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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Panel Mania: ‘Invisible Mafia’ by Brian Michael Bendis

Acclaimed comics writer Brian Michael Bendis takes the helm of Superman in Action Comics Vol. 1: Invisible Mafia, a lively new adventure about the Man of Steel.
In this nine-page excerpt, Superman has been falsely accused of causing a series of devastating fires and is forced to clear his name; Lois Lane, his wife and star Daily Planet reporter, has disappeared; and because the Daily Planet is losing readers, Perry White is pressuring his reporters for more and more scoops. If all of that weren’t enough, there’s a new and powerful supervillain in Metropolis who may be behind a growing and well organized criminal empire.
The hardcover collection of Invisible Empire Vol. 1 by Bendis and artists Ryan Sook, Patrick Gleason, and Yanick Paquette will be published by DC this month.
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Panel Mania: ‘Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America’ by Box Brown

In Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America, Box Brown surveys the broad history of marijuana, from its role in Hindu mythology to its importation into the Americas by Spain.

Brought into the U.S. by Mexican immigrants in the 19th century, marijuana eventually became associated with jazz musicians and inevitably became tainted by a racist social mythology—one that linked weed to violence and sex—which was used to justify legal restrictions of the drug.

In this illuminating work of graphic nonfiction, Brown provides a thoughtful look at the history, pharmacological affects, and legalization movement surrounding marijuana in North America. This is a 15-page excerpt.

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Panel Mania: ‘Tyler Cross: Angola’ by Fabien Nury and Brüno

In this excerpt from Tyler Cross: Angola, Fabien Nury and Brüno’s 1940s criminal antihero finds himself imprisoned in Louisiana’s notoriously brutal Angola State Prison after an easy insurance scam turns into a doublecross. Tough, taciturn, and relentless, Cross plots his escape, and his revenge, against a backdrop of back-breaking chain gang labor, vicious beatings, and a murderous Mafia takeover of the prison that turns inmates’ forced labor into profits for organized crime. Eventually, Cross makes them all pay for his suffering in this stylishly grim Euro-comics homage to American noir. Tyler Cross: Angola will be published this month by Hard Case Crime Comics.

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Panel Mania: ‘No Ivy League’ by Hazel Newlevant

In the forthcoming graphic memoir No Ivy League, Hazel Newlevant looks back on the summer when they were 17 years old and worked a seasonal job clearing ivy from the forest around Portland, Ore., where Newlevant grew up.

Homeschooled, affluent, and insulated, Newlevant is working for the first time alongside teens of different backgrounds, races, and social standings, and is soon forced to confront illusions about the world, white privilege, and Portland’s history of racial segregation.

No Ivy League will published by Roar, Lion Forge’s YA imprint, in August.

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Panel Mania: ‘A Fire Story’ by Brian Fies

In October 2017, a devastating wildfire destroyed the home of cartoonist Brian Fies along with 6,200 other homes in Northern California. A Fire Story is an unflinching account of the experiences of Fies, his family, and their neighbors—from losing their homes and all their possessions to the community’s determination to rebuild—just before and in the aftermath of the destruction.
Originally published as a webcomic immediately after the fire, Fies’s bracing and detailed account has been expanded into a powerful work of graphic nonfiction, created as a tribute to the survivors.
The Millions is pleased to offer readers a 10-page excerpt from A Fire Story, which will be published by Abrams ComicArts in March. 


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