March 2010 Graphic Novels

100 Bullets. 1. First Shot, Last Call

What would you do if you were given the opportunity and the means to get away with murder, scot-free? Thats the question posed in 100 Bullets, a new graphic novel that combines elements of hard-boiled crime stories and paranoid espionage thrillers. The mysterious Agent Graves offers his clients a gun and immunity from prosecution, enabling them to get revenge against those who ruined their lives. Suggested for mature readers.

100 Bullets. 2. Split Second Chance

The story behind Agent Graves deepens in this follow-up to 100 Bullets: First Shot Last Call.

100 Bullets. 3. Hang Up On the Hang Low

The shadowy and dangerous world of “100 Bullets” pulls another life into its web of intrigue. The Eisner Award-winning third “100 Bullets” trade paperback returns to the gritty streets of the inner city, where a mysterious Agent Graves hands a young man named Loop one of his “special” briefcases. Taking the information, handgun, and 100 rounds of ammunition contained in the case, Loop tracks down his father who deserted him. Loop, through his father, is introduced to the world of mob enforcement. In the violence that inevitably follows Agent Graves’s generosity, more of the Trust’s conspiracy is revealed while even more questions are raised.

Batman. The Killing Joke.

The Killing Joke, one of my favorite Batman stories ever, stirred a bit of controversy because the story involves the Joker brutally, pointlessly shooting Commissioner Gordon’s daughter in the spine. This is a no-holds-barred take on a truly insane criminal mind, masterfully written by British comics writer Alan Moore. The art by Brian Bolland is so appealing that his depiction of the Joker became a standard and was imitated by many artists to follow.

Batman. The Dark Knight Returns.

Batman. Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman, the co-creator of Sandman and writer of The Graveyard Book, re-teams with his collaborator on Marvel’s 1602, superstar artist Andy Kubert (Batman and Son), to tell the story that delves into life, death and the afterlife, leaving no stone unturned and exploring every aspect of The Dark Knight’s life and crimefighting career. This tale parallels the classic “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” epic written by Alan Moore (Watchmen) which is considered one of the top five all time Superman stories among Superman fans.

The Sandman: the dream hunters

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, THE SANDMAN: THE DREAM HUNTERS is a hardcover comics adaptation of Gaiman’s original prose novella by the same name illustrated by Yoshitako Amano. The world was different in old Japan. In those days, creatures of myth and legend walked upon the earth, swam in the sea, flew through the air. Some were wild and some, at great cost, could be tamed. So it was that a wily fox made a wager to dislodge a humble young monk from his home–and lost her heart in the betting. So it was also that a master of the demons of this world set his own eyes on the monk, seeking to seize the pious man’s inner strength for his own. And so it was, the King of All Night’s Dreaming would find himself intervening on behalf of a love that was never meant to be… Adapted by P. Craig Russell from the award-winning story by NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author Neil Gaiman, THE SANDMAN: THE DREAM HUNTERS is a richly evocative return to the world of The Dreaming, seen through entirely new eyes. Collects the entire 4-issue series as well as a sketch section by P. Craig Russell. Also included is a cover gallery that includes work by P. Craig Russell, Yuko Shimizu, Mike Mignola, Paul Pope and Joe Kubert. “THE DREAM HUNTERS is a lovingly-crafted piece of work. Russell produces…as faithful an adaptation as one could ever hope for.”–IGN

Watchmen

DC Comics re-releases this classic epic. The Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all-too-human failings. (Graphic Novels)

V for Vendetta

In an alternate future in which Germany wins World War II and Britain becomes a fascist state, a vigilante named “V” tries to free England of its ideological chains.

Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka

R to L (Japanese Style)In a distant future where sentient humanoid robots pass for human, someone or some thing is out to destroy the seven great robots of the world. Europol’s top detective Gesicht is assigned to investigate these mysterious robot serial murders—the only catch is that he himself is one of the seven targets.In a distant future where sentient humanoid robots pass for human, someone or some thing is out to destroy the seven great robots of the world. Europol’s top detective Gesicht is assigned to investigate these mysterious robot serial murders—the only catch is that he himself is one of the seven targets.

DMZ. 1. On the Ground

A near-future America is torn by war between the Free Armies, who control New Jersey and the inland, and the United States, ensconced in New York City’s boroughs. In the war-torn DMZ of Manhattan, Matty Roth, hired as a phototech intern to a famous battlefield journalist, is stranded when the rest of his crew is killed. Overcoming initial panic, he decides to remain as the sole embedded journalist in the devastated, largely depopulated city. It’s a career-making assignment–if it doesn’t get him killed. Befriended by former med student Zee, who runs a clinic, Matty discovers a society struggling to survive amid skirmishes and snipers (appropriate soundtrack music: Talking Heads’ Life during Wartime ). Of the DMZ issues collected here, the first three establish its premise. In the succeeding two, Matty discovers the Ghosts of Central Park –paramilitaries who defend the now-deforested preserve and its zoo animals–and chases a robber who steals his press badge. Wood’s writing does justice to the intriguing concept, and Burchielli’s jagged artwork effectively conveys the characters’ desperation. –Gordon Flagg Copyright 2006 Booklist

DMZ. 2. Body of a Journalist.

America’s worst nightmare has come true. Having neglected the threat of anti-establishment militias, the U.S. government is in danger of losing control. Middle America has violently risen up, coming to a standstill at Manhattan or, as the world now knows it, the DMZ. Matty Roth, a naive, aspiring photojournalist, lands a dream gig following a veteran war journalist into the heart of the DMZ. Things soon go terribly wrong, and Matty finds himself lost and alone in a world he’s only seen on television. In this volume, Roth’s star power as a wartime reporter rises both within and outside the DMZ and the embedded journalist lands the break of a lifetime: an interview with the infamous leaders of the Free Armies.

DMZ. 3. Public Works.

Having neglected the threat of anti-establishment militias,the U.S. government is in danger of losing control. Middle America hasviolently risen up, coming to a standstill at Manhattan or, as the worldnow knows it, the DMZ. Matty Roth, an aspiring photojournalist for TheLiberty News, lands a dream gig following a veteran war journalist into theheart of the DMZ. Things soon go terribly wrong and Matty finds himselflost and alone in a world he’s only seen on television.In this volume, Matty severs his ties to The Liberty News and becomes afree agent. He soon finds himself in over his head as he goes undercoverand infiltrates a terrorist cell determined to disrupt any and allconstruction sites trying to rebuild the city.

DMZ. 4. Friendly Fire.

Americas worst nightmare has come true. Having neglected the threat of anti-establishment militias, the U.S. government is in danger of losing control.Middle America taken control of the entire nation, except for New York Cityor, as the world now knows it, the DMZ.Matty Roth, a nave, aspiring photojournalist lands a dream gig following a veteran war journalist into the heart of the DMZ.Things soon go horribly wrong, and Matty finds himself lost and alone in a world hes only seen on television. In this volume, Roth reluctantly lands an interview for Liberty News with an enlisted U.S. solider who’s found guilty of a massacre within the DMZ. What follows is a look at how the DMZ came to be, from the perspective of a kid who came from the Midwest and walked right into a nightmare.

DMZ. 5. The Hidden War.

Previous arcs of DMZ, which depicts a near-future war between the U.S. military and rebel Free Armies, have been seen through the eyes of reporter Matty Roth. But Roth takes a backseat as residents of the war-torn DMZ of Manhattan, including a failed Arab American suicide bomber, a Chinatown triad boss, a burnt-out colleague of Matty’s, and a defecting U.S. soldier, take center stage. We also learn that graffiti artists and club DJs still exist in the devastated city. The shift in focus enriches Wood’s convincing portrayal of war-torn New York, and Burchielli turns in his usual, starkly powerful artwork.–Flagg, Gordon Copyright 2008 Booklist

DMZ. 6. Blood in the Game.

he world and characters of the DMZ — a futuristic, war-torn Manhattan — are expanded and enriched in this sixth volume of the acclaimed series as journalist Matty Roth. The United States has decided to resume reconciliation talks with the Free States, but a major new player in the Free States political world could destroy any hope of a unified state. Matty’s relationships are strained to the breaking point when he decides to profile the revolutionary leader Delgado and sets in motion a series of events that will alter the course of the Free States forever.

DMZ. 7. War Powers.

The story of Matty Roth, the ultimate embedded war journalist trapped in a most unlikely war zone: the street of New York City, or as the world nowknowsit,the DMZ. In this seventh volume in the graphic novel series, the status quo of the series is tossed out the window as Matty, back from his misadventure in Staten Island, finds Parco Delgado in office as provisional governor of the City of New York and details his first 100 days at breakneck speed redraws what you know about DMZ. Matty’s first task under the Delgado regime involves tracking down the source of one of the DMZ’s greatest urban legends.

The Photographer

In 1986, Afghanistan was torn apart by a war with the Soviet Union. This graphic novel/photo-journal is a record of one reporter’s arduous and dangerous journey through Afghanistan, accompanying the Doctors Without Borders. Didier Lefevre’s photography, paired with the art of Emmanuel Guibert, tells the powerful story of a mission undertaken by men and women dedicated to mending the wounds of war. Emmanuel Guibert has written a great many graphic novels for readers young and old, from the raucous and silly Sardine in Outer Space series to the sweeping World War II biographical epic, Alan”s War .Guibert lives in Paris with his wife and daughter. Didier Lefèvre was a French photojournalist who traveled the world extensively, often reporting from the most remote and harrowing situations imaginable. At the end of July 1986, Didier Lefèvre left Paris for Afghanistan. He barely returned to tell the tale. It was his first major assignment as a photojournalist, documenting a Doctors Without Borders mission. Camera in hand, the traveled with a band of doctors and nurses into the heart of Northern Afghanistan, where the war between the Soviet Union and the Afghan Mujahideen was raging. The mission affected Lefèvre as profoundly as the war affected contemporary history. His photographs, paired with the art of Emmanuel Guibert, tell the story of an arduous journey undertaken by men and women intent on mending what others destroyed. “It is impossible to know war if you do not stand with the mass of the powerless caught in its maw. All narratives of war told through the lens of the combatants carry with them the seduction of violence. But once you cross to the other side, to stand in fear with the helpless and the weak, you confront the moral depravity of industrial slaughter and the scourge that is war itself. Few books achieve this clarity. The Photographer is one. A strange book, part photojournalism and part graphic memoir, The Photographer tells the story of a small mission of mostly French doctors and nurses who traveled into northern Afghanistan by horse and donkey train in 1986, at the height of the Soviet occupation. The book shows the damage done to bodies and souls by shells, bullets and iron fragments, and the frantic struggle to mend the broken.” —Chris Hedges, The New York Times “All narratives of war told through the lens of the combatants carry with them the seduction of violence. But once you cross to the other side, to stand in fear with the helpless and the weak, you confront the moral depravity of industrial slaughter and the scourge that is war itself. Few books achieve this clarity. The Photographer is one. A strange book, part photojournalism and part graphic memoir . . . The book shows the damage done to bodies and souls by shells, bullets, and iron fragments, and the frantic struggle to bend the broken . . . The small sequential frames of the contact sheets merge seamlessly into the panels of artwork. The book, at 167 pages, is long. But its length is an asset, allowing the story to build in power and momentum as it recounts the arduous trip into mountain villages, the confrontations with the devastation of war, the struggle to save lives and Lefevreâ’s foolish and nearly fatal attempt to return to Pakistan ahead of the team . . . Lefevre (who died of heart failure in 2007) tells his story with a mixture of beguiling innocence and sensitivity. He retreats in tears to a secluded corner after seeing a wounded 10-year-old girl who will never walk again and will die of septic shock six months later.

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