Best Books 2013: Graphic Novels

2013bbWebGNb Best Books 2013: Graphic Novels

See all of LJ’s 2013 Bests

Bagge, Peter (text & illus.). Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story. Drawn & Quarterly. ISBN 9781770461260. $21.95. BIOG
Margaret Sanger’s crusade for reliable contraception changed the modern world. She established the use of birth control in the United States, founded the organizations that would later form Planned Parenthood, and helped fund research for the Pill. Bagge’s well-sourced, sardonic take on an almost forgotten trailblazer will appeal to teens through adults interested in sociosexual issues and woman leaders. (LJ 11/15/13—MC

Hennessey, Jonathan (text) & Aaron McConnell (illus.). The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation. Morrow. ISBN 9780061969768. pap. $15.99. HIST
The Gettysburg Address may be way shorter than the U.S. Constitution—the subject of Hennessey and McConnell’s earlier, equally outstanding graphic collaboration—but it’s no less meaty. Lincoln’s words evoke a detailed and nuanced analysis of U.S. history, economics, and politics, from the first immigrants to North America to arguments about big vs. small government today. For high schoolers and up. (LJ 7/13)—MC

Lewis, John & Andrew Aydin (text) & Nate Powell (illus.). March. Top Shelf. (March, Bk. 1). ISBN 9781603093002. pap. $14.95. MEMOIR/HIST
As a child in the 1940s, Lewis rode in a hand-me-down school bus on the dirt roads that traversed “colored” communities in the South. As a grown-up, he marched repeatedly against discrimination, eventually becoming a Representative for Georgia’s 5th U.S. Congressional District in 1986. Years later he was a guest of honor at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Powell’s moody ink-wash art is perfect for this heroic three-volume story. (LJ 7/13)—MC

Murphy, Sean (text & illus.). Punk Rock Jesus. Vertigo. ISBN 9781401237684. pap. $16.99. F
The world’s first human clone, with DNA supposedly extracted from the Shroud of Turin, grows up a reality TV star and develops an incendiary message for humanity. Is Chris the Second Coming, an abomination, or just a kid under pressure? Thoughtful, audacious, and brilliant, with a supporting cast as compelling as the hero. (LJ 7/13).—SR

Yang, Gene Luen. 2 vols. Boxers. ISBN 9781596433595. $18.99; Saints. ISBN 9781596436893. $15.99. ea. vol: First Second. boxed set ISBN 9781596439245. $34.99. F
When Western missionaries came to China, their ranks grew to include bandits and exploiters, and angry Chinese called upon their own gods to help them kill the foreigners. In the interwoven lives of teens Vibiana, a Christian convert, and Little Bao, a rebel peasant, we follow both sides of the tragic conflict in Yang’s poignant yet lighthearted magical-realist art. (LJ 9/15/13)—MC

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