This week’s topic:
Top 5 books graphic novels
(Recommend your favourite graphic novels!! Will also accept comic book series, webtoons and any other form of words and pictures.)
Instead of focusing solely on graphic novels I’ve read and loved, I’ve decided to mention here 5 graphic novels I don’t often see mentioned on bookish social media channels I use. These are listed by my rating (high to low). The lowest rating was a 2.5, which isn’t so bad.
THE GIGANTIC BEARD THAT WAS EVIL BY STEPHEN COLLINS (ILLUS.)
It’s a fable about a man named Dave who lives on a neat and orderly island called Here. Dave is bald except for a single hair above his lip that one day begins to grow into a full-blown beard that doesn’t stop growing and ends up disrupting the orderliness of the island he lives on.
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil was a great read that touches on people’s fear of the unknown, and the story is accompanied by beautiful simple, yet detailed, pencil drawings. I HIGHLY recommend it.
HERE BY RICHARD MCGUIRE (ILLUS.)
Based on a 1989 comic strip of the same name, Here focuses on a corner of a room to depict the passage of time. As you flip through the pages, you bounce around different years to see how that corner of the room has changed. We see how it looked in prehistoric times, Colonial times, the modern day, and even what it will look like in the future. It’s one of the most unique graphic novels I’ve ever read.
The illustrations are simple and often not very detailed and struck me more as a collage of images. It’s a great read that I also HIGHLY recommend.
AUDUBON: ON THE WINGS OF THE WORLD BY FABIEN GROLLEAU, ILLUS. BY JÉRÉMIE ROYER, TRANSL. BY ETIENNE GILFILLAN
This one was a very informative read for me since I didn’t know anything about Audubon before then. Audubon: On the Wings of the World is a graphic biography of the noted artist, naturalist, and ornithologist John James Audubon (born Jean-Jacques Audubon in Haiti in 1785). From this book, we get a sense of who Audubon was, how he was as a father and husband, and how passionate he was about his work. It was a very engrossing read that made me often wonder at how the country looked back in Audubon’s time.
The illustration style isn’t one I like, but it does a great job getting the story across and not drawing too much attention to itself so that readers focus on the story and Audubon instead. It’s a really good read that I also HIGHLY recommend.
MOONSHOT: THE INDIGENOUS COMICS COLLECTION, VOL. 1 BY HOPE NICHOLSON (ED.)
This is an anthology of comics by and about indigenous people. From it, I’ve learned a bit about some indigenous cultures. Of course, since it is an anthology, some stories were hits and some were misses for me. The first one, “Vision Quest – Echo” by David Mack (illus.), was a huge hit for me. It’s an excerpt from the Daredevil Vision Quest series, which is told using Indian sign language. The protagonist, Echo, is mute and in this excerpt she tells us about her father and her visit to an Indian reservation where she met a Chief and realized that, like the Chief, she too is a storyteller.
I wasn’t a fan of most of the illustrations styles, but the style used in “Ayanisach,” which means “He who tells stories of the past” in Cree, by Todd Houseman and illustrated Ben Shannon was my favorite of the bunch. It’s a futuristic story that seems to comment on colonization. Moonshot was a decent collection; I think it’s worth checking out. Plus, the cover is SO gorgeous!
GEIS: A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH BY ALEXIS DEACON (ILLUS.)
Geis, which is a Gaelic word pronounced “gesh” that means taboo or curse, is a fantasy graphic novel about a contest that potential leaders are participating in to see who will succeed the dying chief matriarch. This book focuses on the first part of the contest in which participants must prove that they know the land. The story was entertaining but didn’t fully captivate me to make me continue with it. (Although now that I’ve reread my review, I feel like picking up the next book. I’m curious.)
The illustration style is not one I like. That and my (initial) lack of interest after completing the story made me forget to continue with it.