Circulatory systems

August 21, 2008

For no other reason than that I felt like it, here are five graphic novels that I think should be in libraries. (Disclaimer: they probably already are, and I’m not coming anywhere near saying that these are the only five graphic novels that would be essential to a well-rounded library collection, but these are the five that came to mind. Also, I’m focusing primarily on stand-alone books, or books that could stand alone even though subsequent volumes have come out, though I could easily do a similar list on series I think are deserving, and probably will at some point.)

Aya, by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie (Drawn & Quarterly): A funny, vibrant look at life in the Ivory Coast of the late 1970s.

Northwest Passage: The Annotated Collected Edition, by Scott Chantler (Oni Press): It’s a marvelous adventure story, wonderfully drawn and meticulously researched, and this sturdy package has some great extras.

The Rabbi’s Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon): Maybe I should just say that every library should have something by Joann Sfar, but this was my first encounter with his work, so it’s always had a special place in my heart. Also, it stars a largely amoral cat.

Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms, by Fumiyo Kouno (Last Gasp): Simply one of the most beautiful graphic novels I’ve ever read. It’s that weird alchemy of seemingly contradictory elements coming together in unexpectedly wonderful ways.

Treasury of Victorian Murder: The Bloody Benders, by Rick Geary (NBM): Okay, I could have picked any of the books in Geary’s series, but this is the one I read most recently, so it’s the one I love the most at the moment. (I’m fickle.) Seriously, though, if a library has the budget, it should get all of Geary’s smart, gruesome looks at bygone crimes.

So which make your list?