Next book

THE MAN IN THE MCINTOSH SUIT

A colorful and richly textured graphic novel.

A migrant Filipino farmworker searches for his estranged wife in Depression-era San Francisco.

This graphic narrative is several things at once—a noirish mystery, a vibrant work of historical fiction, and a tale of immigrant dreams and adversity. The year is 1929, and although he was trained as a lawyer back in Manila, Bobot now picks fruit in the fields of Watsonville, California, living in a crowded shack with other homesick Filipinos and pining for the wife who hasn’t replied to his letters in months. But a tip from his cousin Benny brings him to San Francisco in search of Elysia, whom Benny says he has spotted there. To the background strains of popular songs like “Blue Skies” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” (whose lyrics snake their way through the comic’s panels), Bobot prowls the diners, pool halls, and nightclubs of Manilatown. A special invitation—plus the well-tailored suit of the book’s title—gain him entree to the high-end Barangay Club, where he first lays eyes on La Estrella, a glamorous chanteuse…who just might be his wife? Ayuyang spins a captivating tale that is both an homage to starry-eyed Hollywood movies of the period and a corrective that highlights the anti-Asian racism faced by immigrants as well as the thriving communities they formed. The expressionistic artwork is washed in blue, green, red, or amber hues signaling a scene’s setting and mood. The narrative ends with a series of surprising plot twists and a coda that hints at a sequel to come.

A colorful and richly textured graphic novel.

Pub Date: May 2, 2023

ISBN: 9781770466661

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023

Next book

SUPERMAN SMASHES THE KLAN

A clever and timely conversation on reclaiming identity and acknowledging one’s full worth.

Superman confronts racism and learns to accept himself with the help of new friends.

In this graphic-novel adaptation of the 1940s storyline entitled “The Clan of the Fiery Cross” from The Adventures of Superman radio show, readers are reintroduced to the hero who regularly saves the day but is unsure of himself and his origins. The story also focuses on Roberta Lee, a young Chinese girl. She and her family have just moved from Chinatown to Metropolis proper, and mixed feelings abound. Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane’s colleague from the Daily Planet, takes a larger role here, befriending his new neighbors, the Lees. An altercation following racial slurs directed at Roberta’s brother after he joins the local baseball team escalates into an act of terrorism by the Klan of the Fiery Kross. What starts off as a run-of-the-mill superhero story then becomes a nuanced and personal exploration of the immigrant experience and blatant and internalized racism. Other main characters are White, but Black police inspector William Henderson fights his own battles against prejudice. Clean lines, less-saturated coloring, and character designs reminiscent of vintage comics help set the tone of this period piece while the varied panel cuts and action scenes give it a more modern sensibility. Cantonese dialogue is indicated through red speech bubbles; alien speech is in green.

A clever and timely conversation on reclaiming identity and acknowledging one’s full worth. (author’s note, bibliography) (Graphic fiction. 13-adult)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77950-421-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Feb. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Next book

ANTHEM

THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

A Rand primer with pictures.

A graphic novel for devotees of Ayn Rand.

With its men who have become gods through rugged individualism, the fiction of Ayn Rand has consistently had something of a comic strip spirit to it. So the mating of Rand and graphic narrative would seem to be long overdue, with her 1938 novella better suited to a quick read than later, more popular work such as The Fountainhead (1943) and the epic Atlas Shrugged (1957). As Anthem shows, well before the Cold War (or even World War II), Rand was railing against the evils of any sort of collectivism and the stifling of individualism, warning that this represented a return to the Dark Ages. Here, her allegory hammers the point home. It takes place in the indeterminate future, a period after “the Great Rebirth” marked an end of “the Unmentionable Times.” Now people have numbers as names and speak of themselves as “we,” with no concept of “I.” The hero, drawn to stereotypical, flowing-maned effect by illustrator Staton, knows himself as Equality 7-2521 and knows that “it is evil to be superior.” A street sweeper, he stumbles upon the entrance to a tunnel, where he discovers evidence of scientific advancement, from a time when “men knew secrets that we have lost.” He inevitably finds a nubile mate. He calls her “the Golden One.” She calls him “the Unconquered.” Their love, of course, is forbidden, and not just because she is 17. After his attempt to play Prometheus, bringing light to a society that prefers the dark, the two escape to the “uncharted forest,” where they are Adam and Eve. “I have my mind. I shall live my own truth,” he proclaims, having belatedly discovered the first-person singular. The straightforward script penned by Santino betrays no hint of tongue-in-cheek irony.

A Rand primer with pictures.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-451-23217-5

Page Count: 144

Publisher: NAL/Berkley

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2010

Close Quickview