Thursday, May 6, 2010

Our top 5 graphic novels

List by Manurewa Library + Elliot, compiled by Tosca

“So only my little brother, Pinek, came out from the war alive… from the rest of my family, it’s nothing left, not even a snapshot.”
- Vladek Spiegelman to his son Art in the graphic novel 'Maus'

It was my pleasure (or cross to bear, depending on how you look at it) to be privy to a rather intense discussion about graphic novels that would/wouldn't make a top 5 list. After much hilarity (involving dinner and dessert) you see below the end result as submitted by a mix of staff from Manurewa Library and Elliot.

Maus I : a Survivor's Tale : My Father Bleeds History / Art Spiegelman
"The story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's terrifying story ... Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds ... in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiarity with the events described.

Safe Area Goražde : the War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-95 / by Joe Sacco
Cartoon strips that are harrowing and bleakly humorous, depict life in Goražde in the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. It presents the account of a terrible siege but also a snapshot of a people who were slowly letting themselves believe that they had survived a war that was coming to an end.

The Arrival / Shaun Tan
In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship. He's embarking on the most difficult journey he's leaving home to build a better future for his family. In this wordless graphic novel, Shaun Tan captures the immigrant experience through clear, mesmerizing images. The reader enters a strange new world, participating in the main character's isolation and ultimately his joy.

Read Responsibly : an Unshelved Collection / by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum.
Read Responsibly is the biggest, funniest, and most colorful Unshelved collection yet! The fifth year of strips includes the famous "Pimp My Bookcart" sequence and a year's worth of full-color full-page "Unshelved Book Clubs" featuring the greatest books every written. Plus, never-before published strips and more!

Watchmen / Alan moore, writer and Dave Gibbons illustrator/letterer
Chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin.

Please note: the rather unusual post title 'Manurewa Library + Elliot' is due to the fact that all at the table but myself and Elliot were from Manurewa Library. Kinda obvious, I guess, but it sounded better than 'Manurewa Library + Elliot who used to work at City Centre Library and then moved to Papatoetoe Library and now teaches' :)

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