On The Camino, by Jason (Fantagraphics Books, 2017)

An anthropomorphized account of a Camino pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. A charming and melancholy graphic novel with some neat running gags and the imaginings of the protagonist’s movie-filled brain, this is a treat for anyone interested in walking, pilgrimages, and/or finding yourself a little bit. Lots to appreciate, rendered in simple black and white.

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

Apollo, by Matt Fitch, Chris Baker, Mike Collins and others (SelfMadeHero, 2018)

The Apollo 11 moon mission, retold in graphic novel format. A focus on the insecurities of each astronaut – and then-President Nixon – adds some nuance. Otherwise, this is a good-looking through straightforward account that doesn’t add much new, and is oddly-pitched, requiring some contextual knowledge for full appreciation. For moon mission completists, perhaps.

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

 

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.

Landscapes of Detectorists, edited by Innes M Keighren & Joanne Norcup (Uniform Books, 2020)

Academic essays on the BBC single-camera comedy Detectorists, plus context from writer/star/director Mackenzie Crook, and original producer Adam Tandy. Focusing on the programme’s engagements with landscape, history, and gender relations, this is a fine introduction to the thematic richness and blokeish pleasures of the series. Volume II, please!

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.

 

Thunderbook: The World of Bond According to SmershPod, by John Rain (Polaris, 2019)

An overview of the Eon James Bond films to date. And not a very good one, either. Unlike the genial podcast which this book spins off from, this film-by-film precis doesn’t add much more than scattershot snark and the same overworked observations. A few useful bits of trivia emerge, but this is a disappointing, laboured, and repetitive effort.

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