Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Graphic novels you might have missed

Graphic novels can be great fun! Some are even based on movies and stories you may know. If you're a fan of graphic novels and looking for some new reads, here are some to check out from your local library (use the WorldCatalog search box to see if your library has them) or find a copy using the Amazon search box also here on BookBag.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, written by F. Scott Fizgerald & adapted by Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir; illustrated by Kevin Cornell (Quirk Books) Classic. Perhaps you've seen the 2008 movie starring Brad Pitt as a man who ages backwards after being born a full-grown, elderly man in Baltimore in 1860. This witty and handsomely illustrated graphic novel sticks closer to the original F. Scott Fitzgerald short story than the somewhat melancholy film does, preserving its satirical humor (among other things). Literature buffs--and anyone who enjoys tales about people who fail to meet society's expectations of them--should thoroughly enjoy this version of the story that Fitzgerald himself declared to be "the funniest thing ever written."

Prince of Persia, created by Jordan Mechner; written by A.B. Sina; illustrated by LeUyen Pham & Alex Puvilland (First Second) Adventure. Based on the Prince of Persia video games and composed by the game's creator, Jordan Mechner, and Iranian author A.B. Sina, this "magnificent and complex" (Booklist) graphic novel illuminates the underlying legend of the games' world. Make no mistake, there's plenty of action, adventure, and mayhem here--but players who appreciate the substantial storylines of the games will be eager to delve deeper into the mythology laid out in the book, which should also please fans of historical fantasies rich with political intrigue, battles, and elemental magic. Both the new Prince of Persia gameThe Forgotten Sands and the movie The Sands of Time (which stars Jake Gyllenhaal) will be released this May, making April a great time to check out the book!

Aya of Yop City, by Marguerite Abouet; illustrated by Clément Oubrerie (Drawn & Quarterly) Fiction. This sequel to Aya plunges readers right back into the "good-humored soap opera" (Booklist) of studious, responsible Aya and her boy-crazy friends, all of whom live in the Ivory Coast of the late 1970s. Aya's friend Adjoua has had her baby...and he looks nothing like her rich, slacker husband, Moussa. Meanwhile, Bintou thinks that she's found the perfect man--but is he too good to be true? Once again vibrantly bringing all of Yop City's characters and their day-to-day drama to life, this 2nd of three graphic novels in the series -- Aya: The Secrets Come Out is next -- will have readers laughing, crying, and sighing as that drama unfolds. (New to the series? Be sure to start with Aya, or you'll be lost.)

Kin, by Holly Black; illustrated by Ted Naifeh (Graphix) Urban Fantasy. Goth-girl Rue Silver ("like kangaroo or like 'you'll rue the day we met, MWA-HA-HA!'") claims that she's not a worrier--but when her mom goes missing, her father is accused of murder, and she begins to see impossible creatures that no one else sees, worrying might be sensible. Rue thinks she's going crazy, but in the course of this darkly compelling graphic novel, the existence of the faerie world and the source of Rue's connection to it are revealed. Fans of Charles de Lint's books (such as Dingo) or of Neil Gaiman's highly imaginative and menacing Neverwhere will be entranced by this first volume in the Good Neighbors series--and will clamor for the second volume, Kith.

Emiko Superstar, by Mariko Tamaki; illustrated by Steve Rolston (Minx) Realistic Fiction. Being a geek never really bothered Emiko...but now her geeky friends are excited about attending a young executives' retreat over the summer, and Emi isn't interested. Then, just when it seems that her summer will be all babysitting, all the time, shy Emi is handed a flyer advertising weekend performance-art "Freak Shows," and she's both intrigued and terrified. After she finally works up the nerve to go to one of the shows, her whole life changes. Check out this slightly angsty, gently funny, and completely engaging read to see how Emi goes from geek to superstar on the road to becoming herself.

Pride of Baghdad, by Brian K. Vaughan; illustrated by Niko Henrichon (DC Comics) Fiction. As American bombs rain down on Iraq in 2003, four lions escape from the Baghdad Zoo--only to struggle for survival in the battered, unfamiliar city. Having relied for so long on their keepers, the lions ponder the benefits of their captivity and the price of their freedom as they wander in search of food and safety. Both a gripping adventure and "a thoughtful allegory about the war in Iraq" (Library Journal), this provocative, expressively illustrated, and occasionally violent graphic novel was inspired by a pride of lions' real-life flight from captivity.

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