At the Random House booth, a graphic novel checklist from Pantheon Books listed eight new releases for 2008. Mind you, a lot of their "new" releases are new editions of previously released material, though some of it hasn't been seen for a while, or not at all in English yet. In addition to paperback editions of Charles Burns's Black Hole(January) and Jessica Abel's La Perdida(May) are a second volume of Joann Sfar's The Rabbi's Cat(April) and the long-awaited Art Spiegelman collection Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! (October), which includes work long out of print (and expensive on the used-book market). All of this is great news—I prefer to assign paperbacks to students rather than hardcovers, and more of the Rabbi's cat in English is always welcome. I imagine volume two will go at least as far as to include the fifth (French) volume of The Rabbi's Cat (the first English-language volume comprises the first three French-language albums). That extra-long volume, Jérusalem d'Afrique, is at times shocking; it may be my favorite single work by Sfar (not that I've read that much by him).
The real shock, though, is seeing a work advertised by another favorite cartoonist. Coming in December: Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli, an artist barely seen in bookstores since his masterful collaboration with Paul Karasik on the graphic-novel version of Paul Auster's City of Glass. I'd link to more information about the forthcoming book, but it's not listed yet on either the Amazon or the Pantheon websites. Here's what it says in the brochure:
Mazzucchelli triumphantly returns to the graphic novel with this fascinating portrait of an accomplished architect who attempts to escape his past, only to find that it has long since shaped his future.That's it. No pictures, no page count, no price listed, though there is an ISBN (978-0-307-37732-6 hc) and a phone number to call for orders: (800) 733-3000. No doubt more info will trickle out by next December, but this bombshell news was too good to keep!