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 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.)
“MERMIN the MERMAN from MER!?” That’s the question Pete and his friends ask after finding the fish-boy washed up on the beach!
Mermin just escaped the undersea kingdom of Mer, and is ready to have some fun on dry land! But why would this aquatic kid be afraid to swim? Perhaps it has something to do with the fishy pursuers who have followed him from the depths below!
Resident Alien Volume 1: Welcome to Earth!
Written by Peter Hogan
Illustrated by Steve Parkhouse
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Genre: Science-fiction, Crime
A stranded alien seeks refuge in the small town of Patience, USA, where he hides undercover as a retired doctor. All the alien wants is to be left alone until he’s rescued. However, when the town’s real doctor dies, “Dr. Harry” is pulled into medical service—and finds himself smack dab in the middle of a murder mystery!
* From the writer of Tom Strong and the artist for Alan Moore’s The Bojeffries Saga!
“A pitch-perfect narrative from two of my favourite creators.” – Alan Moore
Follow your host Hilary Tremayne on eight surreal journeys into the unknown.
Discover the truth behind the mysteries of spontaneous human combustion, the Bermuda Triangle, the lost 13th month, and the real reason men have nipples.
Drawn by Rian Hughes and written by a Rogue’s Gallery of Britain’s finest comic writers that includes Mark Millar (Kick Ass, Wanted), Alan McKenzie (The Harrison Ford Story) and John Smith (Devin Waugh), this volume collects the complete series.
Honorable mentions for two new soft cover editions of two favorites:
A Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book
There’s lots to do before Little Mouse is ready to go visit the barn. Will he master all the intricacies of getting dressed, from snaps and buttons to Velcro and tail holes?
Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Smith and his determined Little Mouse reveal all the smallest pleasures of this daily task.
Opening a few years after the end of World War II and covering almost a quarter-century, here is comics master Osamu Tezuka’s most direct and sustained critique of Japan’s fate in the aftermath of total defeat. Unusually devoid of cartoon premises yet shot through with dark voyeuristic humor, Ayako looms as a pinnacle of Naturalist literature in Japan with few peers even in prose, the striking heroine a potent emblem of things left unseen following the war.
The year is 1949. Crushed by the Allied Powers, occupied by General MacArthur’s armies, Japan has been experiencing massive change. Agricultural reform is dissolving large estates and redistributing plots to tenant farmers—terrible news, if you’re landowners like the archconservative Tenge family. For patriarch Sakuemon, the chagrin of one of his sons coming home alive from a P.O.W. camp instead of having died for the Emperor is topped only by the revelation that another of his is consorting with “the reds.” What solace does he have but his youngest Ayako, apple of his eye, at once daughter and granddaughter?
Delving into some of the period’s true mysteries, which remain murky to this day, Tezuka’s Zolaesque tapestry delivers thrill and satisfaction in spades. Another page-turning classic from an irreplaceable artist who was as astute an admirer of the Russian masters and Nordic playwrights as of Walt Disney, Ayako is a must-read for comics connoisseurs and curious literati.
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.
Unbeknownst to the human race, a great and terrible evil threatens to engulf the earth.
Enter college freshman Alec Wagner – the “Gatecrasher” – a somewhat reluctant member of a covert brigade of warriors dedicated to protecting Earth. As sole possessor of the ability to predict the opening of inter-dimensional gates, Alec assumes nearly overwhelming responsibility for his team, conducting the Split-Second Squad against alien invaders. However, battling aliens is not the only thing on Alec’s mind. While juggling college and inter-dimensional combat, Alec also has high prospects for his social life… if he could ever show up on time for a date!
WARNING: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE.
As an underwater welder on an oilrig off the coast of Nova Scotia, Jack Joseph is used to the immense pressures of deep-sea work. Nothing, however, could prepare him for the pressures of impending fatherhood. As Jack dives deeper and deeper, he seems to pull further and further away from his young wife and their unborn son. Then one night, deep in the icy solitude of the ocean floor, something unexplainable happens. Jack has a mysterious and supernatural encounter that will change the course of his life forever.
Equal parts blue-collar character study and mind-bending mystery, The Underwater Welder is a graphic novel about fathers and sons, birth and death, memory and reality, and the treasures we all bury deep below the surface. The all-new literary masterpiece from the creator of Essex County is finally here.
Kiyoha may wear the similar fancy kimono-dresses but she is not your everyday geisha. The hairstyle may be the same and she may have some of the finest clientele comparable to those of the most refined women in all of Kyoto, but she is not in the home of geisha and their maiko assistants. Instead, Kiyoha is in Yoshiwara, the infamous red-light district located in northeast Tokyo. And instead of being a respected geisha artisan, she is an oiran, a courtesan.
Kiyoha didn’t choose this life. She was forced into this world at an early age for one reason…she had spunk. A fire burned within her as a child. She would rather fight than cry, and she would always fight if ever put at risk. She caused her caretakers so much grief their best solution was to give her a purpose to be strong and maybe a chance to develop a life on her own. But getting to that point would take years of heartache and misery. Kiyoha’s entire life has been in chaos, and she has blossomed in it.
In Sakuran, Moyoco Anno lifts the veil on life in the Edo period pleasure quarter, Yoshiwara. The story follows Kiyoha, sold into a brothel as a child and forced to work as a maid and her rise to prominence as one of the top-ranking courtesans in Yoshiwara. The allure of the “flower and willow world“ as it was called by artists in the day is underscored by the very real tragedy, heartbreak and difficult lives led by those seemingly glamourous courtesans. Will Kiyoha’s fox-like wiles give her a chance to break free of her gilded cage? Or will her fighting spirit ruin her chances of ever escaping the brothel?
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.