Free Comic Book Day is just around the corner! There’s no better time to get down to your local comic book shop and celebrate. There’ll be events going on around the world, including signings, live-drawings and in-store competitions (as well, of course, as some free comics!).

Whether you’re a comics newbie or a seasoned collector, use this Saturday 5th of May to explore some new worlds, meet some new people and pick up some great new reads.

Here are 10 books to keep an eye out for:

1. The Many Deaths of Scott Koblish by Scott Koblish

You might know Scott Koblish from his work on Deadpool and Spider-Man for Marvel Comics, but he’s been illustrating his own demise for many years in these morbidly funny 4-panel black-and-white comics. Full of comic imagination and recognisable irrational fears, this little book is one to turn to when you just need to laugh at it all.

Find out more

2. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

If you’ve found yourself hooked on recent TV shows like Making A Murderer and Mindhunter, then keep an eye out for the film adaptation of Derf Backderf’s national bestseller, My Friend Dahmer. It release in the UK on the 1st of June 2018 – which makes now the perfect time to read the haunting and original graphic novel.

Find out more

3. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

Thi Bui’s intimate and poignant graphic novel was one of the best reviewed books of 2017. It’s an evocative memoir exploring the anguish of immigration, documenting Bui’s family’s escape from South Vietnam in the 70’s.

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4. The Bridge by Peter J. Tomasi (illus. Sara DuVall)

With praise from comics royalty such as Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and Scott Snyder, The Bridge has only just published and already won plaudits. It’s the story of the family behind one of New York City’s most famous landmarks.

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5. Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! and The Moon Is Up by Mariko Tamaki (illus. Brooklyn Allen)

For kids (and adults!), the middle-grade novel adaptation of the Lumberjanes is just as charming and empowering as the original. Unicorn Power! and the just-published The Moon Is Up are brand new adventures at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore lady Types!

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6. March: Stationery, Postcards & Journal by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin, art by Nate Powell

The March stationery & gift line from Chronicle Books celebrates the words and artwork of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel about the life of Congressman John Lewis. They’re designed to encourage the next generation of activists to dream, plan and fight for what’s right.

Find out more

7. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: An Art Book
by Reinhard Kleist


Reinhard Kleist published his graphic biography of Nick Cave to much acclaim last year (Nick Cave: Mercy On Me). Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: An Art Book collects his moody and expressive portraits of the musician and his band, spanning 30 years, and including comic book re-imaginings of his songs. It’s also vinyl-sized!

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8. Spinning by Tillie Walden

Tillie Walden’s graphic memoir movingly captures what it’s like to come of age, to come out and come to terms with leaving a sport you’ve committed so much of ten years to.

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9. The Corbyn Comic Book (by multiple contributors) 

When SelfMadeHero put out a call for submissions for The Corbyn Comic Book, the response was incredible. The result is this anthology, which really has to be seen.

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10. Kirby: King of Comics (Anniversary Edition) by Mark Evanier, introduction by Neil Gaiman

This is the essential overview of the man who changed comics forever. Jack Kirby would have been 100 in 2017. This is his story by one who knew him well and includes an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

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Kindred, a graphic novel adaption

Kindred cover


Kindred, Octavia Butler‘s literary science-fiction masterpiece first published in 1979, tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and mysteriously transported from her home in 1970s California to the antebellum South. Dana moves between worlds: one in which she is a free woman and another where she is part of a complicated familial history on a southern plantation, forced to interact with and save the life of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of her ancestors. Frightening, compelling and richly detailed, Kindred takes an imagined yet unstinting look at our complicated social history.

Adapted as a graphic novel by celebrated academics Damian Duffy and John Jennings with the full co-operation of the Butler estate, Kindred explores the violence, sexuality, loss of humanity and twisted relationships engendered by slavery, in a bold new format.

Take a peek at the magnificent artwork that fills the pages of this unique graphic novel adaption:

Kindred internal pages Kindred internal pages Kindred internal pages Kindred internal pages Kindred internal pages Kindred internal pages


Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation is out now. Get yours from any good bookstore or order it online here.


A&CB Book Club | June 2016

Hi wonderful book lovers,

Can you believe it is JUNE already?

How did you get on with your May Reading Challenge? We are still basking in career empowerment thanks to The Career Code and are raring to go with our next challenge. This month we want you to pick-up a classic, in whatever format you fancy. Team A&CB are going to read Pride & Prejudice in graphic novel form!

Let us know what you are reading using #ACBookClub and be sure to follow us on Twitter as we will be giving away three copies of Classic Colouring: Jane Austen later this month.

PLUS! Join us at @ACBYA for our #SummerReads fun. We are bursting at the seams with bookish quizzes, recommendations and giveaways.

Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen Colouring Book

*T&C Apply.

Offer limited to residents of Europe. Competition closes 12pm Monday 27th June. Giveaway limited to three copies of Classic Colouring: Jane Austen. Limited one entry per person. Not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, postage due, or misdirected requests.

#FiveYearsOfBooks | Top Five Graphic Novels


Seconds A Graphic Novel Bryan Lee O’Malley SelfMadeHero

We had the privilege last year to be involved with the release of Seconds; the highly anticipated new standalone full-colour graphic novel from Bryan Lee O’Malley, author and artist of the hugely bestselling Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series.

Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:

1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom.
3. Go to sleep.
4. Wake anew

And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions.

This madcap tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise is without a doubt the perfect way to launch our list of Top 5 Graphic Novels.

The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis
Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis, The
Matt Groening

It’s the meeting of two mind-boggling comedy creations from Matt Groening! They said it couldn’t be done. But we don’t listen to naysayers, refuseniks, and non-believers. So here it is, folks!

This Simpsons saga filled with Futurama, this Futurama fable suffused with the Simpsons, blew our minds 5 years ago and is still a firm favourite!

Featuring a plethora of pleasing plot devices including: evil brain spawn, lactose-intolerant space aliens, a giant ball of yarn, flying cars, mistaken identities, world domination, the brittle fabric of reality torn asunder, this is a comic book – collecting sentient planet, the Dewey Decimal system, self-eating watermelons, slave labour, space pirates, power-crazed vampires, super hero battles, unflattering underwear, mad science run amok, and much, much more! It’s a comic convergence on a reality ripping, time altering, space travelling, intergalactic scale!

First published in 2002 and 2005 as two two-part, comic book mini-series (“Futurama/Simpsons Infinitely Secret Crossover Crisis” and “The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crises II”), these four hard-to-find comics were collected together for the first time in a hardcover collection, encased in a die-cut slipcase, and packaged with a facsimile of the very first Eisner Award-winning issue of “Simpsons Comics” from 1993. How could it not have a space on our Top 5 Graphic Novels list?

My Friend Dahmer
My Friend Dahmer
Derf Backderf

We knew this haunting original graphic novel by Derf Backderf, the award winning political cartoonist, was something special the first time we opened it. The crisp black and white illustrations both detailed and disturbing tell the story of a young Jeffrey Dahmer, a story we didn’t expect. It earned it’s place on our Top 5 Graphic Novels list because this story stayed with us since the moment we closed the back cover.

In these pages, Backderf tries to make sense of Jeffery Dahmer, the future serial killer with whom he shared classrooms, hallways, libraries and car rides. What emerges is a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a young man struggling helplessly against the urges, some ghastly, bubbling up from the deep recesses of his psyche. The Dahmer recounted here, although universally regarded as an inhumane monster, is a lonely oddball who, in reality, is all too human. A shy kid sucked inexorably into madness while the adults in his life fail him. The crimes Dahmer committed are incredibly depraved, infamous and unforgettable, but in My Friend Dahmer, Backderf provides profound insight into how, and more important, why Jeffery Dahmer transformed from a high school loner into the most depraved serial killer since Jack the Ripper, coming as close as anyone yet has to explaining the seemingly unexplainable phenomenon of Jeffery Dahmer.

The Nao of Brown
Nao of Brown, The Glyn Dillon SelfMadeHero


This unique, life-affirming story about the power of love and the importance of spirituality made graphic novel readers our of our entire office. Our Top 5 Graphic Novels list would not be complete without The Nao Of Brown.

Nao Brown is not well. A 28 year-old half-Japanese, half-English girl tormented by her OCD and struggling to get her design and illustration career off the ground, she embarks on a spiritual journey to calm her mind, meeting Gregory, a washing machine repairman, along the way.

The Sculptor Scott McCloud SelfMadeHero
The Sculptor
Scott McCloud

Our final pick for our Top 5 Graphic Novels list is The Sculptor by Scott McCloud. This highly anticipated graphic novel, from a legend in the community tells the story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world’s greatest city. It’s about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life… and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable fiction.

David Smith is giving his life for his art – literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the eleventh hour isn’t making it any easier.

“The best graphic novel I’ve read in years. It’s about art and love and why we keep on trying. It will break your heart.” Neil Gaiman

“But now that he has everything – the talent and the girl – David doesn’t have time. In 200 days he will die…This book is a diamond-bright treasure-trove of beautiful observations about art and loneliness and a soul-touching examination of the joys and pain of being in love and you really need to discover it for yourself.” Starburst Magazine

Did your favourite not make the list? Tweet us @abramschronicle!



#BookstoreoftheWeek – Page 45, Nottingham

In 1994, two guys working in the basement of a Virgin Megastore realised they could to it better and Page 45 was born!

page 45 3

The Page 45 plan is simple: Stock a wide range of excellent comics and graphic novels, find people who love them (and people who don’t know they love them yet) and bring the two together with insight, knowledge and passion in a friendly, welcoming place! Stephen, Dominique, Jonathan and Jodie know all there is to know about comics and will have something for your taste. Their stock is vast and varied but you will only find the good stuff here, they guarantee it and are happy to help you with honest recommendations and reviews. In their own words, “there can be no talk of Page 45 without talk of Mark”, the co-creator of Page 45, Mark Simpson passed away in 2005 leaving an incredible legacy in the comic shop that was his pride and joy. Loved by creators and customers alike, Page 45 have endeavoured to continue his mission to inspire and promote excellent comics and find that ‘something new’. Page 45 also works with school libraries to promote literacy in and outside the classroom by introducing diverse and quality graphic novels to school curriculum through the School Libraries Association.

page 45 1

It’s worth a visit for the great comics, great staff and great window displays but, if you can’t make it to Nottingham, you can order from Page 45 online with worldwide shipping or as a digital comic. They also have really helpful pre-order and preview pages where you can see what’s coming up and how to make sure you get a copy. And they’ll even give you a little bit of that friendly in-store attitude with their online recommendation form.


In a city filled with brilliant independent shops, Page 45 fits right in as “a total treasure“, and they’ve got the silverware to back it up: in 2012 Page 45 was voted Best Independent Retailer in Nottingham, in 2013, the Best Independent Business in Nottingham, and in 2004 Page 45 won the only ever Diamond Comics Award for Best Retailer In The UK!

And we’re not Page 45’s only fans, in the words of Neil Gaiman:

“I’ve long thought that Page 45 is the best graphic novel shop I’ve ever been to…”

See for yourself!
9 Market Street, Nottingham, NG1 6HY
0115 9508045
Monday – Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 4pm

Bookstore of the Week; Orbital Comics

Release your inner geek with our Bookstore of the Week; Orbital Comics.

Orbital Store Front

Orbital Comics has been London’s favourite comic shop for a DECADE! And it’s not hard to see why, with everything from imported comic books, back-issues, graphic novels and collectors editions Orbital has everything a comic enthusiast could want. They have a section dedicated to manga and anime, filled with translated titles and manga merchandise. Orbital also features the biggest and best selection of vintage comics in London! and they are fully stocked with T-shirts, posters, art prints and general comics related paraphernalia.

They are huge supporters of independent creators with the best indie section we have seen anywhere. Have a look at Orbital Small Press for a list of titles, links to indie publishers and artists, staff recommendations and general small press information.

Aside from their stock (as if you needed more reason to visit), they regularly host signings and events. The gallery space has been witness to an incredible series of exhibitions and always offers the chance to pick up some original artwork. What could be better than owning a real piece of comic book history? They have an events page dedicated to news on upcoming events. Here you can also relive the events they have hosted in the past; Orbital Events.

What makes Orbital Comics truly unique is their weekly Podcast. They use their Orbiting Pod Podcast to present reviews, commentary and regularly feature interviews with the stars of the comic world. Essentially, Orbital Comics is THE place to go for all your comic book needs, whether you are just visiting online or heading to the store.

Inside Orbital Comics

Situated in-between Covent Garden and Leicester Square, the store is a surprisingly big space. Boasting a number of sections, each one dedicated to different activities; Art, signings, back issues, independent books… everything has a place of its own. It’s dominant primary coloured interior is broken up with bits of wallpaper and comic book art, creating an interesting flow of movement, and giving the store a playful and relaxed feel.

The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to offer advice. You can also find a list of suggestions from them on the Staff Picks page. This page is updated weekly and is a great place to go for a little reading inspiration. Their website, in general, is worth exploring, it has everything you ever wanted from a Comic Bookstore website, and the bright colour palette can’t help but create a little happiness.

Orbital Website

Open for more than a decade, Orbital is London’s most colourful comic shop and holds a special place in our heart, for that and their incredible selection of comics and comic merchandise we crown them our BOOKSTORE OF THE WEEK!

You can find them online at www.orbitalcomics.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Never miss a beat, sign-up to their Newsletter.

Visit them:

8 Great Newport Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 7JA
020 7240 0591 
Mon to Sat 10.30am-7pm
Sun 11.30am-5pm


Bookstore of the Week – GOSH! Comics

Gosh! Comics London

We are letting our geek flag fly with this week’s Bookstore.

We are celebrating the one, the only GOSH! Comics. GOSH! are veterans in their field selling incredible comics, graphic novels and anything else you could ever dream of related to the comic book genre, for the past 25 years.

It moved to a new home on Berwick Street around 3 years ago, leaving behind it’s Bloomsbury roots in search of the vibrant energy of Soho. Their new store also got a brand new look. The Soho space has something of an industrial feel with large old factory lights and a concrete ceiling. The place is oozing character from the counter tops made out of old desktops to wooden stock shelves, all holding a striking array of comic books and graphic novels; from both well-known and indie names. They even have a section for high design children’s books.

Inside Gosh Comics

With events coming out of their ears GOSH! is the place to go to engage with your favourite artists and talent previously unknown to you. They are ever the home of one of our publishers; SelfMadeHero, and they hosted super-talent Jeffrey Brown on his UK tour in 2013.

Jeffrey Brown Painting GOSH window

Jeffrey Brown painted an incredible window for them depicting his take on the Star Wars™ universe.

Jeff window painting

We are big fans of Gosh! and not just because we grew-up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and reading comic books. We love Gosh because they are experts in their field and you can tell they love what they do the moment you walk in the store. They continue to thrive in a niche section of a declining industry because they are passionate. For that reason, Gosh Comics, we salute you! Keep doing your thing because we can’t get enough!

In their own words:

“Our range of graphic novels is second to none, and we’re always striving to source new and interesting product, whatever the genre. From translated European albums to mainstream superhero antics; vintage children’s books to contemporary graphic fiction; compulsively readable manga to cutting edge small press: we’ve got something for everyone.”

In the words of their fans:

“I got seriously derailed by my visit here, spending 2 hours reading the first few pages of dozens of comics. The selection can’t be beat, and I discovered so many things while here.” Kendall M 

“Great comic shop! Very in the know! Exclusive deals directly from the cartoonist! Special events all the time! Something for everyone even if you’ve never read a comic!” Clockwork C.

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