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Greenburgh Public Library Blog

Form and Content: Three Beautiful Graphic Novels

by Antonio Forte on 2019-10-06T13:00:00-04:00 in Graphic Novels, Everyone, Teen | Comments

I recently took a class in graphic novels and comics in libraries, which exposed me to a lot of top notch books rich with beautiful artwork as well as interesting and enlightening stories. Three such books are Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope BagieuThe Hero: Book 1 by David Rubin, and Blacksad by Juan Díaz Canales with art by Juanjo Guarnido.

Cover Art
Brazen is a collection of short biographies of rebel women who dared to defy mainstream thought and convention and basically rock the world. When I initially opened to the table of contents, I didn't immediately recognize many of the names of these rebel ladies which only sparked my curiosity more. The book is brightly colored, beautifully illustrated, and easy to read. It's also packed with information. Some of my favorite stories were Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West), Josephine Baker (which speaks for itself), and Christine Jorgensen (born George Jorgensen of the Bronx, NY). Anyone looking for inspiring stories about strong brave women will find this book enjoyable and informative.

Cover ArtI've always been a big fan of folklore, fairytales, and mythology. Whether they are of African, Greek, or Roman origins it's something I've always been drawn to. When I initially picked up Hero: Book 1, flipped through it, and saw the artwork, I just knew I was gonna like it. The story follows Heracles as he performs his dangerous "labors" assigned to him by his evil and sadistic cousin Eurystheus. The illustrations are richly colored with deep reds, blues, and greens. The different panel layouts can change the reader’s perspectives in action and static sequences giving opportunities to focus on characters' feelings and emotions. This book is easy to read and follow along with. There is also plenty of action which makes this book a fast fun read.

Cover Art
Opening Blacksad, I immediately fell in love with the artwork. It was dark, dank, and gritty which felt very realistic. I felt like I was in the midst of the action and suspense. The characters are an anthropomorphic mix of animals and humans with the right personalities to match their animal characters. The protagonist is John Blacksad, a black cat P.I. with enough street-wise swag and toughness to take on some pretty difficult situations. The characters’ expressive faces, especially the eyes, made it easy to interpret characters’ emotions. Artist Juanjo Guarnido’s characters had a “Disney-esque” quality quality to them but with a much harder edge. Think James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart films mashed up with Disney in a comic book. The engaging detective stories, expressive character illustrations, detailed backgrounds, and coloring make Blacksad difficult to put down. This book is my favorite of the three!

All these titles are available in our catalog and many many more so please give them a look. They are suitable for both Young Adults and Adults alike. As always, parental guidance is suggested. If you check them out, let me know what you think, whether you like'em or not. If you're a fan of comics and graphic novels I always want to hear your feedback and also your recommendations.

For more recommendations or to just talk comics you can ask for me in Teenburgh or one of our many staff members who are comic book fans!

Signing off. See you in Teenburgh! 

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