A Year of Reading in Review: Graphic Novel Sound Off

A Year of Reading in Review:


+ Best Books

+ Worst Books

+ Graphic Novel Sound Off

+ Non-Fiction Highlights

+ Yearly Goals - Did I make them?

+ Most Disappointing Books

+ New Favorite Author(s)

+ Promising New Debut Author

+ Disappointing Author - authors whose future books I won't be checking out

+ Hidden Gems - books I didn't think I'd like but did

+ Not All That Glitters Is Gold - Books I thought I'd love but didn't

+ Books I Wanted to Read But Didn't


This year, I've had the pleasure to read a lot of graphic novels.  I honestly never thought I'd get into the medium; for years, I've had the worst luck finding series I liked.  (Of course, sticking only to the Star Wars titles doesn't help - Star Wars is great and all, but just because it has "Star Wars" in the title does NOT mean it's good!)  Not to mention, when you are looking at 70+ years of comics (like with Superman), it's a little challenging to figure out where the hell to start without having to read 30 years of backstory.

This is where Goodreads friends come to the rescue.  You have introduced me to some amazing comics - and for that I'm really grateful!


Without further ado: the best and worst of 2013!



Best Graphic Novels of 2013:


+ Saga Vol. 1 and 2 - My finding these was a complete fluke.  I went to the comic book store to pick up Star Wars comics and the guy gave me the first issue of Saga free.  I eagerly devoured it and then went on a hunt to find the first volume.  This series is SO GOOD, so unique, so much fun.  I can't WAIT for the next installment.


+ Captain Marvel Vol 1: In Pursuit of Flight - Superhero graphic novels seem to focus most on males.  Superman.  Spiderman.  Batman.  Man, man, man.  I'm personally more interested in reading about superhero comics starring females, especially the lesser common ones.  I was so pleasantly surprised at how GOOD this was.  Carol Danvers is my favorite female superhero, possibly favorite superhero PERIOD. 


+ My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Vol 1 - I own a bunch of 80's My Little Ponies, and I honestly didn't think I'd like the new incarnation ("Heresy!  Blasphemy!").  HAH!  The new series is so brilliant and FUNNY!  This carries over well with the comics.  Such a joy to read, even if you are almost 30!


+ Star Wars: Agent of the Empire Vol 2: Hard Targets - As an Empire junkie (and not those stupid, power-hungry idjits that 90% of the novels have, guys who believe in the ideals of the Empire and want the best for their galaxy), I love this series.  I really do.  I love Jahan Cross, I love the James Bond meets Star Wars angle, I love how creative it is.  I don't read a whole lot of Star Wars comics (well, more now than I used to), but this one really stands out from the crowd.


+ Runaways - I've read the first 5 volumes (all by Brian K. Vaughan, who also did Saga on this list!) and love them.  You know how, as a teen, your parents are always evil villains?  Well, in these books, they actually ARE evil villains!  It's so much fun to see what sorts of things these kids have to come up against and fight on their own.  And that's a story I never get tired of.


Notable mentions:


Batgirl vol 1: Darkest Reflection - At first, I wasn't going to bother because of the "girl", but Batgirl turned out to be really good!


Batwoman vol 1: Hydrology - LOVE the artwork in this one!  And it's nice to see a lesbian superhero portrayed in such a positive light.


Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol 1 - This was a bit convoluted, but I really liked the portrayal of Wonder Woman.  And how her costume isn't so fanservice-y.



It's very interesting: as I was compiling the "Worst of" list, I was noting that most of the "Worst" comics aren't really bad as in "OMG, why was this published?!" but more mediocre and just plain boring.


Worst Graphic Novels of 2013


+ Batwoman Vol 2: To Drown the World - It's so sad that I have to put the sequel to a volume I really liked on here.  This volume was just SO disappointing.  Confusing, meandering.  We end up at the same place we started.  I'm tempted to abandon this series all together.


+ Wonder Woman Vol 1: Blood - The art style was unique, but the story, again, was so pointless and meandering.  Not meant for a newbie to Wonder Woman AT ALL.  I gave up following this series.


+  Superman: Earth One - After seeing "Man of Steel" and hearing it was based off this comic, I thought I'd check it out.  Basically, if you've seen "Man of Steel" or "Smallville", you've already read this comic.  So, it's not necessarily BAD, it's just nothing NEW or nothing particularly well done.


+ Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi Vol 2: Prisoner of Bogan - Again, not necessarily bad, just BORING and overdone.  It's the same basic Jedi/Sith story we see over and over and over again in SW EU.  And it's not done so brilliantly, so uniquely that it stands out.  Another series I abandoned.


+ Birds of Prey Vol 1: Trouble in Mind - There isn't anything particularly BAD about this, it's just so "meh".  Not to mention, feels VERY fanservice-y, what with the costumes and poses.


Notable Mentions:


Hawkeye Vol 1: My Life as  Weapon - It feels weird to put this one on here, as I rated it 4 stars, but after I finished reading this, I had absolutely no desire to continue with the series.  And for a 4 star book, that's pretty "bad".


The Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone Bye - Everyone is watching the TV series, so I thought I'd brush up on the comics.  Only the comics are VERY VERY slow.  I mean, it's cool to have it so character driven but...plot?  You can come back any time now.