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Readers Advisory Corner > Graphic novel recommendations wanted!

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message 1: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Confession: I'm not much of a comic book/graphic novel reader. It's just not my favorite format. But, I know there's tons of great books published as graphic novels, so I keep trying new ones to see if I'll start to get more into them. In the past I've really enjoyed Stitches(extremely sad) and American Born Chinese(I really liked the interweaving of the present day immigrant experience with the traditional Chinese folktale).

Currently, I've got Princeless #1 on my tbr list, but would love other suggestions! Anyone have a favorite graphic novel or comic book they'd recommend for a graphic novel novice?

message 2: by David (last edited Aug 17, 2015 10:06AM) (new)

David Quick (davidquick) | 2 comments Hey Theresa,
If you want to round out a list of titles like Stitches and American Born Chinese, I'd suggest The Complete Persepolis and Fun Home:A Family Tragicomic. Some personal favorites of mine are Guy Delisle's travel memoirs and the Aya series (good one to have to recommend to teens).
If you want to delve into some comic book series, Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile, The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity, and Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice are all very fun and as engrossing as a good TV series. I'm sure the geeks on this list will have no end of other suggestions for you.

message 3: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenwoody) | 1 comments Yes to everything David said (ESPECIALLY CHEW! If you have a strong stomach, anyway). Some of my favorites that haven't been mentioned that I think you might enjoy:

Narrative non-fiction:
March, Book 1 by John Robert Lewis
Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by Nicole J. Georges

Beautiful artwork/possible tearjerkers:
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Berlin, Vol 1: City of Stones by Jason Lutes

Superhero-y with coming-of-age elements:
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson
Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan (also ANYTHING by Brian K. Vaughan).

message 4: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Oooh yes! I know I need to read Persepolis and Ms. Marvel! Thank you both for the reminding me of those and for all the great new suggestions! I should mention I also did really well with El Deafo because it was a fun, sweet story AND because the panels were fairly static. One of the things I have trouble with in graphic novels is that I lose track of where my attention should be going next when the frames are creatively arranged. I'm sure with practice comes better graphic novel reading fluency!

message 5: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Ooh Chew sounds like Dead to the World! I've been watching the iZombie tv show adaptation, which is nowhere near as good as Veronica Mars, but this makes me very interested in Chew, even though I have a very delicate sense of squeamishness.

message 6: by Artkunk (new)

Artkunk | 1 comments Also - Black Hole is great - the story is a little meh but the artwork is phenomenal.

message 7: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Thanks, Artkunk! That sounds a little terrifying, but maybe I'll brave it with the lights on!

message 8: by Astrid (new)

Astrid (avonleas) Three Shadows by Pedrosa is my favorite graphic novel in the world, it's absolutely wonderful.

message 9: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Astrid, that looks really gorgeous! The reviews make me think of Harry Potter crossed with the Graveyard Book.

message 10: by Astrid (new)

Astrid (avonleas) As a general rule graphic novels don't make me emotional because I can't get invested in them as much as in a book, but this one made me cry so much

message 11: by David (new)

David Quick (davidquick) | 2 comments I find that many graphic novels have an especially great emotional impact precisely because the writer/artist marries the words and images so beautifully. One that I didn't mention beforeis Clyde Fans, Book 1 in which the pace of images and words conveys the loneliness of the characters in a way that would be hard with just words. Likewise, Flotsam, a picture book, drew me in without any words at all.

message 12: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Yes, I really like Flotsam and really all of David Weisner's work!

message 13: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (shannmc) | 3 comments The Lazarus series is twisty and smart, and I adore its badass heroine. The Wicked and the Divine is a fun exploration of mortality and celebrity. Beautifully drawn, and I think you'd enjoy it. I'm also a big fan of East of West, a clever dystopian epic, complete with the Four Horsemen.

message 14: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family and East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise sound pretty intense! I love mythology so I think I'd really like The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act. Thanks for the recommendations!

message 15: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 1 comments So many good options, and I am also a big Gene Yang fan! Things I love include:

The Rabbi's Cat
The Three Shadows (I think other folks have also recommended this one, it deserves it)
Dawn Land
Fun Home

message 16: by Shira (new)

Shira (shiramario) | 10 comments In the category of art-giving-me-feelings, anything Jillian Tamaki does is incredible. Skim is my favorite. Read it once for story, then go back and read it for how incredible the page layouts are.

message 17: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Samantha, I have to admit that all the controversy around Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic just makes me want to read it more. Plus, Alison Bechdel seems pretty awesome.

Have you also read Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang? I wanted to like it more than I did. I felt somewhat unsatisfied with the ending, but I did find it a very easy read.

message 18: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Shira - that book sounds very tough but really interesting. The amazing reviews it's getting on Goodreads definitely piques my interest.

message 19: by Rich (new)

Rich (rabzug) | 1 comments So since Persopolis, Saga, and March (March: Book Two is fantastic too) were already mentioned I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the classic The Complete Maus. I read Vol. 2 for a college course years ago but the entire thing is a masterpiece. SO many good recommendations!

message 20: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Thanks, Rich! I've been slowly making my way through all these great recs!

message 21: by Lady (new)

Lady | 11 comments (Copying this from my Goodreads Review) There's a cute graphic novel out for younger readers Ben Hatke (author of popular "Zita the Spacegirl"). The book is called "Little Robot" and the main character is...wait for it...a little girl of color (presumably African-American) who finds and befriends an estranged little robot, but quickly recognizes that there is another, much larger, meaner robot bent on finding and destroying her metallic friend. It's her job to detect why and protect her new friend, but to what consequence? The "storyline" is mostly pictorial--text is sparse, but the trajectory is clear. It is vaguely reminiscent of the "Lilo and Stitch" storyline in fact, but very sweet and kind of suspenseful and will probably appeal to 2nd to 4th graders.

message 22: by Shira (new)

Shira (shiramario) | 10 comments Oh, that reminds me of another middle grade comic I love! I am a big fan of the How Mirka Got Her Sword series. It's about a girl who has big adventures outside of her Orthodox Jewish community. It teaches readers about Orthodox Jewish customs and Yiddish words, which is just the icing on the cake of fun stories with great art.

message 23: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Adding both of these to my tbr. Thanks!

message 24: by Lady (new)

Lady | 11 comments Btw, I also like Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. This one will probably appeal more to middle grade and young YA readers (6th to 9th graders perhaps?). Features a Nimona, a punk chicky teen changeling who is determined to be the anti-hero sidekick to a questionable villain she kind of idolizes. The villain is obsessed with avenging the wrongs done to him and unknowingly to others by his questionable "hero" of a nemesis and Nimona has to make some decisions about the role she wants to play in this whole scenario. Some interesting and possibly unexpected choices are made by the characters to keep the story intriguing and fun. Check it out!

message 25: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 15 comments Definitely check out This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. It's gorgeous with multiple layers of purplish-blue and gray shades. It’s a very quick read that reluctant readers, particularly girls, will find gratifying when searching for answers about their own adolescent development.

It also won both a Caldecott honor and Printz honor, which has never been done before!

message 26: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 61 comments Mod
Ooh that sounds great. Thank you!

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