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. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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A delightful exploration of navigating the bumpy road to adulthood.


From the Girl That Can't Get a Girlfriend series

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. 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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An exemplary demonstration of the transformative possibilities of graphic narrative.


A powerful, unsettling use of the graphic medium to share a profoundly disturbing story.

If a boy is not born a monster, how does he become one? Though Backderf (Punk Rock and Trailer Parks, 2008) was once an Ohio classmate of the notorious Jeffrey Dahmer, he doesn’t try to elicit sympathy for “Jeff.” Yet he walks an emotional tightrope here, for he recognizes that someone—maybe the other kids who laughed at and with him, certainly the adults who should have recognized aberration well beyond tortured adolescence—should have done something. “To you Dahmer was a depraved fiend but to me he was a kid I sat next to in study hall and hung out with in the band room,” writes the author, whose dark narrative proceeds to show how Dahmer’s behavior degenerated from fascination with roadkill and torture of animals to repressed homosexuality and high-school alcoholism to mass murder. It also shows how he was shaken by his parents’ troubled marriage and tempestuous divorce, by his emotionally disturbed mother’s decision to move away and leave her son alone, and by the encouragement of the Jeffrey Dahmer Fan Club (with the author a charter member and ringleader) to turn the outcast into a freak show. The more that Dahmer drank to numb his life, the more oblivious adults seemed to be, letting him disappear between the cracks. “It’s my belief that Dahmer didn’t have to wind up a monster, that all those people didn’t have to die horribly, if only the adults in his life hadn’t been so inexplicably, unforgivably, incomprehensibly clueless and/or indifferent,” writes Backderf. “Once Dahmer kills, however—and I can’t stress this enough—my sympathy for him ends.”

An exemplary demonstration of the transformative possibilities of graphic narrative.

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0216-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Abrams ComicArts

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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