Baobab #3

By Igort
32 pages, two-color
Published by Fantagraphics Books

Sometimes, it’s good to be patient. That’s what immediately leapt to my mind this summer when Fantagraphics Books (in association with Coconico Press) released Baobab #3, part of their Ignatz Series line. Created by Ignatz Series founder Igort, it’s been two years since the last issue, and my first inclination was if I’d waited this long for another installment, maybe I should just wait out a few additional years for an inevitable graphic novel collection. All it took was one quick glance at the comic, though, and I realized that two years was a long enough wait.

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Love and Rockets: New Stories #1

Written by Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, and Mario Hernandez
Art by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez
104 pages, black and white
Published by Fantagraphics

In late 1991, a good friend of mine handed me a stack of Love and Rockets comics with the comment, "You have to read these." I’ve been a fan of the Hernandez Brothers’s comics ever since then, with the only real constant being that I never would know what to expect next. Now they’ve finally left the single-issue comic format behind, releasing Love and Rockets: New Stories as a thick annual format, giving each of the brothers more room in a single release. And the end result? Well, let’s just say that once again, they’ve shown that I really had no idea what to expect.

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New Tales of Old Palomar #1

By Gilbert Hernandez
32 pages, black and white
Published by Fantagraphics Books

A “fill-in” in the comics world usually refers to a series where guest creators step in to work on an issue to keep the production schedule moving forward. In other industries, though, “fill-in” has a very different meaning. For example, a “fill-in” in a transit system has to do with adding in a station to the middle of an existing line, such as a train or subway system. It’s with that in mind that I think of Gilbert Hernandez’s New Tales of Old Palomar as being a fill-in; not because it’s a different creator working on the book, but because Hernandez is stepping back to an earlier point in his long-running series of stories and inserting these new adventures into the middle.

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Delphine #1

By Richard Sala
32 pages, two-color
Published by Fantagraphics Books

Richard Sala is the sort of creator whose works straddle all sorts of genres and classifications, but is always unmistakable. While his style has been refined and continues to evolve over the years, its off-beat, slightly-tilted-from-reality sensibility continues to remain as Sala’s hallmark. Delphine, Sala’s new series for the international Ignatz comic line, is no exception to that rule.

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They Found The Car

By Gipi
32 pages, two-color
Published by Fantagraphics Books and Coconino Press

A good title can get you, just like that. They Found The Car is such a nebulous, mysterious statement that it leads the reader to start guessing before they’ve even opened the book. Was the car deliberately or accidentally lost? Is the discovery a good thing? And what will this car’s finding set in motion? It’s a whole set of questions created by the reader, and what makes it even better is that in Gipi’s new comic his goal seems to keep the reader continually questioning just what’s going to happen next.

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Ganges #1

By Kevin Huizenga
32 pages, two-color
Published by Fantagraphics Books and Coconino Press

Out of all the books in the “Ignatz” line, I have to admit that the one I’ve been really looking forward to is Kevin Huizenga’s Ganges. While I’m still planning on sampling the rest of the line before too long, I’ve got to say that the rest of the Ignatz line has a lot to live up to now in my mind that Ganges is here.

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Peculia and the Groon Groove Vampires

By Richard Sala
80 pages, black and white
Published by Fantagraphics Books

Ever since I first encountered Richard Sala’s work in his animated short “Invisible Hands” (for MTV’s Liquid Television) I’ve been a fan. Reading his new graphic novel Peculia and the Groon Groove Vampires, I’m reminded once more why I think Sala’s work is so great; it’s not quite like anything else out there, but in the best possible way.

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