Five Comics/Graphic Novels We Love

Colin Herzog - top  Hannah Schmitt - bottom Colin Herzog and Hannah Schmitt
Alpha Tau Chapter
St. Norbert College, WI

The world of comic books and graphic novels is one that understandably draws in many an English major: these texts offer a fusion of illustration and words, appealing to both one's mind and one's eye. Graphic novels and comics offer readers points of entry for nearly every issue one could think of, from memoir to fantasy world, to superhero story. In celebration of comics and graphic novels, we'd like to mention a few of our favorites.

1. Cable and Deadpool, written by Fabien Nicieza and drawn by Patrick Zircher. The concept that these two 1990s, antihero mercenaries (both of whom had just had their individual titles cancelled) just happen to cross paths and develop a bromance for the ages over the course of fifty issues, seems just a bit random and yet, Fabien Nicieza pulls it off. He gives the series the humor one would expect from an insane, fourth-wall-breaking Deadpool and the complicated stories that usually accompany a psychic-cyborg-revolutionary-from-the-future, such as Cable, but also gives it depth.

2. Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley. This fun, feisty feminist read features a menagerie of characters as they swap stories about their past and reveal their ties to the isolated castle they call home. There's the abbess of a convent of bearded nuns, a series of human-animal people, and runaway nobility. The story is told in gorgeously rendered black and white drawings.

3. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Kevin O'Neill, delivers a tale that crosses over many famous literary characters, such as Mina Harker, Allan Quatermain, Doctor Jekyll, Captain Nemo, and the Invisible Man, as they try to stop threats against steampunk England and, later, the world.

4. Fullmetal Alchemist, written and drawn by Himromu Arakawa. Taking place in a steampunk fantasy world that strongly resembles early twentieth-century Germany, we follow Edward Elric and his brother Alphonse as they try to find the fabled Philosopher's Stone in order to restore their bodies.

5. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel. A canonical text in LGBT circles, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home chronicles her childhood as she rewrites her familial history when faced with the death of her father, a closeted gay man. Bechdel draws her readers into her world with both brutal honesty and quiet humour.

Comic Book/Graphic Novel Covers
Left to right: Cable and Deadpool, Castle Waiting, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Fullmetal Alcehmist, and Fun Home