Are You My Mother?
by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22)
Alison Bechdel’s 2006 memoir, Fun Home, “brought the graphic form to a fresh peak of critical acclaim,” said Katherine Dunn in the Portland Oregonian. Following up on that story about her father and his apparent suicide, the author “does herself one better with a tender and wide-ranging examination of her relationship with her living mother.” These two “dynamic and vulnerable” women come to vivid life before our eyes as they debate the merits of the very book we’re reading.
by Guy Delisle (Drawn and Quarterly, $25)
Guy Delisle’s fourth graphic travelogue “provides a fascinating close-up of what it’s like to live in the most sacred city in the world,” said Stephen Carlick in the National Post (Canada). The Canadian artist worked to not take sides in the religious and cultural conflicts he witnessed. Like him, you’ll be astounded to encounter neighborhoods where people go jogging with assault rifles and safe passage depends on answering spot quizzes about religious prayers.
My Friend Dahmer
by Derf Backderf (Abrams, $18)
“No one really expects a classmate, however weird, to become a serial killer with a human head in the fridge,” said Karen Sandstrom in the Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch. Comic-strip artist Derf Backderf was a high school classmate of Jeffrey Dahmer, and he wonders how the teenager he knew in the mid-1970s became such a monster. Backderf’s empathetic approach “allows the reader to mourn and pity the killer’s own wasted life” while never losing sight of Dahmer’s culpability in 17 murders.
Kiki de Montparnasse
by José-Luis Bocquet and Catel Muller (Abrams, $25)
Kiki de Montparnasse was a “free-spirited, fascinating muse to some of the most influential artists of her time,” said Whitney Matheson in USA Today. José-Luis Bocquet’s words and Catel Muller’s illustrations brilliantly capture the life of this early-20th-century siren, who “rubbed shoulders (and sometimes other parts)” with Jean Cocteau, Alexander Calder, and Man Ray. The book “contains quite a bit of sex and nudity—but so did Kiki’s life.”