Happy Holidays from all of us at First Second! We'll be back in the office and online the first week of January.
(photo by Marion Post Wolcott, from the Library of Congress -- I'm crossing my fingers that we'll get this kind of snow next week while we have the time to go out and frolic in it!)
(a recommendation list)
Here is a whole list of comics that we like from a single subject category: history. Now that comics are all popularized, more people seem to be using them to do things like write nonfiction. So without further ado: some of our favorites!
Jason Lutes did an amazing job on this book. Actually, all of his stuff is amazing, and you should really go check it out. Also worth taking a look at -- all the kids nonfiction that CCS did with Hyperion -- you can find most of them here.
Another biography -- for some reason, biographies are really popular in the comics nonfiction realm. Maybe it's the visual centrality of a main character. I would imagine that it would be difficult, for example, to write an intensely illustrated account of the Napoleonic War. It is full of people! And also ships!
This biography of Isadora Duncan has no ships, but it is instead full of dancing, which is just about as good.
It turns out that history can be funny! Before Kate Beaton, who knew?
This is a comic you might not have heard of yet, because it's coming out in January. But you should buy it then! Because it is very good, and also pretty.
This book is so cool! It is a collection of short comics about girls who cross-dress for the greater good (the book says: love, freedom, and adventure). There is Mulan in it! And also Willow Dawson's art is gorgeous, as it always seems to be.
We have an Official Office Argument about this book! Is it a great unknown (at least in the US) but eminently worthy piece of North American history? Will Chester Brown's next book cause even more interdepartmental strife? Stay tuned! We may have a cage match.
Aw, it's one of our books! The American West is discovered; yay!
(in the category of 'books that are good despite the fact we didn't publish them')
It is delightful!
Added bonus, which you can't tell from the .gif image here -- the type on the front cover is printed in gold ink! So Set to Sea gets added points for shinyness.
Try Ben Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl. The first four chapters are up on MTV Geek now.
And let us know what you think!
(here are covers!)
It's always interesting to read graphic novels from around the world because the pictures give you a window into other peoples' lives in a way that's both visual and personal. And Lat does an amazing job just opening a window into a world that's individual and fascinating.
There is also added bonus interest, because he created these books around the time of Malaysia's industrialization movement, so he's writing and drawing about a time period that was rapidly disintegrating and re-forming into something new.
In conclusion: Malaysia is very different from the United States! And if you didn't know this already firsthand, you can read these books and find out exactly how.
It snowed in New York this week! Taking this as a sign that it is actually becoming winter, I thought I'd post some panels from our one and only holiday-related story.
What story, you may ask?
This is my favorite part!
from last night's Nobel Lecture
[photo ganked from here]
"Thanks to literature, to the consciousness it shapes, the desires and longings it inspires, and our disenchantment with reality when we return from the journey to a beautiful fantasy, civilization is now less cruel than when storytellers began to humanize life with their fables. We would be worse than we are without the good books we have read, more conformist, not as restless, more submissive, and the critical spirit, the engine of progress, would not even exist. Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life. When we look in fiction for what is missing in life, we are saying, with no need to say it or even to know it, that life as it is does not satisfy our thirst for the absolute – the foundation of the human condition – and should be better."