By popular demand, the Coastal LRC has begun a collection of graphic novels. This collection includes not only the most popular superheroes and stories, but also a variety of different works that use art to help tell a story in a way that could not be told with words alone.
A great place to start would be with Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, which is a comic about comics. In addition to describing some of the history behind graphic novels, McCloud takes the reader through an engrossing and often humorous trip into the world of comics and how artists use everything on the page, from words to colors to symbolism to even the spacing between panels, to help convey a story. Whether you’re unfamiliar with comics or have read hundreds and want to know more about how artists produce the works they do, this volume absolutely can’t be missed.
Graphic novels can tell all kinds of stories. In American Born Chinese, Gene Yang intertwines three stories about a young American-born Chinese child trying to fit in at school, a racial caricature of the Chinese always harassing his “normal” cousin, and the famous Chinese legend of the Monkey King to discuss racial stereotypes, multiculturalism, identity, and fitting in. This book is an excellent read for anyone who has ever felt isolated from others for any reason.
In Maus, Art Spiegelman conveys a story of the Holocaust in which Jews are depicted as mice while Nazis are portrayed as cats. Spiegelman’s innovative graphic novels convey a complex story not just about the nightmarish ordeal of the Holocaust, but Spiegelman’s own troubled relationship with his father.
When Guy DeLisle had to make an extended stay in North Korea due to his work, he documented his experiences. His graphic novel, Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea takes readers on a tour of the country and how the citizens in the capital live. Along with his North Korean sojourn, DeLisle created travelogues based on many of his other travels abroad, including Shenzen: A Travelogue from China, Burma Chronicles, and Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City. These books are highly recommended for anyone interested in exploring diverse cultures.
If you’re interested in more traditional graphic novels, we have those too. Superman: Red Son explores a world where Superman was raised in the Soviet Union while All-Star Superman celebrates Superman’s rich, 75 year legacy. We also have a great collection of Batman stories, including The Long Halloween in which Batman tracks down a killer who murders one victim a month on a holiday. Year One chronicles Batman’s first year of crimefighting, while The Dark Knight Returns depicts a Batman who comes out of retirement to protect Gotham once again. And of course we’ve got some great Marvel tales, including the famous Days of Future Past from X-Men (soon to be adapted into a movie) and an acclaimed Spider-man run.
If manga is more your speed, we’ve got you covered there too. From the journey of two brothers to correct their sins in Fullmetal Alchemist to the struggle for humanity’s survival in the wake of a dying planet in Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind to the charming story of one girl’s extraordinary encounter with powerful magic in Cardcaptor Sakura to the grand adventure for a legendary treasure in One Piece, there’s a sampling of some of the best and most loved series.
This is just a taste of the our graphic novel collection. DC, Marvel; American, Japanese; heartwarming, heart-pounding; historical, contemporary; action-packed, thought-provoking; there’s something here for everyone. Take a stroll through our collection and I guarantee you’ll find something you enjoy.