Monster, Naoki Urasawa - volumes 2, 3, 4, 5, + 6
volume 2 description: An ice-cold killer is on the loose, and brilliant Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop him! Conspiracies, serial murders, and a scathing indictment of hospital politics are all masterfully woven together in this compelling manga thriller. Tenma springs to action when he discovers that Johan, the boy whose life he saved nine years ago, has grown up to become a serial murderer. Attempting to track down Johan's twin sister Anna, Tenma discovers that Johan's connections to government officials run just as deep as his connection to Anna. Now Tenma realizes that this monster is far more powerful than he could have ever imagined.
Batman: Year One
Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
Even Batman was an inexperienced novice once. In an essential story from the Dark Knight's early days, Batman struggles to instill fear in Gotham City's criminals, while expatriate Chicago cop James Gordon discovers that he may be the only honest cop in town.
Kampung Boy is a favorite of millions of readers in Southeast Asia. With masterful economy worthy of Charles Schultz, Lat recounts the life of Mat, a Muslim boy growing up in rural Malaysia in the 1950s: his adventures and mischief-making, fishing trips, religious study, and work on his family’s rubber plantation. Meanwhile, the traditional way of life in his village (or kampung) is steadily disappearing, with tin mines and factory jobs gradually replacing family farms and rubber small-holders. When Mat himself leaves for boarding school, he can only hope that his familiar kampung will still be there when he returns.
Malaysian teenager Mat makes a life-changing move from the quiet kampung where he was born to Ipoh, the rapidly industrializing nearby town. Living far from his rural roots at a boarding school, he discovers bustling streets, modern music, heady literature, budding romance, and through it all his growing passion for art.
Aya: Ivory Coast, 1978. Family and friends gather at Aya's house every evening to watch the country's first television ad campaign promoting the fortifying effects of Solibra, "the strong man's beer." It's a golden time, and the nation, too — an oasis of affluence and stability in West Africa — seems fueled by something wondrous.
Who's to know that the Ivorian miracle is nearing its end? In the sun-warmed streets of working-class Yopougon, aka Yop City, holidays are around the corner, the open-air bars and discos are starting to fill up, and trouble of a different kind is about to raise eyebrows. At night, an empty table in the market square under the stars is all the privacy young lovers can hope for, and what happens there is soon everybody's business.
Aya tells the story of its nineteen-year-old heroine, the studious and clear-sighted Aya, her easygoing friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbors. It's a breezy and wryly funny account of the desire for joy and freedom, and of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in Yop City. An unpretentious and gently humorous story of an Africa we rarely see-spirited, hopeful, and resilient — Aya won the 2006 award for Best First Album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. Clément Oubrerie's warm colors and energetic, playful lines connect expressively with Marguerite Abouet's vibrant writing.