Want to try reading comics? Don’t know where to start? Want to try something different?
Wednesday is New Comics Day! Each week, The Comics Observer spotlights up to three (sometimes a little more on really good weeks) brand new releases worthy of your consideration. All of these have been carefully selected as best bets for someone who has never read comic books, graphic novels or manga before. They each highlight the variety and creativity being produced today. These are also great for those that haven’t read comics in awhile or regular readers looking to try something new.
While we can’t guarantee you’ll like what we’ve picked, we truly believe there’s a comic for everyone. If you like the images and descriptions below, click the links to see previews and learn more about them. You can often buy straight from the publishers or creators. If not, head over to your local comic book store, check out online retailers like Things From Another World and Amazon, or download a copy at comiXology, or the comics and graphic novels sections of the Kindle Store or NOOK store. Let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.
(Please note these aren’t reviews. Recommendations are based on pre-release buzz, previews, and The Comics Observer‘s patented crystal ball. Product descriptions provided by publisher.)
The untold coming-of-age story from a contemporary comics master
Marble Season is the all-new semiautobiographical novel by acclaimed cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez, author of the epic masterpiece Palomar, and co-creator of the groundbreaking Love and Rockets comic book series, along with his brothers Jaime and Mario. Marble Season is his first book with Drawn & Quarterly and one of the most anticipated books of 2013. It tells the untold stories from the American comics legends’ youth, but also portrays the reality of life in a large family in suburban 1960s California. Pop-culture references—TV shows, comic books, and music—saturate this evocative story of a young family navigating cultural and neighborhood norms set against the golden age of the American dream and the silver age of comics.
Middle child Huey stages Captain America plays and treasures his older brother’s comic book collection almost as much as his approval. Marble Season subtly and deftly details how the innocent, joyfully creative play children engage in (shooting marbles, staging backyard plays, and organizing treasure hunts) changes as they grow older and encounter name-calling naysayers, abusive bullies, and the value judgments of other kids. An all ages story, Marble Season masterfully explores the redemptive and timeless power of storytelling and role play in childhood, making it a coming-of-age story that is as resonant with the children of today as the children of the ’60s.
Who is AC?
Written by Hope Larson
Illustrated by Tintin Pantoja
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster
Genre: Fantasy; Superhero; Action/Adventure
$21.99 (hardcover); $14.99 (paperback)
In this breakthrough graphic novel from the award-winning author of Mercury, there’s a new superhero in town—and she’s got kick-butt cyberpowers.
Meet Lin, a formerly average teenage girl whose cell phone zaps her with magical powers. But just as superpowers can travel through the ether, so can evil. As Lin starts to get a handle on her new abilities (while still observing her curfew!), she realizes she has to go head-to-head with a nefarious villain who spreads his influence through binary code. And as if that weren’t enough, a teen blogger has dubbed her an “anonymous coward!” Can Lin detect the cyber-criminal’s vulnerability, save the day, and restore her reputation?
With ingenious scripting from graphic novel phenom Hope Larson and striking art from manga illustrator Tintin Pantoja, this action-packed story brims with magical realism and girl-power goodness.
Is hydro-fracking safe? Is climate change real? Did the moon landing actually happen? How about evolution: fact or fiction? Author-illustrator Darryl Cunningham looks at these and other hot-button science topics and presents a fact-based, visual assessment of current thinking and research on eight different issues everybody’s arguing about. His lively storytelling approach incorporates comics, photographs, and diagrams to create substantive but easily accessible reportage. Cunningham’s distinctive illustrative style shows how information is manipulated by all sides; his easy-to-follow narratives allow readers to draw their own fact-based conclusions. A graphic milestone of investigative journalism!
Praise for How to Fake a Moon Landing:
“Cartoonist Darryl Cunningham… is a welcome voice, shedding some much needed light on the darker areas of science and culture… Cunningham does a remarkable job with difficult material and for high school students, just opening their eyes to the world around them, this is a terrific primer.” — ComicMix
Jerusalem is a sweeping, epic work that follows a single family—three generations and fifteen very different people—as they are swept up in chaos, war, and nation-making from 1940-1948. Faith, family, and politics are the heady mix that fuel this ambitious, cinematic graphic novel.
With Jerusalem, author-filmmaker Boaz Yakin turns his finely-honed storytelling skills to a topic near to his heart: Yakin’s family lived in Palestine during this period and was caught up in the turmoil of war just as his characters are. This is a personal work, but it is not a book with a political ax to grind. Rather, this comic seeks to tell the stories of a huge cast of memorable characters as they wrestle with a time when nothing was clear and no path was smooth.
A beautiful wordless graphic novel about floating trash and its effects on us and our world, a silly adventure about a boy who turns into a boat, and a real life journey to Jerusalem during the Gaza War – starting at material for kids 6 years old and working our way up to adults, these are graphic novels not to be missed.
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.
“One person’s garbage is another’s story.”
Based on the real-life occurrence of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an island of floating trash in a remote area of the Northern Pacific Ocean more than twice the size of Texas, I’m Not A Plastic Bag tells a moving story about loneliness, beauty, and humankind’s connection to our planet.
Produced in conjunction with American Forests© and the Global ReLeaf© programs, Archaia will plant two trees for each tree used in the manufacturing of this book. Presented in partnership with Jeff Corwin Connect, a global, ecological, educational and entertainment multimedia company launched by Jeff Corwin, the popular wildlife expert and nature conservationist.
The only graphic novel that combines the angst of being a teen with the thrill of being a boat!
High school can be a time of terrible angst — Fs on tests, bullying jerks, broken hearts, and late-stage puberty are just some of the potential issues that all teen boys face. But what about the issues facing a Teen Boat? In this hilarious send-up of teen story tropes, the best-selling author Dave Roman and the cartoonist John Green deliver high school and high seas drama with a boatload of laughs.
2012 Fauve d’Or at the Festival Intl de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême
“[Delisle’s books are] some of the most effective and fully realized travel writing out there.” — NPR
“Neither Jewish nor Arab, Delisle explores Jerusalem and is able to observe this strange world with candidness and humor…But most of all, those stories convey what life in East Jerusalem is about for an expatriate.” — Haaretz
“Engaging…[ Delisle] highlights the very complex lives of Israelis, Palestinians, and foreign residents.” — Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Acclaimed graphic memoirist Guy Delisle returns with his strongest work yet—a thoughtful and moving travelogue about life in Israel. Delisle and his family spent a year in East Jerusalem as part of his wife’s work with the nongovernmental organization Doctors Without Borders. They were there for the short but brutal Gaza War, a three-week-long military strike that resulted in more than a thousand Palestinian deaths. In his interactions with the emergency medical team sent in by Doctors Without Borders, Delisle eloquently plumbs the depths of the conflict.
Guy Delisle expertly lays the groundwork for a cultural road map of contemporary Jerusalem, utilizing the classic stranger in a strange land point of view that made his other books, Pyongyang, Shenzhen, and Burma Chronicles, required reading for understanding what daily life is like in cities few are able to travel to. In Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, Delisle explores the complexities of a city that represents so much to so many. He eloquently examines the impact of the conflict on the lives of people on both sides of the wall while drolly recounting the quotidian: crossing checkpoints, going kosher for Passover, and befriending other stay-at-home dads with NGO-employed wives.
When observing the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim populations that call Jerusalem home, Delisle’s drawn line is both sensitive and fair, assuming nothing and drawing everything. Jerusalem showcases once more Delisle’s mastery of the travelogue.