Staff Picks – Week of 26/07/2017

Fog Over Tolbiac Bridge HC
Tardi (a), Léo Malet (w)
Fantagraphics Books

Tom says: Adapted from Malet’s excellent Nestor Burma series, Tardi, the creator of Adelle Blanc Sec, has given visual life to one of France’s best crime series. Having adapted five of the thirty-two Burma adventures, Tardi has been proclaimed as the only person with the visual sense to truly understand the novels, at least according to Malet.

Malet is famous for a number of reasons one of which being an associate of the amazing surrealist painter Rene Magritte, among others, whose work is as astonishing as it is heartbreaking, much like the detective fiction of Malet himself.

The Nestor Burma series always reminded me, at least superficially, of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries. They’re not the most complex or most involved works but there’s so much in common between Archie Goodwin and Burma in how they both handle and deal with Paris and Wolfe respectively, the two main ‘people’ in their lives.

And Tardi? Well . . . it’s Tardi, the man is a legend and with good reason. His art and storytelling are deceptively straightforward and have always been thoroughly engrossing. His ability to hook you and take you where he wants you to go has always amazed me and this book is a prefect example of that with Paris looming ever present in the story. This is a great book and I really hope we see more in the future.

Volcano Trash
Ben Sears
Koyama Press

Will says: Koyama Press sure have been spoiling us recently with mouth watering releases like Jesse Jacobs’ Crawl Space, and Jane Mai’s and An Nguyen’s So Pretty/Very Rotten. Ben Sears’ Volcano Trash is the latest addition to Koyama’s fantastic spring lineup. And I love it! Jam packed full of crazy sci-fi adventures and explosive action, Volcano Trash tells the latest escapade of the duo Plus Man and his robot pal Hank. Ben’s visuals are stunning, with absolutely delicious colours and some extremely clever panel composition. This book is beautifully paced and I’ve had an insane amount of fun reading it. Definitely a “comic of the year” contender for me!

Dokudami Tenement Volume 1
Takashi Fukutani
Black Hook Press

Karl says: Here is a hilarious slice of life manga about a young man coming to terms with life having moved to the city. Set in Tokyo in the late 70’s and early 80’s, this book lovingly captures the drudgery of work, the blossoming of new and strange relationships and relief through drunken episodes and sordid fetishism.

Highly regarded manga artist Takashi Fukutani originally had this published weekly in the early 1980’s and it was finally collected in 2006. The good people at Black Hook Press have published this excellent translation. We have copies of the book, a limited edition print and an exhibition of some of the original artwork in the Orbital Gallery until the 14th of August.