Christmas Lit Gifts 2017: Graphic novels that are a cut above

From enchanting tales to fables of courage, any comic-book lover will be glad to have these titles added to their collection.

The Green Hand and Other Stories
By Nicole Claveloux,‎ translated by Donald Nicholson Smith, designed by Daniel Clowes
Nicole Caveloux’s short stories – originally published in the late 1970s and never before collected in English – are among the most beautiful comics ever drawn: whimsical, intoxicating, with the freshness and splendour of dreams. In hallucinatory colour or elegant black-and-white, she brings us into lands that are strange but oddly recognisable, filled with murderous grandmothers and lonely city dwellers, bad-tempered vegetables and walls that are surprisingly easy to fall through. In the title story, written with Edith Zha, a new houseplant becomes the first step in an epic journey of self-discovery and a witty fable of modern romance – complete with talking shrubbery, a wised-up genie, and one very depressed bird. This new selection, designed and introduced by Daniel Clowes, presents the full achievement of an unforgettable, unjustly neglected master of French comics. (RM117.50)

Monstress Volume 1: Awakening & Monstress Volume 2: The Blood 
By Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda
Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, Monstress tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers. (Paperback, RM59.90)

In Volume 2: The Blood Paperback, Maika, Kippa, and Ren journey to Thyria in search of answers to her past… and discover a new, terrible, threat. (Paperback, RM79.90)

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale – My Father Bleeds History
By Art Spiegelman
The first instalment of the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel is acclaimed as “the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust” (Wall Street Journal) and “the first masterpiece in comic book history” (The New Yorker). A brutally moving work of art – widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written – Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author’s father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats. Maus is a haunting tale within a tale, weaving the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his ageing father into an astonishing retelling of one of history’s most unspeakable tragedies. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma. (Paperback, RM75)

Persepolis: The Story of an Iranian Childhood
By Marjane Satrapi
Chosen by Emma Watson for her Our Shared Shelf feminist book club, Persepolis is the story of a childhood and the story of a return. The intelligent and outspoken child of radical Marxists, and the great-granddaughter 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. (Paperback, RM70.50)

Amphigorey: Fifteen Books & Amphigorey Again
By Edward Gorey
In the gorgeously detailed anthology of 15 macabre short stories, American artist and author Edward Gorey accents amphigory (nonsense verse or composition) with his signature cross-hatched pen-and-ink drawings. A mix of poetry and prose, light-hearted and decidedly more morbid storytelling, the book is sure to satisfy both fans of art and lovers of short stories alike. (Paperback, RM110)

Amphigorey Again displays in glorious abundance Gorey’s offbeat characters and droll humour. Figbash is acrobatic, topiaries are tragic, hippopotami are admonitory, and galoshes are remorseful in this celebration of a unique talent that never fails to delight, amuse, and confound. Amphigorey Again contains previously uncollected work and two unpublished stories – The Izzard Book, a quirky riff on the letter Z , and La Malle Saignante, a bilingual homage to early French silent serial movies. Rough sketches and unfinished panels show an ironic and singular mind at work. (Paperback, RM110)

Mooncop
By Tom Gauld
The lunar colony is slowly winding down, like a small town circumvented by a new super highway. As our hero, the Mooncop, makes his daily rounds, his beat grows ever smaller, the population dwindles. A young girl runs away, a dog breaks off his leash, an automaton wanders off from the Museum of the Moon. Mooncop is equal parts funny and melancholy. Capturing essential truths about humanity and making this a story of the past, present, and future, all in one. Like his Guardian and New Scientist strips, as well as his previous graphic novel, Goliath, Mooncop is told with Tom Gauld’s distinctive, matter-of-fact storytelling and dry humour – an approach that has earned him fans around the world. (Hardcover, RM98.90)

The Complete James Bond: Octopussy – The Classic Comic Strip Collection 1966-69
By Ian Fleming (Author),‎ Jim Lawrence (Author),‎ Yaroslav Horak (Illustrator)
James Bond is back in action in this deluxe omnibus with four timeless tales starring Agent 007. Featuring the iconic Octopussy and The Hildebrand Rarity, based on the short stories by Ian Fleming, which are presented alongside The Harpies and River of Death, two unique adventures created by Jim Lawrence. This lavishly presented, high-action adventure is restored from the original Daily Express comic strips. (Paperback, RM166.90)

Northern Lights – The Graphic Novel (His Dark Materials)
By Philip Pullman
Revisit the adventures of Lyra Belacqua in this graphic novel adaptation of Northern Lights, a masterpiece brought to life with incredible full-colour art. Follow Lyra’s story once again, in a way you’ve never experienced before, as the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle – a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armoured bears. Lyra hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, never suspecting the shocking truth, that she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle. (Hardcover, RM110.50)

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