Say it with comics

So you’re among the legion of people who are grateful to Fantagraphics for their recently announced manga initiative, to be curated by Matt Thorn. Who isn’t? I know I am. And you may want to express that gratitude by buying something that Fantagraphics has published. If your comics interests rest primarily in titles from Japan, you may not have sampled other works published by Fantagraphics, so here are some books for your consideration:

La Perdida, written and illustrated by Jessica Abel: This series got a really attractive hardcover collection from another publisher, but the five individual issues are handsome objects in their own right. It’s a great story about a young woman who moves to Mexico and finds her romanticized notion of the country very much at odds with the corner of its reality that she inhabits. (My review.)

Escape from “Special”, written and illustrated by Miss Lasko-Gross: This is a frank coming-of-age story about a girl who’s making the adjustment from an experimental private school to the more perilous, less forgiving world of public school. It’s like really bleak shôjo without any bishies, and I liked it quite a bit. (My review.)

Castle Waiting, written and illustrated by Linda Medley: You’ve read this book, haven’t you? If not, good grief, what are you waiting for? It’s absolutely gorgeous and utterly delightful. It takes place in a castle that “becomes a refuge for misfits, outcasts, and others seeking sanctuary.” I think we’re just about due for another collection, so now would be a good time to introduce yourself to Medley’s first collection of Castle Waiting. Of course, it isn’t as though there’s ever a bad time. (My review.)

The Squirrel Mother Stories, written and illustrated by Megan Kelso: Do I need to make any other argument for this book beyond the fact that it has what amounts to Alexander Hamilton slash fiction in it? (My review.)

I did a “Birthday Book” entry on Gilbert Hernandez’s Palomar stories from Love and Rockets, so I’ll be lazy and point you at that instead of cobbling together a new paragraph.