Here are the books and comics I'm most looking forward to that come out in August!
After the Rain is the graphic novel adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor's story "On the Road". The story is adapted by John Jennings and illustrated by David Brame. After the Rain is slated to come out in January of 2021. I received an advanced copy through NetGalley. The story follows Chioma, a Nigerian-American detective from Chicago, who is on a trip to a Nigerian village to visit some of her relatives. After the beginning of her visit is plagued by a fierce rainstorm lasting days on end, Chioma finds herself in trouble when she answers the door to a boy with a serious head injury. His touch burns Chioma and things begin to spiral out of control.
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is one of the latest entries in DC's recent effort at targeting original graphic novels at the YA audience. I've found the campaign to be largely successful, including some great entries like Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass and Shadow of the Batgirl. DC recruited NY Times bestselling YA author Laurie Halse Anderson to pen Tempest Tossed and got one of my favorite artists, in Leila del Duca, to illustrate. Any book with art by del Duca is about as close as you'll get to an auto-read for me. The book's creative team is notably comprised of only women. Colorist Kelly Fitzgerald and letter Siena Temosonte round out the team.
Dragon Ball Super, vol. 3 is the third volume in the revived Dragon Ball series from Akira Toriyama. This series finds Toriyama himself taking over the story telling duties on the series for the first time since Dragon Ball Z concluded. With the help of artist Toyotaro, Toriyama is once again telling stories about the characters and in the world of one of the most well-known manga of all time.
November volume 2 picks up in the immediate aftermath of the first volume that came out last year. This volume is about the same length as the first volume, coming in at about 80 pages. I think the release model for the series is pretty interesting. You'll end up with amounts to a pretty hefty graphic novel coming out in three chunks over the course of about 18 months.
It's a little bit early, but here are my favorite things that I read in June 2020. Most of them had been released before this month. It was a month marked by trying to focus on primarily reading work from Black creators. It was also a month marked by having difficulty focusing on reading, spending a good deal of time doomscrolling instead. Nonetheless, I still managed to read quite a bit and discovered some great works from authors old and new to me.
This was absolutely bonkers. Usually I start a review by giving a brief synopsis of what the book is about, but I felt this one warranted a bit of commentary first. Crocodile Baron is a manga about a talking, high-class crocodile novelist who is always on the search for the finest culinary treats that Japan has to offer. Donning his top hat, with his side-kick, Rabbit, in-tow, Crocodile departs to a new area of Japan in each chapter after hearing about the best place to get Japanese favorites like Udon or Takoyaki. If that sounds like a pretty crazy premise for a book, it's only because it absolutely is.
Rep. John Lewis, the Congressman serving Georgia's 5th district since 1987, is one of the most titanic figures of the United States Civil Rights movement from the 1950's and 1960's. In a trilogy of graphic novels, co-written by Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell, Lewis recounts his involvement in the movement. Across the three books, virtually every major event during the movement is covered. This history of the battle for justice and equality for Black Americans is essential knowledge as the fight continues well into the twenty-first century. March serves as a reminder of how far the nation was able to progress due to the sheer, unrelenting will of African Americans during Rep. Lewis' life and just how far we collectively have to go.
LaGuardia is a 4-issue series written by Hugo award winning author Nnedi Okorafor with art by Tana Ford. The series is part of the Berger Books imprint at Dark Horse that's run by legendary former Vertigo editor Karen Berger. Taking place an indeterminate amount of time in the future, LaGuardia finds an Earth where aliens are now integrated with human society. Future, a pregnant Nigerian-American doctor, is returning home to New York City after several years living in Lagos, Nigeria. Future's stated reason for returning home is to raise her child at home in America, but some mystery surrounds Citizen, the father of her child, and the sentient illegal plant named Letme Live that Future has smuggled into the United States.
As part of an effort to boost Black voices in the comics and book community, I'm trying to mostly only read works by Black writers and artists for the month of June. This time I pulled down one I've been looking forward to for a while. Bitter Root , Vol. 1 collects the first 5 issues of the series written by David F. Walker and Chuck Brown and drawn by Sanford Greene. A sci-fi/horror series about a family of Black monster hunters living in 1920's Harlem, it felt like a natural fit to read this month.