Originally Published: September 13, 2011 10:01 p.m.
Do you remember reading comic books as a kid? Archie, Little Lulu, Superman, Donald Duck? The comic book has evolved into the graphic novel. Heftier than comic books, which are serial in nature, graphic novels tell complete stories - beginning, middle and end - and are becoming increasingly serious and literary. Filled with action, powerful images and great storytelling in a variety of genres, a well-crafted graphic novel appeals to readers of all ages.
"Malice" by Chris Wooding, 2010. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
"Tall Jake, take me away!" Tall Jake an iconic villain from the popular comic book-within-a comic book "Malice." According to playground legend, if you hold the comic book open and whisper Tall Jake's name six times, he'll come and get you. Seth and Kady think it's just a silly game, but when their missing friend Luke suddenly appears in the next issue of "Malice," they realize the sinister truth. Tweens and teens will enjoy this fast-paced, heart-pounding blend of traditional print and graphic novel.-Jennifer Kendall
"The Manga Bible" by Siku. 2007. Conceptualized by one of Britain's leading comic book creators, this adaptation of the Bible takes readers through principal themes and characters from Genesis to Revelation. Siku's graphic depictions include the story of creation, early history of the Israelites, and the ministry of Christ.-Katy Willis
"Blazing Combat" by Archie Goodwin. 2010. This collection of reprints is a wonderful, nostalgic celebration of the craft of comic book art and storytelling from the glory days of comics. These are gritty and often moving tales brought to life in stark and beautiful black and white. Amazingly enough, when first published by Warren Publishing in 1965, "Blazing Combat" was so controversial it was banned and was out of business after only four issues. The complete issues, at long last, are now bound together.-Russell Miller
"The Sandman: Endless Nights" by Neil Gaiman. 2003. Despair hurts your heart; Dream makes you sigh; Desire makes you fall in love; Death is like bad poetry; Delirium reminds you of Escher on acid; Destruction makes you fear; and Destiny gives you hope. Introducing the Sandman universe,
these stories are a delight to read, although Delight's story was not included. Seven illustrators bring life to each story that perfectly fits the text and the character. Now I must read all the Sandman stories to fall back into a world that I already miss.-Normalene Zeeman
"The Borden Tragedy" by Rick Geary. 1997. This retelling of an infamous double murder in Fall River, Mass., is part of a nine-volume series detailing famous murders from the Victorian era. Geary tells a compelling story, and includes a bibliography and 1892 press clippings for the readers who want even more detail. Geary's distinctive style - clean black lines on a stark white background - lends even more drama to the horror and mystery of the Borden story.-Julie Pavri
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