After a fabulous summer of reading, I now find myself in the midst of a graphic novel reading streak. And it’s been really wonderful.
A good graphic novel is such a delight: intense, gripping, and short enough to finish in one sitting.
The only thing I regret right now is forgetting to make a list of what I’ve read. (Yes, I’ve been shamefully neglectful of both my TBR list on Goodreads and my TBR board on Pinterest.)
But that’s okay, because this post will be filled with those I found the most memorable. (One of those “it’s gotta be because it is” situations.)
The Unwritten, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
So far I’ve read The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity and The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man; I’ve put in a request for the next three volumes from the library, and am keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll be getting a copy of, The Unwritten, Vol 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words when it’s released next month.
So what’s The Unwritten series about? Here’s the synopsis of The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity from Goodreads:
Tom Taylor’s life was screwed from go. His father created the Tommy Taylor fantasy series, boy-wizard novels with popularity on par with Harry Potter. The problem is Dad modeled the fictional epic so closely to Tom’s real life that fans are constantly comparing him to his counterpart, turning him into the lamest variety of Z-level celebrity. In the final novel, it’s even implied that the fictional Tommy will crossover into the real world, giving delusional fans more excuses to harass Tom.
When an enormous scandal reveals that Tom might really be a boy-wizard made flesh, Tom comes into contact with a very mysterious, very deadly group that’s secretly kept tabs on him all his life. Now, to protect his own life and discover the truth behind his origins, Tom will travel the world, eventually finding himself at locations all featured on a very special map — one kept by the deadly group that charts places throughout world history where fictions have impacted and tangibly shaped reality, those stories ranging from famous literary works to folktales to pop culture. And in the process of figuring out what it all means, Tom will find himself having to figure out a huge conspiracy mystery that spans the entirety of the history of fiction.
Gunnerkrigg Court series, by Thomas Siddell
I’ve read all three volumes of this series:
Lovely, lovely reads. And best of all? Gunnerkrigg Court is a webcomic and you can read the entire series (including the panels that come after volume 3) over at Tom Siddell’s Gunnerkrigg Court. Although, once you’ve read it online, you’re probably going to want to get the hardcover copies of the books, too.
Antimony Carver is a precocious and preternaturally self-possessed young girl starting her first year of school at gloomy Gunnerkrigg Court, a very British boarding school that has robots running around along side body-snatching demons, forest gods, and the odd mythical creature. (From Goodreads)
Courtney Crumrin series, by Ted Naifeh
Courtney’s parents have dragged her out to a high-to-do suburb to live with her creepy Great Uncle Aloysius in his spooky old house. She’s not only the new kid in school, but she also discovers strange things lurking under her bed. (From Goodreads)
Unfortunately, my library doesn’t have the first volume of the series, but I’ve read the other three volumes:
I really enjoyed Courtney Crumrin’s character: smart and talented, strong in her values, which often differs from the values of those around her, and that touch of loneliness that makes you want to hug her, even though you know it would likely be quite the prickly squirmy affair.
Mangaman, by Barry Lyga
Mangaman was such a quick, fun and quirky read! I haven’t read a lot of anime or manga, but I’m familiar enough with the conventions, and a lot of the things happening in Mangaman were laugh out loud funny.
Ryoko, a manga character from a manga world, falls through the Rip into the “real” world—the western world—and tries to survive as the ultimate outsider at a typical American high school.
When Ryoko falls in love with Marissa Montaigne, the most beautiful girl in the school, his eyes turn to hearts and comic tension tightens as his way of being drawn and expressing himself clashes with this different Western world in which he is stuck in. “Panel-holed” for being different, Ryoko has to figure out how to get back to his manga world, back through the Rip . . . all while he has hearts for eyes for a girl from the wrong kind of comic book. (From Goodreads.)
WIZZYWIG: Portrait of a Serial Hacker, by Ed Piskor
WIZZYWIG was an enjoyable read. It also made me very sad. And a little shocked that the government could impose four years of pre-trial custody like that (Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle, the fictional hacker in WIZZYWIG, is based on real-life hackers, including Kevin Mitnik who, I learned after reading WIZZYWIG, spent four and a half years in pre-trial custody. That’s a very long time to be incarcerated without the benefit of a trial.) This is definitely a graphic novel that makes you think.
And more graphic novels to come …
I meant to post about more of the graphic novels I’ve read recently, but this is already quite a long post as it is (I know. I can’t help it!). I also have several graphic novels in my TBR stacks that I can hardly wait to get to, including the Fables series, and quite a few non-series ones.
I can’t say I’m anywhere near sated when it comes to graphic novels, and I’m on the look-out for more good reads. If there’s a graphic novel you’d recommend, please let me know in the comments!