First Second has announced its releases for spring 2012, and as usual it’s an exciting, eclectic lineup. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Graeme talked about Arne Bellstorf’s Beatles comic, Baby’s in Black yesterday.
- Humayoun Ibrahim has adapted Jack Vance’s classic science fiction story The Moon Moth with “lots of masks, lots of aliens, and an interstellar mystery to round it out.”
- Marathon by Boaz Yakin and Joe Infurnari tells the story of the first marathon, when Eucles ran 153 miles from Sparta to Athens to help save Greece from the Persian Empire.
- Bloody Chester is a noir Western horror story by JT Petty and Hilary Florido.
- Victory finishes up Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis’ excellent Resistance trilogy about the French Resistance in World War II.
- And finally, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden offer a “201-level” companion volume to Drawing Words and Writing Pictures called Mastering Comics.
Which are you looking forward to?
Scott Chantler, the artist whose Northwest Passage made such a splash a few years ago, wrapped up his work on his latest historical graphic novel, Two Generals, in June. (Here is a nine-page preview he put up for TCAF.)
Two Generals is a non-fiction graphic novel set in World War II and based on several primary sources: the 1943 diary of Chantler’s grandfather, his friend Jack Chrysler’s letters home, and the war diary of the Highland Light Infantry of Canada. The book is due out in October, but Chantler has just set up a research blog to document both his own work on the book and all the research he put into it—along the lines of the notes in the annotated edition of Northwest Passage, he says, but a lot more of it. For those of us who love digging into the past, this looks like a gold mine, and I for one can’t wait until he starts adding content. (Those of us who are kids at heart can while away the time with his delightful children’s graphic novel, Tower of Treasure.)
Making fun of history has been a good gig for quite a while. I grew up reading Richard Armour’s fractured retellings of history-book standards, such as It All Started with Columbus, and of course Mad Magazine was a reliable source of misinformation. (The Marx/Marx Brothers and Lenin/Lennon confusion lingered for an embarrassingly long time, thanks to them.) And then there is Blackadder, a show whose humor content scales directly with the viewer’s knowledge of British history.
Mock history has proven to be a fertile vein on the web as well. It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t love Kate Beaton’s Hark, A Vagrant. Reading her irreverent takes on historical topics is sort of like sitting in the back of class drawing moustaches on the Founding Fathers.