By Paul Hornschemeier
256 pages, black and white, with two-color
Published by AdHouse Books

Think back to the first time you tried to do something that requires talent, something that over the years you’ve improved at greatly. Are you cringing? That’s a reaction that most of us have; when you’ve gotten good at something, it’s tough to look back at those earlier, faltering steps. I think that’s what initially intrigued me so much about the new Sequential hardback collection. Paul Hornschemeier’s comics like Mother, Come Home and Return of the Elephant completely enchanted me, so a chance to see his earliest self-published book made me wonder: was Hornschemeier always this good?

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No Dead Time

Written by Brian McLachlan
Art by Tom Williams
132 pages, black and white
Published by Oni Press

It’s tough to work with idiots. That’s a thought that has probably run through the head of every person to ever hold a job. It’s a little disdainful, sure, but often it’s the truth. I think that’s what initially grabbed my attention about No Dead Time. So often people are overly sarcastic and put others down with no good reason. In the case of Nozomi and Seth, though, you really can’t blame them one bit.

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Written by Neal Shaffer
Art by Luca Genovese
112 pages, black and white
Published by Oni Press

Neal Shaffer’s last graphic novel, Last Exit Before Toll, was a book that could best be summed up as one that concentrated more on mood and tone than plot. That’s not a bad thing, although if you aren’t expecting it, the end result can be a little startling. That’s more or less the same feeling I got from his new book The Awakening; this is a book where the most important thing is the feeling Shaffer’s trying to evoke from the reader, and that feeling is one of dread.

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