I've been on a small comics binge lately. I already talked a bit about Foiled, so I won't include that here, but really so many of the similarities I noticed between these books would also apply to that one as well. So what books am I talking about?
*I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly
*Bayou (vol. 1) by Jeremy Love
*Neil Young's Greendale by Joshua Dysart
On the surface, these books could not be more different. And yet, for some reason, their similarities jumped out at me. Maybe because these commonalities were all things that made these books so special.
1. Each of these books has a lovely young heroine. Not heroine as in "rides in on white horse and saves the day." But in my mind, heroines all, nonetheless. There is 10-year-old Barbara from I Kill Giants...and Lee, whom I'm guessing is slightly younger, from Bayou...and from Greendale, 17-year-old Sun. To various extents, we see each of them facing very real fears. Their fears and challenges are different, and the way they approach them is different. But I found myself feeling deep respect for each of them.
2. Though each approach varied, fantasy played a part in each of these books. And played its part quite well, I might add.
3. Each of these books contained beautiful art. The artists' styles were certainly different, but I loved them all. (Okay, I admit it--the art in Bayou is definitely my favorite, but I do love them all.) Here's a taste of each one:
I Kill Giants/artist JM Ken Niimura
Neil Young's Greendale/artist Cliff Chiang
4. Each book deals with important issues. Trauma (I don't want to be more specific and possibly spoil it for anyone), racism, environmental issues and war. Both I Kill Giants and Bayou broke my heart, brought tears. Powerful stuff, for sure.
I'm not quite sure, but I think I may read Black Hole by Charles Burns next. While I'm open to all possibilities, I'm just sort of guessing that it's not going to remind me so much of these ones.