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Favorite graphic novels of 2019: 12/20/19
On Thursdays I feature sequential art books: comics, graphic novels, or manga. These are my favorite reads for this year. Many of them are backlist titles.
All Summer Long by Hope Larson
All Summer Long by Hope Larson is about thirteen-year-old Bina who feels adrift when her best friend, Austin, leaves for soccer camp. He and she have a history of rating their summer fun by a long list of silly and somewhat arbitrary things. This year, though, she's by herself.
Birding Is My Favorite Video Game by Rosemary Mosco
Birding Is My Favorite Video Game by Rosemary Mosco is a collection of the Bird & Moon comics. They are climate change and STEAM comics and sometimes just off the wall observations about birds and nature.
Brave by Svetlana Chmakova
Brave by Svetlana Chmakova is the sequel to Awkward. This one is told from the point of view of Jensen. He's part of the art club but doesn't feel like he fits in as they go head to head with the science club. Meanwhile, Jenny and Akilah are putting together a study about bullying for the school paper and they want Jensen to participate.
Click by Kayla Miller
Click by Kayla Miller is a middle grade graphic novel about cliques in school. Olive has her school friends and her after school friends. When her teacher announces the talent show she finds herself alone as all her friends team up to practice for the show.
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 3 by Ryoko Kui
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 3 by Ryoko Kui continues with the struggle to cross the water level. Characters who died in the volume 2 are revived long enough to show new ways of dying in the dungeon. Interestingly they are briefly ahead of the protagonists, suggesting that time and space might be more variable in the dungeon that anyone knows.
Guts by Raina Telgemeier
Guts by Raina Telgemeier is the third in the Smile graphic novel memoir series. In Quebecois, the title is Courage and that's an important insight for the themes of the book.
On the one hand, Guts is a straight up account of a time in Raina's life when she was grossed out by illness, especially vomit and diarrhea. It begins the night after the family has eaten artichokes and wake up with the stomach flu.
Frazzled: Minor Incidents and Absolute Uncertainties by Booki Vivat
Frazzled: Minor Incidents and Absolute Uncertainties by Booki Vivat is the third in the Frazzled series. Once again I'm reminded at just how grounded this series is in San Diego as Abbie and her classmates go on a week long school trip to "outdoor school" which outside of the book is just known as "sixth grade camp."
Misfit City Volume 1 by Kirsten Smith
Misfit City Volume 1 by Kirsten Smith is the first of a two volumes that cover the hunt for treasure. The book is set in a fictional reimagining of Astoria, Oregon — the location where The Goonies was filmed. Cannon Cove has it's own cult movie from the 1980s, The Gloomies and a museum dedicated to it (with some actual local history thrown in).
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks is a graphic novel romance set on Halloween, on the last day Josiah and Deja will be selling succotash together before college. For the last three years Josiah has had a crush on the fudge girl but has never spoken to her. Deja's mission is to make that happen in these last few hours.
Rust: Soul in the Machine by Royden Lepp
Rust: Soul in the Machine by Royden Lepp is the conclusion to the Rust series. The giant war machines awakened at the conclusion of Rust: Death of the Rocket Boy have arrived at the farm where the Rocket Boy has been hiding out.
Stargazing by Jen Wang
Stargazing by Jen Wang is inspired by actual events. Christine's parents rent out their in-law to a single mother and her daughter who are struggling to stay afloat. Moon, the daughter, has a reputation for having a temper but Christine and she quickly become friends even though they are so different — or maybe because of their differences.
Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo
Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo is the start of a new series of graphic novels featuring a different member of the Teen Titans. The book opens with Raven and her foster mother discussing adoption. Before her foster mom can actually make it official, she's killed in a car accident.