Graphic Novel Recs
BY N. RAZBAN '23
Are you looking for something fun to do this summer? May I suggest making your way through the Acton Library’s entire graphic novel collection? That's what I did this past year, and I have come here to share my favorite graphic novel authors and books with you all. Enjoy, my little bookworms <3
My dear, I know that you are stressed out and the jarring realization that you will soon have to go out into the real world and be a person is not helping, but please take a moment to yourself to breathe, relax, and immerse yourself in the world of Tea Dragons. Yes, tea dragons: little creatures that grow different herbal teas on their heads and have a very moody yet endearing temperament. I definitely recommend picking up O’Neil’s beautifully drawn series The Tea Dragon Society. Filled with complex characters, this book offers an important lesson on organically incorporated representation and diversity within fiction. For example, in the second book of the series, a lot of the characters speak sign language and seeing that experience translated so creatively into drawings was really eye-opening. O’Neil’s style is very soft and cozy, with warm color palettes and ethereal visuals. Despite most of their books being geared towards younger audiences, readers of all ages can appreciate the mature themes they explore.
A few of my other favorite books by them are Aquicorn Cove, and Princess Princess Ever After.
Every panel feels worthy of a painting; I’ve never seen anything like it. The fantastical backgrounds of her books are so detailed and vivid that they bring the whole story to life. Tillie’s stories are also very dream-like in that as the reader you never fully understand what is going on—but for once, it is a good thing. Reading her books is really more about the journey than a concrete conclusion, bringing us along for the ride through vastly different landscapes, from deep space to small-town ice rinks. And I am here for it! The first book I ever read by her was Spinning, which recounts her childhood as a competitive synchronized ice skater. It was an incredible read on its own, but also allowed me to see how some plot points and characters from her other books were drawn from her own experiences. Other books by her that I adore: On a Sunbeam, Are You Listening?
Let me start off by saying that Stevenson is the executive producer of the series She-Ra and the Princess of Power. Hooked? I thought so. I ADORE their art style, it feels so cutesy and very original. All of their characters are extremely well developed and I found myself rooting for both the protagonist and villain. I don’t believe they are able to write two dimensional characters, as we get to learn about everybody’s backstory and motivations. All the characters are so spunky and full of quirks and traits that are naturally unveiled throughout the tale. Overall Stevenson is an incredible story teller, you won't be able to put their books down! Although it isn't a graphic novel, their autobiography The Fire Never Goes Out is really worth a read as it walks you through the evolution of their art style and their own growth as a person. A few of their graphic novels that I love: Nimona and The Lumberjanes.
Now then pals, don't you DARE lament on your lack of entertainment when the humidity rises and the sun starts beating down: you are prepared! Use these books as shade and free trips to the other side of the world, or, you know, the corner store down the street. I hope my spotlight on these incredible artists have helped you in finding your next read, and PLEASE tell me about your favorite comic book/graphic novel artists! I’m always on the lookout for more. Happy summer friends~