The comics/graphic novels have not been moved out of the non-fiction Art section, but the shelf is getting fuller. One thing at a time, I guess.
Last week, our Library Haul consisted mainly of comics; as did today’s.
There was the usual browse for any Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew Graphic series books Natalya hasn’t yet read (or wouldn’t mind reading a fourth time). But there were a few new ones, all of which I would recommend:
American Born Chinese written/drawn by Gene Luen Yang (First Second, 2006); 12 & up.
This is enjoyable, clean in presentation, and accessible. This book is a good start for those adults not given to reading comics.
Rapunzel’s Revenge written by Shannon and Dean Hale; illustrated by Nathan Hale(Bloomsbury, 2008); ages 10-14.
A humorous re-interpretation of the classic fairytale figure of Rapunzel. Rapunzel’s tower is actually a giant hollowed out tree, and the realm is a Wild West’s landscape. Our narrator has a dry wit. The art and the layout are nice and in a style that recalls to my mind The Courageous Princess by Rod Espinosa (Dark Horse, 2007); which is a comic that should be on everyone’s reading list.
Shannon Hale fans should not be daunted by this comic form of her storytelling as teamed up with her husband Dean. Another good graphic novel for non-genre readers.
Gray Horses written/drawn by Hope Larson (Oni Press, 2006); YA. I’d read Larson’s Chiggers a short time ago; see here. Gray Horses is nice. It is pretty. It is strange. This read is Young Adult, so Chiggers readers of a younger age will recognize Larson’s beautiful style but will find the story indecipherable, so YA is a good guide there. I didn’t bother passing this onto the nearly-10 daughter (who reads some YA); maybe later.
Larson is an author/artist who puts thought into every choice: text, color, lettering, composition…which makes the hard-to-read white text on that high value of yellow a mystery for me. I like the yellow; and since I do not know French, the white text was of little loss, but I’ve yet to figure out what to do with that aspect of the work.
I like the scope of Hope Larson’s work, her stories. Gray Horses feels small and simple and would accompany a nice Indie-film choice of soundtracks. Quiet, but not without entertaining complexities.
Amelia Rules! Superheroes (book 3) written/drawn by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum Books, 2010); Children/Juvenile.
Natalya thoroughly enjoyed this read. She (like after Rapunzel’s Revenge) set it right at my elbow. This one she had to show me her favorite pages. And there are a lot of favorite pages. A variety of styles are employed to tell this third story in the series of Amelia Rules! A follower of comics will recognize Speigelman, Eisner, and even a bit of Alan Moore.
The layout and the variety in the visual storytelling devices are fun and creative, but can be a mite overwhelming. Gownley would not limit his characters, so why should he himself.
The story he writes is good. All seriousness is not lost in the comedic turns. He balances the fun and the gravity.
This series is on most every list of “must read graphic novels for young readers.” Once read, it is easy to see why. The illustrations are not-too-cartoony and the story is not-too-light. The characters are fantastic.
We look forward to reading the other Amelia Rules! books. Too bad the Library District only has the 3rd. (Strange, I know.) In this 3rd book, Amelia is 10 and I wouldn’t suggest her reader be much younger; maybe 4th grade and higher? And no, this is not for girl’s only.
Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians written/drawn by Jarrett J Krosoczka (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2009); Children/Juvenile.
I admit that I would not have picked this up but for the recommendations. A lunch lady hero? Yeah.
For boys and girls alike. For fans of cartoons such as those found on Cartoon Network. For those who enjoy the bizarre and the outright silly!
We picked up a few more of these at the Library today.