I love graphic novels. They make for a quick read when I don’t have a lot of time, and the artwork always draws me in. I love that I can see the characters as the authors intended. The best part is that graphic novels come in so many different forms. You have superhero comics, sci-fi fantasy, even memoirs! For the sake of simplicity, I’m limited this list in a couple of ways. First, no webcomics (that was a topic for another blog post or two!) Also, no memoirs and no manga, since I’ve also covered those (or will be covering them) in a different post.
Lady Pyppenia (known as Poppy to her friends) finds her life thrown in chaos after her father passes away. Unable to ascend to the throne because of her illegitimate birth, Poppy becomes the companion to her bitter cousin as her uncle takes control of the country. Despite being guarded by her Sleepless Knight, Poppy is targeted by a series of assassination attempts. In a court where too many have a reason to want you dead, how do you know who to trust? Sleepless is a gripping series originally published as single issue comics, reproduced here in two collections.
If you enjoyed book 1, consider checking out book 2!
I Kill Giants is one of my favorite graphic novels. This emotionally powerful story of a girl struggling with her personal life (and who may or may not be a giant killer) is almost impossible to put down. Barbara might look like an average kid. But, she’s actually a giant killer with a powerful weapon (so she says) that was forged specifically for killing the monsters before they can hurt anyone. But, giants aren’t real, right? What I love about this tale is that it always keeps you guessing. Are there really giants or is this just an elaborate coping mechanism for the unspoken pain Barbara tries to hide? Regardless this gripping story will have you sobbing like a baby by the end, but I promise you, it’s 100% worth a read!
Jason is easily one of my favorite cartoonists. And when I recommended him to a friend, I was told that I Killed Adolf Hitler had him completely in stitches. This twisting time travel story tells of a hired assassin who goes back in time to kill Adolf Hitler–only to have the Fuhrer overpower him, steal his time machine, and return to the present in his place. Alternating between funny and beautifully minimalist, Jason’s work is like nothing else I have ever read before, and I cannot recommend him more highly!
If you liked this title, consider checking out The Werewolves of Montpellier.
What does it mean to be completely Alone? This beautiful book (translated from the French for the first time) tells the story of a solitary lighthouse keeper who never leaves his island home. Delivery boats bring him supplies, but never see him. No one ever asks him what it’s like to be so alone. With only his vivid imagination to keep him company, our friend often wonders, what is life like out there? What if there’s nothing? If that’s the case, why even bother going to look? But, when a new boatman shows up at the island, and starts asking all the questions the others have refused to consider, our little hermit’s world is shaken up for the first time.
The Amazing Screw-On Head is unlike anything else on this list. In a convoluted alternate history of the United States, President Lincoln recruits The Amazing Screw-On Head (a robot with swappable bodies) to come to the aid of his country and foil the devious Emperor Zombie’s plans. Along with Mr. Groin (his butler) and Mr. Dog (his dog), Screw-On Head must face all manner of dangers, including ancient tombs, a Victorian flying machine and a haunted turnip full of demons. Will he be able to stop Emperor Zombie in time? Or is the United States doomed?