The Best of 2015: Illustrated/Graphic Novels

Janet

  1. Avatar: The Last Airbender: okay, so all the ATLA comics – The PromiseThe SearchThe Rift, and Smoke and Shadow, Part One, which is all of the newest trilogy that I have managed to get my hands on yet. My favourites are The Search and Smoke and Shadow, so far, but it’s awfully hard to choose between such wonderful, deep, funny, and totally in-character comics – the perfect extension/continuation of the tv show. *gazes beseechingly* Please continue writing these, Gene Luen Yang. For, you know, ever.
  2. Ms. Marvel: No Normal and Ms Marvel: Generation Why. I like Generation Why better, perhaps because of the sharp opening scene and the awesomeness of Kamala’s friends Nakia and Bruno, perhaps because I read it first.
  3. Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy and Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max. I had not expected that particular explanation for WHY all the three-eyed monsters are attacking and generally hanging around the girls of Roanoke cabin, nor had I anticipated that resolution. I like that Jen, their harried cabin leader, becomes a character in her own right and not merely a mother-substitute and authority figure to be avoided and circumvented at all times. Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley are impossibly endearing and such good friends, and each is very much her own person. More, please.
  4. Clarice Bean Spells Trouble by Lauren Child.

Steph

Darn, I put a couple of the Middle Grade list . . . hmmm THERE ARE TOO MANY!

  1. Sidewalk Flowers which is a wordless picturebook illustrated by Sydney Smith who worked with the poet JonArno Lawson (and his poems). This is just such an interested illustrated book and certainly worthy of the awards it has won–oh! And Canadian. 🙂
  2. SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki. Because how can we not love something that Jillian Tamaki has done?
  3. I’m putting Scott McLeod’s Sculptor on here even though I haven’t read it yet (I’m waiting for the library!). This guy wrote the treatise Understanding Comics and is a great illustrator and so, I trust him.
  4. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School by Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud because it’s a very whimsical picturebook about telling stories 🙂
  5. Meet the Dullards by Sarah Pennypacker and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri–I admit, this one is not for everyone (who wants to read about boring people?) it’s in the vein of Lemony Snickett and such. It is hilarious, but only if you can comprehend the stodgey and then sneeze on them.
  6. I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Farrell and Charles Santoso. Because not all stuffed animals are loved, because some stuffed animals are creepy. This is kind of dark, but hilarious too.

 

Nafiza

*cracks knuckles*

  1. Little Robot by Ben Hatke
    I don’t know if I already mentioned this in the picturebook section but this one definitely. All the love.
  2. Lumberjanes vol 1. by Noelle Stevenson et al
    I think Janet linked to Yash’s review who articulates all the things.
  3. Hilo book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winnick
    I really enjoyed this one about an alien friend and saving the world (as one does).
  4. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell
    I don’t know if anyone has reviewed this one but let me tell you that it is excellent and if you haven’t read it, you should. Pronto.
  5. Manabeshima Island Japan – Florent Chavouet
    I’ve recently talked about it’s awesomeness.
  6. Gotham Academy vol. 1 – Becky Cloonan et al
    Olive and Maps is all I say.
  7. Solanin – Inio Asano
    A two volume bind-up of a very excellent coming of age/slice of life manga.
  8. Miss Marvel vol 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson
    She just speaks to me.
  9. The Divine by Asaf Hanuka et al
    The art in this title is just as divine. Ha.
  10. The River by Alessandro Sanna
    This wordless picturebook is full of the most incredible art ever.

Yash

Since everyone covered most of my picks, I am going to do what I’ve been doing so far, and pick just one favourite:

Nimona - Noelle Stevenson

Nimona is the story of a young shapeshifter who snags a position as sidekick to the villainous Lord Ballister Blackheart, setting herself firmly against the Institute of Law Enforcement and Heroics … but as it happens when a shapeshifter is involved, things are not always what they seem. Full of heart and charming characters, Nimona is the kind of book you wish would never have to end.