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Comic Books

A Dog is Forever

The enduring bond of pets and humans is showcased in this new one-shot comic from It’s Alive. “Writer John Holland, along with artist Hernan Gonzalez, delivers a moving love letter to dogs in A Girl and Her Dog. Evie is ‘the girl’ and Max is ‘her dog’. In time-tossed bits and pieces, we see her life from age 15 to 84. Max is there for all the important moments of her life, even after his life has ended. Don’t miss this life-affirming tale, which speaks to the power of love, even in the face of death.” It’s available now in stores.

image c. 2022 It’s Alive

Don’t Get Played

Just A Game is a new independent urban fantasy comic written and illustrated by the creative team known as Redlock. “This is a slow burn romantic comedy about an Introverted ‘Lets Player’ who spends too much time streaming and not enough time on his personal life. That is until his best friend drags him off to a certain Unicorn Idol’s new concert! Wild hijinks ensue; hopefully he can survive this peacocking extrovert.” Currently the first issue is available, and there’s a Kickstarter campaign to get the second issue printed.

image c. 2022 by Redlock

After We Flew The Coop

Once again Drawn & Quarterly bring us something interesting: Birds of Maine, a new graphic novel written and illustrated by Michael DeForge. “Long after the demise of humankind, birds roam freely around the Moon complete with fruitful trees, sophisticated fungal networks, and an enviable socialist order. The universal worm feeds all, there are no weekends, and economics is as fantastical a study as unicorn psychology. No concept of money or wealth plagues the thoughts of these free-minded birds. Instead, there are angsty teens who form bands to show off their best bird song and other youngsters who yearn to become clothing designers even though clothes are only necessary during war. (The truly honorable professions for most birds are historian or librarian.) These birds are free to crush on hot pelicans and live their best lives… until a crash-landed human from Earth threatens to change everything.” Available now in hardcover. [And with that, we’ll see you after Midwest Fur Fest!]

image c. 2022 Drawn & Quarterly

Horn of Plenty

[Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones!] Nobody’s Child is a new full-color graphic novel created by Massimo Rosi. “In an unspecified time in the future, it is discovered that within a special breed of albino rhinoceros there is a genetic code that holds the properties to regenerate man, that can cure all diseases, even those very serious. As a result, in a short period of time this albino rhino becomes nearly extinct, leaving just one: Sabium. Enter Bakari, a boy dealing with his own devastation, who now decides to dedicate his life to protecting this rhino.” It’s available now in paperback from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2022 Behemoth Comics

One Cool Cat Who Rocks

Well here’s a description that’s going to catch a few furry fans’ attention: “Meet Joe Gomez. He’s got high school on lock – good grades, a cool band, and girls digging his vibe. But just when he’s got the world figured out, he goes and turns into a saber-toothed tiger. A shape-shifting nature spirit known as a Chimera, to be specific. Now Joe needs every single one of his new powers to help save the human race – whether he wants to or not.” That’s the idea behind Urban Animal, a new graphic novel by Justin Jordan and John Amor, published by Rocketship. Volume one is available now in paperback from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2022 Rocketship Entertainment

For Once, Yes to the Anchovies

Sheesh, what have we been missing on line? Things like this, apparently: “New York Times bestselling Mac Barnett and Caldecott Honor award-winning illustrator Shawn Harris turn their massively popular The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza live cartoon into an action-packed and hysterical graphic novel series… Something terrible is happening in the skies! Rats are eating the moon! There’s only one hero for the job, a bold and fearsome beast bioengineered in a secret lab to be the moon’s savior and Earth’s last hope! And that hero is . . . a cat. A cat who will be blasted into space! Accompanied by the imperious Moon Queen and LOZ 4000, a toenail clipping robot, the First Cat in Space journeys across a fantastic lunar landscape in a quest to save the world. Will these unlikely heroes save the moon in time?” Find out now, courtesy of Harper Collins.

image c. 2022 Harper Collins

Same Canada?

The Oates & The Elphyne is the interesting title of a new full-color graphic novel written and illustrated by Michael Walsh (Comeback). The description goes like this: “The Oates family moves to their ancestral home in Newfoundland following a pair of tragedies.They arrive at their Grandmother’s house, where they reunite with their orphaned cousin. Shortly after arriving, Beth, the youngest sibling, is kidnapped by a dark creature. Her older siblings set out to find her and bring her back, finding themselves in the Elphyne—a magical world that exists between the ordinary world and the afterlife. In the Elphyne, the imagination of children has the power to shape everything around them. The children, along with some new allies, must travel through the Elphyne to confront The Dark King, a mysterious being whose arrival has started to corrupt the Elphyne in frightening and unexpected ways. It is up to Beth’s siblings to rescue her from his clutches.” Not mentioned in that description is the fact those “new allies” include an anthro bear and a winged fairy. It’s available now in hardcover from Humanoids.

image c. 2022 Humanoids

What Did YOU Do During COVID?

One thing that definitely happened during the COVID lock-downs was that on-line comic artists got real busy. Among them was Alex Graham, creator of Dog Biscuits, a slice-of-life underground funny animal comic. Now Fantagraphics have brought together many the on-line black & white pages in a single hardcover graphic novel. “It’s July 2020 in Seattle. Gussy struggles to keep his dog biscuit boutique afloat while a global pandemic rages unchecked. The loneliness of lockdown and social distancing drives his employee Rosie to betray her principles. Rosie’s roommate Hissy is at a personal crossroads. A love triangle emerges as they find themselves tangled in a web of police brutality, protests, drugs, dating apps and COVID chaos. Taking place over the course of just a few days, this is a snapshot of humanity — okay, animals — in crisis.” The Observer has a detailed review with lots of sample artwork as well.

image c. 2022 Fantagraphics

Female Flame-Breathers to the Fore

The Sparkle Dragons is a new full-color graphic novel written by Emma Carlson Berne and illustrated by Luke Flowers. “Meet the Sparkle Dragons: The spunkiest crew in all of Princess Puff’s queendom! Trixie is fierce with brains and beauty. Rue is tough as nails with a heart of shimmering gold. And, last but not least, Glinda, who often has her head in the clouds, but her out-of-the-box problem-solving can be her strongest asset. With their unique powers combined, they are an unstoppable force! And let’s be honest: Fighting off bad guys with glitter beams can be pretty hilarious . . . and sticky!” Do tell. It’s available now in hardcover or trade paperback from Harper-Collins.

image c. Clarion Books