Efficient writing. Strong storytelling. Vibrant colors. Bold graphics. I’ve always been drawn to comics. As a child, my sister and I would go to the store with my mother. My sister would head straight for the candy aisle as I went to the magazine rack to find the latest issues of my favorite comics. Character development, world building, pacing, plot… It’s where the fundamentals of storytelling first pulled me in, like that bouncy blond-haired, blue-eyed baby sister to a package of Starbursts or Sugar Babies.
I’ve comeback to that squeaky metal rack over a thousand times in my head, and I’m excited to relive my comic-reading years as an adult through graphic novels. To celebrate, I’ve read or re-read some of my favorites.
No spoilers! Okay, here we go…
Day 1: SATURDAY
Clean Room: Immaculate Conception by Gail Simone, Jon Davis-Hunt, and Quinton Winter
Damn scary and surprisingly relevant with what’s going on in the world. A self-help guru hits new heights of celebrity, power, and creepiness as head of a corporation-cult. Her high-tech “clean room” reveals a person’s past sins and worst fears—it also reveals that something darker is lurking just beyond our thin veil of reality. The protagonist is a down-and-out journalist who wants answers. Gory, beautiful, and disturbing—and what the heck are those purple things? Adult content.
Day 2: SUNDAY
Devolution by Rick Remender and Jae Lee
The artwork is as beautiful as it is savage and horrific. Great storyline and premise: scientists deem that the best way to save the planet and make it inhabitable again is to “de-evolve” it, making man and planet revert back to Neanderthal-like conditions. In the process, we also forfeit our place on the food chain. Among the immune survivors, a woman with all the answers, a sneaky doctor, a neo-Nazi dictator-barbarian. Um, this is definitely adult content.
DAY 3: MONDAY
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Now, something for ages middle-grade and up—I love this book! It has so many layers and the artwork is amazing. There’s a subtle and sophisticated humor about it, and the characters are so expressive and wonderful. It questions what it means to be “the bad guy” and what it means to be “the good guy.” I immediately read it from cover to cover a second time, before passing it on to my family.
DAY 4: TUEDAY
Doctor Strange: The Way of the Weird by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo
I’ve always loved the artwork of Chris Bachalo. I first became a fan of his work by reading Generation X, I was living in the Boston area and I would walk to Harvard Square to pick up the monthly comic. I reconnected with his work once again with the launch of a recent X-Men title and this volume of Doctor Strange. There’s something interesting about the way he packs his drawings with details. As if by magic, you find something new each time you read it.
DAY 5: WEDNESDAY
Monstress: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Bravo! Stunning artwork with majestic, mythological, and manga-like qualities that suck you right it. Don’t let the beauty of its pages fool you, beneath its intricate drawings there is a sinister storyline with twists and turns. The disturbing and dystopian elements to this book make it for an older crowd. I was instantly vested in the characters and didn’t want them to meet the horrible fates that waited with every page turn.
DAY 6: THURSDAY
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
This is such a touching story. Catrina and her family must move to Northern California, because her sister Maya suffers from cystic fibrosis. The cool, salty air of the ocean benefits Maya, but their new home, Bahia de la Luna, has a secret. It’s filled with ghosts. Maya wants to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with the spirits. It’s a story of friends, family, facing your fears, and coping with change. A great read for most ages.
DAY 7: FRIDAY
The Wicked + The Divine: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie
This title is my newest obsession. I’m going to binge read this one. The synopsis says, “Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead…” It’s a little American Idol and classic MTV, meets Survivor, global mythology, and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Very cool concept!
Well, that was fun. I’ll have to do it again soon.