In the aftermath of the holidays, we’re all working off all those tasty treats and looking forward to 2012. Snowball fights and knitting circles, or barbeques and suntanning for those in warmer climates. More than likely, you or one of your nieces, nephews or kids received a gift card to the book store (or Amazon). You trust your kids to buy good books but here is the Schulz Library Quick Reference List for great graphic novels that came out in 2011 or you might have missed.
This series is an affordable book for mystery-loving kids. Under $10 and full of jokes suitable for all ages (like Shrek), I see this book being read aloud by parents to their children all the time. Does your kid want or have a pet? This is a very pleasing series of mysteries taking place in a pet store staring Sasspants the Guinea P.I. and Hamisher the Hamster.
For every person who has ever fought to keep a book in their library, Americus stars a young boy name Neal doing just that. What if you had been denied the liberty of reading that last book in the Harry Potter, Twilight or Hunger Games series? Librarians, lovers of science-fiction and kid power will enjoy this beautifully drawn graphic novel and Neal’s fight to keep is favorite sci-fi series available in his library.
Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata
This book was once referred to by publisher as “Just a manga all about a kitten.” That’s all I needed to hear to read it and Kanata’s clean watercolor drawings make this series worth reading over and over and over. Chi is an orphan, like most modern heroes, who finds a home with a married couple and their child. The irresistibly cute drawings of Chi maneuvering around his world might be a bit saccharine for some but the hilarious reactions of his owners are something any pet or child owner can identify with.
Vietnamerica by G.B. Tran
G.B. Tran weaves one full story about his family’s struggle moving from Vietnam to America, as you might suspect from the title. G.B. completes his family circle by returning to Vietnam to learn more about his family’s history, feelings and himself. This sprawling colorful book is a must-have and must-read.
The Klondike by Zach Worton
In love with the Wild West or money? Those might initially attract you to The Klondike by Zach Worton, but you will stay for the episodic, layered story telling. Worton’s are panels so full of beauty and ink that you can practically hear music in a fit of synesthesia. It is the perfect blend of Canadian-American history and gold-panning instructional comics.
These three kings of non-fiction comics combine in a rather hefty comic book about Darwin’s writings. The alien scientist from a previous Cannon collaboration on genetics, Stuff of Life, reappears in this fun graphic novel. Definitely for those readers who love science but do not have to be biologists by day to enjoy it.
Skyscrapers of the Midwest by Joshua Cotter
The anthropomorphized cast of Skyscrapers of the Midwest take you through a pained childhood made wonderful by their imaginations and high-jenks. Cotter’s graphic novel has even been adapted to the stage.
The Hidden by Richard Sala
You can’t start the new year with out the end of times. Sala’s new book features his recognizable palette and quirky, gothic font in an adult tale about. The post-apocalyptic tale starts with a man waking up to find that everything has gone wrong; sorta a Rip Van Screwed. Great for those who enjoy zombie movies and dystopian books like 1984 or The Hunger Games.
Jet Scott (Vol. 1 or 2)
With inventions like the “Anti-Gravitator” and children named “Brainbox”, this science fiction collection is an amazing combination of mystery, pseudo-science and fun. But don’t be fooled by silly names, part of this strip’s success is that it takes itself seriously. Drawn expertly by Jerry Robinson (who recently passed away and is known for inventing Batman’s the Joker) and written by Sheldon Stark, these collections are bound to be loved by the older readers in your life and young sci-fi enthusiasts.