Chicago, 1924. For jazz trumpeter Lester Lane, the ‘Windy City’ is about to get a whole lot windier. On the run from the mob, Lester scores a desperate gig for his trio – dapper pianist Hank Arvin, with old-timer ‘Iron Willie’ on drums (among other things).
Only trouble is, the booking is for a funeral, over in the backwoods of Illinois – where they sure ain’t never heard of Tiger Rag. What happens then proves to Lester and his band that a White Zombie is far, far more than a fancy cocktail.
Chico and Rita
Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice.
Music and romantic desire unite them, but their journey – in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero – brings heartache and torment. From Havana to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas, two passionate individuals battle impossible odds to unite in music and love.
Adapted from the animated feature film by multi-award-winning Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba.
The Good Inn
In 1907, the French battleship Iéna was destroyed when a nitrocellulose-based weapon propellant it was carrying became unstable with age and self-ignited, killing 120 people. A year later, La Bonne Auberge became the earliest known pornographic film, depicting an intimate encounter between a French soldier and an innkeeper’s daughter. Like all films at the time, and for decades afterwards, it was made with a highly combustible nitrocellulose-based film stock. Loosely based on historical events, The Good Inn follows the lone survivor of the Iéna explosion as he makes his way through the French countryside.
He falls into a strange love affair with an innkeeper’s daughter and, even more deeply, into a volatile counter-universe where war and art exist side by side. But The Good Inn is also the very real story of the people who made the world’s first pornographic film. Francis and Frank weave together real historical facts to recreate this lost piece of history, as seen through the eyes of a shell-shocked soldier who finds himself that film’s subject and star.
Through his journey, we explore the power of memory, the simultaneously destructive and restorative power of light, and how the early pioneers of pornography helped shape the film industry for generations to come.
fish + chocolate
Award-winning graphic novelist Kate Brown presents three original short stories about a mother’s fears, dilemmas and grief.
The joy of birth, the comfort of the family and the security of the home are stripped away to reveal disturbing themes of loss, rejection and vulnerability.
Unsettlingly strange and darkly haunting, the three interlinked fables of Fish + Chocolate will reverberate long after the last page is turned.
The Cigar that Fell in Love with a Pipe
Following the release of his latest movie, Orson Welles – renowned director and smoking afficionado – receives a celebratory box of cigars.
As he indulges his habit, Welles comes to realise exactly what he’s smoking: the final creations of Conchita Marquez, Cuba’s finest cigar roller.
Ranging from the heyday of the cigar industry to the glamorous heights of Hollywood’s Golden Age, The Cigar That Fell In Love With A Pipe inventively combines romance, history, imagination and nicotine to ask the burning question: can love triumph over adversity, or does it all go up in smoke?
Hellraisers is the story of four of the greatest boozers of all time: Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole and Oliver Reed. Robert Sellers and JAKe cleverly weave the four biographies seamlessly into one fast-paced adventure of drunken binges, orgies, parties and fun.
Told through the eyes of Martin, a wannabe hellraiser, we begin our tale in a typical London pub at Christmas time. Martin sits alone at the end of the bar, drinking himself into oblivion. Our four hellraisers, alerted to a comrade in need, are compelled to intervene. One by one, they take this disillusioned soul on a personal tour of their lives, their tumultuous childhoods, rise to stardom and chaotic personal lives. JAKe and Robert Sellers’ graphic novel provides all wannabe hellraisers with an account of four very cautionary tales.
For high-flying, heavy-drinking advertising boss Tom Banbury, the art of persuasion relies on an infiltration of the consumer’s mind. In the case of his colleague and confidant Nikos Gazidis, the overdeveloped sense of empathy that suits him to the business has given rise to a strange psychiatric condition.
Nick has unwittingly crashed into the consciousness of his boss. While Tom drinks to forget the troubles of his early life, Nick is forced to confront a past that is not his own: a childhood scarred by the small wars waged by an abusive father – and by the events that brought them to a close.
When Nick enters the panicked silence of the Abbey, a fortress for the rich and unstable, his sister guards him from the visiting Tom Banbury. But can this peculiar bond be broken or has Nikos Gazidis taken an empathetic leap too far?
But I Really Wanted to be an Anthropologist...
Meet Margaux: thirty-something mother, geek, style-goddess and red wine drinker. We follow her life, collected from her illustrated blog, as she makes her way as a freelancer in Paris.
Anyone who’s ever worn inappropriate shoes to the supermarket or danced around the house in their underwear will be charmed by Motin’s irreverent humour.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde’s classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, reinvented in this striking graphic novel, is the story of a man who, exhilarated by his own beauty, pledges his very soul in a desperate bid for eternal youth.
His wish is magically granted: a portrait of Dorian, painted by his friend Basil, begins to age in his place. Dorian’s naïveté soon turns into narcissism and a dangerous sense of invulnerability. Influenced by the decadent aristocrat Lord Henry, he embarks upon a career of selfish hedonism and depravity, ruining several lives on the way.
With great skill and artistic flair, Ian Edginton and artist I.N.J. Culbard bring Oscar Wilde’s morally ambiguous take on the Gothic thriller to the graphic novel form.
The Conference of the Birds
The Conference of the Birds, the epic poem by the twelfth-century Persian mystic and poet Attar of Nishapur, is here retold by the acclaimed author and illustrator Peter Sís in a dazzlingly new graphic form.Part allegorical quest, part spiritual meditation, Sís’s sumptuously re-imagined adaptation traces the adventures of a flock of birds, led by the hoopoe, their different species reflecting the range of human character.
Disillusioned by the troubles of the world, they journey to the mountain of Kaf in search of their true king, Simorgh. The way is hard and perilous, and many birds abandon the voyage, others perishing in the arduous terrain of the Seven Valleys: Quest, Love, Understanding, Detachment, Unity, Amazement and Death.
Those birds who eventually complete the voyage, and discover the true nature of Simorgh, learn a truth as relevant and profound for us today, on our long human journey, as it was in Attar’s original, nearly nine centuries ago.
Dance by the Light of the Moon
Dance by the Light of the Moon is a moving love story inspired by the author’s relationship with a Togolese political refugee. It began as a response to the publication of a short story, ‘Message from the Fortress’, written by the author’s father, Geert van Istendael. In this, her father gave vent to his feelings about the relationship.
At first angry with her father, the author publicly responded by reclaiming the story in this, what she terms, “semi-autobiographical” story. While the first part of the graphic novel is told from her father’s perspective, the second part is told in flashback by the protagonist, Sophie, to her young daughter.
This is a beautiful, unexpected tale, told from the heart, which reaches far beyond the story that originally inspired it. It tells of a young woman who is madly in love, and a father who, in spite of his prejudices, stands up for her love. More than that, it is about families, growing up, heartbreak and real life.
Ricky Rouse Has a Gun
Rick Rouse is a US Army deserter who, after running away to China, gets a job at Fengxian Amusement Park, a family destination heavily ‘inspired’ by Western culture, featuring Rambi (the deer with a red headband), Ratman (the caped crusader with a rat’s tail), Bumbo (small ears, big behind) and other original characters.
The park’s general manager is convinced that Rick was destined to greet Fengxian customers dressed as none other than Ricky Rouse.
This original graphic novel is a relentless action comedy, a satire of US-China relations, a parody of Western entertainment and a curious look at China, a country that, once we look past its often outrageous infringements, is a culture ripe with innovation and a unique, courageous spirit.
Baby's in Black: The Story of Astrid Kirchherr & Stuart Sutcliffe
Astrid Kirchherr has finished studying fashion and is working as an assistant for her former lecturer, the photographer Reinhart Wolf. Her relationship with Klaus Voormann, a young graphic artist, has long since been punctuated by arguments and is slowly disintegrating. One evening, after yet another fight, Klaus leaves the flat and roams through the city alone. In the middle of the night, he’s once more standing at Astrid’s door, desperate to tell her what he has just discovered in St. Pauli: five young Englishmen playing rock ‘n’ roll under the name of The Beatles…
After a series of conversations with Astrid Kirchherr, Arne Bellstorf developed a pictorial narrative focusing on both the Hamburg subculture of the early sixties and the tragic love story between the young photographer and the musician, artist and so-called ‘fifth Beatle’ Stuart Sutcliffe.
Miller & Pynchon
Meet Mr. Miller and Mr. Pynchon. As government surveyors, their job is to measure the world. In time, a loftier task awaits them: the observation of the Transit of Venus. They are true men of science: they find safety in numbers.
But some things in life will always remain incalculable. Grief, for example, and remorse. And faith. And the generation gap. And, it goes without saying, the opposite sex. Not to mention the fateful gigantic cheese, or the talking crocodile with a predilection for poetry…
The twenty enigmatic parables that make up the story of Leopold Maurer’s Miller & Pynchon trace a different trajectory for our heroes – by turns comic, poignant, farcical and tragic – towards a truer, perhaps more hopeful, definition of what it is to be human.