Israeli writer and artist Rutu Modan, author of the darkly beautiful Exit Wounds, is back with Jamilti & Other Stories (Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95), a compilation of seven short works from 1998 to 2007. There is great variety in the writing, from a dark fairy tale to unique Israeli stories. The pieces show how Modan’s artwork has evolved from her delicate pencil and ink work to a more detailed Hergé-type clean-line technique.
Writer Marguerite Abouet and illustrator Clément Oubrerie give us light-hearted stories set in Abidjan during a prosperous “golden era” of the Ivory Coast in the late ’70s. In Aya (Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95), we are introduced to the title character and her friends, Bintou and Adjoua. The three are caught up in teenage romances; their stern parents, and smooth-talking suitors are very much on the scene. Aya Of Yop City (Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95) continues the girls’ stories (and solves some mysteries). Abouet’s narratives are charming, but we also witness an insider’s take on the family, class, and village tensions. Oubrerie’s authentically-detailed color drawings are done with a light touch.