Staff Picks – Week of 04/04/2018

The Reprieve
Jean-Pierre Gibrat
Euro Comics

Thomas says: Set in 1943 this prequel to the excellent Flight of the Raven follows Julien Sarlat as he hides from the war.

I absolutely loved the first book, the art was sumptuous and the story ebbed and flowed with the drama and tranquility of the moment with a deceptive ease that made the story stand out even more than it had already.

Though I haven’t had a chance to read my copy yet it only needs to be half as good as the first book to be heads and shoulders above most of what’s out this week and this week saw the release of The Flash by Said V.4, Prison Ship and the deluxe hardcover of Global Frequency.

The Times I Knew I Was Gay
Eleanor Crewes
Good Comics

Joe says: Joe says: I’ve never read an autobiographical comic that felt so honest. The soft pencil illustrations are beautiful and the hand-lettered pages give the impression of a diary. The loosely chronological narrative is broken up by snapshots of the authors life and there’s a lack of pretence that just makes this a charming and potentially important read. A story of self-discovery that’s wonderfully positive. Highly recommended.

Your Black Friend and Other Strangers
Ben Passmore
Silver Sprocket

Adam says: Your Black Friend deserved to win at last year’s Eisners. As a single story, it’s an urgent piece of thoughtful and critical comics. In my actual life, I genuinely lend copies of the single issue to white friends. It captures, in gorgeous inky visual poetry, so many of the micro-aggressions people of colour incur on a daily basis.

In addition to being a fearless storyteller, Ben Passmore is brilliantly witty, with a great satirical voice. His work for The Nib has been stellar, and a bunch of it is collected in this sweet volume. The peppering in of serious literary or scholarly references in a non-patronising way adds both weight and balance to these short strips. Passmore’s work is really a great example of sincere art with sincere purpose. And as a publisher, Silver Sprocket don’t seem to misfire, and that’s giving me hope for comics.

Redlands Volume 1
Jordie Bellaire (w), Vanesa Del Rey (a)
Image Comics

Adam says: Back again with my second pick for this week!

Redlands is regularly described as ‘cathartic’, and rightly so. Two of the strongest creative voices the industry has right now have come together to weave a compelling tale of restorative justice, and one that absolutely refuses to shy away from violence, grit, and pain. Del Rey’s art is incomparable at this point: she draws from dark spaces to create haunting beauty, all framed by meticulous and powerful layouts. The most prolific colourist in comics today, Bellaire’s narrative writing voice is also unlike any other. She writes her characters with authority, and her sensitive and subversive use of witchcraft puts this book beyond any other genre pieces currently going.