I’ve lately been really keen to read, but have felt quite uninspired by my options. As a result, I’ve found myself reaching for one of the numerous unread graphic novels sat on my bookshelves.
I often go through phases of buying graphic novels, usually when I visit comic book stores, but don’t always read them straight away (okay okay, I never read them straight away…). Fortunately, this hoarding has finally paid off, and I’ve been working through my collection whilst I’ve been reluctant to reach for any traditional novels.
One thing I love about graphic novels is that it’s difficult to go wrong with them, especially if there’s been a chance to check out the artwork and synopsis beforehand. Even if each graphic novel isn’t excellent and a 5-star read, they are usually still really enjoyable. So far, I’ve only really come across one which I didn’t like, and another which I felt wasn’t structured very well. Here, I’ll discuss the graphic novels I’ve read recently, and mention a few of my favourites as well!
I recently received my preorder of Heartstopper Volume 2, which is a webcomic by Alice Oseman. She is publishing the whole comic volume by volume, and this preorder felt necessary for me after how much I adored the first volume when I picked it up earlier in the year. So far, we’ve followed Charlie, a 15-year-old boy who identifies as gay, as he navigates both high school and his blossoming relationship with Nick. Nick himself is still working out who he is, and the way that they support one another is truly heartwarming. It’s so pure and utterly wonderful, I couldn’t recommend it enough!
I also recently found the first two volumes of Zodiac Starforce, which combines star signs, friendships, superpowers, and lots of fighting the bad guys. In other words, it’s amazing, and gives me serious She-Ra vibes. A quick easy read, but totally enjoyable!
Staying very much on theme with the urban fantasy genre, I recently read Moonstruck, Volume 1. This follows Julie, a young werewolf girl, as she starts to date another werewolf, Selena, and juggles this with helping save her friend Chet, who is a centaur who has lost his magic. Lovable characters in a semi-realistic magical world, with some extremely cute illustration.
My last recent pick has to be Twisted Romance, which I found in a US comic book store. I’d not heard of it, but one of the employees assured me that it was well worth the read. There are a mixture of stories to be found within this collection, roughly half and half graphic and prose. I probably enjoyed the illustrated sections more, although some of the prose selections were extremely moving and impactful. There was one story which didn’t sit well with me, but it was the shortest one in the collection. A great selection of romance-based stories told in various formats and showcasing a broad spectrum of love and desire.
Onto a few slightly older favourites. One that I would always recommend is Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson. Her art is a bit different, as is the story, and this volume is all the better for it. Nimona is a young girl who joins ‘evil’ Ballister Blackheart as his assistant, as he tries to get revenge on his oh-so-perfect nemesis. There are twists and turns and an unexpected ending, and I genuinely can’t believe that there won’t be any sequels! Here’s hoping for the animated film which was talked about a couple of years ago…
I’d also really recommend both The New World and Mirror: The Mountain. These are volumes which I picked up on a whim in a comic book store, and in both cases I’m very glad that I did. Both stories are fantastical in their own ways, and wrap up well at the end, so I didn’t feel the need for a sequel. Additionally, the art in these volumes, although very different, is truly beautiful, and the books themselves have been produced really well. Very enjoyable to read.
Finally, a firm favourite with seemingly all graphic novel fans, is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, written by the universally acclaimed Alan Moore. I’ve now read Volume 1, but already own Volumes 2 and 3 as well. The art is astonishingly detailed, and the story itself was certainly gripping. There was also a whole prose short story at the end of the book. Well worth a try if you’ve not done so already.
I had never really thought about graphic novels when buying books, but I’m so glad that I gave them a go. If there is a genre to be found in graphic novel format that appeals, I’d really recommend giving it a go. The more stunning the art, the better!