Here are some of my favorite comics read in 2019. They may or may not have been published this year. Also, a few have more than one volume and I have not designated a particular volume if I would recommend the whole series.
My picks are listed in alphabetical (rather than rank) order.
by John Ridley and Georges Jeanty The American Way
Superheroes working for the government, a government that helps script their battles and other appearances in order to stoke patriotic pride, have been doing this for years. But now it’s the early 1960’s and change is in the air. What the country needs is a new hero, dubbed the New American by his government handlers, but little do they anticipate the chaos he will bring in his wake.
by Anthony Bourdain & Joel Rose Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts
The blurb on the cover says it all, “Tales of Fear and Food from Around the World.” Bourdain, Rose, and a host of guest artists gather to bring us Japanese folk-inflected ghost stories, all told on an eerie night at the table of an eccentric nobleman.
by Sonny Liew The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye
A deeply-moving meta-narrative about a singular artistic talent from Singapore. The tale begins in the aftermath of World War II and follows the titular artist to his later years in the 1980’s. If you are a lifelong fan of comics, you’ll be astounded by the homages to comic history, and if you are not, it’s still a great look at the life of an artist in his times. History buffs and political nerds will especially enjoy his exposition on the rise of modern Malaysia.
by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston Black Hammer
A tale of the other side of some great cosmic event involving superheroes. What happens to these characters if they are whisked away in the blink of an eye? Where do they go? What if it’s to a seemingly perfect example of small-town America and they can’t escape?
by Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew Eternity Girl
Caroline Sharp, spy, and superheroine, finds herself reincarnated as Eternity Girl but all she longs for is meaning in a meaningless world. Or death. Which will she choose? How will it affect the world at large?
by Tom King and Mitch Gerads Mister Mirac le
Abused son of a god turned escape artist has to face his greatest trick, escaping death itself. But can he live with himself while he tries? Poignant domestic drama highlights the emotional impact that constant abuse can have on a person, their work, and their family.
by Youssef Daoudi Monk!: Thelonious, Pannonica, and the Friendship Behind a Musical Revolution
The title says it all…but doesn’t tell you how great the art and the pacing are in this tale for die-hard music-lovers and acolytes alike. You will be able to almost hear the music as you turn pages. Better yet, check out some Thelonious Monk from the library so you can listen along!
by Philip Gelatt and Tyler Crook Petrograd
A historical drama centering on the British S.I.S. office in Russia during the First World War. In this tale, the station participates (imagined? real?) in the murder of Rasputin, called the “Mad Monk,” a powerful adviser to Tsarina Alexandra. The art is brisk as befits a spy story.
by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, and Harmony Becker They Called Us Enemy
A heartbreaking autobiography from George Takei about his family’s experience in the American prison camps of . Thousands of WWII Japanese-Americans and legal immigrants of Japanese descent were torn from their homes and sent far away from their livelihoods and their communities for years. It also looks at how those experiences colored Mr. Takei’s youth and his life-long commitment to civil rights.
by Hartley Lin Young Frances
This is the collected edition of Mr. Lin’s irregularly published indie comic, , issues 1-5. It centers on a brilliant young law clerk with low self-esteem and her wacky, successful actor friend. The art is of the Pope Hats lign e claire style (think ) so there’s no confusion as to how the story unfolds. However, you will be surprised how much emotion can be wrung from such simplicity. Tintin
of these works can be checked out from LFPL. Each title has a “Check Our
Catalog” link that will take you to where you can view the location and status
of the specific item in our system.
After taking a look, if your selection is not available at the branch you wish to go to, you may have the item shipped there by placing a hold request (using the “Place Request” button on the right-hand side of the item’s catalog entry).
If you are interested in discussing these titles or other works of sequential art, please join LFPL’s
Graphic Novel Discussion Group. Meetings are held at the Main Library on the second Monday of every month, starting at 7:00 PM.
The next meeting is
Monday, January 13, 2020. In honor of Korean-American Day (held every year on January 13th), we will be taking a look at Korean-American Comic Creators.
For more information, contact Tony at (502) 574-1611.
— Article by
Tony, Main Library