Welcome to my first Top Ten Tuesday!!!! I’m looking to try something new here. I was told about Top Ten Tuesdays a few weeks ago and I’ve been wanting to give it a try. I’ll post my top ten for the week and I’d like to hear back from you about what you think. This week’s theme is: Top Ten Favourite Books in the Graphic Novel Genre.
10. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – Persepolis is an autobiographical text about the author, Marjane Satrapi, and her experience growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. This book really brought the violence of war and the fear to life. I studied it in a history course and that angle brought a very different perspective to this book than if I’d read it on my own. The artwork is stark and brings to life this woman’s terrible experiences of her childhood into her adulthood.
9. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzuchelli – I picked up this book because I love Mazzuchelli’s artwork. The art is why this book has made this list. Asterios’ life is portrayed in lines and shapes coloured in pink and blue. The images mirror Asterios’ way of life: matter of fact, minimalist, lacking in frivolity.
8. Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli – This book, although more of a superhero comic than a typical graphic novel, just had to be on my list. It’s a beautiful study in colour and detail. The colours of the drawings set the tone of the story and mirror the plot line in careful symmetry. I couldn’t stop staring at these images, again and again.
7. The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman – I studied this book as a part of a contemporary literature course and what a moving text it was. The allegorical cat and mouse images provided an outlet for sharing a Holocaust story in a way that is accessible to readers of many ages from varying cultural backgrounds. This story had me in tears more than once as it moved me and added a new perspective on a historical tragedy.
6. One! Hundred! Demons! by Lynda Barry – This graphic novel was a piece of art. It contained the traditional drawings that one expects, but Barry adds her own personal touch by designing each chapter in multimedia. I loved this aspect of the book. It made it unique and it was an exciting way for her to share her memories of her childhood with her readers. She also makes an effort to include the reader in book’s compilation process, establishing a relationship with the reader from the outset.
5. The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenburg – Holy smokes, is all I can really say about the artwork in this one. The images for me in this graphic novel tell more of the story than the words do. The words hardly even seem necessary. Combining ink and delicate watercolour, Greenburg transforms herself into a storyteller as much as her protagonist. I’m so happy to have this in my collection.
4. Epileptic by David B. – I read this on recommendation from a friend. The art is not normally what I go for in a graphic novel, but the harsh blacks and whites are used to convey the painful demons that haunt the protagonist as he learns to deal with his brother’s epilepsy. This story is dark and it’s desperate, but above all else, it’s truthful. I felt that David B. laid his protagonist out bare to expose his vulnerability with the reader.
3. My Most Secret Desire by Julie Ducet – I was completely shocked by this book. The artwork and the dreams have a Freudian quality to them as Ducet uses her images to work through and understand her dreams. It’s a story of self-discovery. Although it is graphic, it is universal in its working through of the human condition.
2. Blankets by Craig Thompson – This book excited me so much. I loved the artwork and I loved the story. I really related to Thompson’s story of adolescence and self-identity and I think his story can be translated to the majority of people. Everyone is a misfit at sometime or another. Using pale blues, white, and black in his images, Craig paints a lovely story of self-discovery and coming of age.
1. Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon – This is my absolute favourite graphic novel. The artwork is just stunning. In it’s 10 chapters, the protagonist dies 10 times — one death in each chapter. This book had a very metafictional quality to it and it had meaning for me on so many different levels. It is a piece of artwork in my book collection. I had to buy my own copy after I finished with the library copy I’d originally read. I would recommend everyone check this book out.