100 Graphic Nov­els in 100 Days

The Amherst News - - COMMUNITY - @ the li­brary Chantelle Tay­lor is the deputy chief li­brar­ian for the Cum­ber­land Pub­lic Li­braries.

It seemed like a doable goal in De­cem­ber. I had lots of time! I made lists, I placed holds, and I read at my leisure. Now, it’s March 19, lit­tle more than a month un­til my dead­line and only 38 graphic nov­els read and the race is on.

Can I do it? Can I read 62 graphic nov­els by April 26?

I did give my­self a few rules for this chal­lenge. First of all, the graphic nov­els have to be new to me, I’m not count­ing any graphic nov­els I have read in the past.

Sec­ond, I can’t just read a whole se­ries, it has to be 100 in­di­vid­ual graphic nov­els.

Third, I can read dif­fer­ent books by the same au­thor; Alan Moore’s Watch­men, V for Ven­detta, Bat­man: the Killing Joke, From Hell, and The League of Ex­tra­or­di­nary Gentle­men will count as sep­a­rate en­tries.

Fourth, I must read as much of a mix as pos­si­ble. I am read­ing dif­fer­ent age lev­els, dif­fer­ent sub­jects, new ti­tles and older clas­sics, and dif­fer­ent for­mats (i.e.manga, comics etc.).

And fi­nally, I am en­cour­ag­ing my­self to read things I don’t re­ally want to read. Ex­cept The Walk­ing Dead by Robert Kirk­man; no one can con­vince me I need to read The Walk­ing Dead.

Some of the books I have read so far…? Watch­men by Alan Moore. Watch­men was the only graphic novel to ap­pear on Time’s 2005 “All-Time 100 Great­est Nov­els” list. The BBC de­scribed it as «The mo­ment comic books grew up.” Watch­men, Maus, and The Dark Knight Re­turns are con­sid­ered the be­gin­ning of the graphic novel/comic com­ing into the main­stream.

Watch­men is a story about su­per­heroes, but not su­per­heroes as we have come to know them. I was re­ally dread­ing this book. It had a lot go­ing against it. A dystopian/al­ter­nate fu­ture (although it’s set in the 80’s), it’s dark and de­press­ing and I am com­ing to re­al­ize I am not a big fan of read­ing in the su­per­hero genre.

De­spite all this, Watch­men en­gaged me im­me­di­ately and I wanted to keep read­ing, this book is a clas­sic for a rea­son.

The Prince and the Dress­maker by Jen Wang. This is a brand new graphic novel that is get­ting a lot of buzz. It’s the story of Prince Se­bas­tian, who se­cretly loves dress­ing up in women’s cloth­ing.

He meets Frances, a dress­maker with ex­tra­or­di­nary tal­ent, and to­gether they try to help each other ful­fill their dreams. I cried in my of­fice when I read it over my lunch. It is so lovely: the story, the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two main char­ac­ters, and the il­lus­tra­tions. I loved it all!

Bone by Jeff Smith. This is an­other clas­sic. I rec­om­mend it to par­ents all the time for their kids, but had never read it.

When I started this chal­lenge it was one of the first things I pulled off the shelves to read. Bone is the story of the three Bone cousins: Fone, Phoney and Smi­ley who are run out of Boneville af­ter a bizarre money mak­ing scheme goes wrong, then get sep­a­rated and lost in the for­est.

So, I didn’t love this book and I was re­ally an­noyed at the story while I was read­ing it. Yet when I got to the end, I wanted more and I couldn’t quite un­der­stand why. There is hu­mour and a mys­tery, and I will go back for more.

What will I be read­ing in the next 30 days…?

Gi­ant Days by John Al­li­son, Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire, Baby­mouse by Jennifer Holm, ElfQuest by Wendy Pini, Fun Home: A Fam­ily Tragi­comic by Ali­son Bechdel, March by John Robert Lewis, The Wicked and the Di­vine by Kieron Gillen, Pa­per Girls by Brian K Vaughan, Locke and Key by Joe Hill, Ghost World by Daniel Clowes, Marvels by Kurt Busiek, and the list goes on.

To see what graphic nov­els I’m read­ing, fol­low the li­brary on In­sta­gram (cum­ber­land_pl) and check out our web­site at www. cum­ber­land pub­lic li­braries.

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