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  • Writer's pictureTrusty Henchman

New & Upcoming Comics Spotlight: Non-Fiction

This batch features a graphic biography of Anais Nin, tales told through the history of jazz, the winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for illustrated reporting, a memoir of nakedness and real estate scheming in the early 1930s, and a YA graphic memoir about a Korean-American girl's coming-of-age story and a coming-home story set between a New Jersey suburb and South Korea.



(W) Leonie Bischoff (A/CA) Leonie Bischoff

In lithe, sensuous colored pencils, this international prize-winning, impressionistic graphic biography traces the life, the affairs, and the artistic process of Anais Nin, one of the best-known authors of women’s erotica in the 1920s and ‘30s.

Anais Nin, the author of works such as Delta of Venus and House of Incest, is the patron saint of taboo-breaking pop culture sexual iconoclasts. Not only is she an inspiration for contemporary figures such as Madonna, but her oeuvre, which encompasses erotica, autobiography, essays, short fiction, novels, and much more, has been adapted into film (Henry and June), television (Little Bird), and other media.

The cartoonist Léonie Bischoff traces the life of the prolific writer in this lushly colored graphic novel. It begins with Nin struggling to reconcile the man she married (who had artistic aspirations) with the banker she finds herself living with in the Parisian suburbs. Soon, her obsession with June Miller leads to inspiration. Nin's life and art, the truth and fiction, are further intertwined as she recounts her many sexual liaisons including those with Henry Miller (whom she and her husband subsidize so he can write the controversial Tropic of Cancer), her psychoanalysts, and even her father. Although Bischoff’s drawing is largely representational, she occasionally depicts Nin’s sexual experiences in scenes as surreal as Nin’s own written portrayal of them.


Why this caught my eye:

Loving the look of Bishoff's art.



(W) Kyle Higgins, Joe Clark (A) Danilo Beyruth (CA) Chris Brunner

New Orleans, 1917. In the city's bustling red-light district, a young clarinet player lands a job with his hero-but he'll soon discover there's more to the music business than playing the right notes.

Join writers KYLE HIGGINS & JOE CLARK (RADIANT BLACK) and an ALL-STAR CAST OF ARTISTS for SIX DOUBLE-LENGTH ISSUES that weave stories of struggle, joy, and hope through the history of jazz!

REGISTER PITCH: A whip-smart new miniseries that's perfect for music fans searching for a story with depth and redemption.


Why this caught my eye:

The series is 'based on true events' so maybe not completely non-fiction. Future issues are due to feature work from Ramón K Pérez (Stillwater), Juni Ba (Monkey Meat), and Toby Cypress (The Gravedigger’s Union), so it will be well worth checking out. Also, the connecting covers will look nice when it's all out.



(W) Anthony Del Col (A/CA) Fahmida Azim

Winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for illustrated reporting! The true story of Zumrat Duwat, a mother of three from the Xinjiang autonomous region in China, who was arrested and sent to a detention facility for Uyghur women where she endured brutal living conditions and beatings. That was just the beginning of the troubles for Duwat, who, with her husband, would soon hatch a plan to escape the country. A harrowing, evocative, and important story that will enthrall and enlighten readers worldwide. JAN231687

Why this caught my eye:

Glad to see a print edition available, you can check out the whole story here.



(W) Jon Buller, Laura Buller (A) Laura Buller (A/CA) Jon Buller

Nudism Comes To Connecticut is a fascinating graphic memoir of optimism, debt, nakedness and real estate scheming in the early 1930s. Frank Mallett, inspired by cooperative colonies he had visited in Europe, returned home envisioning utopian communities of bohemian emigrés and artistic intellectuals proliferating in sylvan harmony.

With the crash of 1929 his already floundering enterprises seemed doomed - until he discovered a growing interest in healthy, wholesome nudism. Closely based on actual people and events, Nudism Comes to Connecticut exposes the conflict between the ecstasy of the "exquisite naked plunge" and voyeurism, competitiveness, and greed by way of many period writings and letters. Although Frank's love of nature never falters, he learns that there is more to nudism than meets the eye.

Nudism is veteran children's book authors Jon Buller and Susan Schade's first published graphic novel, lovingly rendered in delicate, indeed, enticing, pen lines. JAN231521

Why this caught my eye:

Some preview pages available here.



(W) Deb JJ Lee (A) Deb JJ Lee

A debut YA graphic memoir about a Korean-American girl's coming-of-age story-and a coming home story-set between a New Jersey suburb and Seoul, South Korea. Ever since Deborah (Jung-Jin) Lee emigrated from South Korea to the United States, she's felt her otherness.

For a while, her English wasn't perfect. Her teachers can't pronounce her Korean name. Her face and her eyes-especially her eyes-feel wrong. In high school, everything gets harder. Friendships change and end, she falls behind in classes, and fights with her mom escalate. Caught in limbo, with nowhere safe to go, Deb finds her mental health plummeting, resulting in a suicide attempt. But Deb is resilient and slowly heals with the help of art and self-care, guiding her to a deeper understanding of her heritage and herself.

This stunning debut graphic memoir features page after page of gorgeous, evocative art, perfect for Tillie Walden fans. It's a cross section of the Korean-American diaspora and mental health, a moving and powerful read in the vein of Hey, Kiddo and The Best We Could Do.


Why this caught my eye:

Check out more of Lee's beautiful artwork.


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

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