Lots of AI, a TARDIS and poetry… the 11 books you shouldn’t miss in April

Comics

Pino, the emotional AI

Screenplay and drawing by Takashi Murakami, published on April 3, 2024 by Pika editions – €20

© Journal du Geek

If we had to name just one favorite for this month of April, it would inevitably be Pino, the latest gem from Pika editions. Imposing and all in duotone, Takashi Murakami’s graphic novel is a slap in the face, one of those readings from which you don’t come out unscathed. Through several intersecting stories, the author questions our relationship to artificial intelligence and humanity through the eyes of Pino, the first sentient AI deployed in the body of a humanoid robot. When his existence is doomed to disappear, Pino is struck by an unknown virus: that of consciousness. While the manufacturers who created it try to deactivate the latest models still in circulation, the little robot will do everything to save the people he loves before his departure for the afterlife.

Not content with having brought us a few tears, Pino, the emotional AI is a poetic fable, which shines with its sweetness and optimism. Despite the dark themes tackled by the author, who already shone with her mastery of the sensitive chord in The Star Guardian Dogthis new graphic novel is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful surprises we were given to discover in May.

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Future

Screenplay by Pierre Benazech and Pierre-Rolland Saint-Dizier, drawing by Eliot, published on April 12, 2024 by Ankama – €17.90

© Journal du Geek

AI is definitely in the spotlight this month. After the poetry of Pino, room for the pessimism of Pierre Benazech and Pierre-Rolland Saint-Dizier. Halfway between Minority Report And Divergent, Future is a dark and screaming tale of freedom. In a society where each child is assigned a destiny based on their predispositions, young Matt is labeled a troublemaker, and condemned to be placed in a specialized center, even though he has (yet) committed no crime. Driven by love and his thirst for justice, his family will do everything to allow Matt to escape his condition. But the price to pay may be higher than expected.

Intelligent and brilliantly illustrated, Future is a nugget, which shakes and pushes us to question the excesses of an AI still in its infancy. A very nice discovery to discover urgently at Ankama.

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Doctor Who: Once Upon a Time Lord

Scenario by Dan Slott, collective drawing, published on April 11, 2024 by Black River editions – €16.90

Selection Bd April 2024 (10)
© Journal du Geek

For the 60th anniversary of the series, David Tennant made his return to the small screen before handing over to Ncuti Gatwa. The Tenth Doctor also marks a notable arrival in paper format, with the unique adaptation by Dan Slott, already author on Fantastic Four And Spiderman and artist Christopher Jones.

In Once upon a time there was a Time Lord, David Tennant sets out in search of his companion Martha Jones, captured by the Pyromeths. To defeat his enemies, no bloody battles, but a series of sensational tales to establish the Gallifreyan legend. Designed as a collection of short stories embedded in an independent narrative, this new adventure, unique in France, intends to kill two birds with one stone: pay tribute to fans in a high-profile anniversary episode featuring the most emblematic Doctor of his generation, but also offer a gateway to newwho would like to take the series along without knowing where to start.

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Mardival

Scenario and drawing by Yann Cozic, published on April 24, 2024 by Glénat editions – €16.95

Selection Bd April 2024 (6)
© Journal du Geek

Between the cloak and dagger novel and the fantastic fable, Yann Cozic’s first graphic novel from Glénat offers us a very good lesson in heroism. The adventures of young Moira and her improbable friendship with the deserter Grégoire are at first glance nothing very original: sacred relics, a cursed destiny and rides through the forest… even the final twist of the situation was expected. Nevertheless the tone and drawings hit the mark. The medieval atmosphere transports us to distant times, and we never tire of the inspiring characters who populate the story.

Like Nimona, the animated feature film that broke the rules at Netflix, Mardival is a success from the first to the last page. All we can do is hope that Moira’s first adventures will give rise to a slew of heirs, all equally heroic and chivalrous.

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Superman Lost

Scenario by Christopher Priest, drawing by Carlo Pagulayan, published on April 12, 2024 by Urban Comics – €24

Selection Bd April 2024 (3)
© Journal du Geek

While Clark Kent and Lois Lane aspire to an almost normal life, the Metropolis superhero leaves home one morning to carry out a routine mission. However, when evening comes, another man returns. Trembling, agitated, Superman shows all the signs of post-traumatic stress. Faced with his wife’s incomprehension, he claims to have been gone not for a few hours, but for twenty years.

At DC, not all supers are in the same boat. Until now, it was Batman and his Batman who had been treated to the deepest, and inevitably, the most interesting stories. In the end, it wasn’t so much about fighting Gotham’s super-villains as it was about depicting the agonies of a tortured mind. This year, Superman takes this honor. The Man of Steel delivers with Superman LostA brilliant story of cracks and humanity. A powerful and very successful one-shot, carried by the mastered style of Carlo Pagulayan.

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Arca

Scenario by Van Jensen, drawing by Jesse Lonergan, published on March 7, 2024 by 404 Graphic – €22

Selection Bd April 2024 (15)
© Journal du Geek

The planet is dead, but the richest survived by beginning a great exodus towards the stars. Behind the dystopian premise of Arca, Van Jensen draws a bitter and pessimistic observation (definitely, this is the theme of the moment) on our modern society. While Arca shelters the big names of this world in search of a more welcoming home, hundreds of young adolescents are reduced to slavery, blinded by the promise of a better future far from Earth.

Much more current than it seems, Arca speaks about our present rather than our future, against a backdrop of class struggle and social injustice. If you liked the series 4% on Netflix, there is no risk of going wrong. Persephone’s misadventures in the interstellar void are a visual and narrative slap in the face, which will keep you in suspense until the final conclusion. Special mention for the quality of the graphic novel, which sublimates the SF themes addressed, in a very nice editorial object as we rarely see.

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We also liked:

  • Métal Hurlant – Special Cats (Les Humanoids Associés)
  • Who lets the light pass (Glénat)

Manga

Luca, dragon veterinarian (T1)

Scenario and drawing by Yuna Hiarsawa, published on April 17, 2024 by Glénat editions – €7.90

Selection Bd April 2024 (12)
© Journal du Geek

After the poetry of Terrarium (series in 4 volumes finished in 2022), author Yuna Hiarsawa immerses us in a new dreamlike universe. THE post-apocalyptic gives way to fantasy, and the robots bow to the dragons. A young veterinarian with a promising career, Luca dreams of following in his father’s footsteps. Once she graduates from the Higher Institute of Dragon Sciences in Kogniel, she embarks on a crazy mission: to heal all the dragons that cross her path, and to make the world (a little) more beautiful.

Light, optimistic and very graphically mastered, Luca, draconic veterinarian, signs a first volume that meets our expectations. The series promises not to last forever, we will take care to enjoy each volume as it comes out, and to closely follow the author’s work.

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YAN (T1)

Scenario and drawing by Chang Sheng, published on April 3, 2024 by Glénat editions – €14.95

Selection Bd April 2024 (2)
© Journal du Geek

First volume of a three-volume series, YAN is a brilliant rereading of the seinen codes. Between the Opera and superheroes, the author delivers an explosive and crazy story, which brilliantly mixes the modern pop culture and Chinese traditions. After being wrongly accused of the massacre of her family, 15-year-old Yan promises to take revenge. Incarcerated in a mysterious research center, she ends up finding real life again, and throws herself headlong into a spiral of revenge.

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Mekka Nikki (T1)

Scenario by Exaheva, drawing by Félix Laurent, published on April 3, 2024 by Les Humanoïds Associés – €12.99

Selection Bd April 2024 (5)
© Journal du Geek

To free her village from a curse, Nikki and her robot Perko go in search of a cure. Like her father ten years earlier, the young explorer will have to redouble her courage and boldness to make her way among creatures, each more frightening than the last. A fanciful and mechanical epic, in a crazy universe, far from the beaten track. Those nostalgic forAdventure Time should love it. We can’t wait to witness the outcome of this inspiring adventure, which ends in four volumes.

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We also liked:

  • Rave – Perfect Edition T1 (Glénat)
  • Undead Girl Murder Farce – T1 (Panini)

Novels

Arrietty, the little world of thieves

By Mary Norton, published on April 24, 2024 by Ynnis editions – €13.90

Selection Bd April 2024 (7)
© Journal du Geek

Novel at the origin of Ghibli’s masterpiece, Arrietty, the little world of thieves is a dive into the poetry from our childhood. When a miniature girl meets a friend from the human world by chance, she is forced to turn her world upside down to keep her family out of danger. By her recklessness, Arrietty has just broken the first rule of thieves. But it is also this misstep which will offer him the friendship she always dreamed of. A major work of low fantasy, which has earned its author all the honors, and immerses us in a poetic and dreamlike universe.

Discover Arrietty, the little world of thieves

The last sand fairy

By Edith Nesbit, published on April 10, 2024 by Novel editions – €15.90

Selection Comics April 2024
© Journal du Geek

Before Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings, there was Edith Nesbit and her modern fantasy novels, capable of influencing the greatest modern authors of the 20th century. As five children decide to explore the surroundings of their new home, they come face to face with a fairy. At least, that’s how the grumpy, hairy gremlin standing before them describes himself. Capable of granting wishes, even the wildest, the magical creature will quickly prove that there is definitely nothing magical about it. When the children’s dreams collapse, Cyril, Anthéa, Robert, Jane and Biquette have nothing left but their courage to get through it.

Although we know that The Last Sand Fairy was written and published in 1902, it is impossible to say that the story is more than 120 years old, as it shines with the modernity of its narration and its writing style. A very nice discovery published by Novel a few days ago.

Discover The Last Sand Fairy

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