A touching and funny memoir about a strained mother/daughter relationship, an examination of the complicated history between the United States and the Middle East, and a psychologically twisted dark comedy about young love – if you’re looking to experience the human condition, both intimate and global, you’ve got three great options this week.
Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer picks three brand new releases worth checking out that should be suitable for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before.
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.
From the best-selling author of Fun Home, Time magazine’s No. 1 Book of the Year, a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.
Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood… and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.
Best of Enemies: A History of US and Middle East Relations Part One: 1783-1953
Written by Jean-Pierre Filiu
Illustrated by David B.
Published by Selfmadehero
Genre: Non-Fiction, Political History
The first volume of a ground-breaking graphic novel series on US-Middle East relations.
David B. and Professor Filiu draw striking parallels between ancient and contemporary political history in this look at US-Middle East relations. The reader is transported to the pirate-choked Mediterranean sea, where Christians and Muslims continue the Crusades, only this time on water. As the centuries pass, the traditional victims of the Muslim pirates – the British, French, and Spanish – all become empire-building powers whose sights lie beyond the Mediterranean.
Jean-Pierre Filiu is a world-renowned expert on the Middle East. David B. is an Eisner Award-nominated artist.
The Flowers of Evil
Written and illustrated by Shuzo Oshimi
Published by Vertical, Inc.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
One of the most popular manga series in Japan today makes its U.S. debut with The Flowers of Evil, Volume 1. In this romantic comedy featuring a teenage boy obsessed with a beautiful classmate—and with the poetry of Beaudelaire—award-winning, best-selling author Shuzo Oshimi pens a coming-of-age tale that will appeal to girls and guys alike.
The story opens as middle school student Takao Kasuga receives an F on a math test. But he doesn’t even seem to notice because he’s too engrossed in surreptitiously reading Beaudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil. And the day goes downhill from there. In a moment of weakness, he finds and takes home the gym clothes belonging to sweet, pretty Nanako Saeki on whom he has a major crush. Unfortunately for Takao, there’s a witness to the theft: Nakamura, who has a huge chip on her shoulder and a sadistic streak.
As the saga unfolds, we see Takao struggling to decide whether to confess or cover up his misdeeds at the same time that he tries to win over the girl of his dreams, and avoid the blackmail attempts of Nakamura, his new ”BFF.”
Smart, funny, and emotionally engaging, The Flowers of Evil introduces a character who’s not a hero, but just an ordinary teenager in search of true love and real friendship.