Our guest reader for May is also our guest speaker at CRRL Con. Come listen to Steve's lively talk on making it as an artist in the game industry and as a comic writer on Saturday, May 19, 2:00-3:00 at Howell Branch. Steve will also be signing copies of his books.
Steve Ogden has been a professional artist, animator, and writer for almost 40 years. He’s worked for a variety of game companies, including Cyan (maker of the 1990s hits Myst and Riven) and currently works for Sid Meier’s Firaxis (Civilization, Railroads, and X-COM) just north of Baltimore. He is the creator of several comics: Croaker’s Gorge; the award-winning graphic novel Moon Town; his most recent, Madigan’s Guide to Acting Human; and Magnificatz, which is syndicated through Universal/Andrews & McMeel.
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations to fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
This book takes its place alongside the unnerving, memorable, darkly funny family memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr. It's a father-daughter tale perfectly suited to the graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian house, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned 'fun home,' as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphics, and redemptive. (catalog summary)
If you like Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, check out these similar titles.
Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by Nicole J. Georges
When Nicole Georges was two years old, her family told her that her father was dead. When she was twenty-three, a psychic told her he was alive. Her sister, saddled with guilt, admits that the psychic is right and that the whole family has conspired to keep him a secret. Sent into a tailspin about her identity, Nicole turns to radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger for advice. Calling Dr. Laura tells the story of what happens to you when you are raised in a family of secrets, and what happens to your brain (and heart) when you learn the truth from an unlikely source. (catalog summary)
Awkward, by Svetlana Chmakova, is a graphic novel that delves into the world of middle school and all of the ups and downs that come with it.
For Penelope, who also goes by Peppi, surviving school means following a set of very simple and very straightforward rules. Some of these rules, such as “seek out groups with similar interests and join them,” are not so hard to follow. As an artist, she found her niche within the art club. Some of her rules, particularly “don’t get noticed by the mean kids,” are turning out to be much more difficult to follow—even on the very first day!
Meet Nimona, the girl who desperately wants to be sidekick to the evil villain Sir Ballister Blackheart.
Meet Sir Ballister Blackheart, who really does not want a kid as a sidekick.
After an awkward beginning, settled when Sir Ballister learns of Nimona’s shapeshifting abilities, a team is born!
In Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson, this unlikely duo join forces to take on The Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics. The Agency, whose frontman, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, is the archnemesis of Sir Ballister, is an organization of heroes out to rid the world of evil . . . or are they? When Nimona and Sir Ballister uncover an evil plot led by the Institution, they set out to thwart it. But, will anybody believe that an evil villain and his dubious sidekick could be out to do good?
If you love comics and want to be entertained, you really need to check out Christopher Irving’s (words) and Seth Kushner’s (pictures) Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics. It’s a bright and brilliant introduction to the people who brought stories of brave deeds to American audiences through their work. Here’s a snippet from his sketch on Will Eisner (The Spirit):
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form, and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.You can browse the book matches here.
The Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman, was a 75 issue comic book series that ran from 1989 to 1996 with several spinoffs. The series, published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint, was collected in ten trade paperbacks, four Absolute editions (with a 5th containing associated stories) and two omnibuses. An annotated black and white series is in progress.
The Sandman: Vol. 1, Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
The first volume collecting Neil Gaiman's seminal horror series is available in a new edition featuring the improved production values and coloring from the Absolute Edition. In Preludes & Nocturnes, collecting issues #1-8, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps Death's younger brother Dream instead. After his 70-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Morpheus goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine and, an all-powerful madman. This book also includes the story "The Sound of Her Wings" which introduces the pragmatic, perky Death.
If you like Preludes & Nocturnes, you will enjoy the rest of The Sandman graphic novels:
"I live in Fredericksburg with my wife, and I have a Chihuahua and a Brussels griffon. I play in a rock band called Sequels, and I host a podcast called Comic Cons about anything comic book-related where we review comic book movies. I also host a podcast called Real to Really?!? about movies and music videos from the 80s and 90s."
When Princess Adrienne’s parents lock her in a tower guarded by the fiercest dragon in the kingdom, they expect her to wait patiently for rescue by a handsome prince. But Adrienne would rather be Princeless than helpless . . . and she can save herself, thank you very much.
In The Only Child, a girl leaves home without telling her parents, hoping to visit her grandma. She soon finds herself lost, alone, and afraid in the woods. When she comes across a mighty stag, her fortunes turn as a magical adventure begins.
Like many teens her age, Kamala isn't quite sure who she is or who she wants to be. Like others, she chafes at the boundaries her strict parents set. But most teens are not imbued with superpowers and turned into a replica of the legendary Ms. Marvel overnight. All Kamala Khan wanted to do was sneak out to a party and get back in one piece, but on the way back she is caught in a mysterious fog where a vision of The Avengers (her comic-book heroes!) bestow upon her the powers to fight evil villains—or at first, in her case, a guy trying to rob the neighborhood bodega.