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victoria_anne

Graphic Novels

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victoria_anne

Post your graphic novel recs here!

 

Title: Heartstopper
Author/Illustrator: Alice Oseman
Genre: Romance, LGBT+
Year published: 2018 (but online for much longer, I think)
Summary: 

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Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more...?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn't been too great, but at least he's not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He's heard a little about Charlie - the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months - but he's never had the opportunity to talk to him.
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn't think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner... 

Reason for recommendation: This is literally the cutest story you will ever read. It's so wholesome. Nick and Charlie seem like opposites at first, but they actually have a lot in common and their feelings for one another are so real and pure. I loved being a part of these characters journeys - Nick, still figuring out who he is, and Charlie learning to be comfortable with himself - and so much of it had me smiling like an idiot and feeling all warm inside. Plus, the illustrations are just so adorable!

 

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Aphoride

Title: The Sandman
Author/Illustrator: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Year published: 1989 - date
Summary: (taken from goodreads, for volume I)

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In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey, Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.

Reason for recommendation: This is probably one of the most famous graphic novel series. ever. probably. It's Neil Gaiman at his dark, fantastical, quirky best and filled with a whole heap of awful, wonderful, twisty characters - Dream is wonderful: despondent at times, sarcastic, but with a real, human warmth and reluctant care, he's a protagonist it's easy to love. It's not the kind of graphic novel for the faint-hearted: there is violence and some dark and difficult themes - drugs, sex, abuse, assault are all mentioned at points - but everything is approached with as much seriousness as there is gallows humour. It's spellbinding and addicting and classic Gaiman storytelling ^_^ 

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la_topolina

Title: Bone
Author/Illustrator: Jeff Smith
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy
Year published: 2005-2009
Summary: 

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Jeff Smith's New York Times bestselling, award-winning graphic novel series featuring an unlikely hero who must save an idyllic valley from the forces of evil.


Reason for recommendation: This series of graphic novels has provided many hours of entertainment to my family. The heroes are the three Bone brothers, who look a little bit like dinosaurs. They are wise-cracking, fast food eating adventurers who wind up in a magical valley that is under attack from mysterious dark forces. The adventure is epic, the jokes are funny, and Fone Bone, the main hero, quotes his favorite book Moby Dick at the slightest provocation. Oh, and there are dragons and magical dreams.

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victoria_anne

One for the Avatar fans!

Title: Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise
Author/Illustrator: Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino, Gene Leun Yang, Gurihiru
Genre: Fantasy
Year published: 2011
Summary: 

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Picking up exactly where Avatar: The Last Airbender left off. The Promise takes Aang to a Fire Nation colony in the heart of the Earth Nation, where tensions between neighbors threaten to shatter the world's newfound peace--putting the Avatar on a collision course with one of his closest friends, Fire Lord Zuko!

Reason for recommending: Okay, so I'm pretty sure everyone knows about these graphic novels, but just in case you don't, or you're new to the fandom like me, then you definitely don't want to miss these! This one literally starts with the kiss at the end of the series and takes off from there. The story feels exactly like another episode, it's really impressive and so easy to become completely immersed and hear the character's voices in your heads, and even picture them bending (so kudos to the artists!) Definitely check out all the graphic novels in this series - they're amazing!

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victoria_anne

I swear I have a list of original idea graphic novels (not franchise ones) but I haven't gotten around to them yet 😋

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author/Illustrator: Ransom Riggs / Cassandra Jean
Genre: Fantasy
Year published: 2013
Summary: 

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When Jacob Portman was a boy, his grandfather regaled him with stories of his fantastic life at Miss Peregrine's home during the Second World War, even sharing photos of the remarkable children with whom he resided. As Jacob grew up, though, he decided that these photos were obvious fakes, simple forgeries designed to stir his youthful imagination. Or were they...?

Following his grandfather's death - a scene Jacob literally couldn't believe with his own eyes - the sixteen-year-old boy embarks on a mission to disentangle fact from fiction in his grandfather's tall tales. But even his grandfather's elaborate yarns couldn't prepare Jacob for the eccentricities he will discover at Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children!

Reason for recommending: So the Miss Peregrine's series is one of my ALL TIME favourites, so I don't know why it took me so long to pick this up. But if you're also a fan, I highly recommend this illustrated version! While I'm not the biggest fan of Cassandra Jean's style, she did a great job capturing the vibe of the series. I love how Jacob's 'normal' life is in black and white, and the children's home in colour, it's gorgeous. The graphic novel has done a great job of condensing the first book into an edition like this, it's really enjoyable!

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la_topolina

Title: Mighty Jack
Author/Illustrator: Ben Hatke
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy
Year published: 2016-2019
Summary: 
 

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It would have been a normal, boring summer...had Jack not sold his mother's car for a box of mysterious seeds. Ben Hatke's Mighty Jack takes Jack and the Beanstalk's folk-tale charm and adds a dash of modern fantasy. Follow Jack, his sister Maddy, and the spunky neighbor Lilly as they wrangle with the magical garden behind Jack's house and travel to the dangerous world beyond the vines and stalks.  (from goodreads)

Reason for Recommendation: Loosely based on Jack and the beanstalk, but in a modern day setting. Jack lives with his mom and his autistic sister Maddy. His mom is struggling to make ends meet so that they can keep their house, and Jack spends a lot of his time looking after his sister. He makes friends with Lilly, the girl down the street, who is the youngest in a homeschooling family (and versed in martial arts and swordplay thanks to her older brothers' historical reenactment hobbies). The three of them wind up on a wild adventure after Jack and Maddy plant a garden with some very strange seeds. The action is a little too tense for younger readers, but its very exciting, and so well drawn. Jack is a great hero with a big heart, and I love that Lilly has so much random knowledge from her homeschooling.

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maraudertimes

Title: Check, Please!
Author/Illustrator: Ngozi Ukazu
Genre: Coming of age I guess? Humor, LGBT, Hockey, Webcomic
Year published: 2013 (online as a webcomic), 2015 (first book released in print)
Link: here! (M)

Summary: 

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Eric Bittle—former Georgia junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and amateur pâtissier—is starting his freshman year playing hockey at the prestigious Samwell University in Samwell, Massachusetts. And it’s basically nothing like co-ed club hockey back in the South. For one? 

There’s checking.

It’s a story about hockey and friendship and bros and trying to find yourself during the best 4 years of your life.

Reason for recommendation: Bitty is a sweetheart from the start and you will immediately fall head over heels for him. Not only did he somehow manage to get on a hockey team at his new University (which is a whole other culture shock as many of you might know), but he then makes friends with the bros on the team? The way Bitty manages through his first year on the team and at school, and navigates the absolute chaos that is a University men's hockey team is both refreshing and hilarious, and the fact that the captain is kinda hot is only a plus. I was absolutely enthralled from the very first 'chapter', and the fact that Ngozi pretty much writes her own fanfic of the webcomic is hilarious and amazing and so relatable (find that on her tumblr!). If you haven't heard of it, now you have and I urge you to start reading it, and if you have heard of it, what are you waiting for?

 

Title: Lore Olympus
Author/Illustrator: Rachel Smythe
Genre: Romance, Webcomic
Year published: 2018 (weekly on Webtoon)
Content warning: Consent issues/sexual assault (I think that Rachel Smythe puts notes in the comic and has a way for you to bypass these scenes but an underlying plotline does revolve around this)

Summary: 

Quote

Witness what the gods do…after dark. The friendships and the lies, the gossip and the wild parties, and of course, forbidden love. Because it turns out, the gods aren’t so different from us after all, especially when it comes to their problems. Stylish and immersive, this is one of mythology’s greatest stories -- The Taking of Persephone -- as it’s never been told before.

Reason for recommendation: Rachel Smythe has done a really amazing job at reimagining Persephone's story as a modern take! Before I started this webcomic, I had believed the story that Hades had tricked Persephone into staying in the Underworld, but through this comic I learned that was untrue (look it up, they're actually adorable), and the tenderness and obvious affection between the two in the comic is so amazing. Be warned, it is an incredibly slow slow-burn, but it's worth it. 'Season'(?) 2 just started recently, but the first season is so amazing, so definitely go read it now! From Zeus, to Hera, to Aphrodite and Athena, every single god and goddess is so amazingly well characterized!

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Hawksquill

It might be a bit cliche but I haven't seen it recommended here yet!

Title: Fun Home
Author/Illustrator:  Alison Bechdel
Genre:  Memoir, LGBTQ, tragicomedy
Year published: 2006
Summary: 

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In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

Reason for recommendation:  I'm not a huge graphic novel person but this is the book that really made me see how you can achieve something in this medium that you can't in others.   I'm a sucker for nonlinear narratives and it works so well in memoir - revisiting the same events over and over again but adding more and more to the reader's understanding of the events each time.  The writing is just beautiful, with just the right blend of dark humor, bittersweetness, and heartbreaking sadness.  The art for me is secondary but it does the job just fine.  As a bi person who has never publicly come out, this story was so cathartic for me.  Also, all the literary, classical, and pop cultural allusions fleshed out the story and the themes so well - I feel like I could read it again and again and glean something new each time.  ...And now I want to go reread it again.

 I should also note CW for being in the closet, coming out, and implied suicide. 

Edited by Hawksquill

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