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  • Writer's pictureTrusty Henchman

Upcoming Comics Spotlight: Non-Fiction

This batch features an introspection of guilt and how it physically manifests in the body, a world-renowned Italian journalist hiding from the mafia, compassionate graphic interviews with returning war vets from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, an uplifting comic essay focusing on body positivity, a spotlight on the controversial Joseph Smith, a complete collection of the works of Geneviève Castrée, and an anthology featuring comics from thirty autistic creators.



(W) Elle (A) Elle

A powerful study in introspection, inheritance, and the manifestation of hypochondria by a talented indie cartoonist. Beautifully illustrated and poignantly told, the author investigates the guilt they carry as a young Filipino person born into a family that benefited from the Marcos regime, and how that materializes within the physical body.


Why this caught my eye:

Preview pages looked engaging, plus gotta support that Silver Sprocket material.



(W) Roberto Saviano (A/CA) Asaf Hanuka

When world-renowned Italian journalist Roberto Saviano put pen to paper at age 26, he'd change laws, expose widespread corruption, put his own life at risk, and save countless others... Gomorrah, his groundbreaking international bestseller and NYT Notable Book of the Year, exposed the inner workings of the Italian mafia and placed Saviano under direct threat which has necessitated 24-hour police protection to this day. Joined by award-winning cartoonist Asaf Hanuka (The Realist, The Divine), Saviano shares his deepest thoughts and experience of life in Naples, where he witnessed the power and violence of the mafia firsthand.


Why this caught my eye:

I generally like to spotlight Hanuka if I can, plus the subject matter is pretty interesting.



(W) Jess Ruliffson

Candid, compassionate graphic interviews with returning war vets from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Cartoonist Jess Ruliffson spent five years traveling across the country interviewing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, from kitchen tables in Georgia and libraries in New York City to dive bars in Mississippi and back porches in Vermont. What she finds is that the real experience of soldiers at war is a far cry from depictions in popular media like Zero Dark Thirty or American Sniper. In these illustrated interviews, Ruliffson shares the stories of men, women, and non-binary ex-soldiers who struggle to reconcile their wartime experiences with their postwar lives. Identity lies at the heart of these stories, as they grapple with their gender, their race, and the brutality they've witnessed and caused. In this compassionate, probing book, Ruliffson reveals how America's endless entanglement in wars have affected the psyches of the people who wage them. JUN221548

Why this caught my eye:

The approach and spotlight on dealing with identity and gender within this subject matter combined with the quick previews make this sound like an engaging read.



(W) Hara (A) Hara

A love letter to those who dream of being fashionable but consider their weight as an obstacle, this uplifting comic essay by a plus-sized author chronicles her own journey with body positivity and learning to love herself as she is.


Why this caught my eye:

We simply need more material like this.



(W) Noah Van Sciver (A/CA) Noah Van Sciver

In Joseph Smith and the Mormons, author and illustrator Noah Van Sciver, who was raised a Mormon, covers one of history's most controversial figures, Joseph Smith-who founded a religion which is practiced by millions all over the world. The book discusses all of the monumental moments during Smith's life, including the anti-Mormon threats and violence which caused his followers to move from New York to Ohio, Smith's receiving the divine commandment of plural marriage, his imprisonment, his announcement to run for president of the United States, and his ultimate murder by an angry mob in 1844 at the young age of 38. With a respectful and historical approach, and strikingly illustrated, this graphic novel is perfect for those curious about the origins of the Mormon faith and the man who started it all. MAY221090

Why this caught my eye:

This has already been released but I wanted to get a spotlight on it, especially after reading the review over at TCJ.



(W) Genevieve Castree (A/CA) Genevieve Castree

From rarely- or never-seen illustrations and comics, to album covers and photographs, to studio scraps, Geneviève Castrée: Complete Works 1981-2016 is a breathtaking collection of Castrée's work and soul. Those familiar with Castrée's seminal memoir about her childhood, Susceptible (included fully within), will know that she, to a large degree, raised herself. It was in those unattended, semi-feral childhood years that Geneviève used art to pull herself out of what could have otherwise been a bleak existence. Instead, she found beauty and depth around her and blended it gorgeously with the harsh, devastating realities of this world. With an introduction from Castrée's widower Phil Elverum.

Translations by Elverum and Aleshia Jensen.


Why this caught my eye:

Glad to see a nice complete collection of all of Castree's work. It sounds like a really nicely produced package from D&Q, and clocks in at 562 pages with plenty of previously unreleased material.



(W) Bex Ollerton (A) Bex Ollerton

From artist and curator Bex Ollerton comes an anthology featuring comics from thirty autistic creators about their experiences of living in a world that doesn't always understand or accept them. Sensory: Life on the Spectrum contains illustrated explorations of everything from life pre-diagnosis to tips on how to explain autism to someone who doesn't have it, to suggestions for how to soothe yourself when you're feeling overstimulated. This book depicts these varied experiences with the kind of insight that only those who have lived them can have.


Why this caught my eye:

I supported the Kickstarter and was really happy with the results (you can check out my review), and I fully believe this should be a standard item carried in all libraries, schools, and book stores for easy accessibility. Very glad to see it get wider distribution.


That's it for this batch, but there were so many interesting non-fiction books all scheduled for a Sept release (and I've been slow on doing these spotlights) that I'm going to make the next installment an expansion on non-fiction.

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