The first two volumes of Best of Enemies, Jean-Pierre Filiu and David B.’s graphic history of US and Middle East Relations, took in two hundred years of conflict and diplomacy, from the Barbary Wars to the Reagan era. The third and final volume, out now, is an essential guide to the events of the late twentieth- and early twenty-first century: thirty turbulent years that shaped the political and humanitarian crises of today, from the rise of populism and the so-called Islamic State to the global refugee crisis.
Best of Enemies: Part Three begins with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and ends with Obama’s decision, in 2013, to put military action against Syria on hold. Spanning the First Gulf War, the rise of al-Qaeda, the military response to the September 11 attacks and the ongoing conflict in Syria, the third and final volume is propelled by a clash between four US presidents and their Middle Eastern antagonists: Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Bashar al-Assad.
Filled with David B.’s trademark playfulness and wit, Best of Enemies is both erudite and immensely readable. It lands many satisfying satirical blows while never losing sight of the complexities of this troubled relationship and the difficulties faced by those attempting to manage it.
Best of Enemies is out now and available in all good book shops.
January blues? Fear not, folks: the days are getting longer, the end of dry January is getting closer and green shoots are sprouting on the horizon. We're gearing up for a spring season that promises everything: cutting edge fiction, graphic adaptation, political non-fiction and art books of unparalleled beauty. Here's what we're publishing over the next six months.
In February, we release the third and final volume of Jean-Pierre Filiu and David B.’s much lauded history of US and Middle East relations, Best of Enemies. Filled with wit and insight, it’s a concise and engaging guide to a period that began with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and ended with Obama’s decision, in 2013, to put military action against Syria on hold.
Reinhard Kleist's Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: An Art Bookhas so far been available only through nickcave.com. In March, it is released to bookshops country-wide. Find this full-colour, LP-sized coffee table book, filled with illustrations of the musician and his band, at a bricks-and-mortar store near you. You won't be disappointed.
March also sees the release of the Klimowski Poster Book, a handsomely produced collection of poster designs by the graphic artist Andrzej Klimowski. Working for Polish theatre and film companies, and drawing on folk art and Surrealism, Klimowski designed some of his generation's most iconic and influential poster designs. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Illustration at the Royal College of Art.
In April, a haunting, beautiful and devastating work of fiction: Out in the Open by Javi Rey. Adapted from Jesús Carrasco’s award-winning novel of the same name, Out in the Open follows a young boy who, after suffering violence and betrayal at home, flees into an uncompromising landscape ravaged by drought. An elderly goatherd is his only hope of saviour.
In May, to mark the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth, we bring you Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson’s graphic adaptation of The Communist Manifesto. Rowson employs his trademark draughtsmanship and wit to this singular, energetic adaptation of Marx and Engels' revolutionary pamphlet. To this day, it remains one of the most important works of political theory ever published.
In June, lift off... Writers Matt Fitch and Chris Baker have teamed up with Marvel and DC regular Mike Collins to tell the remarkable story of the first moon landing. Apollo unpacks the urban legends, the gossip and the speculation to reveal a remarkable true story about life, death, dreams and the reality of humanity's greatest exploratory achievement.
Finally, also in June, John Harris Dunning and Michael Kennedy bring us a stylish contemporary thriller, Tumult. At a house party, Adam Whistler meets – and beds – the lovely Morgan. But when he encounters her a few days later, she has no memory of him and introduces herself as Leila. People are being murdered and Leila, who has dissociative identity disorder (or “multiple personalities”), fears that Morgan might be the killer.
So, there's a lot to look forward to, basically. Stay tuned for news of launches, festival appearances and much, much more.
Over the last few years, comics artist Frederik Peeters has proved that he can turn his remarkable talent to any subject whatsoever, from autobiography (Blue Pills), through surrealism (Sandcastle, Pachyderme), to high science fiction (Aama). Now, in a collaboration with the writer Loo Hui Phang, he reinvents another genre: the Western.
Phang is an experienced comics writer whose own wide-ranging career has seen her produce plays, films, performances and installations, and collaborate with illustrators from Blexbolex to Ludovic Debeurme.
In The Smell of Starving Boys, Phang crafts an intense and philosophical Western that explores the clash between two worlds: one defined by rationality and technology, the other by shamanism and nature.
Set in post-Civil War America, the book follows an expedition led by the geologist Stingley, who is looking to capitalise on "unclaimed" land to the west of the Mississippi. As they enter the native Comanches' last bastion of resistance, the boundaries between the "civilised" and the natural worlds begin to blur, social conventions dissolve and an ambiguous relationship burgeons between Stingley's travelling companions, the photographer Oscar Forrest and the young assistant Milton.
In his graphic biography Nick Cave: Mercy on Me, Reinhard Kleist paints an enthralling portrait of the musician, novelist, poet and actor. It is, according to Nick Cave himself, “a complex, chilling and completely bizarre journey into Cave World”. Now, available exclusively from nickcave.com, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: An Art Book brings together Kleist's moody and expressive portraits of the musician and his band, spanning thirty years of writing, recording and live performance.
Filled with visual delights, this LP-sized art book also returns readers to Nick Cave’s imaginative world with comic book reimaginings of “Deanna”, “The Good Son” and “Stagger Lee”.
But that's not all: every copy ordered through nickcave.com will be accompanied by an exclusive A5 print.
So, if there's a Cave lover in your life, or if you just want to enhance the look of your coffee table, head here and make them - or you - deliriously happy.
Our Art Masters series has already brought the lives of painters including Rembrandt and Van Gogh to graphic novel form. Now, courtesy of writer Vincent Zabus and artist Thomas Campi, it's the turn of the great Surrealist René Magritte.
The Surrealist's life story is told through the character of Charles Singulier, who one day makes the fanciful - and, as we'll learn, fateful - decision to buy a bowler hat. It soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary chapeau melon: this one once belonged to René Magritte, and by donning it Charles has unwittingly entered the artist’s unbridled, off-kilter world.
Charles is given a clear choice: uncover the secrets of Magritte’s life and work – or be doomed to wear the hat forever.
What follows is a remarkable exploration of Magritte’s imaginative landscape. Zabus and Campi examine the ideas and penetrate the mysteries of a paradoxical figure: a painter who didn’t like to paint; an instinctive anarchist who lived a suburban, petty bourgeois existence; a lonely, melancholy soul never far from his friends and collaborators.