New Comics for New Readers – September 5, 2012
Posted by Corey Blake
Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer picks brand new releases worth checking out that should be suitable for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before.
These are out today! If you like what you see here, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. Then head to your local comic book store, or check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.
(Disclaimer: These aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release press, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)
Message to Adolf Volume 1
Written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka
Translated by Kumar Sivasubramanian
Published by Vertical, Inc.
Genre: Historical fiction, Political thriller, War
This is the story of three men named Adolf.
One of Osamu Tezuka’s most cherished works returns in a new two-volume hardcover reprint.
The godfather of manga returns with another tour de force as he takes on the topic of Adolf Hitler as told through two young men in Kobe, Japan, both named Adolf. Message to Adolf was a literary masterpiece in its time. Published in Japan’s top literary journal, it is a provocative political thriller that poses the question of Hitler’s past while examining Nazi Germany from a Japanese perspective.
Originally serialized in the ’80s in newsmagazine Weekly Bunshun in the first such attempt by comics master Osamu Tezuka, the magnum opus from the last decade of his momentous career returns in two hardcover installments and a new translation.
A graveyard in contemporary Israel has an unlikely visitor. The elderly gentleman from Japan, a former news correspondent, lays a bouquet of flowers at the tomb of one Adolf Kamil. For he remembers the tale of three Adolfs: Kamil, a Jew who grew up in Kobe, Japan, the son of a baker; Kaufmann, only child of a German consul stationed at that port city and his Japanese wife; and the Führer with whom the Far Eastern nation made common cause.
A briskly paced political thriller, in this first part Message to Adolf takes us from the Nazi propaganda victory of the 1936 Berlin Olympics to the ravaging flames and atrocities of World War II. The disastrous education of Adolf Kaufmann in the ways and prerogatives of the master race begins.
“A visionary account of life in the People’s Republic of China”
A Chinese Life is an astonishing graphic novel set against the backdrop of the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. This distinctively drawn work chronicles the rise and reign of Chairman Mao Zedong, and his sweeping, often cataclysmic vision for the most populated country on the planet.
Though the storyline is epic, the storytelling is intimate, reflecting the real life of the book’s artist. Li Kunwu spent more than 30 years as a state artist for the Communist Party. He saw firsthand what was happening to his family, his neighbors, and his homeland during this extraordinary time. Working with Philippe Ôtié, the artist has created a memoir of self and state, a rich, very human account of a major historical moment with contemporary consequences. Mao said, “The masses are the real heroes,” but A Chinese Life shows those masses as real people.
“Heartless is just amazing! I laughed out loud a lot. It is chock full of great stuff and I’m hard to please! Nina Bunjevac’s art is a pleasure to look at. The writing is seriously demented, but in a totally brilliant, highly entertaining way. It is its own thing, imitating no one.” — Kim Deitch
“The most vitally reinvigorating change in modern comics is the unstoppable rise of women, as creators, as readers, and as characters. In her impressive debut collection, Nina Bunjevac stuns as a distinctive, innovative voice, adept at hyperdetailed cartooning and deliciously disturbing as she probes the darkest depths of desire and despair.” — Paul Gravett
“Witness if you will the bizarre love triangle of Zorka, Chip Stein and Fay Slift, the old Frankie and Johnny legend taken to its extreme of outré weirdness! Check out the O’Henry-like twists and turns in THE REAL DEAL! This book is a wild thrill ride through hell on a Tilt-A-Whirl! It’s a triple-dip banana split with a live cockroach at the bottom! I dig it the most, and so will you!” — Jay Lynch
Bunjevac’s stunning debut book of stories is a perfect blend of the American underground and the European diaspora.
Featuring an introduction by Jay Lynch.
About Corey BlakeCorey Blake does things on the Internet, and sometimes even in real life. As a comic book pundit, advocate and educator, he regularly contributes to the Comic Book Resources blog Robot 6 and runs the web-magazine The Comics Observer, which provides a variety of perspectives on the comic book art form and industry. He also advises for the award-winning documentary and comics advocacy movement Dig Comics, and is a recurring member of the podcast Part-Time Fanboy. As a comedic performer/actor, Corey has been seen in online web-series such as The Jeff Lewis 5-Minute Comedy Hour (Best Web Comedy-Episodic, Clicker.com), The Starmind Record (Best Direction and Editing, LA Web Series), and Poopdog Entertainment’s Mayer for Mayor (Funny or Die featured video). He is a founding member of the improv comedy group The You Convention, a house team at The Improv Space. See http://www.coreyblake.com for more.
Posted on September 5, 2012, in New Comics for New Readers and tagged A Chinese Life, Abrams, Conundrum Press, Harry S. Abrams, Heartless, Li Kunwu, Message to Adolf, Nina Bunjevac, Osamu Tezuka, Philippe Ôtié, SelfMadeHero, Vertical Inc.. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.