Mixing text and image, comics provide dual pleasures. Here are five new or forthcoming titles that highlight some of the best aspects of the form and offer special delights for both the longtime fan and the newcomer alike.
- The Art of Rube Goldberg: (A) Inventive (B) Cartoon (C) Genius by Rube Goldberg (text & illus.) ed. by Jennifer George (Abrams ComicArts). With its animated cover being just the start of the riches readers will encounter, this compendium collects a wide range of Goldberg’s (1883–1970) work, including many of his madcap, complex inventions as well as his other cartoons, advertising images, and award-winning political drawings. All supported by contextualizing essays and a wealth of additional material.
- The Castle by Franz Kafka & David Zane Mairowitz (text) & Jaromir 99 (illus.) (SelfMadeHero). Drawn in thick lines that evoke wood block prints, Jaromir 99’s black, white, and gray images perfectly express the sense of place and time of Kafka’s 1926 highly atmospheric (and unfinished) story of futility and the burdens and consequences of bureaucracy—which Mairowitz has artfully converted into comic form.
- Rage of Poseidon by Anders Nilsen (text & illus.) (Drawn & Quarterly).
What would happen if the gods of old wandered the 21st-century world? What would they find and how would humanity respond? Nilsen’s short stories explore the possibilities and ask resonant, quirky, and darkly philosophical questions. Each story is supported with starkly gorgeous black-and-white silhouettes.
- The Joyners in 3D by R.J. Ryan (text) & David Marquez (illus.) (Archaia, Dec.).
Boxed with two pairs of 3-D glasses, this collaboration between Marquez (known for his illustrations of Spider-Man and the X-Men) and Ryan (teamed with Marquez on Syndrome) is a visual feast, with detailed and stylized drawings that lend a retro feel to the story of a man whose business takes off even as his family life dissolves around him.
- Bandette. Vol. 1: Presto! by Paul Tobin (text) & Colleen Coover (illus.) (Dark Horse).
Gleeful, charming, and drawn with verve, the MonkeyBrain digital comic comes to print in an exuberant edition that collects issues one to five of the “Bandette” series. Bandette is a teen burglar who both aids and skirts the law—whichever seems more fun at the time. The print edition contains a cornucopia of bonus material, including instructions on how the comic is drawn and colored, extra stories, a sample of a script, and more. Overall grand.