Friday Favorites: Graphic Novels

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites is a post where I incorporate more of what I love into the blog. This includes films, anime, manga, music, you name it. Anything goes.  It will be an opportunity to share some of the things I love and discuss them briefly or in length, depending on my mood 😉

Graphic Novels

After recently discussing Comixology on Twitter with Liis @ Cover to Cover and CJ @ Random Melon Reads, I realized it might be time to share a few of my favorite graphic novels.

As a fan of all forms of sequential art, I often find myself turning to manga and graphic novels when I am looking for a reprieve from my larger books or combating a reading slump. I spent years painting and drawing, and I am a huge fan of illustrations. I love nothing more than cracking open a title to discover an incredible story with artwork to match. It creates an entirely different experience for me that appeals not only to my love of stories, but my affection for animation and art. Today, I am sharing a small list of graphic novel series that meet my expectations on all fronts.

favorites (1)

23200006Low (Series)
By Rick Remender (Writer),
Greg Tocchini (Artist)
Dave McCaig(Colourist)



Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth’s surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun’s scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope. Dive into an aquatic fantasy like none you’ve ever seen before, as writer Rick Remender (Fear AgentUncanny Avengers) and artist Greg Tocchini (Last Days of American Crime) bring you a tale mankind’s final hour in the cold, deathly dark of the sea.


black holeBlack Hole (Omnibus)
By Charles Burns



Suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the out-set that a strange plague has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) — but once you’ve got it, that’s it. There’s no turning back.

As we inhabit the heads of several key characters — some kids who have it, some who don’t, some who are about to get it — what unfolds isn’t the expected battle to fight the plague, or bring heightened awareness to it , or even to treat it. What we become witness to instead is a fascinating and eerie portrait of the nature of high school alienation itself — the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape.

And then the murders start.

As hypnotically beautiful as it is horrifying, Black Holetranscends its genre by deftly exploring a specific American cultural moment in flux and the kids who are caught in it- back when it wasn’t exactly cool to be a hippie anymore, but Bowie was still just a little too weird.

To say nothing of sprouting horns and molting your skin…


The Thief of Always
By Clive Barker
Gabriel Hernandez (Illustrator)



Master of horror Clive Barker’s Thief of Always is a fable appealing to horror and fantasy fans young and old. Now IDW brings you its own lavishly illustrated adaptation of the thrilling tale. Mr. Hood’s Holiday House has stood for a thousand years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles, a blissful round of treats and seasons, where every childhood whim may be satisfied… for a price.


Fables (Series)
By Bill Willingham (Writer)
Lan Medina (Artist)
Steve Leialoha (Artist)
Craig Hamilton (Artist)
James Jean (Cover Artist)



When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

3217221Locke & Key (Series)
By Joe Hill
Gabriel Rodríguez (Artist)



Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all…

Do you read graphic novels? I tend to prefer science fiction and the supernatural with an occasional fantasy title when selecting a GN. I find that for myself, illustration is just as important as the story arc. I struggle to immerse myself in series that fail to provide attractive artwork.

What titles or series would you recommend?

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Danielle ❤

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The Creeps (Deep Dark Fears Collection #2)

33897635The Graphic Novel
The Creeps (Deep Dark Fears Collection #2)
By Fran Krause
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
ISBN13: 9780399579141
Pages: 144
Genre: Graphic Novels/Sequential Arts


A follow-up to the New York Times best-selling Deep Dark Fears: a second volume of comics based on people’s quirky, spooky, hilarious, and terrifying fears.

Illustrator, animator, teacher, and comic artist Fran Krause has touched a collective nerve with his wildly popular web comic series–and subsequent New York Times best-selling book–Deep Dark Fears. Here he brings readers more of the creepy, funny, and idiosyncratic fears they love illustrated in comic form–such as the fear that your pets will tell other animals all your embarrassing secrets, or that someone uses your house while you’re not home–as well as two longer comic short-stories about ghosts.


This review is going to be short and sweet because quite simply this graphic novel is. But that is not to discredit its worth, as I found plenty within the quaintly illustrated pages.

We all know of fear and normally harbor a bit of our own to some degree. I think it is human nature for our anxiety to manifest in odd and sometimes seemingly irrational manners. Mankind is no stranger to that dreaded and creepy emotion that can at times be downright debilitating. Fear is no laughing matter. That is why The Creeps succeeds. Here, the author approaches this darker topic in a light manner that is easy to digest and sheds a bit of humor on an often difficult subject.

Ranging from the socially awkward to the more frightening, this brilliant collection of fears submitted by online readers is a sequel to the New York Times best-selling Deep Dark Fears. While The Creeps is not exactly a scary read, it will manage to hit home for many readers. It helps to remember that even though there is an appreciable amount of humor to be found within the author’s approach and illustrations, many of these seemingly harmless thoughts solicit true anxiety and panic in others.

Screenshot 2017-10-29 at 12.08.15 PM

97 pages offer a series of clever illustrations that allow the reader to comfortably explore the fears of others and possibly their own without feeling weighed down or overwhelmed. As someone who suffers from anxiety at times, I found a tremendous amount of gratification in being able to laugh aloud at a few scenes I knew I was guilty of. There is a certain, awkward comfort tucked within the pages that I believe many will appreciate with incredible ease.

*I would like to thank Blogging for Books and Penguin Random House for this copy. This is my own, unbiased review.

Untitled designEnjoyed with a cup of ginger tea and a splash of lemon.


Learn more about the author here.

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Snowpiercer Vol. 1: The Escape

Manga (1)

Snowpiercer Vol. 1: The Escape
By Jacques Lob
Illustrator: Jean-Marc Rochette
Translator: Virginie Selavy
Publisher: Titan Comics
ISBN13: 9781782761334
Pages: 110
Genre: Graphic Novel/Dystopian


Snowpiercer is the enthralling and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic graphic novel that inspired the critically acclaimed movie starring Chris Evans (Captain America, Fantastic Four). Originally published in French, this marks the first time that Snowpiercer will be available in English.

In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice.  

The surviving community are not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled…

My Thoughts:

This is a unique situation for myself. I have found that elusive case of a film actually superseding a book, or in this instance, a graphic novel. I discovered Snowpiercer on Netflix a few years ago and fell hard. The haunting cinematography and fast paced dystopian plot impressed. It also happens to boast a favorable cast. So I picked up the graphic novel with a pretty high standard in place.

The plot offers a potential that was better executed on-screen and failed to fully come to life within the pages of this first volume. The blurb is pretty definitive and there is no need to explore the concept in-depth. Perhaps the biggest barrier standing between myself and possible love for this post apocalyptic story would be dialog. It  leaned heavily towards dry and flat. There seemed to be a lack of real depth within the story, yet so much was  happening.

The artwork was the one element that actually carried me through to the end. Had it not been for the bold, grey-scale illustrations offering a simplistic yet fitting representation of this bleak and dismal situation, I may have shelved this one. I struggle to imagine this story unfolding in full colour. Even the film was visually drab in the best of ways.


The characters play their part but offer little in terms of interest. Again, I have to blame dialog. I found myself disappointed with the portrayal of women within this container like society, viewed more as sexual objects and contributing little of value. To be fair, that could be the result of the current societal structure in such confined spaces, but I could not get into or support the idea.

While this was certainly not a terrible read, it failed to be an impactful one. I do feel that the GN places more emphasis on the political aspect of the story and manages to convey this successfully which was appreciated. But there were a lot of lack luster moments that struggled to capture just how dire the situation has become. I have read that there are some translation issues that might be at fault, but I honestly cannot offer any insight into the truth of those comments.

The end result for myself was “okay”. I don’t believe I will pick up the second volume right now. This is a series that boasts a fascinating story-line but is moving at a very leisurely rate. If you don’t mind the pacing, perhaps test the waters. For now however, I recommend the film which happens to be a favorite of mine.

Here is a trailer for those of you who might be interested.

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Amazon US  Amazon UK  Book Depository

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