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If you've never read Seiichi Hayashi, pick up Drawn & Quarterly's Red Colored Elegy  

Red Colored Elegy (Drawn & Quarterly) is the longest sustained narrative produced by author Seiichi Hayashi, a cartoonist most recognized (when he’s recognized at all) for his opaque and elliptical short stories. His work tends to concern the interior lives of angsty young adults—most of them suffering from oppressive…

Sherlock Frankenstein's attempt at homage gets stuck in some of the worst parts of comics history

Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer universe is earning attention and acclaim. In the tradition of Supreme Power, Black Hammer presents recognizable superhero templates in a new venue, pulling on decades of continuity without being enslaved to it. His superheroes are a group composed mostly of characters that seem like the…

New comic Misfit City evokes classic Saturday morning cartoons and '80s movies

The relatively recent boom of comics focusing on female friendship and adventures is filling shelves with a type of story that’s previously been relegated to YA. It’s hard to understate the influence that Raina Telgemeier’s success has had on the comic book industry, but just a few years ago the launch of Lumberjanes…

Crossplay is more than an erotic comic book—it's also a nuanced story of cosplayers

Describing Niki Smith’s Crossplay (Iron Circus Comics) as a “love letter to fandom” is one of the most succinct and accurate elevator pitches for a graphic novel ever. Smith originally published the chapters of Crossplay on Filthy Figments, one of several sites that sells access to comic erotica on a subscription…

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Umami #1 draws from a range of influences to cook up a high-fantasy culinary comic

In the European and Japanese markets, comics about cooking aren’t uncommon. Take, for example, Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki’s Food Wars!—a popular, slick serial that runs in Shonen Jump magazine. In the United States, cooking is portrayed similarly to any other kind of action in modern mainstream fighting comics: It’s…

Ambition, character, and humor make the Justice League International Omnibus a superhero delight

The current Justice League film is a hodgepodge of different creative impulses and corporate demands, but fans who want a cohesive vision of the team need to check out the Justice League run from the late ’80s. Justice League International Omnibus Volume 1 (DC) is a monster of a hardcover at more than 1,100 pages,…

As The Crow Flies examines marginalization and how much summer camp can suck in equal measure 

Over the course of the last several years, Iron Circus Comics has earned a legion of fans and a slew of critical successes by publishing books that appeal to readers who don’t often find themselves represented in the pages put out by traditional publishers. Owner C. Spike Trotman began her company with female- and…