A comic book recommendation: Cousin Joseph: A Graphic Novel by Jules Feiffer

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cuUYcl.
Feiffer skates around characters, circling closer, retreating and returning to them, weaving the plot tighter until the pieces fall into place. This is pulp at its best.
Book description from Google Books:
With the New York Times bestseller Kill My Mother, legendary cartoonist Jules Feiffer began an epic saga of American noir fiction. With Cousin Joseph, a prequel that introduces us to bare-knuckled Detective Sam Hannigan, head of the Bay City’s Red Squad and patriarch of the Hannigan family featured in Kill My Mother, Feiffer brings us the second installment in this highly anticipated graphic trilogy.Our story opens in Bay City in 1931 in the midst of the Great Depression. Big Sam sees himself as a righteous, truth-seeking patriot, defending the American way, as his Irish immigrant father would have wanted, against a rising tide of left-wing unionism, strikes, and disruption that plague his home town. At the same time he makes monthly, secret overnight trips on behalf of Cousin Joseph, a mysterious man on the phone he has never laid eyes on, to pay off Hollywood producers to ensure that they will film only upbeat films that idealize a mythic America: no warts, no injustice uncorrected, only happy endings.But Sam, himself, is not in for a happy ending, as step by step the secret of his unseen mentor’s duplicity is revealed to him. Fast-moving action, violence, and murder in the noir style of pulps and forties films are melded in the satiric, sociopolitical Feifferian style to dig up the buried fearmongering of the past and expose how closely it matches the headlines, happenings, and violence of today.With Cousin Joseph, Feiffer builds on his late-life conversion to cinematic noir, bowing, as ever, to youthful heroes Will Eisner and Milton Caniff, but ultimately creating a masterpiece that through his unique perspective and comic-strip noir style illuminates the very origins of Hollywood and its role in creating the bipolar nation we’ve become.
The book is rated 3.32/5 at goodreads.com, from 180 ratings. See 39 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cWLJ1R.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2mfmqhm.

A comic book recommendation: The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2825sW2.
…it’s the quiet images — Kai eating street food with his father or observing a nighttime festival — that are the most powerful, allowing the reader to take a breath and appreciate perhaps the book’s most important character: the magnificent city itself.
Book description from Google Books:
Every nation that invades the City gives it a new name. But before long, new invaders arrive and the City changes hands once again. The natives don’t let themselves get caught up in the unending wars. To them, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders. Kaidu is one such outsider. He’s a Dao born and bred–a member of the latest occupying nation. Rat is a native of the Nameless City. At first, she hates Kai for everything he stands for, but his love of his new home may be the one thing that can bring these two unlikely friends together. Let’s hope so, because the fate of the Nameless City rests in their hands.
The book is rated 4.05/5 at goodreads.com, from 3085 ratings. See 513 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1TJ1aJA.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2s84Air.

A comic book recommendation: Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story by Peter Bagge

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2wA5w0t.
Bagge has plenty of fun with the most colorful milestones of Hurston’s life, from her psychic visions to her folklore trips to her up-close study of voodoo culture. But his style proves most essential in interpersonal moments.
Book description from Google Books:
A bold retelling of the life of the Their Eyes Were Watching God authorPeter Bagge has defied the expectations of the comics industry by changing gears from his famous slacker hero Buddy Bradley to documenting the life and times of historical 20th century trailblazers. If Bagge had not already had a New York Times bestseller with his biography of Margaret Sanger, his newest biography, Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story, would seem to be an unfathomable pairing of author and subject. Yet through Bagge’s skilled cartooning, he turns what could be a rote biography into a bold and dazzling graphic novel, creating a story as brilliant as the life itself.Hurston challenged the norms of what was expected of an African American woman in early 20th century society. The fifth of eight kids from a Baptist family in Alabama, Hurston’s writing prowess blossomed at Howard University, and then Barnard College, where she was the sole black student. She arrived in NYC at the height of the Harlem Renaissance and quickly found herself surrounded by peers such as Langston Hughes and Wallace Thurman. Hurston went on to become a noted folklorist and critically acclaimed novelist, including her most provocative work Their Eyes Were Watching God. Despite these landmark achievements, personal tragedies and shifting political winds in the midcentury rendered her almost forgotten by the end of her life. With admiration and respect, Bagge reconstructs her vivid life in resounding full-color.
The book is rated 3.65/5 at goodreads.com, from 141 ratings. See 44 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2wApvMQ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xeIpMF.

A comic book recommendation: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2xh9eQs.
Beautiful production makes this a book to keep, treasure and read again, and the end pages are a call to arms: space for readers to write their own story and draw their own portrait.
Book description from Google Books:
THE SENSATIONAL NO.1 BESTSELLER ‘The real-life children’s fairy tale book so inspiring adults are reading it’ I newspaper ‘Absolutely beautiful – get one for yourself and one to inspire a woman in your life’ Stylist ‘In an ideal world, not only would mothers read this aloud to their daughters, but teachers would read it to schoolboys’ Sunday Times What if the princess didn’t marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don’t need rescuing.
The book is rated 4.46/5 at goodreads.com, from 3872 ratings. See 606 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2wCeOJG.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2wC8qli.

A comic book recommendation: Everything is Teeth by Evie Wyld

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/1QVyOLn.
What a fantastic book this is. Sumner’s drawings are adorable and acute; Wyld’s words are first wry and then wise. Embracing life and death and everything in between…
Book description from Google Books:
Evie Wyld was a girl obsessed with sharks. Spending summers in the brutal heat of coastal New South Wales, she fell for the creatures. Their teeth, their skin, their eyes; their hunters and their victims. Everything is Teeth is a delicate and intimate collection of the memories she brought home to England, a book about family, love and the irresistible forces that pass through life unseen, under the surface, ready to emerge at any point.
The book is rated 3.64/5 at goodreads.com, from 1401 ratings. See 251 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1M8Z5GN.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2u4BxBL.

A comic book recommendation: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2d1ZXP0.
Padua is right: Her book is silly. But it didn’t have to be. She might have written a different book, even a funny one, that didn’t insist on the triviality of the enterprise, reducing her characters and the history they inhabit to wacky caricature.
Book description from Google Books:
THE THRILLING ADVENTURES OF LOVELACE AND BABBAGE . . . in which Sydney Padua transforms one of the most compelling scientific collaborations into a hilarious series of adventures. Meet Victorian London’s most dynamic duo: Charles Babbage, the unrealized inventor of the computer, and his accomplice, Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the peculiar protoprogrammer and daughter of Lord Byron. When Lovelace translated a description of Babbage’s plans for an enormous mechanical calculating machine in 1842, she added annotations three times longer than the original work. Her footnotes contained the first appearance of the general computing theory, a hundred years before an actual computer was built. Sadly, Lovelace died of cancer a decade after publishing the paper, and Babbage never built any of his machines. But do not despair! The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage presents a rollicking alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage do build the Difference Engine and then use it to build runaway economic models, battle the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wilder realms of mathematics, and, of course, fight crime–for the sake of both London and science. Complete with extensive footnotes that rival those penned by Lovelace herself, historical curiosities, and never-before-seen diagrams of Babbage’s mechanical, steam-powered computer, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is wonderfully whimsical, utterly unusual, and, above all, entirely irresistible. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout.) 
The book is rated 4.05/5 at goodreads.com, from 2668 ratings. See 635 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2d91Vy0.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tYkbW8.

A comic book recommendation: Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story by Peter Bagge

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2wA5w0t.
Bagge has plenty of fun with the most colorful milestones of Hurston’s life, from her psychic visions to her folklore trips to her up-close study of voodoo culture. But his style proves most essential in interpersonal moments.
Book description from Google Books:
A bold retelling of the life of the Their Eyes Were Watching God authorPeter Bagge has defied the expectations of the comics industry by changing gears from his famous slacker hero Buddy Bradley to documenting the life and times of historical 20th century trailblazers. If Bagge had not already had a New York Times bestseller with his biography of Margaret Sanger, his newest biography, Fire!!: The Zora Neale Hurston Story, would seem to be an unfathomable pairing of author and subject. Yet through Bagge’s skilled cartooning, he turns what could be a rote biography into a bold and dazzling graphic novel, creating a story as brilliant as the life itself.Hurston challenged the norms of what was expected of an African American woman in early 20th century society. The fifth of eight kids from a Baptist family in Alabama, Hurston’s writing prowess blossomed at Howard University, and then Barnard College, where she was the sole black student. She arrived in NYC at the height of the Harlem Renaissance and quickly found herself surrounded by peers such as Langston Hughes and Wallace Thurman. Hurston went on to become a noted folklorist and critically acclaimed novelist, including her most provocative work Their Eyes Were Watching God. Despite these landmark achievements, personal tragedies and shifting political winds in the midcentury rendered her almost forgotten by the end of her life. With admiration and respect, Bagge reconstructs her vivid life in resounding full-color.
The book is rated 3.65/5 at goodreads.com, from 141 ratings. See 44 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2wApvMQ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xeIpMF.

A comic book recommendation: Patience by Daniel Clowes

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dhYVyB.
This isn’t my favourite of Clowes’s books; I prefer the altogether less strenuous Wilson, Mister Wonderful and Ghost World. But I still like it a lot, and I certainly can’t go along with a recent review that deemed it misogynistic.
Book description from Google Books:
Patience is a psychedelic science-fiction love story, veering with uncanny precision from violent destruction to deeply personal tenderness in a way that is both quintessentially �eoeClowesian�e and utterly unique in the author�e(tm)s body of work. This 180-page, full-color original graphic novel affords Clowes the opportunity to draw some of the most exuberant and breathtaking pages of his life, and to tell his most suspenseful, surprising and affecting story yet.
The book is rated 3.86/5 at goodreads.com, from 5872 ratings. See 527 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1WDF54P.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tMt7i7.

A comic book recommendation: Angel CatBird Volume 1 by Margaret Atwood

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2eFUTAP.
The art serves an intriguing function: It keeps the story grounded in its genre, making it feel like a real superhero tale. In fact, Angel Catbird is more dreamlike than action-packed.
Book description from Google Books:
The Booker Prize-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale writes her first graphic novel, a cat-centric all-ages New York Times bestselling adventure. On a dark night, young genetic engineer Strig Feleedus is accidentally mutated by his own experiment and merges with the DNA of a cat and an owl. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired superhero adventure– with a lot of cat puns. Lauded novelist Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Johnnie Christmas collaborate on one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events of the year! Published in over thirty-five countries, Margaret Atwood is one of the most important living writers of our day and is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her work has won the Man Booker Prize, the Giller Prize, Premio Mondello, and more. Angel Catbird is her first graphic novel series. Atwood’s The Blind Assassin was named one of Time magazine’s 100 best English-language novels published since 1923 and her recent MaddAddam Trilogy is currently being adapted into an HBO television show by Darren Aronofsky
The book is rated 2.79/5 at goodreads.com, from 2537 ratings. See 632 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dLhoGI.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sdWwwW.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A comic book recommendation: The One Hundred Nights of Hero: A Graphic Novel by Isabel Greenberg

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2eM4xBS.
Greenberg’s enchanting second graphic novel returns to the strange world of her award-winning debut, The Encyclopaedia of Early Earth. The two have much in common – including self-regarding god Birdman, old crones, special sausages and a deep love of stories and the people who tell them.
Book description from Google Books:
A New York Times bestsellerAn NPR Best Book of 2016A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016In the tradition of The Arabian Nights, a beautifully illustrated tapestry of folk tales and myths about the secret legacy of female storytellers in an imagined medieval world.In the Empire of Migdal Bavel, Cherry is married to Jerome, a wicked man who makes a diabolical wager with his friend Manfred: if Manfred can seduce Cherry in one hundred nights, he can have his castle–and Cherry.But what Jerome doesn’t know is that Cherry is in love with her maid Hero. The two women hatch a plan: Hero, a member of the League of Secret Story Tellers, will distract Manfred by regaling him with a mesmerizing tale each night for 100 nights, keeping him at bay. Those tales are beautifully depicted here, touching on themes of love and betrayal and loyalty and madness.As intricate and richly imagined as the works of Chris Ware, and leavened with a dry wit that rivals Kate Beaton’s in Hark! A Vagrant, Isabel Greenberg’s One Hundred Nights of Hero will capture readers’ hearts and minds, taking them through a magical medieval world.
The book is rated 4.49/5 at goodreads.com, from 1675 ratings. See 346 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dR0Pta.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sC9fcO.