Fantastic Reads: The Creators of ‘The Divine’ Present their Fantasy Reading List
Artists Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka and writer Boaz Lavie have produced a stunning work of fantasy in their new book The Divine, which follows the story of a US military contractor who goes to a war-torn South East Asian country to exploit its resources, and learns that ancient gods, mystic warriors, and even a dragon have taken to the battlefield. It's a visually sumptuous work, run through with darkness and wonder.
To mark the book's upcoming release, we asked the authors to come up with a reading list of other works that they would recommend, covering similar themes of magical realism, engrossing fantasy, and wondrous horror. These books may have influenced or inspired the creators of The Divine, or they may just be excellent company for it on your bookshelf.
Arguably the best sequential thing ever to be conceived. A high school grudge destroys neo-Tokyo and a new type of kinetic action comics is born.
I AM A HEROHanazawa Kengo
The fact that the hero is a mangaka really makes it for me. The world here is beautifully mundane, the monsters are deeply disturbing, and the boy-girl dynamic sadly familiar.
DRAGON HEADMinetaro Mochizuki
Accurately captures a teenage fantasy and horror. Makes a virtuoso use of the principle of hiding the worst in the shadows.
ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY #19Chris Ware
Life imitates art imitates life times eternity, where a character's biography is lit in Mars orange through a science fiction tale he creates while going through a mental break down. It’s a beautiful dance of metaphors, allegories and projections.
BLACK HOLECharles Burns
There is no darkness as deep as a teenager’s soul. Reading Black Hole, we felt like we’re swimming in the inky river of teen psyche. The body mutations, the girl with the tail, the dolls in the trees. It’s stayed with us for years. We’ve emerged transformed.
CALGARY: DEATH MILKS A COWConnor Willumsen
An opaque but endlessly fascinating short about farmer types and people with cowboy hats and thick fingers, somehow wiring a cow’s brain so it can converse. There is also a guest appearance by God, I think.
PROSOPOPUSNicolas de Crécy
De Crécy can draw a city like no one else. With detailed yet extremely expressive line work he creates a New-York-like landscape only to contrast it with a fantastical creature simplified to the basic form of a ball. It’s the cutest monster until it starts getting bloody. If guilt was a physical entity, the book suggests, it would have been marshmallow pink. (Wordless, so you don’t need to know French).
WE3Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely
A dog, a cat, and a rabbit are turned into a team of cyborg assassins by the U.S government. When their program gets cancelled they have to find their way home. Fantastic and heartbreaking, concise and stylish, We3 is a masterclass given by two comics magicians.
PREACHERGarth Ennis, Steve Dillon
Comics storytelling with a switchblade — condensed beauty, violence and religion, in this wild ride through the U.S.A. Fantasy has never been so brutal and real.
BLACK JACKOsamu Tezuka
Don't be fooled by the seemingly-fun artwork. Behind the imagery there’s a somber world, full of surgical tools, bizarre diseases, and mysterious, supernatural powers. This manga by the great Osamu Tezuka is a must read for anyone interested in Japanese-style fantastic realism.