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  • Writer's pictureTrusty Henchman

New & Upcoming Comics Spotlight: Drama

This batch features battles with depression, appetites for transgression, the tackling of a changing identity, an allegory of female resistance and radical acceptance, and the newest release from Nate Powell.

 

BARKING GN

(W) Lucy Sullivan (A) Lucy Sullivan


Loopy... cuckoo... stark raving.... When the depression and grief Alix feels over the death of her friend overwhelm her, she's institutionalized. But inside a psychiatric ward, things don't get better for her. Now she has nowhere to get away from her rapidly-spiraling thoughts. As Alix navigates disinterested attendants, group therapy, and isolation, she must build herself a new equilibrium and tame the black dog of her depression. Inspired by her own struggles with mental health, Lucy Sullivan tells a powerful, emotional story about the problems that sometimes overwhelm us all-and the failures in the mental health system we depend on.

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Why this caught my eye:

Loving the look of Sullivan's artwork.

 

DIRTY PANTIES GN

(W) Maybelline Skvortzoff (A) Maybelline Skvortzoff


Roxane is a young Parisian whose Bohemian life seems stuck in an endless loop of idle afternoons and wine-soaked nights with her roommate. Strapped for cash and novelty, she starts selling her used underwear online. Dirty Panties chronicles her first steps in this marketplace, from the creation of her online persona to the real-life rendezvous with shady customers. This new business soon impacts Roxane's daily life and the people around her. The world she has just stepped into might be much more bizarre than what she expected. Roxane's journey exploring her own appetite for transgression tackles such contemporary themes as sex work, consent and economic domination. How far will she go and where will this end?

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Why this caught my eye:

Check out more of her work here.

 

FIREBUGS HC

(W) Nino Bulling (A/CA) Nino Bulling


Everything is changing-but everything is also exactly the same. After a trip to Paris, Ingken returns home ready for a break from drugs. Their supportive partner, Lily, is flushed, excited about a new connection she's made. Although Ingken wants to be happy for her, there's a discomfort they can't shake. Sleepless nights fill with an endless scroll of images and headlines about climate disaster. A vague dysphoria simmers under their skin; they are able to identify that like Lily, they are changing, but they're not sure exactly how. Everyone keeps telling them to burn themself to the ground and build themself back up but they worry about the kind of debris that fire might leave behind.

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Why this caught my eye:

Check out more of their work here.

 

ANNA TP

(W) Mia Oberlander (A/CA) Mia Oberlander


This debut graphic novel by an up-and-coming star of the German comics scene is an audacious allegory of female resistance and radical acceptance.


In the sleepy German countryside live the Annas, cursed to be too tall for their small town. Laughably long-limbed and gangly, their bodies refuse to conform with societal norms of delicate femininity, and the trauma of being different ripples across generations. And yet, there may be a blessing to their burden; like the mighty mountains surrounding their town, they find that there is resilience and strength to be gained from their heightened perspective. Drawn with delightful exaggeration and formal inventiveness, Anna is a tongue-in-cheek, modern-day fairy tale about being “too big” for a narrow-minded world.

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Why this caught my eye:

Sample some of Oberlander's work here.

 

FALL THROUGH GN

(W) Nate Powell (A/CA) Nate Powell


At first glance, Diamond Mine seems to have emerged in 1979 as Arkansas's first punk band. Instead, this quartet is revealed to be interdimensional travelers from 1994, guided-largely against their will-by vocalist Diana's powerful spell embedded into their song "Fall Through." As Diamond Mine tours the country, each performance of the song triggers a fracturing of space-time perceptible only by the band members as they're transported to alternate worlds in which they've never existed, but their band's legend has. That is, until Jody, the band's bassist and the story's protagonist, finds herself disrupting Diana's sorcery, even at the cost of her own beloved work and legacy. While some band members perpetually seek the free space offered by the underground punk scene to escape from their mundane or traumatic lives, others work toward it as a means of expression, connection, and growth-even if that means eventually outgrowing Sisyphean patterns and inevitably outgrowing their beloved band-family altogether.

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Why this caught my eye:

If you enjoyed March, Swallow Me Whole, or any of the many many Powell books comic stores should stock, then you'll prob want to check this one out as well.

 

That's it for this batch, we'll check out some manga on the next round!

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