C.S. Lewis once wrote to his granddaughter, Lucy, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” The pangs of growing up cannot be expressed in better words.
The trials and tribulations of adolescence force us to often abandon the child in us. And along with it the things we hold dear. There were times when playing in the rain would fill our hearts with delight. Now, it just numbs the agony of nostalgia. Once, books and comics were the windows to a differnt universe but now they are just mediums of opinion.
As a child of the 90’s our sweet dreams were made of Diamond Comics, Raj Comics and Twinkle Comics. But in the rush of life we let go of them believing that they were a child’s obssession. We couldn’t be furthur away from the truth. There are comic books and graphic novels that are so philosophically riveting that they will have you respecting the artform of comics. Here are such great graphic novels :
The Dark Knight Returns
Frank Miller created what many comic book enthusiasts claim to be the Holy Grail of graphic novels. The book tells a story of an aging Bruce Wayne, who has hung up his cape after the death of Robin. As the story rolls on, Batman is forced out of retirement resulting into old foes coming out to play again. It is undeniably Frank Miller’s magnum opus and the grandest one at that.
The greatest graphic novel, period. It’s noir vibe and gritty story will have you hooked from the very first page. The comic was so impactful that it caused a tsunami which disrupted the conventional trend of storytelling.
Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth
Chris Ware tells the story of a reclusive man in his thirties who meets his father for the first time. The gloominess of Jimmy’s life is only alleviated by his fantasies about his adventures as the Smartest Kid on Earth, which unfortunately also tend to end in gloominess.
The story is about Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams who has been magically captured by an occult group. He somehow escapes, but his kingdom, the Dreaming, a kind of geographical expression of our collective unconsciousness, has fallen into disrepair, and he must restore it to its former glory. It is a beautiful mix of mythology and horror that will have you craving for more.
Maus won a Pulitzer in 1992. That itself is a landmark event in the history of graphic novels. The comic deals with the German Holocaust, except that the humans are replaced with mice. Don’t let that fool you though, in no way does the comic trivialise the unspeakable event. The message is as potent as it can be.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Black Island
Tintin is a crazy mix of several genres — you never quite know what you’re in for when you open one of those books. Hergé’s art is an inimitable mix of caricaturish and photographic hyper-realism that will have you marvelling the pages. All the volumes of the series are breathtaking, but ‘The Black Island’ is definitely the best of the lot.
Go ahead and let your mind be blown away, for these novels will definitely rekindle the spark of reading.