Looking for some great graphic novels, but don’t know where to start? Here are some picks, straight off the comic book tree. Or was it the comic book vine? I don’t remember…
Aya Marguerite Abouet (story) and Clement Oubrerie (illustrations) 2007 French
Set in the Ivory Coast, 1978, “growth without development” boom years. A young woman grows up and dreams of becoming a doctor. (Thanks to my cousin for recommending!)
Sick Gabby Schulz 2016 NYC
A cartoonist gets terribly sick and hits rock bottom. He thinks back about his life, his regrets, and the current system of power/technology in the world. Some amazing illustrations.
Soft City Hariton Pushwagner (a.k.a Terie Brofos)
Fantastic comic about a dystopian future. Amazing use of perspective and repetition. Predicted Trump (Heil Hilton!) The author was born in Oslo, Norway 1940. He started Soft City in 1975, lost it, and it was rediscovered in 2002. City of drone-like people, sad and haunting. Large pages with incredible detail.
Rolling Blackouts – Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq Sarah Glidden 2016
A cartoonist accompanies her two friends, reporters and founders of a journalism non profit, as they research stories about the impact of the Iraq war on Iraqis. Her childhood friend, a marine who served in Iraq comes along, and provides an alternate view and builds tension in the story. Well researched and well done, based on her actual trips to these countries and interviews with real people.
Fante Bukowski Noah Ran Sciver 2015
An author whose last name happens to be Bukowski (no relation to the famous author) tries to make his dent in the literary world. Hilarious, interesting characters and quotes. Nicely drawn facial/body language. Also, the actual Bukowski is one of my favorite writers.
The Attack Davvillier and Chapron. Adapted from the novel by Yasmina Khadra (pen name of former Algerian army officer.) 2012 French 2016 English
A Palestinian surgeon living a successful life in Tel Aviv is confronted with the accusation that his wife attacks a cafe by suicide bombing. He digs deep to find out if its true and what the motives were.
Exit Wounds Rutu Modan 2007 Israel
A love story between two unlikely characters. A woman fears her dad was killed in a suicide bombing, and she tries to find him, with the help of her love interest.
To Have and To Hold Graham Chaffee 2017 L.A.
Good, quick read. Film-noir like tale of a bank robbery and marriage gone wrong.
Jerusalem – Chronicles From the Holy City Guy Delise 2012 French/Canada
A traveling cartoonist visits Jerusalem with his family to work with an N.G.O, and takes notes of his daily life there. Another solid work from this author. I also recommend Pyongyang, his book about North Korea, and I’m looking forward to reading his other books about his travels.
Just So Happens Fumio Obata Japan 2014
A woman who was born in Japan and lives in London, returns for her father’s funeral. She struggles to deal with the formal social customs of her Japanese culture, and her feelings towards her father. Interesting theme of Japanese Non Theater augments the story.
Highbone Theater Joe Daly 2016
(Spoiler alert) Shark fishing, weird and misogynistic roommates, turnips, a mojo hand, the claw, silly 911 conspiracy theories, a fart tube, submarine sarcophagus, and plunking away at a “chubush the mongolian banjo.” Unique, need I say more? *Not for kids.
Gauguin – The Other World Fabrizio Dori French 2016
The famous painter’s life. Beautiful colors, illustrations and dream sequences. Not just a biography, but a work of art in the style of Gauguin.