I only really discovered graphic novels in the last eighteen months. Before that, I never gave them the time of day, and it is a shame that I spent so many years missing out on such an incredible genre. So many people I talk to have no idea what graphic novels even are! It is such an underrated genre, and I am determined to give them the attention they deserve.
I’ve comprised a list of five graphic novels I think anyone wanting to explore the genre should read:
1.) Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green
Based on the author and illustrator’s true story, this work of art gives the deep and moving account of a girl’s battle with an eating disorder and anxieties. With the use of shading and minimalism (less is often more, after all), it is easy to get a sense of the sadness and confusion felt by the author.
2.) Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Through the Woods is a collection of five horror stories, illustrated predominantly in black, white and red. It is a great example of how effective the medium of art can be for eliciting a reaction in people – namely fear in this instance.
My review of this book, one of my favourite graphic novels, can be read here.
3.) The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel by Khaled Hosseini
This graphic novel is adapted from a best-selling and moving book about friendship and war in Afghanistan. It is often fascinating to see how well-loved stories are adapted – did the illustrator draw the characters as you’d imagined them, what colour schemes were chosen?
4.) Batgirl, Volume 1, New 52 Series by Gail Simone
Comics have of course been around for years, but I never knew how to get my hands on them, and was always too shy to go into a comic shop and ask! Anyway, the film industry is booming with superhero films at the moment, with Marvel and DC characters alike.
One of the less well-known superheroes is Batgirl, the daughter of police commissioner Gordon. If you’re looking for a familiar backdrop – Gotham has been portrayed in books and television for years now – then reading something from DC’s New 52 Series is a great place to start.
My review of Batgirl Volume 1 and 2 of the New 52 Series can be read here.
5.) The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
This completely unique and beautiful collection of stories are like nothing I have ever read before! A book like this can only be done in the form of a graphic novel, and I highly recommend experiencing what it has to offer.
What are your thoughts on graphic novels? Can you recommend any to people wanting to start reading the genre?