Dutch cartoonistAimée de Jongh's latest graphic novel, Blossoms in Autumn, is a collaboration with the veteran Belgian writer Zidrou. It is a moving, masterfully crafted exploration of growing old and falling in love. Her debut, The Return of the Honey Buzzard, was on TheObserver's list of the Best Graphic Books of 2016. This is where she works, and here's what she has to say about it:
My studio space in the centre of Rotterdam is pretty small, bedroom size, but I loved it immediately because it's in a former Heineken brewery. The design of the building is beautiful, with bright yellow and red tiles, and it has large stained-glass windows.
These days I often draw digitally, on my Wacom tablet and PC, which are on the other side of this studio. But my sketches, thumbnails and storyboards are still made on paper. On the walls are many posters and prints that inspire me while working. They don't change often. I don't play the guitar that much, but it's nice to stretch my fingers a bit after a day of drawing.
Blossoms in Autumn is out now and available in all good book shops. Read Broken Frontier's review of the book here.
On Tuesday 12th March, Jérôme Tubiana and Alexandre Franc will discuss their graphic novel Guantánamo Kidat the London Review Bookshop. They'll be in conversation with Jeremy Harding, a contributing editor at the LRB, from 7pm.
Guantánamo Kid tells the incredible true story of Mohammed El-Gharani, one of the camp's youngest detainees, who was held and abused for seven years without charge or trial. Endorsed by Amnesty International, and written in close collaboration with El-Gharani himself, this is a landmark work of graphic non-fiction with a fascinating backstory.
The journalist and researcher Jérôme Tubiana first met El-Gharani in N’Djamena in 2011, two years after his release for Guantánamo. They met every afternoon for two weeks, and Tubiana turned their conversations into a diary piece for the London Review of Books. Now, in collaboration with comics artist Alexandre Franc (Agatha), this astonishing story is told in comic book form.
The event takes place at the London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL. Tickets are £10 and available here.
Let's face it, we could be in for a tumultuous few months. But if you're worried about civil unrest, just-in-time supply chains and Operation Brock, never fear: our spring list has it all, from hard-hitting true stories to unforgettable fiction. Here are six reasons to be cheerful.
Mohammed El-Gharani was no more than 14 when he left his native country, Saudi Arabia, in order to study English in Pakistan. Shortly after 9/11, he was detained during a raid on his local mosque and taken into the custody of the US army. He was flown first to Kandahar and then to Guantánamo Bay, where he was held and abused for seven years without charge or trial. El-Gharani was one of the youngest prisoners at the camp, and one of the few detainees of African descent.
Journalist and researcher Jérome Tubiana first met El-Gharani in N’Djamena in 2011, two years after his release from Guantánamo. They met every afternoon for two weeks, and Tubiana turned their conversations into a diary piece for the London Review of Books.
Now, Tubiana has teamed up with the comics artist Alexandre Franc (Agatha) to turn El-Gharani's story into an absorbing and intense graphic novel that has been endorsed by Amnesty International.
Since retiring, 59-year-old widower Ulysses has been in the grip of loneliness. When he meets Mrs Solenza, a former model who now runs a fromagerie, a relationship blossoms that surprises them both.
Beautifully drawn and masterfully told, Blossoms in Autumn is a life-affirming, emotive exploration of growing old and falling in love.
After delving into the history of the world's most popular video game in Tetris: The Games People Play,Box Brown turns his sharp eye for detail and drama to another fascinating subject: marijuana.
Cannabis: An American History, out in April, traces the long and troubled relationship between cannabis culture and the U.S. establishment, from the drug’s arrival in the country (by means of an immigrant labour force), through dishonest and discriminatory campaigns spearheaded by legislators and the press, to the drug’s Schedule 1 classification.
At a time of widespread legalisation in the States, Box Brown brings an endlessly fascinating, deeply problematic history to comic book form.
In April, an unforgettable piece of original fiction set in 1950s Paris: Memoirs of a Book Thiefby Alessandro Tota and Pierre Van Hove.
When poet and book thief Daniel Brodin seizes an opportunity to read a poem in front of the Parisian literati, he chooses not one of his own surrealist verses but that of an obscure Italian poet. It’s plagiarism - but it's a triumph.
Daniel’s recital marks his entrance into the Parisian avant garde: a band of cultured rogues and pseudo-revolutionaries for whom life is a playground for art, whether plotting a novel or planning a heist. In this milieu, the company is as intoxicating as the wine - but will success lose its dazzle if it is founded on theft?
In Maggy Garrisson, out in April, French comics legend Lewis Trondheim and artist Stéphane Oiry introduce an unforgettable heroine.
After two years of unemployment, Maggy Garrisson lands a secretarial job with a shady private detective. But when her new boss is beaten to a pulp, Maggy is drawn into a dangerous world of bent coppers, crooked businessmen and career criminals.
Set in a familiar, rain-soaked London, Maggy Garrisson is an atmospheric crime drama defined by its eponymous heroine: smart, subversive and unconventional.
The work of Jean-Michel Basquiat would come to define the vibrant New York art scene of the late '70s and early '80s. Punk, jazz, graffiti, hip-hop: his work drew heavily on the cultural trappings of Lower Manhattan, to which he fled - from Brooklyn - at the age of 15.
In Basquiat, published in May, Julian Voloj and Søren Mosdal create a vivid picture of the iconic artist's life and times, from the SAMO graffiti project, through his extraordinary rise to fame, to the development of the addiction that would cost him his life.
In short, it's going to be a damn fine spring. Get ready - and stay tuned.
It's finally here: Typex's monumental graphic biography of the King of Pop Art. Five years in the making, the Dutch cartoonist's second graphic novel (after Rembrandt) is a 562-page journey through the life and times of Andy Warhol.
In Andy: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol, Typexcharts the artist's life from his childhood in Pittsburgh to the dizzying heights of his celebrity. In doing so, he reveals a complex and contradictory character - at once cruel and vulnerable, deep and shallow, commercial and avant garde. Divided into ten parts, each designed and drawn to reflect the period, Andy is also a sweeping portrait of the twentieth century, featuring an endless parade of pop culture icons, from Shirley Temple to Madonna, Lou Reed to Salvador Dalí.
Heavy-papered and silver-edged, it's also an extremely handsome package. Here's a look inside.
Next Friday, 16th November, we're celebrating the launch of three fabulous new graphic novels with a party at Soho's Gosh! Comics.
Joining us there will be Rachael Ball (Wolf), I.N.J. Culbard (LOVECRAFT), Mark Stafford & David Hine (Lip Hook), who'll be signing copies of their latest books from 7-9pm. Here's what you'll be able to get your hands on:
InWolfby Rachael Ball, a young boy finds his life turned upside down by a tragic accident. Desperate to return to happier days, six-year-old Hugo draws up plans for a time machine. But only his neighbour - a child-eating recluse, according to the boy next door - has the parts Hugo needs to complete the contraption. Illustrated in evocative, intimate pencils, Wolf is a captivating and poignant exploration of family, grief and that blend of the everyday and the fantastical that is childhood.
David Hine and Mark Stafford's latest graphic novel is set in Lip Hook, a small British village that lies at the end of a neglected byway. For its inhabitants, Lip Hook is more than the end of the road – it’s the end of the world. Beyond it, there is nothing but mist-shrouded marshland. One day, two fugitives emerge from the fog, seeking refuge at the Hanged Man Inn: a dangerously beautiful woman and a man with a gunshot wound and a suitcase full of treasure. As the disruptive outsiders’ influence grows, a false faith grips the community, returning its followers to ancient ways and resurrecting a secret history perhaps best forgotten...
LOVECRAFTcollects I.N.J. Culbard'sacclaimedadaptationsof H.P. Lovecraft into a single, seriously handsome hardbound volume. Boing Boingsaid of his reimagining of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, "This is really the best way to enjoy Lovecraft." This 520-page hardback also includes adaptations of At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow Out of Time and The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. If you want an introduction to four stories that helped to reinvent the horror genre, there's no better place to start.