I rarely blog anymore – but i find it nice to get to the end of the year and think about everything i’ve read (294 books so far this year). Normally i make a 10 best and 10 worst reads of the year but this year there were so many good graphic novel reads that could make the list that I have ended up with 2 best of lists. So here are my Top 8 graphic novel reads of the year.
1)Lumberjanes – this could also be on on my top reads of the year/decade list. As a kid I loved series like the babysitters club and Nancy drew, this harks back to the magic of those kind of novels in terms of friendship and adventure but with a dash of magic and fantasy thrown in. One for adults and kids alike, I can’t believe I’ve only just found this series but I know for certain I will read every single thing in the series 🙂 and then force all my friends to read them to. I love love love these books
2) Barefoot gen – This could be equal top with Lumberjanes although very different in feel, this is one of those important books, that everyone should read at least once. A slightly fictional story of a young boy (Gen) who survives the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, written by an atomic bomb survivor. This is a difficult, haunting read but one that has some very important things to say.
3) Heartstopper – A western Yaoi love story. This is the story of 2 young boys who become friends at school and then realise that there is something a little more romantic about their feelings towards each other. A lovely story of an LGBT romance between young people and a great read for young LGBT readers as it shows the range of feelings the 2 young men go through as they come to terms with their feelings for each other. There are 2 volumes of this so far, here’s hoping for many more.
4) The Promised Neverland – I don’t know how to begin describing this manga series, but it’s a fabulous read. Its about young children growing up in an orphanage that they can’t leave the grounds of. Some of the children eventually realise that instead of being adopted the kids that leave are being eaten, they then try to hatch a plan to escape. Utterly batty and brilliant it’s one of my manga finds of the year.
5) Hilda – Luke Pearssons stories are enchanting for young and old alike, set in the fictional town of Trollberg (looks a lot like Bergen) they feature a young girl called Hilda who initially lives in a remote cabin and then moves to the town itself, who gets into a series of fantastical adventures. There’s also an animated netflix series based on the books, that I would also recommend.
6) Diana Prince Wonder Woman – This is going to be on my best and worst of lists, I love these but I hate them at the same time. The I ching era of wonder woman is widely considered to be one of the worst era’s of wonder woman ever written and it really is. Diana prince has lost her powers, and learnt kung fu and other martial arts from her wise old master I ching, she’s also apparently lost all her feminist stance as well. This is full of outright racist parts (hence the hate, they put on makeup to look chinese so they can sneak into china) and full of such silly moments that you cant help but laugh. I’ve nearly read all of them and they are bonkers.
7) Teen Titans, Raven – there has been a series of novels and now graphic novels being produce for young adults about various superhero’s in the DC universe by relatively famous young adult authors. I have discovered new authors from the novels and have really enjoyed the graphic novels of these, Meg Cabot’s black canary origin story almost made the list, but the one I enjoyed the most is the origin story of Raven by Kami Garcia. Not a character I know a lot about but I really enjoyed this origin story it had all the gothic hallmarks of kami garcia’s novels. There is also more of the titan’s stories to come from this author, a great entry level read.
8) Skull Face Bookseller Honda San – We spent a significant amount of years selling books, and this manga has some hilarious realities of book selling. Based on someone who works in the manga section of a large bookstore in tokyo, that often has visits from foreign tourists, especially ladies who like the yaoi. It’s a fabulous read especially if you have any experience of selling books or working in a bookstore, although some of his experiences are uniquely Japanese most of them translate worldwide 🙂