Top 5 Wednesday – October 7th, 2015

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five favorite graphic novels. I have been a massive fan of superheroes/super villains, particularly those of Marvel, ever since I was a little kid (I blame my dad!). So, over the years, I have read my fair share of comic books. Graphic novels, on the other hand, I’ve only just begun to read in the last year or so. However, in that short time, I have already read some absolutely stellar ones that have made me very excited to delve further into the world of graphic novels.

As both a writer and an artist, I have a huge appreciation for all aspects of comics and graphic novels and the work that goes into creating a good visual narrative. Here are the top five graphic novels I have read so far that I feel have a fantastic combination of textual and visual story.

  1. The Homeland Directive by Robert Venditti and Mike Huddleston

thehomelanddirective

I haven’t heard a lot about this graphic novel and, going into it, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However, I ended up really loving this story. The synopsis led me to believe that it would be your typical zombie story, but it turned out to be so much more than that. It’s a thriller about biology and government conspiracies, and is full of twists and turns that keep you on your toes until the end. Along with the great plotline, the artwork had a beautiful color scheme and was masterfully drawn, fitting the tone of the story perfectly.

  1. The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

thegiganticbeardthatwasevil

This is another one that I was extremely surprised by. To be honest, I picked it up solely because of the title. And while that is not always the best way to choose something to read, I was not disappointed. It was so weird and unique, and I truly enjoyed it. While it is a very humorous story, there is a more serious and thought-provoking underlying message that I had not expected to get from the novel. Collins’s black and white, cartoon-like art style was very fitting as well. Overall, this ended up being a lovely read.

  1. Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

seconds

I have been working my way through the Scott Pilgrim series, so I’ve read a few of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels, but this one has been my favorite by far. This story was so unique and captivating; it has a great mixture of humor and a deeper, more serious message. I love his art style as well; it’s quirky and colorful and so fun to look at. I secretly dream about being able to write and draw my own comic or graphic novel, and his work just inspires me further.

  1. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

nimona

This is one of my most recent reads and is really more of a tie for first place than second place among my favorites because this graphic novel was absolutely fantastic! It is centered on a notorious super villain and his shape-shifting sidekick, so I knew instantly that this would be right up my alley. The story is hilarious, sad, and heartwarming, and a complete joy to read. On top of that, Stevenson’s colorful and whimsical artwork is spot on and fits the feel of the narrative perfectly. She is another author/artist who has become an inspiration for me in my own work. I very highly recommend checking this story out.

  1. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 11.14.36 PM

Solid and engrossing narrative. Absolutely stunning artwork. This graphic novel series really has it all! I had been hearing people rave about this series for a long time, so I was eager to pick it up, and I ended up loving it even more than I thought I would. The art style is beautiful and complements the strong, well-told storyline. It’s full of vivid characters and each volume leaves you needing more. Volume three is my favorite so far, but every single one is an incredible work of art. If you haven’t given this series a try yet, you definitely need to!

What are your favorite graphic novels? Which ones would you recommend checking out? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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