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Challenges > 2018 Recommended Reading Challenge - Recommendations

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message 1: by Kate (last edited Dec 30, 2017 03:56PM) (new)

Kate (kgskocelas) | 575 comments Mod
2018 Recommended Reading Challenge

IRCB is putting together another recommended reading challenge for 2018! If you would like to add a trade or graphic novel (OGN) to the official list, please comment below with the title and why you recommend it.

You may only recommend one title. Recommended titles must be a trade or OGN and available in English (original or translated).

Unlike Book of the Month nominations, your recommendation may be any volume in a series. Please keep in mind, however, that the people you’re recommending it to may not have read the preceding volumes. Therefore, please try to pick a good jumping on point.

If your favorite book in a series isn’t a good jumping on point for new readers but you’d still like to use it, please nominate the trade where people should start reading, then include in your explanation which trade is actually your favorite.

Books that were part of the 2017 Recommended Reading Challenge will not be included in the 2018 list. You can see last year's challenge list here.

The Challenge:
On February 1st, all titles recommended on this thread, as well as a recommendation from each IRCB podcaster, will be put together to form the 2018 Recommended Reading Challenge. A master list, tracking widget, progress thread, and discussion thread will be posted to this folder.

Taking part in the challenge will be a great way to discover new trades and OGNs. Those who finish the challenge by December 31st, 2018 will win a personal shout-out on the podcast, an IRCB enamel pin, and an IRCB vinyl sticker!

So, what comics do you recommend, IRCBers?!

message 2: by Phil (new)

Phil | 169 comments Essex County

This is the whole collection. We can limit it to the first volume, but I think it will be easier for everyone to find the collected edition (at least based on my glance at Amazon).

I picked this because it is pure Jeff Lemire. It captures his writing so perfectly and we get to see his art too. This is actually the first book I read from him and it made me a huge fan. Admittedly, the art style isn't for everyone, but I like that it is so distinct.

The three stories in the collected edition work wonderfully together. Each one is able to stand on its own, but together they build a much bigger story. That longer vision of a story is one of the reasons I like Lemire's work (I also recommend Sweet Tooth and Bloodshot Reborn). These stories are heartbreaking and uplifting all at once.

message 3: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 265 comments Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth

This is one of the few Batman “must reads” that are still pending on my list! Self contained, painted art, classic Grant Morrison
Need I say more?

message 4: by KaitLphere (new)

KaitLphere | 187 comments Mod
Lumberjanes, vol. 1: Beware the Kitty Holy!

I love Lumberjanes. A girls' camp in the middle of some woods that are infested by sarcastic fantasy races. They get into mess after mess, and always save the day with the power of friendship and communication.

message 5: by Mike, Host & Producer of IRCB! (new)

Mike Rapin (mikerapin) | 617 comments Mod
Buzz! - This book kicks ass. What if spelling bees were like huge fighting tournaments? Yeah. That's this book.

message 6: by Kate (new)

Kate (kgskocelas) | 575 comments Mod
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

message 7: by Wayland (new)

Wayland Smith | 263 comments The Books of Magic Timothy Hunter learns from the Treanchcoat Brigade. Neil Gaiman doing the mystic fantastic.

message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul (ohhipaulie) | 38 comments Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
Mazzucchelli's only comic as both writer & artist. Asterios Polyp is a aging architect traveling across the country reflecting on his own life while examining the dichotomy between reason and emotion. Mazzucchelli's art reflects the themes of the story in lively and innovative ways.

message 9: by Brian (new)

Brian (brianhead) | 30 comments Vader Down by Jason Aaron

In the original Star Wars trilogy, Darth Vader is this mythic figure, the thing that goes bump in the night for an entire galaxy. This book shows you exactly why that is.

This book is built of issues from the main Marvel Star Wars line and their Darth Vader book, but I think it stands alone well enough.

message 10: by Nick (new)

Nick | 39 comments Secret Weapons written by Eric Heisserer, drawn by Raul Allen and Patricia Martin

Great entry point into the Valiant universe? Check. Exposure to the amazingly one-of-a-kind visuals of Raul Allen? Check. A chance to see what's rattling around in the brain of the guy who's penning the upcoming Valiant films? Check. A Livewire-centric tale chock-full of awesomeness? Check.

The Valiantverse has something roughly comparable to the X-Men, except they're known as Psiots. While all psiots are born with their abilities, they have to be "activated," a dangerous, and frequently deadly process run by fellow psiot Toyo Harada. And much like the X-Men...not all of them end up with the sort of jaw-dropping powers that tend to grace a comic book's covers.

We're talking the sort of people that can talk to birds, make things glow, and another that can conjure items out of thin air...but has absolutely no control over just what that item is.

And Harada? Well, much like ol' Prof Xavier, he's interested in cultivating and supporting those with fantastical talents. But as for those with curious abilities like those listed above...Harada doesn't really have a place at his table for those people. They're sent off to fend for themselves in the real world, something that doesn't sound that bad...until they find themselves being hunted!

The story is approachable and humor-filled, and walks the line of being both plot and character driven. The art might not be for everybody, but the uniqueness of it is something everyone should at least experience.

message 11: by René (new)

René Rodriguez | 6 comments Dream Thief Volume 1 by Jai Nitz and and Greg Smallwood.

This book is a little gimmicky but it's fun and the paneling in this book is absoultely fantastic. It's a solid read.

message 12: by Kara (new)

Kara (kzam) | 14 comments Mod
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1

Listen. This book altered the way I perceived everything, and it's worth your time, if only to look inside a perspective not your own.

I read Sailor Moon Vol. 1 for the first time when I was thirteen to see what the fuss was all about. My friends grew up watching the anime, but I missed that boat somehow, and this was my first look at one of the most famous worldwide icons of the 90s. The pacing is dreamlike, and everything is so painfully pretty I wanted to dive into the story and never leave.

I collected the manga before these gorgeous reissues were printed. I hoarded them like treasures, windows into a fantasy world where I, a girl, could save the world with magic and friendship, where I, a girl, could be a warrior, could be a hero, could risk everything for the people I loved, just like Sailor Moon.

In this first volume, the Sailor Scout team is being formed, and enemies begin to emerge. Schoolgirls by day, by night they transform into celestial warriors, combating the darkness that threatens their world.

Throughout the series, the action is fairly straightforward, but there is a quiet nuance to the character development that remains even as the battles fade.

Written and illustrated by a woman for an audience of young women and girls, Sailor Moon is packed with ladies who are all allowed to be themselves. Yes, they all fit an extremely narrow definition of physical beauty, but there is no "the girl" personality type here.

Tap into your inner 90s kid and give this book a try!

message 13: by 47Time (last edited Jan 30, 2018 07:38AM) (new)

47Time | 19 comments Scars

In Ellis' own words, the main character 'is a man testing the limits of his job, his mind, and the essential core of him.' He has lost everything already and the story will 'smash him with hammers' to 'see if he can still be a cop.'

It's not for the faint of heart. In fact, it's pretty disturbing, but I think it deserves a spot in the challenge.

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