Sunday, July 08, 2007

Graphic Novels to Recommend

I’ve just recently read a couple of exceptional Graphic Novels, and I thought I’d pass them on to my faithful readers.

American Born Chinese
Story and art by Gene Luen Yang
Published by First Second

I remember reading the first part of this when it was serialized at, and I was very impressed with it there, but the addition of color by Lark Pien really takes it to another level. I’m not the only one impressed by the book, it’s been named as a finalist for the prestigious National Book Award in the "Young People's Literature", and an Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Novel.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story. To say it’s about a teen coming to terms with his ethnic identity comes close, but there’s just so much more to it than that. And I love the way a spiritual angle was worked into the story.

Story and art by Marjane Satrapi
Published by Pantheon

It took me a while to get to this one, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. Persepolis is the story (autobiography) of a young girl living in Iran during the late 70s and early 80s. Now, I’m a little older than the author, so what I primarily remember about Iran during that time was the Hostage crisis, and sad to say, I didn’t give much thought to the turmoil going on there. But in Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi gives us an insider’s look of sorts at the political climate in Iran during that period, and it’s an eye-opener. The fact that the story is told from the point of view of the author at that age puts a very unique and touching spin on the story. You can’t help but feel for Marjane as she deals with the revolution in her country.

The Lone and Level Sands
Story by A David Lewis
Art by M P Mann and Jennifer Rodgers

I actually read this one a year or so ago, but I wasn’t blogging then, so I figured I’d bring it up now.

The Lone and Level Sands tells the familiar story of the Exodus as the Hebrews are delivered out of Egypt, but with a twist, This time it’s told from the Pharaoh’s perspective.

This book does an excellent job of giving the reader an idea of what it must have been like to be an Egyptian during the time of the plagues. And while the Pharaoh is a sympathetic character throughout, the book does not shirk the hand of God at work during these events.

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