Alphabetical Index of NBM / Papercutz

Great Expectations

Classics Illustrated relaunched with Rick Geary’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Previously published in 1990, this short reprint hits the high notes of the story of orphan Pip growing up to become a gentleman. I find illustrations very handy in understanding the context of a classic set in another time and place, and Geary doesn’t disappoint. His unique faces are well-suited to a story with so much conversation, since the cast can be instantly distinguished, and he shows their […]

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Little Nothings: The Curse of the Umbrella

Little Nothings reprints painted pages from Lewis Trondheim’s comic blog. He draws himself as a bird-headed man, with small, everyday observations: watching people at the train station, his failure at gardening, conversations with his kids, watching movies, travel. There’s a whole sequence about going on vacation to a tropical island. Instead of being jealous of him, though, it’s a comedy, as his paranoia about disease carried by mosquito prevents him from enjoying himself. The running gag becomes visual, with the […]

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The Wind in the Willows

Given that Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows is 100 years old this year, I suspect many youngsters only know it, if they know it at all, as a ride at Disneyworld, instead of the classic children’s book it’s reported to be. I’d never read it before, myself, so I appreciated the chance to learn about the adventures of these woodland creatures, especially with such lovely pictures. Papercutz has chosen this adaptation by Michel Plessix (originally published in English […]

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Unholy Kinship

This odd little book could appeal to many of the various readers that make up the comic audience: It’s manga-sized (although fewer pages and in color) with bizarre talking animals. The style is European-influenced, and the art crowd will appreciate the dream logic and symbolism. Unholy Kinship is ambitious in its themes, and it’s a debut work from a young Swedish woman, Naomi Nowak. Sadly, this boundary crossing means that it’s likely that few readers will give the book a […]

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Boneyard

Boneyard collects the first four issues of Richard Moore’s horror humor series. A young man has inherited a remote small-town property from his grandfather. He only wants to sell it and leave the area, until he finds out that the property is a graveyard with an odd group of inhabitants. Although they’re monsters, they’re more welcoming to him than the townsfolk. The art is confident and cinematic. Mr. Moore’s work has the entertainment and simple lines of a cartoon, drawn […]

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Brownsville

Brownsville is a quality book, obviously a labor of love and skill from two talents, writer Neil Kleid and artist Jake Allen. The presentation is handsome, an easy-to-read hardcover at a reasonable price. The themes are universal, dealing with loyalty, different kinds of families, and the urge to belong. The subject is important, a well-researched story of the Jewish mob of the 1930s. It also happens to be one I’m simply not interested in. I don’t care for gangster stories, […]

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A Treasury of Victorian Murder

Rick Geary’s graphic novel series A Treasury of Victorian Murder presents the details of famous murder cases from long-ago eras, several of which are unsolved or contain a number of questions still unanswered. Because the mysteries are so old, instead of seeming creepy, the situations feel quaint, and the reader is flattered by having their interest assumed to be historical instead of prurient. Still, the motives are universal, and human nature no different from then to now. Think of this […]

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How Loathsome

The cover of How Loathsome features an attractive, androgynous figure naked from the waist up with arms wrapped around him/herself. S/he’s wearing black PVC pants, suggesting fetish culture, and appears to be comforting or protecting him/herself from prying gazes. It’s a great summation of the material contained within. The stories by Ted Naifeh and Tristan Crane explore queer life, drug use, goth clubs, and gender experimentation in San Francisco. In the first chapter, Catherine, the narrator, meets Chloe, a “tall […]

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