who is this Man?
No one knows.
We call him Gramps, and he's been wandering the Plains of Existence long before this world was a speck in the Eyes of All.
The telling of Jack Johnson's life, interspersed with many of his popular fights and loves, is a rough yet beautiful one. A Black boxer in the early 20th century, Johnson battled racism and prejudice in order to be seen as the number one boxer and as a human. Daoudi's art (using black and red as the main colors for the story), is sharp and pointed, making the reader feel the pain and roughness of the fights. Matejka's use of poetics brings Johnson's intelligence to the forefront, reminding the reader that this isn't just a "dumb jock" story. A haunting portrayal of one of America's best boxers, LAST ON HIS FEET will make you cheer and cry.
If you told me that I'd win $50K if I stayed in an amusement park for a week, I'd be game. What I wouldn't be game for, are any supernatural shenanigans. A graphic novel adaptation of the eponymous novel, this feels just as vibrant as the source material. A wide array of characters alongside our heroine, as they all battle to survive and claim their prize. A great recommendation for those who enjoy surivor fiction (THE HUNGER GAMES, BATTLE ROYAL). The art by Veronica & Andy Fish is fresh and pops out as the story moves along. A solid read, you won't be able to put it down.
This is a graphic novel I wish had existed when I was in my eary 20's-three friends embark on a trip to New York City, where friendship and love are pushed/pulled like the waves in the ocean. Between our three protagonists, I was able to see myself through their-selves as they marvel at the sights and people of the city. The art feels as if it's a movie-great detail on the architecture, art, and personalities of the people in Manhattan. I'd highly recommend the book for folks going into college after graduation-lots of good lessons to be learned from this story.
A very strong collection of horror written by African American writers, bringing a new sense of fear and what it really means to be afraid. There are some well known authors like N.K. Jemisin and Rebecca Roanhorse, and many new ones who I'm happy to have read their work in this collection, and will seek them out! Entertaining and spine-chilling, this anthology will leave you satisfied yet wanting more.
A fascinating story of the author trying to set up an interview for a documentary with the infamous Gil Scot-Heron, all while exploring his own adventures coming to America as a French student and having to deal with the racial and socio-economics of America. Mauceri goes into detail giving the audience glimpses into Heron's life; his struggles with addiction, how and why he got into poetry, and became one of the most influential American artists of the 20th Century. A poignant graphic biography/memoir, this will have you thinking not just of Heron's influence, but also Mauceri's constant drive to complete this project, despite hurdles-a great reminder of how life and plans will change, and one must go with the flow of it all. A great rec for any modern history, and definitely a book that will make you cry.
Sometimes, you just want to read a funny comic about four roommates and their zany adventures! We follow Nana, Bunny, Tula and Sadie as they struggle to work, make ends meet, and find "hotties." This graphic novel feels close to reality of many millennial women; too broke to afford a house or live alone, confusion and realizations dealing with men, and having a roommate possessed by a demon due to live-streaming. Nate's art is zany-fun, just as her characters are. I absolutely dare one person to read this and not have fun.
A heartfelt memoir about a journey of friendship (one born from childhood that ends in adulthood). Emilia's desire to share the story of her friendship with Charlotte aka "C" and how even after death, the friendship is still alive and strong in one's heart. The graphic memoir deals with topics like mental health and suicide, not backing down in shame but facing the topics head on. This is a must read for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide or those who deal with ideation-it's a reminder that you're not alone, and love can still power on after death. "We danced in the dream realm!" Keep tissues nearby, and enjoy.
The sequel to INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, ACROSS keeps the momentum of various art styles intermeshing with comic book aesthetics; Zahed takes time going through the various Spider-Folk designs, as well as background designs, to show the reader how much time and work went into making such an impressive film. Interviews from the head writers and director of the film are also included, giving a well rounded look at the process of the film. A great coffee table book for a comic/film fan, and entertaining from front to back!
A transracial coming of age graphic novel memoir, Myer details her early life through high school; detailing her love of anime and manga, feeling ostracized due to her being Korean-American and feeling like a monster from the inside. As a transracial adoptee myself, a lot of Myer's experience hit home-understanding how it feels to be a minority in a very white town as well as discovering your own queer identity. This is an immediate 10/10, and a great window into an adoptee's experience.
This graphic novel feels like a cross between BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA and Lovecraftian lore; we follow Trish as she arrives back home in order to lick some wounds and heal from the past, all the while, dealing with frantic visions of her childhood friend Jackie being held by a dark force they both created with their stories. A fun and philosophical look at friendships, and the heavens and hells we can create together. This is a singular story in The Bone Orchard Mythos, and is perfect as a standalone comic. A high recommendation for those who love fantasy and horror.
Ar, mateys! The book be a blast of brilliance, humor, and charm! A bond between a pirate & parrot (err, penguin), proves that a ship sails smooth with a cool crew! A great story, with wonderful illustrations by Jenn Harney, bringing out the laughs alongside the pirate's silliness. This book is a mandatory read for all pirate and penguin lovers.
A human story of trying to achieve a dream; it's 1971, and Seymour is an immigrant living in LA trying to make a film of his own, but without funding, it's a dull dream. Working on B and C list horror films to make money and connections, we watch as he tries to maneuver the film scene. Outside of work, he struggles to be an attentive parent and partner, and often finds his work to be an escape. Harkham's artwork feels flexible, and the drama throughout the book melds well with it.
This comic is a wonderful autobiographical account of the author experiencing Europe as an 8th grader; full of insecurities and dreams, Dan learns to let go and live life as his class moves around Europe. The art moves between a fun cartoon style, showing the excitement of being a pre-teen in a new country and stoic, showing off the grand buildings and other sights. This book was a sweet reminder to not let your anxieties run your life, and to accept change. Added bonus: there are pictures of Dan and his classmates from the trip, and all he saw at the end of the book, helping put names to faces of the characters you meet while reading.
After a couple high school students are found dead on a beach in a seaside community, fear and chaos takes action as everyone is scared they might be next. The story follows three teenagers, struggling to find their places in high school, and a mysterious figure who seems to be around in the background of parties and dark woods carrying a baseball bat. A fusion of '80s slasher and noir vibes, this comic isn't afraid to go into the dark corners and place our heroes & heroines in danger. The twist at the end of the book was well placed as the tension builds and builds. A great mystery comic, and a great rec for horror lovers.
This poetry book contains many antique pictures of Black Americans ranging from the 18th-early 20th century, with poetic monologues alongside them. Names aren't given, but Smith doesn't need that; each picture has it's own unique presence and feels as if we are looking through an unnamed family photo album. No poem is the same; the way Smith is able to bounce between joy, sorrow, peace and other emotional states helps ease us into the photos and feel as if this is a conversation we are just now getting into. Raw yet strong, this book is perfect for poetry lovers or those new to the genre.
Looking back through his adolescence, Gipi uses dark humor to address trauma, dreams, and relationships that seem to end, but don't. An Italian artist, the aesthetic runs between loose and finely detailed; "my badly drawn life" acts more as a metaphor, as each style feels unique. Fantasies interrupt the main plot line, but aren't jarring; who knew a short about a man captured by pirate captain could hold a secret of life? Gipi doesn't fall into nihilism, instead adapting absurdism to challenge his own mental health, and life. This graphic novel was immediately relatable to me, and hopefully, other readers will love this too.
A poetic examination of the poet's life as a Black boy growing into manhood as he deals with systematic racism, and how it influenced his reality. Pop-culture references abound, as Willis describes finding wonder and horror in his everyday life (gun violence, friendships gained and lost, and the media). This was a quick, yet sharp read; the poet will speak to you as if you're right there, experiencing life as he had.
A beautiful yet haunting series of interviews of returning vets from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Taken over 5 years, Ruliffson doesn't shy away from showing the audience the harshness of these conflicts and coming home, having to reckon with their time and building their lives again. The diversity of the interviewees is interesting as well-soldiers of various gender identities and ethnicities are seen and heard. The graphic novel is drawn beautifully and engages the reader quickly, to fall into the stories of these soldiers. This book is a reminder that war changes the ones involved, but there is hope upon returning home.