Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Future graphic novel selections January - April

That's right, graphic novel book clubbers, it's time again for a vote on new graphic novels. Comment below with your thoughts and suggestions and we'll hold a vote at our next meeting which is for Alex Robinson's Tricked on August 25th.

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang: "Dennis Ouyang lives in the shadow of his parents’ high expectations. They want him to go to med school and become a doctor. Dennis just wants to play video games—and he might actually be good enough to do it professionally. But four adorable, bossy, and occasionally terrifying angels arrive just in time to lead Dennis back onto the straight and narrow: the path to gastroenterology. It’s all part of the plan, they tell him. But is it? This powerful piece of magical realism brings into sharp relief the conflict many teens face between pursuing their dreams and living their parents’."

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol: "Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part. Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs. Or so she thinks."

Scott Pilgrim series by Brian O'Malley: Scott Pilgrim is a twenty something bass player who is dating a HIGH SCHOOLER! Ewww. Video game references, surprisingly deep characterization, and humor fill the pages of O'Malley's six volume work.

Essex County by Jeff Lemire: "Where does a young boy turn when his whole world suddenly disappears? What turns two brothers from an unstoppable team into a pair of bitterly estranged loners? How does the simple-hearted care of one middle-aged nurse reveal the scars of an entire community, and can anything heal the wounds caused by a century of deception? Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire pays tribute to his roots with Essex County, an award-winning trilogy of graphic novels set in an imaginary version of his hometown, the eccentric farming community of Essex County, Ontario, Canada. In Essex County, Lemire crafts an intimate study of one community through the years, and a tender meditation on family, memory, grief, secrets, and reconciliation."

Daytripper by Gabriel Ba: A meditation on one man's life, brothers Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon explore all of the different possibilities of Bras de Olivia Domingos. Bras dies at the end of each issue in a different way only to wake up the next issue in a slightly different world. It is unclear whether or not Bras is learning from these past events or is unaware of them.

Life with Mr. Dangerous by Paul Hornschemeier: Amy is unhappy and single. She works at a department store and has self-image issues. The only joy she seems to get out of life is from watching reruns of Mr. Dangerous, a television show. Will she be able to find happiness in the real world or will her penchant for equating life and television keep her from ever escaping her dreary existence?

All quoted descriptions courtesy of Amazon.com.

Retread possibilities: We've already done these titles in past book clubs, but I'm open to rereading them if anyone's interested! Let me know or select any other past selections.

Y the Last Man series by Brian K. Vaughan: One of my favorite graphic novel series, it follows Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand. The two are seemingly the only two males left on Earth after a mysterious occurrence causes all other men to die. Yorick must discover the truth and get to Australia to find his girlfriend Beth.

Berlin by Jason Lutes: A historical account of the tumultuous inter-war years in Berlin through the eyes of various young people including art students and musicians. An unfinished two volume series.

Locke and Key by Joe Hill: A horror comic to end all horror comics. Each volume adds more depth and mystery to the series, so revisiting this one now that four volumes are out could be a treat. Though the first starts out as a King-esque horror comic, the ensuing trades delve deeper into the key mythology and almost comes off as more Neil Gaiman-y.


  1. All of these look pretty darn awesome.

    Locke & Key is absolutely phenomenal, but perhaps we should wait until it finishes up next year. Although, if we put it at the end of the list, I suppose it would be next year by that time...

    Y The Last Man was also amazing, but we did sort of already cover that one. That, and I'm still bitter at Brian K. Vaughn for ruining Ex Machina.

    A follow up discussion on the next volume of Berlin would be great!

  2. I have never read any of these and they all look terrific! I might suggest 1602 by Neil Gaiman and some other dudes. I've never read it, but when the hubs was reading it he couldn't help but tell me how sweet it was, so it's been on my list for a while.
    Mr. G wants to suggest Luthor and Joker by Brian Azzarello.
    What is the hivemind's opinion on Sin City by Frank Miller?
    Lastly, Mr. G would like you to use your librarian skills to discover a golden age collection of comics to use as a suggestion. Something that will expand our understanding of the history of comics.

  3. Alright, to the voting list we'll add:

    1602 by Neil Gaiman (though Peter Parker is still weinery in the 15th century I'll have you know)

    Joker by Brian Azzarello

    And two collections of Golden Age material I could find:

    Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes by Greg Sadowski

    The Best of Simon and Kirby by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

  4. It's generally agreed that Frank Miller's film adaptation of Sin City was so close to the source material that reading it is redundant, but we could put that on the list as well.