After a long break, the Monthly Graphic Novel Should Read list is back! The aim of it is to point out some of the interesting graphic novels which are coming out this month – whether they be original content, collections of recent comics or ones coming back into print. My intention is that these be new-reader friendly recommendations which you should be able to dive into with little to no prior knowledge needed. This month’s list features outdated business practices, forgotten realms, telepathic Internet, celebrity chefs, boring girlfriends and more.
The Envelope Manufacturer
Written and art by Chris Oliveros. Published by Drawn and Quarterly.
Written and drawn by the publisher’s founder, Chris Oliveros, The Envelope Manufacturer is a tale of a small business man who is struggling with his out-dated business models. The financial strains of these outdated practices and the struggle to make up with payments begin to take effect on his mental and social well-being to the point that he becomes detached and dispassionate. The result is a man suffering to keep up with a world that is continually changing.
The Envelope Manufacturer is available from January 20th.
Written and art by Joshua W. Cotter. Published by Fantagraphics Books.
Originally serialised as a webcomic on Study Group Comics, Nod Away has found its way to print thanks to Fantagraphics Books. Set in the near-future in which both the Internet is telepathic and deep-space exploration is now possible, the story focuses on Melody McCabe who is tasked with developing the new nexus on the second International Space Station. This science fiction graphic novel explores the the concept of consciousness through a wide range of abstract and surreal circumstances.
Nod Away is available from January 27th.
Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Omnibus
Written by Ed Greenwood, R.A. Salvatore and Geno Salvatore. Art by Lee Ferguson, David Baldeon and Agustin Padilla. Published by IDW Publishing.
Based on the popular Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting of the same name, Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Omnibus collects the first three IDW miniseries. If you’re a fan of D&D or simply fan of fantasy then this affordable collection is for you.
Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms Omnibus is available from January 20th.
Written by Chris Ryall. Art by Gabriel Rodriguez. Published by IDW Publishing.
In the year 2083 the Cyborg warrior, Onyx, has come to Earth to help solve its problems. And the Earth has lot’s of problems – Overpopulation, Lack of food and an alien invasion just to name a few. But in attempt to solve these problems will she save the Earth or destroy it? It’s an interesting concept from IDW’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall and Locke & Key artist Gabriel Rodriguez.
Onyx is available from January 27th.
Skylanders: Light In The Dark
Writen by Ron Marz and David A. Rodriguez. Art by Fico Ossio, David Baldeon and Jack Lawrence. Published by IDW Publishing.
The Skylanders crew is back and long with them the forces of Light and Dark. The problem is that the evil King Pain-Yatta wants to use those forces for his own human deeds. Can the gang stop him and a massive avalanche of candy in time? If you, or a young person in your life, love the Skylanders games then Skylanders: Light In The Dark is a perfect read.
Skylanders: Light In The Dark is available from January 20th.
Starve Volume 1
Written by Brian Wood. Art by Danijel Zezelj. Published by Image Comics.
Starve takes cooking shows and cranks it up to 11. Chef Gavin used to have a small cooking show until he went on a self-imposed exile. In his absence the show morphed into an Iron Chef on steroids arena show which caters to the super-wealthy. Angered at what has become Chef Gavin is willing to go to war in order to stop this new show and it doesn’t matter who he hurts along the way.
If this premise sounds good what’s better is the price with this first volume retailing for $9.99.
Starve Volume 1 is available from January 13th.
Batgirl Volume 1: Silent Knight
Written by Kelley Pluckett and Scott Peterson. Art by Damion Scott, Robert Campanella and others. Published by DC Comics.
For many years Cassandra Cain was the Batgirl and was very popular during her time under this moniker. Popular enough that she had her own series for many years and DC Comics has decided that it’s time start reprinting it again in chunky collections. In this first collection we get the first year of the series which sees her try to deal with all of her senses, including her special sixth sense of anticipating the moves of her opponents before they happen.
Batgirl Volume 1: Silent Knight is available from January 27th.
Batman By Ed Brubaker Volume 1
Written by Ed Brubaker. Art by Scott McDaniel, Karl Story and Stefano Gaudiano. Published by DC Comics.
Before Ed Brubaker made a massive name for himself with his legendary run on Captain America and a string of highly regarded creator-owned work he wrote Batman. He infused crime noir with superhero action to create a very interesting run on Batman which is very worthy of a collection such as this. In this collection we get to see Brubaker’s, along with a string of great artists, take on some of the Batman’s classic villains such as The Penguin, Deadshot and others.
Batman By Ed Brubaker Volume 1 is available from January 27th.
Punisher MAX: Complete Collection Volume 1
Written by Garth Ennis. Art by Darick Robertson, Lewis Larosa and Leandro Fernandez. Published by Marvel Comics.
Marvel’s MAX imprint was a way for Marvel to tell unrestricted stories for some of their characters without the worry of censorship. While this imprint is inactive at the moment at one time it was home to a Punisher series which unrelenting it’s exploration the violent and gritty world of The Punisher. It’s great to see that this series is getting the complete collection and collects the Punisher: Born miniseries, which delves into The Punisher’s origins and the first 12 issues of the 2004 series.
Punisher Max: Complete Collection Volume 1 is available from January 20th.
How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Volume 1
Written by Fumiaki Maruto. Art by Takeshi Moriki. Published by Yen Press.
Video game designer Aki Tomoya thnks that he’s just met the girl of his dreams, until he realises that it’s actually his boring class mate. In order to get her attention he decides to make her the protagonist in a new dating sim that he is making. Will life start imitating art? It’s odd romance manga which sounds like it should have plenty of laughs and be plenty of fun.
How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Volume 1 is available from January 27th.