Even one of the world's most savage serial killers was once just a high school dork. Backderf, who palled around with Dahmer in high school, writes a memoir that not only shows the killer's evolution and how all the signs were missed, but gets inside the cruelties and cliques of every high school with a dark-humored portrait of the murderer as teenage reject.
Bechdel unwinds another tangled family situation with the story of her mother, whose marriage to a bisexual man (Bechdel's father) and ambivalence about motherhood lead to a mother/daughter dynamic where the unspoken is louder than any words. Quotes ranging from Virginia Woolf to Dr. Seuss and Bechdel's own precise prose combine with her fluid drawings to capture a complex relationship.
Alternating between funny, surreal recreations of her life as a globe-trotting celebrity indie cartoonist, and never ending neu-rotically obsessive self-examinations of her moods, comics, and friends, Bell's newest comics memoir is an oddball delight. She recounts, among other things, a charming (but failed) relationship with filmmaker Michel Gondry, details how she ended up committing (regretfully) to adapt the SCUM manifesto into a comic, and much more.
The stories of the early hackers are almost too incredible to be true, filled with daring crimes, mad escapes, and twisted pun-ishments. In his graphic novel debut, Piskor uses real-life tales to create the story of Kevin "Boingthump" Phenicle, a smart, awkward kid (based on a number of real-life hackers) whose computer genius takes him on a long, wild ride of daring escapades, a Robin Hood for the digital age.
Another literary exploration of the battle between creativity and parental approval. Esteemed scholar Mary Talbot compares her own upbringing by her father, James Joyce scholar William Atherton, with that of Joyce's daughter, Lucia, who died in a madhouse after a lifetime of frustration. Talbot's husband, Bryan, supplies charming and heartbreaking drawings that capture the evolution of feminism.