X-MEN GRAND DESIGN by ED PIKOR
New York Times-best-selling author Ed Piskor (Hip-Hop Family Tree, Wizzywig) spans six tumultuous decades, of the X-Men. From their riotous birth in the ’60s, to their legendary reboot in the ’70s, to their attitude adjustment in the ’90s, to their battle against extinction in the ’00s, this is X-Men history unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before, an intricate labor of love that stitches together hundreds of classic and obscure stories into one seamless masterpiece of X-Men lore.
This volume collects X-MEN: GRAND DESIGN and includes X-MEN #1 from 1963, masterfully recolored by Ed, along with other extras including recolored classic pinups. Presented in the same dynamic, oversized format of the best-selling Hip Hop Family Tree.
SWIMMING IN DARKNESS by LUCAS HARARI
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Pierre is a young man at a crossroads. He drops out of architecture school and decides to travel to Vals in the Swiss Alps, home to a thermal springs complex located deep inside a mountain. The complex, designed by architect Peter Zumthor, had been the subject of Pierre’s thesis. The mountain holds many mysteries; it was said to have a mouth that periodically swallowed people up. Pierre, sketchbook in hand, is drawn to the enigmatic powers of the mountain and its springs, and attempts to uncover the truth behind them in the secret rooms he discovers deep within the complex. But he finds his match in a man named Valeret who is similarly obsessed, and who’d like nothing more than to eliminate his competitor.
Gorgeously illustrated, Swimming in Darkness is an intriguing, noirish graphic novel about uncovering the powerful secrets of the natural world.
STRANGELANDS VOL 1 LOVE – CHAOS
VISAGGIO / LITTLE BADGER / SANNA
The opening volume of this offbeat superhero series scripted by Visaggio (Morning in America) with Little Badger introduces Adam and Elakshi, who share a strange power. Adam can attract objects, Elakshi can repel them—but if they get either too close or too far apart from each other, they unleash a massive destructive energy. Forced to stick together and constantly monitor their distance, they’re “a walking Tunguska,” and all they want is to find a cure. In this introductory arc, their search takes them to Wild Saints Resort, a secluded Colorado compound where a guru lectures that superpowers come from “Collective Consciousness Energy” and promises to rid powered people of unwanted abilities. The series carries the vibe of classic X-Men or Incredible Hulk comics, with the focus less on heroics and more on day-to-day survival with powers (which make normal life impossible and attract unwanted enemies and shadowy conspiracies). The art by Sanna is serviceable but strains when rendering complex action scenes; however, his lush views of the Colorado wilderness provide a keen sense of place. Overall, the creative riff on superpower stories sets up intriguing central characters for future adventures
A TRICK OF LIGHT by STAN LEE and Kat Rosenfield
But she didn’t know that when she was younger; then, the classroom was just a place that transformed itself based on whatever she was supposed to learn that day, like the Room of Requirement.
All Cameron wanted was to be famous but now that he is all he wants is to disappear. During a freak boating accident Cameron is struck by lightning and given the ability to control all technology. He becomes a pro hacker and creator. He is connected with what seems like the whole world. But with powers comes with responsibility and great danger.
Nia is isolated but she has never really minded until she met Cameron. She is willing to break the rules and see how the real people live for him, even if it would upset her father greatly she had to try.
But what happens when Cameron finds out Nia’s secret?
No spoliers but this book written by The Late Stan Lee, legendary Marvel Comics editor who co-created Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men, and Author Kat Rosenfield who got the opportunity to work with him on one of his final projects, this special superhero novel is one of a kind and a warning to the perils of the internet for young people.
It’s remarkable, timely and totally unexpected!
THE TWILIGHT MAN by KOREN SHADMI
A illustrated biographical tale that follows Hollywood revolutionary Rod Serling’s rise to fame in the Golden Age of Television, and his descent into his personal Twilight Zone.
We recognize Rod Serling as our sharply dressed, cigarette-smoking tour guide of The Twilight Zone, but the entertainment business once regarded him as the “Angry Young Man” of Hollywood. Before he became the revered master of science fiction, Rod Serling was a just a writer who had to fight to make his voice heard. He vehemently challenged the networks and viewership alike to expand their minds and standards―rejecting notions of censorship, racism and war. But it wasn’t until he began to write about real world enemies in the guise of aliens and monsters that people lent their ears. In doing so, he pushed the television industry to the edge of glory, and himself to the edge of sanity. Rod operated in a dimension beyond that of contemporary society, making him both a revolutionary and an outsider.
THE HANDSMAID’S TALE by MARGARET ATWOOD / RENEE NAULT
There’s a simple explanation for the spike in popularity of dystopian novels like “The Handmaids Tale”, along with Orwell’s “1984” and Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”. They all unfortunately seem eerily prophetic and echo the issues facing Donald Trump’s America —The willingness to surrender personal freedoms for security, state use of propaganda and totalitarianism central to Orwell, The erasure of knowledge, denial of science and persecution of intellectuals of Bradbury,but most particularly, a steep rise of religious fundamentalism, archaic patriarchal attitudes and the assault on women’s rights that are central to “The Handmaids Tale. – Alex Yarde Book Review: THE HANDMAID’S TALE (The Graphic Novel) by Margaret Atwood *Art & Adaptation by Renee Nault Nan A. Tales / Doubleday
in my full review, I detail how the stunning iconography of The Handmaids Tale, was used for great effect by Ms. Nualt to showcase how female members of society, as part of the repressive social order is symbolized by the colors women are forced to wear. Combined with Ms. Atwood’s timeless words weaves a taut narrative, that unfortunately, has only grown more relevant and significant, lends itself to the graphic novel medium like no other work of dystopian fiction before or since!
Ms.Nualt hand-painted each frame of this book using undiluted watercolors straight from the tube, which gives her illustrations a boldness, depth and power typically not seen using watercolors in this medium.
This. Book. Matters.
THE BLUE ROAD: A FABLE OF MIGRATION by WAYDE COMPTON & APRIL DELA NOCHE MILNE
A TIME AND A PLACE by LARK LARSON
A Time and a Place, an 87,000 word work of powerfully-sexual fiction, Protagonist “Wren” takes readers on a fun-loving, hedonistic ride, turning her simplistic goal to “get laid more” at her College Reunion into a bold pursuit of pleasure and a whirlwind of new experiences. Wren’s openness and excitement are infectious as she succumbs to Tuck’s magic and Chad’s mastery. Using her heart, body, and brilliant mind to achieve her goals, Wren’s escapades will appeal to female and male readers alike. A rewarding romp for all. Here is my full Medium review
TAYLOR / HAIRSINE / GAUDIANO / BEREDO
What happens to the World’s Greatest Heroes if the world ends?
THE END IS HERE!
Six hundred million people. That’s how many fall victim when a mysterious techno-organic virus is unleashed on Earth. Six hundred million infected. Six hundred million turned into mindless, rampaging killers bend on death and destruction.
And that’s just the beginning. Cities. Nations. Undersea kingdoms and paradise islands. One by one, they fall to the monstrous hordes. Now only Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the Justice League stand between Earth and utter annihilation…
But for how long?
New York Times bestselling writer Tom Taylor (Injustice) joins artists Trevor Hairsine (Red Hood and the Outlaws) and Stefano Gaudinao (The Walking Dead) to unleash an all-new vision of the DC Universe’s darkest hour in DCeased. But be warned: the horror is contagious…
Collects DCeased #1-6 and DCeased: A Good Day to Die #1.
AUGLE’S YOUNG MOZART
A tender and playful glimpse at the childhood of the world’s greatest musical genius.
For now known as Wolferl, little Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lives only for music—and he already knows how to appreciate it in all its forms, even the most unexpected.
The young virtuoso is looking for—and finding!—inspiration wherever it hides, even in the cries of Nannerl, his sister, or the poop of his dog. He takes lessons from the birds, crickets, and frogs, intertwining every note into his great masterpieces.
A charming tale, riddled with good humor and poetry. This book resonates with music lovers of all ages!
THE AMERICAN DREAM? A JOURNEY ON ROUTE 66 by Shing Yin Khor
Shing Yin Khor is a cartoonist and installation artist exploring personal narrative, new human rituals, and collaborative worldbuilding through graphic memoir and large scale art structures, and creating comics at the intersection of race, gender, immigrant stories, and queerness. They make the road trip adventure comic Tiny Adventure Journal, the tender queer science fiction comic Center for Otherworld Science, and is also the author of The American Dream?. They live in Los Angeles.
As a child growing up in Malaysia, Shing Yin Khor had two very different ideas of what “America” meant. The first looked a lot like Hollywood, full of beautiful people, sunlight, and freeways. The second looked more like The Grapes of Wrath–a nightmare landscape filled with impoverished people, broken-down cars, barren landscapes, and broken dreams. This book chronicles Shing’s solo journey (small adventure-dog included) along the iconic Route 66, beginning in Santa Monica and ending up Chicago. What begins as a road trip ends up as something more like a pilgrimage in search of an American landscape that seems forever shifting and forever out of place.
TOPSIDE by J. N. Monk
A wild outer-space fantasy about fixing your mistakes and the friends you meet along the way. When Jo, a headstrong maintenance technician, makes an error that destabilizes her planet’s core, she only knows one way to fix things: leaving her underground home for a trip to the planet’s dangerous, unruly surface!
WHITE BIRD by R.J.Palacio
A powerful, unforgettable graphic novel from the world of Wonder, by globally bestselling and award-winning author R J Palacio.
To the millions of readers who fell in love with R J Palacio’s Wonder, Julian is best-known as Auggie Pullman’s classroom bully. White Bird reveals a new side to Julian’s story, as Julian discovers the moving and powerful tale of his grandmother, who was hidden from the Nazis as a young Jewish girl in occupied France during the Second World War.
An unforgettable, unputdownable story about strength, courage and the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives, from the globally bestselling author of Wonder.
MEYER by JONATHAN LANG / MUTTI / SZYMANOWICZ / MARTINBROUGH
Humanoids unveiled a different kind of gangster tale with Meyer, written by Jonathan Lang and with art from Andrea Mutti. Described as a “Breaking Bad style imaginary biography of the legendary Jewish mobster,” the book follows a fictionalized version of the infamous Meyer Lansky as he sets forth on one last con alongside a young half-Cuban/half-Jewish orderly named David. Less a hard-boiled crime thriller, Meyer is both funny and thoughtful, a story about aging, self-fulfillment, friendship, and legacies.
Astounding… extraordinary… Jumping between highlighting his indie cult status as an artist and the mindset behind the abstraction of some of comics’ most beloved characters, the collection ultimately acts as a stunning visual love letter to one of comics’ most revered artists.”
— Comics Beat
The name Bill Sienkiewicz is synonymous with groundbreaking illustration. A classically trained painter, Sienkiewicz’s art incorporates abstract and expressionist influences and combines oil painting, acrylics, watercolor, mixed media, collage, and mimeograph. It is in no way overstating things to say that when Sienkiewicz made his debut in 1979 as a comic book artist drawing Marvel’s Moon Knight that there had never been another comic artist like him.
Read my take on this first volume of a legend of the comic medium and my exclusive interview with the artist here
That’s all for now! Look for more of my best geek gifts in upcoming installments of All Things Geek!
Art Credit – Publishers