Exploring ICPL's Graphic Novel Collection

by Meredith

I'm in awe of the Library's vast graphic novel collection. If you haven't taken the time to explore it, or it's been awhile since your last visit, here are a few of my favorite titles.

Quiet girl in a noisy world : an introvert's story

Debbie Tung

BIOGRAPHY Tung, Debbie
Biographies

This illustrated gift book of short comics illuminates author Debbie Tung's experience as an introvert in an extrovert's world. Presented in a loose narrative style that can be read front to back or dipped into at one's leisure, the book spans three years of Debbie's life, from the end of college to the present day. In these early years of adulthood, Debbie slowly but finally discovers there is a name for her lifelong need to be alone: she's an introvert.The first half of the book traces Debbie's final year in college: socializing with peers, dating, falling in love (with an extrovert!), moving in, getting married, meeting new people, and simply trying to fit in. The second half looks at her life after graduation: finding a job, learning to live with her new husband, trying to understand social obligations when it comes to the in-laws, and navigating office life. Ultimately, Quiet Girl sends a positive, pro-introvert message: our heroine learns to embrace her introversion and finds ways to thrive in the world while fulfilling her need for quiet.

Meredith's picture

Reading this was like peeking inside my quiet teenager's mind. -Meredith

Woman world

Aminder Dhaliwal

GRAPHIC NOVEL Dhaliwal
Graphic Novels

When a birth defect wipes out the planet's entire population of men, Woman World rises out of society's ashes.

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A great illustration of women's strength with humor. -Meredith

Octavia E. Butler's Kindred

Damian Duffy

GRAPHIC NOVEL Butler
Graphic Novels

"Home is a new house with a loving husband in 1970s California that is suddenly transformed into the frightening world of the antebellum South. Dana, a young black writer, can't explain how she is transported across time and space to a plantation in Maryland. But she does quickly understand why: to deal with the troubles of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder--and her progenitor. Her survival, her very existence, depends on it"--Jacket flap.

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Every book I’ve ever read by Octavia E. Butler stays with me for a long time. The graphic novel adaptation of Kindred is no exception. Amazing art for an amazing story. -Meredith

Relish : my life in the kitchen

Lucy Knisley

641.5092 /Knisley
Memoir

"Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe-- many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions" -- from publisher's web site.

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Reading this book will make you hungry. It will also make you approach preparing dinner in a new light. You aren't just making a meal, you're making a memory. -Meredith

Bitch Planet

Kelly Sue DeConnick

COMIC Bitch
Graphic Novels

In a future just a few years down the road in the wrong direction, a woman's failure to comply with her patriarchal overlords will result in exile to the meanest penal planet in the galaxy. When the newest crop of fresh femmes arrive, can they work together to stay alive or will hidden agendas, crooked guards, and the deadliest sport on (or off!) Earth take them to their maker?

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Set in a dystopian future where women who are "non-compliant" are sent to another planet to suffer for their sins. These can range from obesity, murder, being too tired to love and care for a man properly, talking too much, etc. Basically, if you're a woman, the man is watching. If he does not like what he sees, you pay. The plot is this first volume is slim, but the concept is intriguing. And scary. Not suitable for ages under 18, though the nudity is not for the sake of nudity, but making the female prisoners even more vulnerable. -Meredith

Maus I : a survivor's tale

Art Spiegelman

940.5318 /Spiegelman
Graphic Novels

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Maus was the first graphic novel I ever read. Nothing like starting with the best! -Meredith

Maus II : a survivor's tale

Art Spiegelman

940.5318 /Spiegelman
Graphic Novels

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I tell anyone who is checking out Maus to go ahead and get Maus II at the same time. There's no way one can stop reading Vladek's story. -Meredith

Hawkeye

Matt Fraction

COMIC Hawkeye 2012
Graphic Novels

Clint Barton, a.k.a. the self-made hero Hawkeye, fights for justice and good rooftop BBQs! And with Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he's out to get some downtime from being one of Earth's mightiest heroes. This is the ongoing tale of the Arrow-Avenger; Barton and Bishop mean double the Hawkeye and double the trouble!

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At the Big 10 Championship football game, Iowa against Michigan State, one of the signs in the Michigan State student section said "Hawkeye is the worst Avenger." I don't think they read this hilarious series by Matt Fraction. -Meredith