Monday, 26 May 2014

TBR | Graphic Novels

I don't read graphic novels very often and that's something I'd really like to change, because not only do I enjoy them whenever I do read them, but I have heard of so many that just sound awesome

Graphic novels are such a fun way to enjoy a story; as someone who can't even draw a decent stickman I am forever in awe of artists and the quality of work they can produce, so I love that through graphic novels I can appreciate two different art forms at once.

Here are a small selection of some of the graphic novels I'd like to read soon!

by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton and James Jean

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White's party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown's sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose's ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

Fairy tale creatures in our world? A murder mystery? A fairy tale inspired story that includes oft-forgotten characters like Rose Red and Bluebeard? Gimme!

I keep seeing this particular series popping up all over the place, and whenever I see it mentioned I've only ever seen it praised. I practically grew up on fairy tales so I love reading retellings and reimaginings, and this particular story sounds like so much fun! One of my favourite fairy tales growing up, aside from Rumpelstiltskin and Rapunzel, was Snow White and Rose Red, so the fact that this series has included Rose Red makes me so unbelievably happy.

I enjoyed Once Upon A Time when the show first came out, in fact I own the boxset of the first season and I like it a lot. Unfortunately, for me it all started to go downhill when season 2 came along. Everyone is related to everyone else - seriously, it's ridiculous - and I was so disappointed that what could have been a great show wasn't. Hopefully this series will fill the hole that series left behind!

by Art Spiegelman

Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor's Tale and Maus II - the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler's Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival - and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.

Here we have another graphic novel I've heard nothing but good things about. In Maus author and illustrator Art Spiegelman tells the story of his parents during WW2, in which all of the Jews have the heads of mice and all of the Nazis have the heads of cats.

As morbid as it sounds I'm fascinated by stories centered around the Holocaust - it's one of those dark, dark periods of history that a lot of us have trouble digesting - even more so by stories which aren't fictional, and given that Spiegelman is telling his parents' story I'm intrigued. Not only does this novel have truth working in its favour, but I also think that the use of animals representing certain people will add a poignancy to the text that can sometimes be lost to melodrama when it comes to the written word.

by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. 

From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults. 

One of the reasons I rarely read sci-fi is because I'm so not scientifically minded that I often have a hard time picturing what it is the author's describing to me. I can picture futuristic technology to an extent, but a lot of the time I feel as though the only way I'd understand a sci-fi novel is if I was either a scientist or a mechanic myself, and sadly I am neither of those things.

So Saga seems like an ideal way for me to read more sci-fi without being utterly confused, because instead of trying to understand what I should be picturing through description I can simply look at the pictures instead! Not only that but it sounds like a really cool story and, like pretty much every other book on this list, I've heard nothing but great things about it.

by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

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.

Okay, read that synopsis and try telling me you don't want to read this book. Compared to the other graphic novels on this list this is probably the one I've seen around least, but I've still seen a few people talking about it. I think it's one of those stories that's either going to be done really well or... y'know, not so much. Either way I'd like to give it a try - it sounds fun if nothing else!

by Robert Kirkman

In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living. WithThe Walking Dead #1-48, this compendium features more than one thousand pages chronicling the start of Robert Kirkman's Eisner Award-winning story of zombie horror, from Rick Grimes waking up alone in a hospital, his band of survivors seeking refuge on an isolated farm and the controversial introduction of Woodbury despot, The Governor.

The Walking Dead had to be on this list. Thanks to the TV show it's probably one of the most widely known graphic novel series out there, and I'm a little ashamed to say I haven't been anywhere near it yet. I've watched the first series of the TV show (I know, I have a lot of catching up to do as far as the TV show goes!) but I haven't read any of the original story.

To be honest I've heard most people say that the TV show is actually better than the original series, even so I'd like to read them and see where it all started!

There we have it, a small selection of the graphic novels I'd like to read. Do you read graphic novels? What was the last graphic novel you read? Also if you've read any of these feel free to let me know which one I should read first!


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