Graphic Novels/Comics February

Last year, one of my favorite reading months was Graphic Novels/Comics February, the brainchild of Debi. She commented on my State of the TBR post asking if I would forego the TBR during February so I could participate and the answer is: OF COURSE. I wouldn’t miss this month for anything! I loved reading different types of comics/graphic novels the entire month. I’ve been thinking about what I want to put on hold at the library since I don’t think I have any unread comics hanging around the house. Those are read almost as soon as they are purchased!

It’s time to start thinking about my library requests for Graphic Novels/Comics February since they can take a while to come in.

sunny locke key same diff julio

Locke & Key Volumes 2 & 3 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez – I really want to start buying these, but they are so expensive! I don’t think I can justify it on my current budget, so library it is. I remembered sometime in 2013 that I really like ghost stories – even if they really freak me out. I also very much like Joe Hill and the art by Gabriel Rodriguez, so I’ve been meaning to continue this story pretty much since I read Volume 1.

Julio’s Day by Gilbert Hernandez – I read a few year-end best comics list and this was high on the AV Club’s list and the Comics Alliance list. It begins in the year 1900 and ends in 2000, with each page representing one year in Julio’s life.

Same Difference by Derek Kirk Kim – Co-author of The Eternal Smile with Gene Luen Yang, Same Difference is his first comic and one that is considered a classic now 10 years after its publication. 

Sunny by Taiyo Matsumoto – In the epic Comics Alliance article on the best comics in 2013, they give Sunny the superlative “The Best Comic About Actual Human Beings With Actual Human Feelings God Dammit” and that just appealed to me.

super prime saints boxers ncpgw

Prime BabyBoxers, & Saints by Gene Luen Yang – Prime Baby is Gene Luen Yang’s NYT comic strip about Thaddeus and his new baby sister, aliens, and math. Boxers and Saints, a two-volume series about the Boxer Rebellion. I already have a copy of Boxers and I don’t think I’m going to be able to wait until February to read it!

Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe by Tim Leong – I think it was Melissa of The Feminist Texican Reads that made me put Super Graphic on my wishlist right away. I can’t wait to read this!

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Faith Erin Hicks and Prudence Shen – I loved loved loved Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks last February, so I’m very much looking forward to reading this one.

jane matter castle french

A Matter of Life by Jeffery Brown – Well, when NPR compares you to Blankets by Craig Thompson, I sit up and listen.

French Milk by Lucy Knisley – I adored Relish by Lucy Knisley this year and I must read more.

Castle Waiting Vol. 2 by Linda Medley – I was thinking that this list is filled with too many dudes, so I went looking for comics penned by women and then I remembered that the Castle Waiting series exists! I read it so long ago. Remember when I read a comic a week? I should do that again.

Jane, The Fox & Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault – This sounds lovely and it’s also a translation! Just look at that cover. Beautiful.

I happy with this list. There are a lot of favorite authors I’ve been meaning to return to, a couple translations, several writers of color. I wish it were easier to find women on these best-of comics list. It was hard to find a list that included women other than Marjane Satrapi and Alison Bechdel. Obviously those two women are immensely important in comics and they should be on every list, but it was so hard to find new-to-me comics written by women and when I did find them, the library did not have a copy of the book. Once I’ve read my way through my TBR it’s going to be time to seriously think about the books I’d like to have on my shelves permanently and I would like to have a whole section devoted to women in comics. So, what should I buy? I’d love to hear your suggestions for women in comics I MUST be reading!


22 thoughts on “Graphic Novels/Comics February

  1. I have great difficulty in finding graphic novels at my library, so I’m not sure if I will be able to join in. But hopefully I’ll figure something out! Your list looks really REALLY good.

  2. I didn’t even know this moth existed, I might have to take part! I just bought copies of Boxers and Saints and have been dying to get to the Saga series. You should definitely add The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg to your list, it’s absolutely stunning.

  3. Jane, The Fox & Me is beautiful! I haven’t read a graphic novel in ages, but that one is tempting me. And I do want to read the follow up to Castle Waiting, but my library hasn’t bought it yet. I’ll have to suggest it!

    Emiko Superstar immediately came to mind for women in comics, so there’s one for your list. 🙂

    1. Oh and Aya by Marguerite Abouet of course! I think that’s a translation too. And I just read about The Bride’s Tale, which is by the same Japanese woman who wrote the Emma manga series, but it’s set in Central Asia. It has NK Jemisin’s approval, which is enough for me to try it. 🙂 I bet it’s a translation since the author’s Japanese.

    2. I just remembered Hope Larsen! I read one of hers & loved both the story and art. And A Year in Japan, which isn’t really a comic, but is a sketch book travelogue by a Canadian woman.

      Swear I’ll stop bombing you with comments now. :p

  4. I’ve got a bunch of graphic novels to read (inc ‘Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong’), and this looks like it could be just the thing to get me reading them!

  5. I am trying to read off my shelves or I would be going off to the library website now. I know me, though. If I start using the library I won’t read my own books and then I will have an insane TBR next year, too… So, even for one month I must resist. I am a bit behind, which is weird for me when it comes to graphic novels, anyway. I also am rereading Fables, so that’s a big project in itself.

  6. Ooooh, this post just made me squeal with delight! Really, truly–a honest-to-goodness out loud squeal. 🙂 So many comics I’ve never even heard of here! I’m totally sold with that description of Sunny too…hope our library system has it! And every one of the ones you mentioned that I have read, I’ve loved! If your library has it, one you might want to get A Game for Swallows by Zeina Abirached–one of my absolute favorites from last years comics month and by a woman. You know, as much as I hate to wish time away, I just can’t wait for February to arrive! 😀

  7. Yes yes yes!! I’m making a list right now of books I want to see if my library has copies of. I have Ghost World on my shelf and might re-read Fun Home as well. So glad y’all are doing this–I’m looking forward to it.

  8. Dang! Now I’m thinking about participating in this!! For more women writers, you can include the wonderful Lynda Barry and her book, What It Is. Castle Waiting is such a good read. What about Faith Erin Hicks’s Brain Camp? That’s a good read though there are a lot of unanswered questions at the end. 🙂 Happy reading.

  9. I don’t read graphic novels often but do enjoy the ones I do. I second the recommendation for Aya by Marguerite Abouet. And Stitches by David Small is an intense graphic childhood memoir.

    I’m reading Lucy Knisley’s Relish right now and loving it.

  10. I have so many graphic novels on my “want” list because my library barely carries anything! Ugh! I think I may have to buckle and purchase some Locke and Key, Chew, and Saga. And I LOVED Boxers and Saints! I think you will, too!

  11. Hurray for graphic novels! Here are some of my favourite comics by women:

    I second the recommendation for Kaoru Mori, author of EMMA and A BRIDE’S TALE. I wasn’t quite so fond of the latter, but the former is surprisingly addictive once it gets going.

    I also reread ELFQUEST, co-written by Wendy and Richard Pini and drawn by Wendy, last year and felt it held up well. It’s unabashedly fantastical with some science fiction around the edges.

    Ooh! Ooh! Tove Jansson’s Moomin books are well worth checking out. Drawn & Quarterly collected the long-running comic strip into five volumes a few years back.

    I know I’ve told you about AMY UNBOUNDED: BELONDWEG BLOSSOMING by Rachel Hartman before, but it’s worth mentioning again. The comic takes place in the same world as SERAPHINA and has some overlapping characters.

    GIRL GENIUS, cowritten by Kaja and Phil Foglio, is a lot of fun. I’m behind on it, but I enjoyed the volumes I read.

    DRAMACON by Svetlana Chmakova is my baby. I cried so hard the first time I read it. Her Night School books are fun, too, though DRAMACON is much more emotional.

    Parsua Bashi’s NYLON ROAD is a good graphic memoir of life in Iran.

    I liked the first volume of Mi-Kyung Yun’s BRIDE OF THE WATER GOD, but it doesn’t stand alone and I haven’t been able to read any further in the series.

    And of course, you already know about Linda Medley and CASTLE WAITING. 🙂

    i’ve also heard great things about CLAMP’s work (they’re all all-female manga studio out of Japan), but I haven’t read them yet.

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