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  • Writer's pictureTrusty Henchman

Upcoming Comics Spotlight: Non-Fiction

This batch features a farmer saving animals from a radiation zone, storyboard artist Stéphane Lemardelé's experiences, James Tynion IV presenting his 'True Weird' stories, a middle-grade graphic memoir, a a first time English translation of a Dutch comic focused on trans-Atlantic slave trade.



(W) Fabien Grolleau (A) Ewen Blain

It was March 11, 2011 when a massive earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami, which, in turn, destroyed the core three reactors of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.

This tragedy cost almost 20,000 lives and devastated countless more, including Naoto Matsumura, a farmer evacuated from the deadly radiation zone. Unwilling to abandon his beloved animals, Naoto chooses to return home to his farm - and to fight for the beauty of life. This important graphic novel from France alludes to Japanese legends as an ode to Mother Nature, and human resilience.


Why this caught my eye:

I just generally wish there was more graphic novel content centered around the Fukushima disaster, considering the last handful of people I mentioned the event to had no clue about it. This would just be a good way to get younger readers to learn more about it.



(W) Stephane Lemardele (A/CA) Stephane Lemardele

In 2014, storyboard artist Stéphane Lemardelé began work with legendary filmmaker Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas; Wings of Desire) on his newest project, the emotional Every Thing Will Be Fine. The opening scenes Stéphane worked on would become some of the most renowned of the film, but it was the relationship he built with Wenders that would truly change him.

Through this graphic novel memoir, Stéphane captures not only the production of this film but moments of artistic reflection from Wim himself as he ponders the trajectory of his career and evolution as an artist, and the use of film as a tool to examine our own humanity.

This book is a rare peek behind the curtain for all fans of cinema, featuring actual storyboards from the production.


Why this caught my eye:

I'm not familiar with the film, but the focus of this sounds interesting and I've enjoyed the 'Life Drawn' books from Humanoids that I've checked out so far.



(W) James TynionIV (A) Klaus Janson (A/CA) Michael Avon Oeming

From the New York Times bestselling and award-winning cocreators of Something is Killing the Children, The Nice House on the Lake, The Department of Truth, and Powers comes this ambitious, nonfiction comic book experience depicting true stories of UFO abductions with an eye to capturing the strange essence of those encounters.

In this debut issue, Tynion presents what he calls his "True Weird" stories. Tales of ordinary people encountering the strange and the impossible. Teaming with artist Michael Avon Oeming, they retell some of the most popular UFO and alien encounter accounts starting with the infamous Betty and Barney Hill abduction-the widely publicized and very first abduction that went on to shape and influence all future encounter stories.

o Also includes the short "True Weird: Coney Island" by James Tynion IV, Klaus Janson, and Aditya Bidikar!


Why this caught my eye:

I feel like it's been forever since I've read a book with Janson art, but also the book sounds interesting.



(W) Dan Santat (A/CA) Dan Santat

A middle-grade graphic memoir based on bestselling author and Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat's awkward middle-school years and the trip to Europe that changed his life.

Dan's always been a good kid. But being a good kid doesn't stop him from being bullied and feeling like he's invisible, which is why he has low expectations when his parents send him on a class trip to Europe.

At first, he's right. Stuck with the same girls from his middle school who love to make fun of him, Dan doesn't know why his teacher insisted he come on this trip. But as he travels through France, Germany, Switzerland, and England, a series of first experiences begin to change him-first Fanta, first fondue, first time stealing a bike from German punk rockers . . . and first love.

Funny, heartwarming, and poignant, A First Time for Everything is a feel-good coming-of-age memoir based on New York Times bestselling author and Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat's awkward middle school years.


Why this caught my eye:

It's FirstSecond, it sounds charming, I'm sold.



Quaco was just a boy when he was ruthlessly kidnapped by human traffickers around 1770 and sold to the captain of a slave ship. Quaco managed to survive the harrowing ocean crossing, and eventually landed in Paramaribo (Suriname) on the estate of the wealthy plantation owner and administrator Walter Kennedy. Quaco was one of the millions of Africans who fell victim to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. His life story is partly based on John Gabriel Stedman's illustrated memoires of his time as an army captain in Suriname. Originally published in Dutch this English translation is the work of the students of Sheffield University with their help and support.


Why this caught my eye:

Caught this article with some previews a little while back, worth taking a quick look to see the background of this project.


That's it for this batch, we'll hit up some drama material on the next round!

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