So Graphic Novels! This has been a more recent love that I acquired as a result of blogging. I didn't read that many this year, but the ones I read for the most part were outstanding. Here are my favorites...I'm quite pleased at how different each of them are from another.
Watchmen - Alan Moore: I read this at the behest of my son, and I thanked him afterward. This is so much more than a comic. It is a mystery, it is layered and complex, it folds in history and politics and made my brain tingle! This is what all "comics" and superhero lore should strive to be.
Blankets - Craig Johnson: I'm a little late to the party on this one. I'd heard so much about it over the years, so I finally ordered it from the library. It is a whole different type of GN than Watchmen. It is a autobiography about Johnson's life, starting with some traumatic incidents in his childhood, a first love he meets at camp as a teen, and his life as a young adult. He struggles with love, loss and religion and is heartfelt.
Palestine - Joe Sacco: This GN was recommended by a whole list of other GN authors as being one of the best. It is different from the other books listed here in that it is gritty, investigative journalism put into illustration. We always hear stories from the Israeli point of view in our media...here is a chance to see things from the other side of the street, from the perspective of the common Palestinian. This book is used in university classrooms, and with good reason. I'll be rereading this one.
Saga - Brian K. Vaughan: I had to give this series special mention. None of the three installments have received more than 4 stars from me, but as a whole, they are a wondrous diversion into fantasy. It is hard to describe the bizarre setup, but Wikipedia states it is a cross between Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and Romeo & Juliet. So there you go, I'm sure that cleared things up! It is a classic story of revenge, warring ethnicities, and forbidden love. The imagery alone is worth your time. Even if none of this sounds the least bit interesting, give it a shot. You may find yourself getting sucked in just like me.