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Graphic Novels Reviewed in 2017: 12/22/17
A decade ago, I was an extremely reluctant graphic novel or comic reader. As a kid the few comics I read amounted to Spider-Man (the strip in the paper), Garfield, Peanuts (but mostly because my grandmother was a fan), and Wee Pals, a comic series out of Oakland because the author made regular trips to our school in San Diego and was very nice.
The remainder of "comic books" when I was a kid and a newly minted adult meant super hero comics — DC and Marvel. With the exception of Spider-Man, who is part of MArvel's pantheon, I was mostly a DC gal, for the "detective" part of DC. So I liked Superman because he was a reporter who could also fly and see through walls. I liked Batman because he a rich twat with cool toys and a conscience. But by no means was I a regular consumer of comics.
Oh and there was Archie and the other Archie side comics. Those I read like crazy — though I honestly don't recall where I got them. I just always had access to them?
But by my thirties, I was basically not reading comics in any form. I had decided they were too hard to follow. I found myself constantly distracted trying to decide if I should look at the pictures or the text first. I would often just look at the pictures, make up my own dialog, and call it a day.
Anyway, ten years ago I decided to get over my preconceived notions of comics and graphic novels. Part of that I must credit to Neil Gaiman. I came to his work through his novels: particularly Stardust and Neverwhere. But most people it seemed back then came to his novels through The Sandman (something I still haven't read). For whatever reason, I decided to go back and read his other graphic novels.
After Gaiman, I spent a year reading through the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series — the only manga series I've managed to read from start to finish. I also got about a third of the way through Bleach before deciding I didn't have any more patience for it.
Then the Cybils picked me to be a judge in the graphic novels category in 2009 and I was hooked. Since then I've been consuming a steady diet of graphic novels and comics — though I still don't go to a comic book store and I don't have a pull list.
Looking back at 2017's graphic novel and comic reviews, I can see a theme. I tend to like the ones that feature oddballs. They aren't necessarily heroes, except in their own eyes.
Graphic novels and comics have become such a regular part of my reading that I now dedicate Thursdays to reviewing them.