The Seeds, by Ann Nocenti & David Aja (Berger Books, 2020)

A near-future dystopia: aliens are collecting samples while the planet faces ecological catastrophe; a reporter investigates. Ambitious mini-series (a four-issue run anthologised here) that’s theme-heavy though not always fully engaging on a pure story level. That said, there’s some swagger in the execution, plus odd moments will linger. Worth sampling yourself at least.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Wytches, Vol 1, by Scott Snyder, Jock, Matt Hollingsworth & Clem Robins (Image Comics, 2015)

A family overcoming trauma relocates to a small town: but there’s something in the woods. Effective and at times startling self-contained miniseries (issues 1-6 collected here) that – while it doesn’t quite deliver on all of its promises – is nevertheless absolutely worth your time. Begging for a movie adaptation, this.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Stephen King & Owen King’s Sleeping Beauties: A Graphic Novel, Vol. 1, by Rio Youers, Alison Sampson & Triona Farrell (IDW Publishing, 2021)

A worldwide sleeping sickness affects all women: a small American town may be an epicentre. Excellent precis of the first half of the King father and son collaboration, developing and clarifying the storytelling in creative and visual ways. Vol 2 is anticipated keenly as a result!

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Paul At Home, by Michel Rabagliati [trans. Helge Dascher & Rob Aspinall] (Drawn & Quarterly, 2020)

A divorced graphic designer struggles with middle age. Charming, melancholy and well-observed quasi-autobiographical graphic novel, the most recent – to date – in the long-running Paul series. Plenty to appreciate both for newcomers and for those who are growing old alongside the protagonist.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Monologues of Shite, by Emily Cullen (no publisher indicated, 2022)

A young woman returns to her parental home for the first 2020 coronavirus lockdown. An excellent quirky little book, mostly documenting/diarising in graphic form her Dad’s rambles, both literal and linguistic. Lots of fun, and well-observed. A handy partner to Rachael Smith’s Quarantine Comix, taking a very different route through the same time. Recommended.

Not sure how widely available this is: I got my copy online from OK Comics.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion, by Jenny T Colgan (BBC Books, 2018)

It’s Christmas, there’s an invasion of earth ongoing and Rose is coping with a new – and possibly dying – Doctor. The first festive episode of the revived veteran SF/fantasy series – and the debut of David Tennant – is here novelized in a brisk and efficient way, capably expanded to a short novel without any sense of padding. Fun for fans, basically.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Last Looks, by Howard Michael Gould (Dutton, 2019)

A former LA detective, now living as a minimalistic recluse, is called in to act as a PI when a TV star is accused of murder. Sprightly Hollywood neo-noir with comic elements and an engaging approach to Los Angeles. Breezy and pacy: a fun entertainment with an interesting lead character in Charlie Waldo. Recommended.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Born For Trouble: The Further Adventures of Hap and Leonard, by Joe R Lansdale (Tachyon Publications, 2022)

Five novellas featuring Lansdale‘s series protagonists: murder and mayhem in East Texas. Bringing together the previously separately-published Coco Butternut, Hoodoo Harry, Sad Onions, The Briar Patch Boogie, and Cold Cotton, this collection finds Hap and Leonard facing middle age but still with plenty of fight in them. Recommended.

A longer review is here.

Note: advance copy provided by the publisher.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Good Night, Hem, by Jason (Fantagraphics Books, 2021)

Three episodes in the life of Ernest Hemingway, each involving recurring Jason character Athos the Last Musketeer. Jason’s laconic, deceptively simple style is, as ever, beguiling. The reader’s given space to think, involving them completely in the narrative, in Hemingway’s life, and the effect of the stranger on him. Recommended.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Universe, by Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson (John Murray, 2021)

A series of physics FAQs explored for non-scientists. An excellent second primer from the podcasting duoDaniel & Jorge Explain the Universe – delving into areas such as the possibility of time travel, teleportation, the multiverse, the Big Bang theory, and the practicalities of terraforming and of interstellar exploration. Lots of fun, some good jokes, and zippy illustrations throughout. Recommended.

My own books here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.