ALL THE FEELS: Graphic Novels and Manga That Made Us Cry
THESE HIT OUR STAFF HARD…
In 1988, Batman readers were asked to vote on the outcome of the current story. Their decision: kill Robin. Jason Todd, impulsive and nothing like his predecessor, ignores his mentor’s warnings when he attempts to take on the Joker by himself and pays the ultimate price. The panels of Robin’s brutal
torture and death are still shocking three decades later and seeing Batman fail to make it in time to save his ward is heartbreaking.
With strong writing by Starlin and striking illustrations, this infamous tale of loss, guilt, and brutality is a defining moment in the Batman mythos and essential reading. RIP Jason Todd.
Garlic and her anthropomorphic plant friends run a magical fruit and vegie patch with Witch Agnes, selling the crops they grow at the cosy community markets on market day. When Agnes confirms a mysterious and possibly scary Vampire might have moved into a nearby castle, a timid Garlic is volunteered to investigate in this feel good vampire hunting adventure.
I adore this super cute, warmly illustrated and pun filled graphic novel which is served with a sprinkle of spooky. An unsure Garlic bulb will win your heart as she is sent to protect her loved ones, ultimately overcoming her fears.
“To Strip the Flesh” sounds like a violent act. In all fairness, to expose a physical part of yourself- let alone your internal body, will always incite some form of anxiety in us. This is the case in the anthology’s first story,
with Chiaki Ogawa – a transgender man bound by his mother’s dying wish
to ‘become a beautiful bride’.
In this anthology, readers are introduced to
nuanced experiences of queerness and the claustrophobic pain of both your soul and tangible self being bound to a conservative society’s- and more intimately – your parents’ expectations. A beautifully rendered story of learning to live life for yourself, despite the ones you love.
Written at the same time as Miracleman and The Saga of the Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta is one of comics legend Alan Moore’s most impressive, prescient and influential achievements. The tale of a mysterious vigilante’s crusade against a totalitarian government set in an all too realistic dystopian future England is beautifully rendered in artist David Lloyd’s stark yet subtle artwork.
Moore’s writing elevates what could have been a simplistic action adventure narrative into a harrowing, fierce and humane exploration of the complex dynamics of power, tolerance, violence, justice, morality and
hope that form the bedrock of any revolutionary movement.
Solanin digs deep into your heart, touching on what it means to grow up, to love, to grieve. I don’t doubt there will be many who read this and will relate to Meiko – riding the pipeline journey of graduating from uni, finding a stable but draining 9-5, questioning if that’s what you envision for the rest of your working life…and maybe you’re waiting for a little push into a different direction.
This story shouts nothing more than ‘make the most of what you have’, even if life is being a little mean to you.
Ducks is an effort to speak the unutterable, to relate the enormity of human experience in the harsh and isolating landscape of the Albertan oil sands.
Burdened with student debt, Beaton takes a job in the toxic environment of a Syncrude oil facility where men outnumber women fifty-to-one. A devastating, humane story in a space of environmental and personal degradation.
Curse of the Chosen is an epic, whose story radiates with innumerable characters who brought me to tears through their courage, cruelty and tragedy. Inspired by the process of choosing a pope, Deacon (or his wicked
creation, the sorceress Niope) locks his cast in a winding castle, and lets them run rampant as they struggle for survival.
I wept for the compromises, misunderstandings and heroics this motley cast must go through to trump the great evil of unchecked power. Not to mention the art! – the scratchy lines vibrate simultaneously with charm and menace.
I started crying spontaneously writing this review.
Silver Surfer by Dan Slott is the only comic to make an emotionless rock like me to cry. It’s a romanticised cosmic adventure paired with the charming chemistry between our unappreciated hero and his newfound companion, an Earth girl named Dawn. Traversing through space, time and beyond; many things they first sight as dangers turn into wonders worth admiring.
It’s a must read series full of fun and whimsy, with visuals only emphasising the quirkiness of the cosmic world and a romance between an unassuming pair of nobodies forging an inseparable bond. If you don’t shed a single tear reading this then I’m afraid you’re colder than I.
A Vietnamese-American boy, Tiên, bonds with his mother through reading fairytales, as she struggles with speaking English. However Tiên struggles to come out to his mother as he doesn’t know the Vietnamese words to articulate his queer identity.
The Magic Fish explores themes of immigration, communication and love, with the most enchanting, pastel illustrations.
Nguyên modifies well-known, beloved stories to reflect his reality as a child of Vietnamese refugees living in modern America. If you cried to Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, you’ll cry to this too.
– Stephie <3
AND THESE TOO…
A young adult detective hero finally grows up, in the first volume of this new hit series from award-winning creators Ed Brubaker (Reckless, PULP, Kill or be Killed) and Marcos Martin (The Private Eye, Daredevil), with brilliant colors by Muntsa Vicente.
Friday Fitzhugh spent her childhood solving crimes and digging up occult secrets with her best friend Lancelot Jones, the smartest boy in the world. But that was the past, now she’s in college, starting a new life on her own. Except when Friday comes home for the holidays, she’s immediately pulled back into Lance’s orbit and finds that something very strange and dangerous is happening in their little New England town…
This is literally the Christmas vacation from Hell and neither of them may survive to see the New Year.
The overly confident Fujino and the shut-in Kyomoto couldn’t be more different, but a love of drawing manga brings these two small-town girls together.
A poignant story of growing up and moving forward that only Tatsuki Fujimoto, the creator of Chainsaw Man, could have crafted.
Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.
Kelsey Wroten’s Cannonball fires the reader straight into the messy life of Caroline Bertram: aspiring writer, queer, art school graduate, near alcoholic, and self proclaimed tortured genius. Wroten tells the story of an artist struggling with the arrival of adulthood and the Sisyphean task of artistic fulfillment. Stunningly drawn in a classic style, with big truths and biting wit, Wroten’s debut graphic novel is Art School Confidential for the Tumblr generation.
Cartoonist Zoe Thorogood records 6 months of her own life as it falls apart in a desperate attempt to put it back together again in the only way she knows how.
It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth is an intimate and metanarrative look into the life of a selfish artist who must create for her own survival.
Goddess of Thunder! When the Odinson is rendered unworthy of lifting Mjolnir, another claims the hammer! Her battles against Frost Giants, Malekith and the Minotaur prove she’s well worthy of the name Thor! But this new hero is secretly Dr. Jane Foster – and each time she transforms, it worsens the cancer that’s killing her!
As the Odinson comes to terms with the loss of his hammer, the new Thor defines her independence when she battles Odin himself! But will she prevail when she’s caught between Roxxon and S.H.I.E.L.D.? Meanwhile, Malekith is waging war across the realms – and Jane must lead a powerful new team to oppose his terrible plans!
The adventure is over but life goes on for an elf mage just beginning to learn what living is all about.
Elf mage Frieren and her courageous fellow adventurers have defeated the Demon King and brought peace to the land. But Frieren will long outlive the rest of her former party. How will she come to understand what life means to the people around her?
Decades after their victory, the funeral of one her friends confronts Frieren with her own near immortality. Frieren sets out to fulfill the last wishes of her comrades and finds herself beginning a new adventure…
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
Two timelines. Second chances. One love.
A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together.
Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love—only to learn the pain of loss.
With interwoven timelines and stunning art, award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden creates an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love.
A moving and darkly humorous family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Alison Bechdel’s gothic drawings. If you liked Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis you’ll love this.
Meet Alison’s father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family’s Victorian home, 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 his male students and the family babysitter. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic, and redemptive.
Interweaving between childhood memories, college life and present day, and through narrative that is equally heartbreaking and fiercely funny, Alison looks back on her complex relationship with her father and finds they had more in common than she ever knew.
OTHER TITLES THAT MADE US CRY (WITH LAUGHTER)!
A collection of comic strips following the adventures of Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes.
The Head Lopper, Norgal, and the nagging severed head of Agatha Blue Witch arrive on the Isle of Barra to find it overrun with beasts; minions of the Sorcerer of the Black Bog. When Queen Abigail hires Norgal and Agatha to slay the Sorcerer, our heroes trek across the island relieving the horrors of their heads – and playing right into the hands of a master manipulator.
It’s that time of the month, and you know what that means…a visit from Aunt Flo–scratch that–Little Miss P! This pink, anthropomorphized period’s not so lean, kinda mean, and a gut-busting, butt-kicking machine! (Just ask Mr. Erection…)
Follow Little Miss P as she traverses time advising, harassing, abusing, and comforting women on her (usually) monthly visits in this uniquely weird and surprisingly touching manga!
Can muscles crush magic?!
In the magic realm, magic is everything—everyone can use it, and one’s skill determines their social status. Deep in the forest, oblivious to the ways of the world, lives Mash. Thanks to his daily training, he’s become a fitness god. When Mash is discovered, he has no choice but to enroll in magic school, where he must beat the competition without revealing his secret—he can’t use magic!
Mash just wants to live in peace with his father in the forest. But the only way he’ll ever be accepted in the magic realm is by attending magic school and becoming a Divine Visionary—an exceptional student revered as one the chosen. But without an ounce of magic to his name, Mash will have to punch his way to the top spot.
Iruma Suzuki has always been eager to please, even at the cost of his well-being. Worst yet, he’s the son of two selfish parents who end up selling him to a demon. Thanks to their totally irresponsible actions, Iruma has found himself living in the Netherworld, where he must live and attend school as the grandson of an older demon.
Luckily, his new, doting grandfather is there to help, but Iruma will have to figure out how to blend in with his demonic classmates or risk getting eaten. All he needs to do is subjugate rival classmates, summon familiars, and do other typical demon things while never revealing that he’s human… Piece of cake, right?
The New York Times bestselling series and basis for the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is now available in a new full-color softcover format! This Compendium Box Set collects all six volumes of the award-winning series in three massive books that might wreak havoc on your bookshelf. But the memories will be worth it!
Laugh as slacker Scott Pilgrim tries and sometimes fails to get his life together and win the heart of the literal girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers! Cry when things look bleak for our heroes! Make a confused face at the countless Canadian references! (Unless you live in Canada already.) The perfect gift for a Scottoholicâ or for anyone discovering the bestselling series for the first time.
Quests! Plots! Evil Plants! Magic and mayhem!
Join a tight-knit squad of animal companions on a wild adventure investigating a sinister botanical conspiracy among the furry nobility. Motivated by rivalries, a strong moral compass, and a lust for adventure, the critters navigate not only perils and dangers of the natural world, but also perils and dangers . . . of the heart! Their journey takes them through haunted dungeons, swamps, and high society balls, and brings them closer together as friends.
In this warmhearted romantic comedy, mistaken identity leads to a blossoming romance between two boys.
Aoki has a crush on Hashimoto, the girl in the seat next to him in class. But he despairs when he borrows her eraser and sees she’s written the name of another boy—Ida—on it. To make matters more confusing, Ida sees Aoki holding that very eraser and thinks Aoki has a crush on him!