I decided a little while ago to start a series on my blog where I recommend books within a certain genre or theme and in turn ask you guys to recommend some of your own favourites from that area. Today, it’s graphic novels, which I really got into last year and hope to continue to explore in 2016.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
If you already read graphic novels you will most likely have heard of this series but I think it’s still worth mentioning for those of you who haven’t ventured into the form as yet. Volume 1 opens as a couple from warring factions go on the run following the birth of their child, with various parties putting a bounty on their head, triggering a crazy chase across the universe. There are all sorts of lovable characters and creatures in this bonkers, action-packed, funny, heartfelt story. The artwork is bold and colourful, with plenty of mature content.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
A plucky, hot-headed, shapeshifting teenage girl arrives at the home of a notorious villain (who may not be as evil as people would like to believe), announcing herself as his new sidekick and in turn getting them into all sorts of trouble. The dynamic between the lead characters is great and overall this is a fun tale with a darker turn later on that adds to the characterisation and depth whilst maintaining its charm.
Maus by Art Spiegelman
If you want something a little different, Maus is a memoir in graphic novel form with a split narrative that switches seamlessly between Spiegelman’s father’s war-time retellings and their interactions in the present day, effectively displaying the long-lasting effects of Auschwitz as well as the struggle for the next generation to relate to their struggles. The artwork is done in a simple black and white sketch style with famous imagery in which the Jews are portrayed as mice and the Nazis as cats.
Above the Dreamless Dead by Chris Duffy
Another option for those looking for a different take on the graphic novel form, this is a series of classic war poems that have been fully illustrated with strong visuals that add a new layer to these well-known words. There’s a good mix of artists and poets included, with some pieces being light-hearted and humorous, and others harrowing and powerful.
Wytches by Scott Snyder
I haven’t heard too much buzz surrounding this one but I picked it up on a whim after coming across it in a bookshop and I’m glad I did. If you’re looking for something with a unique, immersive art style and a very dark, creepy story then this twisted tale about mysterious creatures tormenting a town from the shadows of the woods, then this is the graphic novel for you.
Hopefully there’s something there that takes your fancy. In truth there are lots of graphic novels I love and this is just a small taster, so I’ll likely follow this up with a part two at some point. By all means recommend some of your own favourite or most interesting graphic novels in the comments – I’d love to hear about them.