Graphic novels curated collection – Staff Picks – Monty’s picks
We love graphic novels, and this week we’re highlighting some of our picks from the Libraries’ collection. (If you’d like to see the full list of our picks, you can view this here — Staff Curated Collection.)
Monty is the graphic novel buyer for the library and knows the collection inside and out (he has a seriously encyclopaedic knowledge of the graphic novels!), so we thought we’d highlight his selections below. Have a read and enjoy!
Mid-life : a comic book / by Joe Ollmann.
“You don’t have to be a twice-married 40-year-old man with a baby son, two grown daughters, and three old cats to enjoy this, but if you are, Ollmann’s no-holds-barred grapple with man’s propensity for self-aggrandizement, self-deception, and self-loathing may have uncanny resonance. In this fictionalized memoir, Canadian art director John Olsen is suffering from middle-age parent syndrome and screwing up at work and at home. He develops a crush on a children’s performer and takes a business trip to New York, where he may or may not cheat on his wife. This modest arc comprises an utterly compelling drama. The push and pull between John’s internal narrative and outward actions is exquisitely painful, especially for those of us (and that would be all of us) who think one thing and do another. John wants to be a better person, but he’s in danger of being defeated by his own gift for rationalization. The black-and-white, nine-panel-grid artwork shows influences from R. Crumb to Daniel Clowes (think sweat) but is definitely Ollmann’s own, and his warts-and-all character renderings are a perfect complement to this warts-and-all tale. Blemishes included, this is memoir at its best because the specifics are universal, not mere oversharing” (Graf Kei, Booklist)
Feynman / written by Jim Ottaviani ; art by Leland Myrick.
“Written by nonfiction comics mainstay Ottaviani and brilliantly illustrated by First Second author Myrick, “Feynman” tells the story of the great man’s life from his childhood in Long Island to his work on the Manhattan Project and the “Challenger” disaster.” (Syndetics summary)
Like a sniper lining up his shot / adapted by Jacques Tardi ; from the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette ; [edited and translated by Kim Thompson].
“The Tardi/Manchette team of West Coast Blues reunites for another brutal neo-noir classic.” (Syndetics summary)
The influencing machine : Brooke Gladstone on the media / illustrated by Josh Neufeld ; with additional penciling by Randy Jones and Susann Ferris-Jones.
“Gladstone pens a visionary and opinionated work of graphic nonfiction on the media and its discontents.” (Syndetics summary)
Nemesis / writer & co-creator, Mark Millar ; artist & co-creator, Steve McNiven.
“What if the smartest, toughest costumed bad ass in the world was totally evil? Meet Nemesis. He’s systematically been destroying the lives of every police chief in Asia, and he’s now set his sights on Washington, D.C. This volume collects “Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis” #1-4.” (Syndetics summary)
Onward towards our noble deaths / Shigeru Mizuki ; translation by Jocelyne Allen.
“”[A] semi-autobiographical account of the desperate final weeks of a Japanese infantry unit at the end of World War Two. The soldiers are instructed that they must go into battle and die for the honor of their country, with certain execution facing them if they return alive.” –From publisher’s web site.” (Syndetics summary)
The plane story / written and illustrated by Kevin Sacco.
“A modern-day Bildungsroman, The Plane Story follows young artist Kevin Sacco as he inches his way into the New York commercial art scene of the 1970s. Along the way, we are introduced to his Communist-turned-ad exec father, a mother he never knew he had, a cigarette-smoking guardian angel, and a bevy of characters that all influence his fate. The Plane Story tells the universal story of a young man with a dream as he encounters the world’s complicated realities.” (Syndetics summary)
Life with Mr. Dangerous : a cartoon / by Paul Hornschemeier.
“Somewhere in the Midwest, Amy Breis is going nowhere. Amy has a job she hates, a creep boyfriend she’s just dumped, and a best friend she can’t reach on the phone. But at least her (often painfully passive-aggressive) mother bought her a pink unicorn sweatshirt for her birthday. Pink. Unicorn. For her twenty-seventh birthday. Gliding through the daydreams and realities of a young woman searching for definition, “Life with Mr. Dangerous” showcases acclaimed cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier’s gift for deadpan humor and dead-on insight with a droll aftertaste–an unlikely but welcome marriage of the bleak and the hopeful.” (Syndetics summary)
Dear creature / Jonathan Case.
“Much has been learned from 1960s beach horror movies: that secluded seaside rendezvous often end deadly, that one sea monster spotting terrorizes a community and ruins an otherwise freewheeling summer, and how to do the twist. But what is known of the notorious sea creature? In this debut, Case, a member of the Periscope Studio comics cooperative, dives into this question and introduces Grue, a well-read, romantic, and idealistic sea mutant whose burgeoning love affair is quelling his appetite for humans. Bottles containing a series of Shakespeare writings find Grue and inspire him to speak in iambic pentameter and find romance with the bottles’ source. Discovering the charming Giulietta, the agoraphobic human bibliophile bottle-tosser, isn’t as big of a problem for Grue as learning that Guilietta’s nephew is taking the fall for Grue’s beach snacks. Verdict Case’s debut is beautifully composed using clean, fluid, high-contrast black-and-white line art that gives this original story a classic feel. This clever and humorous narrative demonstrates stunning visual storytelling. Highly recommended.-Willow Fitzgibbon, Fayetteville P.L., AR (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” (Library Journal)
Green River killer : a true detective story / writer Jeff Jensen ; artist Jonathan Case.
Presents the ultimate insider’s account of America’s most prolific serial killer – the Green River Killer, the man responsible for the murders of dozens of women.