Favorite Graphic Novels of 2012

As the year winds to a close, it is time to take a look back at some of my favorite reads of 2012. I've already gone through my favorite middle grade books, so today I'll share the graphic novels that made me smile. Maybe you'll even discover a new title or two?

by Nate Cosby, Chris Eliopoulos (Illustrations)
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Archaia Entertainment
ISBN 1936393670 (ISBN13: 9781936393671)

“Justice ain’t got no age” is the perfect tag line for Cow Boy, a new all ages comic about a ten year old boy in the Wild West.

Check out my full review of Cowboy - or just trust me and go grab yourself a copy!

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl
by Ben Hatke (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by First Second
ISBN 1596434473 (ISBN13: 9781596434479)

Love love love Zita! Great science fiction that explores the concepts of heroism and family while keeping a sense of humor that will appeal to all ages.
I reviewed this one in more detail in a Sci Friday post.

Princeless Book One: Save Yourself
by Jeremy Whitley (Goodreads Author), M. Goodwin (Illustrator),
Jung-Ha Kim(Contributor), Dave Dwonch (Contributor)
Paperback, 140 pages
Published May 23rd 2012 by Action Lab
ISBN13 9781450798945

Goodreads Summary: Princeless is the story of Princess Adrienne, one princess who's tired of waiting to be rescued. Join Adrienne, her guardian dragon, Sparky, and their plucky friend Bedelia as they begin their own quest in this one of a kind, action packed, all-ages adventure!
Graphic Novel. Collects issues 1-4 of Princeless.

This book has it all - spunky girl, humor, and lots of allusions to superhero tropes for older audiences. The perfect starter comic, or a ton of fun for a comics veteran. I reviewed the first few issues for Fandom Post. 

Hades: Lord of the Dead
by George O'Connor
Paperback, 80 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by First Second
ISBN 1596434341 (ISBN13: 9781596434349)

I have a new favorite O'Connor, and Hades is it.

Hades is a misunderstood god in the Pantheon. I've always felt sorry for him, since most versions of the tale have poor Hades being stuck with his realm. Who wouldn't be angry and brooding if they were stuck living underground for their entire immortal life? No one loves him. Everyone fears him. O'Connor does a remarkable job with this enigmatic man.

What made it my absolute favorite, though, is his treatment of Persephone. Persephone shines as the overprotected daughter of Demeter who breaks free and transforms into a woman. I adore this story, and O'Connor handled it - and her - just perfectly. This is a must read.

Mal and Chad: Food Fight! 
by Stephen McCranie
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 19th 2012 by Philomel
ISBN 0399256571 (ISBN13: 9780399256578)

An invisibility spray? A portal into the dream world? This kid has some awesome ideas and creative inventions. Sprinkle in a little discussion of the theory of relativity and you have a book that will appeal to fans of science, adventure, and a little mayhem.

More information (and NF pairings for the series) here.http://www.mariaselke.com/2012/10/sci...

Mal and Chad: Belly Flop.  Yes, we got TWO Mal and Chad books this year!
This one is just as good - and has a wonderful message about acceptance along with all the excitement and fun. 

Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 6th 2012 by Philomel
ISBN 039925658X (ISBN13: 9780399256585)

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes
by Kazu Kibuishi (Goodreads Author) (Editor)
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
ISBN 1419700103 (ISBN13: 9781419700101)

Can you have an anthology of comic style stories? Absolutely! This was an amazing compilation from a host of incredible creators. The common thread in all the stories was a mysterious box. The rest? Up to the creativity of each one. I loved using this with my students to show them how a common theme could be woven through diverse stories.

This was an amazing year for graphic novels and comics. I have a few more to suggest, but I'll save them for my young adult post. What did you love this year?


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