Graphic novels have, in the past, been regarded as just for children or only about superheroes. In reality their audience is as broad as can be imagined and their content as complex and emotive as any book or film in our library’s collection. In the past decades graphic novels have achieved mainstream success and acclaim for their intricate storylines and compelling, often beautiful, artwork. Below are a few titles worth reading, but the best use of your time would be to come and explore the section yourself and discover a novel or series which captivates you!
Some suggestions from our collection:
Y: The Last Man by Bryan K. Vaughan – This series imagines a world where a plague has destroyed every male human and animal save one man and his capuchin monkey. It follows Yorick and Ampersand’s travels and trials as they struggle to find their place in a world where some support them in their quest to save the human race and others wish to exterminate man once and for all. Illustrated by Canadian Pia Guerra, Y: The Last Man is an excellent and enjoyable series.
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman – Many will be familiar with the protagonist Rick Grimes and his fellow survivors from the popular TV series. Enthusiasts of the show should take the opportunity to delve further into the world of ‘walkers’ and ‘biters’. The graphic novel is illustrated in black and white and provides a story of survival in a place where the most dangerous encounters are not with zombies but with other humans.
Essex County by Jeff Lemire – Award winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire explores his hometown of Essex in this hauntingly beautiful story. In addition to remarkably drawn and inked images, this meditation on family, friends, loss and redemption is one to which many can relate. This genre is perfect for people not interested in science fiction or fantasy, but just looking for a touching book to read.
Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo – This manga is set in Neo-Tokyo in a dystopian future following a nuclear explosion which had destroyed the earlier version of the city and precipitated World War III. The artwork in this series is highly regarded and set a new standard for the manga which would follow it. The storyline is action packed and exciting while also exploring broader themes of social isolation, corruption and power.
Ode to Kirihito by Osamu Tezuka – This manga is new to our collection! It follows Dr. Kirihito Osani as he combats a disease which first deforms, then eventually kills, those who contract it. His efforts leave him infected with the disease and cause him embark on travels around the world. Ode to Kirihito a story which is both gripping and emotionally touching.
Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar – This graphic novel is new to our collection! Superman: Red Son is a reimagining of the classic story where, instead of landing in Kansas, Superman’s rocket ship touches down on a Ukranian collective farm at the height of the Cold War. Instead of being the quintessential American hero, Superman protects and promotes the USSR and socialism. This story provides an interesting twist to a familiar tale.