Local Graphic Novels to Gear Up for Short Run

Graphic novels are doing particularly well in the Pacific Northwest, with Short Run Comix & Arts Festival coming up I like to prepare for the small press and independent level of creators by focusing on local creators. From mainstream on down to independent, Seattle has every genre being created right here. Here are a few favorites!

Ms. Marvel

G. Willow Wilson is a local creator, known for her writing in the novel The Bird King and Alif the Unseen, she also helped marvel comics welcome the first Muslim superhero in their history – Ms. Marvel! Kamila Kanh suddenly gets super powers and now is trying to juggle being a superhero with normal teenage concerns like school and friendships. Hiding her identity and finding what kind of superhero she needs to be, Kamila’s story is an excellent refresh of the classic superhero narrative.

Going to another well known title, Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi is a local creator who captivates readers of all ages with this fantastical tale of siblings who find a portal to another world in their basement. Dealing with loss and discovery the story doesn’t feel old with Kazu’s unique flair for writing and will leave you wanting the next book as soon as you finish the first. Continue reading “Local Graphic Novels to Gear Up for Short Run”

Graphic Medicine

Ever read a comic story with a character that has arthritis? How about someone who lives with anxiety and depression? PTSD? Food poisoning? If so, then you’re already familiar with Graphic Medicine!

Graphic Medicine is a genre of comics (with a website!) that examines the intersection of the comics medium with the discourses of healthcare, providing an accessible and impactful method of communicating and sharing illness narratives. These comics cover the spectrum, from published graphic novels (El Deafo), crowd-funded anthologies (Corpus), self-published web-comics (Kate or Die!) and zines ((No) Pain: A Guide to Injury Prevention for Cartoonists), with Graphic Medicine sometimes the focus of the work, other times simply present in a particular character or storyline. Continue reading “Graphic Medicine”

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Comics and Graphic Novels

Seattle Reads recently celebrated Vietnamese American cartoonist Thi Bui’s comics memoir The Best We Could Do. Bui is one of many, many great Asian American and Pacific Islander American cartoonists. In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, librarians at The Seattle Public list created a list of work  from some of these brilliant cartoonists. Below are a few selections.

Blame This on the Boogie by Rina Ayuyang

Vibrant, kinetic colored pencil drawings gorgeously illustrate Ayuyang’s memoir full of touching and hilarious stories of Filipino American culture, Pittsburgh, music, dance, motherhood, and pop-culture fandom. Continue reading “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Comics and Graphic Novels”

Seattle Reads: An Interview with Thi Bui

In celebration of Seattle Reads 2019, Jess Boyd spoke to Thi Bui about her award- winning graphic novel, The Best We Could Do (TBWCD), the 2019 Seattle Reads selection.

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An Interview with Thi Bui
by Jess Boyd

Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do is a story that moved me, my family and my community. It gave voice to feelings and frustrations that I had yet to articulate and acted as a medium to bridge generations and countries.

The story is a multigenerational saga told through Bui’s past and present selves. Bui generously shares herself at different moments throughout her life, as a child, as a sibling, as a new mother, allowing us to see the far reaching ripples of war, and the way that those ripples can become waves that carry people across oceans.

Jess Boyd: Where was the birthplace of your creativity?
Thi Bui:
I have to take a moment to allow myself to accept the compliment embedded in this question. “Ya not creative!” shouts my inner Viet.

Okay, it’s good now. I remember making things and daydreaming when I was a kid as a form of escape. Whether I was escaping my drab physical environment or tense emotional environment, I’m not sure … maybe both? It’s not like that anymore but that was how being creative started — first as an escape and then as a rebellion.

Why is it important to remember and reflect on the past?
We apes learn slow and we keep having to learn the same lessons over and over again. History keeps us humble and it also lends us perspective. Continue reading “Seattle Reads: An Interview with Thi Bui”