sob their eyes out.
Why the People: The Case for Democracy by Beka Feathers and Ally Shwed (June 14, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-76070-8). This addition to the World Citizen series offers an analysis and history of American democracy, framed as a debate between two people waiting at an airport.
Jacob’s Apartment by Joshua Kemble (May 25, $18.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63779-022-9). Jacob, a devout Christian acting out as he reels from his father’s death, and his friend and roommate Sarah, a hard-drinking atheist who’s been bringing home hookups after a breakup, find a way to help each other heal.
The Pass by Espé, trans. by J.T. Mahany (June 21, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-63779-023-6), returns to the life of Bastien, the confused child in The Parakeet, who is now grown up and a father with a new baby facing a scary medical diagnosis, when his kind father-in-law comes to care for the family.
Hard Case Crime Comics
Gun Honey by Charles Ardai and Ang Hor Kheng (Mar. 29, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78276-346-8) stars Joanna Tan, a noir fatale pinup/arms smuggler employed by the U.S. government to right the wrongs of a prison break she helped set off.
Brave New World: A Graphic Novel by Aldous Huxley and Fred Fordham (Apr. 19, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-06-305525-4) adapts the 1932 dystopian classic and its bizarre world where artificial childbirth, indoctrination, and enforced social order are upended by a “savage” child, by the artist of the graphic edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
Dear Sophie, Love Sophie: A Graphic Memoir in Diaries, Letters, and Lists by Sophie Lucido Johnson (Mar. 1, $21.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-304070-0). Johnson enters a
conversation with her own teenaged self, as she doodles scenes from her real journal entries and reflects on identity, trauma, growth, and learning from and letting go of one’s past.
Monarca by Leopoldo Gout and Eva Aridjis (Apr. 19, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-06-305733-3) combines aspects of Mexican folklore, earth science and environmental activism, and magical realism when a 13-year-old girl transforms into a Monarch butterfly and joins a swarm on a seasonal migration that has been disrupted by climate change.
Chronophage by Tim Seeley and Iliaz Kyriazis (Feb. 15, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-6433-7760-5) takes the trope of giving up parts of one’s self for love to a new level. Here, an alien lover literally eats away events and people in the memories of a single mother.
Wired Up Wrong by Rachael Smith (May 17, $19.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78578-837-6). Smith follows Quarantine Comix with a graphic memoir dealing with anxiety and depression, depicting her disordered mind as hosting a crowded cast including a cat, a dog, and a pair of miniature game show emcees.
Bermuda by John Layman and Nick Bradshaw (Feb. 1, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68405-733-7) teams up Layman (Chew) and Bradshaw (the X-Men series) for an island adventure tale set in a certain mysterious Atlantic Ocean region populated by dinosaurs, pirates, magical monsters, and a spirited teen heroine named Bermuda.
Yellow Cab by Benoît Cohen and Christophe Chabouté, trans. by Edward Gauvin (May 17, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68405-892-1), adapts into a graphic memoir the tales of French filmmaker Cohen immersing himself into New York City by becoming a taxicab driver, navigating the licensing system’s administrative maze, and meeting
Cruel Summer by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Feb. 1, $24.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5343-2189-2). The latest from the unstoppable duo du jour for comics pulp and noir features a father and son embarking on a criminal summer in the late 1980s.
Made in Korea by Jeremy Holt and George Schall (Feb. 1, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5343-2011-6). Adoptee Holt tackles taboos with a sci-fi setup of a precocious tween Korean adoptee brought into a Texas family who realizes that she’s entering adolescence as an android.
The Me You Love in the Dark, Vol. 1 by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona (Mar. 8, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5343-2114-4) spins up haunted house spookies after an artist flees the big city for an isolated home in a small town and summons more than she bargained for when she calls up her muse.
Iron Circus Comics
Radium Girls by Cy (May 3, $15 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-945820-99-1) renders in glowing colored pencils the true story of the “Ghost Girls,” 1918 factory workers hired to paint a new radiant substance on watch faces only to suffer radiation poisoning before becoming leaders and martyrs in the labor movement.
Makhno by Philippe Thirault and Roberto Zaghi, trans. by Nanette McGuinness (Mar. 22, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-64337-969-2), presents a graphic biography of Ukrainian anarchist, military strategist, and inventor Nestor Makhno (1888–1934), who opposed Bolsheviks and Germans in the Russian revolution.
Adrastée by Mathieu Bablet (May. 15, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-951719-42-5) reimagines the Greek myth of the immortal land of Hyperborea and its king who longs for death, following his journey to plead with the gods at Mount Olympus.
Big Scoop of Ice Cream by Conxita Herrero (July 12, $17.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68112-294-6) combines anecdotes and dream imagery to tell a contemporary coming-of-age story of a 20-something art student through moments in love, technology, and friendship.
Boot Black by Mikaël (May 17, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-68112-296-0) begins in WWII, then looks back in time, as American soldier Al recalls the trials and adventures of his youth in 1930s New York City as an orphaned German immigrant and shoeshine boy who gets mixed up in crime before joining the Army.
New York Review Comics
Bungleton Green and the Mystic Commandos by Jay Jackson (May 3, $22.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68137-665-3) showcases for the first time in a trade volume the run of Jackson’s science fiction action-adventure comic from the 1940s in the Chicago Defender, a Black newspaper, featuring Black superhero and time traveler Bungleton Green and Mystic Commandos as they battle Nazis and racists.
Kisses for Jet by Joris Bas Backer (May 3, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-913123-03-1). Dutch teen Jet becomes fixated on Kurt Cobain, a fandom that soothes the wounds of being sent off to boarding school; from this attraction emerges questions about gender and identity.
Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez and Danica Brine (Mar. 1, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-62010-904-5) stirs up a queer romance when aspiring writer Ben Cook tries his hand in a restaurant kitchen, where he meets dreamy chef Liam.
Policing the City: An Ethno-Graphic by Didier Fassin, Frédéric Debomy, and Jake Raynal, trans. by Rachel Gomme (Mar. 1, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-63542-250-4), adapts into a graphic narrative sociologist Fassin’s essay Enforcing Order, which examined police brutality in Paris’s working-class suburbs during the 2005 riots.
Mortals by John Dermot Woods and Matt L. (Mar. 16, $25, ISBN 978-1-7377184-1-3). When aging actor Francis, a failure at career and family, gets one last chance at the big screen, it’s to play the dying father of a pop star, bringing his own fears of mortality into focus.
Two Heads: A Graphic Exploration of How Our Brains Work with Other Brains by Uta Frith et al. (Mar. 1, $30, ISBN 978-1-5011-9407-8) looks at what’s going on inside minds, especially when two or more minds get together, examining brain chemistry, evolution, and theories of social cognition.
Cicatrix by Elle (July 6, $9.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-945509-85-8), a debut graphic novella, traces the development of the Filipina cartoonist’s hypochondria back to inherited guilt around her family’s privilege under the Marcos regime.
Gnartoons by James the Stanton (Mar. 23, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-945509-41-4) collects the wacky comic series that’s been running since 2005, in which animals in unusual circumstances perform ridiculous antics, including a dog who chugs malt liquor and forest dwellers who prank the police.
Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald Robertson and Zé Nuno Fraga (June 14, $32.50, ISBN 978-1-250-27095-5) retells the life of the Roman emperor and wisdom seeker who sought a life of the mind while navigating warfare and sickness in the territories he ruled.
Gay Giant: A Memoir by Gabriel Ebensberger (May 10, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-951491-16-1) recalls Ebensberger’s 1990s childhood as a secretly queer kid who loved Barbie dolls, among other early clues to his eventual coming out, as he finds acceptance and self-love.
Weird to Exist: Simple Comics About Complex Feelings by Alison Zai (Apr. 26, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-9848-6014-9) showcases favorites from Zai’s Instagram feed, plus new material skewering the absurdity of life via cartoony characters who riff on anxiety, love, loneliness, and connection.
Hen Kai Pan by Eldo Yoshimizu, trans. by Motoko Tamamuro and Jonathan Clements (Apr. 12, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-78773-837-9). This manga, drawn with mystical flourishes, imagines five guardian powers over the Earth in dispute over how to address humans’ mistreatment of the planet—with four united to protect humanity against one powerfully vengeful spirit.
The Junction by Norm Konyu (Apr. 5, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-78773-830-0) unpacks the mysteries of a lost little boy who has been missing over a decade, then suddenly returns. He hasn’t aged and can’t speak, and brings with him a few photos and a diary about a place called “The Junction.”
Free Pass by Julian Hanshaw (May 3, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-60309-505-1) takes on sex, politics, and ethics in the digital world. Two adventurous lovers, one of whom happens to work for a democracy-threatening tech firm, decide to explore polyamory and are sent a sex android that can mimic anyone who uses the internet.
What Remains: Colombia: Stories and Histories by Camilo Aguirre (May 24, $16.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-941250-49-5) charts two centuries of Colombian history in a graphic narrative of the people, culture, and fraught politics of the nation, drawing from Aguirre’s family stories and testimonies by students, workers, and guerrillas.
The Harbinger, Book 1 by Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, and Robbi Rodriguez (May 17, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-68215-424-3) reboots the Valiant universe’s telepath Peter Stancheck, as the confused superhero wakes up with no memory, but a reputation that proceeds him as he encounters foes and digs into his past.
Witchblood: The Hounds of Love by Matthew Erman and Lisa Sterle (Apr. 26, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63849-084-5). As a vampire motorcycle gang hunts witches, ancient spellcaster Yonna is determined to protect her coven in this Southwest-based fusion starring a Wiccan Buffy type. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
Alice in Borderland, Vol. 1, by Haro Aso, trans. by Jonah Mayahara Miller (Mar. 15, $19.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-9747-2837-4), pits angsty high schoolers in a cruel game of life and death in an alternate version of Tokyo, in which every time the kids survive a round, the timer resets.
Space Story by Fiona Ostby (June 7, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5131-2875-7) launches a love story that evolves into a star-crossed family drama. Two women fall in love in a space training program, but as humans begin fleeing Earth, their family splits up across the stars.