As we inch closer and closer to the shortest day of the year (and the subsequent three months of winter), I have begun stockpiling my winter survival resources. I tend to feel pretty dreary and sluggish in the winter months, which is why I try to incorporate as many happy-making rituals into the dark days as possible, namely by making lots of soups and reading lots of comics. Luckily, this has been a swell year for comics, and I’m excited that Kate Beaton’s long-running web comic has finally been released in an handsome book edition, simply titled Hark! A Vagrant. If you’re a follower of Beaton you’ll delight in the re-packaging, and if you’re new to her work then you’re in for a very special treat. Her comics deal largely with historical and literary figures, brought to life with fun, jaunty line drawings and wonderfully goofy facial expressions.
Lynda Barry also has a collection coming out called Everything: Volume 1. This is not a collection of new comics, but probably the next best thing–a collection of her earliest (and little seen) work from back in her college days. More volumes to come!
I am also a fan of the lovely, colorful, and whimsical art work of Maira Kalman. Her latest, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manifesto, is also not a new work, but instead a collaboration between the artist and Michael Pollan that reimagines and dresses up his original book from 2009.
As if these three books weren’t enough to keep us all busy well into winter, here are some bonus suggestions from friends and co-workers:
Life with Mr. Dangerous by Paul Hornschemeier
Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
The Essex County comics of Jeff Lemire
Marzi by Marzena Sowa
Happy winter reading,