An artist friend of mine once said that Daisuke Igarashi's drawing ability is so good he must have sold his soul to the devil. Igarashi is best known in the United States for his series "Children of the Sea," which received an ambitious film adaptation you can watch on Netflix. But I've always believed that his short stories are superior. Witches--the first collection of his shorter work to be made available in English--is my most anticipated manga release of the year. If you have any interest in comics, or simply enjoy having the secrets of the world revealed to you by a devoted environmentalist who draws like he's channeling some great power, I recommend this book.
One part Samurai Jack, one part Hellboy, one part Shaman King--all with a strand of West African myth woven in--Djeliya is a no-holds-barred fantasy romp. It's not just that there's something on every page that will make you gasp. It's that every page groans under the sheer volume of amazing stuff Ba wants to show you. While it's rough around the edges, this work marks the arrival of a major talent. Go read it just so you can say you read Ba's comics before it was cool!
Historical fiction gravitates toward the powerful, but real history is different. The Corner That Held Them is an attempt at real historical fiction: a portrait of a nunnery from its construction in the 12th century to the novel's end point in 1382. The story’s enormous cast trundles through their lives in search of meaning, but fate has no answer for them. Some die for no reason, others fail to achieve their ambitions. This book is a bracing and even alienating experience for those accustomed to the comforts of plot and pay-off. But those who persevere will be rewarded by a narrative that makes everything else in its genre feel a little half-hearted.