Get Jiro! Blood and Sushi, by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, Ale Garza & Jose Villarrubia (Vertigo Books, 2015)

Young Jiro’s two secret lives – as a yakuza boss’s son and as a trainee sushi chef – come into conflict. Splendid prequel, offering the same mix as the first volume: blood, guts, humour, and some insight into the ritual and patience involved in becoming a sushi master. Works well as a stand-alone and as an entry point to Jiro’s world.

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

Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful, by Darryl Cunningham (Myriad Editions, 2019)

Three case studies of extreme wealth and power: Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, Jeff Bezos. A confident blend of biography and polemic, clearly making the argument that power corrupts, and that money distorts. Lots to ponder on here, rendered in a  chirpy and accessible graphic format. Recommended.

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

Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts, by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, & many others (Berger Books, 2018)

Nine Japanese stories of food, folklore, and supernatural revenge. Excellent compilation of traditional tales, delivered with twist-in-the-tale EC Comics-style glee. Lots to enjoy and to appreciate, not least in the book’s sumptuous presentation, and in the accompanying recipes and guide to ghosts and demons of the Edo period. Recommended.

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

 

Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, Langdon Foss & Jose Villarrubia (Vertigo Books, 2012)

In a food-obsessed alt-LA, a solitary sushi chef plays rival culinary gangs off against each other. Fun Jojimbo variant, with plenty of gags about foodie lifestyles, some tips on how to approach sushi with respect, plus an abundance of pulp-noir violence, characters, and attitude.

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

Batman: Ego, and Other Tails, by Darwyn Cooke, with Paul Grist, Bill Wray and Tim Sale (DC Comics, 2007)

Bruce Wayne and The Bat struggle over whose identity is dominant. A smart, quick chamber piece that both covers a great deal of Bat-history and delivers in immediate story terms. Packaged together with other Batman work from Cooke, including the stand-alone Catwoman adventure Selina’s Big Score.

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

 

Hap and Leonard: Savage Season, by Jussi Piironen, adapted from the novel by Joe R Lansdale (IDW Publishing, 2017)

Hap and Leonard fall foul of Hap’s ex and a scheme to retrieve the proceeds from a heist. Brisk, clean graphic novel adaptation of the first in the long-running series of Joe Lansdale novels. Captures the spirit of the books and characters well.

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

Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score, by Darwyn Cooke with Matt Hollingsworth (DC Comics, 2002)

Desperate to earn, Selina Kyle takes on a risky big heist opportunity. Pacy graphic novel in Cooke’s typically confident noir-inflected style, operating also as a precursor to his Richard Stark/Parker adaptations. Explosive and with an emotional heart, this is lots of fun.

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

 

Barking, by Lucy Sullivan (Unbound, 2020)

A struggle with mental health issues leads to Alix’s institutionalisation; she’s locked in with her demon. A fascinating case study of illness and the inadequacies of mental health provision, taking the metaphor of the black dog and running wild with it. Barking has a lot to say, being told in expressionistic sketches that mirror Alix’s situation. Maybe harrowing for some, but recommended.

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

Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Darwyn Cooke, adapted from the novel by Richard Stark (IDW Publishing, 2018)

An armoured car job goes awry; Parker hides out in an out-of-season funfair. The fourth and final volume in this series of adaptations maintains the high series standard. Sleek, visual and retro, and effortlessly lean. Comes with an additional short story, The Seventh.

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

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, by Darwyn Cooke, adapted from the novel by Richard Stark (IDW Publishing, 2017)

Parker is talked into an audacious series of heists across the same town on the same night. The blend as before in this third excellent adaptation: sleek modernist visuals, terse dialogue, brutal action. A fourth volume – Slayground – soon followed.

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