Monday, February 23, 2015

New Adult Graphic Novels

I'm the type of person who makes a list for everything, ticks off each item as it's completed, and takes great satisfaction in reviewing what I've managed to accomplish by the end of the day. Even so, I think I've overdone it this time. I knew I shouldn't have enrolled in that second MOOC ....

When life gets stupid busy, my concentration is often the first to go. The impressive stack of impressive books that I have heaped up on my kitchen table gets shunted to a chair in the corner, unread. I don't need this added pressure! In these times, I restrict my literary diet to my comfort brain food: graphic novels.

I found a pile of great new titles via the link to "Latest Graphic Novels" listed under "What's New" on the Discover catalog homepage and I am speedily devouring each one. Here are some that I've checked out:

Graphic memoirs and comics with historical themes are my favourite, which is why I was attracted to Strange Fruit: uncelebrated narratives from black history, vol.1 by Joel Christian Gill. It's a collection of stories illustrating lesser known chapters from African-American history. Strange Fruit is handsomely executed by Gill, who is does double-duty as writer and illustrator for this graphic novel.

I am thrilled to announce that Halifax Public Libraries has recently acquired volume 4 of the wry and beautifully drawn sci-fi adventure series Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I can't say enough about these books. The cast of fascinating characters (Lying Cat!), the high quality of the illustration, and the fast-paced storytelling always lead me to finish a book from this series much faster than I'd really like.

Conventional superhero-type comics don't generally interest me but when I heard about G. Willow Wilson's treatment of Ms. Marvel, I had to place my hold. With artist Adrian Alphona, Wilson has created the kind of superhero the world needs now. Kamala Khan is a believable female character who also happens to be Muslim. In fleshing out the personal and political challenges faced by the protagonist as she first assumes her powers, the creators have crafted a superhero comic with substance.

There has been a lot of buzz in book circles for Fatherland. My own request for this book (more copies on order!) hasn't been filled yet so I'm looking forward to seeing how Bunjevac's striking pictures illustrate this period in the history of the former Yugoslavia.

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