Graphics: Heroes, Drugged and Batman


My heroes have always been addicted

By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Image Comics; 72 pages; $ 22.99

Now there is a title that will get your attention in the bookstore and a beautiful cover to accompany you.

For the past 12 years, the Criminal series has probably been the most consistent work in comics, one of the most exciting partnerships in the medium. This new graphic novel fits into this epic of seven chapters but also stands out as a sad, slow-burning story that catches the eye of new readers.

It focuses on a new character, the teenage Ellie, a patient in a rehab clinic. She is troublesome, not just because she is obsessed with tragic heroes like Judy Garland, Gram Parsons and Billie Holiday.

Anything new from Brubaker and Philips is worth it anyway, but this time they adopted the new approach of creating a graphic novel published in a beautiful hardback book. It is a must.

Bad friends

From Ancco

Design & Quarterly; 176 pages; $ 24.95

A strong narrative quality sometimes is to make the reader think, "This could have been me." That's what Bad Friends is all about.

As Drawn & Quarterly continues to republish some of the world's greatest graphic novels in Canada, this work from Korea ranks among the best. Ancco's fictional work, based on his own experiences, tells of a young girl's bad behavior and the dangerous places she takes.

It's an easy read, but a challenging subject. The rebels and fugitives in this story seem too real, and the risks they run put them in danger. Abuse of parents, teachers and other young people is a shock, especially when you realize that this can be almost a child.

And this is a story of friendship. Told in part in flashback, she has an older, sober main character reflecting on her friend's experiences and what might have happened.

Home After Dark

By David Small

Penguin Random House; 416 pages; $ 32.95

If you are looking for a book to occupy a lazy afternoon, this is the one. Home After Dark, the new work of David Small, who deservedly received rave reviews for his memoir Stitches, will lure him for hours.

It's the 1950s and Russell Pruitt is 13 years old. After his mother leaves, Russell and his father move to a small town in Southern California where Russell struggles to adapt.

There is a lot of content about ripening here, which is excellent, although familiar with graphic novels. Here there is an additional layer of being part of a single parent family, often left alone, and the effect this can have on a teenager.

The most eye-catching quality comes from the book's rhythm, with a style that combines crisp lines and greywash texture, sparse dialogue, and open layouts series that combine to create a page-turning rhythm that is rewarding.

Batman: White Knight

By Sean Murphy, with Matt Hollingsworth

DC Comics; 232 pages; $ 25.99

Some of the best comics begin with the phrase "What if …?" It starts with "What if the Joker was healed?" Well, Batman would go crazy. This is a great idea.

By law, one of the most buzzworthy comic books of 2018, White Knight was collected under the brand name DC Black Label that should be daring; for example, recently caused a stir with a completely frontal and naked Batman.

But unlike Batman, this story does not need tricks. It's great, with the ex-Joker clown trying to make amends by taking down the most dangerous man in town: Batman.

He has several superhero appearances (possibly including Harley Quinn's most intriguing treatment in comics), but his real strength is the treatment of deeper issues such as political activism, mental illness, and police corruption. And, no spoilers, but beware of the Batmobiles. So cool.


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