If you stop in today, you might find me dabbing an eye or nostril with a hanky. You might find me distant, addled, reluctant to speak. You might even find me slumped over in a chair, head in my hands, tears oozing through the cracks between my fingers. Don't be concerned if you do see me this way. No tragedy has befallen me, unless you count hay fever as tragedy. It's got me by the throat, Stranger, and it's shaking the snot out of me. This happens each autmun and each spring and it suprises me every time. And on the subject of surpise, I have one for you (and it has nothing to do with my marshmallow head!): Ada Books has just received a small but robust selection of new graphic novels. You all know Persepolis and maybe you know that I haven't been able to get it for the last few months. But now I have it, them: volumes 1 & 2 (soon to be a major motion picture). Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel is now in paperback and on my bookshelf. A.L.I.E.E.E.N., by francophone Lewis Trondheim, needs no translation since its rare word balloons use an invented and unknowable alphabet. The Black Diamon Detective Agency, by Eddie Campbell, sets you back about a hundred years, promising Orphans! Mayhem! Terror! Chance In Hell, by Gilbert Hernandez, offers up its senseless sex and sensible violence in hardback. Notes for a War Story, by Gipi, imagines an unlikely tale of conflict in The Balkans. The Professor's Daughter, by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert, places its murder, adventure and mystery in 19th century London. Kafka, by Robert Crumb, is a kind of picto-biography, with ink as black as Kafka's sense of humor. Dogs & Water, is the latest pretty thing by Anders Nilsen. Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip is not exactly a graphic novel but it is great fun. And at last, The Acme Novelty Library, by Chris Ware, furthers the sorrows, among other things, of Jimmy Corrigan. But that's not all, Stranger. Besides my tears, my mucus, my surly stare and my sweet-hot list of new graphic novels, you will find, if you care to make the time, hundreds of new used novels (including about thirty in Spanish), an armful of good poetry and plenty of other morsels you can paw over in person. Just thought I'd let you know.


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