Crossover Graphic Novels September Edition (this ones for teens and adults!)

Now normally when blogging on crossover graphic novels it's youth graphic novels that can be read by any age, this time I'm shaking things up a little bit and talking about teen graphic novels that are so great that adults should be reading them as well! And to further change things up instead of the normal 3 I'm giving you 4 graphic novels that you should be reading, like right now!

The first is Nimona by Noel Stevenson (that's the same person behind the awesome series [b:1469356|Lumberjanes that I blogged about a while ago). I could write an entire blog post on why you should read Nimona , but then I wouldn't get to tell you about the other great graphic novels, so I'm going to give you the quick lowdown on everything you need to know about Nimona. Nimona is a shapeshifting girl who decides that she wants to work for this awesome evil villain Lord Blackheart (don't worry his heart isn't as black as he would have you believe). They take on the forces of "the Institution" the totalitarian regime that is seriously up to no good! If you like fantasy, sci fi, awesome strong female characters or sharks you should be already reading this now!

The second is Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?. Don't worry this story is not really about trying to pick up girls in a dungeon but rather its about a boy who is the only member of the family of a goddess, that's right all of the ancient gods are in this world and have families of adventurers working for them, who is trying to be a hero, the kind that he used to read about as a kid and sometimes that means hard work and almost being eaten by a Minotaur. This is another book that's great if you like fantasy books, or if you like RPG's (role playing games) or if you want to know the answer to the question Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?

The third is This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. This book has one multiple awards (including an Eisner!!) but if the awards aren't enough to get you to want to read it, and you want to know something like what it's about and why you should read it, I guess I'll oblige! This graphic novel is about two girls on the cusp between adolescence and young adulthood and they find themselves at the same beach for the summer. The artwork alone is breathtaking and worth admiring but paired with the language of the book it's a truly remarkable book. It captures a very particular time in a young woman's life excellently and also brings in so many of the pressures that they go through. If you are a teen and want something to read, you should read this, if you appreciate great art, read this, if you have long since passed from young adulthood into full blown adulthood you should read this, it's not full of so many of the cliches that you find in many "coming of age" stories.

The fourth and final book is SuperMutant Magic Academy is not a traditional graphic novel, instead it is a series of one or two shot comics set in the wonderful world where people with extraordinary abilities go to school. This book is very humorous and almost every page will give you something to be entertained by. The comic originated as a webcomic before being bound into a volume and you really get the feel of that when you read it. It's not the most polished or prettiest graphic novel on the shelf but it's one that will keep you reading.

Zombies and Samurais....sort of

Rot and Ruin: Warrior Smart is a collection of the first five comics of the series Rot and Ruin, based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Maberry. The story is a post-apocalyptic zombie thriller, and deals with the survivors of the zombie outbreak that happened prior to the start of the series.

The comics follow Benny Imura, a 15 year old boy, as well as his girlfriend Nix, his friend Chong, and a semi-feral girl named Lilah. One night, Benny and Nix see a jet fly overhead, something unseen since the outbreak started. So Benny and his friends decide to set out and find this jet, thinking that whoever built it must be working on putting the world back together. Having been trained by Benny's brother Tom in the ways of the samurai and sword fighting, the group prepares themselves to set foot outside their walled city and into the land of rot and ruin. While zombies are the first thing they encounter, the walking dead may not be the most terrifying thing beyond the city walls. On the run, the group comes across a farmstead village, protected from the zombies. Everything seems peaceful, and the people are happy and value hard work and children above all else. But not everything is as nice as it seems.

If you like Rot and Ruin, be sure to check out the novel series here, or any other of Jonathan Maberry's books.

Maus is a must read!

Maus by Art Spiegelman is one of those graphic novels that has a history. Not just within the page but the actual book itself. When the book came out it was hailed as one of the comics that everyone must read, and not much has changed in the almost 25 years that has past sinces its publication. Yet with so much positive hype about it's a hard book to pin down on just what it is. Is it a historical graphic novel, a fable, a graphic memoir or is it something that mixes all of these different genres together? This graphic novel will leave you with questions!

So what exacltly is Maus?
Maus is a story about being a Jew during the Second World War. It frames the experiences of of Jews in the war in an anthropomorphic (animals having human form) way. The mice in Maus are Jews and the Cats are Nazi's.
This book won a Pulitzer prize (one of the only graphic novels to do this!) and is just as popular now as it was when it was first published. If you're interested in graphic memoirs, anthropomorphic dramas, or the history of the Second World War you shoud read Maus.

Barakamon- the best Manga about a calligrapher you'll ever read!

Seishuu Handa is handsome, young and also a master calligrapher. However he is also hotheaded when it comes to insults to his work. When he punches the director of a local gallery for calling his work unoriginal he is sent to a remote rural village to overcome his flaws. This is a great slice of life manga that was adapted into an anime in 2014.

One of the great things about this manga is the way that it was translated. Often you can miss the feel of the original Japanese because of the translations but in Barakamon the "sound effects" are in the original Japanese with a translation under them. This leads to getting a better feeling for what the original intent was based on the location of the words. It's a very different way to translate and one that I really appreciated.

Crossover Graphic Novels good for young and old -August edition

There's nothing quite like sitting down with a good graphic novel. The mix of art and word can create a unique experience and there is nothing better than being able to share that experience with others. There are some graphic novels that are so great that it doesn't matter how old you are you can enjoy them. Here's this months crossover (good for all ages) graphic novels.
Mouse Guard is a story of the Mouse Guard of a world filled with sentient creatures, creatures who think like we do! It follows the exciting adventures of these protectors. If you loved the Redwall series you will love this series and if you love the idea of mice fighting weasels and otters and all manner of other creatures this is the series for you.

Darkwing Duck I loved Ducktales growing up and when they made Darkwing Duck into a comic they really brought the two series closer together. If you love daring adventures and mysteries with a masked crusader then Darkwing Duck is for you. If you loved Ducktales then Darkwing Duck is for you. If you just like ducks, then I'm sure this series has something to offer you

Amulet is huge, and gaining popularity (it's even currently optioned for being made into a film!!) but this graphic novel series is not just for children. The story has some serious depth to it and the art is beautiful. There is more than enough in this series to keep anyone interested for every volume that is out (and all the ones that will be released!)

Stay tuned for more awesome graphic novels and books in the AADL blog!

AADL Japanese Manga Collection!!!- That's right you can read them in their original language here at AADL!

Have you ever read a manga in English and thought to yourself, I wish I could read this in the original Japanese? Well you can on a large amount of manga through your local AADL branch! You can search the entire Japanese manga collection or if you want here's some of the more popular manga the library has in Japanese (I'm using the English titles when they are listed)

Bleach is a story about Ichigo Kurosaki who obtains the power of the Soul Reapers. Ichigo then is forced to take on the duties of guarding humans from evil spirits.

Attack on Titan follows Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and their friend Armin Arlert after the wall that has been protecting their city is breached by giant 60ft tall titans who are the enemies of humans. (Note this manga is pretty graphic in its depictions)

Naruto follows young ninja Naruto Uzumaki who yearns to be the Hokage (the ninja who is leader and strongest of all).

Inu Yasha follows Kagome Higurashi a 15 year old girl from Tokyo who gets transported to the Sengoku period after falling down a well. There she meets Inuyasha a half-demon and accidentally shatters a sacred jewel.

One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a man whose body has the properties of rubber, and his crew of pirates.

Fullmetal Alchemist follows two brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who are trying to find a philosopher's stone to restore their bodies after an alchemical accident.

Fruits Basket follows the story of Tohru Honda, a young orphan, who discovers a family who are possesed by the animals of the chinese zodiac when they are weak, stressed, or embraced by someone of the opposite sex.

What goes bump in the nights gets smacked by the hand- Thomas Alsop Volume 1: The Hand of the Island.

What would you do if you were "the Hand of Manhattan" a man with psychic abilities and charged with the responsibility for looking after an entire island from the evils that lurk in the dark. Thomas Alsop becomes an internet and reality TV sensation. This story is John Constantine meets Jersey Shore (maybe more like American Ninja Warrior). This volume will introduce you to "The Hand" and show just how dangerous his life is. Not only does he have to deal with the day to day saving the world (or at least a small part of it) he has a publicist and a TV studio to handle.

This is a gritty story of a modern day warlock with modern day problems and it intense at times. The artwork is superb and really reflects the underlying nature of the world that Thomas lives in.

So check out Thomas Alsop!

Have you wanted to read Proust but were intimidated by Proust? Well here's your chance for a novel introduction to one of his classics.

In Search of Lost Time is arguably one of Proust's greatest novels. Split into 7 volumes it encompasses themes such as memory and the nature of art. The first volume of this great work is Swann's Way and if you want to jump right into the novel go ahead, but if you, like me, have been intimidated by Proust's work then perhaps the new graphic novel of In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way is the way to go.

The artwork is beautiful and at times breathtaking, especially the artists great grasp of the importance of background in graphic novels. It is not a perfect adaptation but it is one worth your time. If you have ever wanted to tackle a work by Proust then here is a perfect chance. If you've never heard of Proust, here's your chance to get to know his works in a manageable manner.

If after reading this you want to read some of Proust's other work check these out

2015 Eisner Award Winners!!!!!

This past weekend the 27th Eisner Awards were handed out, and it was quite a year with lots of artists and works getting multiple wins!

Lumberjanes (which if you've been following the blogs got a mention on here a few weeks ago) took home 2 awards; Best New Series and Best Publication for Teens (13-17)

Saga took home 2 awards as well; Best Continuing Series and Best Penciler/Inker for Fiona Staples

Little Nemo took home 4 awards. 1 for the Complete Little Nemo; Best Archival Collection/ Project. 1 for Little Nemo Return to Slumberland; Best Limited Series. 2 for the collection Little Nemo Dream Another Dream.

The Zoo Box won Best Publication for Early Readers up to 7 years.

Hip Hop Family Tree vol 2 won Best Reality-Based work.

This One Summer won Best Graphic Album- New.

Through the Woods won Best Graphic Album- Reprint

Blacksad: Amarillo won Best US Edition of International Material

Showa: A History of Japan 1939-1944 and Showa: A History of Japan 1944-1953 won Best US Edition of International Material- Asian

Gene Luen Yang won Best Writer

Crossover Graphic Novels: Great for multiple ages!

There is something to be said for a good graphic novel that appeals to more than just its target age range. It takes a combination of great artwork and great story to make a graphic novel rise out of the ranks of its fellow titles and stand the test, if not of time then at least of readability. The following are titles that are great, not just if you happen to be the "right" age but also if you don't fit into that particular age range.

Bone by Jeff Smith is a great (and somewhat epic) tale about 3 characters who have been cast out of their home of Boneville. The story starts with Phoney Bone, Fone Bone and Smiley Bone stuck in a desert, unsure of where to go next. This is where the adventure gets kicked off. They find themselves lost in a world that they didn't know existed and thrust into an adventure that they probably didn't want. The catalog says it's youth but this series can be enjoyed by anyone of any age!
For ease of finding them I'm listing the books in order here (with links to the catalog of course)

Vol 1 Out From Boneville
Vol 2 The Great Cow Race
Vol 3 Eyes of the Storm
Vol 4 The Dragonslayer
Vol 5 Rock Jaw Master of the Eastern Border
Vol 6 Old Man's Cave
Vol 7 Ghost Circles
Vol 8 Treasure Hunter's
Vol 9 Crown of Horns

The next graphic novel series that is great for young and old alike is based on a hit cartoon network show Adventure Time The stand alone graphic novels and the volumes can (for the most part) be read in any order so jump right in.
For those of you who are not familiar with the show Adventure Time follows Finn and Jake, the last human on Ooo (what earth is renamed after a catastrophic explosion) and his shape-shifting dog Jake. The stories themselves are easy to read and enjoy but that doesn't mean that the overarching story of the series is not interesting. The creators manage to weave a very complex story into the seemingly simple stories. This series is great for young and old alike!

Also as a special non-graphic novel bonus you should check out the super secret (OK not that secret) travel guide to Ooo for under 20 Snails a day Adventure Time Destination Ooo

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