It feels like Marjorie is barely holding everything together at the family laundromat. Her widowed father has pretty much checked out, there's a weird yoga entrepreneur looking to repossess the property, and the place might be haunted. By a genuine ghost. In a sheet with eye-holes. Thummler's book is gorgeous to behold: the finely-observed, colorful illustrations are as inviting as a giant bowl of Fruit Loops. It's an appropriate compliment to her whimsical, touching story, which navigates grief while still putting a huge smile on the reader's face. It's like a clean clothes smell for your heart. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
Tom Taylor’s father wrote a Harry Potter-like fantasy series about him when he was a child, instilling in him a deep knowledge of literature and making him a begrudging literary celebrity. When a secret cabal with historic roots begins to disrupt and threaten Tom and his friends’ lives, he discovers that the lines between his fictional past and the world around him start to blur. ~ Reviewed by Joe Michon-Huneau
There's a genre of fiction where a lone person living after the end of the world finds a wild dog, and through mutual respect form a bond, look out for each other, and provide companionship for each other.
In Giant Spider & Me, the person is 12 year old Nagi, the dog is an arachnid the size of a small car, and the bond is formed over food. The story itself is very sweet and relaxing - Asa, the titular spider, is very cute (even when they're shown being terrifying) and I kinda want an Asa of my own. And startlingly, it is a cooking manga, so in each chapter Nagi prepares a different dish, talking through it for anyone that might be listening as well as for the reader, and afterward an ingredient list for the recipe is displayed with a full-page splash of the finished dish.
Ultimately, it's the perfect read for a quiet, rainy day, and now I really want to try making pumpkin dumplings. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis
Over twenty years in the making, Jason Lutes panoramic epic of Berlin in the '20s and '30s is one of the great graphic novels. Artists, musicians, Nazis, socialists and ordinary people rub shoulders, hop beds and clash on the streets in an unruly pageant with shades of Otto Dix and Fritz Lang. Looming over it all is the city, its monuments and tenements startlingly realized in Lutes' precise line. Read it and be left breathless. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley
New Yorker cartoonist Liane Finck hasn't created your typical graphic memoir. In telling the story of an artist looking for her lost "shadow," she confronts the very source of her creativity. Drawing on Bible stories, her parents' secrets, dreams and a very personal folklore, Finck explores in haunting black and white illustrations what it means to mature into a personal vision. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley