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Recommendations: Graphic Novels

Hey all, Dani here.

It’s Thursday again, and that means that it is time for another round of book recommendations. I have topics planned for these through the end of the year, and I’ve started to create some more options so I can keep this series going in the new year.

The recommendation posts I’ve done so far are: banned books, LGBTQ+, fantasy, paranormal, romance, sci-fi, and historical.

Right now I have these topics scheduled for the rest of 2017: classics, diverse reads, contemporary, memoir/biography/non-fiction, urban fantasy, and poetry.

So far for 2018, I have: time travel, standalones, duologies, trilogies, and series. If there are any other recommendation list topics you’d like to suggest, please let me know in the comments.

Okay, so now I’m going to jump into my recommendations. To be clear for this I am including comic bind-ups as well, as they are commonly referred to as graphic novels as well.

Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I finally finished this series this year and it is so wonderful and complex. Seriously, there are so many diverse characters, an interesting mythology, and a wide variety of story types. This can sometimes be seen with the difference in art styles as well. There are some story arcs that fit more into a historical genre or mystery or fantasy, etc. Each member of Dream’s family is fascinating, and this is a 10 volume collection I know I will read again, and I’m sure I’ll pick up details I missed the first time around.

Fables by Bill Willingham. This is a series I would absolutely recommend to people who like fairy tales, especially people who are fans of the TV show Once Upon a Time. I was recommended this series from a friend at work and I’m glad I gave it a shot. My favorite character is Bigby Wolf, otherwise known as the Big Bad Wolf. Let me tell you, the relationship that develops between him and Snow White is awesome. I’m not going to lie; I made a werewolf stuffed animal at Build-a-Bear and named it Bigby Werewolf. Basically, I’m saying that these are a fun take on fairy tales in the modern world and they are fantastic. I need to finish this series. It is certainly on my to-do list.

Rat Queens by Kurtis J Wiebe. I’m pretty sure I’ve gushed about these foul-mouthed and violent female adventurers many times already, but I’m going to mention them again here. If you like fantasy adventures, particularly a D&D-esque quest style story, this may be the series for you. To quote the description for the Volume 1 bind-up, Sass and Sorcery, this series follows: “Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief.” Let me just say that I would absolutely love to go on an adventure with these ladies. (Actually I think it would be awesome and probably hilarious if Betty ran into my lawful nice dwarven life cleric). Anyway, just give this series a shot. It is so worth it.

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson. This series also follows a group of female adventurers, but they are more girl scouts than a crass adventuring party. Instead we follow Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley, as they spend the summer at camp and have all sorts of grand adventures, running into merfolk, bear people, and all sorts of other supernatural mischief. Really it is a fun story of friendship and is absolutely a worthwhile read.

Saga by Brian K Vaughan. So this recommendation works for fans of fantasy, fans of science fiction, and fans of romance. This is a Romeo and Juliet type story following a woman from a planet called Landfall and a man from Landfall’s moon called Wreath. The war between the two races has moved and expanded and has consumed what seems like most of the galaxy. But Alana and Marko end up falling in love and having a baby together, which makes them both targets from both sides of the war. What’s really fun about this space adventure that features technology and magic and ghosts (and sex and violence) and so much more, is that the narrator of this story is Alana and Marko’s daughter, Hazel. Come on, it’s a science fantasy romance adventure story. What more do you need?

The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen. Are you a fan of gods and mythology? Well then this series might be the one for you. “Every 90 years 12 gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.” Why do they incarnate every 90 years? Why do they die in two years? Which gods appear in the series? This is such a fascinating story, where these god incarnates are celebrities, but just because they are powerful, it doesn’t mean that they will live forever. I don’t want to say anything to spoil any of the plot lines, but this is definitely one of my favorite series.

Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Everything on this list is something I have been introduced to at some point in the last few years. Scott Pilgrim is the newest (to me) of all of these. I saw the movie and read all 6 volumes for the first time this year thanks to my boyfriend. It is a fun geeky somewhat video-game inspired adventure tale, following Scott Pilgrim as he takes on all of Ramona Flower’s exes for the right to date her. Yes it is sometimes absurd, but I really enjoyed the humor and fun of it all. This is also one of the few times in my life where I saw the movie before I read the source material. Turns out that I like both of them, so I’d say they are both worth checking out.

Well, that’s about all for today. I’m currently about an hour into a 12 hour shift at work, so I think I’m going to see how much reading and/or writing I can get done before I go home. Hopefully I read enough to get another book review up tomorrow. If not then I’ll have a book tag up.

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