Graphic Novel Friday: Best Graphic Novels of July

Wendy.project

At last, summer. The long days and extended sunshine (unless you are in London or Seattle) create a seasonal magic that obscures everyday humdrum with the possibility of the fantastic. See below for four graphic novels that celebrate losing a defined sense of time and place.

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The Wendy Project by Melissa Jane Osborne and Veronica Fish (Super Genius): Big sister Wendy and her two brothers are out for a drive when the unthinkable happens: the car crashes into a lake. Only Wendy and her brother John emerge, but Wendy swears she sees Michael floating toward the sky holding the hand of a familiar-looking fictional character. In her grief, Wendy illustrates her life in a journal, and what begins as a coping mechanism becomes a chronicle of events that quickly blurs reality with J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Artist Veronica Fish deftly maneuvers black and white sketches with beautiful color work, as Wendy drifts through Osborne’s script. Kudos to publisher Super Genius for the design that resembles Wendy’s journal.
 

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Palookaville #23 by Seth (Drawn and Quarterly): Speaking of impressive book packaging, the latest from artist Seth is a hardcover objet d’art, typical of his collaborations with publisher D&Q. This 23rd melancholic installment marks the end of Seth’s long-running (two decades!) Clyde Fans serial. Is this the best place to start? Far from it, but the story is well-worth starting or re-reading to reach this finale. Expect unfulfilled promises, regrets, and Seth’s quietly wrenching storytelling. It also includes a new installment in Seth’s memoir, as well as full-page spreads from a recent art exhibition. This one’s a must.
 

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Vague Tales by Eric Haven (Fantagraphics): Oh yes, I do have a soft spot for short-form weirdness, and Eric Haven’s latest does not disappoint. A man sits in his living room, but his mind is transported to other worlds, populated by a barbarian, a ghoul, and a sorceress, among other fantastic characters. The storytelling is so bizarre that its breezy page count packs in just enough without causing a cranial eruption (although readers can expect that to occur within the pages) when trying to determine if there is a greater meaning to it all. Sometimes it reads like a parody; other times it reads like the greatest glorification of absurd violence. Keep a six-pack on ice when reading.
 

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Shade the Changing Girl Vol. 1: Earth Girl Made Easy by Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone (DC Comics): While we’re on the subject of astral projection to other realms, the latest reimagined DC Comics character is Shade the Changing Man, now a young woman named Loma Shade, who inherits (or, rather, steals) a magical coat that allows her to travel between worlds and personalities. She soon possesses the body and mind of a girl on Earth, Megan, who happens to be incredibly unpopular for all the right reasons—namely, she’s a bully. The mundane and the trippy find an equilibrium in Zarcone’s artwork, who somehow manages to find the charm in Megan vomiting a psychedelic pattern that resembles a rug from the 1960s. This first arc is groovy and spacey in the best ways.
 

--Alex


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Comments (1)

I love graphic books! I have to check out 'The Wendy Project' and 'Shade the Changing Girl' now after reading this post! Thanks for the recommendations :)

Posted by: Pagan | Monday July 31, 2017 at 11:37 PM

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