Cannon, Kevin. Far Arden.

Marietta, GA: Top Shelf Productions, 2009.

At more than 500 pages, this is certainly one of the fattest graphic novels I’ve attempted. It also has a very complex plot and a large array of characters, so you’ll have to pay attention — but it’s worth the effort. The setting is Nunavut in Canada’s Arctic north, but the story takes place in a world at right angles to our own.

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Goetzinger, Annie. Girl in Dior.

NY: NBM Publishing, 2013.

This nicely drawn graphic novel is interesting for its artwork, which celebrates the last ten years of Christian Dior, a revolutionary postwar high fashion, but it’s rather a disappointment in its storytelling. The narrator is the young (and fictional) Clare Nohant, daughter and granddaughter of professional seamstresses in the fashion world, and a would-be fashion journalist.

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Published in: on 25 July 2019 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gaiman, Neil, Fábio Moon, & Gabriel Bá. How to Talk to Girls at Parties.

Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books, 2016.

In 2006, Neil wrote a short story by this title, and it was nominated for a Hugo. A decade later, he teamed up with two of the most original graphic artists around and they produced a visual rendition of the story that works so well, you’ll be replaying it in your head for weeks afterward. It’s about a couple of young lads, see, in south London in the early ’80s, who are out looking for a party that Vic — the experienced player of the two — has heard about.

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Hirsh, Ananth & Yujo Ota. Lucky Penny.

Portland, OR: Oni Pressm 2016.

This graphic novel is very much in the old style, and very funny, too. Penny Brighton is in her early twenties, single, and a walking disaster area. She’s convinced she’s bad luck for everyone around her, and she may be right. She gets fired from her department store job the same day she loses her apartment.

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Chaffee, Graham. Good Dog.

Seattle: Fantagraphics, 2013.

This a nicely laid-back graphic novel, a good way to relax for an afternoon. Ivan is just a nondescript yellow dog, not that old, not that bright, a stray all his life, and mostly just wishing he had a human to tell him what to do. His strange dreams drive him crazy, and so do those stupid chickens.

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Published in: on 22 May 2019 at 1:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Huppen, Hermann & Yves. Station 16.

Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books, 2014.

The Huppens are a French father and son team with a taste for the macabre, and this unsettling graphic novel may remind you in setting and flavor of the classic horror film, The Thing.

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Gray, Justin, Jimmy Pamliotti & Jimmy Broxton. Hugh Howey’s Wool.

NY: Jet City Comics, 2014.

When Wool was originally published a few years ago, I made several attempts to read it. I really did. I just couldn’t get past Howey’s seriously inept writing, a combination of a Fourth Grade grasp of English with a badly untutored narrative style that had never heard of “show, don’t tell.” I had finally decided that I would just never know what the story was supposed to be about.

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McCloud, Scout. The Sculptor.

NY: First Seccond, 2015.

McCloud is probably best known for his excellent instructional volumes about graphic novels and “sequential art” generally, but he has also published several well-received examples of his own. And this fat volume — more than 500 pages — is his best and most mature work yet, hands down.

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Published in: on 26 January 2019 at 11:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Feiffer, Jules. Kill My Mother: A Graphic Novel.

NY: Liveright, 2014.

Feiffer is an amazing cartoonist with amazing longevity. He started drawing for publication shortly after World War II, became Will Eisner’s assistant at the age of seventeen, and his work was showing up in New Yorker, Esquire, and Playboy while Eisenhower was still in the White House. He won every artistic award there is, including an Academy Award, and then branched out into novels, stage plays, and screenplays.

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Fitzgerald, Meags. Photobooth: A Biography.

Greenwich, NS: Conundrum Press, 2014.

I’m old enough to remember when nearly every dime store, bus station, and amusement park had a coin-operated photobooth. Close the curtain, take a seat, feed in a couple of quarters, and smile — or, more likely, if you were a teenager, make faces. And out would come a strip of six black-and-white wallet-size portraits. Because the image was printed directly to paper and there was no negative, each shot was unique and non-repeatable — a tiny time capsule of a single moment in your life.

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Published in: on 15 October 2018 at 5:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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