RaveBooklist[A] wry, satirical take on the book of Genesis ... This is no straight adaptation ... In her signature loose, scrawly style, occasionally broken up by more finely detailed crosshatched scenes, Finck uses the familiar stories in Genesis to consider how religion has shaped cultural expectations, as well as who has gotten left out of the stories ... Rather than someone to be feared, in Finck’s hands, God becomes someone to relate to, someone who strives, fails, gets angry, loves, and feels like she needs to hide. Somehow both reverent and irreverent, this will please philosophical readers with sharp senses of humor.
RaveBooklistThere’s a lot to delve into, and Murphy makes some strong connections among Gus Van Sant’s films ... Reading occasionally like true crime and raising provocative questions about masculinity, power, and art, this unique graphic novel critically examines queer cinema and pokes holes in the rosy, naive view of the Pacific Northwest as a progressive stronghold. Hand to readers who love unconventional narrative styles and falling down deep rabbit holes of information.
RaveBooklistThe hand-written pages, doodled margins, and off-the-wall characters (I’m looking at you, Professor Hot Dog) might make this seem silly, but there’s a serious theoretical underpinning here, and Barry’s lighthearted and genuinely fun approach is directly in service of it: banishing your inner critic, developing a disciplined (but playful) practice, and dismantling beliefs about what constitutes a \'good\' comic is key to finding something organic, original, and true.
RaveBooklistWare is well known for his expansive, introspective, depth-plumbing works of graphic fiction, and his latest, featuring a series of interconnected, decade-spanning narratives spiraling outward from an Omaha school, is no different ... In his precise lines and shapes, Ware makes masterful work of both the architecturally exact spaces and the hunched shoulders, furrowed brows, and quivering chins of his deeply expressive characters. There are only brief moments of warmth and affection, but the wider picture, depicting a complex matrix of aching loneliness; long-simmering, acidic resentment; and a desperation for human connection and fulfillment, is rich with pathos and powerfully stirring.
RaveBooklistWalden is up to her usual visual tricks in her latest, with intriguingly layered, intricately detailed images in rich, warm, sunset colors that lack concrete realism but cultivate powerful atmosphere ... For all its fantasy trappings, there’s a moving story of recovery and resilience here, as well: Bea in particular is searching for a safe place to call home, and the visual metaphor of building a road when you need one is particularly resonant. This artful, introspective graphic novel will likely be a hit with fans of weird fiction and could be a good crossover pick for new adults, too.
RaveBooklistLee...has concocted another thrilling historical novel, blending stellar plotting and a dynamic cast of characters with well-researched details and sharp commentary on America’s history of racism and prejudice. She pulls no punches when it comes to Jo’s experiences of being Chinese in the Reconstruction South...and though there’s stirring romance between Jo and the son of the Bell family, Jo acknowledges the difficulties in that path. But best of all is Jo’s first-person narrative, which crackles with as much witty wordplay and keen observations as her column. This spectacular, voice-driven novel raises powerful questions about how we understand the past, as well as the ways our current moment is still shaped by that understanding.
RaveBooklist... an impeccably researched look into a cultural phenomenon, digging into the heart of a story surrounded by rumor and exaggeration. Relying on first-person accounts, journals, and transcripts, she uses direct quotes to great effect when describing the quintuplets, their parents’ struggle to retain any sort of authority over their care, the country doctor who insisted on government oversight of their livelihood, the many child-rearing experts who shaped the five young girls’ isolated environment, and, of course, the quintuplets themselves, who were raised apart from their family in the public eye. In many ways, this is a terribly sad story, but Miller resists sensationalizing, often emphasizing the necessity of sifting through exaggerated journal entries and reporting to find a kernel of the truth. Miller raises plenty of questions about child celebrity, government accountability, and journalistic integrity, and while some remain unanswered, there’s still plenty to ponder in this thorough, fascinating deep dive into the lives of five girls who captured the attention of millions. Photographs and extensive source notes round out this stellar work of nonfiction.
PositiveBooklist\"Though the pace lags a bit toward the beginning, once Vasya finds her footing, Arden’s signature cinematic pacing and clearly choreographed action come to the fore. Visceral descriptions of battle, an atmospheric sense of place, and some truly heartbreaking moments of loss make this a gut-wrenching read, but there’s ample hope and satisfaction to be found as Vasya chooses her own unique path to triumph.\
Saladin Ahmed, Illustrated by Sami Kivelä
RaveBooklistKivelä beautifully renders the story in dynamic page layouts and compellingly fluid panel borders, filling the backgrounds with recognizable Detroit architecture, sharp and expressive characters, and grotesque body horror perfectly suited to the noir-tinged supernatural mystery. Jason Wordie’s electric colors, particularly the garish purple and curly black shadows emanating from anything otherworldly, give stunning depth to the art. And amid Abbott’s investigation into the paranormal occurrences, Ahmed weaves cutting commentary about racism, microaggressions, and gentrification, while snippets of Abbott’s articles scattered throughout the pages provide evocative context for the political, cultural, and economic realities of Detroit in the ’70s. Smart writing, gorgeous artwork, and a vibrant hero with captivating depth make this a series to watch.
RaveBooklist\"The sparking interplay between familiar and foreign is utterly mesmerizing, and the story carries that through as well: the sf components are inventive and compellingly strange, but the romance between Mia and Grace, not to mention the warm, teasing affection among Mia’s crewmates, grounds the story in a heartening, recognizable place. A remarkable, stunning comic.\
Anthony Del Col & Geoff Moore, Illustrated by Jeff McComsey
PositiveBooklist\"Del Col and Moore’s story is packed with classic espionage-thriller turns, such as coded messages hidden in baked goods (though the madeleines Pierre bakes look nothing like the shell-shaped classic in the artwork), double-crossing agents, bloody shootouts, blackmail, and a rookie operative with a hair trigger, who fouls up the plan. McComsey’s luminous monochromatic artwork makes great use of highlight and shadow on his realistic figures, which only adds to the noirish atmosphere. Pierre’s story drags a bit in the middle, but a twist toward the end sends the story careering toward the conclusion, which takes a hearty swipe at contemporary American politics.\
PositiveBooklistOrtberg infuses her stories with unsettling surrealism, sharp social commentary, a mordant sense of humor, and little in the way of true love ... There’s not much classic horror writing here; rather, Ortberg cultivates a deep sense of unease, both in her compellingly odd, archaic language and the gulf between characters’ words and actions ... Ortberg successfully pinpoints a kernel of real horror in each of the stories she recasts, and although her smart, weird writing might not be for everyone, it will bewitch macabre, literary-minded readers.
RaveBooklistIn every story, Tamaki’s artwork is a treat. Her confident line work alternates between bold, thick outlines and finer, jittery pen strokes, and she often expands scenes to fill whole pages ... In these marvelously odd, sf-tinged packages, Tamaki captures deep truths about the human experience. Even animal characters, as in the titular story, have the petty, hypocritical, overanalyzing tendencies of her human characters. And yet, nothing ever seems grim: despite the disappointments, there are moments of satisfaction in breaking free of the expectations that weigh down her characters. It’s a profoundly honest, bittersweet picture of human nature, made all the more haunting by her enchanting artwork.