An Annotated Bibliography  by Jack Baur and Amanda Jacobs-Foust        with Carla Avitabile, Casey Gilly, Jessica Lee,  Ho...
Introduction         It’s no secret that comics (or “graphic novels,” if you prefer) are hot items in the library worldthe...
YOUNG READERSAzuma, Kiyohiko.        Yotsuba&!. Yen Press, 2009 - present. 11 volumes, ongoing.See the world through the e...
Manhattan transplant and tomboy, Amelia as she adapts to her new life in a small town withher new friends Reggie, Rhonda a...
Konami, Kanata.      Chi’s Sweet Home. Vertical, 2010 - present. 8 volumes,ongoing.A young kitten named Chi goes for a wal...
(2008, 144p. 9781603090193) which collects out-of-print and the original mini-comics, is not tobe missed.Slade, Christian....
MIDDLE SCHOOLArakawa, Hiromu.       Full-Metal Alchemist. VIZ Media, 2005 - present. 27 volumes, ongoing.After a failed at...
Fujino, Moyamu.       Animal Academy. Tokyopop, 2009 - 2011. 7 volumes.Neko Fukuta is mistakenly enrolled in a private hig...
Johns, Geoff (auth.) with Ethank Van Sciver (illus.). Green Lantern: Rebirth.DC Comics, 2010. 192p. 9781401227555.After be...
results. A great choice for young fans of the 2011 film.       Vol. 1. 2010. 128 p. 9780785141211.       Vol. 2. 2011. 128...
Sakai, Stan.                              Usagi Yojimbo. Fantagraphics Books. 1987-present. 26 volumes,                   ...
Telgemeier, Raina. Smile. Scholastic 2010. 224p. 9780545132060.                   As if middle school isn’t complicated en...
Yang, Gene Yuen. American Born Chinese. Square Fish, 2008. 240p.                9780312384487.                Three story ...
HIGH SCHOOLAbouet, Marguerite (auth.) and Oubrerie Clement (illus.).        Aya. Drawn and Quarterly, 2007-2009. 3 volumes...
Brown, Jeffrey. Darth Vader and Son. Chronicle Books. 2012. 64p.9781452106557.Brown takes a playful approach to the Star W...
Reservoir Chronicle (Del Ray, 2004 - 2010, 28 volumes) and Cardcaptor Sakura (Dark Horse,2011, 2 “Omnibus Edition” volumes...
Kelly, Joe (auth.) and J.M. Ken Niimura (illus.). I Kill Giants. Image Comics,2009. 184p. 9781607060925.Barbara Thorson is...
Millar, Mark (auth.) and Dave Johnson (illus.). Superman: Red Son. DC Comics, 2004. 160p.9781401201913.What if instead of ...
Oda, Eiichiro.       One Piece. VIZ Media, 1997 - present. 62 volumes, ongoing.A new shonen sensation in Japan, this serie...
Pak, Greg (auth.) and Carlo Pagulayan (illus.). Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk.Marvel Comics, 2008. 416p. 9780785120124.Afte...
Seagle, Steven T. It’s a Bird. Vertigo. 2005. 136p. 9781401203115.In this semi-autobiographical memoir, a fictional versio...
Urasawa, Naoki.       Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka. Viz Media, 2009 - 2010. 8 volumes.A modern manga master re-imagines a class...
OLDER TEEN/ADULTAaron, Jason (auth) and R.M. Guera (illus).       Scalped. Vertigo. 2007-present. 8 volumes, ongoing.As a ...
Contains graphic violence and language that unfortunately might keep it out of some highschool libraries.                 ...
Hill, Joe (auth.) and Gabriel Rodriguez (illus.).        Locke and Key. IDW, 2008-present. 4 volumes, ongoing.After the mu...
Layman, John (auth.) and Rob Guillroy (illus.).       Chew. Image Comics, 2009 – present. 5 volumes, ongoing.FDA Agent Ton...
Tomine, Adrian. Shortcomings. Drawn and Quarterly, 2009. 104p. 9781897299753.Three drifting Asian-American young adults ne...
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Who's Afraid of Comic Books? Building and Maintaining Graphic Novel Collections @ Your Library

Graphic novel enthusiasts and longtime collection developers, Jack Baur (Berkeley Public Library) and Amanda Jacobs Foust (Marin County Free Library), brought their popular workshop from the Bay Area to southern California on May 17, 2012, in a program presented by CLA's Youth Services Interest Group. The workshop began with tips on purchasing, organizing, and maintaining graphic novels in the library, and provided attendees with information on the future of digital comics. A high-profile panel of comic book professionals, Ed Brubaker, Hope Larson, Stan Sakai, and Steven Seagle, then discussed the importance and educational value of graphic novels.

Attendees also had the opportunity to take part in a “Comic Book Petting Zoo,” featuring both traditional print formats as well as digital comics for iPads.

Attendees said:

"Great presenters -- knowledgeable, charismatic -- and what a treat to meet some superstars of the comics world!"
"The presenters were awesome. They were knowledgeable and personable and exactly what a presenter should be."
"I appreciate the wealth of resources provided."

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Who's afraid of burbank annotations

  1. 1. An Annotated Bibliography by Jack Baur and Amanda Jacobs-Foust with Carla Avitabile, Casey Gilly, Jessica Lee, Holly Nguyen, JoAnn Rees, Shawna Sherman, and Elsie Tep May 17th, 2012 Table of ContentsIntroduction 2Young Readers 3Middle School 7High School 14Older Teens 22 Prepared by BAYA for the California Library Association 1
  2. 2. Introduction It’s no secret that comics (or “graphic novels,” if you prefer) are hot items in the library worldthese days. Oh, we’ve known that for years, but recently publishers have been getting into the game ina big way. Too big, arguably. As publishers struggle, it seems like more and more they are turning tographic novels as new revenue streams, to diversify existing properties, or as ways to repackage oldcontent. With the deluge of titles coming at us, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a librarian whoisn’t deeply invested in their GN collection or tuned into the world of comics publishing to discern theexcellent titles from the merely popular, and the quality from the... well, crap. And oh there’s a lot of crap out there these days... But there’s a whole lot of great stuff, too. Comics are a wonderful and unique medium, whichallow any kind of story or instruction to be delivered in a way that is fun, engaging, and accessible. Justlike other storytelling forms, the content can be simple and amusing, or it can be deep andchallenging. It’s no surprise that comics are seeing such a jump in popularity and acceptance now. Theway that they merge text and image reminds young readers of the highly visual informationenvironments they see every day, and their experience reading comics will help them develop the visualliteracy skills they need to synthesize and evaluate information elsewhere. That makes it our job aslibrarians serving teens to ensure that the comics we provide for them are the absolute best. That’s what this guide is for: to help you start sorting the good from the bad. We at BAYA haveassembled a list of more than 80 of our favorite titles for teens, with thorough annotations to help youfigure out what’s right for you. We have loosely divided our selections into four categories: YoungReaders, Middle School, High School, and Older Teen/Adult. Use these age suggestions as a guide, butremember that, as in most situations, your mileage will vary. Many of the “Middle School” titles wouldbe perfect in even an adult collection and, just because we may have placed something in the “HighSchool” category for reasons of theme or content, that doesn’t mean It wouldn’t work just fine foryounger readers in the right environment. As with all collection development – but particularly whenyou’re talking comics – the best thing you can do as a selector is to get your hands dirty and see thebooks for yourself! Indeed, thanks to the visual nature of comics, a quick flip through a book should giveyou a pretty good indication of whether it’s right for your collection. Besides, there are so many excitingstories out there for you that it would be an absolute shame if you missed the chance to explore them! Jack Baur Teen Services Librarian, Berkeley Public Library President, BAYA: The Bay Area Young Adult Librarians May 17th, 2012 2
  3. 3. YOUNG READERSAzuma, Kiyohiko. Yotsuba&!. Yen Press, 2009 - present. 11 volumes, ongoing.See the world through the eyes of Yotsuba, an incorrigible 5 year-old girlwith an eternal sense of adventure and boundless charm. Having recentlybeen adopted by a young man and moved to a new town, Yotsuba makesnew friends and explores her new home with infectious wonder in thisdelightfully twee shojo manga series.Barba, Corey. Yam. Top Shelf Productions. 2008. 88p. 9781603090148.Yam is the silent story of a young boy and his adventures on surreal island of Leche de la Luna,where cupcakes live, flowers are musicians and Yam can communicate with his crush viadreams. Sweet and quirky, this single volume leaves you wanting more. Eliopoulis, Chris (auth.) and Guara, Ig (illus.). Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers. Marvel Books, 2010- present. 4 volumes, ongoing. “And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earths mightiest heroes were unaware of a threat greater than all of them could handle. And on that day, a teleporting puppy scoured the world to assemble a team of animals to fight the foes no single beast could withstand!” And with that begins the story of a unique team of superhero sidekicks on their quest to claim six Infinity Gems which could destroy the Earth. The pets of such notable superheroes such as Thor, Reed Richards, and Kitty Pryde, embark in a beautifully drawn adventure filled with tongue in cheek humor, sharp dialogue, and laughs to tickle both kids and their parents.Gownley, Jimmy. Amelia Rules!. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2009-ongoing. 7volumes, ongoing.What’s not to love about a comics series that details the arcane and thedisgusting (see: sneeze barf), while tackling real-life issues such as divorce,bullies and being the new kids at school? The series centers on recent 3
  4. 4. Manhattan transplant and tomboy, Amelia as she adapts to her new life in a small town withher new friends Reggie, Rhonda and Pajamaman. Together, they they form G.A.S.P (Gatheringof Awesome Superpals) and battle their arch enemies, the Park View Terrace Ninjas. The seriesbegins with The Whole Worlds Crazy (2009. 160p. 9781416986126).Hatke, Ben. Zita the Spacegirl. First Second. 192p. 9781596434462.An unsuspecting young girl turns into an intergalactic heroine in this charming, adventurous,story of friendship and bravery. Fans of fantastical monsters, aliens, and doomed planets willrejoice in the colorful inking and playful illustrations, including a giant mouse, “doorpaste”, andmore robots than you can shake a stick at.Holm, Jennifer (auth.) and Matthew Holm (illus.). Babymouse. Random House Books, 2005-present. 15volumes, ongoing.Babymouse is smart and imaginative; full of quirks and characterflaws that make her lovable and endearing throughout heradventures with her truest friend, Wilson Weasel and her archenemy, Felicia Furrypaws. The thick black line drawings arewarmed by the dedicated, yet restrained use of pale pink. This isan enjoyable series that has well-earned it’s popularity withyoung readers by being sweet and sassy. The series begins withQueen of the World (2005, 96, 978037583229) and notablevolumes include Puppy Love (2007, 96p, 9780375832291) whereBabymouse tries to care for Buddy the Dog; Dragonslayer (2009, 96p, 9780375857126) inwhich Babymouse must overcome her F- and slay her personal dragon – MATH! – and A VeryBabymouse Christmas (2011, 96p., 9780375867798) during which Babymouse learns the truemeaning of the holidays. Kibuishi, Kazu. Copper. Scholastic GRAPHIX. 2010. 96p. 9780545098939. A brave young boy and his worried but caring dog have a series of incredible adventures in a wild fantasy land. Copper features brilliant illustrations and steampunk-esque designs from Kibuishi, but the heart of this story is the friendship between a boy and his best friend. 4
  5. 5. Konami, Kanata. Chi’s Sweet Home. Vertical, 2010 - present. 8 volumes,ongoing.A young kitten named Chi goes for a walk, only to find herself lostfrom her mother! Fortunately, she is found by a boy named Yoheiwho takes her in to become a part of the Yamada family, in anapartment building in which pets are strictly forbidden. Marked bysharply observed animal characterizations and a nigh endless supplyof cute, this manga series is a must for cat lovers.Krosoczka, Jarrett J.Lunch Lady. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2009-present. 8 volumes, ongoing.Lunch Lady and her sidekick, Doris, are crimefighters when not preparing and serving food inthe cafeteria. Operating out of the secret kitchen lair and with the help of the Breakfast Bunch,Dee, Hector and Terrence, they fight evil and solve crimes. The series begins with Lunch Ladyand the Cyborg Substitute (2009. 96p. 9780375846830), but be sure not to miss the secondinstallment: Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians (2009. 96p. 9780375846847).Pien, Lark. Long Tail Kitty. Blue Apple Books. 2009. 51p. 9781934706442.Long Tail Kitty opens with “Where I Live” in which the titular character describes where hishouse is: “by the hill, by the meadow, by the lake, by the river, by the town, on the streetwhere I live”. This sweet cadence of language is consistent throughout the remainder of thebook, which includes four more stories accompanied by witty watercolors. The stories aredevoted to fun and friendship, concluding with “Though We’re Far, We’re Friends,” whichincludes a fold-out page of 70 fun things to do. Notable activities include the Quietest Singer,Caddy Wampus and Loudest Longest. A worthy read that will delight young readers. Runton, Andy. Owly. Top Shelf Productions, 2004-present. 5 volumes, ongoing. Gentle Owly and his clever best friend, Wormy spend their days on adventures in their forest home; making friends and learning valuable life lessons. Runton’s simple black and white drawings manage to be both lively and warm in this mostly wordless – but entirely charming – all-ages comic. The series begins with The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer (2004. 160p., 9781891830624). Each volume is a delight, but Tiny Tales, 5
  6. 6. (2008, 144p. 9781603090193) which collects out-of-print and the original mini-comics, is not tobe missed.Slade, Christian. Korgi. Top Shelf, 2007-present. 3 volumes, ongoing.This “silent” story, beautifully illustrated by former Disneyanimator Slade, chronicles the adventures of Ivy and her corgi pal,Sprout, in their magical world of Korgi Hollow. Children of all ageswill be captivated by this richly drawn story where dinosaurs arebattled, trolls are toppled, and the friendship between girl anddog can truly conquer all. Fantasy die-hards will appreciate thedetailed universe of Korgi Hollow, as well as the expressiveemotional connection between our heros. The series begins withSprouting Wings (2007, 80p, 9781891830907), continues inCosmic Collector (2008, 88p, 9781603090100) and goes on to AHollow Beginning (2011, 96p, 9781603090629). It is unclear iffurther volumes will be published or not.Venable, Colleen A.F. Guinea Pig Pet Shop Private Eye. Graphic Universe. 2010 - present. . 4 volumes,ongoing.Day after day pet shop owner Mr. Venezi’s sandwich disappears. It is up to a somewhatreluctant guinea PI(g) named Sasspants to save the day and find out who is stealing thesandwiches before Mr. Venezi does something rash like get rid of the main suspects, the koalas(well, hamsters but it seems that what Mr. V. doesnt know about animals could fill a book).Start with Hamster and Cheese (2010, 48p., 9780761354796) , the first in the series. 6
  7. 7. MIDDLE SCHOOLArakawa, Hiromu. Full-Metal Alchemist. VIZ Media, 2005 - present. 27 volumes, ongoing.After a failed attempt to bring their mother back to life through the power of alchemy, brothersAlphonse and Edward search for the Philosopher’s Stone to restore their bodies. An action-packed shonen manga set in a fascinating world that resembles 19th Century Germany. Bendis, Brian Michael (auth.) and Michael Avon Oeming (illus.). Takio, vol. 1. Icon/Marvel Comics, 2011. 96p. 9780785153269. Adopted sisters Taki and Olivia are exposed to strange radiation, develop superpowers, and decide it’s their duty to fight crime. After all, “if you can stop a bullet, you have to be a superhero. It’s, like, the law.” So far only one volume is available, but hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of this fun, multicultural, all-ages series.Clevinger, Brian (auth.) and Scott Wegener (illus.). Atomic Robo. Red 5 Comics, 2009 - present. 6 volumes, ongoing.At the end of his life, famed inventor Nikola Tesla unveiled his greatestcreation: Atomic Robo! A mechanical wonder possessing “automaticintelligence,” Atomic Robo leads his team of Action Scientists across thedecades to solve great problems, from the scientific to the supernatural.Some volumes are out of print, but the stories all stand alone. The thirdvolume, Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time (2009, 152p.9780980930252), features battles with a Lovecraftian monster! Dembicki, Matt (ed.). Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection. Fulcrum Press, 2010. 232 p. 9781555917241. Over 20 artists paired with Native American storytellers worked together to create this diverse collection of folktales centered on the universal figure of the Trickster. The result is a rich and vibrant volume of work that achieves that elusive combination of entertainment and education. A must have. 7
  8. 8. Fujino, Moyamu. Animal Academy. Tokyopop, 2009 - 2011. 7 volumes.Neko Fukuta is mistakenly enrolled in a private high school for shape-shifting animals and mustkeep her identity as a human secret from her roommate and fellow classmates. The seriesfollows Nekos adventures and experiences at the mysterious and prosperous MorimoriAcademy.Gagne, Michel. The Saga of Rex. Image Comics, 2010. 200p.9781607063223.Originally serialized in Kazu Kibuishi’s Flight (Vol. 1, 2007, 208p.,9780345496362) anthologies, the story of the intergalactic fox named Rexare collected here. The adorable little Rex is plucked from his home worldby a mysterious spaceship and transported to the arcane world of Edernia,where he meets Aven, an enigmatic biomorph with a flying saucer. FollowRex on his epic journey as he travels through outer-worldly landscapes,faces strange perils, and makes surprising encounters. Here is a story thatis in turn adventurous, heroic, tragic, romantic and wonderfully surprising.Hale, Dale (auth) Shannon Hale (auth.). and Nathan Hale (illus.) Rapunzel’s Revenge.Bloomsbury, 2008. 144 p. 9781599902883.This alternative version of the Grimm fairy tale is reset in the Wild West, where Rapunzelescapes from captivity, joins forces with an outlaw by the name of Jack (of Jack and theBeanstalk fame) and vows revenge against the woman she thought was her mother and hercruel empire. Self-reliant and capable of using her extraordinary hair to her advantage as bothan asset and a weapon, Rapunzel proves to be a strong feminist heroine perfectly suited to heradventure.Hotta, Yumi (auth.) and Takeshi Obata (illus.). Hikaru No Go. VIZ Media LLC. 2004-2011. 23 volumes.A young boy named Hikaru receives a go board which is haunted by the ghost of Sai, an ancientmaster of the game. Though he initially has no interest in go, Hikaru eventually embarks on aquest to become a go master himself under the tutelage of Sai. This series has inspired manyschools and libraries to start go clubs of their own! 8
  9. 9. Johns, Geoff (auth.) with Ethank Van Sciver (illus.). Green Lantern: Rebirth.DC Comics, 2010. 192p. 9781401227555.After being dead for a decade, Hal Jordan is back! And no sooner has hereturned then he has to face his mortal enemy Sinestro and the fearsomeParallax, a cosmic force of pure fear. Much better than the 2011 film!Kibuishi, Kazu Amulet. Graphix, 2008-present. 4 volumes, ongoing.After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home ofher deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, asinister creature lures the kids mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperatenot to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talkinganimals. Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Togetherwith Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to savesomeone she loves. Series starts with The Stonekeeper (2008, 192p., 9780439846813). Kishimoto, Masashi. Naruto. Viz Media, 2003 - presnet. 53 volumes, ongoing. Fast-paced and full of action sequences, this is the most popular manga series in America. The story follows a group of young student Ninjas in Japan as they battle evil ninjas and monsters while preparing to pass their exams. The violence is balanced by the humor and appeal of the main character. This still-growing series has spawned a TV series, card games, video games, and several movies as well as novelizations of the comics. The story starts at Vol. 1 (2003, 192p., 9781569319000) and jumps forward several years in Vol. 28 (2008, 200p., 9781421518640), marking a point where it might move from Juvenile to Teen collections.Landridge, Roger (auth.) and Chris Samnee (illus.). Thor: The Mighty Avenger. Marvel Comics, 2010-2011. 2 volumes.A retelling of the classic story of Thor’s expulsion from Asgard and his romancewith Jane Foster, this all-ages series focuses on character development andThor’s fish-out-of-water encounters on Earth with exciting and humorous 9
  10. 10. results. A great choice for young fans of the 2011 film. Vol. 1. 2010. 128 p. 9780785141211. Vol. 2. 2011. 128 p. 9780785141228.Larson, Hope. Chiggers. Aladdin. 2008. 176p. 9781416935872.In this coming of age graphic novel, Abby arrives at camp only to discoverthat her older friend Rose, now a counselor, is busy with work and can’thang out. At loose ends, Abby must choose between the new girl, Shasta,and camp regulars Zoe and Beth. Achingly true to the ways and meansthat young girls both befriend and hurt each other, Chiggers perfectlycaptures the feel of summer camp, the thrill of first crush and theheartache of growing up. Morrison, Grant (auth.) and Frank Quitely (illus.). All-Star Superman . DC Comics, 2007-2009. 2 volumes. A mythic take on the Man of Steel, this work takes the form of a series of vignettes, inspired by the off-the-wall, sci-fi inflected stories of the 1960s. This is a Superman story with a lot on its mind, and would make a great choice for book groups. Vol. 1. 2007. 160p. 9781845763262. Vol. 2. 2009. 160p. 9781041218377.Neri, G. (auth.) and Randy Duburke (illus.). Yummy: The LastDays of a Southside Shorty. Lee & Low Books, 2010. 96p.9781584302674.This groundbreaking graphic novel retells the true story of an11-year-old gang member who kills a 14-year-old neighbor andis on the run from police and also his own gang. Short enoughfor reluctant readers and original for its depictions of African-Americans in a graphic novel format. 10
  11. 11. Sakai, Stan. Usagi Yojimbo. Fantagraphics Books. 1987-present. 26 volumes, ongoing. This long-running series takes place in medieval Japan and the protagonist, Miyamota Usagi, is a masterless samurai, loosely based on the well-known swordsman Miyamoto Mushashi, traveling through Japan and working as a paid bodyguard. He’s also a bunny rabbit. Sakai brings a high-level of authenticity to the series while blending in imaginative fantasy elements. The series starts with The Ronin (1987.144p. 9780930193355). Don’t miss Fathers And Sons (2005. 184p. 9781593073190), whichdelves deeply into the complexities of father/son relationships without sacrificing the actionthat defines the Usagi Yojimbo series.Shiga, Jason. Meanwhile. Amulet Books, 2010. 80p. 9780810984233.An amazing and totally unique “Choose Your Own Adventure”-stylecomic in which the reader follows multicolored tubes to discover theirdestiny. Your choice of ice cream flavor leads to time travel, quantummechanics, and possibly the destruction of humanity! Smith, Jeff. Bone. Cartoon Books, 1991-2004. Reprinted in color by Graphix, 2005-2009. 9 volumes. The three Bone cousins get lost in a pre-technological valley, spending a year there making new friends and out-running dangerous enemies. The series starts out as a fun “funny animal” book and gradually morphs into epic high fantasy. The Bones’ many adventures include crossing the local people in The Great Cow Race (2005, 144p., 9780439706391), learning about sacrifice and hardship in The Ghost Circles (2008, 180p., 9780439706346), and their climatic journey to The Crown of Horns (2009, 224p., 9780439706322).Tan, Shaun. The Arrival. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007. 128p. 9780439895293.This wordless graphic novel shows the life of an immigrant starting a new life for his family in agorgeously rendered sepia-toned fantasy world. It is beautiful, compelling, surreal, andemotionally resonant. 11
  12. 12. Telgemeier, Raina. Smile. Scholastic 2010. 224p. 9780545132060. As if middle school isn’t complicated enough, at age 12 Telgemeier tripped while running and knocked out her two front teeth. Smile chronicles the years following the accident as she endures painful dental surgery, invasive headgear and the social awkwardness of middle school.Varon, Sara. Robot Dreams. First Second, 2007. 205p. 9780329642204.In shades of pastel, this mostly wordless graphic novel tells the story of twofriends, a dog and a robot. Perfect for a wide age range, and anyone who haslost a friend and struggled to fill that void will relate to both dog and robot asthey search for new friends while also dreaming of the past friendship. Thesweet drawings and universal experiences give this poignant book a broadappeal.Vaughan, Brian K. (auth.) and Joss Whedon (auth.) with various illustrators. Runaways. Marvel Comics, 2004-2009. 8 volumes.All young people believe their parents are evil ... but what if they really are? Meet Alex,Karolina, Gert, Chase, Molly and Nico, whose lives are about to take an unexpected turn. Whenthese six young friends discover their parents are all secretly super-powered villains, theshocked teens find strength in one another. Together, they run away from home and straightinto the adventure of their lives, vowing to turn the tables on their evil legacy. There are 11volumes total, but stick to the first 8, starting with Pride & Joy (2011 (orig. 2004), 152p.,9780785157328); there is a significant drop in quality after Whedon’s volume. Whedon, Joss (auth.) and John Cassaday (illus.). Astonishing X-Men. Marvel Comics, 2004-2008. 4 volumes. The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer delivers an accessible and character-driven take on Marvel’s mightiest mutants, featuring Wolverine, Cyclops, and Kitty Pride. Whedon is just as deft with team dynamics and humorous dialogue as he is with action. Begins with Gifted (2004, 152p, 9780785115311) and Dangerous (2005, 152p, 9780785116776). 12
  13. 13. Yang, Gene Yuen. American Born Chinese. Square Fish, 2008. 240p. 9780312384487. Three story lines – one involving the Chinese folk hero the Monkey King – combine in the final chapter of this award-winning graphic novel that expertly touches on issues of self-hatred, identity and what it means to be Chinese in America. Simple and crisp artwork compliments this funny modern-day literary classic.Yang, Gene (auth.) and Bryan Gurihir (illus.). Avatar: The Last Airbender -The Promise. Dark Horse. 2012-present. 2 volumes, ongoing.This comic book series by the Printz Award-winning writer Gene Yangbridges the gap between the acclaimed animated fantasy seriesAvatar: The Last Airbender and the new hit cartoon The Legend ofKorra. 13
  14. 14. HIGH SCHOOLAbouet, Marguerite (auth.) and Oubrerie Clement (illus.). Aya. Drawn and Quarterly, 2007-2009. 3 volumes.This humorous series set in the 1970’s working class neighborhood YopCity in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, features Aya and her friends as theynavigate covert romance, scandal among friends, and family secrets.This work is notable for its mannered, Jane Austen-esque romances aswell as its focus on the peaceful side of everyday life in Africa. Aya. 2007. 132p. 9781894937900. Aya of Yop City. 2008. 112p. 9781897299418. Aya: The Secrets Come Out. 2009. 132p. 9781897299791.Barry, Lynda. Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book. Drawn and Quarterly, 2010. 204p.9781897299647.An off-beat, inspiring, one-of-a-kind book, Picture This is part light-hearted story of fightingsisters, part reflection on the power of creativity, and part activity guide for artists of all skilllevels. Barry’s collage-inflected art holds it all together as she encourages us all to just keepdrawing. Brosgol, Vera. Anyas Ghost. First Second, 2011. 224p. 9781596435526. Russian immigrant Anya has erased all signs of her non-American upbringing by doing away with her accent, scoffing at her parents old world ideas, forcing herself to fit in as a typical teenager at her private school, and distancing herself from another Russian immigrant student. Not only is she dealing with the typical pitfalls of an awkward teenager -- body image, boys and a skinny best friend -- she also has a slight problem. Another girl is competing for the slot of BFF- only shes a ghost! Anya struggles in a scary, delightfully tense and eye opening battle that redefines her ideas about herself and her peers. Anyas Ghost is visually stunning with emotive artwork and hilarious teenage details. 14
  15. 15. Brown, Jeffrey. Darth Vader and Son. Chronicle Books. 2012. 64p.9781452106557.Brown takes a playful approach to the Star Wars mythology bycreating a world where Vader raises Luke as his son. The result is aquick and satisfying read for fans full of sight gags about lightsabers,the Force and whether Greedo shoved first. Brubaker, Ed. (auth) and various illustrators. The Death of Captain America. Marvel. 2008-2009. 3 volumes. In the aftermath of a massive conflict that pit hero against hero, Captain America has been assassinated! With the world reeling from the news, Captain America’s old sidekick Bucky Barnes takes up the shield. A powerful story loaded with intrigue and action which also skillfully considers the meaning of an iconic hero. Death of a Dream. 2008. 160p. 9780785124238. The Burden of Dreams. 2008. 160p. 9780785124245. The Man Who Bought America. 2009. 144p. 9780785129714.CLAMP. Clover: Omnibus Edition. Dark Horse, 2009 (orig. 2001). 512p. 9781595821966.An ex-soldier named Kazuhiko must escort a powerful young psychic named Sue across adangerous futuristic world. Lyrical visuals from the acclaimed female manga collective anchorthis experimental and surprisingly romantic sci-fi adventure that will appeal to girls as well asboys.CLAMP. xxxHolic. Del Rey, 2004 - present. 18 volumes, ongoing.Watanuki Kimiharo appears to be an ordinary guy, but hes able to seespirits, who are following him around and causing trouble. One dayWatanuki finds himself unwillingly drawn to the shop of Yuko Ichihara,a beautiful witch. She helps him, but theres a price: he must becomeher servant. As the series continues, Watanuki becomes more familiarand adept with the spiritual world with each supernatural encounter.The series involves a crossing plotline with the series Tsubasa: 15
  16. 16. Reservoir Chronicle (Del Ray, 2004 - 2010, 28 volumes) and Cardcaptor Sakura (Dark Horse,2011, 2 “Omnibus Edition” volumes) as the CLAMP collective wanted to create a manga seriesthat connected all their previous works. Fraction, Matt (auth.) and Salvador LaRocca (illus.). Invincible Iron Man: The Five Nightmares. Marvel Comics, 2009. 184p. 9780785134121. Billionaire industrialist Tony Stark faces his biggest fear as terrorists get their hands on his Iron Man technology and create super-powered suicide bombers! As Stark grapples with his legacy as an arms developer, readers get a deep portrait of a conflicted man trying to do what is right in this chillingly relevant parable of technology run amok.Hickman, Jonathan (auth.) with various illustrators. Fantastic Four. Marvel Comics, 2010-2011. 4 volumes.Fan-favorite author Jonathan Hickman focuses on family dynamics and out-there science fictionconcepts as enemies from across the cosmos set their sights on Earth. This storyline concludeswith the death of one of the original members of the team in Vol. 4 (2011, 184p.,9780785148913) and continues with new member Spider-Man under the title FF.Hino, Matsuri. Vampire Knight. Viz Media, 2007 - present. 13 volumes, ongoing.Cross Academy has two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. Yuki Cross wasmade an orphan during a vampire attack years ago and now works as a Guardian at CrossAcademy, keeping the truth about the Night Class a secret: that it is made up of vampiresseeking integration into human society! A romantic shojo manga, perfect for Twilight fans.Johns, Geoff (auth.) and Ivan Reis (illus.). Blackest Night. DC Comics, 2011. 304p.9781401229535Dozens of fallen superheroes and villains return as zombie-like creatures in this 2010 crossoverevent, which is a must-read for die-hard fans of the DC Universe. The storyline is spread acrossmany DC titles, but the major events are encapsulated in the nine issues collected here. 16
  17. 17. Kelly, Joe (auth.) and J.M. Ken Niimura (illus.). I Kill Giants. Image Comics,2009. 184p. 9781607060925.Barbara Thorson is a fifth-grade outcast and regular target of bullies. She’sgot few friends and big anger problems. She’s also a giant-hunter, and shewill be ready with her trusty hammer when the giants come. Everyonethinks Barbara is nuts, but do her fantasies of heroism hide a deeper fear?A wonderful book about bravery and loss, by turns action-packed, funny,and moving.Larson, Hope. Mercury. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2010. 240p. 9781416935889.Tara has relocated to her Aunt’s house after the family home in the woods burned down whileher mother relocates for work. As she struggles to re-acclimate herself to both town andschool; she discovers long lost family secrets. Intertwined with Tara’s modern day storyline isthat of her ancestors in 1859, where Josey falls in love with a stranger name Asa, who hasconvinced her father to prospect for gold on their land. Larson excels at girl-centric coming ofage stories, and Mercury is not to be missed.Mashima, Hiro. Fairy Tail. Kodansha Comics, 2008 - present. 13 volumes, ongoing.A manga set in a mythical world of small towns, steam engines and horse-drawn carts. Magic ismainstream, young wizards follow glossy magazines that profile popular wizard guilds andeveryone has hidden magical abilities. A 17-year-old celestial wizard named Lucy Heartfilia runsaway from home to join Fairy Tail, a rambunctious wizards guild whose members are infamousfor their overly destructive antics. Along the way, she meets Natsu Dragneel, a boy who istraveling the land of Fiore together with his partner Happy, a talking cat, in search of his fosterparent, a dragon named Igneel who had disappeared without a trace seven years prior. McCulloch, Derek (auth.) and Shepherd Hendrix (illus.). Stagger Lee. Image Comics, 2006. 205p. 9781582406077. “Stagger Lee shot Billy/ Oh, he shot that poor boy so bad...” By tracing the evolution of the song inspired by the most famous murder myth in American history, author Derek McCulloch gives readers a fascinating look at American oral tradition, racial relations, and justice. The art by Shepherd Hendrix is appropriately sketchy and dusty. Recommended as a tie-in to classroom discussions about the history of the American south. 17
  18. 18. Millar, Mark (auth.) and Dave Johnson (illus.). Superman: Red Son. DC Comics, 2004. 160p.9781401201913.What if instead of growing up in Kansas to fight for "truth, justice, and the American way," theLast Kryptonians spacecraft had crash-landed in the Soviet Union?Miller, Frank. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. DC Comics, 2002 (orig.1987). 224p. 9781563893414.One of the most influential Batman stories of all time. It’s been ten yearssince Batman has been seen in Gotham, and the city has gone to hell.When a retired Bruce Wayne decides he’s had enough, he dons the capeand cowl one more time for a final confrontation with Two-Face, the Joker,and Superman himself! Deeply steeped in the politics of the 1980’s, DarkKnight is an essential read, and could easily support classroom discussionof the Cold War.Mori, Kaoru. Emma. CMX, 2006-2009. 10 volumes.Meticulously researched and beautifully rendered, Emma is a beloved, award-winning mangaseries that was adapted into an acclaimed anime. In Victorian-era England, a young girl isrescued from a life of destitution and raised to become a proper British maid. Emma meetsWilliam, the eldest son of a wealthy family, and immediately falls in love with him. Williamshares her feelings, but the strict rules of their society prevent their relationship from evercoming out in the open. Traditional class distinctions and rich, historical details provide thebackdrop for this appealing romance. Rated T+ for “suggestive situations.” O’Malley, Bryan Lee. Scott Pilgrim. Oni Press, 2004 – 2010. 6 volumes. Scott Pilgrim, is a 23-year-old Canadian slacker musician who dumps his underage girlfriend so he can date a recent American transplant named Ramona Flowers. He soon finds out he must battle and defeat seven of Ramona’s evil exes in order to truly date her. Space portals, super powers and extra life all come into play in this 6 volume series, which starts with Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life (2004, 168p., 9781932664089). 18
  19. 19. Oda, Eiichiro. One Piece. VIZ Media, 1997 - present. 62 volumes, ongoing.A new shonen sensation in Japan, this series features Monkey D. Luffy, whose main ambition isto become a pirate. Eating the Gum-Gum Fruit gives him strange powers but also invokes thefruits curse: anybody who consumes it can never learn to swim. Nevertheless, Monkey and hiscrewmate Roronoa Zoro, master of the three-sword fighting style, sail the Seven Seas ofswashbuckling adventure in search of the elusive treasure "One Piece."Ohba, Tsugumi (auth.) and Obata, Takeshi (illus.). Death Note. VIZ Media, 2005 - 2007. 12 volumes.High school student Light Yagami discovers a supernatural notebook, the "Death Note",dropped on Earth by a shinigami (a god of death) named Ryuk. The Death Note grants its userthe ability to kill anyone whose name and face they know, by writing the name in the notebookwhile picturing their face. The series centers around Lights attempt to create and rule a world"cleansed of evil" using the notebook, and the efforts of an eccentric teen detective known as Lto stop him. Sure to challenge readers with its ethical quandaries, this series is available asindividual manga (Vol. 1, 200p. 9781421501680) or in oversized 2-in-1 “Black Editions” (Vol. 1,400p., 9781421539645).Otomo, Katuhiro. Akira. Dark Horse Comics, 2009 - 2011 (orig. 2000 - 2002). 6volumes.Post-apocalyptic neo-Tokyo is built on the remains of what once wasTokyo. Resident delinquents Tetsuo and Kaneda are two friendswhose lives of skipping school and minor crimes are changed foreverwhen a chance meeting with a psychic child awakens similar powersin Tetsuo. With the help of some new friends Kaneda unravels asecret military plot involving incredibly strong psychic children,including one named Akira who was responsible for destroyingTokyo. Now it is a race against time as international military forcesassess the situation off-shore and Kaneda’s underground rebels try to prevent worldwidedevastation as Tetsuo becomes stronger and more deranged. 19
  20. 20. Pak, Greg (auth.) and Carlo Pagulayan (illus.). Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk.Marvel Comics, 2008. 416p. 9780785120124.After being deemed too great a threat to Earth, Hulk is shot into space andlands on an alien planet where he must compete in barbaric gladiatorialcombat. If you want Hulk smashing, this is the book for you! The most populargraphic novel at Berkeley Public Library by a wide margin.Pak, Greg (auth.) and Carmine Di Giandomenico (illus.). X-Men: Magneto Testament. MarvelComics, 2009. 152p. 9780785126409.In 1935, the future X-Men villain is a teenage boy fighting for survival in Nazi Germany. Amutant origin story that mixes in historical details of the Holocaust and concentration campresistance movements, this harrowing book would be a good supplement for reluctant readersstudying World War Two.Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. Pantheon Press, 1986-1991. 2volumes.In this Pulitzer Prize-winner, Spiegelman famously recounts hisfather’s experience as a holocaust survivor by presenting the horrorof World War II and Hitler’s Final Solution in a world where theJews are mice and the Germans are cats. My Father Bleeds History(1986, 160p., 9780394747231) covers his father’s life during asHitler invades Poland and the war begins in earnest, while And HereMy Troubles Began (1991, 144p., 9780679729778) focuses on hisexperience surviving Auschwitz. Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. Pantheon, 2004-2005. 2 volumes. This memoir about growing up under the Islamic Revolution, depicts teenage angst set against political upheaval. Wise, funny and heart breaking with bold illustrations that are powerfully understated in The Story of a Childhood (2004, 160p., 9780375714573). The Story of a Return (2005, 192p., 9780375714665) describes Satrapi’s homecoming after several years abroad in Europe. 20
  21. 21. Seagle, Steven T. It’s a Bird. Vertigo. 2005. 136p. 9781401203115.In this semi-autobiographical memoir, a fictional version of Seagle isoffered a job most comic writers dream of: Superman. However, Seaglehas reservations about the gig. Alienated from his loved ones and tryingto track down his father who has recently vanished, Seagle grappleswith the symbolism of Superman, confronting buried family secrets inthe process. Takaya, Natsuki. Fruits Basket. Tokyopop, 2004 - 2009. 23 volumes. Since her mother died in a car accident, high school student Tohru Honda has been living in a tent and supporting herself. One day, she discovers a large house inhabited by the mysterious Sohma family. The Sohmas have a strange secret: when hugged by members of the opposite sex, they turn into their Chinese Zodiac animal! They let her live with them, and in turn Tohru sets out to break the curse, meeting each of the vengeful zodiac spirits and changing the Sohmas’ lives forever. Available as softcover manga (Vol. 1, 2004, 216p. 9781591826039) or in hardcover 3-in-1 “Ultimate Editions (Vol. 1, 2010, 434p., 9781427806895). Sadly Tokyopop has recentlygone out of business, leaving this seminal series unavailable for the time being.Talbot, Bryan. The Tale of One Bad Rat. Dark Horse, 2010 (orig.1994). 136p.9781595824936.After suffering devastating sexual abuse at the hands of her father, HelenPotter runs away from home and retreats into fantasy as she begs her wayacross England. She eventually finds herself at a rural inn with a historicalconnection to her namesake, Beatrix Potter. Finally blessed with peace andstability, she begins the slow path toward acceptance and healing. Abeautiful book that presents its difficult subject matter in an accessible and sensitive way.Thompson, Craig. Blankets. Top Shelf Productions, 2011 (orig. 2004). 592p. 9781603090964.Over the course of a snow-swept Midwest winter, a teenage boy falls in love, strugglingbetween his desire and his faith. Blankets is semi-autobiographical, brilliantly realized, andgorgeously drawn. There are a couple pages of nudity, so librarians will want to use theirjudgment. 21
  22. 22. Urasawa, Naoki. Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka. Viz Media, 2009 - 2010. 8 volumes.A modern manga master re-imagines a classic Astro Boy story as sci-fi noirin the spirit of Blade Runner. When the world’s most famous and powerfulrobots start being destroyed one by one, Detective Gesicht is put on thecase. But he had better solve the mystery quickly, because he himself isone of the robots on the hit-list! Classic science fiction themes areexplored in a stunningly realized futuristic setting. Wood, Brian (auth.) and Becky Cloonan (illus.). Demo. DC/Vertigo. 2009 - 2011. 2 volumes. Standalone vignettes about teenagers grappling with developing strange abilities. However, these are not superheroes; just normal and believable people making decisions about how to live their lives. Somewhat melancholy and angsty, but beautiful nonetheless. Vol. 1. 2009. 352p. 9781401216214. Vol. 2. 2011. 160p. 9781401229955.Wood, Brian (auth.) and Ryan Kelly (illus.). Local. Oni Press, 2008. 384p. 9781934964002.A young woman criss-crosses the country over the course of her twenties on a personal journeyto discover where she belongs. Each chapter is a standalone story that takes place in a differentcity that artist Kelly blesses with a palpable sense-of-place.Zubkavich, Jim. Skullkickers: 1000 Opas and a Dead Body. Image Comics, 2011. 144p.9781607063667.Two nameless mercenaries are mashing monsters and making a name for themselves. This fun,fantasy comic has lots of action and humor, with compelling lead characters. This editioncollects Skullkickers #1-5 and the short stories from Popgun Volumes 2 & 3. 22
  23. 23. OLDER TEEN/ADULTAaron, Jason (auth) and R.M. Guera (illus). Scalped. Vertigo. 2007-present. 8 volumes, ongoing.As a teen, Dashiell Bad Horse ran away from his home on an impoverishedLakota Indian reservation. Now it’s fifteen years later and he hasreluctantly returned... as an undercover FBI agent tasked with taking downthe tribe’s crooked chief! This sprawling, hard-hitting noir boasts exquisitecharacterizations and reveals more layers with each volume.Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. Mariner Books, 2006. 232p. 9780618871711.This beautiful memoir explores the author’s strained relationship with her eccentric father, andthe parallels between his repressed homosexuality and her own identity as a lesbian. Bechdel’scartoony characters belie the painstaking detail she puts into the the environments andartifacts of her childhood, as well as the sophistication and emotional depth of this work. ATime Magazine “Book of the Year.” Brubaker, Ed (auth.) and Sean Phillips (illus.). Criminal. Icon. 2007 - present. 6 volumes, ongoing. A series of loosely-connected crime stories which aim at translating noir genre cliches to a realistic world. The first volume – Coward (2007, 128p., 9780785124399) – is a standout, as is the recent Last of the Innocent (2011, 112p., 9780785158295) in which a man plotting to murder his wife reminisces on his high school years in a twisted spin on Archie.Carey, Mike (auth.) and Peter Gross (illus.). The Unwritten. DC/Vertigo, 2009 - present. 4 volumes, ongoing.Tom Taylor lives his life as a reluctant minor celebrity since his father, whohas been missing for more than a decade, used him as the basis for the boymagician hero in the globally beloved series of Tommy Taylor novels. ButTom is about to learn that there may be more to truth to the books thanhe’d ever dreamed when he runs afoul of a sinister group who controls theworld through the power of stories. A thrilling riff on Harry Potter, full ofmagic, packed with literary references, and bristling with sharp critique. 23
  24. 24. Contains graphic violence and language that unfortunately might keep it out of some highschool libraries. Doxiadis, Apostolos (auth.), Papdimitriou, Christos H. (auth.), Papasatos, Alecos (illus.) and Di Donna, Annie (illus.). Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth. Bloomsbury, 2009. 352 p. 9781596914520. A remarkable mixture of mathematics and philosophy in comic book form, this novel explores the quest for a rational foundation to mathematics and logic, particularly in times of great uncertainty. The hero is philosopher Bertrand Russel, speaking before an audience of Americans immediately after the Nazis invade Poland and features flashbacks to his life and struggles, particularly his lifelong fear of mental illness, while an inventive parallel storyline about the authors of Logicomix as they develop the book adds dimension and perspective.Ellis, Warren (auth.) and Darrick Robertson (illus.). Transmetropolitan. DC/Vertigo, 2009 - 2011 (orig. 1997 - 2002). 10 volumes.Spider Jerusalem is a gonzo journalist in a futuristic science fiction city, viciously attacking thehypocrisy and corruption in the world around him, and making no shortage of enemies alongthe way! Crass, dark, and full of over-the-top humor, this classic series also levies sharp societalcritique and will appeal to people who always thought Hunter S. Thompson should have lived inthe future. Starts with Back on the Street (2009, 144p., 9781401220846).Gaiman, Neil (auth.) and various illustrators. The Sandman. DC/Vertigo, 1991-1997. 10 volumes.One of the most highly acclaimed comic book series of all time, TheSandman tells the tale of the Morpheus the King of Dreams who, afterdecades of imprisonment by a greedy sorcerer, must rebuild hiskingdom and regain his power. Author Neil Gaiman is a masterfulstoryteller, with a remarkable ability to tie numerous mythic andreligious traditions from around the world into his tale. Begins withPreludes and Nocturnes (1993, 240p, 9781563890116). Dream Country(1991, 160p, 9781563890161) and Fables and Reflections (1994, 264p,9781563891052) are comprised of standalone shorts. 24
  25. 25. Hill, Joe (auth.) and Gabriel Rodriguez (illus.). Locke and Key. IDW, 2008-present. 4 volumes, ongoing.After the murder of their father, the 3 Locke kids and their mother move from San Francisco toLovecraft, Massachusetts, and take up residence in Keyhouse, the family manor where theirfather grew up. There the kids discover a set of keys, each of which unlocks a door that bestowsa strange ability. However, they don’t realize that an evil spirit is also looking for a certain key -The Omega Key - which will unleash the forces of darkness. This spirit has already infiltratedtheir lives, and nothing will stand in its way. The series, written by Stephen King’s son, boasts abrilliantly-developed supernatural world and unrelenting suspense. Starts with Welcome toLovecraft (2008, 152p., 9781600102370).Ito, Junji. Uzumaki: Spiral Into Horror. Viz Media, 2007 - 2008. 3 volumes.A surreal and disturbing horror manga about a town beset by a mysterious force that manifestsitself through spirals, driving its citizens into madness. Vol. 1. 2007. 208p. 9781421513898. Vol. 2. 2007. 208p. 9781421513904. Vol. 3. 2008. 264p. 9781421513911.Kirkman, Robert (auth.), Charlie Adlard (illus.) and TonyMoore. The Walking Dead. Image Comics, 2006-present. 15volumes, ongoing.A harrowing, character-driven story of zombie apocalypse,notable for starting well after the rise of the zombie plague toshow how – or if – humanity survives in the long run. Anacclaimed series in its own right, it is also the inspiration for anexcellent television show on AMC. Available as 6-issue tradepaperbacks (start with Days Gone Bye, 2006, 144p.,9781582406725), 2-in-1 Hardcover editions (Vol. 1, 2010,304p., 9781582406190) or massive Compendium editions (Vol.1, 2009, 1044p, 9781607060765). It should come as no surprisethat this series is incredibly violent. 25
  26. 26. Layman, John (auth.) and Rob Guillroy (illus.). Chew. Image Comics, 2009 – present. 5 volumes, ongoing.FDA Agent Tony Chu is a “cibopath,” meaning that he gets psychic impressions off of anythinghe eats, whether that’s black-market chicken, a clue from a crime scene, or even a nibble ofcorpse! This wild tale blends the mob, aliens, vampires, and more with a generous dash ofoffbeat humor. The series starts with Taster’s Choice (2009, 128p., 9781607061595).Moore, Alan (auth.) and Dave Gibbons (illus.). Watchmen. DC Comics, 1995.408p. 9780930289232.In an alternate-reality version of the 1980’s where superheroes changed thecourse of American politics and were later outlawed, the murder of a formerhero exposes a conspiracy that could mean the end of the world! A masterpieceof the comics form, an insightful piece of psychological exploration, and aharrowing adventure story.Otsuka, Eiji (auth.) and Housui Yamazaki. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Dark Horse Comics, 2006-present. 12 volumes,ongoing.Five Buddhist university students help the recently dead find peace and move on to their nextreincarnation in this manga series which rides a fine line between horror and humor withconsistently entertaining results. Contains lots of nudity and gore but maintains a surprisinglylight tone, even as it is very darkly funny. Japanophiles will find lots of interesting informationabout Buddhism and Japanese funerary customs. Ottaviani, Jim (auth.) and Leland Myrick (illus.). Feynman. First Second, 2011. 272p. 9781596432598. This biography just scratches the surface of the fascinating life and ideas of of physicist Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate who was equally comfortable at strip clubs and CERN. This book will be most appreciated by readers who already have a basic grasp on theories of particle physics, 20th century history, and an awareness of Feynman’s reputation. Like its subject, this graphic biography is erudite, amusing and occasionally inappropriate. 26
  27. 27. Tomine, Adrian. Shortcomings. Drawn and Quarterly, 2009. 104p. 9781897299753.Three drifting Asian-American young adults negotiate identity politics and romance in modern-day Berkeley and New York City. Tomine’s line-work and sense of timing is impeccable, whilehis characters and dialogue are all too real. Vaughn, Brian K. (auth) and Tony Harris (illus). Ex Machina. WildStorm. 2005-2010. 10 volumes. New York City’s first superhero is now its mayor! Mitchell Hundred wrestles with his heroic past and his political future, all while trying to unravel the mystery of his powers before his prophetic dreams become an apocalyptic reality. Tackling issues like free speech, legalized marijuana, and gay marriage head on, this is a terrific mash-up of science fiction and politics.Yazawa, Ai. Nana. VIZ Media, 2005 - 2010. 21 volumes.This is the story of two 20-year-old women who share the same name. Theymeet and, even though they come from completely different backgrounds,become best friends. The series chronicles their friendship and their lives aseach chases their dreams. Enter the world of Nana - which explodes with sex,music, fashion, gossip, and all-night parties - starting with Vol. 1 (2005, 208p.,9781421503783). 27

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