This fall’s graphic novels dig deep into memoir, exploring lives as diverse as those of a child in Libya, a garbageman in Ohio, and a woman with breast cancer. Throw in some fantasy standouts—an Amazon princess and a celebrity gossip columnist—and it’s another strong season.
Comics & Graphic NovelsTop 10
Marisa Acocella Marchetto. Knopf, Sept. 1
A frothy fantasy taken from the zeitgeist, about a gossip columnist forced to prove her worth, manages to find a moral with heart.
The Arab of the Future
Riad Sattouf. Metropolitan, Oct. 13
This stunning memoir, reminiscent of a male Persepolis, was an award-winning bestseller when published in France. Sattouf gives a powerfully detailed child’s-eye view of the cultural conflict of our times.
The Complete Wimmen’s Comix
Edited by Trina Robbins. Fantagraphics, Sept.
A pioneering underground classic is reprinted for the first time, giving valuable context to the continuing diversification of comics.
Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist!!
Bill Griffith. Fantagraphics, Sept.
The Zippy creator’s first graphic novel explores the effects of his mother’s shocking confession with the precision of a detective tale.
Killing and Dying
Adrian Tomine. Drawn & Quarterly, Oct. 6
A masterful anthology of Tomine’s recent work showcases various art styles to explore modern anxiety and mortality. Each tiny panel is its own universe of repressed emotion and foiled desire.
Peter Kuper. SelfMadeHero, Sept. 22
Kuper’s real-life trip to Oaxaca is the inspiration for a story that captures the volatile politics of Mexico and a small family’s dynamics. His usual steady, clear storytelling mixes with scenes of life.
Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! a Vagrant Collection
Kate Beaton. Drawn & Quarterly, Sept. 15
Beaton’s first collection was a sensation, and these comics are equally droll, brainy, and sometimes devastating. Her broadsides against clueless chauvinism are especially dead on.
Ted Rall. Seven Stories, Aug. 18
Outspoken pundit Rall follows Snowden’s evolution from wonk to whistle-blower and argues that the U.S. has been transformed from the land of the free to a paranoid snoop.
The Story of My Tits
Jennifer Hayden. Top Shelf, Sept.
Breast cancer survivor Hayden delivers a detailed history of how her breasts reflect her persona. Each page is an emotional four-panel blast of squiggly art.
Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1
Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette. DC Comics, Nov. 10
Morrison has already reinvented Superman and the entire DC Universe. He’s been working on his take on the greatest female superhero for years, and it’s sure to get people talking about the often misunderstood character.
Comics & Graphic Novels Listings
Trashed by Derf Backderf (Nov. 3, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4197-1453-5). Backderf’s follow-up to the award-winning international bestseller My Friend Dahmer is a working-man’s epic—an ode to the crap job of all crap jobs: garbage collector. A hilarious, stomach-churning, in-depth examination of this vast, unknown world, as only Derf, and comics, can do it.
Alternative Comics Are Dead, edited by Erik Aucoin (Nov. 10, paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-934460-90-0). Alternative Comics’s flagship anthology returns with new comics from a variety of young alternative cartoonists, including Sophia Foster-Dimino, Sam Alden, Anders Nilsen, Leslie Stein, Noah Van Sciver, Lauren Weinstein, Charles Forsman, Mickey Zacchilli, and many others. Cover art by Hellen Jo.
Beef with Tomato by Dean Haspiel (Sept. 15, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-934460-81-8). A native New York bruiser is fed up with life in the dregs of a drug-addled Alphabet City, where his neighbors are shut-ins and his bicycle is always getting stolen. Haspiel returns to his semiautobiographical roots and explores the emotional truths between prime and primate.
Schmuck by Seth Kushner, illus. by Dean Haspiel, Gregory Benton, and Josh Neufeld (among others), foreword by Jonathan Ames (Sept. 15, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-934460-84-9), is one man’s awkward coming-of-age-quest to find love in New York City, illustrated by 22 artists. Adam Kessler is a pop culture–obsessed New York photographer torn between pleasing his Mom by finding a “nice Jewish girl” and figuring out what he really wants.
(dist. by Consortium)
Snapshots of a Girl by Beldan Sezen (Oct. 13, paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-55152-598-3). In this autobiographical graphic novel, Sezen revisits the various instances of her coming-of-age, and her coming out as lesbian, in both Western and Islamic cultures, to friends, family, and herself.
Black Market by Frank Barbiere and Victor Santos (Aug. 11, paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-60886-723-3). Ray Willis is a disgraced medical examiner making ends meet working at a funeral parlor. When his estranged criminal brother, Denny, shows up, he proposes a once-in-a-lifetime partnership to cure not just cancer but all disease. The catch? It exists within the DNA of superheroes.
Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio by Jessica Abel (Aug. 25, paper, $17, ISBN 978-0-385-34843-0). A behind-the-scenes look at five of the most popular narrative radio shows on the airwaves today, including This American Life and RadioLab. With the help of Ira Glass, Abel looks at a medium that’s changing the way we tell stories.
Heart in a Box by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren (Sept. 29, paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-61655-694-5). When the Man with No Name breaks Emma’s heart, she wishes her broken heart away, and a mysterious stranger—who may or may not be totally evil—obliges, leaving Emma to collect the seven pieces of her heart spread across the country.
Nanjing: The Burning City by Ethan Young (Sept. 1, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-61655-752-2). Young (Tails) delves into WWII’s forgotten tragedy, the devastating Japanese invasion of Nanjing, and tells a heart-wrenching tale of war, loss, and defiance about two abandoned Chinese soldiers trapped inside the walled city.
The New Deal by Jonathan Case (Oct. 6, hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-61655-731-7). The Waldorf Astoria is the classiest hotel in the Manhattan skyline in 1930s New York City. When a charming woman named Nina checks in with a high society entourage, young Frank, a bellhop, and Theresa, a maid, get caught up in a series of mysterious thefts. The story investigates the delicate class politics of the era.
Two Brothers by Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon (Oct. 27, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-61655-856-7). Twin brothers Omar and Yaqub may share the same features, but they could not be more different. The possessive love of their mother, Zana, stirs the troubled waters between them even more. Based on a work by acclaimed novelist Milton Hatoum.
The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III (Nov. 17, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-4012-4896-3). Gaiman’s legendary series is back with an epic widescreen origin story following Morpheus from the birth of a galaxy to the moment that he’s captured, with cameo appearances by the Corinthian, Merv Pumpkinhead, and, of course, the Dream King’s siblings.
Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1, by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette (Nov. 10, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-4012-2978-80). Updating Wonder Woman for the 21st century, critically acclaimed, bestselling writer Morrison (All-Star Superman, Batman, Inc.) again pushes the boundaries of the graphic novel page in his mindbending new take on the most powerful woman in the DC Universe.
The Multiversity Deluxe Edition by Grant Morrison, illus. by Frank Quitely and Ivan Reis (Oct. 27, hardcover, $49.99, ISBN 978-1-4012-5682-1). Morrison and a cast of today’s most acclaimed superhero artists explore a cosmos-spanning, soul-shaking experience that puts readers on the frontline in the battle for all creation against the demonic destroyers known as the Gentry.
Drawn & Quarterly
Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine (Oct. 6, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-209-0). In six interconnected, darkly funny stories, Tomine forms a quietly moving portrait of contemporary life that captures the pride and disappointment of family, and the anxiety and hopefulness of life in the 21st century. A fraught, realist masterpiece.
Puke Force by Brian Chippendale (Oct. 20, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-219-9) is social satire written dark and dense across Chippendale’s deconstructed multiverse of walking, talking M&Ms, hamsters, and cycloptic-yet-glamorous trivia hosts. A bomb explodes in a coffee shop: the incident is played out over and over again from the perspective of each table in the shop.
Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! a Vagrant Collection by Kate Beaton (Sept. 15, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-77046-208-3). Ida B. Wells, the Black Prince, and Benito Juárez burst off the pages of this collection of Beaton’s webcomics, armed with modern-sounding quips and amusingly on-point repartee. Irreverently funny and carefully researched, no target is safe from Beaton’s incisive wit in these satirical strips.
Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist!! by Bill Griffith (Sept., hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-60699-895-3). The first graphic novel from the creator of Zippy the Pinhead is a memoir that poignantly recounts his mother’s secret life in the 1950s and ’60s, as after his father’s death the author discovered her long, secret affair.
The Complete Wimmen’s Comix, edited by Trina Robbins (Sept., hardcover, $100, ISBN 978-1-60699-898-4). The first reprinting of the groundbreaking anthology that published some of the most talented cartoonists in America: Melinda Gebbie, Roberta Gregory, Carol Tyler, Mary Fleener, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Dori Seda, Phoebe Gloeckner, and many others.
Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam (And Other Stories) by Simon Hanselmann (Nov., paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-60699-879-3). Fresh off their star turn in the New York Times bestseller Megahex, Megg and Mogg decide to take a trip to Amsterdam for some quality couple time, although the trip gets off to a rocky start when they forget their antidepressants.
(dist. by Diamond)
D4VE, Vol. 1, by Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon. (Sept. 29, paper, $19.99 ISBN 978-1-63140-402-3). Primetime TV; mortgages; traffic jams. The robots conquered Earth, wiping out all life in the galaxy, but nothing changed. Meet D4VE, the greatest robot war hero, now trapped behind a desk at a soul-sucking day job. Can something, somewhere snap him out of this slump?
(dist. by Diamond)
Invisible Republic, Vol. 1, by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko (Aug. 19, paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-63215-408-8). When a reporter unearths the secret history of the recently deposed dictator on a remote colonized moon, he discovers that exposing secrets can be deadly.
Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen (Aug., paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-63215-426-2). Young Robot boy TIM-21 and his companions struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet.
No Mercy, Vol. 1, by Alex De Campi and Carla Speed McNeil (Sept. 22, paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-63215-443-9). After tragedy strikes, a handful of once privileged U.S. teens on a school trip must find their way home in a cruel landscape. And, of course, there are the secrets the kids are keeping from each other.
Injection, Vol. 1, by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey (Oct. 7, paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-63215-479-8). In the latest from bestselling writer Ellis, once upon a time, there were five crazy people, and they poisoned the 21st century. Now they have to deal with the corrosion to try and save everyone from a world becoming too weird to support human life.
Ann Tenna by Marisa Acocella Marchetto (Sept. 1, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-307-26747-4). The celebrated New Yorker cartoonist and author of Cancer Vixen provides a wildly imaginative first novel: the story of an influential gossip columnist brought face-to-face with her higher self—and a challenge to change her life for the better. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
(dist. by Consortium)
Black Rat by Cole Closser (Sept. 15, paper, $15, ISBN 978-1-927668-24-5). This aesthetically varied collection of nine graphic short stories is loosely linked by the recurring appearance of Black Rat, the sleeper in the shadow, the wanderer in the woods. He walks between worlds and travels through time.
See You Next Tuesday by Jane Mai (Nov. 10, paper, $12, ISBN 978-1-927668-25-2). This collection of diary comics features the ennui of 20-something Mai (Sunday in the Park with Boys), who intersperses moments of visual poetry and heartbreak with bad body hair and bathroom disasters—much like life.
Star Wars, Vol. 1, by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, and Laura Martin (Sept. 15, paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-0-78519-213-8). The greatest space adventure of all returns as Luke Skywalker and the ragtag rebel band opposing the Galactic Empire are fresh off their biggest victory yet—the destruction of the massive Death Star. But the Empire’s not toppled yet.
Star Wars Princess Leia by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson (Sept. 15, paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-78519-317-3). When Princess Leia Organa was captured by the Empire, she never betrayed her convictions. But what is a princess without a world? As Leia comes to grips with her loss, a new mission leads her to the underground world of Sullust.
SpiderGwen,Vol. 1, Most Wanted? by Jason LaTour and Robbi Rodriguez (Nov. 17, paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-78519-773-7). Gwen Stacy is SpiderWoman, but you knew that already. What you don’t know is what friends and foes are waiting for her in the aftermath of SpiderVerse.
The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf (Oct. 13, paper, $26, ISBN 978-1-62779-344-5). This striking, virtuosic graphic novel captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism. Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gadhafi’s Libya, and Assad’s Syria—but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian pan-Arabist.
(dist. by IPG)
Becoming Unbecoming by Una (Dec. 1, paper, $23.95, ISBN 978-1-908434-69-2). It’s 1977 and Una is 12. A serial murderer is at large in West Yorkshire, and the police spend more than two million man-hours hunting the killer. As this news story unfolds around her, Una finds herself on the receiving end of a series of violent acts for which she feels she is to blame.
Naming Monsters by Hannah Eaton (Oct. 1, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-908434-21-0). This adult Where the Wild Things Are is a warm, funny, intriguing, and sexually explicit take on what happens when your emotions become personified by monsters. Fran is a keen amateur cryptozoologist, and she can’t quite tell if the animals she meets are real or part of her imagination.
Religion: A Discovery in Comics
by Margreet de Heer (Oct. 1, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-994-6). A humorous yet substantive introduction to the world’s religions and their concepts. Explaining the five major religions—Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism—and modern spirituality in clear, colorful chapters, this illustrated primer is a great way to introduce a complex topic.
Walking Wounded: Uncut Stories from Iraq by Olivier Morel and Maël (Oct. 1, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-982-3). A gripping graphic novel illustrates the difficulties faced by Iraq War veterans, as well as their inspiring triumphs. After the shock of 9/11, for hundreds of thousands of young Americans there was Ar Ramadi, Baghdad, Abu Ghraib—the war in Iraq. Then came the trauma.
Oyster War by Ben Towle (Oct. 6, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-62010-262-6). In the coastal town of Blood’s Haven, oyster farming is one of the most lucrative professions, but also the most dangerous, thanks to oyster pirates. Cmdr. Davidson Bulloch and his motley crew are tasked with capturing these ne’er-do-wells in this rollicking fantasy.
Intro to Alien Invasion by Owen King and Mark Jude Poirier, illus. by Nancy Ahn (Sept. 15, paper, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-4767-6340-8). Stacey, an overachieving astrobiology major, had planned on just another lonely spring break. But when a hurricane batters her small college town, Stacey and her friends are stranded with no way to communicate at the worst possible moment: in the midst of an alien invasion.
(dist. by HBG)
Klaxon by Si Spencer and Dix (Oct. 13, paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-910593-02-8). Three unemployed slackers find themselves embroiled in an unusual dispute with their new neighbors: Carole and her weeping mother. Owing more to William Blake than to Stephen King, this brooding, unnerving, and absurdist graphic novel deliberately shuns the conventional.
Ruins by Peter Kuper (Sept. 22, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-906838-98-0). Samantha and George are about to launch into a sabbatical year in the quaint Mexican town of Oaxaca, but find themselves embroiled in local violence that will alter their paths. Kuper weaves together personal, political, and natural dramas into a thrilling portrait of life south of the Rio Grande.
Snowden by Ted Rall (Aug. 18, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-60980-635-4). The first biography of Snowden from one of America’s leading political graphic artists. Why did Snowden decide to step forward? Rall delves into Snowden’s early life and work, his personality, and the larger issues of privacy, new surveillance technologies, and the recent history of government intrusion.
(dist. by Simon & Schuster)
Judge Dredd: America by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil (Aug. 11, paper, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-90543-758-0). In Mega-City One, the judges are the law. But how do the citizens really feel? Often called the defining Judge Dredd story, this classic sees two young friends get caught up in a dark and complex tale that asks difficult questions about freedom, trust, and justice.
Our Expanding Universe by Alex Robinson (Nov., paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-60309-377-4) is a “spiritual sequel” to Robinson’s Eisner-winning debut, Box Office Poison. It’s been 15 years, and he introduces another ensemble to explore how time can transform a group of friends.
The Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden (Sept. paper, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-60309-054-4). When Hayden was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43, she realized that her tits told a story. Across a lifetime, they’d held so many meanings: hope and fear, pride and embarrassment, life and death. And then they were gone.
(dist. by Consortium)
New Construction by Sam Alden (Nov., paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-941250-03-7). Two stories from Adventure Time contributor Alden include 50 pages of never before seen art and a new, unpublished ending to “Backyard.” This cements Alden’s reputation as one of the best cartoonists of his generation.
Houses of the Holy by Caitlin Skaalrud (Nov., paper, $21.95, ISBN 978-1-941250-05-1). A young woman’s descent into the depths of her psyche in hopes of repairing the damage takes the form of a Dantean journey. Each stage is a macabre installation of everyday objects and animals (dead and alive) arranged in occult patterns.
Bloodshot Reborn, Vol. 1: Colorado by Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan (Oct. 13, paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-939346-67-4). New York Times bestselling writer Lemire and artist Suayan present a new beginning for one of Valiant’s most enduring characters. Stripped of his powers, Bloodshot must now grapple with the aftermath of his life as a living weapon.
Ninja Slayer, Part 1: Machine of Vengeance, created by Bradley Bond, Phillip N. Morzez, illus. by Yuuki Yogo, and retold by Yoshiaki Tabata (Oct. 20, paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-941220-93-1). The latest project from the team behind Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gurren Lagaan, and the new Cartoon Network hit Kill la Kill is a futuristic sci-fi action tale of ninja-on-ninja warfare in a hard-knocks Tokyo suburb.
Idol Dreams, Vol. 1, by Arina Tanemura (Nov. 3, paper, $9.99, ISBN 978-1-4215-8256-6). At age 31, virgin office worker Chikage Deguchi feels she missed her chances at love and success. She takes an experimental drug that changes her appearance back to when she was 15. Now Chikage is determined to pursue everything she missed all those years ago.
(dist. by HBG)
The Devil Is a Part-Timer! High School!, Vol. 1, by Satoshi Wagahara (Aug. 18, paper, $13, ISBN 978-0-316-38511-4). Satan and hero Emilia are reincarnated as high school students in modern-day Japan. Add the innocent Chiho, a fellow student with a crush on the former lord of darkness, and you’ve got a romantic comedy of epic proportions.