From Lone Mountain by John Porcellino (Drawn + Quarterly)
This hefty collection of installments from John Porcellino’s long-running zine King-Cat consists mostly of autobiographical comics, but features hearty helpings of personal miscellany, from little essays on loss and growth to lists of things the author was enjoying at the time of a given zine’s creation. The comics, themselves, are deceptively simple: the lines are few and the anatomy cartoony and basic. But that simplicity makes the work into an emotional Trojan horse, moving past your defenses so it can pierce your heart with its tender insights.
Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures by Yvan Alagbé (New York Review)
Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures is not an easy book. Its harsh chiaroscuro inks, fractured storytelling, and defiant politics reshape the reader’s brain in real time — a process that’s not necessarily pleasant, but absolutely necessary. Race, color, class, gender, and violence are all ruthlessly dissected in this brief collection of short vignettes (calling some of them “stories” feels wrong) from underappreciated French master Yvan Alagbé, and the end result is one of the most arresting comics works to hit stands in a good long while.