Everyone always says that the lanterns they set off during the annual Autumn Equinox Festival eventually turn into stars. This year a group of four boys, and an unwanted tag-along Nathaniel, make a pact to follow the lanterns down the river further than anyone has before. Only Ben and Nathaniel keep their word to "never look back" and together they set off on an enchanting adventure that is both funny and heartwarming. This Was Our Pact is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel for anyone who loves the quiet kind of magic you can typically only find in a Ghibli movie.
Frederika Riley is in love with the effortlessly cool Laura Dean, who she is in a tempestuous relationship with. She is powerless again Laura Dean's charms, despite being treated like garbage. Freddy's incredible group of friends can't talk sense into her. Relationships (good, bad, romantic, and platonic) are explored in this gorgeously illustrated graphic novel. Queer young love, toxic relationships, and heartbreak are at the forefront of this story, along with enough angst you can almost feel it emanate from the pages.
Child logic and base ferality attempt to work together in this beautifully bleak fable. A group of fairies are forced to leave their previous...home and survive the wilderness. If you are looking for a sweet moral ribbon to tie around this tale, you wont find it. It is lost; buried in the woods amongst the maggots.
Japanese stories of the supernatural brought to life. I am enthralled by Mizuki's art and storytelling. Specifically his tellings and re-tellings of Japanese ghost stories; best exemplified in his zany adventure/horror series: GeGeGe no Kitaro. Start here! The Birth of Kitaro. Learn the origin story of Kitaro and his eye-ball Father (Don't worry, it gets weirder.), as they meet, befriend, defeat, and take on spirits, ghosts, and horrors. These are stories to read before bed and share with friends.
Oh, did I miss Cain's special blend of pop culture satire and zany camp! Here's the deal: menstruation turns teen girls into massive killer cats. Luckily, capitalism (aka THE MAN) has delivered a range of products to eliminate periods once and for all. Except... a cat attack plagues our teen heroine's Portland suburb.
If you like BITCH PLANET and teen angst, MAN-EATERS is totally on brand!
Relentless adventure, extreme weirdness, gorgeous and energetic art, a dash of low humor and gore, and reverence for Things Not Seen--’Creature Tech’ is bizarre and entertaining from first page to last. In a world of increasingly ‘transgressive’ comics, TenNapel is a true subversive: at heart, under everything, a gutsy and radical traditionalist. God bless Doug TenNapel
You don't have to be a metalhead to fall in love with this adorably dark family of loons. Sweetly subversive a la The Adams Family, this book make me cackle aloud approximately 666 times.
These are the class-war comics you didn't know you needed! A wry and thought-provoking collection of short comics based on the writings of Bertolt Brecht. You might not laugh, but you'll think about how life is terrible.
The 2016 election haunts this story of a man's (actually a dog's) reactions to his failing marriage, but in this and so many other ways the delicately balanced storytelling avoids simplistic dichotomies and easy answers. The result is an empathetic portrayal of characters who hurt each other and themselves without understanding why, which ends on a note of ambiguous hopefulness.
In the fall of 2017 I scanned social media obsessively as The Wine Country Fires spread. Family and friends posted updates, rescued animals, and abandoned their homes. Meanwhile sunsets in Seattle were stunning. Brian Fies and his wife lost their home in Santa Rosa, California - the next day he started drawing this story. He includes lists (things they grabbed as they ran, things they would miss), and maps (of his neighborhood). He is blunt about pain of his family's losses, but he sets them within his community's losses and the larger reality of environmental change. The book you hold in your hands is a refinement and expansion of his original drawings; he's been kind enough to include the original drawings at the back of the book. In case you're worried this book will make you sad, it will, but it will also make you laugh and feel warm inside and, oddly enough, feel hopeful. Give it a read.