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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Graphic Novels, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 682
1. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

cover artWhen I began reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua, I did something I usually don’t do. I posted how great the book is and how everyone needed to, right then and there, request a copy from the library or buy one of their own. Now that I have actually finished it, I still stand by that assertion.

The book is a graphic novel like no other I have read (which is more than some and less than a good many). Sure the stories are told with great black and white drawings, some of them very detailed like the visual explanation in the appendix of how the Analytical Engine would have worked if it were ever built. Wait, appendix? A graphic novel with an appendix? Yup. And that is just one way this book is different. It also has footnotes and endnotes. In fact, the graphic part of it is almost beside the point. To be sure, the graphics tell a story, but the real action, where all the fun and humor is, is in the footnotes and endnotes. Crazy!

Padua has clearly done extensive research, she even got a scholarly slam dunk by finding a letter in an obscure archive somewhere that settled a dispute about just how much Ada Lovelace had to do with Babbage and maths and the Analytical Engine and computer programming (a lot!). Booyah! And Padua clearly enjoys her subjects as well, expressing great knowledge and affection for them and all their quirks and foibles.

Since Lovelace died when was 36 and the Analytical Engine was never built, Padua takes liberties with the story, moving the pair to a pocket universe in which Ada lives and the Engine is built. Still, she remains true to certain biographical events, even quoting them directly at times in the stories. When she veers far off course there is a handy footnote to tell us so.

I say stories because that is what these are, short stories in graphic form. So we have a story about the Person from Porlock, one in which Lovelace and Babbage meet Queen Victoria and give her a demonstration of the Analytical Engine. Except the Engine crashes, (even when computers were only theoretical there were provisions for what to do when they crashed) and Ada runs off to fix it and save the day while Babbage bores the Queen with stories about how great he is. The Queen, not understanding why the Engine is a useful thing is losing interest until Lovelace’s programming produces a picture of a cat. Heh. Cats and computers belong together apparently. We meet George Boole whose Boolean logic will be familiar to both computer geeks and librarians. And there are often hilarious run-ins with many other famous personages.

One that a good many of you will be familiar with is George Eliot. She and Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Thomas Carlyle and others are summoned for a “mandatory spell-check” of their most recent manuscripts. Lovelace really did theorize that the Analytical Engine should be able to analyze symbols as well as crunch numbers. Eliot’s manuscript gets fed into the Engine but it being her only copy she immediately changes her mind. Thus follows a long pursuit through the workings of the Engine to try and get the manuscript back. But horror of horrors, the Engine uses “destructive analysis” and the manuscript gets ripped to shreds! And then it crashes the Engine. The huge joke at the end of this is that there had been a tussle at the beginning and Eliot and Carlyle got their manuscripts mixed up and it is actually Carlyle’s manuscript on the history of the French Revolution that is destroyed. In real life Carlyle’s manuscript was indeed destroyed. He had given it to his friend John Stewart Mill to read. The only copy. Mill left it sitting out and the servants thought it was waste paper and used it for starting fires. Oops. Carlyle had to rewrite the who book, but personally, from what I have actually read about the incident in other places, it was probably for the best because the rewrite by accounts was better than the original. Still, Carlyle was devastated and I don’t remember if he and Mill continued to be friends afterwards.

Anyway, this is a right fun book. Babbage and Lovelace were real characters even before they were fictionalized in a pocket universe. If you would like a taste of the book including a few stories that didn’t make it in, there is a website! The Science Museum of London also built Babbage’s Difference Engine, the precursor to the Analytical Engine, in 1991 and because of the magic of the internet, you can watch a video demonstration:

Is that thing ever loud!

If you are looking for something fun, geeky, madcap and sometimes just plain silly, you can’t go wrong with The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.

Filed under: Books, Graphic Novels, Reviews Tagged: Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage, George Eliot, madcap adventures, Thomas Carlyle

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2. Annual 2015: Graphic Novels, Comics, and San Francisco

This is a guest post from Trevor Calvert, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for ALA 2015 in San Francisco.

San Francisco is a literary city and as such a wealth of comic book stores merit a visit if you are eager to experience some of SF’s comic-book culture. Every year SF hosts the Alternative Press Expo highlighting local creators, and even has a Comic Art Museum which showcases both classics Golden Age shows all the way to hosting local-artist workshops. So let’s pack a light sweater (or maybe a cape?) and walk over to a few of these awesome spots!

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 8.45.06 AM

Our first stop is Isotope: The Comic Lounge; not only is the design of the store sweet, the comic selection great, but you can stop by it’s lounge--the first of its kind--where you can relax, put your feet up, and feel free to read some sequential narratives from their on-site library. If that isn’t enough to draw you in, its Special Project Director, Kirsten Baldock, is an Oakland Public librarian! Also, the owner is both a real person and a comic character.
Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 8.45.18 AM

As we continue our journey, brave adventurers, let’s visit Mission Comics and Art. Proprietor Leef Smith knows a lot about comics. He also knows a lot about San Francisco, has traveled the world, and has a passion for fine art. These facets help make his Mission Comics a definite on your list of places to visit.  From his site:

“Leef’s intention is for “Mission: Comics & Art” to help facilitate a greater cross-pollution between the worlds of fine art and commercially produced sequential art i.e. comic books, re-contextualizing both and creating a new community focal point, both locally in the neighborhood, and in the larger artistic world.”

That his store is in the Mission district should not be overlooked: the Mission is a fantastic area in which to wander around, eat delicious food, and see some of the best San Francisco has to offer. If on Friday at 7:30 you are looking for something to do, Mission Comics is hosting writers Jeff Parker, Mike Tanner and Jef Burandt--all with new books with Oni Press!

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 8.45.25 AMIf your travels take you to the Castro district, be sure to check out Whatever: Get Your Geek On. They’re known not only for their great comic collection, but for their collectibles and figure collection. They’ve been around since 2006 and have a super friendly staff and, despite their non-committal store-name, completely love what they do.

While this store is not named after this famous aardvark in comics, it does reference the animal, so can be none other than Aardvark Books, home of Owen the Cat and countless used and new books (mostly hardcover). And while this is not a comic book store, it’s been open since 1978 and much beloved by many. Aardvark’s staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and if wandering a good bookstore (because they’re not classified in DDC or LCS) and petting friendly cats is your thing, then this is a must.

There are so many great bookstores, comic or otherwise, in San Francisco: Green Apple Books, City Lights, Booksmith, Borderlands (one of the best Science Fiction / Horror / Fantasy stores around--and in the Mission!) just to list a small few (not to mention across the bridge in Oakland). If you have the time, checking out the local bookstores (and maybe a few watering holes along the way) is one of the best ways to see this city. Be intrepid, curious, and inspired!


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3. Thrilling! Adventures! Fun!

cover artI have been waiting my turn in the library holds queue quite some time for The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage. It is a graphic novel by Sydney Padua. I’ve just begun it and it is so much more than I ever could have hoped for.

It is not your average graphic novel. There is as much text as there are pictures. There are footnotes. There are endnotes. The art is great and the whole thing is absolutely bonkers and laugh out loud funny.

Don’t know who Lovelace and Babbage are? Charles Babbage invented the first computer but for various reasons mostly to do with Babbage, it never got built. Ada Lovelace is the daughter of Lord Byron and the first computer programmer. Lovelace died at age thirty-six. Babbage lived to be a crotchety old man.

After writing a story about Lovelace and Babbage, Padua thought it a real shame the computer never got built and the pair didn’t get to work together for very long. So she went all wibbly wobbly timey wimey and discovered a pocket universe where Lovelace and Babbage built the computer, have thrilling adventures, and, of course, fight crime, because why not? The first adventure has to do with the person from Porlock.

As I said, I have not read much but what I have read has been pure delight and I couldn’t keep it to myself until I finished. So I am telling you about it now. Check your library. If they have the book, get yourself on the list for it. Now. Go. No dilly-dallying.

Filed under: Books, Graphic Novels, In Progress Tagged: Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage

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4. Z2 expands with fall GN line, including Abaddon, Pawn Shop and Ashes

Z2 Comics just made news last week with a new line of periodicals, and here’s their fall graphic novel line, courtesy of Publishers Weekly. The slate includes a collection of Koren Shadmi’s awesome webcomic THE ABADDON, as well as a new edition of Cleveland by Harvey Pekar and Joseph Remnent, and print editions of two Kickstarted projects: ASHES: A FIREFIGHTER’S TALE by Mario Candelaria and Karl Slominski; and PAWN SHOP by Joey Esposito and Sean Von Gorman.

“With the addition of three new books to Z2 Comics, the return of Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND to print and the recently announced launch of the Z2 Comics periodical line, this year promises to be our most ambitious yet. And it’s just the beginning,’ said publisher Josh Frankel.

The Eisner-nominated Cleveland was previously distributed by Top Shelf, but has sold out of its 10,000 copy initial print run, Frankel told PW.


We’ve admired The Abaddon (above) here at the Beat many times before; it’s gorgeous and getting it in a nice print edition is a real treat.

Here’s the full Z2 line-up:


ASHES: A FIREFIGHTER’S TALE written by Mario Candelaria with art by Karl Slominski.
(September 22, 2015; $19.99; 120 pages; black and white)

Matt always had an easygoing life. Girls liked him, his friends were more like family, and being a firefighter came naturally. Then the accident happened. Now, after the loss of his leg, Matt struggles to cope with his new handicap as he attempts to rebuild his shattered family and once budding career. A riveting tale about perseverance, hard work, and overcoming the odds, ASHES is a gripping tale told in stunning black and white.

PAWN SHOP written by Joey Esposito with art by Sean Von Gorman
(September 22, 2015; $19.99; 120 pages; full color)

A widower. A nurse. A punk. A Long Island Railroad employee. New York City is an ecosystem where everybody is connected, if only by the streets they walk on. This original graphic novel is the story of four people, in a city of eight million, whose lives unknowingly intersect through a Manhattan pawn shop.
Written by Joey Esposito (Footprints) and illustrated with a gorgeous mixture of watercolor and digital elements by Sean Von Gorman (Toe Tag Riot), PAWN SHOP explores the big things that separate us and the little moments that inexplicably unite us.


THE ABADDON written and illustrated by Koren Shadmi
(November 10, 2015; $24.99; 240 pages; full color)

Loosely based on Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit, THE ABADDON is the story of a young man who finds himself trapped in a bizarre apartment with a group of ill-matched roommates. He discovers that his new home doesn’t adhere to any rational laws of nature and comes to realize that everyone living in the apartment is missing crucial parts of their memories and identities.

CLEVELAND by Harvey Pekar and Joseph Remnant
(November DATE TK; Price TK; 128; black and white)

A lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Harvey Pekar (1939-2010) pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the mundane for magic since 1976 in his critically acclaimed series American Splendor. Legendary comic book writer Harvey Pekar’s collaboration with artist Joseph Remnant, titled CLEVELAND, was originally published by Top Shelf Shelf Comics and Zip Comics in 2012 and includes an introduction by Alan Moore. The book presents key moments and characters from the city’s history, intertwined with Harvey’s own ups and downs, as relayed to us by Our Man and meticulously researched and rendered by artist Joseph Remnant. At once a history of Cleveland and a portrait of Harvey, it’s a tribute to the ordinary greatness of both.

Disclosure: Just to be upfront, Z2 and The Beat have partnered on several events in the past, and they are an occasional client of my consulting company.

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5. Congrats to Raina Telgemeier for three straight years on the NYT Bestseller list


This news arrived via an email ad blast in my inbox, but it doesn’t change the import of it: Raina Telgemeier’s Smile has been on the New York Times bestseller list for three straight years, and she also recently achieved a rare top four sweep of the spots with Smile, Sisters, Drama and the reissued colorized Babysitter’s Club.

Raina’s selection as Person of the Year was deeply deserved, but it’s significant to me that her stature in the publishing world is probably larger than her profile in the comics world—which isn’t to say that she isn’t a big deal in comics, but kids book are still finding their place at the table usually reserved for superheroes and adult literary comics.

With at least 1.4 million copies of Smile in print, it’s definitely one of the best selling graphic novels in the US. And she has more books on the way—currently Telgemeier is working on a new book that will include “paranormal elements.” Can she have FIVE books on the list at the same time? Stay tuned.

1 Comments on Congrats to Raina Telgemeier for three straight years on the NYT Bestseller list, last added: 6/25/2015
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6. Sailor Twain

Sailor Twain

Mark Siegel, editorial director and founder of Macmillan’s graphic novel–only imprint First Second Books

also author/illustrator of Moving House

illustrator of several picture books (Seadogs by Lisa Wheeler, Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant) and another graphic novel for children (Boogie Knights by Lisa Wheeler)

my first introduction to Siegel was To Dance: A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel, his wife Siena Cherson Siegel’s memoir of her experiences as a preprofessional student in the School of American Ballet.

With Sailor Twain: Or, The Mermaid in the Hudson (First Second, October 2012), Seigel

surreal magical realism

hefty graphic novel

Captain Twain, captain of a steamboat on the Hudson River, rescues a harpooned mermaid and nurses her back to health.



The post Sailor Twain appeared first on The Horn Book.

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7. Thursday Review: EXQUISITE CORPSE by Penelope Bagieu

Summary: This graphic novel isn't technically a YA book, but since it's about a 22-year-old young woman trying to muddle along in early adulthood, it makes a great crossover title. And because I loved it so much I want to hug it, I'm going to review... Read the rest of this post

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8. Making Comics with Bitstrips

Near the end of the school year, I introduced my students to Bitstrips. "Introduced" means I showed them where to find all the tools, gave them the login code and got out of the way.

After spending a ton of time creating their avatars, they got down to the (funny) business of making comics. You can imagine that with an available background of a bathroom, there were plenty of cartoons that would appeal mostly to a 10 year-old sense of humor. What surprised me the most were the comics that captured a moment in our classroom

or a moment in their lives

or something completely random that shows they were playing with the tools and wound up making something that made some kind of sense!

Every year, I have students who read graphic novels and want to make their own in writing workshop. I've never had success supporting these students because of the limitations of students to draw their own stories, the limitations of the digital tools I had tried in the past, and the lack of an accessible mentor text for beginning graphic novelists.

I think this coming year might be the year of the student-created graphic novel. Instead of renewing the three subscriptions to magazines no students in my classroom have read for the past two years, I am going to pay for a subscription to Bitstrips (digital tool -- √).

And I'm going to share this book (mentor text -- √) with my writers as a graphic novel/comic strip mentor text:

by Chris Giarrusso
Image Comics, 2012

The book starts with a longer story, but the ones I really want to share with/study with my students are the 1-2 page "Comic Bits" and the two-panel "Mean Brother/Idiot Bother" strips. Every budding Kazu Kibuishi has to start somewhere, right?

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9. First Second Announces Pashima, a YA Bildungsroman that Seeks to Change the Way You See India

Today, cartoonist Nidhi Chanani announced that her first graphic novel, Pashima, has been picked up by First Second to be released in 2017.  Pashima is the story of a Indian-American girl named Priyanka Das who lives in Orange County and seeks to reconnect with her mother’s Indian roots.  She finds a pashima shawl that whisks her away from America and takes her on a “fantastical journey to understand her heritage – and herself.”  Think 1001 Arabian Nights meets Persepolis.pashima001

Chanani describes her story as an attempt to undo the decades of misconceptions surrounding India.  Instead of a land filled with “poverty, hokey gurus, and the kama sutra,” Chanani wants readers to experience the India that she knows, filled with “strong family ties, deep spirituality, and beautiful landscapes.”  Unlike other graphic novels that deal with topics of “otherness” from a racial perspective like Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, Chanani’s book does not seek to cut or scathe.  She does not seek to confront a group of oppressors, but rather empower children that currently share the struggle that she once faced in her youth.  From the announcement:

My teenage understanding of India was tainted by poverty stricken, third world imagery. How wonderful would it be if a young person learned about their culture through only positive representations? That’s the root of Pashmina; opening a suitcase and traveling to a fantasy version of India where a character can learn about their heritage in a favorable light.


Chanani is a newcomer to the world of comics, but is well known as an illustrator and social activist.  She was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for Asians and Pacific Islanders and runs a portfolio and studio site called Everyday Love.  As a first generation kid myself, I think it’s great to see stories that seek to embrace the duality of the culture minorities live in in America rather than seeking to separate from one or the other.


2 Comments on First Second Announces Pashima, a YA Bildungsroman that Seeks to Change the Way You See India, last added: 6/13/2015
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10. Great French Comics I Want To Read In English!

Recently, right before BookExpo America commenced, the French Embassy sponsored an invitation-only symposium on French comics, the American market, and how both can benefit from the other.

Heidi has already posted statistics and video from the event, so I’ll just post a smattering of bandes dessinées which were featured at the event.  If  I can a public edition of the PDF, I’ll link to it as well! Otherwise, click on the links in each title! Many publishers offer previews!


Founded in 1780, Casterman, a Belgian publisher, started publishing comics in 1930! Since the publication of the first Tintin, which is still the pride of its prestigious catalogue, Casterman has remained faithful to its initial approach: to make quality books available to everyone, and published artists such as Tardi, Hugo Pratt or François Schuiten and Benoit Peeters. Casterman also publishes children’s books with novelties, pictures books and characters, from Ernest & Celestine to Émilie or Martine

Year of creation: 1780
Titles in catalogue: 3000
Titles published annually: 250

[Their website]  [Their Foreign Rights Guide for Spring 2015]

Billie Holliday, Édition du Centenaire/ Billie Holliday, Centennial Edition
Munoz, Sampayo
On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of Billie Holiday’s birth, Munoz and Sampayo tell the story of the legendary American jazz singer, in a context of widespread racism and the emergence of the blues culture in the US. Munoz transcends his art to convey all the intensity of Billie Holliday’s larger-than-life personality.
Rights sold in Spain, Italy, Serbia.
Biographies, graphic novels, non-fiction, jazz
240 × 320 mm / 80 pages / 20 €
One shot

Egon Schiele
Xavier Coste
Egon Schiele (June 12, 1890–October 31, 1918) was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity, and the many self-portraits the artist produced. The twisted body shapes and expressive line that characterize Schiele’s paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism.
Rights sold in Germany, Spain, Korea.
Biographies, graphic novels, non-fiction, arts
240 × 320 mm / 64 pages /18 €
One shot

Le piano oriental / The Oriental Piano
Zeina Abirached
In The Oriental Piano, Lebanese author Zeira Abirached writes and draws about one particular member of her family: her uncle. He worked as a civil servant (or at least he pretended to); in fact he spent all his working time on the invention of a very special piano. Abirached captures the atmosphere of Lebanon in peace of the 60s, before civil war tore the country apart for two decades. A touching tale, surprisingly poetic. Zeina Abirached has won numerous awards: A Game for Swallows was named an ALA Notable Children’s book and a Yalser Great Graphic Novel for Teens, as well as being shortlisted in the Angouleme 2008 selection.
Graphic novels, non-fiction, historical testimonial
200 pages / 16 €
One shot

Niki –Le jardin des secrets /
Niki –The Garden of Secrets
Dominique Osuch, Sandrine Martin
A biography of Niki de Saint-Phalle (1930-2002), sculptor, painter and film maker. She was famous for her “shooting paintings” in the 1960’s and her “Nanas”, illustrations of women’s status in society at the time. A unique personality that inspired fascination and controversy all through her life.
Biographies, graphic novels, non-fiction, arts
200 × 260 mm / 200 pages / 20 €
One shot

Rose Profond/Deep Pink
Dionnet, Pirrus
Malcolm is a cartoon character who looks like Mickey Mouse. But he does not share his ethics and good manner! He has a problem with alcohol and he can be violent. The fun is based on a host of famous cartoon characters depicted with a touch of irony. Despite its charming and colourful artwork, Rose Profond is NOT a children’s book; rather the strange encounter of Mickey Mouse and Crumb’s Fritz the Cat.
Fiction, drama, survival
165 × 345 mm / 96 pages /25 €
One shot

Dargaud–Dupuis–Le Lombard/Mediatoon

Dargaud, Le Lombard and Dupuis are among the oldest publishers of comic books in the French language. The three brands are now imprints of the Media-Participations group, the European leader in comic book publishing and animated series production. Their catalogues are jampacked with best-selling series, such as Dupuis’ Spirou and Marsupilami, Le Lombard’s Thorgal and Yakari, and Dargaud’s Lucky Luke and XIII. The group has already penetrated the US market with titles such as Blacksad, The Rabbi’s Cat and The Photographer. The list of 2.000 series and more than 6.000 titles can be viewed on the website http://mfr.mediatoon.com/en/

Year of creation: 1898 (Dupuis) 1936 (Dargaud–Le Lombard)
Titles in catalogue: 3000 (Dupuis) 5000 (Dargaud–Le Lombard)
Titles published annually: 175 (Dupuis) / 170 (Dargaud)/ 160 (Le Lombard)

[The Dupuis catalog, en English]  [Dargaud’s site Web]  [Le Lombard]

Les Campbell/The Campbells
After the murder of his wife, Campbell, a legendary pirate, quits the business in the hope of raising his daughters far from the painful memories of his past. But of course, no such luck. The man who murdered Campbell’s wife, Inferno, wants to be rid of the entire Campbell family, once and for all. Campbell and his daughters flee, but it’s just a matter of time before Inferno catches up with them…
Adventure, action / All ages
Dupuis / 220 × 290 mm / 56 pages / 13,95 €
2 titles in the series

Les Esclaves oubliés du Tromelin/
The Forgotten Slaves of Tromelin Island
In 1760, the Utile, a slave ship sailing from Africa, is abandoned by her crew and shipwrecked on a tiny, remote island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The surviving slaves inhabit this desolate land for fifteen years. Two hundred years on, the artist Sylvain Savoia accompanies the first archaeological mission to find out how these men and women survived. This is the story of that mission, and the slaves of many years ago.
Graphic novel, non-fiction / 16+
220 × 290 mm / 120 pages/20,50 €
1 title in the series

Pascale Bourgaux, grand reporter /
Pascale Bourgaux,
International Correspondent
Campi, Bourgaux, Zabus
For ten years, she followed the story of Mamour Hasan, a warlord in northern Afghanistan. In 2001, he put his personal army at the service of the famous commander Massoud to fight against the Taliban. Pascale Bourgaux, TV journalist, was only ever behind the camera. This comic turns the camera around to take a look at Bourgaux’s experiences, feelings, and the difficulties she faced as, against all odds, Hasan’s fighters switched sides in favour of the Taliban.
Graphic novel / 16+
220 × 290 mm / 80 pages / 16,50 €
1 title in the series

Gotlib, Boucq
Super-Dupont is back, rising up like a phoenix from the ashes! The unique and truly French super hero is here to save France once again! Superdupont’s reboot gets a kick-start with the birth of his son who, astonishingly, has inherited his father’s supernatural powers. Perhaps together they can finally bring down the enemies of their beloved country: finance and globalization!
Comedy/ All ages
235 × 310 mm / 46 pages /13,99 €
1 title in the series

Glenn Gould
Sandrine Ravel
This is the biography of the prodigious Canadian pianist. At three years old, he gave his first recital. At five, he played one of his own compositions in public for the first time. At twelve, he passed the professional soloist exam and gave his first professional concert. This man, signed up by Columbia, was a musician through-and-through. However, in 1964, he decided to withdraw from public life, his sole aim being to live the life of a true artist.
Graphic novel / 16+
210 × 280 mm / 128 pages / 21 €
1 title in the series

Violette autour du Monde/
Violette around the World
Turconi, Radice
Through the wanderings of the “Moon Circus” at the end of 1800, Viola travels Europe, America and Asia. During her travels she runs into all sorts of magic and intrigue. Accompanied by her animal friends and the circus family, Viola meets Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, and later Antonin Leopold Dvorak. This is a real coming-of-age story which celebrates art and beauty on every page.
Kid comics / 8-12 years
210 × 278 mm / 48 pages / 9,99 €
2 titles in the series

[Charmant!  Take a look!]

Yallah ByeYallah Bye
Safieddine, Kyungeun
24 years ago, Mustapha was forced to let go of his revolutionary ideologies and flee his native Lebanon for France. He finally returns in 2006 for what is supposed to be a family holiday, only to find himself with his French wife and children in the midst of conflict once again, as Israel drops bombs in the name of the fight against Hezbollah. He sees a chance to vindicate his flight all those years ago. A poignant eyewitness account of Israel’s actions from an Arab perspective.
Graphic novel, non-fiction / 16+
237 × 310 mm / 168 pages / 20,50 €
1 title in the series

Le Roy
A century after Nietzsche’s death, we have yet to fully examine the revolutionary implications of his philosophy. A philosophical biography is not a substitute for reading the philosopher’s own work, but it does offer a unique perspective on the origins and meaning of his thought. Here, the much-discussed philosopher Onfray and the artist Leroy offer a portrait, or a pre-sketch for a portrait. This is Nietzsche as poet, as traveller, as loner, and as free-thinker.
Biography/ 16+
227 × 318 mm / 126 pages / 19,99 €
1 title in the series

The trooperLe Soldat / The Soldier
Efa, Jouvray
Henry Fleming is a peasant with dreams of adventure and glory, just like any other young man. He enlists as a soldier for the Union and spends several months playing out the role he has created for himself. But now that the Confederate cannons have started firing, and his friends are dropping like flies, the time for dreaming is over. Henry must decide what he really wants: a heroic fantasy, or his life. An adaptation of The Red Badge of Courage
by Stephen Crane.
Action, adventure / 16+
241 × 318 mm / 62 pages / 16,45 €
1 title in the series

The CrocodilesLes Crocodiles /Crocodiles
Thomas Mathieu
Thomas Mathieu retells true stories as told to him by young women, about issues surrounding street harassment, machismo, and sexism. His thoughtful and feminist approach prompts us to pause and reflect on some of the ways that men, and women, behave in today’s society.
Comedy/ 16+
202 × 268 mm / 176 pages /17,95 €
1 title in the series

[More information on the project!]


Ranked as the 1st publisher of comics in France, Delcourt seeks to embrace the full spectrum of creativity within the comic genre, with authors from all over the world. Our list caters to all ages, covering the entire gamut of styles in all categories from fiction to non-fiction. Editions Delcourt is part of the Groupe Delcourt, 1st independent publisher of comics in the French language.

Year of creation: 1986
Titles in catalogue: +5000
Titles published annually: 350

[The website, in French]

Les Secrets du chocolat /
The Secrets of Chocolate
Franckie Alarcon
A journey into the fabulous world of chocolate with one of the greatest French chocolate masters. Passion, an educated sweet tooth, tips and recipes from the chef! For an entire year, the author followed Jacques Génin. From selecting the cocoa beans in the plantations to supervising their roasting, researching new flavours at his Parisian boutique –every moment is an opportunity for the reader to follow the master almost from his childhood, to share his experience and his passion.
15 +
198 × 263 mm / 112 pages /15,95 €
1 title in the series

Ce n’est pas toi que j’attendais/
Unexpected Encounter
Fabien Toulmé
In this autobiographical account, Fabien Toulmé speaks with emotion, humour and humility about an unexpected encounter, that of a couple facing the birth of a handicapped child – an experience like a sudden storm, a hurricane. When his little girl is born with an undiagnosed trisomy, Fabien’s life completely falls apart. Oscillating from fury to rejection, from acceptance to love, the writer tells us about discovering what it is like to be different.
15 +
165 × 230 mm / 256 pages / 18,95 €
1 title in the series

Au fil de l’Art /Travelling through Art
Gradimir & Ivana Smudja (Script),
Gradimir Smudja (Art)
A little girl, accompanied by her mischievous cat, discovers successively the Caves of Lascaux, flying machines, Leonard de Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s murals in the Sistine Chapel, Albrecht Dürer’s famous Hare and Velasquez’ famous painting Las Meninas. She then moves on to famous works by Brueghel, Rubens, El Greco, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Monet, Goya, Van Gogh and Picasso… An enchanting and instructive journey, gleaned through the graphic virtuosity of Smudja.
240 × 320 mm / 192 pages / 19,99 €
2 titles in the series

Marc-Antoine Mathieu
Without a word, from frame to frame in a comic presentation, Marc-Antoine Mathieu shows us the initiatory voyage of a man. What is he looking for? Where is he going? This anonymous walker wanders through a stark labyrinth where only arrows guide him. Time, space, chance: the writer offers us a poetic story, exploring once again the limits of the comic book genre, closer than ever to the other major art forms.
15 +
172 × 237 mm / 256 pages / 25,50 €
1 title in the series


1974: Étienne Robial founds Futuropolis. 2005: Futuropolis is reborn, with an ambitious and renewed program and the same undimmed desire to promote authors both renowned and as yet undiscovered in pursuing their dreams and creations. Instead of following schools and fashions, Futuropolis features only original works, free from preconceived styles and assumptions. Futuropolis loves books with a strong sense of personality, books that move readers’ hearts and minds, make them think and feel. To better support the varied approaches and intentions of its creators, Futuropolis publishes books whose design reflects their diversity of content: black and white, color, paperback, hardcover, formats large and small.

Year of creation: 2005
Titles in catalogue: 300
Titles published annually: 30

[The French website]

On January 7, 2015, Luz lost not only friends in the attack on Charlie Hebdo, but also his desire to draw. At first there was tragedy, pain, rage, grief. And then, little by little, Luz’s need to draw returned —not the desire to bear witness, but to bare himself, free himself. From this came Catharsis, a book from the therapeutic process where, in brief vignettes, Luz shares what his life has been like since the day it was turned upside down. An instant classic.
For grown-ups
195×265 mm / 128 pages / 14,50 €

Énergies extrêmes/ Extreme energies
Sylvain Lapoix, Daniel Blancou
Extreme Energies is a thoroughly researched look into shale gas and the consequences of fracking. An absolutely essential book for all readers. In Extreme Energies, Sylvain Lapoix and Daniel Blancou explain how shale gas came to be, and how major American developed an interest in it after the fuel shortages of the 1970s. Readers will also learn about the role of lobbies on both sides. This book shoes us how this new energy source is reshaping geopolitics on a global scale.
For grown-ups
195×265 mm / 128 pages / 19 €

I comb Jesus
Jean-Philippe Stassen
I Comb Jesus is a book of five dispatches composed by Stassen between July 2007 and September 2013, from Rwanda, the Congo, Belgium, Spain, Morocco, France, and South Africa. At the heart of all these reportages are the migrations of victims of war and poverty. Stassen refutes clichés right off the bat, in order to tell of places he knows, especially the African Great Lakes, with a sharp eye for observation; simple, splendid writing; and subtle, finely honed art.
For grown-ups
195×265 mm/160 pages/22,50 €

48497Le Journal d’un fantôme/
Diary of a ghost
Nicolas de Crécy
A new edition of one of the most important works by de Crécy, whose sketchbook is his traveling companion… In Diary of a Ghost, the actual journey the author offers us is that of the creative process –the most liberating of journeys. How to reconcile artistic creation and commissioned work? With inimitable humor Nicolas de Crécy uses the occasion as a springboard to ask a few important questions about reality and mimesis, as well as the status not only of images in our society, but of creators.
For grown-ups
195×265 mm/224 pages/ 25 €

Un Certain Cervantès
Christian Lax
Back from Afghanistan, where he left an arm, Mike Cervantes discovers Don Quixote, the novel by his famous namesake, and it proves a revelation! The book by Miguel de Cervantès inspires Mike to become a new Don Quixote, taking up arms against all modern day inquisitions –economic, political, intellectual, and religious– while fighting injustice in all its forms… Joyous and despairing, tender and violent, tragic and funny, A Certain Cervantes is an ambitious graphic adventure of unusual evocative force.
For grown-ups
195×265 mm/208 pages/26 €

Le Vieil Homme et la mer /
The Old man and the sea
Thierry Murat,
based upon Ernest Hemingway
Published in 1952, The Old Man and the Sea won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, and paved the way for Hemingway’s Nobel win for his body of work a year later. Thierry Murat has elegantly adapted this masterpiece with images that transcend the writer’s words while respecting his style and rhythm.
For teens & grown-ups
195×265 mm/128 pages/19 €


Gallimard has developed three lines of graphic novels:
–“Bayou”: directed by Joann Sfar, a series that offers authors 100 pages or so, and allows them to embark on long adventures
–“Fétiche”: every author has his heart set on a text: a childhood memory or a recent discovery, a great classic, a forgotten masterpiece or a contemporary work, a text he enjoyed adapting for a graphic novel
–“Hors-collection”: a variety of formats, adapted to the many facet of the graphic novel, from children’s stories to culinary books or detective stories.

Year of creation: 2006
Titles in catalogue: 110
Titles published annually: 20

[Their catalog]

Les Rêveurs Lunaires/Lunar Dreamers
Cédric Villani, Edmond Baudoin
Virtuosic portraits of four geniuses who changed the course of World War II: Werner Heisenberg, Alan Turing, Leó Szilárd, and Hugh Dowding. The poetic force of Baudoin’s brush meets the miraculous mind of mathematician Cédric Villani, winner of the 2010 Fields Medal. A thrilling account of the dramatic roles scientists play in our society. How did they see themselves in the twilight of their lives? Were they proud, ashamed, bitter, distraught?
For grown-ups
190 × 260 mm / 192 pages / 22 €

L’Étranger / The Stranger
Jacques Ferrandez,
based on the book by Albert Camus
The Stranger, by Albert Camus, has fascinated millions of readers the world over: Jacques Ferrandez delivers an exciting new comics interpretation of the classic that preserves every ounce of its enigmatic power. Expert mise en scène, luminous watercolours, richly detailed settings: Ferrandez, a specialist of colonial Algeria, faithfully and powerfully recreates all the drama and symbolic reach of Camus’ essential novel.
For teens & grown-ups
210 × 280 mm / 136 pages / 22 €

Dispersés dans Babylone/Scattered in Babylon
Jérémie Dries
A return to origins investigating the ties between Judaism and black people. A quest for identity from Ethiopia to the U.S., by the author of We Won’t See Auschwitz. Halfway between reportage, memoir and non-fiction comics. Why does reggae reference Judaism so often? This question soon becomes an obsession for Dres, leading him from Addis-Ababa to New York in an exciting quest where individual fates and larger-than-life myths collide.
For grown-ups
190 × 260 mm / 184 pages / 22 €

Hasib et la Reine des serpents /
Hasib and the Queen of the Snakes
David B, based upon
The Thousand and One Arabian Nights
David B. turns his genius to The Thousand and One Arabian Nights to bring us a sublime adaptation of a vast epic tale, a mythological world full of fantastical creatures and deities. Heir to Daniel, the Grecian sage, Hasib is a young woodcutter destined for great things. When his comrades –out of greed– abandon him in the middle of the woods, he meets the Queen of the Snakes. She tells him her story, a fabulous adventure full of gods and demons, princes and prophets…
For teens & grown-ups
230 × 310 mm / 64 pages / 15 €
1 title in the series (will be in 2 volumes)

À boire et à manger/Eating and Drinking
Guillaume Long
Eating & Drinking is a cookbook for all ages, given a humorous spin by a comics creator. How do you stew a rabbit in beer, make perfect cannelloni sushi rolls with leeks, or order coffee in Paris? Building his book around such existential questions fundamental to any self-respecting gourmand, Guillaume Long continues his exploration of everyday food and cooking with unflagging humour.
For grown-ups
225 × 295 mm / 144 pages /21 €
3 titles in the series

[I discovered this in German, specifically, his article on coffee and Moka Pots.]


Founded in 1969, Glenat is one of the largest independent comic book and graphic novel publishers in France with average sales of 7 million copies a year. Its list ranges from mass market humour to intimate graphic novels with something for every reader. Glenat also publishes children’s illustrated books and picture books on mountaineering, sailing, travel, food & wine and cultural heritage.

Year of creation: 1969
Titles in catalogue: 8000
(4000 Graphic novels)
Titles published annually: 650

[The website]

Ils ont fait l’histoire/ They Made History
They Made History is a collection of 48-pages biographies of important historical figures. Each story is written jointly by a comic book artist and a noted historian to ensure that the works are factual representations of these great historic figures’ lives and achievements. Each volume also contains 8 bonus pages written by the historian, to give more insight on the character.
History / 12 +
240 × 320 mm / 48+8 pages / 14,50 €
10 titles in the series (more to come)

Operation Overlord
Michaël Le Galli (text),
Davide Fabbri (Artwork)
This series looks at battles on strategic D-Day locations:
–Omaha Beach, where the first American division disembarked and experienced the bloodiest battle of the landings.
–Sainte-Mère-L’Eglise, the first French town liberated by the GIs of the 82nd Airborne.
–The Merville Battery, heroically taken from the Germans by the 9th Battalion of the British Parachutists (6th Airborne).
History / 12 +
240 × 320 mm / 48 pages / 13,90 €
3 titles in the series (volume 4 to come)

La leçon de pêche/ The Fishing Lesson
Heinrich Böll (original short story),
Bernard Friot (adaptation),
Émile Bravo (Artwork)
Adapted from a short story by Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Böll. In a small harbour, an old fisherman is taking a nap in his old boat when a tourist wakes him up and starts chatting. The tourist is thinking big: he explains to the old man how going out to sea again would mean catching more fish, making more money, buying bigger boats, catching even more fish, and eventually being able to… take a nap!
262 × 198 mm / 40 pages / 12,20 €
1 title in the series

Love in Vain –Robert Johnson, 1911-1938
JM Dupont (text), Mezzo (artwork)
A graphic novel portrait of Robert Johnson, father of the blues and a music legend. Robert Johnson is known as one of the best guitar players ever. They say he sold his soul to the Devil at a crossroads in exchange for his extraordinary talent. Against a background of segregationist Mississippi in the 1930s, this master guitarist and poet leads his rambling life until its tragic end –supposedly poisoned by a love rival.
Graphic Novel, biography
305 × 196 mm / 72 pages / 19,50 €
1 title in the series

Le roman de Boddah–Comment j’ai tué Kurt Cobain /Boddah’s Diary–How I Killed Kurt Cobain
Nicolas Otero
Kurt Cobain is one of the most influential music and pop-culture characters of the end of the 20th century. Boddah knew him well. He was his best friend. Boddah tells us Kurt’s story: the consuming relationship with Courtney Love, drugs, fame and the difficulty of coping with them, the ups and the downs… and by the way, Boddah was Kurt’s imaginary friend…
Graphic Novel, biography
195 × 278 mm / 152 pages / 25,50 €
1 title in the series

Rue de Sèvres

Since our creation in 2013, our main concern has been to give special attention to every book we publish and to present ambitious stories within beautiful objects. This is why we publish a restricted number of titles each year. Our intention is to not put any limits on genre, but rather to welcome into our catalogue books as varied as they are essential. We want our readers to discover high-quality books they can enjoy and read many times throughout the years.

Year of creation: 2013
Titles in catalogue: 50
Titles published annually: 30

[Their website.]

Le château des étoiles / Castle in the Stars (series)
Alex Alice
What if space exploration had begun one century earlier? A stunning universe that unites the styles of Jules Verne and Hayao Miyazaki with the theme of the conquest of space! In the first volume, Séraphin is invited to visit the Bavarian king who wants to finance the research on ether, a substance that would allow the exploration of the skies. We follow Séraphin and his friends in their quest to build an Ethership, escape from their enemies and take off to the Moon!
All public
240 × 320 mm / 64 pages/13,50 €
1 title in the series

Julio Popper
Matz, Léonard Chemineau
This story takes us to Argentina, where we follow Julio Popper, an engineer and adventurer with an exceptional destiny. Capable of thinking quickly and accurately and putting words into action, he had big ideas and plenty of them, and nothing could stop him. He liked ridiculing his enemies and was afraid of nothing and no-one. He enjoyed a fight right to the finish. Born in 1857 in Romania, he died under strange circumstances at the age of 35, after making a fortune in gold from Patagonia and founding a state within a state.
210 × 275 mm / 104 pages / 18 €
One shot

[Wow. ]

Astrid Bromure/ Astrid Bromide
Vol 1: How to Wipe Out the Little Mouse
Fabrice Parme
Astrid is a spoiled little girl who feels very lonely in her palace: her only goal is to find friends! She has just lost a tooth and discovers the legend of the little mouse, but she doesn’t believe one single word! She needs proof, and decides to set some clever traps to capture it. She fails, but to her stupefaction, the little mouse leaves a tube of toothpaste under her pillow. So it does exist! Extremely motivated, Astrid will do anything to catch her first friend!
210 × 275 mm / 40 pages /10,50 €
1 title in the series


Editions Sarbacane: twelve years of creation, of passion shared with astonishingly talented authors, and a list renowned for its quality and diversity, openness and selectivity. With more than 450 titles, the catalogue proposes picture books, young adult fiction, comics for adults and children, game books, cross-over titles, illustrated classics and graphic novels, many of them with unusual formats.

Year of creation: 2003
Titles in catalogue: 100
(comics and graphic novels)
Titles published annually: 10
(comics and graphic novels)

[The website]

Emmett Till
Arnaud Floc’h
This enlightening and necessary book tells a true story. Emmett Till, a black boy of fourteen from Chicago, comes to spend his vacation in Mississippi. When he gets off the train on August 24, 1955, he has no idea he only has five more days to live. He has the misfortune of walking into a grocery store “reserved” for Whites and behaving in a “provocative manner” to grocer Roy Bryant’s wife. Bryant, along with his half-brother, goes on a manhunt. After kidnapping Emmett, the pair torture him before tossing his body in the river…
For teens & grown-ups
215 × 290 mm / 80 pages / 19,50 €

Black Face Banjo
Frantz Duchazeau
Duchazeau turns his talent to the myths of rural America with a powerful style and black and white graphics. His perfect, free-flowing line packs a great emotional punch. USA, late 19th century. Roaming acts called “Minstrels” or “Medicine Shows” are proliferating throughout the country, with whites made up as clowns, caricatures of blacks. Our hero, a young black vagrant with a wooden leg, is hired as a dancer and sideshow curiosity after an act in the street…
For teens & grown-ups
200 × 280 mm / 144 pages /23,50 €

[Yes… this is problematic on a wide variety of levels…subject matter, cartoony abstract style, fiction…]

The Corner
Lorenzo Palloni, Andrea Settimo
1920, Boston. Dozens of bodies stretched out on the pier: poor Italian immigrants who died during the crossing. Italo Serpio is summoned by the police to identify his brother’s body. Serpio, an anarchist who infiltrated the Mafia in order to destroy it, is convinced his brother was murdered, and wants revenge… Chases, unexpected twists, reversals, betrayals: non-stop pulse-pounding suspense! In this game, there’s no telling cat from mouse, cop from gangster from anarchist.
For grown-ups
210 × 285 mm / 152 pages / 23,50 €

Le Pont des arts
Catherine Meurisse
Catherine Meurisse surrounds herself with her favourite authors and artists, highlighting the intimate ties between writing and painting. Proust and Vermeer’s View of Delft, Zola and Cézanne (and the Impressionists), George Sand and Delacroix, Apollinaire and Picasso… they can all be found at Le Pont des Arts! Her way with words, her sure hand, her lively, quick, evocative line work: Catherine Meurisse could capture Balzac’s entire Comédie Humaine in a single sketch.
For grown-ups
210 × 285 mm / 112 pages / 19,90 €

Râ & Co
Matthieu Roda
Children’s favourite mythological universe: Egypt at the time of pyramids! In the beginning, there was nothing… Then came a cry from the silence and darkness: Râââââââ! The God of all Gods was born. When you’re a God, you must do everything: create the sky, the birds, the sea; create other Gods and a People to worship them. No small task! With humour and rigor, Roda tells us the painful (and hilarious) story of the creation of the World according to ancient Egyptians.
For 6 +
210 × 285 mm / 48 pages / 12,50 €
1 title in the series

A.S.T. /The Apprentice Lord of Darkness
Ced, Jean-Philippe Morin
In an anachronistic fantasy realm, a tiny antihero dreams of becoming the most feared and dreaded Lord of Darkness of all time! Not easy when all you have for henchmen are a dumb, hunchbacked goblin and a monster as sweet as he is gentle. For fans of hilarious medieval settings, à la Monty Python, a graphic novel full of unbridled whimsy and anachronistic comedy: guaranteed reading pleasure!
For 8 +
210 × 285 mm / 48 pages /12,50 €
2 titles in the series


3 Comments on Great French Comics I Want To Read In English!, last added: 6/10/2015
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11. Interview: Jack Baxter returns to Tel Aviv for Mike’s Place


By Cal Cleary

Jack Baxter, an American filmmaker, went to Israel in 2003 to make a documentary. When his initial subject fell through, he found a new story in the form of Mike’s Place, a Tel Aviv blues bar where people from all over could meet in peace amidst all the turmoil. There, he met Joshua Faudem, an American-Israeli filmmaker, and the two teamed up to tell the story of Mike’s Place, unaware that the bar would soon be targeted by suicide bombers. They kept the cameras rolling through the aftermath of the bombing and the bar’s rebirth, and Blues By the Beach, their documentary, came out in 2004. Baxter’s newest project finds him re-teaming with Faudem and working with cartoonist Koren Shadmi to dig deeper into both the bombing and the lives of the men and women who frequented the bar. We recently got a chance to speak with Baxter about Mike’s Place, the transition from filmmaking to making graphic novels, and much more.

You come from a history of documentary filmmaking. In addition to producing Blues By the Beach, the making of which you detail here, you also wrote, produced and directed Brother Minister: The Assassination of Malcolm X. What was it about the graphic novel format that interested you as an alternative to filmmaking or a more traditional book?

A graphic novel is essentially the same as a movie storyboard: A continuous storyline with written dialogue and description and illustrations in both mediums.

Actually, in 2006, literary agent Jerry Rudes did pitch a nonfiction book idea to major publishers that I was supposed to write. Long story, didn’t happen. I kept thinking about slogging away on my great American novel for years and years rehashing a tale of woe. I’m glad that book never happened.

Filmmaking is a hassle from day one to the finish line. But the satisfaction quotient from watching a live audience experience something you helped create makes all the work worth it. So when my co-writer and the director of Blues, Joshua Faudem, said we should write a movie screenplay I was all-in. MIKE’S PLACE was born of the screenplay.

Was it challenging to write a graphic novel script, or did the experience you had from crafting narrative out of documentary footage translate easily to the new format?

MikesPlace_combined_100-28We already had a fully realized screenplay filled with description, dialogue, locations, and a fast-paced narrative. When it served the story we used actual scenes and outtakes from Blues by the Beach. First Second provided us with their graphic novel format template, and we re-worked some scenes and dialogue where it was suggested. Once it passed the collective smell test, we were off to the races.

In terms of storytelling, did you find the graphic novel medium better than film or vice versa?

Creating a graphic novel and making a film are in the same ballpark for me. The big advantage of film is SOUND. The advantage of the graphic novel is that you ingest at your own pace so you can really focus and ruminate. No wonder to me Hollywood is snatching-up this storytelling format left and right. It’s not a giant leap from paper to film. You have built-in visuals that weary-eyed studio readers can more easily rate and recommend.

Blues By the Beach was released very soon after the suicide bombing. With Mike’s Place, you have the added perspective that comes with more than a decade’s distance. Has that changed the way you see the bar, its mission, or the bombing itself?

The mission of Mike’s Place remains the same today as every bar and live-music venue anywhere in the world – social interaction and making a buck. The terrorist conspiracy that tried to send a message to a Tel Aviv beachfront bar, next-door to the American Embassy, failed. Yes, they killed and wounded people, but they didn’t get the “last word” in Israel or here in the USA.

Mike’s Place is bigger than ever and has locations all over Israel and is soon expanding into Europe, and who knows, maybe even another Mike’s Place in a hipster neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Do you see Blues by the Beach and Mike’s Place as companion pieces, or separate works with separate goals?

I think they both stand on their own. The big difference is, in the graphic novel, we were able to dig deeper into our characters, chart the journey and reveal the true motivation of the terrorists. It shows the historical significance of why Mike’s Place was chosen for attack after midnight on April 30, 2003.

Mike’s Place strays so thoroughly from the way we typically see this region. In a lot of ways, the bar at the center of this story wouldn’t feel out-of-place anywhere in the U.S., something you mention being important in the book. Do you think that the way the media portrays this conflict has helped desensitize or dissuade people from believing a lasting peace can be achieved?

There are lots of voices crying in the wilderness. If you don’t like Fox, MSNBC or CNN – change the channel and MikesPlace_combined_100-27check out Al Jazeera and the BBC every once in a while. Meet some Palestinians and Israelis face to face. They don’t have horns on their heads.

If Mike’s Place can serve as an example of a modern Middle East then we’re on to something. And if you go there and you don’t drink, you can always get some falafel or a cheeseburger and listen to free live music. Just make sure no matter what, that you tip the bartenders and waitresses and when the musicians pass the hat, don’t pretend your texting on your iPhone. Now that could really start a war…

What made you choose First Second as the publisher for Mike’s Place?

First Second publisher-editor Mark Siegel is a family friend of the Faudem Family from Michigan. Matter-of-fact, I met Mark’s mother and father at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival eight years before I met him. Joshua suggested I drop off our screenplay and Blues DVD to him at his office, a couple blocks from here. A year later, after Mark finished his own Sailor Twain graphic novel, he saw the film and read the screenplay.

As I see it, all these connections and stars aligning is Bashert – that’s Yiddish for Fate.

How did you meet artist Koren Shadmi?

Through Mark Siegel. He told us he’d always wanted to hire Koren and our project was perfect for him. And when we saw his work, we wanted him too.

Autobiographical and journalistic graphic novels are big right now, and getting bigger every year. Are there any that particularly inspired you?

Hands down, Zahra’s Paradise by Amir & Khalil about the 2009 Iranian elections and Arne Bellstorf’s Baby’s in Black about Astrid Kirchherr and Stuart Sutcliffe and the Beatles in early 1960s Hamburg.

Although much of the story is shown from your perspective, there are a lot of bits that you weren’t present for. Did you go back and talk to any of the Mike’s Place family to fill in those gaps? What kind of research did you do to piece together the parts from the bombers’ perspectives?

Jack.Baxter1.credit.Gerry.LernerI went back to Israel for two months in March of 2006 for more medical treatments. I interviewed every person I could who was at Mike’s Place that night. Back then I still thought I’d write my great American novel. I compiled everything as part of my research for that prospective book. One survivor, who I was next to that night, “Sugar Shiri” Mirvis, showed me where we were and where security guard Avi Tabib had landed inside the bar.

I read everything I could about the British terrorists Asif Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif – their seemingly happy boyhood in England, their radicalization and friendship with Mohammad Sidique Khan – the future mastermind of the July 7, 2005 London Transit Attack. And I studied detailed timelines published online by Israeli and British investigators. I think we have a good handle on who they were and what they believed.



In the book, you come across as incredibly optimistic, as though all it would take for peace in the Middle East is for everyone to just listen to one another for a moment. Would you still consider yourself optimistic about the situation? Are there any hopeful signs you see for the region?

I really come off that naive?

Besides Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer is my favorite philosopher. I’ve read both volumes of his The World As Will And Representation. And Schopenhauer’s the patron saint of pessimists.

Forgive me for being a wiseass. It’s getting late here.

I do hope for a lasting peace in the Middle East. But pragmatism urges me to caution. In the present, I try and see past stereotypes. But people and situations are often typecast for good reasons. Like I said to Gal Ganzman when I first met him tending bar at Mike’s Place: “It’s not easy trying to solve the Middle East Conflict.”

As someone who is clearly familiar with this struggle, are there any books or documentaries on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that you’d recommend to readers who enjoyed Mike’s Place and want to learn more?

For books: Samuel P. Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations and the T.E. Lawrence masterpiece The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. A great movie comedic tragedy is Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s Divine Intervention. For documentaries: the brilliant Israeli documentary filmmaker Ram Loevey’s Close, Closed, Closure. And of course, check out Blues by the Beach.

Do you have any upcoming projects, either in film or in graphic novel, planned right now?

Israeli producer Avi Bohbot, director Joshua Faudem and I want to make a documentary about a friend of mine, Imam Benjamin Bilal, who was my Islamic Consultant for Brother Minister and also helped choose the Quran verses showcased in MIKE’S PLACE. Long story short, Ben is a charismatic Muslim-American leader on the rise. He was born a Black Israelite and raised Jewish in Harlem. At thirteen he joined the Nation of Islam, eventually becoming a traditional Muslim. We want to show Ben Bilal in action at his mosque in Trenton, New Jersey, and follow him preaching around North America and Europe. We all wind up in Jerusalem where Islam, Christianity and Judaism meet.

My hope is Ben comes across incredibly optimistic.

IMAM BENJAMIN BILAL May 15, 2015: http://muslimjournal.net/?p=1720

BILAL Trailer: https://vimeo.com/98628538

Mike’s Place is on sale from First Second as of June 9th and can be purchased at your local book retailer.

Be sure to check out the trailer for Mike’s Place : http://www.mikesplacebook.com/


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12. Hilo - The Boy Who Crashed to Earth, by Judd Winick

There are never enough graphic novels for kids.  This is a simple truth. When I look to our circulation at school, out of the top 50 circulating titles during the school year 44 were graphic novels.  88%!  So I was pretty delighted when my colleague Karyn told me there was a graphic novel for kids I needed to check out.  I finally got my hands on the arc and sat down to give it a go.

DJ is just an average kid in the middle of an above average family.  The one thing he was really good at was being a good friend to Gina, but Gina moved away 3 years ago.

DJ is sitting on the roof of his club house when he sees something crash out of the sky.  Imagine his surprise when a blond boy in silver undies climbs out of the newly formed crater in the earth.  This kid has a lot of energy and even more questions since his "memory is a busted book" and he's not quite sure where he's from or what he's doing on earth.  DJ takes Hilo in without much of a plan, and quickly finds himself with his hands full.

DJ is surprised when Gina ends up back in town, and notices that she's changed quite a bit in the 3 years she's been out of Berke County which makes DJ notice that he hasn't really changed. At all.

As Hilo's past is revealed to him in his dreams bit by bit, it soon becomes apparent that danger is on the way.  And now maybe DJ will realize he's not so ordinary after all.

This outstanding graphic novel needs to be purchased in multiples.  Winick has created lovable, funny and real characters that readers will laugh with and cheer for.  The movement in the art is reminiscent of both Watterson and Gownley and I defy anyone to read Hilo without feeling moments of joy.  While reviewers have pegged this as a 9-12 title, I'm saying all ages.  I know we will have kids from 6 to 14 eager to check this one out.

I heart Hilo.

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13. Thursday Review: LAST MAN 1: THE STRANGER

Summary: A collaboration by French comics and animation luminaries Balak, Bastien Vivès, and Michaël Sanlaville, Last Man 1: The Stranger is the first installment in a series that's been popular in France and is now being released in the U.S. by... Read the rest of this post

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14. Summer #bookaday Begins!

by Mike Maihack
Scholastic, 2014
review copy purchased for my classroom library

by Mike Maihack
Scholastic, 2015
review copy purchased for my classroom library

School's out -- let #bookaday begin! And what better way to begin than with a fun new (to me) graphic novel series!

Columbus College of Art and Design grad Mike Maihack has plucked Cleopatra out of history and sent her to the future as the hero prophesied to save the galaxy from the evil Xaius Octavian who destroys civilizations by deleting all their electronic data and simultaneously stealing it for himself and his uses. 

Maihack's action and battle scenes are spectacular -- very cinematic. He is masterful at using flashbacks and flashforwards. At the end of the first book, her school/training academy is planning a winter dance, and at the beginning of the second book, the dance is in full swing. The second book ends with a more dramatic cliffhanger (think massive fleet evil army spaceships in close pursuit of the tiny spaceship our main characters are on) that will leave readers anxious for the next book in the series!

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15. Review of the Day: Hilo by Judd Winick

HiloHilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
By Judd Winick
Random House Children’s Books
ISBN: 978-0-385-38617-3
Ages 9-12
On shelves September 1st

Relentless cheer. You can use it for good. You can use it for evil. You can use it in the name of humor too, but that’s a trickier game to play. I’m not saying it can’t be done. It just takes a certain level of finesse. Now I read a lot of graphic novels for kids in a given year that sell themselves as “funny”. And while I know that humor is subjective, I tell you plain that most of them aren’t of the laugh-out-loud variety. So when someone tries to sell me on the “funny” line with a comic I don’t actually expect that it’s gonna make me guffaw on the subway and embarrass me in front of the other riders. I guess I should be pretty peeved at you, Hilo for doing just exactly that, but how can I be mad at you? Your crazy positive outlook on life combined with your funny funny lines just makes you the most enjoyable hero to hit the library shelves in years. We get a lot of heroes around here but hardly any of them make us laugh. This guy, I like. This guy, your kids will like. This guy’s a keeper.

What if the one thing you were good at up and moved away and left you all alone? D.J. hasn’t the talents of the other people in his family and the way he figures it the only thing he was ever good at was being friends with his next door neighbor Gina. So when Gina moved away, so did the one thing that made him feel important. Three years pass, D.J.’s alone, and that’s when he spots something falling out of the sky. It’s small. It’s blond. And it’s wearing sparkly silver underpants. By all appearances the visitor is a small boy who calls himself Hilo. He doesn’t remember who he is or why he’s there or even what he is, but what he DOES love is discovering everything, and I mean everything, about the world. It looks like Hilo may be from another dimension, which is great. Except it looks like he’s not the only one. And it looks like he’d better remember who he is and fast because someone, or some THING, is after him.

We hear a lot of talk about “likability” and whether or not you relate to a story’s hero. In terms of D.J., I think that even the most accomplished children out there can relate to a kid who feels like he isn’t good at anything at all. Hilo’s a little different. He has more than a smidgen of The Greatest American Hero in his make-up, alongside a bit of Mork from Mork and Mindy and Avatar (the Nickelodeon cartoon). First, you get someone with powers they don’t completely understand. Next, you get a otherworldly funny being with superpowers figuring out day-to-day life. And finally, he’s a kid who ran from his frightening responsibilities and is now trying to undo a great wrong. I really love that last trope a lot because it’s something we all suspect we’d do ourselves when under serious pressure. Plus, like Avatar, Hilo delivers its message with a diverse cast and more than a smidgen of the funny.

In his bio at the back of the book Winick mentions that amongst his various influences he grew up reading the comic strip Bloom County. He’s not the first children’s book author/cartoonist to cite Berkeley Breathed as an inspiration (by the way, I love that Winick’s characters live in “Berke County”), but unlike the Bloom County imitators I’ve seen out there, Winick has managed to take the flavor and humor of the original strips and give them his own distinctive twist. Granted, the tighty whities and method of drawing toes look awfully similar to the feet and underwear of Milo Bloom, but there the direct correlations quit.

Actually, Winick’s artistic style is kind of fascinating. Particularly when it comes to characters’ eyes. A lot of the time he uses the old L’il Orphan Annie technique of keeping the pupils white and blank. But periodically, and for emphasis, small black pupils will appear. Then, in particularly emotional moments, full-color irises as well. Watching when precisely Winick chooses to use one kind of eye or another is a kind of mini lesson in comic drawing techniques in and of itself. Now Hilo is rendered in full-color glory, a fact that Winick uses to his advantage whenever he wants to create something like a portal to the Earth. But what I really liked watching, and the opening sequence is a brilliant example of this, is how he uses panels. The beginning of the book, which is a kind of flash forward into the future events to come, is a mix of action and visual humor. Even though you don’t know who these characters are, you are instantly on their side. Running from gigantic killer robots sort of cuts the “empathy” timeline in half, after all.

Now if I’ve learned anything from my time on this hallowed globe it’s that kids aren’t fans of true cliffhangers. The books where the hero is literally at the end of some screaming precipice or staring down certain death? It bugs them. They won’t stand for it. This isn’t to say that don’t like it when there’s the promise of another volume of their favorite series. But you’ve gotta ease into that, right? Leave them wanting more but solve the problem at hand. I won’t lie to you. Hilo ends on a cliffhanger. Fortunately, it’s the kind that isn’t going to make you mad when you get to it. Unless you can’t get the next book in the series. Then you’ll be furious.

I was trying to find equivalent kid comics to Hilo that know how to ratchet up the funny alongside the fast-paced. There’s a Jeff Smith blurb on this book so obviously Bone comes to mind. But I’d also be sure to mention Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado’s Giants Beware in the same breath. Any maybe Jeffrey Brown’s Star Wars: Jedi Academy just to be safe. All these books understand that while kids will follow an exciting, well-drawn comic to the ends of the earth, throw in a little humor there and they’ll go from merely enjoying it to loving it with some deep, buried part of their little comic-loving souls. That’s the fandom Hilo is poised to create. Good clean laser-beams-coming-outta-your-hands fun for the whole family. Now hand me #2, please. I have some more reading to do.

On shelves September 1st.

Like This? Then Try:


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16. Nimona

Archvillain Lord Ballister Blackheart and spunky sidekick Nimona battle the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics, but who are the real heroes and who are the real evildoers? This brilliantly complex graphic novel is filled with science, dragons, warmth, and humor. Books mentioned in this post Nimona Noelle Stevenson Sale Trade Paper $9.09

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17. Review of March: Book Two

lewis_march bk 2star2 March: Book Two
by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell
Middle School, High School   Top Shelf Productions   192 pp.
1/15   978-1-60309-400-9   $19.95   g

Lewis and Aydin begin this second volume of the graphic memoir trilogy in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2009 (President Obama’s first inauguration), then they move back in time to 1960 to pick up where March: Book One (rev. 1/14) left off. Dramatic descriptions and vivid black-and-white illustrations of SNCC’s direct action campaigns in Nashville (sit-ins at fast-food restaurants and cafeterias, “stand-ins” at a segregated movie theater) are followed by accounts of the Freedom Rides into the “heart of the beast” in the Deep South, and on through the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, where Lewis spoke alongside Dr. King. (Back matter includes the original draft of Lewis’s speech, a more fiery, radical version of the speech he delivered, a debate about which took place up to the moment he stepped onstage.) Since this is Lewis’s personal story, the account has the authority of a passionate participant, and the pacing ramps up tension and historical import. Events and personalities aren’t romanticized in the text or the illustrations, which themselves don’t flinch from violence; in addition to exploring the dream that drove the civil rights movement, the story also portrays its divisions. Flash-forwards to Barack Obama’s inauguration appear judiciously throughout, an effective reminder to readers about the effects of the movement. Among the many excellent volumes available on the subject of civil rights this is a standout, the graphic format a perfect vehicle for delivering the one-two punch of powerful words and images.

From the May/June 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.


The post Review of March: Book Two appeared first on The Horn Book.

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18. Ricky Ricotta

Ricky ricotta and his robotRicky Ricotta and His Mighty Robot are back in a brand new, out-of-this-world adventure!

Ricky Ricotta loves his Mighty Robot, but sometimes it’s hard having a best friend who is so BIG! If only his Mighty Robot had someone his own size to play with, Ricky could have some fun by himself. Little does Ricky know, his wish is about to come true. Ugly Uncle Unicorn is hatching a hideous plan to take over Earth, and he’s got a super-sized surprise for Ricky and his Robot friend!

Click here to learn more, make your own robot, watch cool videos, and more!


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19. Batman in Dior

There is more to Batman 47 than Joe ChillGirl in Dior has been getting great press worldwide for its depiction of one of the most influential premiere collections in fashion history, but there are a couple of classic superhero connections as well.

Sixty-eight year old fashion spoiler alert!

Protesting long skirts

As Girl in Dior aptly depicts, the designer’s debut collection split the fashion world. For some, the longer length of the skirts in Christian Dior’s first collection in 1947 was a step backward, but what ultimately won the day was a sense that Dior had tapped into deeper, more vital currents in the post-war West. Besides changing the course of fashion for a generation and, along the way, mentoring his successor in innovation, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior inspired a description that immediately became synonymous with his designs and, over time, any revolutionary break from existing style: the New Look.

Girl in Dior beautifully depicts the entry of this phrase into the fashion lexicon. After noting the presence of legendary Harper’s Bazaar editor Carmel Snow in the front row, author Annie Goetzinger lavishly recreates the moment when, following the show, Snow uttered the phrase that solidified Dior’s place in fashion history.


If you’re reading this site, though, chances are that you’re already thinking that the New Look sounds mighty familiar.

Check out this house ad and more on Dial B for Blog

It was, of course, the name famously — and not coincidentally — given to the modernization of Batman's appearance in 1964.

But that wasn’t the first time Dior’s New Look appeared in Batman comics – there’s also a reference contemporaneous with Dior’s early work.

Dior’s New Look garnered a lot of press in the U.S., from the revolutionary collections in the late ’40s to the Dior-mania of the subsequent decade and more. For our purposes, two articles in particular stand out: a January 1948 New York Times piece headlined “New Look to Stay, Expert Asserts” and Life Magazine‘s coverage of Dior’s latest “New Look” collection in February 1948.

FullSizeRender (1)

To see how such stories influenced comics, we can turn to the June 1948 of Batman, which re-tells Batman’s origin and includes his epic encounter with his father’s murderer, Joe Chill. However, that’s not the only story in this book, which deserves a digital restoration in full on Comixology (hint, hint).

The landmark Batman #47 actually opens with a Catwoman story called “Fashions in Crime.” The tale begins with Catwoman breaking out of jail, only to hear herself mocked by other women as she walks down the street while wearing her civilian clothes:

“Hmmph! She’s wearing a short skirt! She doesn’t have the NEW LOOK!”

As the women go on to ridicule her for not reading the latest fashion magazines, Catwoman makes the painful realization that “since [she’s] been in prison, the style has changed.” But this also gives her an entrepreneurial idea: she creates her own fashion magazine, Damsel, along with a Damsel fashion TV program.

Months later Damsel is the hottest media empire in the fashion world, and the scene shifts to an older socialite, who, wearing an elaborate hat, notes that Catwoman-turned-Damsel-publisher-Madame-Moderne’s latest designer favorite is “a gown by Millie Karnalee.” Karnalee’s name seems odd, but at the time it would have made sense as a pun on the popular American designer Hattie Carnegie, the subject of the January 1948 New York Times piece. Carnegie, besides, ahem, adapting (i.e. copying) Dior’s “New Look” at a lower price for the U.S. market, also made a point of condemning the predilection of younger women not to wear hats.

And despite a nifty later scene wear Batman cracks the case thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge of fashion illustration technique, that’s where the story begins to diverge from the world of Girl in Dior.

Apparently the writers weren’t aware of the free samples and ample cashflow that would have been accrued to the publisher of the world’s hottest fashion magazine, because Catwoman proceeds to use her newfound high-society access to steal clothes and rob women at an exclusive fashion show. Not surprisingly, the scene at Catwoman’s show is rather different from the more modest Parisian runways of the time — in true 1940s Batman fashion, it features “giant needles … scissors … thimbles … and a huge sewing machine!”

Girl in Dior might not end with a fight on oversized designer props, but it is nonetheless a most enlightening read. I could go on, but I’ll leave that to an actual reviewer – ceci n’est pas une critique de Jeune fille en Dior.

Girl in Dior

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20. Fun Home the musical gets 12 Tony Award nominations


The Tony Awards nominations are out today, honoring the best on Broadway, and Fun Home tied for most nominations with 12 (An American in Paris also got 12.) The musical, based on the Alison Bechdel graphic novel, was nominated for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Director, Best Actor in a Musical (Michael Cerveris), Best Actress in a Musical (Beth Malone), three in the Best Featured Actress category ( Judy Kuhn, Sydney Lucas and Emily Skeggs,) Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Orchestration.

I was lucky enough to see this last week, and its deserving of every honor it gets, a truly mesmerizing and heartbreaking night of theater. If I had to pick one performance to call out it would be 12 year old Sydney Lucas, who is simply astonishing as Small Allison. Alison Bechdel’s memoir about her family life, family secrets, coming out and dealing with the past has achieved a cultural significance that no graphic novel save Maus has ever come close to.


Bechdel drew a brief but powerful coda to the Fun Home experience as a webcomic for Vulture.

And the NY Times profiles her and the strange experience of seeing your life turned into a musical::

“She is a curious human being, and she’s curious about herself most of all,” Ms. Malone said of Ms. Bechdel. “Even her look is all about telling the truth — no ornamentation, nothing pretty. She hates lies — lies and embellishments are what got her dad killed.”

Ms. Bechdel has no formal role in creating the musical, but checks in often, answers questions by email and offers the periodic note. She asked them to change one sentence, to make clear that her father, a fastidious home restorer and antiques collector, had used real William Morris wallpaper, and not an imitation.



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21. New Dan Clowes “SF love story” Patience due in 2016


Fantagraphics has been teasing something new from Daniel Clowes for a few weeks and now and here’s the official word: Patience, a new 180-page graphic novel from Clowes is coming in March 2016. It’s described as “an indescribable psychedelic science-fiction love story.” Certainly the art seems like a technicolor throwback to some of Clowes earlier genre-influenced work, as well as The Death Ray.

The book veers” with uncanny precision from violent destruction to deeply personal tenderness in a way that is both quintessentially “Clowesian,” and utterly unique in the author’s body of work,” the blurb continues. “This 180-page, full-color story affords Clowes the opportunity to draw some of the most exuberant and breathtaking pages of his life, and to tell his most suspenseful, surprising and affecting story yet.” 

“Patience is the best book yet by probably my favorite cartoonist ever,” said Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds, “and I can’t wait for people to have the chance to not take my word for it.”
The preliminary cover image, above, also recalls come earlier Clowes work, including the cover to David Boring and the splash pages to some of his Eightball work. But you’ll be able to check all that out for yourself when The Complete Eightball comes out in a few weeks. It’s good to have Daniel Clowes back.
By Daniel Clowes
180 Pages * Full Color * 7 7/8″ x 10 1/4″
ISBN: 978-1-60699-905-9

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22. This One Summer wins Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize and some other award winners


Graphic novels have a lot more prizes than they once did, including literary awards that help validate the medium. Awards season is well upon us, and I’ve been way behind in noting some of the most important.

§ This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki continued to barnstorm all the honors by winning the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, perhaps th emost prestigious stand-alone comics prize in the US. The jury cited the book thusly

“This One Summer,” says the jury, “is a beautifully drawn, keenly observed story. It is told with a fluid line and a sensitive eye to the emblematic moments that convey character, time, and place—the surf at night, the sound of flip-flops, a guarded sigh—all at the meandering pace of a summer’s vacation. The Tamakis astutely orchestrate the formal complexities of the graphic novel in the service of an evocative, immersive story. At first blush a coming of age story centered on two young girls, the book belongs equally to all its cast of characters, any of whom feel realized enough to have supported a narrative in their own right. Striking, relatable, and poignant, this graphic novel lingers with readers long after their eyes have left the pages.”

Richard McGuire’s Here was named an Honoree:

Of “Here” the jury says, “Making literal the idiom ‘if these walls could talk…’ McGuire’s ‘Here’ curates the long history of events transpiring in one location. Through the subtle transposition of objects and individuals in a room, the book teaches us that space is defined over time. … Evoking our longing for place, the book performs this cumulative effect for the reader, by layering people, experiences, and events in the context of a single environment.”

The Prize is presented by Penn State and is named after the author of what are now accepted to be early example of standalone graphic novels. (Ward donated his papers to the university.) This year’s jury consisted of Joel D. Priddy, Veronica Hicks, Brandon Hyde, Brent Book and Jonathan E. Abel. MOre information on the prize, the jury and past winners can be found here.


§ The Cartoonist Studio Prize, presented by Slate Magazine and the Center for Cartoon Studies, was also presented a while back. And the graphic novel winners Here by Richard McCguire. (Do you sense a pattern here?) The webcomic prize was won by Winston Rowntree for Watching. The prize comes with a $1000 cash award for each. This year’s jury consisted of Slate Book Review editor Dan Kois; CCS fellow Sophie Yanow; and guest judge, cartoonist Paul Karasik. You can see all the runners up in the above link.

(This result has been sitting in my links for a month; apologies and congratulations to the winners.)


§ While This One Summer and Here have scooped up a bunch of prizes, you must be wondering about the third most honored graphic novel of 2014, Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant. Well, Chast won the Heinz Award, which is present to six “exceptional Americans, for their creativity and determination in finding solutions to critical issues.” Along with glory, the prize includes $250,000 in cash.

” ‘Floored’ does not begin to describe it,” Chast says of her reaction. “I don’t think I’ve fully absorbed it yet.”



§ As you may have heard, the PEN American Center, a literary organization that promotes free speech, presented French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo with the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award, and all hell broke loose. Many prominent authors protested the award on the grounds that Charlie Hebdo is offensive. You can read many of those comments here. Other authors, including Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel and Salmon Rushdie filled the tables at the awards gala vacated by the protesters, and defended Charlie Hebdo as an equal opportunity satirist. You can read all about that here.

While no one in the kerfuffle seems to think that being offensive deserves death, the dissenters felt that giving Charlie Hebdo an award intensified “the anti-Islamic,
anti-Maghreb, anti-Arab sentiments already prevalent in the Western world.”

The pro-Charlie group felt that, as Gaiman put it, “The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are getting an award for courage. They continued putting out their magazine after the offices were firebombed [in 2011], and the survivors have continued following the murders.”

There aren’t any easy answers here. Terrorists acts are committed to create terror and confusion and turn ordinary people on both sides into radicals. In this goal, at least, the Hebdo attacks were a rousing success.

In the above photo Charlie Hebdo Editor-in-Chief Gerard Biard accepts the award as Alain Mabanckou looks on. AP photo by Beowulf Sheehan

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23. LIMERICK REVIEW: SISTERS by Raina Telgemeier

click to embiggenA surfeit of conflicts sistericalMakes this graphic novel hysterical - And a journey by carMakes it all worse by farA truce would be some sort of miracle!Other Noteworthy Info: This incredibly fun graphic novel, published last year,... Read the rest of this post

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24. Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour: Interview with Gene Luen Yang

Children's Book Week was just last week, and thanks to First Second we're still celebrating--throughout April and May, MacTeenBooks has organized a massive multi-blog tour featuring Five Questions with a wide range of amazing cartoonists for kids... Read the rest of this post

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25. Dragons Beware!

Dragons Beware!
by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado
First Second, May 12, 2015
review copy purchased for my classroom library

Claudette is relentless. She has not given up on becoming a warrior. Her little brother, Gaston, is equally single-minded. He HAS given up his dream of becoming a chef until he can become as good a blacksmith as his father and/or do something that will make his father proud.

When the flying gargoyles attempt to attack their village, Claudette and Gaston's father, Augustine, and his sidekick Zubair set off to get Augustine's sword Breaker from the belly of the dragon Azra so they can defeat the evil Grombach, who is sending the gargoyle army.

Knowing that Claudette and Gaston will try to come along, Augustine leaves them locked in the tower with Marie. Guess how long that lasts?

Here's how our heroes are armed to defeat a dragon and an evil...grandfather (you'll have to read the book to get the back story on that plot twist): Claudette's stumpy little sword seems to have some magic, and she is not at all lacking in bravery. Gaston is encouraged by Hag (a character I'm pretty sure we'll meet again in book 3),
"Don't turn your back on a talent, Boy. Lots of folks spend their whole lives looking for something their good at."
as she presses a book of spells into his hands. "Casting spells is like learning a recipe. Like cooking."And Marie has been learning about diplomacy.

I loved the first book, Giant's Beware!, but I love this book even more. I can't wait to hear Rafael Rosado (artist) and John Novak (colorist) speak at Cover to Cover on Saturday, May 23 from 2-3:30. See you there!

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