May 28, 2010

List-Mania: More Graphic Novel Recommendations

Day 209

Last month I blogged about my favorite graphic novels and recommended them to you guys. These were the books that I would want to have if I was stranded on a desert island and in looking back I definitely got the list right. But if I was really on a deserted island I would miss these books quite a bit.

So here are more graphic novel recommendations. I have included a link directly to Amazon so you find more information and reviews as well and if you want to buy it. I have also included the synopsis/review of each title and why of course I love them.

I tried to choose a variety of different books this time instead of just my favorites. Hopefully there is something here for every one.

SCOTT PILGRIM: Precious Little Life
Vol. 1
By: Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim is 23 years old, lives in a cold, unnamed Canadian town, plays bass in a band called Sex Bob-Omb and has a very cute 17-year-old Chinese-Canadian girlfriend, Knives Chau. His "precious little life" is amiably unstructured, and he drifts, happily unemployed, between band practice and time spent with Knives. But then he starts having dreams about Ramona Flowers, a mysterious, equally cute and perfectly legal hipster chick on Rollerblades who delivers books for Ramona is anything but simple, and O'Malley's tale of adorable slackers in love is transformed into a wildly magically manga–kung fu fantasy adventure. We meet the first of Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends, Matthew Patel, who challenges Scott and his band to a supernatural martial arts duel right out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  It's an alt-lit, rock 'n' roll graphic novel with wonderful manga-influenced drawing and a comically mystical plot that manages to capture both the genuine intimacies and serial dishonesties of young love.

If you want something completely different and very unique, I recommend picking up this first volume of Scott Pilgrim. It is funny, cute and exciting. Real life mixed with Nintendo. Michael Cera (of Arrested Development fame) is set to star as Scott Pilgrim in coming soon to theatres and I cannot wait. And the final Scott Pilgrim book (in a series of 6) is coming out in just a few short months.

Book 1
By: Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley

High school, puberty, first dances - there are many pitfalls to being young. Compound these with intense personal tragedy and superhuman powers, and you can start to visualize the world of Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man. Following the murder of his uncle and the Green Goblin's assault on his high school, Peter finds himself on the brink of manhood: getting a job at the Daily Bugle to help support his widowed aunt and taking on extracurricular activities - such as bringing down the Kingpin, the head of organized crime in New York City!

If you enjoyed the Spider-Man movies, I cannot possibly recommend these books any higher. While there are big differences between the movie and this version, it is still Spider-Man at heart. You don't need to worry about being lost reading this, it starts right at the beginning. Bendis really delivers a powerful and believable story and Bagley's art is perfect for new readers. Once you start, I promise you will be addicted and luckily there are about 20 volumes so far. Seriously, it is probably the best Spider-Man stories I have ever read.

VOL. 1
By: Mike Mignola

Hellboy is one of the most celebrated comics series in recent years. The ultimate artists' artist and a great storyteller whose work is in turns haunting, hilarious, and spellbinding, Mike Mignola has won numerous awards in the comics industry and beyond. When strangeness threatens to engulf the world, a strange man will come to save it. Sent to investigate a mystery with supernatural overtones, Hellboy discovers the secrets of his own origins, and his link to the Nazi occultists who promised Hitler a final solution in the form of a demonic avatar.

Hellboy and Hellboy 2 are some of my favorite movies and Hellboy is definitely one of my favorite comic books. If you like mystery, action and horror, this series of books (10 volumes) are definitely up your alley. If you like strange monsters, Lovecraft, fables and urban legends, this book is definitely for you. Mignola takes real fables and sends Hellboy out to figure them out. And the Hellboy character is just perfect, even though he is a demon, he is certainly human. Just writing about him makes me want to go read them.

By: John Ostrander and Jan Duursema

The Jedi Temple is attacked, an Emperor is betrayed, and the Sith are born anew! A lot can happen in a hundred years, but that's just the beginning of the story! Not since Luke Skywalker first stepped aboard the Millennium Falcon has the galaxy seemed like such a vast, exciting, dangerous place! Readers will meet a host of new characters, see fleets of new spaceships, and visit scores of exotic locations - some new and some familiar. This is a perfect jumping-on point for any reader - an epic beginning to an untold chapter of the greatest adventure in the universe!

What kind of geek would I be if I didn't recommend a Star Wars title to read? I read these in comic book form and I absolutely love this series sanctioned by Lucas himself. The story idea is wonderful, it is set over 125 years after the events in Return of the Jedi. It features a descendant of Luke Skywalker who was trained as a Jedi but has abandoned the order. The series begins with an attack on the Jedi Temple and the overthrow of the Galactic Empire by a newly created Sith order. If you like Star Wars you will love this series. And there are more volumes published.

By: Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra

A mysterious plague has killed every man on earth except Yorick Brown, who was somehow spared. The sole Y-chromosomed survivor is an amiable, headstrong young man, the son of a U.S. congresswoman and, as it happens, an amateur escape artist. He tries to escape to Australia to find his girlfriend but finds that being the last man on Earth to be a much greater problem.

This series is not for the weak-hearted. Terrible things have happened and terribly things will continue to happen as Yorick tries to travel to Australia to find his girlfriend Beth. During his travels he will encounter various groups of women that have different beliefs and have different views on what they should do with Yorick. But during his travels he learns a lot more about himself. This is a fantastic science fiction story that really addresses a lot of what the world would be like if all the men died. But like I said before, this book is for Mature Readers Only. There is cursing and adult situations.

Most of these books are available at any book store and I am sure you could find copies of it at your local library. Do yourself a favor and try one of them out and you'll see why I love this medium so much.

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