February 9, 2011 |
If you don't understand the healthcare act President Obama signed into law last year, maybe a comic strip or two can help. MIT economist and presidential advisor Jonathan Gruber is helping create a graphic novel to better explain the law -- just as repeal efforts are taking hold in Congress. Don't expect any superheroes or caped crusaders in this explanation. The book, due out in September, has the straightforward title "Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How it Works.
November 19, 2010 |
"I try to control it ? try to focus in on the good things ? waking up with Sarah on a clear, beautiful day ? walking with her through Chinatown, the sky impossibly bright and blue. Everything bright and clean and new ? but my eyes always drift ? I always look down. " That's how the dream always goes for Doug, the main character of Charles Burns' new graphic novel, "X'ed Out. " In a Burns comic, you just know things aren't going to go well from there. Fans of Burns, who haven't seen a major work out of him since 2004's "Black Hole," will be happy to know he's in fine form.
October 24, 2010 |
I am a latecomer to graphic novels. Years ago, my truly literary friends tried to turn me on to the groundbreaking art of the "Sandman" books (Neil Gaiman and various artists) and "Love and Rockets" (Los Bros. Hernandez). I admit I felt about those books the way I feel about great horror movies: I could admire the art, but they did not make my heart sing. When I was editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review in the 1990s, I tried without success to get one or another of those literary friends to commit their intriguing ideas about the emerging world of graphic novels to a piece for the Book Review, but they were apparently keeping their enthusiasms to themselves and their aficionados.
October 24, 2010 |
The Little Prince A Graphic Novel adapted from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Joann Sfar Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 110 pp., $19.99 "The Little Prince" has long been beloved for its bittersweet pairing of a lost man and a searching youth. In the 67-year-old classic written by French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a little blond boy leaves his home on Asteroid B-612 and lands in the middle of the Sahara desert, where he meets a stranded pilot desperate to fix his plane.
October 22, 2010 |
To help prepare Navy medical corpsmen for the stress and danger of Afghanistan deployments, the Navy has turned to a modern form of popular culture: the graphic novel. Although graphic novels fill several shelves at most large bookstores, their use by the military is relatively new and represents a break from the usual training material that is heavy on the didactic and light on anything that could be labeled as entertainment. That's where "The Docs" comes in. It follows four fictional corpsmen as they deploy to Iraq and encounter combat, blood, death, and emotional tumult ?
October 3, 2010 |
The Night Bookmobile A Graphic Novel Audrey Niffenegger Abrams Comicarts: 40 pp., $19.95 What would a library of your entire life's reading contain? What kinds of material ? not just books, but anything you've ever read, such as instruction manuals, classified ads and cereal box tops ? would you find? Can you remember every single thing you've ever read? If you can't, don't worry: Alexandra, the main character in Audrey Niffenegger's graphic novel "The Night Bookmobile," discovers that there's a mysterious power in the universe keeping track of such things.
September 23, 2010
More than 300 authors will read and present at the West Hollywood Book Fair, one of the preeminent publishing events on the West Coast. It'll cover fiction, poetry, graphic novels, science fiction, mystery and YA with guests including new memoirists Sarah Silverman and Molly Ringwald. West Hollywood Park, 647 San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. 10 a.m. Sunday. Free. http://www.westhollywoodbookfair.org.
September 12, 2010 |
In young-adult fiction, look for the fall to squeeze every last drop of — excuse the expression — blood out of the vampire and supernatural creature trend. We've seen werewolves, ghosts, warrior fairies, zombies … where can we go next? Well, into younger age groups, for one. With her new novel "Radiance" (Square Fish/Feiwel and Friends, ages 9-12), for example, Alyson Noël spins off a new series about the ghostly younger sister from her "Immortals" books for ages 12 and older.
July 25, 2010 |
"There are many types of genres," declares the busy spine of Dash Shaw's monumental 2008 graphic novel, "Bottomless Belly Button" (Fantagraphics: 720 pp., $29.99) "This is: family comedy/drama/horror/mystery/romance." It's as much taxonomical cheat sheet as it is a boast: in being so reductive, Shaw also broadcasts his ambition. Formally inventive and emotionally acute, "Bottomless Belly Button" indeed proves to be all those things: as fascinating and affecting a depiction of family ties as Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections" or Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums."