I thought it would be fun to do another reading list this year!
Since there have been so many superhero movies and TV shows, it can be easy to forget that their is such a diversity of genres and characters in the illustrative medium. And while I love comic art, I struggle with keeping up with most of them, and these days that goes for the shows and movies too. (Now, I seem to have plenty of time to watch and re-watch World Cup matches right now, but that’s another story).
So, if you’re like me, and want to try a graphic novel or two but are intimidated by decades-old characters and multi-verses, here are a few well-loved alternatives. These are available as “trades” (paperback collections of issues), and can likely be found digitally, in the library, or at a bookstore.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
This series is still on-going, and has for a while, but don’t let that intimidate you. I’ve read the first three or four volumes and they are fantastic. It’s a beautifully illustrated series, featuring wonderful characters and a story with heart and excitement… Okay, so I’m a little fuzzy on details since I haven’t read it in a while. But it’s GOOD. Just trust me.
The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen
We treat our celebrities like gods-among-men. But what if they really were? That’s basically the initial premise of this British comic. But if that isn’t intriguing enough, the art itself makes it worth checking out. It’s gorgeous. I’ve given the first volume as a gift at least once, and it’s usually one of the first I list as a favorite graphic novel.
Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Weibe
This series was recommended to me, and I’m so glad I listened! It’s a fantasy story about a group of badass women, which is a refreshing “twist”. Admittedly the art can vary a bit and some of it’s not my favorite, but when it’s good it’s great!
Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick
I bought this one for the cover art and stayed for the story. Although, it’s the fake advertisements between issues that might be my favorite part. I’ve only read the first volume of this series, so I really only got a sample of it, but I can tell it’s going somewhere powerful.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
I have no hesitation in saying I saved the best for last. This two-book comic is one of my favorite books, of any genre. It’s an autobiography, and can get pretty intense, since it tells the story of one young woman’s experience during the Iranian Revolution. So yeah, not a light read. But definitely worthwhile.
So there you have it! My list of “something other than superheroes” graphic novels. If you’ve read any of these, I’d love to know what you think! And if there are any others you’d recommend, let me know in the comments below!