The 100 Must Read Graphic Novels (Part 9)!
If you’ve been following this series you might have added a bunch of titles to your wishlist…and here’s some more! As great as it has been sharing our favourite titles with you, discovering new ones ourselves has been even better. The world of graphic novels seems to be an endless ocean of creativity…and that seques nicely into this weeks opener!
#81 – The Deep: Here Be Dragons
Recommendation by G-Funk
Remember that Gestalt Publisher we mentioned earlier? Another brilliant title they’ve given us is The Deep, written by DC’s Tom Taylor. If you grew up on 80s Saturday morning cartoons you’re going to love this. A multicultural family live on a giant, high-tech submarine and they adventure around the oceans of Earth, encountering amazing monsters while searching for Atlantis. The action is fully fletched spectacle and imagination drives the story. It’s funny, it’s suspenseful and it leaves you will a sense of wonder. You will not find a better family friendly comic out there. Get into now before the upcoming animated series turns it into a cross-over smash.
#82 – Mouse Guard: Fall 1152
Telling the story of the Mouse Guard, this is the first in a series of medieval fantasy stories centred around a society of sentient mice. The Guard are the sworn protectors of all mouse kind, keeping them safe from threats both within and without. Written and drawn by David Petersen, this is one of those series too beautiful to ignore. By the end of this first book you’ll be enamoured with the Guards; Saxon, Kenzie, Lieam and Celenawe. Stunning.
#83 – Black Hole
A great example of the medium being used for complex and adult themes. Set during the 1970s, many teenagers begin falling victim to a new STD that causes unusual mutations. These range from growing a second mouth or shedding skin. The staunchly black and white surreal artwork and slow paced, introspective storytelling makes it an unusual and thought provoking read. Best give yourself a lazy afternoon to work through it.
#84 – American Vampire Vol. 1
In a post-Twilight world, I take whatever interesting take on vampires I can get my hands on. Scott Snyder’s revisionist history horror book is right up my alley. It takes the facts and eras that we all already know and injects the birth of a new breed of vampire. It starts during the Wild West and outlaw Skinner Sweet. It eventually bleeds over to the roaring 20s where Sweet turns a hopeful actress named Pear Jones. I think at this point they are up to the 1950s. Check it out and see why DC Comics thought he would make a great Batman writer.
#85 – The Five Fists of Science
Steampunk has been a rather consistent presence in the geek world these past few years. And why not? It’s funky, and opens up to great design world. And it gave us The Five Fists of Science. We begin with an alliance of Nikola Tesla, Mark Twain and Bertha von Suttner planning on using their superior firepower and know-how to force world leaders into a peach agreement. Unfortunately Thomas Edison and his cronies John Pierpont Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and Guglielmo Marconi have their hearts set on world conquest. This can only go awesomely.
#86 – Y The Last Man: Unmanned
Brian K. Vaughn has done something remarkable with this series, and thankfully managed to wind it up before it jumped the shark. The story goes this way: Yorick is the last man alive. We don’t mean last person alive on Earth…he’s the last man. One day every male of every species worldwide up and dies, leaving an entire planet populated by women. Yorick travels in secret and we see the impact of this gender unbalance. It’s a thought provoking, highly original and well paced story. Make sure you share it with your friends so you have someone to discuss it with.
#87 – Aliens vs Predator Omnibus
We wanted to avoid any big collections in this series, but there’s no better way to delve into the Aliens vs Predator franchise. We don’t need to sell this – it’s Aliens vs Predator. The concept alone is so awesome people will defend the movie versions. The comics expand the universe out to explore the worlds behind the inter-stellar hunters and killers, and brings out some classic and original human characters to get themselves stuck in the middle.
#88 – Freaks of the Heartland
This is one of my favorite comics of all time, and I am really surprised that it hasn’t been more talked about. It is an isolated tale, like an episode of The Twilight Zone, from Steve Niles about a young boy with a lot of character who goes on the run from his abusive father along with the mutated brother his family keeps locked in the barn. It is as much a rural family drama as it is a monster movie with shades of Frankenstein.
#89 – Tag and Bink Were Here
I’m sick of Star Wars. I gave up on the franchise during the prequels, and have been further disheartened by the parade of shitty products. I’m not worried about the upcoming sequels by Abrahms because he can’t make things any worse. Having stated my position I will say that I always have time for Tag and Bink. The original story Tag and Bink Are Dead introduces the hapless rebel soldiers who are on the blockade runner when it’s boarded by Darth Vader seeking Death Star plans. The two cowards turn tail and wind up on the constant run from Rebels and the Empire. The fun of the comic comes from seeing the entire Star Wars story play out in the background, indirectly influenced by Tag and Bink. Silly comic fun.
#90 – The Arrival
Some may argue that Shaun Tan’s The Arrival is more a story book than a graphic novel, but it doesn’t quite fit the conventions of either format. End of the day, there’s no argument about how amazing it is. Already an established name for his deep and thought provoking yet still accesiable children’s stories The Lost Thing and The Red Tree. His opus is The Arrival, inspired by the experiences of his own family. A man leaves his family to migrate to a better land to find work until he can bring his family out as well. Through the completely text free book we share his experience of arriving in an unfamiliar land with indecipherable customs and odd creatures. Through images alone Tan takes us on a bitter-sweet journey that will give you a fresh perspective on life.
We’ll be back next week to wrap things up. 90 graphic novels down, 10 to go!