As the editor of Panels, I get a lot of book mail. Like a lot. A LOT. Every day, I get a bright shiny new set of packages deposited at my doorstep, and I always tear into them with gusto, even though I really don’t need any more comics. Really. I really really don’t.
And this doesn’t even take into account the comics I pick up from my local comic book shops. Which isn’t an insignificant amount.
What I’m trying to say is that there are many, many, many comics that come into my house, and I am only one small woman, and while I joke that reading is my superpower, there is no way I will ever be able to read all of them. And yet, I still want to try.
I usually have a rule that if a book has sat on my shelf unread for 6 months, it leaves my house; but it’s something I’ve had trouble doing with a lot of comics. I’ve made more exceptions than I should, but I just can’t bring myself to part with these 2015 graphic novels I really want to read.
Curveball by Jeremy Sorese (Nobrow)
First, look at that cover. How can I NOT want to dive into this graphic novel? It’s the story of Avery, a waiter who breaks it off with the guy he’s been seeing for years. It’s a love story, but it’s also science fiction, and just from glancing at various pages in this comic, I can already tell it’s a work of art. I have to be in the mood for a deep dive into a long graphic novel (this clocks in at 420 pages), but I’m moving this now to my “to read very soon shelf” because in writing this blurb, I’ve gotten really excited about Curveball again.
2 Sisters: A Super Spy Graphic Novel by Matt Kindt (Dark Horse)
I recently read the first volume of MIND MGMT by Matt Kindt, and damn. I was really blown away, not just by the intriguing story (LOST fans really need to check out this series) but also by the incredible packaging. If you read mostly Marvel and DC, it’s easy to forget just how subpar those print reading experiences are—cheap, thin paper doesn’t exactly make for the ideal reading experience. But it’s clear that Dark Horse spares no expense with Kindt’s works, and 2 Sisters is just gorgeously put together, as an oversized hardcover. And the story—a spy thriller following two sisters during World War II—just makes me even more eager to read this.
Feathers by Jorge Corona and Jen Hickman (Archaia)
Feathers is another striking hardcover, and the first in a series of six graphic novels, that follows a boy named Poe. Poe lives in the slums of a giant maze, and is covered in black feathers. There’s a great city beyond the walls of the maze, and when a wealthy young girl from the City finds her way into the maze, she and Poe become friends. I’m not sure if this is technically an all-ages graphic novel, but it sounds like a book I’d really want to share with younger readers. (I KNOW, I’d know the answer to this if I actually sat down and read it.)
Trash Market by Tagaro Tsuge (Drawn and Quarterly)
Rather than a single graphic novel, Trash Market is a collection of six short stories from a celebrated Japanese avant garde artist, renowned for his journalistic comics. This collection features stories about the very different people who live in Tokyo’s slums; it’s a blend of fiction and nonfiction, and I’m definitely intrigued and curious to dive into this.
Houses of the Holy by Caitlin Skaalrud (Uncivilized Books)
From what I can tell about Houses of the Holy, it’s a wordless comic, which makes for its own unique reading experience (and this is part of the reason I haven’t gotten to it yet. While you might think “wordless comic = quick read,” I’ve found it’s anything but. In fact, it takes longer to read wordless comics because you have to study every inch of the page to truly absorb and understand the story.) This is a very internal psychological graphic novel—it takes place entirely inside one woman’s head, and chronicles her journey to the center of her psyche.