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Blood of the Virgin

Sammy Harkham (Pantheon)

The wunderkind creator of Poor Sailor returns with an acrobatic, mature magnum opus in which big themes of ambition and exploitation are screened against a lurid, adroitly drawn vision of grindhouse underground filmmaking in 1970s L.A. Watch out for the capsule histories of how Hollywood destroys people, inset between the main feature.


Impossible People: A Completely Average Recovery Story

Julia Wertz (Black Dog and Leventhal)

In Wertz’s raw and raucous misadventure memoir of getting sober, it’s the friends met along the way who imbue her trademark snarky storytelling with heart—though the results are just as hilarious as ever. Through scenes of binge-drinking, bad boyfriends, and the back of diners where she finds her people in unofficial after-hours support groups, Wertz inspires, in spite of herself.



Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)

The world ends in a fiery apocalypse in Clowes’s uncanny, time-hopping, and genre-bending comics stories, which circle ever more ominously around a striving young woman whose negligent hippie mom left her for a psychedelic cult­—and that’s far from the most shocking scene. This Lynchian character study references classic comics through Clowes’s genius deadpan style. It’s a real marvel.



Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)

The Caldecott Medal–winning cousins’ new graphic novel enchants, even if readers only come to gawk at the gorgeous art that renders Manhattan in the aughts as seen through the eyes of three Canadian college students on a weekend trip. The city unfolds through evocative blue and pink hued double-page spreads of parks, subway rides, pizza joints, and museums bursting with period details. Alongside these urban scenes emerges a subtly told coming-of-age, friendship-and-flirtation narrative fraught with early adulthood angst.


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