It was yet another year of next-level graphic novels, and how lucky we are here at Turnaround to distribute them! It was no easy feat whittling down our staff picks, but after much painstaking decision-making and… heated debates… in the office, we managed to compile a list of our favourite graphic novels that were published in 2022. What a year it’s been!
by Tim Seeley & Jodi Nishijima
9781302934651 / Marvel / PB / £16.99
This collection is a dream for any Gwen Stacey fan!
On Earth-65, Gwen was bitten by a radioactive spider, gained arachnid-like super-powers and started a crimefighting career as Spider-Woman (or, as she’s affectionately known to her peers, Ghost-Spider!) Gwen Stacy is about to face a unique journey of self-discovery across time and space, never quite knowing which reality or time she’s just landed in — or which version of herself she’ll be meeting next! Get ready to experience the Gwenverse!
by Caleb Thusat & Marcelo Biott
9781954412750 / Source Point Press / PB / £18.99
Nook is a graphic novel that will haunt you to the bitter end!
Fleeing the oppression of WWII Germany, Avery and her parents move to a remote town on the border of France. It is here she finds her new best friend, a cat named Nook. But, there is more to this cat than it seems. A dark and twisted history longs to be revealed. Avery is swept up into a deadly cycle of violence and will come to both fear and love her fuzzy new friend as the history of her new home is revealed. Nook is a powerful experience conveying the depths of grief and trauma, and the lengths to which you might go in order not to feel alone. With both beautiful and unsettling illustrations by Marcelo Biott, this is a graphic novel everyone needs on their shelves.
9781739775209 / Velocity Press / PB / £12.99
When 15% of Earth’s population find themselves stuck on another planet, 23- year-old Sanda Oung and her 19-year-old sibling, Champo, set out to explore the mysterious Planet Divoc-91 to discover why young adults between 16-25 have been zapped there.
Searching for truth amongst sudden change and misinformation, Sanda and Champo soon discover a shocking secret growing under their noses. With each chapter bringing together a unique creative team, Planet Divoc-91 is an ambitious storytelling experience that merges comics, music and science like never before. Planet Divoc-91 is a nine-part allegorical webcomic. Each chapter features the work of a different creative team of comics pros and newcomers including Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead); Hannah Berry (Livestock), Karrie Fransman (Gender Swapped Fairytales), Bobby Joseph (Skank), with covers from iconic artists including Elsa Charretier, Matt Kindt, David Rubins, and Alitha Martinez. The story is interspersed with short articles, links to videos, and other pieces of art by young adults from India, South Africa, and the UK, exploring issues related to COVID-19, and includes a series of interviews with electronic musicians who created an accompanying soundtrack. Rich in ingenuity and utterly one-of-a-kind in fusing together artists, sci-fi, comics and music in a single volume, this incredible graphic novel is a powerful force of compelling creativity inspired by real lived experiences.
by Jeff Lemire & Jock
9781506726489 / Dark Horse / PB / £18.99
Two of the most acclaimed comics creators of their generation—writer Jeff Lemire and artist Jock—together for the first time in this 10-part science fiction saga set in a brutal world like no other!
Milliken and Mae have never left The Trench—it’s all they’ve ever known. They were born in The Trench, and they’ll die there, just like all their people do. The two girls, eight and eleven, are a part of “The Trenchfolk”, a sprawling settlement of people living inside the massive ice walls of a vast, seemingly endless frozen trench carved into the surface of an otherwise icy wasteland. The Trenchfolk survive in this hostile world by following “The Three Testaments of The Trench”—golden rules repeated like a mantra from birth to death…
1. YOU MUST NEVER LEAVE THE TRENCH.
2. THE TRENCH PROVIDES.
3. THE TRENCH IS ENDLESS.
Milli and Mae don’t really know how their people came to live here. No one does, not even their wise and gentle Father. On Milliken’s twelfth birthday, their father takes the two girls on an overnight skate down the trench—a coming-of-age ritual to teach them how to fish the frozen river, how to hunt the wild Trenchdogs that wander its frigid banks, and how to give proper thanks to their frozen Gods—The Colden Ones. It’s the trip of a lifetime until the girls push beyond the borders of their humble land and awaken the Trench’s deadly defender…The Snowman! What follows next is an action-packed story of survival, loss and redemption.
by Peach Momoko
9781302930110 / Marvel / PB / £33.99
A wandering swordswoman with a psychic blade arrives at a village targeted by demons. One is black and white with a horrifying tongue, and another may be the strongest demon there is!
Mariko Yashida hears mysterious voices and has strange dreams that feel real. Maybe her redheaded maid who dresses all in black might know more than she lets on? But as Mariko embarks on a wondrous journey, deadly creatures lurk in the woods — including a mysterious, blue-skinned woman and a giant with super-strength and claws! Enter a creative and mysterious new world of demons, monsters, mutants, and magic in a revolutionary reimagination of the Marvel Universe that could only come from the mind of acclaimed artist Peach Momoko!
by Akane Torikai
9781647291129 / Vertical / PB / £23.99
Torikai’s work is a frank and nuanced examination of the emotional and practical effects of sexual violence, rendering the messy realities in gorgeously refined linework and dialogue far more naturalistic than most manga. The author veers away from blunt indictment to paint one of the most complex and fascinating psychological portraits of both rapist and victim in any medium. Very much not just for manga fans, Sensei’s Pious Lie will appeal to readers of graphic novels and literary fiction in general.
Misuzu Hara is a quiet, reserved 24-year-old high school teacher whose world is turned upside down after her friend’s fiancé rapes her. Her attempt to connect with one of her students, himself a victim of sexual trauma, results in an unlikely romance, and the repercussions of these events affect everyone around them in often unpredicatable ways.
by Veronika Muchitsch
9781838386023 / Myriad Editions / PB / £18.99
Cyberman documents the life of Ari, an isolated 50-year-old man streaming his life on the internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He rarely leaves his house or has visitors. What he doesn’t realise is that his life is also being captured by Muchitsch, who is sat alone, in front of her computer screen, documenting his life over the course of an entire year. Muchitsch’s beautifully painted panels are a voyeuristic and compelling look into isolation and human connection, as well as an intimate portrait of a life spent online.
by Thierry Lammy, Nicolas Finet
9781681122984 / NBM / HB / £24.99
From David Jones to David Bowie and from Space Oddity to Black Star, discover the fate of an artist with a thousand faces. He is one of the most influential and creative artists of the 20th century. He explored a thousand styles and crossed the ages with splendour. His loss leaves an immense void… to fill it, discover his incredible destiny in this comics biography.
by Greg Lockard, Tim Fish & Hector Barros
9781506724553 / Dark Horse / PB / £18.99
During the final years of the Weimar Republic, Sam, an American banker, meets Philip, a German art critic, and they fall in love. Their romance is hit with an unspeakable reality as the Nazis come to power and fascism makes them a target. Debut writer Greg Lockard (Where We Live Las Vegas Shooting Benefit Anthology) and artist Tim Fish (Saved by the Bell, Cavalcade of Boys) prove that even through the harshest conditions, love will find a way to thrive.
by Tommi Parrish
9781683966500 / Fantagraphics / HB / £34.99
Eliza is a thirty-something struggling single mother and poet. Sasha, a twenty-something yearning for direction in life, just moved back in with her parents and dabbles as a sex worker. The two strike up an unlikely friendship that, as it veers toward something more, becomes a deeply resonant exploration of how far people are willing to go to find intimacy in a society that is increasingly closed off. In Sasha and Eliza, Parrish has created two of the most fully realized characters in recent contemporary fiction. Parrish’s gorgeously painted pages showcase a graceful understanding of body language and ear for dialogue, brilliantly using the medium of comics to depict the dissonance between the characters’ 5 interior and exterior experiences. Men I Trust is about not-always-healthy people attempting to make healthy connections in a disconnected world, and is one of the most moving and insightful works of literary fiction in any medium this year.
by Tom Humberstone
9781910395691 / Avery Hill / HB / £17.99
The incredible story of Suzanne Lenglen, a woman who changed the face of sport and society in the trailblazing jazz age, but who few even remember.
One of the greatest tennis players the world has ever seen was a woman few even remember. A championship player by the age of fifteen in a Europe overshadowed by impending war, Suzanne Lenglen broke records for ticket sales and match winning streaks, scandalised and entranced the public with her playing outfits, and became a pioneer, making friends and enemies throughout restrictive tennis society in the trailblazing jazz age. With stunning art and an astute eye, Suzanne explores how a figure both enormously influential and too-often overlooked battled her father’s ambition, bias in sporting journalism, and her own divisive personality, to forge a new path – and to change sport forever.