- PJ O'Rourke
I'm spoilt for choice when it comes to graphic novels. Not because I'm any good at picking them. (If anything, I'm absolute rubbish at knowing what to try next. It's because I have next to no filter when it comes to books. I will try anything and everything at least once, and sometimes this goes against me). It's more that I'm lucky enough to work with amazeballs people who, almost daily - by email, text, Facebook message, Twitter, and in person - give me suggestions. Totally unsolicited. Once they've given me one, I find a whole heapload more that I just have to read. Which results in a Top 5 list much like this one. My parents encouraged me to read comics as a child. They wouldn't just buy them, though, we'd also talk about them. I distinctly remember, as a 9 year old, falling in love with Peter Bromhead. Well, his editorial cartoons in the Auckland Star, that is. My parents noticed my interest, and so Bromhead would, often, be a part of our dinner conversation. We would discuss the point of the cartoon in relation to whatever current events were taking place both nationally and internationally at that point in time. I am lucky enough to work with people who do the same - recommend titles or writers and, afterward, want to talk about them. The other day, someone told me to give Marbles: mania, depression, Michelangelo, & me : a graphic memoir by Ellen Forney a try, so I've requested it already, and am impatiently awaiting its arrival. Once I've finished it, we'll catch up and trade opinions and thoughts. And, as is usually the case when I'm in the catalogue, I came across 5 other graphic novels that, really, have to be bumped to the top of my TBR list. Today's list is: 5 graphic novels you need to request now right now. Have I steered you wrong yet? (Don't answer that just in case I have). They're an unusual mix of books, too - cooking, fantasy, life in Jerusalem, love in a time of a galactic war, and aliens in Australia. I know, right? You're welcome!
What graphic novels are you reading right now?
Blue [graphic novel] / Pat Grant
Blue is the debut graphic novel by Australian cartoonist Pat Grant. Part autobiography and part science fiction, the book follows three spotty teenagers who skip school to go surfing and end up investigating rumors of a dead body on the train line. Provincial values and the emotions aroused by immigration clash as the teenagers encounter strange, blue-skinned foreigners that have arrived in their little beach town.
Jerusalem [graphic novel] : chronicles from the Holy City / Guy Delisle ; coloured by Lucie Firoud & Guy Delisle ; translated by Helge Dascher
Delisle explores the complexities of a city that represents so much to so many. He eloquently examines the impact of the conflict on the lives of people on both sides of the wall while drolly recounting the quotidian: checkpoints, traffic jams, and holidays. When observing the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim populations that call Jerusalem home, Delisle's drawn line is both sensitive and fair, assuming nothing and drawing everything.
Sailor Twain or, the mermaid in the Hudson / Mark Siegel
One hundred years ago. On the foggy Hudson River, a riverboat captain rescues an injured mermaid from the waters of the busiest port in the United States. A wildly popular--and notoriously reclusive--author makes a public debut. A French nobleman seeks a remedy for a curse. As three lives twine together and race to an unexpected collision, the mystery of the Mermaid of the Hudson deepens.
Saga. [Volume one] / writer, Brian K. Vaughan ; artist, Fiona Staples ; lettering + design, Fonograpiks ; coordinator, Eric Stephenson
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults. This specially priced volume collects the first six issues of the smash-hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make." We've already got book 2 on order.
Recipes from the kitchen drawer : a graphic cookbook / by Helen Ashley
A collection of classic recipes in the form of simple, expertly drawn graphic illustrations. Each recipe is broken down into easy-to-follow steps, all cleverly displayed on one graphic table top, a bit like a comic strip recipe for grown-ups. ... includes incredible hand-drawn, easy-to-follow recipes showing every slice, sizzle and stir ... the comfort food you grew up with (think gooey cauliflower cheese, warming sausage and bean casserole and fresh, crumbly flapjacks) ... thrifty, hearty home cooking with sensational soups, mouth-watering mains and puddings, plus biscuits and cakes made for sharing ... perfect for first-timers and seasoned cooks alike.