Last year I had a rough reading year. I just couldn’t seem to get in to anything. I picked up books right and left and could hardly finish any of them. I decided to turn to comics and graphic novels to hopefully break my reading rut. My logic was that they’d be short and (hopefully) somewhat entertaining and I’d be able to get through them. Not finishing anything was starting to get to me.
Surprise. Surprise. It worked. Not only did I enjoy comics and graphic novels, but I added them to my regular reading line up. So far I’ve only read what’s new and notable so that I can join in the current bookish conversations.
Here’s what I’ve checked out already…
Bone, Jeff Smith – “After being run out of Boneville, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures…” At first I thought this was going to be just too cheesy for me. I could hardly get through the first book. But then things started getting good; really good. I’m now on volume 7.
Amulet, Kazu Kibuishi – Em and Naven set out to save their mother from a strange creature who has lured her into an underground world filled with demons and and robots. Here, Em learns she has a much bigger destiny to fulfill than just saving her mom. I have really enjoyed this series. So much so, that I bought the first four volumes hoping to one day give them to my son to read.
Nimona, Noelle Stephenson – Nimona is a shapeshifter who allies herself with known villain, Lord Blackheart. I love that this is the other side of the story but I think I’m still warming up to Nimona who can be a bit impulsive at times.
Lumberjanes, Noelle Stephenson – I actually didn’t even realize this was the same author as Nimona when I picked it up. I’m currently on hold for volume 2 but I really got a kick out of the first one. Five girlfriends find themselves at summer camp together and despite running into some fairly creepy shit, they’re determined to have a great time.
Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (illustrator)
Since I have yet to read a Marvel comic, what better place to start than with a heroine?! I think I’m going to like the diversity in this series. It looks really fierce.
Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!
This One Summer, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (illustrator)
I’m actually about 20 pages into this so far. I can already tell I’m really going to love it. There are a lot of serious themes addressed in This One Summer which is a change of pace from the other comics and graphic novels I’ve read. So far so good.
Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.
If you’re looking for more graphic novel and comic recommendations, Trish just posted a bunch of graphic novel reviewlettes. She mentions Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, which I’ve been waiting to get from the library for what seems like ages. Andi of Estella’s Revenge is also a great source. She was involved with the Read Harder Comics Challenge this year.
Do you read comics or graphic novels? What are your favorites?