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Ben Dolnick delivers compulsive readability, if not scares, in The Ghost Notebooks

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It seems like a lark at first, as these things always do, when Nick Beron quits his job to follow his fiancée (whom he impulsively proposed to), Hannah Rampe, for her new role overseeing a remote museum. It’s a house dedicated to a philosopher who was obsessed with contacting his dead son, and which was the site of a…

If you've never read Seiichi Hayashi, pick up Drawn & Quarterly's Red Colored Elegy  

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Red Colored Elegy (Drawn & Quarterly) is the longest sustained narrative produced by author Seiichi Hayashi, a cartoonist most recognized (when he’s recognized at all) for his opaque and elliptical short stories. His work tends to concern the interior lives of angsty young adults—most of them suffering from oppressive…

Switchblade Sisters slices through male-dominated genre flicks to find a different perspective

In Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

All The Pieces Matter delivers a fascinating oral history of The Wire

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There’s a section of Jonathan Abrams’ All The Pieces Matter: The Inside Story Of The Wire about the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene in which the Wire character deputy commissioner of operations William Rawls (John Doman) appears at a gay bar. Doman kept wondering whether that reveal would lead to a major plot arc for…

Dial M For Maple dives deep into this week's breakneck Riverdale

Nothing strengthens a family bond like a good ‘ole fashioned murder cover-up, eh? A breakneck Riverdale sees the power balance shift from scene to scene, leaving Marah and Cameron with a little whiplash, and a lot of questions. For example, did the Cooper women really tie up all their loose ends? Just how terrified…

This New Super-Man & The JLC exclusive kicks off a bold new direction

Gene Luen Yang’s New Super-Man has always been as much about the Justice League of China (JLC) as the titular hero, so it makes a lot of sense to rebrand the series as New Super-Man And The Justice League Of China for its change in direction. After being part of the Ministry Of Self-Reliance for the first 19 issues of…

Sherlock Frankenstein's attempt at homage gets stuck in some of the worst parts of comics history

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Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer universe is earning attention and acclaim. In the tradition of Supreme Power, Black Hammer presents recognizable superhero templates in a new venue, pulling on decades of continuity without being enslaved to it. His superheroes are a group composed mostly of characters that seem like the…

Fantagraphics’ NOW is an affordable, jam-packed anthology of today’s top cartoonists

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The world of alternative/indie comics is so big that it helps to have a tour guide, and anthologies are a great way of discovering new (or new-to-you) talent through a curated lineup. There are loads of anthologies on Kickstarter built around different genres, topics, and creator demographics, and while they have…

Dial M For Maple investigates the origins of Riverdale's "Papa Poutine"

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a poutine-loving gangster.” A particularly dynamic Riverdale introduces Archie to the world of crime, “confirms” that Veronica’s in over her head, and properly reunites Bughead—and that’s all before Hiram’s life is threatened for letting Pop Tate serve curd-less…

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Competing narratives paint a tale of complex bodies in The Lie And How We Told It

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In comics, bodies can contort and shift and slide in every way imaginable—changing in size, proportion, color, or detail, from panel to panel, without losing a sense of continuity between them. Gender and sexuality also communicate something to others that changes based on context. In comics, that context can change…

Dave Eggers brews a weak cup of coffee and aspiration in his latest nonfiction The Monk Of Mokha 

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Mokhtar Alkhanshali wasn’t a coffee drinker. He didn’t know a Chemex from a Keurig. He couldn’t distinguish a coffee plant from an olive tree. He hadn’t realized that his ancestral homeland of Yemen basically originated the art of coffee. But that didn’t stop him, a 25-year-old college dropout, from endeavoring to…

The Spider-Fam comes to a villain’s aid in this Renew Your Vows exclusive

Family dynamics get really complicated in adolescence, but throw superpowers into the mix and the stress and drama get significantly amplified. With the debut of a new creative team, Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows took an eight-year jump into the future of the Parker family, giving the series a new direction that…