2017 Top Shelf Gift Guide — Graphic Novels for Every Reader!
December 4, 2017
Dazzling New Talents with a Dark Twist
Her Bark & Her Bite by James Albon
“Lines and shade flow through the panels, bringing the story to life as if it were caught in a breeze… an extraordinary book.” — Grovel
Jealousy is an art. Young painter Rebecca falls madly for the charismatic Victor - but the thrill of his glamorous world turns sour when his attention starts to wander. Award-winning UK illustrator James Albon makes his graphic novel debut with a gorgeous and haunting cautionary tale of fine art and high-society decadence.
Bottled by Chris Gooch
"Gooch lingers over camera lenses, the arc of a knife through space, the pause before someone makes a fateful decision, and other liminal moments in a life hurtling towards destruction.... Devastating." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Young Australian cartoonist Chris Gooch debuts with a haunting portrait of millennial alienation, tinged with body horror and Greek tragedy, glamour and terror.
Big Huge Gorgeous Fantasy Books You'll Think About for Years
Home Time: Under the River by Campbell Whyte
"It’s a richly imagined world, and Whyte immerses readers in it." — The New York Times
Drawing each chapter in a different style, Australian wunderkind graphic novelist Campbell Whyte makes his spectacular debut: a group of young teens come of age after falling into a fantasy world inspired by classic role-playing games and video-game geometry.
Return of the Dapper Men (Deluxe Edition) by Jim McCann and Janet Lee
The poetic and intricately illustrated winner of the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Novel returns — in a deluxe edition with previously uncollected bonus material. Blending clockwork whimsy with majestic art-nouveau visuals, Jim McCann and Janet Lee present a hand-crafted fairy tale that feels both familiar and entirely new.
Adventures for the Young and the Young at Heart
Surfside Girls (Book One): The Secret of Danger Point by Kim Dwinell
"Surfside Girls has a timeless quality. With its likable characters, sunny colors, and supernatural mystery, it’s a perfect summer read." — Brigid Alverson, School Library Journal's Good Comics for Kids
Sun... sand... and spooky adventures! In this middle-grade debut graphic novel from animator Kim Dwinell, two surfer girls investigate ghosts, strange creatures, cute boys, and evil real-estate moguls.
Spacebat and the Fugitives (Book One): Tacos at the End of the World by Chris Sheridan
“Spacebat is absolutely oozing with style. My son has read it so many times our copy is on the verge of tatters.” —Rich Werner (Plants vs Zombies)
Spacebat, the galaxy’s greatest misfit, is pressed into service by three children to stop a mad scientist, his army of ill-mannered robots, and a universe-bending machine. Romp across reality in a wide-ranging escapade for all ages from acclaimed cartoonist Chris Sheridan (Motorcycle Samurai), featuring bold lines, quirky characters, outer-space adventures… and tacos.
Korgi: Short Tails by Christian Slade
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Christian Slade’s heartwarming series with this collection of short "tails" from the world of Korgi — including seven stories from Free Comic Book Day plus all-new content! Slade’s lovingly detailed pen-and-ink drawings bring his fantasy world to life in small slices, perfect for longtime fans and newcomers alike.
Handbooks for Finding Yourself, at Home & Abroad
Super Tokyoland by Benjamin Reiss
He moved to Tokyo for a girl. he fell in love with a country. As one year stretches into six, our hero becomes immersed in the world of sento baths, taiko drums, and bento boxes, while studying cartooning under several masters of manga. With striking detail and easy charm, Super Tokyoland is a perfect hybrid of European and Japanese comics, forming a rich exploration of immigrant life.
Roots by Tara O’Connor
"The story is beautiful. It reflected events in my own life. It made me laugh out loud. It made me smile. It made me root for its characters SO hard. It broke my heart." —Other Worlds Than These
On a journey to the old world — she discovered a whole new world. Wrapped in real family history and set amidst the natural beauty of the Irish countryside, Roots is a classic romantic-comedy adventure and a page-turning account of self-discovery.
Gumballs #1, #2, #3, #4 by Erin Nations
Issue #4 coming December 13, 2017!
"Gumballs lays bare a lot of serious, complicated stuff and presents it with a frankness and humor that really moved me to my core." — Multiversity Comics
Pop in your quarters and see what pops out of Gumballs — a brand new one-man anthology comic from Portland cartoonist Erin Nations! His bright, candy-colored palette and crisp linework pop off the page, while his stories include a diverse range of fiction & autobiography, including reflections on his journey of gender transition.
Guides for Laughing Through the Pain
You Might Be An Artist If... by Lauren Purje
"Relatable and honest... endlessly endearing... this has the potential to become the go-to book of solace for struggling young artists out there." — Publishers Weekly
The comic that does for the arts what XKCD did for science & math. This addictive hardcover collects years of Lauren Purje’s virally relatable comic strips about the ups & downs of life as an artist. Capturing the moments that remind us why we take art seriously — but not too seriously — Purje’s comics are a perfect handbook for anyone living the creative life.
Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump by Shannon Wheeler
"Wheeler’s Trump is a rotund scamp with a mischievously fiendish spirit... instead of slinging mud that can turn matters opaque, he’s actually attempting to render a window into Trump." — The Washington Post
Acclaimed cartoonist Wheeler (The New Yorker, God Is Disappointed in You, Too Much Coffee Man) transforms Donald Trump's most revealing tweets into razor-sharp cartoons, offering a subversive and illuminating insight into the mind of the most divisive political figure of our time.
Witty Odes to Love in All Its Complexity
Chester 5000 (Book 2): Isabelle & George by Jess Fink
Winner of the 2017 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Series!
The romantic, hilarious, erotic fan-favorite returns! After the smash success of Chester 5000’s first volume (the tale of a Victorian woman and her robot lover), beloved webcartoonist Jess Fink returns with another triumphant story of boundary-breaking love, sex, and technology.
The Three Rooms in Valerie's Head by David Gaffney & Dan Berry (coming in January!)
Valerie has a rich interior life. She imagines her ex-boyfriends are dead and kept in her basement, but occasionally drags them out to discuss what went wrong. Acclaimed micro-fiction writer David Gaffney (Sawn-Off Tales) and Eisner-nominated cartoonist Dan Berry (24 by 7, Make It Then Tell Everybody) present a dark comedy about love, loneliness, accumulating baggage, and letting go.
Sumptuous Celebrations of Veteran Visual Storytellers
Nate Powell's Omnibox by Nate Powell
"It’s tempting to call this a Powell sampler, but each of the collected works is a standalone mini-masterpiece in its own right." — Barnes & Noble, Best Graphic Novels of June 2017
This handsome boxed set contains three acclaimed books representing the first decade of mature work from one of the new giants of literary cartooning. Includes Eisner-award-winner Swallow Me Whole, critical darling Any Empire, and short story collection You Don't Say. See why the #1 bestselling artist of March is a creator renowned for his sensitivity, intimacy, and visual courage.
I Am a Number by Rian Hughes (in stores soon!)
Rian Hughes has a superstar of graphic design — now with I Am a Number he presents his first solo book of comics, collecting funny and insightful strips about our obsession with hierarchy and social ranking, in the wordless tradition of Sergio Aragones, Jim Woodring, and Spy vs Spy, and presented in luscious full color.