5 graphic novels to read now: ‘Tunnels,’ ‘Leonard Cohen,’ and more

It can be hard to keep up with the incredible variety of graphic novel releases throughout the year. So perhaps right now is a good time to catch up on what you missed from 2021.

As befitting such a diverse format, we’ve compiled a list of recent graphic novels that span genres and a wide range of topics — and there’s not a superhero in sight.

“After the Rain” by Nnedi Okorafor, John Jennings, David Brame (Courtesy of Abrams) 

“After the Rain”

By Nnedi Okorafor, John Jennings, David Brame


Artist and writer John Jennings has previously adapted Octavia Butler’s novels “Kindred” and “Parable of the Sower” into graphic novels. With “After the Rain,” he looks to Africanfuturist author Nnedi Okorafor for the source material. “After the Rain,” with a script written by Jennings and illustrated by David Brame, is an adaption of Okorafor’s short story “On the Road,” which originally appeared in the anthology “Kabu Kabu.” Here, a Chicago police officer visits her family in Nigeria, where a brush with the supernatural will prompt her to confront her past. Brame’s visceral illustrations level up the terror in this story about learning to reconcile the various facets of one’s self.

“Borders” by Thomas King, Natasha Donovan (Courtesy of Little Brown, Young Readers) 


By Thomas King, Natasha Donovan

(Little Brown Young Readers)

Award-winning author Thomas King looks at the complexities of national identity in “Borders,” which is adapted from his short story of the same name. When an Indigenous woman is stopped at the border between Canada and the United States and asked about her citizenship, she replies that she is Blackfoot. The answer isn’t accepted by the guards of either country, leaving her and her son temporarily stuck between nations. With art from illustrator Natasha Donovan, “Borders” is a quick read that will prompt you to contemplate the issues that borders pose for Indigenous people.

“Helm Greycastle Book One” by Henry Barajas, Bryan Valenza (Courtesy of Image) 

“Helm Greycastle Book One”

By Henry Barajas, Bryan Valenza


“Helm Greycastle” is a Mesoamerican fantasy series created by Los Angeles-based comics writer Henry Barajas and Indonesian colorist Bryan Valenza. The saga’s first three issues are compiled in this collection. While “Helm Greycastle” delivers on all the action, adventure and detailed art that you would expect from the genre, what makes it different is that the story doesn’t have to pause once you close the book. In the back, you’ll find three RPG adventure guides, two from fantasy author Tristan J. Tarwater and one from narrative game designer Geoffrey Golden. The RPGs correspond with Dungeons & Dragons 5E, but are all set within the “Helm Greycastle” universe.

“Leonard Cohen: On a Wire” by Philippe Girard (Courtesy of Drawn + Quarterly) 

“Leonard Cohen: On a Wire”

By Philippe Girard

(Drawn + Quarterly)

Cartoonist Philippe Girard imagines the life of Leonard Cohen, taking readers on a journey through the late singer, songwriter and poet’s storied career. Girard, who is based in Quebec, dives into Cohen’s life with both reverence and humor. Readers are carried through Cohen’s youth in Montreal and his later experiences in …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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