Saturday, December 17, 2011

Graphic Novel Selections May through August 2012

Hey all, it's that time again to read up and vote upon future selections for the book club. Here are some that came up on various best of lists and some personal favorites:

Habibi by Craig Thompson

Craig Thompson, the author of Blankets, released this 600+ page epic that chronicles a relationship between two unlikely individuals against a backdrop of a cruel and oppressive society. As always, Thompson manages to tell a vastly personal story while drawing similarities to religious subtexts from the Qur'an and the Bible.

Any Empire by Nate Powell

"Nate Powell's follow-up to the Eisner award-winning Swallow Me Whole examines war and violence, and their trickle-down effects on middle America. As a gang of small-town kids find themselves reunited in adulthood, their dark histories collide in a struggle for the future. Any Empire follows three kids in a Southern town as a rash of mysterious turtle mutilations forces each to confront their relationship to their privileged suburban fantasies of violence. Then, after years apart, the three are thrown together again as adults, amid questions of choice and force, belonging and betrayal."

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? 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. With the lush, expressive inking of a young artist at the height of his powers, Lemire draws us in and sets us free."

The Complete Concrete by Paul Chadwick

"Part man, part...rock? Over seven feet tall and weighing over a thousand pounds, he is known as Concrete but is in reality the mind of one Ronald Lithgow, trapped inside a shell of stone, a body that allows him to walk unaided on the ocean's floor or survive the crush of a thousand tons of rubble in a collapsed mineshaft...but prevents him from feeling the touch of a human hand. These stories of Concrete are as rich and satisfying as any in comics: funny, heartbreaking, and singularly human."

Akira series by Katsuhiro Otomo

KANAEEEDAAAAAA! TETSUOOOOOOO! Find out why these characters are always yelling each others names! Japan's most epic and famous manga follows two motorcycling teenagers and their journey to uncover a plot involving nuclear weapons and psychic children/adults. Best known for its vastly confusing anime film that tried to condense 3000 pages of manga into a two hour film. Read the series and ignore the film.

Gotham Central series by Ed Brubaker

Ever wonder what the Gotham Police are up to? Solving crimes, that's what! Batman may be the world's greatest detective, but that doesn't mean the Gotham City Police don't have their hands full with villains like Mr. Freeze and Penguin. This unique series adds an unseen layer of depth to Batman's world.

DMZ series by Brian Wood

"In the near future, America's worst nightmare has come true. With military adventurism overseas bogging down the Army and National Guard, the U.S. government mistakenly neglects the very real threat of anti-establishment militias scattered across the 50 states. Like a sleeping giant, Middle America rises up and violently pushes its way to the shining seas, coming to a standstill at the line in the sand – Manhattan. Or as the world now knows it, the DMZ."

Revolver by Matt Kindt

Revolver deals with duality that comes off as a little bit Seven and a little bit Memento. Unique art and color scheme play into the themes and cerebral plot.

Swamp Thing series by Alan Moore

Alan Moore's famous 1980s run on Swamp Thing turned the series into a creepy and psychological story rather than a plant going around moping or killing other non-plants. Everything from romance to his origins are covered in Moore's newly collected Swamp Thing trades.

Love and Rockets vol. 1 by Los Bros Hernandez

[Love and Rockets vol. 1 is] "the first of three volumes collecting the adventures of the spunky Maggie, her annoying best friend and sometime lover Hopey, and their circle of friends, including their bombshell friend Penny Century, Maggie's weirdo mentor Izzyas well as the wrestler Rena Titanon and Maggie's handsome love interest, Rand Race. Maggie the Mechanic collects the earliest, punkiest, most heavily sci-fi stories of Maggie and her circle of friends, and you can see the artist (who drew like an angel from the very first panel) refine his approach: Despite these strong shifts in tone, the stunning art and razor sharp characterizations keep this collection consistent, and enthralling throughout."


  1. These all look quite good - I've already read several, and would be stoked to read them again. DMZ didn't look terribly interesting, but I'll try anything once.

    The idea of finally reading Concrete after seeing it on the shelf all those years ago in high school is oddly exhilarating.

  2. Not so super interested in Akira. Any of the others though.