Saturday, September 10, 2016

Story Stacks: Non Super Hero Graphic Novels & Trade Edition Recommendations

In previous Story Stacks I would post a list of Children's Books for a particular subject; now I am planning to use Story Stacks as a little discussion/ recommendation posts for books.
So for this Story Stack I wanted to share with you some recommendations for Non-Super Hero Graphic Novels (and Trades because it has been explained to me that a collection of single issues into a bound edition is not technically a graphic novel, blah blah blah, can't things ever just be easy?). Anyway, I have found it really hard to break into super hero graphic novels because they are all connected and I don't want other potential readers to be discouraged by that as well. So here are a few recommendations that are original series or individual issues that can be enjoyed.
Tiny Book of Tiny Stories is a series of 3 volumes (and another that was very limited that I haven't been able to get my hands on).  These books contain single or 2 page spreads that can involve a picture or a few words that create an entire idea or story. I have loved each of these and really hope more will be released.
The Olympians Series by George O'Connor is a series of so far 8 volumes, each focusing on the various gods and goddesses of Greek Mythology. These are a great introduction to mythology as they not only layout some of the myths with great artwork but also have additional facts in the back too.
Mouse Guard Series by David Petersen is a great combination of story telling, action, adventure, amazing art and great characters. If you want something unique but along the lines of heroes, check this series out. Though as a note they are not always easy to get your hands on and can run a little on the expensive side.
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley is a memoir style graphic novel, it is almost like a journal with really unique art. This is a fun book to read and is a great way to span the leap from novels into graphic novels.  Lucy also has several other memoir style graphic novels but so far this has been my favorite.
Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge is similar in style to Relish but is written as a journal of a fictional character. It will really appeal to those who are also artists or are drawn to art, this is a really beautifully formatted stand alone graphic novel.
Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan is a stand alone graphic novel that is based on true events. This one packs quite a punch with beautiful illustrations and a story based on actual events, it is one that will stick with you for quite a while after (I read this three years ago and it still lingers).
Frankenstein Agent of SHADE by Jeff Lemire is one of my favorites, there are 2 volumes in this series (sadly the second doesn't quite stand up to the first). I loved the bad guys are good guys idea of this one and the characters are great, if you are ready for more of a super hero graphic novel but not quite ready to plunge into the epic storylines of the famous, maybe start with this one as it is an original storyline and a short one too.
Sword of Sorcery: Amethyst by Christy Marx is another along the lines of Frankenstein Agent of SHADE.  Only this one was supposed to be the first in a series, DC comics decided to drop this one. There is only this one volume but it offers a similar art style, storyline and layout as you would see in the popular super hero series. Just don't be surprised if you are left wanting more after reading this one.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan is a great place to start if you want to try an original story that spans several volumes. I know several people have recommended this and others have felt the story gets a little lost in later volumes but I have yet to see this (I am up to volume 4).  The great part about this series is that it is relatively new so you can easily catch up and not get overwhelmed by the volumes (or single issues if you prefer) being released faster than you can read and never catching up (there currently 6 volumes released).
Korgi by Christian Slade is another unique option, this is a cute fantasy series but what is unique about it is that the story is this story is mostly wordless. There is a little narration introduction at the beginning of each book but then the rest of the story is all illustrations, beautiful ones at that.  So far there are 3 books and I have loved each one, and the exciting news is there is another one coming out this year after a long wait!
So there you have a few recommendations of graphic novels that aren't super hero ones. So many assume that all graphic novels/ comics are just about the classic heroes like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Ironman, etc. but they are so much more and have something for everyone. Have you read any of these? Do you have any additional recommendations?

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