The Cigar That Fell in Love With a Pipe, by David Camus & Nick Abadzis [trans. Nick Probst] (SelfMadeHero, 2014)

A fable involving Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, a seaman’s pipe and a fabled cigarmaker. An odd but charming bit of magical realism. Not quite sure what to make of it, but enjoyable both in the story and in its execution, and in its passion in detail terms.

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

I Killed Adolf Hitler, by Jason (Fantagraphics Books, 2006)

A hitman is hired to travel back to 1938 via time machine to kill Hitler. Deadpan SF black comedy in the author/illustrator’s signature style, which deftly explores the potential for complications in the premise. There’s depth in the approach; appreciating the deceptiveness of the apparent simplicity of Jason’s work is part of the pleasure.

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

 

Laika, by Nick Abadzis (First Second, 2007)

The story of Laika (AKA Kudryavka), the first dog in space, plus those of her lab tech Yelena and of Soviet space programme chief Korolev. Excellent, touching canine biography, blending fancy and fact in detailed and intricate ways. A love story and one of Cold War pride, balanced with a plea regarding unnecessary animal experimentation. Recommended.

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

Altitude, by Olivier Bouquet & Jean-Marc Rochette [trans. Edward Gauvin] (SelfMadeHero, 2020)

A talented young artist develops an obsession with mountaineering. An excellent autobiographical graphic novel about climbing, growing up, finding yourself, and losing yourself above the snow line. Beautifully sketched and told. Recommended, like the many routes to different mountain summits recounted in this volume.

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

The Living and the Dead, by Jason (Fantagraphics Books, 2006)

Two lonely, lowly people find themselves – and each other – in the middle of a zombie situation. Whimsical and charming, Jason’s deadpan approach to straightforward story matter is effective, not least when dealing with the tropes of the z-genre. A short read, and all the better for its briskness.

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

 

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.

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.