There used to be a popular website called Stuff Overheard in New York (that, surprisingly, is still up) that highlighted all the odd things locals and visitors stumble across while moseying around the city. Considering there are 8 million people living here from all cultures, economic backgrounds, and walks of life, it’s no surprise that things gets a little weird from time to time.
Illustrator Andrea Tsurumi, who we wrote about last year for her hilarious mini comic about an ass-kicking Andrew Jackson, has a new ongoing series called Eavesdropper, which is a lot like the illustrated version of Stuff Overheard in New York. Presented like a visual diary, Tsurumi describes her city encounters day-by-day, observing the surprising politeness of “Don’t sit there!” or “Watch your bag!” and highlighting how entertaining one 5-minute transfer at the train station can be. If you liked this, Tsurumi also has another ongoing comic about books called Library Book.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, April 6th, 2016||No Comments »|
We know how most stories are supposed to start. A child is given a choice to leave their home in favor of a fantastical journey that will forever change them. This is known as the “call to adventure.”
In Sarah Jolley’s The Property of Hate, that call is made by a sardonic carnival barker with a television set for a head. Still with me? Good.
The Property of Hate, like many adventure stories, features a vibrant and imaginative world full of wondrous creatures and characters. But unlike most adventure stories, our protagonist, a child known only as “The Hero,” has no idea what she’s doing there or why. Blithely following her guide (the aforementioned TV-headed man named RGB) into a realm where existence is literally dictated by thought and imagination, The Hero soon comes to realize that she is trapped in a place where ideas can actually kill you. On top of all this, it appears that this magical world is on the verge of collapsing, with The Hero trapped inside.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, February 1st, 2016||No Comments »|
This year’s Black Comic Book Festival held in Harlem drew swarms of fans obsessed with Luke Cage, Sherlock and Holmes, and other superhero faire. Whit Taylor‘s tiny booth of mostly autobio comics quickly caught my eye, and I left with a copy of her comic Ghost expecting it to be a light-hearted, philosophical look at society.
Boy, was I wrong.
Instead I was left with an unparalleled experience that shocked me with its raw honesty. And yes, it’s a “twist,” but it’s a good kind of twist. The kind that doesn’t cheapen itself or dumb itself down, but actually elevates itself into another realm. I could bore you with a quick summary, but Ghost is the type of comic that’s more powerful if you go in blind with no expectations. Equal parts funny, inspiring, and heartbreaking, Ghost is a comic that’s not easily forgotten.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, January 20th, 2016||No Comments »|
“There are so many ways to sugarcoat this, but I’m going to be honest with you: this project was born out of anger,” wrote editor Bill Campbell in the introduction. Back when Ferguson, Missouri was shrouded with daily protests over the death of Michael Brown, who was shot dead by police officer Daniel Wilson, the country was a landfill of hot button issues no one really wanted to touch — issues of race, American exceptionalism, and the military industrial complex. But for some people, the best way to channel that anger and frustration was through art.
Artists Against Police Brutality: A Comic Book Anthology is a collection of comic, essays, and short stories about the damage police violence has done to black Americans. From cynical views of the American judicial system to singling out white liberals who misunderstand the issue, APB is a depressingly realistic take on the current racial climate in America. With contributions from more than 50 artists and illustrators, APB puts a human face, a personal touch, to stories most only read about in newspapers. AFB shortens the gap between impersonal news coverage and the reality of the people suffering from it, illustrating that the daily victims of police violence are more than just numbers.
All proceeds will go to the Innocence Project, an organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Monday, November 16th, 2015||No Comments »|
It’s hard to condense everything that makes up Liz Suburbia’s Sacred Heart into a short review. On the surface it’s a love letter to grungy garage punk-rock and the frenetic energy of small town youth. It’s also about faith, alienation, longing, fear, family, fanaticism, sex, murder, self-doubt, and monsters of both the fantastical and all-too real variety.
Surly and pragmatic Ben Schiller is growing up in the literal teenage wasteland of Alexandria.What at first glance appears to be an unremarkable if ramshackle American town is in fact home to a host of dark secrets, perhaps the most troubling being the mystery of why no one seems to be older than 18.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, October 19th, 2015||No Comments »|
How do I begin to describe the surreal, gut-bustingly funny, and all-too relatable humor of cartoonist Nick Sumida? A storyboard artist on the Nickelodeon children’s show Harvey Beaks, Sumida’s personal comics (collected under the title Snackies) are certainly targeted towards a very different demographic. The polar opposite of the idyllic and sweet Harvey Beaks, Sumida’s absurdist autobiographical comics are wrought with anxiety, self-deprecation, and nightmarish charm.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, September 28th, 2015||No Comments »|
Whether you’re a natural introvert, suffer from anxiety, or have a tendency to fret, Gemma Correll’s The Worrier’s Guide to Life will keep you laughing while lowering your stress levels to boot. With expert snark and wit, Correll reassures her readers who are in tight spots that life could be much, much worse and sets about making their sides split with her illustrated anecdotes on life. The self-proclaimed world champion worrier includes such funny comics as “palm reading for millennials,” “the dystopian zodiac,” and “a map of the introvert’s heart” to dish out advice that may or may not be reliable.
However, while the comics are hilarious, there’s an underlying seriousness to Correll’s tone, and readers who suffer from anxiety will definitely get the sense that the author sympathizes with their struggles. Many of the situations and advice that Correll dishes out will ease any worrier’s natural tendency to be overwhelmed by life because the comics aren’t laughing at you but with you. Her ability to poke fun at a variety of habits formed by worrywarts will not only ease your fears, but also make you feel refreshed to see an author struggle with the same issues and still see the humor of it all.
Correll’s quirky humor is definitely targeted to the Millennial set, but worriers of any age will enjoy reading her comics!
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, June 1st, 2015||1 Comment »|