If you asked someone unfamiliar with the graphic novel collection at Austin Public Library to name some books or type of books they thought would be in the collection, you’d most likely get a list of superhero books published by Marvel and DC Comics. And these two publishers do indeed have a large and loud presence in graphic novel collections all over the country. But it’s fun to see what else pops up in graphic novel form. We’ve blogged about some non-fiction titles such as Feynman and The Influencing Machine. And you may have heard of some of the more popular graphic memoirs such as Blankets and Persepolis. What I’ve discovered lately is true fiction, sans costumed hero or tales of real life woe.
I picked up two books on a whim this week that delighted me. The first was a nearly-wordless book The Last Lonely Saturday a sweet and sad, whimsical and realistic tale of one man on a seemingly ordinary Saturday. The artwork is simple – drawn in mostly red and yellow – but full and effective. The second book was Lagoon by Lilli Carré in which a family is dawn to a lagoon by a mysterious song made my a mysterious creature. It’s another haunting but beautiful book about a family, mysteries, and the power of legends. Upon closer reflection I realized these were both published by Fantagraphics Books which I should have known. They have a tendency to publish intriguing hardcover books off the beaten path of other graphic novels.