Panel Mania: ‘Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass’

Eisner Award- and Caldecott Honor-winning comics writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Steve Pugh collaborate on Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, a new graphic novel about the teen years of Harleen Quinzel—better known as Harley Quinn—as she wanders the hallways of Gotham City High School.
In this 12-page excerpt, Harleen arrives in Gotham, broke, on a bus from a small town, and is taken in by a welcoming community of drag queens. Eventually she meets two people—teenage activist Poison Ivy and later, of course, the violent and anarchic young Joker—who will contribute to her transformation into the complex superhero she is destined to become.
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is available now from DC.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and also appeared on publishersweekly.com.

Panel Mania: ‘Pittsburgh’ by Frank Santoro

Frank Santoro’s Pittsburgh is an imaginatively rendered graphic memoir that memorializes the lives of the author’s parents and their marriage in 1960s Pittsburgh in an effort to make sense of their breakup.
Beautifully illustrated in a style all its own, Pittsburgh is an irresistible, almost ethereal, family epic, and a vivid tribute to the city and its people and neighborhoods.
In this 12-page excerpt, Santoro introduces the reader to his parents and his grandparents in a segment of the book set in Pittsburgh in 1968.
Pittsburgh is available now from New York Review Comics.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and also appeared on publishersweekly.com.

Panel Mania: ‘The Forbidden Harbor’

Teresa Radice and Stefano Turconi’s beautifully illustrated graphic novel Forbidden Harbor combines high adventure, betrayal, and mystery on the open sea with a deeply moving love story in a richly imagined literary tribute to the ships, sailors, and mythologies of 19th-century tall ship sailing.
In this nine-page excerpt, the crew of the Explorer discovers a mysterious stowaway and takes him to the ship’s captain, Nathan MacLeod. The captain quickly realizes that he and the young man share an unexplainable connection to a woman MacLeod has fallen deeply in love with. Forbidden Harbor will be published in September by NBM.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and also appeared on publishersweekly.com.

Panel Mania: ‘Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival’

Legendary underground comics artist, editor, and feminist Diane Noomin served as the editor for Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival, a comics anthology that features a foreword by Roxane Gay.
The book is a powerful and instructive collection of short stories by 60 female artists—each of them offering personal accounts of sexual abuse, using art to reclaim individual power, and challenging a culture of pervasive sexual predation.
This excerpt includes three stories: Lee Mars’s “Got Over It”; Carol Lay’s “A Sampler of Misdeeds”; and Ajuan Mance’s “Delusion of Safety.”
Drawing Power will be published by Abrams ComicArts in September.
TRIGGER WARNING: This excerpt contains information about and images of sexual assault and/or violence that may be triggering to readers.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and also appeared on publishersweekly.com.

Panel Mania: ‘Me, Mikko, and Annikki’ by Tiitu Takalo

In this deeply researched work of graphic nonfiction, Finnish comics artist Tiitu Takalo has created an inspiring history of a grass roots movement to save an historic neighborhood from demolition, as well as a love story.

Takalo tells the story Tammela, a deteriorating though richly historical neighborhood of wooden homes in the city of Annikki, Finland, slated to be demolished. That is, until the neighborhood organizes and manages to save it. This 11-page excerpt provides background on the Tammela neighborhood and on Takalo’s relationship to it.

Me, Mikko, and Annikki by Tiitu Takalo (translated by Michael Demson and Helena Halmari) will be published by North Atlantic Books in August.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and also appeared on publishersweekly.com.

Panel Mania: ‘Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction’ by Inio Asano

Set in Tokyo, three years after a mammoth alien spaceship arrived to hover menacingly over the city, Inio Asano’s charming and unusual sci-fi manga series Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction follows the lives of two irresistible girls—Kadode and Ontan—as they navigate high school, friends, and family stuff under the open-ended threat of alien invasion and interplanetary war.

Asano has turned manga’s magical schoolgirl trope into fully realized characters: two funny, ironic, pop culture- and social media-obsessed gamers, who readers follow through the urban landscape of a Tokyo cluttered with mysterious and weirdly docile alien invaders.

In this 12-page excerpt, a mysterious Japanese arms firm prepares for the worse, while Kadode, who just graduated from high school, works up the courage to ask her longtime crush if they can become a couple.

Viz will publish Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction Vol. 6 in July.

© 2014 Inio Asano

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and also appeared on publishersweekly.com.

Panel Mania: ‘LaGuardia’ By Nnedi Okorafor

In this engaging graphic novel, Nebula Award-winning sci-fi author Okorafor wittily turns New York City’s LaGuardia Airport into LaGuardia Interplanetary Airport and into a pointed allegorical indictment of the United States’s current racist anti-immigration policies.

Set in a future in which Nigeria has welcomed and benefited from extraterrestrial immigration (although not without conflict), Nigerian-American doctor Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka flees from Lagos to New York, where she grew up. She is pregnant, but also smuggling an intelligent plant-like alien—a refugee, in other words—that is fleeing violence.

Okorafor perfectly captures the absurdity and calamity of our current political moment and her artist co-creators render it in vividly and richly colored drawings.

LaGuardia by Nnedi Okorafor and artists Tana Ford and James Devlin will be published in July by Dark Horse/Berger Books.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and also appeared on publishersweekly.com.

Panel Mania: ‘BTTM FDRS’ by Ezra Claytan Daniels and Ben Passmore

In this quirky satire of gentrification, race, and cultural appropriation, Darla, a young, hip black designer, accompanied by her ditzy, trend-crazy white childhood friend, look for a cheap apartment in a now-gentrified urban neighborhood only to discover a monstrous new kind of urban blight.

Written by Ezra Claytan Daniels (Upgrade Soul) and drawn by Ben Passmore (Your Black Friend), BTTM FDRS is a savvy, grisly, comic urban monster story for the social media generation. Below is a 10-page excerpt from BTTM FDRS, which will be published in June by Fantagraphics.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and also appeared on publishersweekly.com.

Panel Mania: ‘The Silent Invasion’ by Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock

First published in 1999 and revived last year, Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock’s The Silent Invasion is back with another volume of the original material.

Filtered through the lens of anti-communist witch hunts, alien flying saucers, and loopy cult conspiracies, The Silent Invasion is a byzantine sci-fi mystery/thriller that stylishly recreates 1950s middle-class America in all its kooky, paranoid glory.

In this 13-page preview, dogged reporter Matt Sinkage is on the run from mysterious forces and determined to uncover the truth about an alien invasion.

The Silent Invasion: The Great Fear Vol. 2 will be published this month by NBM.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and also appeared on publishersweekly.com.

Panel Mania: ‘Cannonball’ by Kelsey Wroten

Kelsey Wroten’s new graphic novel, Cannonball, is by turns a satirical social portrait of a queer, binge-drinking, abrasively ambitious young writer and a hilarious meditation on artistic purity and self-delusion.
Dumped by her girlfriend, surrounded—in her opinion—by philistines and sellouts, and usually broke, novelist Caroline Bertram escapes her abusive middle-class family home determined to write a literary masterpiece and settle a few scores. Obsessed with a cheesy female pro wrestler and driven by rarified artistic ambition, Bertram is relentlessly entertaining, no matter whether she’s wallowing in boozy self-pity or spewing lengthy, hyper-articulate rants at friends, enemies, or anyone who will put up with her.
This is a 10-page excerpt from Cannonball, which will be published this month by Uncivilized Books.

This piece was produced in partnership with Publishers Weekly and appeared on publishersweekly.com.