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CHOSEN BY EMMA WATSON FOR 'OUR SHARED SHELF' FEMINIST BOOK CLUB
The Story of a Childhood and The Story of a Return
The intelligent and outspoken child of radical Marxists, and the great-grandaughter of Iran's last emperor, Satrapi bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. This is a beautiful and intimate story full of tragedy and humour - raw, honest and incredibly illuminating.
Published: 6 Mar 2008
Guy Delisle's newest travelogue revolves around a year spent in Burma (also known as Myanmar) with his wife and son. Burma is notorious for its use of concealment and isolation as social control: where scissor-wielding censors monitor the papers, the de facto leader of the opposition has been under decade-long house arrest, insurgent-controlled regions are effectively cut off from the world, and rumour is the most reliable source of current information.
An impressive and moving work of comics journalism from the author of Pyongyang and Shenzen.
Published: 8 Sep 2011
At six o'clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, Sam Vimes must go home to read Where's My Cow?, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do.It is the most loved and chewed book in the world.
But his father wonders why it is full of moo-cows and baa-lambs when Young Sam will only ever see them cooked on a plate. He can think of a more useful book for a boy who lives in a city.
So Sam Vimes starts adapting the story. A story with streets, not fields. A book with rogues and villains. A book about the place where he'll grow up.
Published: 1 Oct 2005
Ponta is a Labrador retriever puppy, the Koizumi family's pet. But when Grandpa Koizumi, an amateur inventor, creates the Guru Guru Bone, Ponta discovers she can use it to turn into a human girl! Ponta quickly meets and falls in love with Mirai Iwaki. And when he realises that she's actually a dog, Mirai learns to overcome it. Talk about an odd couple.
In ways of the heart, it is certainly not an easy road for them. Plus Mirai's ex-girlfriend wants him back - by any means necessary. When Mirai and Ponta go to the beach together, the trip turns disastrous. Can Ponta make the romance work, or will she give up her life as a human forever?
Published: 7 Sep 2006
On Boxing Day in 2004, Edie Fassnidge set off for a day of kayaking off the coast of Thailand with her boyfriend, mother and sister. That's when disaster struck.
She felt a shift in the air; she spotted something on the horizon; and seconds later, the first wave came crashing down upon them. Separated from her family and covered in open wounds, Edie battled for hours to get to safety: colliding with rocks; tumbling underwater as if in a giant washing machine; grappling with overgrown branches and venomous ants... all the while hanging on to the hope that she wasn't the only one to survive.
Rinse, Spin, Repeat is a graphic memoir depicting Edie's experience of surviving the Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed over 200,000 lives and changed hers forever. Using simple illustrations and concise text, she unfolds her feelings in the hours and days of pain and uncertainty that followed. She also reflects on her struggle to find peace in the aftermath of the tsunami, which ultimately empowered her to become the person she is today.
It is a simultaneously devastating and inspiring story that will capture the heart of anyone who has wondered how it is possible to keep going after life has crumbled to pieces.
Brin and Bent are poolkeepers at The House for the Grossly Infirm. Their days are spent abusing the House residents with bleach and chlorine, spying on them through holes they have drilled in the walls. They do not know that someone else comes to the pool at night: Minno Marylebone, a child like no other.
Pure and beautiful, every night the child enters the water and becomes celestial, laughing and riding the currents as the pool turns into a sea. Then one night Brin and Bent find the wax that has spilled from Minno's candle and decide to lie in wait...
With this dark yet achingly beautiful tale, Ravi Thornton takes British graphic novels to a new level. The combination of her deft and masterful writing with the stunning artwork of Andy Hixon creates and an extraordinarily powerful and disturbing experience.
Published: 5 Jul 2012
Probably Nothing by Matilda Tristram - a moving, funny and inspiring graphic memoir by a woman who discovered she had cancer whilst she was pregnant
'This deeply personal memoir, written as a graphic novel is one of the most darkly funny, bittersweet and moving cartoons you will ever come across (and that includes the hunting scene in Bambi). It also has (spoiler alert) one hell of a happy ending. Add it to your basket now' Stylist
At 31, Matilda Tristram was 17 weeks pregnant and looking forward to having her first baby. Then she discovered she had bowel cancer.
This touching and hilarious graphic memoir, which is never morose or self-pitying, starts at the moment Matilda was diagnosed and ends when her course of chemotherapy finishes in October 2013. Recording the awkward conversations, the highs and lows of treatment, the mixed blessings of receiving 'Get Well' cards, and the reality of still having to queue too long for croissants, Matilda captures her experiences with style and warmth. Along the way she learns to cherish the small details of life. Her beautiful and boisterous son was born without complications and is reliably keeping her up most nights.
Charming, witty and uplifting - this unique and beautifully illustrated book will leave you cherishing the good things in life, and ready to face your own challenges.
Will be enjoyed by readers of The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and Building Stories by Chris Ware.
'A beautiful account ... Apart from how funny Tristram's comic is, it's hard to pinpoint what makes it so magnetic ... the honesty makes you feel, as a reader, like a companion on her journey' Zoe Williams, Guardian
Matilda Tristram studied animation at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2008. Since then she has worked as a children's writer, lecturer and filmmaker. She was co-writer on two animated BBC TV shows for CBeebies with Ragdoll Productions, The Adventures of Abney and Teal and Dipdap. Dipdap won a BAFTA in the short from category. Her short films have screened at over 30 festivals internationally.
Rafah, a town at the southernmost tip of the Gaza Strip, is a squalid place. Raw concrete buildings front rubbish-strewn alleys. The narrow streets are crowded with young children and unemployed men. Situated on the border with Egypt, swaths of Rafah have been reduced to rubble. Rafah is today and has always been a notorious flashpoint in this most bitter of conflicts.
Buried deep in the archives is one bloody incident, in 1956, that left 111 Palestinian refugees dead, shot by Israeli soldiers. Seemingly a footnote to a long history of killing, that day in Rafah - coldblooded massacre or dreadful mistake - reveals the competing truths that have come to define an intractable war. In a quest to get to the heart of what happened, Joe Sacco arrives in Gaza and, immersing himself in daily life, uncovers Rafah, past and present. Spanning fifty years, moving fluidly between one war and the next, alive with the voices of fugitives and schoolchildren, widows and sheikhs, Footnotes in Gaza captures the essence of a tragedy.
As in Palestine and Safe Area Goražde, Joe Sacco's unique visual journalism has rendered a contested landscape in brilliant, meticulous detail. Footnotes in Gaza, his most ambitious work to date, transforms a critical conflict of our age into intimate and immediate experience.
Published: 3 Dec 2009
'Spiegelman has turned the exuberant fantasy of comics inside out by giving us the most incredible fantasy in comics' history: something that actually occurred. MAUS is terrifying not for its brutality, but for its tenderness and guilt' New Yorker
MAUS is widely renowned as one of the greatest pieces of art and literature ever written about the Holocaust. It is adored by readers and studied in colleges and universities all over the world. But what led Art Spiegelman to tell his father's story in the first place? Why did he choose to depict the Jews as mice? How could a comic book confront the terror and brutality of the worst atrocity of the twentieth century?
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the book's first publication, MetaMAUS, prepared by the author, is a vital companion to the classic text and includes never-before-seen sketches, rough and alternate drafts, family and reference photos, notebook and diary entries and the transcript of his interviews with his father Vladek as well as a long interview with Art, in which he discusses the book's extraordinary history and origins.
The book includes a brand new DVD packed with extra images, video and commentary.
Published: 3 Nov 2011
Published: 30 Apr 2015
Aunts have not had their due recognition - until now. But here, in the simple tasks and pleasures of her ordinary life, the aunt is portrayed with wonder and affection. Starting with the Ambulant, walking her dogs past G.F.Watts' statue of Physical Energy in Kensington Gardens, this book describes her in twenty-six beautifully observed portraits, one for each letter of the alphabet. Here is the Elegant on the catwalk; the Hydrant, watering her garden; the Indignant, watching those same plants being dug up by the ubiquitous canines who are so much a part of her life; the Mendicant, begging outside Daunt's bookshop; the Osculant, indulging in the pastime that aunts do best; the Ruminant, eating salad in her lonely cafe, not to forget the Truant, shamelessly sporting SEMPER ABSUM on her school blazer.
Each picture, meticulously drawn by Mungo McCosh, is followed on its subsequent page by the name of the aunt the picture describes. Beautiful and aptly chosen lettering tells us who she is - in case we can't guess for ourselves.
A book of wit and wisdom, for nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, everywhere.
Published: 4 Oct 2007
Ponta the Labrador retriever is no ordinary dog. With the magic Guru Guru Bone, she can turn at will into a human girl. In her human form, Ponta has fallen in love with Mirai Iwaki - and the couple has developed an uncoventional but powerful relationship.
But what would happen if Mirai transformed instead? As a puppy, Ponta learned the true meaning of friendship and love. Might Mirai also benefit from living life as a dog? Of course, there's a downside. For Ponta, all the changing between puppy and girl has taken its toll... which raises the question: Is the Guru Guru Bone more a curse than a blessing?
Published: 3 May 2007
Ever feel like you are pedalling in the choucroute? Been caught with your beard in the mailbox again? Or maybe you just wish everyone would stop ironing your head?
Speaking in Tongues brings the weird, wonderful and surprising nuanced beauty of language to life with over fifty gorgeous watercolour and ink illustrations.
Here you will find the perfect romantic expression, such as the Spanish tu eres mi media naranja, or 'you are the love of my life, my soulmate', and the bizarre, including dancing bears and broken pots, feeding donkeys sponge cake, a head full of crickets, and clouds and radishes. All encourage new ways of thinking about the world around us, and breathe magnificent life into the everyday.
These phrases from across the world are ageless and endlessly enchanting, passed down through generations. Now they are yours.
For the residents of Yopougon, everyday life is good. It is the early 1970s, a golden time - work is plentiful, hospitals are clean and well equipped, and school is obligatory. The Ivory Coast is as an island of relative wealth and stability in West Africa. For the teenagers of the town, though, worries are plentiful, and life in Yop City is far from simple.
Aya tells the story of its nineteen-year-old heroine, the clear-sighted and bookish Aya, and her carefree and fun-loving friends Adjoua and Bintou. Navigating meddling relatives and neighbours, the girls spend a last summer of their childhood on the sun-warmed streets of Yop City - sneaking out for dancing at open-air bars, strong solibra beer, chicken in peanut sauce and avoiding at all costs the scandal pages of the Calamity Morning....
Aya is a captivating, colourful and hugely entertaining portrayal of an Africa we rarely see, spirited and resilient, and full of the sounds, sights and smells of a prosperous town and its varied inhabitants.
Published: 2 Aug 2007
Fluffy is story of unanswerable questions, love, despair, adventure and happiness. Fluffy is a baby rabbit who is being looked after by an anxious, single man called Michael Pulcino. Michael tries to make it clear to Fluffy that he is not his daddy, but Fluffy appears to be in denial. Michael is being pursued by Fluffy's nursery school teacher, and partly to escape her, he and Fluffy set off to visit his family in Sicily.
Will Michael escape her? Will Fluffy come to terms with the reality that he is not a human being? All is at least partly resolved in Simone Lia's utterly irresistible graphic novel.
Published: 7 May 2009
Rendered in vivid watercolour where parquet floors and patterned dresses morph together, The Wrong Place revolves around oft-absent Robbie, a charismatic lothario of mysterious celebrity who has the run of a city as chaotic as it is resplendent.
Robbie's sexual energy captivates the attention of men and women alike; his literal and figurative brightness is a startling foil to the dreariness of his childhood friend, Francis. With a hand as sensitive as it is exuberant, Angoulême-winner Brecht Evens's first English graphic novel captures the strange chemistry of social interaction. The Wrong Place contrasts life as it is, angst-ridden and awkward, with life as it can be: spontaneous, uninhibited, and free.
Published: 6 Oct 2011
This is Richard McGuire's unique interactive ebook version of his groundbreaking graphic novel Here.
Richard McGuire's groundbreaking comic strip Here was published under Art Spiegelman's editorship at RAW in 1989.
Built in six pages of interlocking panels, dated by year, it collapsed time and space to tell the story of the corner of a room - and its inhabitants - between the years 500,957,406,073 BC and 2033 AD.
The strip remains one of the most influential and widely discussed contributions to the medium, and it has now been developed, expanded and reimagined by the artist into this full-length, full-colour graphic novel - a must for any fan of the genre.
'From now on, McGuire will be known as the author of the novel Here, because it's a work of literature and art unlike any seen or read before. A book like this comes along once a decade, if not a century' Chris Ware, Guardian
'Promises to leapfrog immediately to the front ranks of the graphic-novel genre' New York Times
Richard McGuire is a regular contributor to the New Yorker magazine. He has written and illustrated both children's books and experimental comics. His work has appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney's, Le Monde and Libération. He has written and directed two omnibus feature films, designed and manufactured his own line of toys, and is also the founder and bass player of the band Liquid Liquid.
Published: 29 Jan 2015
After the death of her son, Regina Segal takes her granddaughter Mica to Warsaw, hoping to reclaim a family property lost during World War II. As they get to know modern Warsaw, Regina is forced to recall difficult things about her past, and Mica begins to wonder if maybe their reasons for coming aren't a little different than her grandmother led her to believe.
Rutu Modan offers up a world populated by prickly seniors, officious public servants, and stubborn women – a world whose realism is expressed alternately in the absurdity of people’s behaviour, and in the complex consequences of their sacrifices. Modan’s ever-present wit is articulated perfectly in her clear-line style, while a subtle, almost muted colour palette complements the true-to-life nuances of her characterisation. Savvy and insightful, elegant and subtle, The Property is a triumph of storytelling and fine lines. Modan’s first full-length graphic novel, Exit Wounds, made a huge splash for this signature combination of wit, style and realism; The Property cements Modan’s status as one of the foremost cartoonists working today.
Winner of the 2014 Eisner Comic Industry Award
Published: 25 Jul 2013
This is a detective mystery.
It lasts only 3 seconds.
Which is enough time for a particle of light to travel 900,000 kilometres.
And as you follow it on its journey - through scenes of deadly drama and seeming innocence, as far as deep space and back - look into the blind spots and corners. There are clues there: connections between the characters, motives, intrigues, crimes and plots.
You are the detective.
Find the solution.
Published: 22 Aug 2013