10 BOOKS TO SEEK OUT THIS FREE COMIC BOOK DAY

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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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Georgia’s Corner: Tinie Tempah, B*Witched & RuPaul’s Drag Race, so long March.

With our glasses, style icon status and possession of so many clothes we keep some in our aunt’s house, Tinie Tempah and I are practically as one. This month we consolidated our similarities by both openly declaring our admiration for the Alexander McQueen exhibition which has opened this month at the V&A. It’s a jaw-dropping collection and you could happily spend hours losing yourself in the cabinet of curiosities and gazing at the hologram of Kate Moss which appears like a milky puff and swirls into a life-size Moss swathed in rippling white organza. It’s 100% worth getting V&A membership just to attend this exhibition – and, at any rate, sitting under the embellished dome of the V&A café and getting your kicks in the silver galleries is literally the only sane way to spend a Sunday.

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If you can’t get to the exhibition, get the book. It details every collection McQueen ever masterminded, from his graduate Masters show to his final show, it’s heavy on the armadillo shoes and the cover is pleasingly tactile in snakeskin scales.

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Lots more lovely publishing in March. Huck Magazine had a party for the launch of Paddle Against the Flow, which is full of cool people like Nas saying things like ‘Music changed my life. It gave me a new vocabulary to negotiate my feelings’. It’s unclear specifically which music Nas is referring to, but the sentiment strongly resonates with our Friday-afternoon enjoyment of B*Witched ‘C’est La Vie’. The beauty of these nuggets of wisdom is their openness to interpretation.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the party as by then I had hung up my Jon Hamm-o-phone and jetted off to Italy, armed with a copy of The Cognoscenti’s Guide to Florence. Louise Fili’s sage counsel led me to gelaterie overlooking the Ponte Vecchio, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, and most importantly, to Dolceforte, where they actually wrapped (with a ribbon) my indulgent self-gift of a 5 euro chocolate bar. It’s service like this that you just don’t get at Tesco on Clerkenwell Road. I was also inspired by another one of Louise’s gems, Grafica della Strada, to significantly delay our sightseeing by photographing examples of Italian street signage at every corner.

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On my return, it was business as usual: I alienated my coworkers with my nascent obsession with Game of Thrones (‘guys, her name is Daenerys, Khaleesi is just her Dothraki title’); I received a Neville Longbottom-related email from Emma entitled ‘We Long For His Bottom’; we ramped up plans for our Sales Conference and the London Book Fair; and our entire team congregated in the conference room for a lunchtime session of RuPaul’s Drag Race and pizza.

Last but not least, our lovely Olivia is on the move so we are looking out for a new Sales Assistant, preferably one who, like Liv, is able to eat a four-course Christmas dinner while dressed as a Christmas tree. If you want to work in an office whose toilets are officially titled the ‘Amazon Suite’, please email dpocock@abramsandchronicle.co.uk.

Sashay away.

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