Friday, December 28, 2007

Graphic Novels

I started reading graphic novels in junior high but really didn't get hooked on them until a few years ago. For the years I worked at the American Library Association in Chicago, my commute was 2 to 3 hours a day via car, bus and train. This was a fantastic time to read and because ALA was such a holding house for new books, I had my pick of everything sent by publishing houses.
I would guess the majority of readers have never picked up a graphic novel and for those of you who haven't you don't know what you're missing. The better ones are a mix of unmatched story telling and gorgeous art, I'm not a fan of much of the manga genre, but even some of the bubble-gum mass produced materials are entertaining.
Many of the graphic novels I read are not for the faint of heart, they appeal to my macabre sense and read like fairy tales from hell. The first graphic novel that I really got addicted to was through a friend I worked with at ALA: Preacher by Garth Ennis (synopsis: Reverend Jesse Custer has a mission: to find God, who has disappeared from heaven. Armed with a peculiar moral code and a voice that must be obeyed. Custer joins up with his gun toting former girlfriend and a hard drinking Irish vampire to take on an indestructible gunfighter called the Saint of Killers and bring down a grisly serial killer) This series is seriously fantastic, disturbing, sad, hysterical and DEFINITELY not for children. Extremely Gothic, there are no boundaries or morals in the villains and some of the writing and art turned my stomach. However disturbing it is, the story is simply unforgettable.
My latest addiction is My Dead Girlfriend by Eric Wight. The main character has the best name I've come across in years, Finney Bleak. His parents are ghosts, most of his family members are too, and he falls for the perfect girl, right before she dies. The best part of the story, they try to make their mortal+ghost relationship work.
Other graphics I enjoy include:
Sandman by Neil Gaiman
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore ( I am also probably the only person who loved the film)
League of Extraordinary Gentleman, also by Alan Moore

Marvel's X-Men
Dc Comics Justice League of America
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
Some popular ones with our library readers include: InuYasha, Yu-Gi-Oh, Ranma, Marmalade Boy, Kare First Love and Faeries' Landing.

No comments: