I want to say that Davis is a trailblazer, but I’m not sure if that metaphor works with a bike. Not only to connect to the author’s previous wonderful books, but also to what it entails to ride a bike in terms of physical effort and commitment, bodily materiality and its fluid functions, the sheer elegance of a mechanical machine in which every part, no matter how different, works towards the same goal, and also its impact in the surroundings: a soft passage, a brief zooming sound. Continue reading “The Hard Tomorrow. Elanor Davis (Drawn & Quarterly)”
Just a quick note to let you know that Palgrave is doing a “Cyber Sale,” which allows you to buy those hefty academic monographs and anthologies on comics for reasonable prices, instead of the excruciantingly expensive “library prices” or whatever the reason is to jack them up. Anyway, among them you’ll find Comics Memory. Archives and Styles, edited by my wonderful friends and comics scholars Maaheen Ahmed and Benoît Crucifix, which includes an essay of mine on French master Edmond Baudoin. Of course, you’ll find many other great volumes on comics. Check it out here.
If you were not convinced immediately by Skim, and then This One Summer, and her work on multiple franchises, this new graphic novella written by Tamaki should carry a strong punch. Stop saying that you wished for comics to have emboldened, empowering female characters. They’ve been here for a while and Tamaki has been a powerhouse in making them accessible, funny, and moving. Continue reading “Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me. Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (First Second)”
Beatrice is a wordless comics album. It offers us a narrative that follows familiar tropes and structures, but its touching nature and its full-bodied, detailed art makes its reading a heart-warming experience. Continue reading “Beatrice. Joris Mertens (Oogachtend)”
Without a doubt, the genres of autobiography, memoir, diary and personal writing, whether mixed with history, travel literature or other elements, as in this case, have become a central staple of contemporary comics. Sometimes, the opening of new territories, especially when they mean a heightened reception, more possibilities for awards, not to mention critical respectability, may lead artists to try their hand into the “hot topic” or “ride the wave” of the moment, but it is quite possible to find solid examples that not only responsibly and fully delve into that practice, as they expand their expressive field. Nora Krug’s Heimat is that sort of book. Continue reading “Heimat. Nora Krug (Penguin)”
Full title: Best of Enemies. A History of US and Middle East Relations (1783-2013).
The very notion of “Middle East” is always already an overwhelmingly difficult thing to understand. It is both a geographical and a historical description. It is also a complex of relationships between, not only countries, nations and peoples, but political powers, always shifting, always unstable. Moreover, as a whole – and it is never a cohesive “whole” but a mass of fractions – it also establishes diverse relationships with yet other larger “notion-parties”: the West, the East, Islam, the late-capitalist world, the First and the Third Worlds, and so on and so forth. Too many bloody moving parts. And now, in this Trump era, things seem to shift not only faster but unpredictably. (I can hear specialists and more educated people than me laughing at this: they know where this is going). Continue reading “Best of Enemies. Jean-Pierre Filiu and David B. (SelfMadeHero/Futuropolis)”
A retelling of Demeter’s and Persephone’s Ancient Greek myth, this is a book for all ages, but that at the end of the day, signifies, above all else, the love and trust that should go into a parent-child relationship. Continue reading “Persephone. Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky (Archaia)”
In the publisher’s site, in German, the presentation text refers to it as an “insight,” the original German word being “Einblick.” Literally, this means “one glance,” singularising the look upon its subject. Indeed, this very short book – it has less than 50 pages – is a short, drawn, portrait-reportage of a man: a mid-forties, homeless Russian mixed martial arts fighter named Vyacheslav, a.k.a. “Ali Baba.” Continue reading “Strannik. Anna Rakhmanko and Mikkel Sommer (Rotopol)”
The fantasies afforded by shows like The Twilight Zone puts us into contact with fears and anxieties brought along by the new relationships that post-industrial and post-capitalist Western societies were fostering. Now that we have an ever more intrusive and evasive technology dictating our working/waking/consuming hours (the distinctions are blurred), it is Black Mirror which has been providing a new broad metaphorical framework. Writing that something is a “post-Black Mirror something” is no surprise. Continue reading “Press Enter to Continue. Ana Galvañ (Fantagraphics)”