Habibi

By Craig Thompson

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Pantheon Books, 2011

Genres: General fiction, mythic fiction

Format: Graphic novel

ISBN: 9780375424144

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: 665 (672 includes notes and author description)

Setting: A Middle-eastern desert, an unnamed village, and Wanatolia

Time period: No set time period –seems like the past, present, and future all at once

Plot summary: Dodola adopts Zam when he is three years old and she is thirteen.  Although she is young, she has already been married, witnessed the slaying of her husband, and been kidnapped to be sold into slavery.  She manages to escape from the slavers with Zam and takes him into the desert to raise him.  When Zam turns thirteen, their world is shattered when they become lost to one another.  After years of separation, their love for one another eventually brings them back together. Continue reading

Level Up

By Gene Luen Yang; art by Thien Pham

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: First Second, 2011

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal

Format: Graphic novel

ISBN: 9781596432352

Audience: Adult, young adult

Number of pages: 160

Setting: An unspecified town somewhere in the US.

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Dennis Ouyang is kicked out of college due to his horrible study habits and excessive gaming tendencies, four angels come to his rescue and get him re-enrolled.  They have arrived to help Dennis fulfill his destiny and go to medical school to become a gastroenterologist. Continue reading

The Listener

By David Lester

Place: Publisher & Year: Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2011

Genres: General fiction, historical fiction

Format: Graphic novel

ISBN: 9781894037488

Audience: Adults

Number of pages: 312

Settings: Vancouver, BC, Canada, Lippe, Germany & other locations in Europe

Time periods: Contemporary and 1928-1933

Plot summary: Hitler’s rise to power is described to the main character – a sculptor named Louise – by an elderly German couple she meets while touring Europe.  Louise is travelling in Europe as a means of dealing with the guilt that she feels after a protester fell to his death outside her apartment. The German couple’s story focuses upon the spin doctoring which Hitler performed in the early 1930’s on his way to becoming Germany’s chancellor.  As Louise travels, her background and thoughts about art and politics are described. The two stories are interwoven throughout the book to reveal how Louise is able to work through both her feelings, as well as the history she learned from the couple, to complete her next sculpture. This book has as much to say about the role of art for both individuals and for society as a whole, as it does about the historical past. Continue reading

The Night Bookmobile

By Audrey Niffenegger

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Abrams, 2010

Genres: General fiction, short stories

Format: Graphic novel

Series: The Night Bookmobile is the first installment of a much larger work, The Library, which has its origins in a dream I had as a teenager” (from the first page of “After Words” at the end of the book).

ISBN: 9780810996175

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: Unpaginated

Setting: Chicago, IL

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Alexandra relates her experiences with the Night Bookmobile and how she came to work at The Library. Continue reading

The Walking Dead Book One

By Robert Kirkman – creator, writer, letter, Tony Moore – penciler, inker, gray tones, Charlie Adlard – penciler, inker, Cliff Rathburn – gray tones

Place: Publisher & Year: Berkeley, CA: Image Comics, Inc., 2010

Genre: Horror

Format: Graphic novel

Series: The Walking Dead

ISBN: 9781582406190

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: Unpaginated

Setting: Kentucky, Atlanta, GA and surrounding rural areas

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Small town police officer, Rick Grimes, awakens from a coma to find his world turned upside down.  Before he can even leave the hospital, he encounters his first walking dead person.  As he seeks both safety and his family, he encounters many of the walking dead as well as a few live people. Continue reading

The Exile: an Outlander Graphic Novel

By Diana Gabaldon; illustrated by Hoang Nguyen

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Del Rey, 2010

Genre: Historical fiction, fantasy, adventure, time travel fantasy, historical fantasy, romance

Format: Graphic novel

Series: Outlander Graphic Novels; 1

ISBN: 9780345505385

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: Unpaginated

Setting: Scotland

Time period: 1743

Plot summary: Young Jaime Fraser returns to Scotland after living in exile.  He is met by his godfather, Murtagh, who tries to guide Jaime back to his home – Lallybroch.  Jaime isn’t ready to head home, though.  He’s much more interested in the mysterious Sassenach that Murtagh saved from the English Captain Black Jack Randall. Continue reading

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation

Story by Michael Keller, Art by Nicolle Rager Fuller

Place: Publisher & Year: Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2009

Genre: Non- fiction, science, biography, history

Format: Graphic novel

ISBN: 9781605299488

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 191

Setting: Earth

Time period: 1831 – 2006

Plot summary: This book is a graphic version of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species as well as a biography of Darwin and a history of evolutionary theory.  The book begins with Darwin having returned to England after travelling around the world on H.M.S. Beagle.  It depicts his life while working on his theory of natural selection; it also depicts his theory and the effects of it upon the current scientific understanding of life on Earth. Continue reading