Thursday, May 28, 2015

Graphic Novel Palooza!

  A friend from work recently asked me to give her a list of good graphic novels. Here is the list I made her:

Trades/ more traditional comic books:  (All of these books are continuous stories so you should definitely start from the first book.)
  • Y:The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan. The first volume is called ’Unmanned.’ It is a story about a plague that wipes out all the men in the world except for one affable fellow and his pet monkey friend. 
  • The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. The tone and content is very similar to the show, but the story arcs are different. 
  • Sandman by Neil Gaiman. The Sandman comics are fantasy books based on the dream world. If you’ve read and enjoyed any Neil Gaiman books, I’m sure you will enjoy his graphic novels! (Volume one called ‘Preludes and Nocturnes.’ )
  • Preacher by Garth Ennis. This series as lots of supernatural elements to it such as vampires and demons.
  • Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire. This is another post apocalyptic series, and it is really good! It is about animal human hybrid children. It is really eerie and mysterious. (Volume one called ‘Out of the Deep Woods.’)
  • Fables by Bill Willingham

Stand Alone Graphic Novels/ authors
  • Jason. He goes by Jason without a last name. I love his stories! His stories often seem simple at first glance, but they are beautiful, insightful and thought provoking. Here are some titles:
  -I killed Adolf Hitler
-The Three Musketeers
-The Left Bank Gang
  • Daniel Clowes
-Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron
-Ghost World 
  • Jimmy Corrigon: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
  • The Under water Welder by Jeff Lemire. This story is unsettling and twilight zone-esque.
  • Heads or Tails by Lilli Carre. This one is a collection of short stories. They are strange and cute at the same time.
  • Black Hole by Charles Burns
  • Pop Gun War by Farel Dalrymple. A surreal story and beautiful art.
  • Temperance by Cathy Malkasian. Another one that is surreal, eerie and folkloric.
  • Only Skin by Sean Ford about mysterious disappearances. 
  • Paging Dr. Laura by Nicole Georges. This one is a memoir.
  • Adrian Tomine
-Summer Blonde
  • Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson about friendship and relationships. 

Making the list really got me in the mood to read more graphic novels! So the last time David and I went to the library together, we rummaged through the graphic novel section. I also put holds on graphic novels that sounded interesting but were not currently at the library. This resulted in a large stack of interesting graphic novels to read!

I love curling up with a good graphic novel and getting immersed in a world of story and pictures! I haven't got to them all yet, but here are a few I've read and enjoyed.

The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes:

  Daniel Clowes unique and slightly depressing twist on the super hero genre. A disempowered young man discovers that smoking cigarettes gives him incredible strength. With his new ability, he decides to become a masked hero. But with the introduction of the death ray, he is forced to make decisions on how he is going to us his new found power.
  Daniel Clowes is the first graphic novelist I ever read (Ghost World in high school) so I will always have a soft-spot for him. He did not let me down with this book. It was a contemplative, thought provoking book about an unusual adolescence experience, yet still true to the real adolescent experience. Here is an interesting interview from i09 I read of Daniel Clowes talking about 'The Death Ray.'

Freaks of the Heartland by Steve Niles and Greg Ruth:

  This is a dark Southern Gothic story about children's ability to see true morality despite the example of their parents. The story is about a group of children kept hidden from the world because they were born to look grotesque and strange. The small country community where they all live wants for the children to have never existed, but the other, traditional looking children want their peers to be free to be kids. This was an interesting and dark story with beautiful art.

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol:

  Anya's Ghost is about how a self-involved yet still good-hearted teenage girls brush with death leads her to befriend a ghost. She thinks of the ghost as benign and sometimes useful, but she soon discovers her dead friend is more sinister than originally thought. This book was an interesting read and a great take on the experience of being a teenage girl.

The Hidden by Richard Sala:

  This one was one of my favorites I've read so far from the stack of books I checked out. It was an eerie and interesting story about an apocalyptic event. The world becomes violent, chaotic and unpredictable with people acting in very inhuman like ways. The people who still have their senses try to escape the chaos. Two travelers come across a strange man who leads them to a place that reveals the origins of the mysteries.
 I've read Richard Sala once before and liked his work and thought "I'll have to check out more by this guy!" But his book led me to more actively seek out his works. I put holds on a couple more of his books at the library. I like this book because it is unsettling and contemplative with a unique story line.

Dockwood by Jon McNaught:

As you can guess by looking at the cover, 'Dockwood' as beautiful art! The story is a very simple story about how ordinary days are full of small wonders. Things that seem mundane are actually full of beauty. This was a good book and a good reminder to appreciate the beauty of everyday life.

Gast by Carol Swain:

Gast is the story of a girls move to the country side. The girl becomes fascinated by the natural world around her. Her curiosity leads her to investigate nature. But soon this curiosity expands toward wanting to know more about people, in particular, a village man who recently died. This is a very interesting, compassionate and beautiful story.

I always love to learn more about graphic novels and comics so let me know if you have any recommendations!

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