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Graphic Novels at HMCPL
A guide to help navigate our extensive graphic novel collection, broken down my genre and format.
Abandon the Old in Tokyo continues to delve into the urban underbelly of 1960s Tokyo, exposing not only the seedy dealings of the Japanese everyman but Yoshihiro Tatsumi's maturation as a storyteller. Many of the stories deal with the economic hardships of the time and the strained relationships between men and women, but do so by means of dark allegorical twists and turns. A young sewer cleaner's girlfriend has a miscarriage and leaves him when he proves incapable of finding higher-paying work. When a factory worker loses his hand on the job, the parallels between him and his pet monkey prove startling and significant. This book is recommended for older teens and adults.
Rising stars Jamie L. Rotante and artist Eva Cabrera (Black Mask's Kim & Kim) assemble The Vixens: a squad brought together to take out the dangerous Southside Serpents gang! These aren't "Archie's Girls" -- they're starting a revolution in Riverdale. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-'60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Blankets is the story of a young man coming of age and finding the confidence to express his creative voice. Craig Thompson's poignant graphic memoir plays out against the backdrop of a Midwestern winterscape: finely-hewn linework draws together a portrait of small town life, a rigorously fundamentalist Christian childhood, and a lonely, emotionally mixed-up adolescence. Under an engulfing blanket of snow, Craig and Raina fall in love at winter church camp, revealing to one another their struggles with faith and their dreams of escape. Over time though, their personal demons resurface and their relationship falls apart. It's a universal story, and Thompson's vibrant brushstrokes and unique page designs make the familiar heartbreaking all over again. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
High schooler Ryuu knows he's transgender. But he doesn't have anyone to confide in about the confusion he feels. He can't tell his best friend, who he's secretly got a crush on, and he can't tell his mom, who's constantly asking why Ryuu is always dressing like a boy. He certainly can't tell Jin, the new transfer student who looks like just another bully. The only time Ryuu feels at ease is when he's wearing his favorite clothes. Then, and only then, the world melts away, and he can be his true self. One day, while out shopping, Ryuu sees an unexpected sight: Jin. The kid who looked so tough in class is shopping for the same clothes that Ryuu loves. And Jin offers Ryuu a proposal: to start their own brand and create apparel to help everyone feel comfortable in their skin. At last, Ryuu has someone he can open up to--and the journey ahead might finally give him a way to express himself to everyone else. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Ryo, a second-year high school student who was worried about his gender, started a fashion brand with a free-spirited retired student, Jin, and Ikka from the photography club. First of all, three people who try to earn money to spread their brand. Ryo starts a part-time job at an izakaya. Ryo meets Suigetsu Momose, a woman who attends art school, and she sees her own "core". "Hey-you, are you really a boy?" A "boy" born of a female body agonizes, fights, and runs in turbulent everyday life! This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into black women’s lives and coming-of-age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular “Hot Comb” is about a young girl’s first perm—a doomed ploy to look cool and stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved into. In “Virgin Hair,” taunts of “tender-headed” sting as much as the perm itself. “My Lil Sister Lena” shows the stress of being the only black player on a white softball team. Lena’s hair is the team curio, an object to be touched, a subject to be discussed and debated at the will of her teammates, leading Lena to develop an anxiety disorder of pulling her own hair out. Throughout Hot Comb, Ebony Flowers re-creates classic magazine ads idealizing women’s need for hair relaxers and products. “Change your hair form to fit your life form” and “Kinks and Koils Forever” call customers from the page. Realizations about race, class, and the imperfections of identity swirl through these stories and ads, which are by turns sweet, insightful, and heartbreaking. Flowers began drawing comics while earning her Ph.D., and her early mastery of sequential storytelling is nothing short of sublime. Hot Comb is a propitious display of talent from a new cartoonist who has already made her mark. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Nick, a young illustrator, can’t shake the feeling that there is some hidden realm of human interaction beyond his reach. He haunts lookalike fussy, silly, coffee shops, listens to old Joni Mitchell albums too loudly, and stares at his navel in the hope that he will find it in there. But it isn’t until he learns to speak from the heart that he begins to find authentic human connections and is let in—to the worlds of the people he meets. Nick’s journey occurs alongside the beginnings of a relationship with Wren, a wry, spirited oncologist at a nearby hospital, whose work and life becomes painfully tangled with Nick’s. Illustrated in both color and black-and-white in McPhail’s instantly recognizable style, In elevates the graphic novel genre; it captures his trademark humor and compassion with a semi-autobiographical tale that is equal parts hilarious and heart-wrenching—uncannily appropriate for our isolated times. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Despite belonging to a family of four, the Aoyama residence is typically home to three due to father Akiyoshi's job. While he's away at work, mom Tomoko and her two beloved sons Hiroki and Yuri go about their everyday lives--going to school, making dinner, doing homework, etc. But now that Hiroki's in his first year of high school, his thoughts are turning ever so slightly to sex and romance...and his mom can't help but notice his slips of the tongue when he's talking about who he likes. Supportive Tomoko has an inkling Hiroki might be gay, but she's going to let him figure it out for himself. Unfortunately, Hiroki has little talent for keeping his "secret," so he might die of embarassment before all is said and done! This book is recommended for teens and adults.
With her husband working abroad, mama Tomoko is in charge of raising their two precious sons back on the Aoyama ranch. Keeping her kids fed, clothed, and on schedule is all in a day's work, but Tomoko also watches over them with great love and care...and in the case of her eldest son Hiroki, who's doing a very bad job of keeping his sexuality a secret from his family, a big dose of bemusement. And now Hiroki might have another secret to keep! Lately he's been coming home from school talking enthusiastically about a certain boy, his classmate Daigo! With practically every other word out of her son's mouth being about Daigo, Tomoko can't help thinking Hiroki's crushing pretty hard on his friend! This book is recommended for teens and adults.
A kitten languishes in a pet shop, unwanted and unloved. Even as his price drops with each passing day, no one spares him a glance unless it's to call him names. Having practically given up on life, the kitty himself is most shocked of all when an older gentleman comes into the store and wants to take him home! Will the man and the cat find what they're looking for..in each other? This book is recommended for teens and adults.
His days as an unwanted, overlooked piece of merchandise a distant memory, Fukumaru is now well and truly Mr. Kanda's cat. He's gained a lot in the process, not least of which is his very own name! But Fukumaru isn't the only one getting something out of this relationship. First-time pet owner Mr. Kanda is finding his new life with Fukumaru to be full of surprises and delights. And Fukumaru's influence makes time, which had come to a standstill for Mr. Kanda, move again...This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Fukumaru's in the hospital and in big trouble! This turn of events leaves Mr. Kanda in big trouble too, emotionally speaking. Both the man and the cat know what it's like to be lonely, and as the days pass in a whirl, the reason Mr. Kanda weeps from time to time gradually becomes clear... This book is recommended for teens and adults.
The kind and elegant Fuyuki Kanda has a lot of fans, not least of whom is his cat Fukumaru! Surprisingly, however, not everyone sees the gentlemanly music teacher in this light. Hibino, a rival concert pianist, detests Kanda and his genius at the piano. But when Hibino's fickle mother forces a cat onto her grown son, Hibino finds himself with a furry new houseguest and little idea of how to take care of her! A trip to the pet store seems like the place to get a clue, but while there, who should Hibino run into but Kanda! Will the duo of Hibino and Kanda turn over a new leaf in their acquaintance as they bond over the cats in their lives?! This book is recommended for teens and adults.
pying a bedraggled cat outside the window one day, Fukumaru is shocked to realize that the he and the stranger are acquainted from their days in the pet shop! Fukumaru notices that his former compaw-triot is beaten and bruised and tries to get his attention, but the black cat puffs up menacingly and flees. In his anxiety to help his old friend, Fukumaru manages to get out of the house! Will Mr. Kanda's beloved kitty ever find his way home or is he destined for a life on the streets as a stray?! This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Mr. Kanda knows loneliness all too well. But thanks to a little help from his friends--furry and otherwise--he's come back out of his shell and into the world, where he touches the lives of those around him too. So when Mr. Kanda beholds his fellow music teacher and Fukumaru fanboy Mr. Moriyama standing frozen onstage after having been deserted by his bandmates mid-gig, Mr. Kanda must overcome his own trauma-induced stage fright to help his friend. Will the courage and determination Mr. Kanda has regained with Fukumaru's help be enough to put on the ultimate performance and rescue Mr. Moriyama from a potentially disastrous turn of events?! This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Dancer. Courtesan. Spy. Executed by a French firing squad in 1917. One hundred years on from her death, questions are still raised about her conviction. Now, the lesser-known, often tragic story of the woman who claimed she was born a princess, and died a figure of public hatred, with no one to claim her body is told by break-out talent writer Emma Beeby (Judge Dredd), artist Ariela Kristantina (Insexts), and colorist Pat Masioni drawing on biographies and released MI5 files We meet Mata Hari in prison at the end of her life as she writes her memoir--part romantic tale of a Javanese princess who performed "sacred" nude dances for Europe's elite, and part real-life saga of a disgraced wife and mother, who has everything she loves taken from her. But, as she sits trial for treason and espionage, we hear another tale, of a flamboyant Dutch woman who became "the most dangerous spy France has ever captured"--a double agent who whored herself for secrets, lived a life of scandal and loved only money. Leading us to ask . . . who was the real Mata Hari? This book is recommended for teens and adults.
An outrageously funny book about middle-aged women that reexamines romance, lust, and gender norms Lee Soyeon, Myeong-ok, and Yeonjeong are all mothers in their mid-fifties. And they’ve had it. They can no longer bear the dead weight of their partners or the endless grind of menial jobs where their bosses control everything, down to how much water they can drink. Although Lee Soyeon divorced her husband years ago after his gambling drove their family into bankruptcy, she finds herself in another tired and dishonest decade-long relationship with Jongseok, a slimy waiter at a nightclub. Meanwhile, Myeong-ok is having an illicit affair with a younger man, and Yeonjeong, whose husband suffers from erectile dysfunction, has her eye on an acquaintance from the gym. Bored with conventional romantic dalliances, these women embrace outrageous sexual adventures and mishaps, ending up in nightclubs, motels, and even the occasional back-alley brawl. This book is recommended for adults.
In this newlywed comedy, a man tries to settle down with his sweet wife...who happens to be a contract killer! Meet Setsuna: she’s cute, sexy, and deadly. When she’s not out murdering people as a professional assassin, she’s nesting at home, trying to adjust to a domestic life with her husband. She skewers ingredients for dinner, draws a knife on unwanted solicitors, and sleeps with one eye open, just in case. Her lovestruck husband doesn’t ask a lot of questions about her day job, and love conquers all, right? This sexy comedy is sure to make a killing! This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Balancing work and family time can be tricky, even with a mundane career, so it’s no surprise that it’s a struggle for professional assassin Setsuna. But when the whole family—except for hubby—is in the business, it just gets that much trickier! With summer and its plethora of events just around the corner, Setsuna and spouse want to make the most of their vacation. From water parks to festivals, it’s a season made for couples! This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Rolando's job was crushing him... and then it literally crushed his hand. Now he can barely get out of the house, binging TV and struggling to find meaning. On a rare night out with friends, he meets Nera, a woman who lives only in the moment. Dazzled by her hedonistic attitude, Rolando sees a new life opening before him. Together, these restless youths fix up an old food truck and hit the road for a wild journey. But have they truly found the spice of life? Or has Rolando bitten off more than he can chew? Discover a bright new star of Mexican comics in this romantic and thrilling tale, stuffed with adventure and delicious food. Onion Skin became a sensation in its native land for its rich narrative, captivating characters, thrilling action, and positively delicious artwork. It's a feast that will leave readers eager for a second course. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Pascal is in a bad place. He’s out of work, he and his longtime girlfriend have just broken up, and when he goes out for a run to ease his frazzled nerves, he falls and injures his back so badly that he’s strictly forbidden from running. What’s an endorphin-loving cartoonist to do? In a bid to distract himself, Pascal throws himself into his other pleasure: reading. And while at the bookstore one day, he spies a young woman picking up his own book. But then she darts out of the shop without paying. Bemused, he decides to figure out why she did it. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
After the death of her son, Regina Segal takes her granddaughter Mica to Warsaw, hoping to reclaim a family property lost during the Second World War. As they get to know modern Warsaw, Regina is forced to recall difficult things about her past, and Mica begins to wonder if maybe their reasons for coming aren’t a little different than what her grandmother led her to believe. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Thirty years before the advent of the literary graphic novel movement in the United States, Yoshihiro Tatsumi created a library of comics that draw parallels to modern prose fiction and today's alternative comics. The stories collected in The Push Man are simultaneously haunting, disturbing, and darkly humorous. A lone man travels the country, projecting pornographic films for private individuals while attempting to maintain a normal home life. The lives of two men become intertwined when one hires the other to observe his sexual escapades through a telescope. An auto mechanic's obsession with a female TV personality turns fatal after a chance meeting between the two. This book is recommended for older teens and adults.
After a messy year of heartbreak and setbacks, Tara sets off to Ireland in search of clues to her family's ancestry, but what she found wasn't at all what she expected. Some of it has to do with the lack of records, but a lot has to do with John, the charming cartoonist she met on Twitter. 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 a young woman finding herself. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
By shedding their shame and telling their stories, the contributors to this World War 3 Illustrated volume expose the contradictions of the Trump/#MeToo era. In comics that fuse personal testimony with political savvy on topics from healthcare, harassment, childbirth, and assault to everyday sexism, women — from grandmothers to art students — break glass ceilings and pick the shards from their eyes. WW3 veterans are joined by new and international talent in a collection full of outrage, humor, and resistance.
From the first day of Fresh Meat Orientation for the Eastside Roller Girls, Jennifer and Maisie knew they’d be fast friends. But when they’re drafted to different teams, the pull of competition — and their increasingly messy personal lives — threaten to drive them apart. In roller derby you take your hits, get back up, and learn how to be a better jammer, a better blocker, a better lover, and a better friend. Derby can heal your heart...but it might break a bone or two in the process. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
Eisner-nominated true stories about a side of society most people try not to think about. Garbage collector turned comic artist Derf shares tales about his experiences collecting garbage in a rural Midwest town after graduating from high school. Disgusting, fascinating, shocking and hilarious, Trashed shows readers a world that words alone could never capture, but spares them the horrible smell. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
A race for the Ark of the Covenant finds an exploration into the ethics and world of the international antiquity trade. When a great antiquities collector is forced to donate his entire collection to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Nili Broshi sees her last chance to finish an archaeological expedition begun decades earlier—a dig that could possibly yield the most important religious artifact in the Middle East. Motivated by the desire to reinstate her father’s legacy as a great archaeologist after he was marginalized by his rival, Nili enlists a ragtag crew—a religious nationalist and his band of hilltop youths, her traitorous brother, and her childhood Palestinian friend, now an archaeological smuggler. As Nili’s father slips deeper into dementia, warring factions close in on and fight over the Ark of the Covenant! Backed by extensive research into this real-world treasure hunt, Rutu Modan sets her affecting novel at the center of a political crisis. She posits that the history of biblical Israel lies in one of the most disputed regions in the world, occupied by Israel and contested by Palestine. Often in direct competition, Palestinians and Israelis dig alongside one another, hoping to find the sacred artifact believed to be a conduit to God. Two time Eisner Award winner Rutu Modan’s third graphic novel, Tunnels, is her deepest and wildest yet. Potent and funny, Modan reveals the Middle East as no westerner could. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
They say "What You See Is What You Get..". but Kevin "Boingthump" Phenicle could always see more than most people. In the world of phone phreaks, hackers, and scammers, he's a legend. His exploits are hotly debated: could he really get free long-distance calls by whistling into a pay phone? Did his video-game piracy scheme accidentally trigger the first computer virus? And did he really dodge the FBI by using their own wiretapping software against them? Is he even a real person? And if he's ever caught, what would happen to a geek like him in federal prison? Inspired by the incredible stories of real-life hackers, Wizzygig is the thrilling tale of a master manipulator -- his journey from precocious child scammer to federally-wanted fugitive, and beyond. In a world transformed by social networks and data leaks, Ed Piskor's debut graphic novel reminds us how much power can rest in the hands of an audacious kid with a keyboard. This book is recommended for teens and adults.
A hard-working middle-aged gay couple in Tokyo come to enjoy the finer moments of life through food. After long days at work, either in the law firm or the hair salon, Shiro and Kenji will always have down time together by the dinner table, where they can discuss their troubles, hash out their feelings and enjoy delicately prepared home cooked meals! This book is recommended for teens and adults.