Staff Faves 2021: Graphic Novels

It seems like both the quantity and quality of graphic novels and graphic nonfiction just keeps increasing every year.  This is great news for readers but it can feel a bit overwhelming when trying to find your next great graphic read. Luckily, our librarians read hundred of titles this year did a fantastic job sorting through the wealth of 2021 offerings. Here are some of our favorites:

If you are looking for warm fuzzies:

Our Dining Table by Mita OriOur Dining Table by Ori Mita

Salaryman Yutaka loves to cook (and is no slouch in the kitchen), but unhappy childhood memories prevent him from sharing meals with anyone but himself. When he meets charming young Tane and his much older brother, Minoru, Yutaka finds that sharing meals is not only a wonderful experience, but can lead to much more than just friendship.

The Thud by Mikaël Ross

When his mother suffers a stroke, Noel is at a complete loss. With no other family and unable to live independently, Noel becomes the newest resident at Neuerkerode, a village predominantly run and inhabited by people with developmental disabilities. Translated from the original German, this fictional story set in a real location follows Noel from his initial loss to gradual acceptance to ultimately thriving in his new life. Continue reading “Staff Faves 2021: Graphic Novels”

#BookBingoNW2021: Graphic Novel or Comic

This is a short list of my favorite reads that can be applied to the graphic novel or comic 2021 Book Bingo square. These are thrilling, heart wrenching, thoughtful stories.

Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale by Tim Fielder
From the distant past through to the unforeseeable future, King Aja Oba lives many lives, made immortal by a curse that seeks to destroy his spirit.. From royal warlord, to soldier, to god, Oba’s fate is tied to that of the universe as he lives through the history of and is witness to the demise of his fellow enslaved Africans and early Black Americans. This uplifting graphic novel contains elements of  historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, humor and horror.

Muhammad Ali: Kinshasa 1974 by Jean David Morvan
Part graphic novel, part historical black and white photograph collection, Morvan’s book relives Muhammad Ali’s reclaiming of the world champion boxing title through the eyes of photojournalist Abbas for Young Africa Magazine.

Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021: Graphic Novel or Comic”

Three on a Theme: LGBT Comics

While many of us tend to associate the graphic novel and comic book genre with superheroes, in a cultural market dominated by companies like Marvel and DC that produce blockbuster movies based in on graphic novels every year, there are plenty of other types of comic books out there that are available to you with your library card! Specifically, the library has a great variety of graphic novels by queer authors telling queer stories in a variety of comic genres and suitable for a variety of ages. Here are just three of those to get you started.

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Kabi Nagata
This autobiographical manga, which was published after it gained a cult-following on the Internet as a web comic, tells the story of a twenty-something woman’s struggles with her identity and social interaction. Although the story hinges on the narrator’s first experience of lesbian intimacy with an escort at the age of 28, it really explores the rest of her life in much more detail – such as her struggles with social anxiety, depression, eating disorders, her relationship to her parents (who are constantly disappointed in her), and how all these things coalesced into her finally coming to terms with her identity as a lesbian late in her twenties. While the content is certainly heavy, especially for readers who may have experience with self harm or eating Continue reading “Three on a Theme: LGBT Comics”

Three on a Theme: Animal Comics

Animals often figure prominently in comic strips and graphic novels, but the ways in which they are represented and the roles they play in telling a story vary greatly across genres and the works of different authors. Often, animals in the comics genre exist mainly for comedic relief, representing cartoon caricatures or anthropomorphisms that tell us more about human beings than they do about the animal they are representing. Here are three graphic novels where animals are represented in a different way – as narrators, protagonists, or silent companions.

The Rabbi’s Cat by Jonathan Sfar
This is a gorgeous tail about humanity, religion, and… cathood… that takes place in 1930s Algeria and is imbued with a healthy dose of magical realism. The protagonist is a cat belonging to the daughter of a rabbi, who accidentally acquires the power of speech after eating a parrot. Now able to communicate with humans, the cat asks the rabbi for an education and to begin practicing Judaism, sparking a theological debate about whether or not a cat can be Jewish. This novel is beautifully illustrated, with bright colors, warm landscapes, and lively, dynamic characters (both human and non-human alike). The story deftly explores themes of what it means to have a religion, what it means to have a friend, and what it means to coexist in relationship with others. Continue reading “Three on a Theme: Animal Comics”

Write On!: Get Graphic! Go Comic!

Are you drawn to drawing your own world? Do you picture rows of frames, imagine scenes, come up with your own cast of characters and play those scenes out in your mind? Is there, somewhere near, a messy pile of graphic novels or comic books that you have poured over a hundred times or more? Have you, ever, imagined that your work could, one day, be found in one of those piles?

KRAK! WHOOSH!! SPLAT!!!! There is an art to Making Comics. Get graphic! Go comic!! Try your hand at Cartooning and Creating Comics from Start to Finish. See what Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics is all about. Learn The Art of Urban Sketching. Pour over Manga for the Beginner. Then, get busy composing Words for Pictures and splash each page with speech bubbles that balloon and go pop! A Glossary of Comics Terminology and the Letterform Archive are essential tools to put in your power pack. Continue reading “Write On!: Get Graphic! Go Comic!”