Graphic Novels

NWPR Books
8:05 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Millennia Of History, Beautifully Illustrated 'Here' In One Room

Here traces millenia of history ā€” and prehistory ā€” within the space of one large room.
Pantheon

What is it about Richard McGuire's Here? A simple-looking, black-and-white cartoon that first appeared in Raw magazine in 1989 ā€” clocking in at a mere 36 panels ā€” it's maintained its hold on comic artists' imaginations ever since. McGuire himself spent more than eight years creating this book-length version.

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NWPR Books
1:36 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

An Artist Draws His Journey Away From War And Death, With Gratitude

Drawn & Quarterly

Gratitude can seem like kind of a cheesy concept sometimes. In a post last month, How to Be Happy in Five Minutes a Day, the site MakeUseOf.com assumed it would take less time than that to think of three things you were grateful for. There's family, or if not family, a friend. If not a friend, a pet. If nothing else, life.

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NWPR Books
10:50 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Rebooted Comic Heroine Is An Elegant, Believable 'Marvel'

cover crop
Marvel Comics

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 3:18 pm

Consider the ways you could misstep in updating a classic comic-book superhero. Now imagine that your protagonist is A) female, B) 16, C) a Pakistani-American and, oh yeah, D) Muslim.

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NWPR Books
8:34 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Simple Sketches Of A Complicated Cure In 'The Hospital Suite'

"A plague of tics": That's how writer David Sedaris described his experience of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but for others the enigmatic illness is more like a storm of thoughts. "Did I lock my [storage] locker?" broods John Porcellino in The Hospital Suite. "Did I turn the living room lights off? What if the force of removing my hand from the [refrigerator] door caused it to open a little?"

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed October 8, 2014

A Hairy, Sardonic Fable In 'The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil'

(For stories are necessary lies.)

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NWPR Books
7:36 am
Mon September 22, 2014

'Sally Heathcote' Rescues Women's Suffrage From The Doldrums

It's the hats. In century-old photos of women's suffrage activists, there's something just plain dowdy about the headgear. Teetering atop laboriously pinned-up hair, groaning under the weight of improbable foliage, the hats can't help but make suffragists seem irredeemably stodgy to modern eyes.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Rescuing Science From The Military ... With Comics?

Pouty lips, flowing hair and ... oligonucleotide synthesizers? Two of these things don't seem to belong ā€” at least, not in a comic that seeks to expose high-level Defense Department research to the critical light of day. Human physicality seems somehow out of place in the sterile confines of a government lab.

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NWPR Books
5:40 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

'Kill My Mother' Is A Darkly Drawn Confection

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer ā€” now in his mid-80sā€” has been in the business for more than 60 years. So his first graphic novel, a darkly drawn confection in the noir tradition, called Kill My Mother, comes late in his career. I feel a certain kinship with him, because as a reader I'm a latecomer to the genre myself. Call me a dinosaur, but his book, so deliciously inviting to scan (if a bit convoluted in its plot), is one of the first of its kind that I've read cover to cover.

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NWPR Books
8:23 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Songs Of Innocence And Bitter Experience In 'Dreamless Dead'

First Second

British army troops once kicked a soccer ball around as they went into battle. True story! In fact, it's one of the first and best anecdotes in Paul Fussell's classic study of World War I, The Great War and Modern Memory. That astonishing image illustrates just how naive the recruits were about modern war's potential for unprecedented destruction ā€” and it sets the stage for their devastating shock and disillusionment.

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NWPR Books
9:55 am
Thu August 14, 2014

'How The World Was,' Drawn In Dreamy Lines Of Memory

What's interesting? All sorts of things, and people tend to agree on what they are. War, for instance, is more or less universally believed to be interesting. And yet back in the early 2000s, when French artist Emmanuel Guibert decided to craft a graphic novel about his friend Alan Cope's experiences in World War II, the source material wasn't particularly "interesting" at all.

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