New to Graphic Novels and wondering where to start? Here are 10 to try!

Comics and graphic novels (long-form comics) aren’t just about superheroes, and they aren’t just for teenagers. They are published in as many genres as traditional print books – you’ll find humor, horror, science fiction, history, classics, and memoirs, to name but a few. With so many movies and television shows using graphic novels as their source material, you may be curious about graphic novels, but unsure about where to start when it comes to reading them. It can be intimidating, so here’s a list of 10 terrific graphic novels for adults, a good way to get your feet wet!

The March series by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. This 3-part series is the first-hand account of the late Congressman John Lewis’s lifelong struggle for civil and human rights. It spans his youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the 1963 March on Washington.

Y, the Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. The saga of Yorick Brown—the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. Accompanied by his pet monkey, a mysterious government agent, and a brilliant young geneticist, Yorick travels the world in search of his lost love and the answer to why he’s the last man on earth.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris. Told in the form of a ten-year-old’s diary entries in the 1960s, this gripping story has a B-horror-movie feel to it. Karen tries to solve the murder of her upstairs neighbor, a survivor of the holocaust, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. An unusual memoir done in the form of a graphic novel by a cult favorite comic artist offers a darkly funny family portrait that details her relationship with her father, a historic preservation expert dedicated to restoring the family’s Victorian home, funeral home director, high-school English teacher, and closeted homosexual.

The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he’s made during his vast existence. The Sandman was one of the first few graphic novels ever to be on The New York Times Best Seller list (along with Maus, Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns).

Kindred : a graphic novel adaptation  by Damian Duffy and John Jennings. This searing graphic-novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s science fiction classic is a powerfully moving, unflinching look at the violent, disturbing effects of slavery on the people it chained together, both black and white – and made kindred in the deepest sense of the word. 

Alice’s Story : based on the novel The Magicians by Lev Grossman ; by Lilah Sturges and Pius Bak. An all new chapter set in the world of The Magicians trilogy of novels by Lev Grossman that retells the events of the first novel through fan-favorite character Alice Quinn.

The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. An epic graphic novel of Hollywood in the early days of the Blacklist. The story goes from the murder of an up-and-coming starlet from studio backlots to the gutters of downtown Los Angeles. Contains behind-the-scenes art and stories, sketches and layouts, and several historical essays.

Here by Richard McGuire. This innovative graphic novel presents the story of a corner of a room and of the events that have occurred in that space over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. The book experiments with formal properties of comics, moving forward and backward in time, using multiple panels to convey the different moments in time.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh. A collection of comedic, autobiographical and deceptively illustrated essays on topics ranging from childhood and very bad pets to grief, loneliness and powerlessness in modern life.

Graphic Novels That are Not Kid’s Stuff

Do you think you’ve outgrown comic books? Then you haven’t explored today’s Graphic Novels. Mature themes, a wide variety of subject matter, and barely a superhero to be found. There’s a Graphic Novel for every type of reader.

The Memoir Reader: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. This cult favorite comic artist offers a darkly funny family portrait that details her relationship with her father–a funeral home director, high school English teacher, and closeted homosexual.

The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fan: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan. When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to raise their child in a dangerous world.

The Foodie: Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley.  This recipe-complemented memoir describes the author’s food-enriched youth as the daughter of a chef and a gourmet, key memories that were marked by special meals and the ways in which cooking has imparted valuable life lessons.

The Humor Reader: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Blogger Allie Brosh showcases her unique voice, leaping wit, and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceptively simple illustrations.

The “I’d Rather Watch TV” Guy: The Walking Dead series by Robert Kirkman. Unless you ARE a member of the walking dead, you probably already know the premise.  An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months society has crumbled: no government, no industry, and very few survivors.  In a world ruled by the dead, the survivors are forced to find ways to start over in this terrifying new world.

The Sequel-ist: Fight Club 2: The Tranquility Gambit by Chuck Palahniuk.  Ten years after starting Project Mayhem, Sebastian lives a mundane life, but it won’t last long, the wife has seen to that, soon he’s back where he started, but this go-round he’s got more at stake than his own life.

The Film Noir Buff: The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. An epic graphic novel of Hollywood in the early days of the Blacklist, The Fade Out tracks the murder of an up-and-coming starlet from studio backlots to the gutters of downtown LosAngeles, as shell-shocked front man Charlie Parish is caught between his own dying sense of morality and his best friend’s righteous sense of justice.

The Big Book Reader: Ode to Kirihito by Osamu Tezuka. It may or may not be contagious. There seems to be no cure for it. Yet, Monmow Disease, a life-threatening condition that transforms a person into a dog-like beast, is not the only villain in this shocking triumph of a medical thriller by manga-god Osamu Tezuka.

The “Stranger Things” Fan: Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan. Supernatural mysteries and suburban drama collide in the early hours after the Halloween of 1988 for four twelve-year-old newspaper delivery girls.

The Samurai Warrior: Vagabond series by Takehiko Inoue. Adventure abounds in this fictionalized account of the life of Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, based on Eiji Yoshikawa’s novel Musashi.

 

Hidden Treasures in the Library Lobby

When you walk into the Cheshire Public Library you enter the main floor lobby. This large area is home to CD’s, DVD’s, Audiobooks, adult fiction, and new books. There are also a variety of displays, the public catalogs, the circulation desk, and the Friends book sale and donation area. Most regular visitors to the library are aware of their favorite areas, and browse those areas comfortably. However, like in the children’s room there are some hidden treasures that often get over looked and deserve some attention.

IMG_3110Science Fiction
I have always been a big fan of science fiction and fantasy, and love helping people discover new authors and series to explore. Unfortunately, most people miss our Science Fiction shelving area entirely. As with our mystery books, they are shelved separately from the rest of the fiction. You can see which area any adult (or children’s) book is shelved in by reading the call number. Adult fiction call numbers will all start with where they are shelved; Fiction, Mystery, or IMG_3116Science Fiction. The mysteries are easy to find, since they are shelved right after the regular fiction. However, the Science Fiction materials are shelved on the wall near the fiction between the audiobooks and classic movies.

Graphic Novels
Graphic novels are not just for children and teens. Take for example the popularity of The Walking Dead. Our selection of graphic novels in the lobby is not huge, but it is high IMG_3111quality and well worth taking a look at. Since it is a fairly small collection it might be easy to over look, but it is not hard to find or to browse if you are interested. The collection is housed on the endcap of the New Biography and Nonfiction shelf, facing the windows and DVD’s. If you like what you see, but are looking for even more graphic novels, do not be afraid to explore the large selection in the Teen’s Room!IMG_3113

Categorized DVD’s
Most regular visitors know where to find the DVD’s they enjoy most, and where our Quick Flick, New, regular, and Blu-Ray movies are each shelved. However, there are a few groups of films that are shelved separately. We have labeled  these disks and changed their call numbers to IMG_3112match these special areas, but infrequent movie borrowers might not know about these little nooks and crannies. Classic movies are labeled with a red Classics label and are shelved on a slat-wall display on the wall by the fiction books. Comedy movies have an orange Comedy label and shelved in the next slat- wall display. On the same wall, in the build in bookcase between those two IMG_3114slat-wall displays, you can find the television show box sets which have a bright pink TV label on them.  If you keep following that wall to the corner you will find the Family Films (with a green label), and in the next bookcase after a window you can find the non-fiction films (classed by number) and the Foreign Films which have a yellow Foreign sticker on them.IMG_3115

Lost And Found
While not a part of our library collection, it is an often asked for and searched for item. Small or valuable items (wallets, phones, jewelry, etc) that have been turned into library staff stay at that service desk for a time and then are tucked away in a safe until claimed. However, items like coats, mittens, notebooks, umbrellas, and so on are kept at the IMG_3117service desk of the area they were found in for a few hours and are then placed in our Lost and Found bin. This is located between the Friend’s donation area and the Audiobook collection.

Do not forget about the variety of ever changing displays. Any of our items that are on these displays can be checked out. If you are still unsure where to find what you are looking for swing by the Circulation desk and we would be glad to help you!