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Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)

The gentle mockery of Chast’s New Yorker one-pagers blossoms into an affecting full-length narrative that captures the simultaneously endearing and annoying habits of parents, as the author tries to negotiate the twilight years of her own mother and father.

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The Wrenchies

Farel Dalrymple (Roaring Brook/First Second)

From the moment two brothers wander into a cave at the beginning of this dazzling, beautifully illustrated metacomic, the roller-coaster ride begins. The Wrenchies are both a gang of tough kids lost in a bleak netherworld, and a quirky group of superheros miraculously conceived to save them.

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How to Be Happy

Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics)

Like a Little Golden Book for depressed adults, this thoughtful short story collection showcases Davis’s virtuoso range of art styles in vignettes that spotlight how people approach the search for happiness, from clueless to suddenly, painfully aware.

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The Love Bunglers

Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)

Hernandez returns to the lives of his unforgettable heroines, Maggie and Hopey. They’re much older now, and he fills in the years we missed, reviving Maggie’s love affair with Ray Dominguez. Jumping back and forth in literary time, he reveals a lifetime of rejections, infidelities, goofy friends, and the loving connections at the root of Maggie Chascarillo’s irresistible personality.

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Beautiful Darkness

Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët (Drawn & Quarterly)

A band of tiny fairies escape from the rotting corpse of a young girl and find a world of moral corruption even more destructive than the physical decay. The two-person team known as Kerascoët provides luscious fairy tale art that gives a syrupy satirical edge to the dark deeds.

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