Need something to fill your time between awesome summer blockbusters and ongoing comic series? Here’s a list of some of this summer’s upcoming graphic novels to help you fill in some of those gaps!
Marathon: Written by Boaz Yakin and illustrated by Joe Infurnari (:01 Press, June 16) – The story of the original marathon and the importance of Athenian messenger Eucles’ story. Done with a fluidity of line that mirrors the runner himself, this graphic history is aimed at young adults.
Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes: Michael Cho (Drawn & Quarterly, June 19) – A collection of Cho’s sketches of his urban Toronto home, Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes defies a comparison to Paul Madonna’s All Over Coffee. While both consider the beauty in the urban everyday, Cho’s work captures a warmth and vibrancy through his command of color against expert drafting.
Birdseye Bristoe: Dan Zettwoch (Drawn & Quarterly, June 19) – It begins with the destruction of the world’s largest cross, which is actually just a cell phone tower. It works back from there, unraveling the story of a World War II veteran, small-town Middle America and what happens when a “mysterious stranger comes to town.”
Journalism: Joe Sacco (Metropolitan Books, June 19) – A collection from the great cartoon reporter, including stories that have never been published in the United States. Sacco’s scope and influence on graphic reporting – his Safe Area Goražde and Footnotes in Gaza are both Eisner Award winners – makes this collection a must-own.
Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons: Flannery O’Connor (Fantagraphics, June) – Icon of the Southern Gothic, one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, bane to freshmen English majors everywhere… and cartoonist? Billed as “the first book devoted to the author’s work” (so hopes are high that more will follow), this book collects O’Connor’s cartoons from high school and college.
New York Mon Amour: by Jacques Tardi, Benjamin Legrand & Dominique Grange (Fantagraphics, July 2) – “Manhattan,” Tardi’s RAW-published introduction to American audiences, is a gritty depiction of New York presented with the same aesthetic as Tardi’s WWI trenches or Parisian stories. “Manhattan” is collected here along with three other tales of New York, making this a must-have for any Tardi fan.
Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me: written by Harvey Pekar, illustrated by JT Waldman (Hill and Wang, July 3) – In Pekar’s final graphic memoir, he tackles what it means to be Jewish and what Israel means to the faithful. Using his own disillusionment with Israel to deconstruct the historical importance of the Jewish state, Pekar and illustrator Waldman raise difficult questions while confronting important memories.
Bloody Chester: written by JT Petty and illustrated by Hilary Florido (:01 Press, July 3) – A boy named Chester on a horse named Chester hired to burn a ghost town to the ground – a ghost town whose three remaining inhabitants refuse to budge, fire or no. Clean, full-color artwork and a storyline rife with horror and mystery, this young adult graphic novel should keep you turning pages.
The Lovely Horrible Stuff: Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf, July 10) – An autobiographical look at money, told through the slanting view of the great Eddie Campbell. Presented in the same loose but deep style as his The Fate of the Artist, The Lovely Horrible Stuff ranges from the tangible to the fantastic and back again.
Victory: written by Carla Jablonski and illustrated by Leland Purvis (:01 Press, July 17) – The conclusion to Jablonski and Purvis’ Resistance trilogy, Victory follows the Tessier siblings on their most dangerous mission yet – gathering information for the resistance movement in the heart of Paris. Historical accuracy and adept storytelling make this young adult graphic novel a gripping conclusion to a well-loved trilogy.
The Hammer and the Anvil: written by Dwight Jon Zimmerman with art by Wayne Vansant (:01 Press, July 17) – An introduction to Civil War history told through two lives interwoven – the Hammer, Frederick Douglass, and the Anvil, Abraham Lincoln. Zimmerman and Vansant team up again after their The Vietnam War: A Graphic History to provide an accessible and accurate graphic history.
The Making Of: Brecht Evens (Drawn & Quarterly, August 7) – The follow-up to his Eisner Award-nominated debut, The Wrong Place, Evens combines his characteristic wit and gorgeous watercolor style to follow a small-town art festival in the Flemish countryside. What follows is a consideration of modern relationships – and a giant garden gnome.
Rough Justice: Alex Ross (Pantheon, September 11) – Start squealing now, fanboys. Artwork, sketches and general awesomeness from iconic artist Alex Ross – now available in trade paperback.
Is That All There Is?: Joost Swarte (Fantagraphics, September 19) – Once you’ve picked up your trade copy of Alex Ross’ book, snag this trade paperback edition of Swarte’s alternative comics and delight in your freshly-purchased balance between two genre-defining artists.
As we get further into the summer, release dates are firmed up and new books are announced – but even now, it’s promising to be an awesome few months for graphic novels.