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”

The Women of DC

Tired of the Joker and Batman? Let’s take a look at the women of DC comics from the library and our digital comics collection in Hoopla!

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Harleen by Stephan Spkecj focuses on Dr. Harleen Quinzel before she became Harley Quinn. A true origin story it shows us how she was manipulated by the Joker in Arkahm Asylum while working there. Though it does have the Joker throughout the story, ultimately the story is about her and really sets it apart from every other version of the Joker and Harley Quinn I have seen. Best part is it doesn’t require any previous knowledge to enjoy. Do be aware this is part of DC’s more adult label: DC Black.

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Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey is not required reading to enjoy the movie of a similar title but is a great way to jump into Birds of Prey the ultimate DC superhero team (okay maybe not, but its DC’s biggest women only team, which, lets be frank, is hard to come by). Follow these awesome women as they fight evil, perhaps not necessarily as superheroes, but not super villains either. Continue reading “The Women of DC”

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”

Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?

Ms. Marvel, White Wolf, Mantis, Drax, Falcon, Peter Dinklage as Pip the Troll!… Just when you thought the burgeoning cast of characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe couldn’t get any more crowded, Hollywood Insider has gained access to leaked scripts for an as-yet-untitled Avengers movie due out in April 2020 that reveal a veritable avalanche of new characters, and a stunning new merger of beloved comics franchises. Continue reading “Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?”