Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World edited by Shelly Bond
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Are you ready to meet some awesome women who have done unbelievable things for our world, our species, nature, animals, food, space, music and more? In this brilliant anthology, editor Shelly Bond brings readers the stories of 50 magnificent women who affected change no matter the challenges or barriers they encountered along the way. Each individually illustrated story is three pages long, which doesn’t seem like enough to get the essence of each woman, but the vignettes are a perfect introduction to women who live their lives on their own terms, and encourages readers to seek out even more information on the profiles which affect them the most. From Kate Bush and Michelle Obama, to Aida Page and the Broad City gals, there are a variety of talents, interests, stories and diversity to engage any reader in the wonderful works women have done, many with little or no recognition at all (looking at you Rosalind Franklin).
There are a variety of creators who write and illustrate each story which makes the book incredibly acessable and gives readers the chance to put it down at times since it is quite a tome. All of the vignettes are unique to the writer/illustrator combination, but when all are put together, it fits beautifully and moves seamlessly from story to story. Creators like Sonny Liew, Jen Bartel, Johnnie Christmas, Ming Doyle and more make up the incredible amount of talent that went into compiling this beautiful and touching book. Recommend far and wide to everyone; this gives readers the education on women’s accomplishments that should have been common knowledge throughout history.
Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy, vols. 2 & 3 by Stephen McCranie
Publication Date: November 13, 2018; March 12, 2019
ISBN: 9781506706801; ISBN: 9781506708423
In Volume 1, Amy was forced to leave her home in deep space after her father lost his job and, with her parents, spent thirty years cryogenically frozen as they make the space flight back to Earth. Though adjusting to a new school, new planet, and new time period is hard, Amy is making friends. Volumes 2 and 3 take up just where Volume 1 left off, with Amy waking up from a nightmare after a night out. When she heads to school early to avoid her mother, Amy meets the titular Space Boy for the first time. The only person who doesn’t set off her synesthesia that attaches flavors to people, Oliver doesn’t notice her—or anybody—at first, but soon they bond over their shared outsider status. Despite her friends discouragement, Amy pursues a friendship with Oliver while also exploring other aspects of Earth high school, like the agriculture club and the school dance. She even reaches out to her best friend from the space colony, Jemmah, who is now thirty years older than she.
Like the MCU’s Captain America, Amy struggles both with feeling left behind by the time she knew and with catching up on new technologies and popular culture. Space Boy’s compelling fish out of water story is compounded by the drama of being a teen (early in the second volume, after a fight with her mother, Amy wonders, “Is living here on Earth making me into a terrible person?”). Add to that the clean, colorful illustrations and the intrigue of just who Oliver is and where he came from and you have a graphic novel series that will leave you eager for more.
West Coast Avengers, vol. 1: Best Coast written by Kelly Thompson and illustrated by Stefano Caselli
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
The Pacific Coast is totally not protected; those lazy other Avengers are too busy destroying the East Coast to even pay any attention to the Best Coast! Luckily, our favorite Hawkeye (Kate Bishop, obvs) is in charge and is leading a team to keep our precious West Coast protected and watched. Joined by some awesome superheroes like America Chavez, Kid Omega and Gwenpool, plus somebody named Fuse, the west side of the country can totally count on being looked after by the best in the superhero business. But, what happens when a super giant Tigra is intent on destroying all the beautiful beaches and cities and basically everything she can walk on—which is actually everything because she is literally a giant? Plus, Clint Barton just had to insert himself into the situation and who is this mysterious B.R.O.D.O.K. (which sounds very, very similar to an MCU villain, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence) that shows up to save the day? Nothing will stop this ragtag group of heroes from keeping their West Coast safe…unless Tigra has something to say about it!
This book is full of laughs, tons of great jokes, sappy love and romance, and fun characters that aren’t your normal assortment of Marvel superheroes. Readers will get a kick out of this team learning to work together and save the USA—well, at least one side of the country. Kelly Thompson writes a great story that will draw in both new and seasoned readers alike with her signature comedic style, and Stefano Caselli’s artwork is colorful and fun; it totally fits the laid-back California lifestyle and varies from traditional paneling to full pages to even great little notebook paper style cheat sheets for new readers to learn all about their new favorite superheroes. An enjoyable and amusing book full of intrigue, suspense, humor, kissy-kissy, and some major action and adventure; this is a great superhero book for teens who maybe haven’t met the right superhero yet.