Diverse Graphic Novels

A few months ago I received a request to search for graphic novels with  diverse characters. In my searching, I was surprised by the lack of titles with this criteria, especially with the influx of titles in diverse fiction. When a graphic novel arrives here at Mackin, I am one of the first people who gets their hands on them, so I have been sure to keep my eyes open for graphic novels featuring diverse characters. Since the request I received at the beginning of the year I have noticed graphic novels being published that featuring diverse characters in terms of skin color, sexual orientation, body type, among other criteria. I have included three graphic novels below that have created stories about diverse characters in a fantasy, dystopian, or science fiction universe.

Boetema discovers that the strange dreams she has been having as actually her astral projecting onto other alien worlds. In one of her astral projects she ends up getting an alien companion hurt and wants to return to help him. Her brother, Inotu, has gotten in trouble with a powerful cyborg bodyguard by over hearing sensitive information. When their parents temporarily leave them to search for jobs in another city, Boetema and Inotu, risk traveling across a large desert to escape the cyborg after Inotu and learn more about Boetema’s astral projection so she can help the alien boy. Both characters are relatable for teens and readers will be cheering for them. The story moves quickly and moves between Boetema’s and Inotu’s point of view, but will quickly hook readers into the science fiction world and looking forward to the sequel.

Afar by Leila Del Duca and Kit Seaton, Edited by Taneka Stotts. 9781632159410. April 2017. Gr 7-12.

Princess Misty is fed up with constant rules, parties, and being forced to marry a prince. She wants to be able to live her own life and that doesn’t involve marrying the prince that her father has arranged for her. This marriage is put on hold when Misty is kidnapped by Badlug the Terrible from Grimoire whom she is being forced to marry in a land filled with monsters. Misty is determined to rescue herself from Badlug and take him down in the process for killing her mother. Misty learns a lot in the process of rescuing herself and the people she will leave behind suffering under an evil ruler, if she doesn’t succeed in taking down Badlug. This fantasy world is filled with heroines to root for, body positive characters, fathers who realize their mistakes, and a story that will pull readers in. If readers enjoyed the Princeless graphic novels they will be sure to root for Misty and her journey.

Another Castle: Grimoire by Andrew Wheeler and Paulina Ganucheau. 9781620103111. Feb 2017. Gr 7-12.

Angela lives in a world that is devoted to efficiency and constant acceleration. Students no longer study the full length of classics written by Shakespeare, instead they take the class called Brief Lit, which simplifies and shortens the classics. Angela hates this world and would rather take things easy and savor experiences. In a cave, she accidentally comes upon a rebel organization that is working towards a decelerate movement so citizens can take time to read and create art. In this underground community, Angela falls in love with another rebel, Gladys, and becomes an active part of decelerate resistance. However, their love story is destined for heartbreak.  Cavallaro has drawn this graphic novel in mostly black and whites and there are only two places in the story where there is color which creates much more of an emotional impact with readers. Readers who enjoy thought provoking dystopians, like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 will appreciate this graphic novel and many class discussions can be created based on the themes of this dystopian.

Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp and Mike Cavallaro. 9781596431096. Feb 2017. Gr 10-12.


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