So, Graphic Novels. 

Chatterbox: Blab About Books

Graphic Novels!
So, Graphic Novels. ...

So, Graphic Novels. 

I haven’t read many. I could probably count on my fingers the number of graphic novels I’ve read in my entire life. But lately I’ve been thinking about writing one myself. And since I have very limited knowledge of graphic novels, having read very few, I figure I should read some more before I try to make one myself. I’d also like to read more graphic novels just ‘cause I think they’re cool and I’d like to get more into them. So I guess this is kind of a graphic-novel-recommendation thread. What are your guys’ favorite graphic novels? Are there any great ones I should definitely read? Any favorite graphic novelists? Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated!

 

Try Jeff Smith's Bone series! -- admin 

submitted by Leeli
(August 28, 2019 - 12:00 pm)

I don't read a lot of graphic novels either, as much as I love them. I guess I just don't seek them out. However, when I was younger I really loved the Hilo graphic novels, they're geared towards a younger audience but they are still kind of cool, and I like to use reference from both young adult and kids books when I'm writing. There are also a lot of Star Wars graphic novels, if you're into Star Wars (they're essentially compilations of the Star Wars comics), which I read a lot. That's all I've got for now, I'm pretty useless. Now I feel like I need to go to the library and check out all the graphic novels lol

submitted by Fleet, Io
(August 29, 2019 - 7:56 am)
submitted by Top!
(August 29, 2019 - 10:23 am)

Like you, I’m not a huge fan of graphic novels, but I read one on a recommendation lately that I HIGHLY recommend. It’s called The Prince and the Dressmaker, it’s by Jen Wang, and the art is fabulous. It takes place in old-fashioned Paris, and it features (surprise surprise) a prince and a dressmaker. The dressmaker, Frances, is one of only a couple people who know the truth about the prince, Sebastian - sometimes he likes to wear dresses. So that’s my short little synopsis, and I really hope you read it because I love this book SO much!

submitted by Kitten, Pondering
(August 29, 2019 - 1:48 pm)

I'm a big lover of graphic novels! I own a lot of them and when I used to frequent the library, I always came out with at least five of my favorites every time. 

I definitely second the Admin's recommendation of Bone, that's a great series! I also really enjoy Raina Telgemeier's stuff. She's most famous for her autobiographical Smile and Sisters, but she's also done two original stories called Drama and Ghosts that are really good, plus she's adapted the first four Baby-Sitters Club books into graphic novels! (they're really great. I love them.)  

Some other good graphic novels . . . 

- Kid Beowulf, by Alexis E. Fajardo. It's an adaptation of the epic poem Beowulf, a bit of a prequel? It's entertaining and very funny. I've only read the first, though, can't speak for the sequels. 

- The series Olympians by George O'Connor is freaking amazing whether or not you enjoy Greek myths. Each installment focuses on a specific god or goddess and retells a few stories associated with them. The art is amazing and they're always really well researched; they're one of my favorite sources for mythology.

- Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo is maybe 3/4 novel and 1/4 graphic novel. It's also a super sweet story and Kate DiCamillo is an amazing writer.

- The Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi is amazing! The worldbuilding and the art are both fascinating. Kibuishi has also done some other stuff, including the Explorer series, which is a collection of short comics by different artists that he edits, compiles, and contributes to. 

- The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier. An absolutely fascinating story! The art is really nice and it has a unique and unexpected plot.

- The Zita the Spacegirl series by Ben Hatke. It's just a cool action series about a girl who gets transported into deep space and needs to learn to navigate aliens and their laws, and save the world in the process.

- The Jedi Academy series by Jeffrey Brown. It's just a cute Star Wars story about a kid who needs to learn how to be a Jedi. It's comedic and cute and really nice for light reading.

- Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. It's a really nice story about a girl who goes into roller derby. Has messages about hard work and all that fun stuff. Also, its art is great!

Also, I have two manga recommendations for you. Stay with me.

- Chi's Sweet Home is about a KITTEN. Her name is Chi and it recounts her adventures as she gets used to her new home, meets other cats around the neighborhood, and her owners figure out how to take care of her and where she's from. It's a super sweet story and I highly recommend.

- Yotsuba&! is a series about a five-year-old just living out her life. It focuses on her, her father and his friends, and their neighbors and their adventures. It's a really funny, wholesome story. Also excellent. 

 

submitted by cynic
(August 31, 2019 - 11:10 am)

Ooh! I forgot about Chi’s Sweet Home! I used to love those books. You should definitely read them!

submitted by Fleet , Tatooine
(August 31, 2019 - 1:47 pm)

@Admins? There’s a link under the recommendation for “Kid Beowulf” in the comment I’m replying to that takes me to some weird “access denied” page... what’s going on with that?

Thank you for letting us know! I don't know how that happened, but I think it's gone now.

Admin

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submitted by Kitten, Pondering
(August 31, 2019 - 5:05 pm)

I read the Elsie Dinsmore series and the Violet Travilla series 

submitted by Bibi P
(September 1, 2019 - 9:26 am)

Oh, heck yeah! I love graphic novels and also happen to be working on writing one- maybe we can talk and work together some time!

For now, I've got some recommendations!

The Nameless City series by Faith Erin Hicks- A really fun fantasy trilogy that has a world that's not just your typical elves and dragons and dwarves, which I usually hate. It's centered around this city full of immigrants that's really valuable for trade so it keeps on getting reconquered, and two kids who live in the city, Rat and Kai, who are really believable and relatable characters. Also, a lot of stuff explodes.

The Witch Boy, by Molly Ostertag-  It's urban fantasy, my favorite genre, with a really cool magic system and amazing art! The protagonist is named Aster and I love him so much. It's got a sequel, The Hidden Witch, which isn't quite as good but is still worth a read!

Newsprints & Endgames- A two-part series with really pretty art. It's technically fantasty, but gives me, like, 1950s vibes? (I know nothing about history, sorry.) There's a war going on, which the characters are trying to stop. The first book is centered around Blue, the main character, and her friends Jack and Crow- an eccentric inventor and a boy I can't talk about much because spoilers. The second book we get to see more of the world, the war is more of the central conflict, and we get some more characters like this super awesome sibling duo, Snow and Red.

Five Worlds series by Mark Siegel- I'm recommending this one mostly for the art, actually. These books are stunning. They star a girl named Oona who has to light these 5 magic beacons to heal the world, and an evil prince trying to stop her. I haven't read them in a while, so give me some slack on this description, but they're good.

awkward & brave by Svetlana Chmakova- A fun, cute school story series where each book centers on a different character and their attempts to get through middle school. Brave especially made me feel things. How dare it. The art style's really cute and it's pretty funny!

The Fence series by C.S. Pascat and Johanna the Mad- A really well-written sports story about characters who, you guessed it, do fencing. The title definetly didn't obviously show that. Nicholas, the main character, wants to get on the fencing team, but he has to play in a tournament to get there. There's a really good supporting cast that get focused on a lot, especially Seiji, Nicholas' (boyfriend?) RIVAL. A bit of a warning- they don't swear or anything, but it can sometimes get into non-CB appropriate stuff. You'd probably want to be 13 or something to read them. (Mostly because of Aidan. I swear, that guy--) Also, yes. I'm 12. Haven't you seen a hypocrite before?

Cleopatra in Space series, by Mike Maihack- I'm sort of descriptioned-out right now, but trust me, it's good. Scifi, art is great, there's talking cats, just go read these already.

Also, the previously mentioned The Prince and the Dressmaker, Zita the Spacegirl and Olympians series are really good!

submitted by Blue Moon, age 12, Where Now
(September 2, 2019 - 8:22 pm)

Oh! I love the Nameless City books!!

submitted by Fleet , Forsaken
(September 3, 2019 - 3:26 pm)

Ooh, I love graphic novels! I feel like they get a bad rep for being childish, but you can tell some truly powerful and serious stories through that medium. Here are some I like.

- The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. This illustrated memoir charts the author's life, family history, and journey to understanding and reconciling with herself and her parents. It's absolutely gorgeous, heartbreaking, and achingly raw. The drawings are done in loose, flowy ink, with minimal coloration, and are incredibly beautiful and striking. Warning for some mature themes.

- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Another memoir. The author depicts her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution through heavy black-and-white illustrations and lilting prose. This book is very important, very human, very powerful. It'll change the way you look at the world. There's also a sequel, but that one is not CB appropriate.

- Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman. The first ever graphic novel to win a Pulitzer! The book's alternating chapters depict the author's present day efforts to connect with his eccentric father and his father's experiences during the Holocaust, respectively. It's an incredible and  powerful book. I'd recommend it if you want to learn more about the realities of the Holocaust, but some parts are dark and graphic, so younger readers should be careful.

submitted by Abigail, age Old enough, Inside my head
(September 3, 2019 - 7:27 pm)

I haven't read that many graphic novels myself either, but they're sooooo good! The Amulet series is really nice. Also, I am drawing one myself: about Minecraft.

 

Galina

submitted by Galina A., age 11, Florida
(September 3, 2019 - 8:18 pm)

Webcomics. Read webcomics. Not webtoons, webtoons are different. Webcomics. Many of them are graphic novels, on the Internet, posted one page at a time as their creators finish them. My personal favorites are Stand Still, Stay Silent and All Night Laundry, though if you don't like horror they're probably not for you. I have so many recommendations, but for now here's five:

Blindsprings--A fantasy comic about a princess who entered a pact with the spirits of her world when the monarchy she belonged to was overthrown and has recently returned to the city she once lived in, after spending a thousand years living in the forest, to discover threats both new and old. Updates are irregular.

Travelogue--The diary of a humanoid and her two traveling companions. Nothing much is at stake. I'm not sure if it's updating anymore; I haven't checked it in a while.

Paranatural--A kid moves to a new town and discovers he has magic powers. He is invited to join the school's Activity Club, which consists of other magic kids and their teacher. It is not without its serious moments, but mostly it's extremely goofy. Updates weekly.

A Redtail's Dream--Based on Finnish mythology; a fox god screws up and gets a boy and his dog to help rescue their town by completing a number of tasks. This one has been completed. 

Balderdash--A cute comic about two witches living their lives. One's a seer of sorts and the other is an apprentice baker. Updates were irregular last I checked.

I think the first webcomic I ever read was Chasing The Sunset... I didn't even know what a webcomic was back then. Blindsprings was the second, and I still didn't have a clue.

As for graphic novels I read in print: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang, The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag, Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, and I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest. Oh, and the Flight series--those are eight volumes of, well, short stories, but in the same format as graphic novels. The Tea Dragon Society is a very short graphic novel by Katie O'Neill. And... yeah, that's about all I can think of. I know some of these were mentioned before, but they're really good.

submitted by Viola?, age Secret, Secret
(September 10, 2019 - 6:17 pm)

Anyhing by Raina Telgemeier is good. Also, Terri Libenson's books, if they count as graphic novels, which they might not. And Roller Girl and All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.

submitted by DolphinGirl
(September 30, 2019 - 7:37 pm)

OMG yes!!! have you read her new book? its soooo good!!! i also reccomend liz climo, she has cute & funny comics :)

submitted by galaxycatz, age 12, Vermont
(October 1, 2019 - 9:20 pm)

I LOVE graphic novels!!!! also the lunar chronicles series? who else was read it!?! please, i need to not be alone in my love for it!!! anyway though, graphic novels are pretty cool and can help novice readers become better because of the picture :) 

submitted by Lucy N, age 12, Vermont
(October 1, 2019 - 9:18 pm)