GRAPHIC NOVEL ROUNDUP – Romance, Aliens, Grief and Necromantic turf wars.

Love For Hire by Jasmine Cresswell, illustrated by Earithen

Published by Harlequin

In order to stop her family from worrying about her life choices, Julie decided to lie to them about having a fiancé, and she’s kept up the lie for the past two years! She was able to get away with it until now by saying her fiancé, an international financier millionaire, was always away on business, but now that her sister was about to get married, she couldn’t get out of bringing her fiancé to the wedding. Her only option was to ask a regular at her bakery, a poor, amateur actor, to play the part—he even had the same name as her imaginary fiancé! Julie assumes her plan will run smoothly. How could she know Robert’s passionate acting would draw her to him so strongly

This is a simple and well known trope – a beautiful but lonely woman hires someone to pretend to be her date and suddenly BLAMMO! Unexpected love. This one is even better because it has an extra tropey twist like a cherry on top at the end.

The manga illustrations really worked with this story and made it even more enjoyable, I can definitely see myself working through the whole Harlequin Manga collection in the not too distant future!

The Only Living Girl #1 The Island at the Edge of Infinity by David Gallaher & Steve Ellis

Published by Papercutz

Zandra ‘Zee’ Parfitt is one of the last human survivors of a cosmic disaster that merged hundreds of planets into the mysterious patchwork wasteland of Chimerika. After learning that the experiments of her late father, the diabolical Doctor Once, created this world, Zee and her companions — classmate Erik Farrell and mermaid warrior Morgan — embark on a dangerous quest filled with robots, monsters, unknown civilizations, and unlikely allies. Together they push back against the relentless Consortium, who want control of this new world at any cost. Through it all, Zee searches for the truth of her past so she can redeem her father’s legacy.

From the award-winning team behind THE ONLY LIVING BOY, David Gallaher and Steve Ellis bring you THE ONLY LIVING GIRL, an action-packed adventure perfect for fans of AMULET, MS. MARVEL, and DC SUPER HERO GIRLS.

Colourful and engaging illustrations. This is an action packed sci-fi universe, filled with aliens, monsters and mysteries.

The main character is a young girl called Zee who uses her intelligence, scientific knowledge and bravery to defeat all the obstacles in her path. This is by no means a kids-only story, there are potentially dark consequences to the characters (and there’s already been an apocalypse).

This is apparently a continuation of The Only Living Boy comic, which I haven’t read so I can Say that though this comic has made me want to go back and read the originals, I don’t feel like there were any gaping holes in the story as a result of my not having read them yet.

Waves by Ingrid Chabbert, illustrated by Carole Maurel
Release date: 7th May 2019

A young woman and her wife’s attempts to have a child unfold in this poetic tale that ebbs and flows like the sea.

After years of difficulty trying to have children, a young couple finally announces their pregnancy, only to have the most joyous day of their lives replaced with one of unexpected heartbreak. Their relationship is put to the test as they forge ahead, working together to rebuild themselves amidst the churning tumult of devastating loss, and ultimately facing the soul-crushing reality that they may never conceive a child of their own.

Based on author Ingrid Chabbert’s own experience, coupled with soft, sometimes dreamlike illustrations by Carole Maurel, Waves is a deeply moving story that poignantly captures a woman’s exploration of her pain in order to rediscover hope.

I’m not crying. You’re crying.

This is the story of a couple rebuilding their lives and happiness after the loss of a child. It’s every single bit as heartbreaking as you’d imagine but at the same time, a little bit uplifting. They somehow survive the heartbreak and find a way to find happiness again, I can imagine this book being hugely comforting for readers in a similar situation – it’s not demanding at all, its message is that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The illustrations are beautiful, the use of colour is the best way of showing grief that I’ve ever seen. It perfectly captures the emotions of the couple and the people around them, I would highly recommend this read.

Bone Parish Vol. 1 by Cullen Bunn, illustrated by Jonas Scharf, contributed by Alex Guimaraes
Publication date: 7th May 2019

Published by BOOM! Studios

A necromantic horror series about an upstart crime family trafficking in a new designer drug that’s just hit the market made from the ashes of the dead.

A new drug is sweeping through the streets of New Orleans—one made from the ashes of the dead. Wars are being fought over who will control the supply, and the demand is rising. While the various criminal factions collide, users begin to experience terrifying visions of the dead coming back to life…through them. Eisner Award-nominated author Cullen Bunn (Harrow County, The Empty Man) and illustrator Jonas Scharf team up for Bone Parish, a haunting blend of horror and crime that takes an unflinching look at how we connect to—and disconnect from—the world around us.

Now this is a story I can get behind! Drug cartels, turf wars and a mysterious street drug made from dead bodies… it’s a mix of gang warfare and the supernatural, which I think is a match made in heaven in terms of storytelling.

It’s everything I could have hoped for and more, with gritty and gory illustrations to match.

I’m officially hooked on this series and will be hanging on until the end.

This was a pretty eclectic mix, even for me! My top two would have to be Bone Parish and Waves, though obviously for very different reasons.

As soon as these are out in print, they’ll be gracing my bookcase!

What comics/graphic novels have you been reading recently? Any recommendations similar to these or a genre you think I should read?

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