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  • Writer's pictureTrusty Henchman

Upcoming Comics Spotlight: Non-fiction

There's so much great looking Non-fiction coming up that I'm actually drowning in solicits to choose from. Good problems to have! Now we just gotta worry about money to buy them all with....

You'll see that I'll try to include a little order code with most items (ex:JUL200019). Show some love to your retailer and use those codes when you can, it saves a lot of time on the data entry end of things.



(W) Mannie Murphy (A) Mannie Murphy

In this graphic memoir, what begins as an affectionate reminiscence of the author's 1990s teenage infatuation with the late actor River Phoenix morphs into a remarkable, sprawling account of the city of Portland and state of Oregon's dark history of white nationalism. Murphy is a Portland native who has a genuine affection for River Phoenix, and her heart-racing descriptions of scenes like the infamous campfire kiss My Own Private Idaho serves as a moral anchor to a deeply amoral history. Murphy details the relationship between white supremacist Tom Metzger, former KKK GrandWizard and founder of the White Aryan Resistance, and the "Rose City" street kids like Ken Death that infiltrated Van Sant's films - a relationship that culminates in an infamous episode of Geraldo.

Told in the style of an illustrated diary, with wet, blue ink washes, this story brilliantly weaves 1990s alternative culture with two centuries of the Pacific Northwest's shameful history as a hotbed for white nationalism: from the Whitman massacre in 1847; to the Ku Klux Klan's role in Portland's city planning in the early 1900s; to the shameful treatment of African Americans displaced in the 1948 Vanport flood; and through the 2014 armed standoff with Cliven Bundy's cattle ranch. The other protagonist in this story is Murphy herself, a gender queer kid trying to process all of this. Mannie Murphy is an artist living in Portland, OR.


Why this caught my eye:

This sounds like an absolutely fascinating read that captures a lot of history along with it's memoir storytelling. I get the feeling this will be a key book for critics to check out in 2021.



(W) Christelle Pecout (A) Marie Moinard

20 women who made a difference in Science are presented here. From Ada Lovelace (computing) to Marie Curie (Physics and Chemistry) these exceptional women enabled the world to advance in all fields of science including space exploration (Mae Jamison), telecommunications (the actress also genius dis-coverer Hedy Lamarr) and Biology (Rosalind Franklin). An inspiration going counter to preconceived notions about women and science, presenting a diverse group from around the world. JAN211441

Why this caught my eye:

This looks like it could just be a good title that schools and libraries should keep in stock.



New Softcover Edition! From the 1940s to the '70s, Reed Crandall brought a unique and masterful style to American comic art. Using an illustrator's approach on everything he touched, Crandall gained a reputation as the "artist's artist" through his skillful interpretations of Golden Age super-heroes Doll Man, The Ray, and Blackhawk (his signature character); horror and sci-fi for the legendary EC Comics line; Warren Publishing's Creepy, Eerie, and Blazing Combat; the THUNDER Agents and Edgar Rice Burroughs characters; and even Flash Gordon for King Features. Comic art historian Roger Hill has compiled a complete and extensive history of Crandall's life and career, from his early years and major successes, through his tragic decline and passing in 1982.


Why this caught my eye:

To this day I don't know if I've read an entire TwoMorrows Publishing book to completion, simply because they jam pack these suckers with so much information it's astonishing (and because I get eyestrain and start to fall asleep easily). Seriously, when the solicit says that Roger Hill compiled an extensive history, you can believe they mean extensive.



(W) Erika Moen, Matthew Nolan (A) Erika Moen, Matthew Nolan

Is what I'm feeling normal? Is what my body is doing normal? Am I normal? How do I know what are the right choices to make? How do I know how to behave? How do I fix it when I make a mistake?

Let's talk about it.

Growing up is complicated.

How do you find the answers to all the questions you have about yourself, about your identity, and about your body? Let's Talk About It provides a comprehensive, thoughtful, well-researched graphic novel guide to everything you need to know.

Covering relationships, friendships, gender, sexuality, anatomy, body image, safe sex, sexting, jealousy, rejection, sex education, and more, Let's Talk About It is the go-to handbook for every teen, and the first in graphic novel form.


Why this caught my eye:

Moen and Nolan are good people and I've been following Moen's work since her Dar days, so I always want people to check them out. Plus their work with sex education comics is top notch, so more entries that deal with relationship and identity topics are just great additions to their body of work.



(W) Espe (A) Espe

An account in graphic novel format, based on the author's own experiences, of a boy coping with his mother' suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Bastien is eight years old, and his mother is ill. She often has what his father and grandparents call "episodes." She screams and fights, scratches and spits, and has to be carted away to specialized clinics for frequent treatments. Bastien doesn't like it when she goes, because when she comes home, she isn't the same. She has no feelings, no desires, and not much interest in him, and he imagines her as a comic-book heroine, like Jean Grey, who may become Dark Phoenix and explode in a superhuman fury at any moment.


Why this caught my eye:

The art caught my eye and I've been meaning to check out more books from Graphic Mundi as their quality output seems pretty high.



(W) Luciana Cimino (A) Sergio Algozzino

Nellie Bly was a woman who did not allow herself to be defined by the time she lived in, she rewrote the narrative and made her own way. Luciana Cimino's meticulously researched graphic-novel biography tells Bly's story through Miriam, a fictionalized female student at the Columbia School of Journalism in 1921. While interviewing the famous journalist, Miriam learns not only about Bly's more sensational adventures, but also about her focus on self-reliance from an early age. And, of course, Bly's greatest feat of all, her journey around the world in 72 days. As Miriam learns more of Bly's story, she realizes that the most important stories are necessarily the ones with the most dramatic headlines, but the ones that, in Nellie's words, "come from a deep feeling."


Why this caught my eye:

This is exactly why I love the current proliferation of so many non-fiction books these days. I'm only passingly familiar with Bly so this is motivating me to learn more, plus I'm liking the look of Algozzino's artwork.


That's it for this batch, we'll hit some drama and slice-of-life next!

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