Thursday, November 5, 2015

A smattering of graphic novels

I started writing this here and there as I finished each graphic novel or collection so I could get my thoughts down while they were still fresh. And then I accidentally deleted it, so my thought might be not-so-fresh. At any rate, here are some recent graphic novels I read!

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen (2015)

This isn't the summer camp from your childhood, unless yours also had yetis, but our five young female protagonists are smart and brave and adventurous and won't let a few terrifying creatures get the better of them. It was fun and outdoorsy, and just the right kind of feminist book for kids and teens. I loved how diverse and realistic the characters were, both in appearance and personality. There's not enough substance to make me look for later volumes, but it was entertaining.

Saga, Volume 1 and 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (2012)

A baby is born, her parents from two different enemy worlds, and their union is considered so offensive that contract killers have been sent after them. I picked this up because it was so highly recommended everywhere, but was skeptical because it doesn't look like my kind of thing. I was very surprised by how much I liked it! The action and adventure was tempered by just the right amount of romance, and I really like the style of the art.

Rat Queens, Volume One: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch (2014)
As payback for starting a brawl, the four women known as the Rat Queens are sent to clear some goblins out of a cave and soon find that someone wants them dead.  Sort of like a more grown-up and violent Lumberjanes, these ladies are also very diverse and full of personality. Unlike the Lumberjanes, they're volatile and kicking ass all over the place.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2007)

In this wordless novel, a man leaves his family for a new land and tries to get settled before sending for them. The place he goes is like nothing we've seen, reinforcing the feelings of loneliness and confusion that he experiences. The illustrations are detailed and expressive, drawn in a subdued neutral palette. Beautiful, bleak but also hopeful. I was surprised to find this in my library's children's collection, but I think it's just one of those stories that transcends age. I'd highly recommend that anyone at least try this.

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