Just a mini-list of some adult graphic novels I have been looking forward to reading. There are tons more intriguing titles in this collection, including graphic adaptations of novels like Game of Thrones and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, action adventures about zombies and other supernatural creatures, semi-autobiographical works like Onward Towards our Noble Deaths, and classics of the genre like Sandman and Fables. Interested in a specialized recommendation for a title from this collection? TBPL patrons can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. As always, click on the book title to place your TBPL hold. **A key reminder for readers new to the graphic novel/comic sphere: remember that “graphic novel” is often used as a description for graphic books of all kinds (memoir, non-fiction, etc) and not only fiction**
Petty Theft by Pascal Girard translated by Helge Dascher: Canadian author!! A hilarious romantic comedy about kleptomania and booklovers.
Pascal is in a bad place. He’s out of work, he and his longtime girlfriend have just broken up, and when he goes out for a run to ease his frazzled nerves, he falls and injures his back so badly that he’s strictly forbidden from running. What’s an endorphin-loving cartoonist to do? In a bid to distract himself, Pascal throws himself into his other pleasure: reading. And while at the bookstore one day, he spies a young woman picking up his own book. But then she darts out of the shop without paying. Bemused, he decides to figure out why she did it.
Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples: SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults. The Onion A.V. Club calls “the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make.”
Can’t We Talk about Something more Pleasant? by Roz Chast: In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents. The themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care. An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can.
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel: From the best-selling author of Fun Home, Time magazine’s No. 1 Book of the Year, a brilliantly told graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.
Marbles: mania, depression, Michelangelo, & me: a graphic memoir by Ellen Forney Cartoonist Ellen Forney explores the relationship between “crazy” and “creative” in this graphic memoir of her bipolar disorder, woven with stories of famous bipolar artists and writers.
Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would cause her to lose creativity, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passions and creativity. Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” an otherwise brilliant mind.
Darkly funny and intensely personal, Forney’s memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work, as she shares her own story through bold black-and-white images and evocative prose.
Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire, coloured by Jose Villarubia: Canadian author!! A cross between Bambi and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, SWEET TOOTH tells the story of Gus, a rare new breed of human/animal hybrid children, has been raised in isolation following an inexplicable pandemic that struck a decade earlier. Now, with the death of his father he’s left to fend for himself … until he meets a hulking drifter named Jepperd who promises to help him. Jepperd and Gus set out on a post-apocalyptic journey into the devastated American landscape to find ‘The Preserve’ a refuge for hybrids.
All descriptions via GoodReads.com