November’s Graphic Novels Part II
Sisters (J 2014) Raina Telgemeier (Graphix/Scholastic)
Sure, it’s familiar territory: the trials and tribulations of sisters growing up together, but Telgemeier somehow manages to be funny, touching, honest and unforgettable all at the same time. She’s one of the best.
Kinski (2014) Gabriel Hardman (Image)
I plan to do a full review of this black-and-white series that’s part quest, part doggie noir. A guy named Joe in a dead-end job discovers a black lab puppy he simply can’t live without. The only trouble is the puppy belongs to someone else. But that’s not gonna stop Joe. Unusual and touching without being cute, Kinski is one the more compelling and unexpected pleasures of the year.
Mind MGMT, Vol. 4: The Magician (2014) Matt Kindt (Dark Horse)
Since I’ve sung the praises of Kindt’s work many times in the past, I only have three words for you: Read Mind MGMT.
El Deafo (J 2014) Cece Bell (Amulet Books)
Bell’s own story of growing up deaf is both heartbreaking and humorous in just the right places. I wasn’t crazy about her art choices as far as her characters, but maybe they’re supposed to convey a certain sense of awkwardness. It’s also rare to find a work about a person with a disability that celebrates the person’s dignity and uniqueness. I look forward to more work from Bell.
Shackleton’s Journey (J NF 2014) William Grill (Flying Eye Books)
I’m not even sure this really qualifies as a graphic novel, but I loved it regardless. Previously discussed here.
The Gigantic Beard that was Evil (2014) Stephen Collins (Picador)
I have to thank Beth Carey, who reviewed this book on The Comics Alternative and Shea Hennum, who mentioned it on an on-location podcast. I loved how Collins turns a very simple premise into something truly profound. You should get this book.
Hilda and the Black Hound (J 2014) Luke Pearson (Flying Eye Books)
In the fourth volume in this wonderful all-ages series, Hilda continues her exploration of the city of Tollberg, this time discovering strange little beings called the Nisse (house spirits). The Nisse are certainly cute, but they can be trouble… Also vying for Hilda’s attention as a camper is the mysterious and dangerous Black Hound, who may or may not be what he seems.
Pearson’s art has a European feel, yet is very approachable. His art and storytelling abilities make you so comfortable that before long you could swear you’ve been reading Hilda for decades. The Hilda books should certainly be on your Christmas lists.
And who can resist the Hilda toy?
I’d love to hear about what you enjoyed last month…or this month.