It’s been raining in Sacramento for the last several days, and we have the COVID-19 quarantine going on. It’s times like this that beg for book lovers to settle in with a hot drink and an exciting new read. If your eyes are begging for something with more than just words, why not give a graphic novel a try? Whether you’re a “traditional” comic book fan, a lover of fantasy worlds, an artist, or even someone who just enjoys a well-written story, this season has some great new ones on offer. Need a recommendation? Check out some of our top picks below.
In these pages you will find fantastic stories told with both words and amazing artwork.
Archaia, 208 pages, $26.99
A chilly winter day just begs for book lovers to settle in with a hot drink and an exciting new read. If your eyes are begging for something with more than just words, why not give a graphic novel a try? Whether you’re a “traditional” comic book fan, a lover of fantasy worlds, an artist, or even someone who just enjoys a well-written story, this season has some great new ones on offer. Need a recommendation? Check out some of our top picks below. In these pages you will find fantastic stories told with both words and amazing artwork.
DC Comics, 224 pages, $24.99
Fans of The Magicians trilogy by acclaimed author Lev Grossman absolutely love the world of magic and secrets that these books introduced them to. Now readers can delight in a new addition to the canon, a graphic novel that offers parts of the story from the perspective of fan-favorite character Alice Quinn. Fantastic artwork by Pius Bak helps really bring to life these selected scenes from the story, and the characters they revolve around, giving readers who may not have seen the television show some amazing visuals. While there is not much added to the actual story readers already know and love, fans will still love this comic.
Monstress has been a highly acclaimed comic book series since its debut, and it is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards in the fields of graphic art. Now readers both new and old can celebrate the first eighteen issues of this amazing series with a gorgeous omnibus-style book; while all of these issues have previously been available as single comics, or in three smaller graphic novels, there’s something inherently satisfying about being able to binge a series like this. Readers will love the art deco-style, steampunk feel of the illustrations, and the fast-paced story will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.
Fantagraphics Books, 332 pages, $29.99
In 17th century Rome, a female painter named Artemisia Gentileschi lived and rose to prominence, despite living in a country and a culture that excelled in keeping women down. Very few people today know her name, outside of art enthusiasts, but Artemisia is getting her story told now in this vivid and breathtaking graphic biography. Author and artist Gina Siciliano gets deep into the details of Artemisia’s life, and many of her most beautiful works of art are reproduced, in a sense, in these pages. This is a story that is sure to remain in readers’ heads long after they’ve finished the book.
First Second, 320 pages, $17.99
Bea has a lot of things to run from, so it’s not surprising that now, finally, she’s on the move. What she wasn’t expecting was to run into Lou. And she definitely wasn’t expecting the amazing journey that this unanticipated encounter would lead to. Together, Bea and Lou explore an increasingly unfamiliar West Texas landscape, befriend a mysterious cat, and try to outrun their own demons. Readers interested in a unique tale of heartbreak, loss, past sexual assault, and, ultimately, human connection will fall in love with this graphic novel written and illustrated by Tillie Walden.
Seventeen-year-old Nancy Drew thought she had left her hometown behind, and has since been trying to embrace the illusion of a perfectly in-control life. But after she garners media attention for solving a crime, it seems like her hometown isn’t done with her quite yet. When Nancy receives a threatening letter, she knows she has to return to the city she left behind. Reunited with her old friends, Nancy, Bess, George, and the Hardy Boys will encounter a dead body and an unsolved case. Can they follow the clues and solve this mystery before the danger catches up with them? Whether readers grew up with classic Nancy Drew mysteries or are completely new to the teenage sleuth, this story is engaging and action-packed, and a true pleasure to read.
Fantagraphics, 232 pages, $29.99
Who was Maria M.? Fans of author Gilbert Hernandez’s previous work will remember her well, but readers of all stripes will be intrigued by this tale of her twisty, turny life. Maria first came to America in search of a better life, like so many immigrants, but instead found herself married to a mob boss and lost in a world of drugs, sex, and violence. This volume collects the tales of Maria (originally published years ago and now out of print), mother of Luba and a fascinating character in her own right. The gritty black and white illustrations perfectly complement the story.