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  • Writer's pictureTrusty Henchman

Upcoming Comics Spotlight: Drama

This batch of drama titles includes a romance about human connections, a new book by the creator of the acclaimed graphic novel Night Fisher, a collection about a young American Muslim growing up and figuring out who she is, an existential examination about death, and a timeless story about friendship and innocence.



(W) Pablo Monforte (A/CA) Laura Perez

Madrid in the eighties, and Barcelona ten years later.

In these two vibrant locales, Castaways follows the relationship between Alejandra and Julio against the backdrop of these poetic urban spaces where dreams, love, and uncertainty intertwine. Drawn to one another but constantly pushed or pulled in different directions by work, family, and life, Alejandra and Julio circle in and out of each other's lives, while first denying and then coming to accept the fact that by the time they are ready to love one another, the chance has already passed.

Intensely emotive and poignant, this stunning graphic novel from Laura Pérez and Pablo Monforte depicts themes of maturity, responsibility, and human connection.

o Available in English for the first time with translation by Silvia Perea Labayen. SEP210303

Why this caught my eye:

Pérez's artwork is incredibly beautiful, and the more I see of her projects on her various social media the more jealous I am that we don't have more translations of her work.



(W) Kikuo Johnson

A death throws a family's life into turmoil in one of the most anticipated graphic novel releases of 2021.

In this graphic novel, Charlene is a divorced mom, has a young son named Brandon, and works full-time as a nurse while also caring for her infirmed father. She is barely holding their lives together when tragedy strikes and leaves Charlene and Brandon on their own. Charlene, who has put everyone but herself first for years, sees it as an opportunity for a new start of sorts. That is, at least, until her easy-come, easy-go brother, Robbie - a well-intentioned but unserious semi-professional musician - rolls back into town after a long absence. Brandon, a good kid who aches for his absent father, focuses his grief on his cat, Batman, who hasn't been seen for a few days since he ran into the sugar cane fields that lie on the edge of their housing tract. No One Else is a graphic novel of great tender truth, as Charlene, Brandon, and Robbie learn to navigate life day to day with their plans, fears, and desires.

Gorgeously drawn and set in the author's hometown on the Hawaiian island of Maui, it is the long-awaited follow up to Johnson's acclaimed debut graphic novel, Night Fisher, and a mature work of literary fiction that is certain to be one of the most talked-about books of 2021. SEP211539

Why this caught my eye:

Ah yes, this sounds like a nice new installment into my favorite sub-genre of comics: Soul-Crushing.



(W) Huda Fahmy (A) Huda Fahmy

From the creator of the hugely popular webcomic Yes I'm Hot In This comes a graphic novel about a young American Muslim growing up and figuring out who she is

Huda and her family just moved to Dearborn, Michigan, a small town with a big Muslim population. But Huda doesn't fit in-when everyone is Muslim, there's no Muslim clique like there was in her last town, and Huda's not a sporty hijabi or a fashionista hijabi or a gamer hijabi. She's just Huda, and she's not sure what that means. She tries on all kinds of identities and friends, but nothing fits quite right. Until she realizes she can get back to the basics.


Why this caught my eye:

Fahmy's webcomic is incredibly charming, and this sounds like a great coming-of-age story about figuring out your identity.



(W) Salvatore Vivenzio (A/CA) Gianluca Nori

No One Knows is a story that begins with an end. The end of a woman's life; a mother, daughter, partner, and patient. After her death, those closest to her struggle to deal with their loss and its consequences. Grief poses the ultimate existential question: What comes after death? And there is only one answer: No one knows.


Why this caught my eye:

Gianluca Nori Mattioli's artwork caught my eye, and the preview pages were intriguing.



(W) Ana Galvan

The "Once Party" menu, for ages 11 and up, can only be ordered once (of course). But there's a catch: not everyone who does gets the special prize. Those who do, go to a room where they can view five minutes of one of three moments in their future. Galvañ manages to create a vivid world that is both a recognizable and alien depiction of adolescence. There are mean girls, and fast food, and BFFs with crappy older brothers, as well as familiar hints of 1990s design and fashion. Yet, it's also rife with futuristic flourishes like little robotic eggs that walk and talk, like anthropomorphic Alexas.

At its heart, however, Afternoon at McBurger's is a timeless story about friendship and innocence and the discoveries of adolescence (both good and bad), with layers to be revealed only through multiple readings. And Galvañ's visual style, anchored by a mastery of pastel and primary colors, will make you want to do so immediately. OCT211477

Why this caught my eye:

I really like Galvan's use of colors in her work and the story here sounds like a great mix of drama and surrealness.


That's it for this batch, we'll hit up manga on the next round.

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