John of Fiction/AV/Teen Services suggests Here by Richard McGuire
Richard McGuire’s inventive graphic novel Here is set in a single location for its entire duration: the corner of a room in a house. However, each double-page image depicts this fixed space at a different moment throughout time, ranging the complete span of human history and beyond. Grand changes play out over the years, juxtaposed against mundane still moments in the lives the home’s various inhabitants. Events echo throughout time, such as when a window into the décor of 2014 is used to resonate with a scene from 1775. Styles change, children grow older, and lives unfold in unexpectedly affecting fragments. Here demonstrates that both the beautiful and ordinary qualities of life alike can remain strangely similar in any era.
For more formally complex graphic novels, try…
A series of stylistically diverse chapters mimicking comic strips collectively offer a multifaceted portrayal of a small Midwestern town in Ice Haven
by Daniel Clowes.
by Chris Ware follows the dissatisfactions of a young woman and her neighbors across fourteen distinct printed comics.
Dash Shaw’s Bodyworld
tells its futuristic tale of drug-induced telepathy as a vertical scroll of expressionistic imagery, illustrating a full range of sensory experiences.
by David Mazzucchelli concerns a story of architecture and design, mirrored in its own elegantly crafted visual construction.
Finding your place in this life can be a tricky proposition. Our upbringing leaves its mark, but ultimately we make our own choices. In the case of creator Craig Thompson, fulfillment might be found in religious faith, devotion to art, or intoxicating first love. The question is whether they have to be mutually exclusive. Multiple-award winner Blankets is a revealing autobiographical novel that celebrates the bittersweet. Stark black and white illustrations enhance this poignant coming-of-age story by adding layers that straight prose cannot offer. Wrap yourself in Blankets and be pleasantly surprised at how much a graphic novel has the power to tug at your heart.
Brandon Graham’s quirkily unique graphic novel King City follows Joe, an aimless master of “cat-fu” (i.e., able to use his pet as an absurdly versatile weapon). Joe traverses through a densely pun-filled futuristic metropolis in this elaborate tale enhanced by a playful, high-energy style.