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A mesmerizing historical comic with a storied past.

A graphic biography of the famed revolutionary originally published in 1969 but unavailable in English until now.

Written by Argentine comics maestro Oesterheld and illustrated by frequent collaborator Alberto Breccia and his son, Enrique, this slim, experimental bio explores and challenges the comics form. Oesterheld’s lyrical text barrels through Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s life (1928-1967) like a prose poem, often drifting midthought from historical facts to Guevara’s internal monologue. Recounting skirmishes with Batista in Cuba, one frame reads: “Eighty-two splashing ashore, half-blind. But Fidel is shouting ‘To the mountain! We’re already in Cuba and we will be victorious!’ What are you going to win, dreamer. Nothing to eat and Batista’s 30,000 soldiers and the Yankees giving him everything, but here we are, staying still is worse, let’s go.” Intentionally disorienting, the biography alternates between two threads, exclusively drawn by one Breccia. One follows Guevara’s life from his student years to the Bay of Pigs and beyond, while the second recounts his final weeks in the jungles of Bolivia. Alberto’s art is mischievous. Using collage, splattery ink, and even finger-painting, he creates rapturous scenes that brim with kinetic energy and impressive technical prowess. His son draws like he’s composing woodcuts, offering chiaroscuro scenes laden with heavy shadow. If occasionally muddled, the narrative is still inspired, accentuated by essays that contextualize the history. After publication in 1969, the book was met with intense government opposition. In 1973, the publisher’s office was ransacked and materials were destroyed, including the comic’s original artwork, which made reprinting impossible. A Spanish edition emerged in 1987, which restored the book from a surviving copy of the Argentine edition, and this is the first English version. This lore transforms the book from a mere comic to something that feels like a World War II–era samizdat, a legendary underground manuscript that we’re lucky to have available.

A mesmerizing historical comic with a storied past.

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-68396-522-0

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Fantagraphics Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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A sharp compendium of dreamy visions that could only have come from the iconic cartoonist’s sleeping mind.

The renowned cartoonist taps into Freud, Jung, and Kabbalah to discuss what happens when the head hits the pillow.

Chast, famed New Yorker cartoonist and winner of the inaugural Kirkus Prize for Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? makes it clear that while your own dreams may be inherently interesting, listening to other’ dreams is markedly not. Thankfully, the author’s thumbnail depictions of dreams that span a cross section of her bedside dream journal bring just enough humor and wit for readers to be charmed instantly. “This book is dedicated to the Dream District of our brains,” writes the author, “that weird and uncolonized area where anything can happen, from the sublime to the mundane to the ridiculous to the off-the-charts bats.” Familiar classics—“alone at a party,” “teeth falling out”—sit alongside the bizarre and hilarious—e.g., “too many birds not enough cages.” Even actor Wallace Shawn, son of former New Yorker editor William Shawn, makes an appearance: “He and I were walking down Main Street in a town in Connecticut and I needed to point something out to him: ‘Look, It’s a Broccoli Patch!’ ” From “Recurring Dreams” to “Nightmares” to “Dream Fragments or Ones That Got Away,” Chast explores beyond the first blush of the strange and personal in dreams. She writes, “here’s what’s interesting: dreams come out of my brain…as I sleep, I am creating them…so why, as they unfold, am I always so surprised?!??” The author reaches for answers beyond Freud and Jung to a wider range of insights from Kabbalah, Aristotle, neuroscientists, molecular biologists, and more. Illustrations and visual storytelling weave together a broad range of content on dreams that offers insight while never feeling burdensome or overly analytical. Easy on the eyes and witty, this book will have readers reaching for their own dream journals.

A sharp compendium of dreamy visions that could only have come from the iconic cartoonist’s sleeping mind.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781620403228

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023

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From the Girl That Can't Get a Girlfriend series

A delightful exploration of navigating the bumpy road to adulthood.

A story of a long-overdue Sapphic coming-of-age.

Through an autobiographical graphic narrative that is at times hysterically funny and at times gut-wrenching, readers follow Mieri, a young Japanese woman living in the U.S. From the lesbian characters in anime that she crushed on to the first real girl Mieri was attracted to, she’s known for a while that she likes butch girls. The fact that she sees fewer butch x butch relationships won’t stop her from trying to find a girlfriend even though the path, in person and on dating apps, is fraught with challenges. After she goes to visit her grandparents, Mieri meets Ash, a White American teaching English in Japan who becomes her first girlfriend. It starts out great: College sophomore Mieri experiences the stress and rewards of making the first move and even has her first kiss. But a month later, Ash breaks up with her, Mieri’s parents get divorced, and her grandparents learn about and aren’t cool with her sexuality. Worst of all, she can’t stop thinking about Ash. As Mieri navigates the aftershocks of the breakup, she also grows into maturity. The book has impeccable pacing and is engaging from start to finish. The humorous art enhances the narrative in a meaningful way, especially in portraying Mieri’s own emotional journey.

A delightful exploration of navigating the bumpy road to adulthood. (extra panels, author’s note, creating a manga, Q&A, bonus gallery) (Manga. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2023

ISBN: 9781974736591

Page Count: 208

Publisher: VIZ Media

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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