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Preordering books is one of the best ways to help authors, especially debut authors, to thrive in the literary world. The expectancy that comes from those sales happening before the book is out is a great way for publishers to know if a book is going to be a success or not, and to allow a book to rank high in searches.
I love graphic novels, and I’ve been trying more and more to pay attention to what the world of graphic novels has to offer.
Being a contributor for Book Riot allows me to, at times, get my hands on ARCs (advanced reading copies), and I’ve been giving a lot of priority to graphic novels in the few last months.
Not only are graphic novels a great tool for learning, I love the way text and artwork complement each other — and of course, they are also a fun way to boost my yearly reading challenge, especially when I am in a reading slump and don’t know what to pick up to help me get out of it.
In the list below there are eight upcoming graphic novels that I have had a chance to read before their publication date this year, and that I thoroughly enjoyed — and I am certain you will, too.
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Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser, Illustrated by Robyn Smith (July 5)
I love the premise of this book, because everything that truly matters in the plot happens around hair, but the treatment of hair is really just a propeller to the individual stories, like a string that unites the characters.
The story focuses on four best friends and their close-knit friendships, as well as the daily individual struggles they face.
I love when a graphic novel uses colours as a statement, and this one certainly does.
Great artwork alongside a great storyline.
Space Story by Fiona Ostby (June 7)
I love stories about the end of the world as we know it. This graphic novel is divided in three timelines, and each timeline is assigned a primary colour: red, blue, or yellow.
The Earth is no longer a place people can rely on as home, so the population starts being allocated to other places across space. A queer family sees themselves separated due to unpredictable circumstances, and they are doing whatever they can to meet each other again.
This is a story filled with bitter-sweet moments (but with a happy ending), and I am in love with it.
Radium Girls by Cy (August 26)
Another example of how great graphic novels are at teaching history. I had never heard of the “Radium Girls” before I picked up this novel, and it was a fantastic way to learn about them and their trials.
The book does a great job of portraying these women, their unity, and their struggle for justice.
The artwork is, once again, superb.
What Is Home, Mum? by Sabba Khan (May 17)
This is a great reflection on immigration (and, specifically, on South Asian diaspora), identity, feminism, and the roles women are expected to portray. It is also a great representation of family differences and opportunities.
The illustrations really help the reader engage with the story, and although it is a bit heavier narration-wise than the graphic novels above, it is amazing from start to finish.
To Strip The Flesh by Oto Toda (June 21)
A graphic novel for those who wish to read more about identity, and about stories of who we become to try not to disappoint those we love, to fit within the social parameters we are raised in.
A moving graphic novel with really nice illustration.
Release date is June 21st.
Gay Giant by Gabriel Ebensperger (May 31)
This is another book about identity, with bubble gum pink tones all across the pages.
This graphic novel encapsulates well what it is like to grow up gay in the ’90s, and how lonesome it can be to feel like you are an outsider for liking the things you like.
The Vertical Sea by Brian Freschi, Illustrated by Ilaria Urbinati (July 19)
The illustrations in this graphic novel are absolutely stunning and worth buying just to have such a pretty book in the bookshelf.
This graphic novel is about a woman whose life looks pretty perfect on the surface, but whose chronic mental illness causes her to have regular panic attacks that make daily life an uphill climb. The story explores mental illness and anxiety, and the things we keep inside, putting up a face of normalcy for the world.
Halina Filipina by Arnold Arre (August 2)
Although the book was originally released in 2015, it is now for the first time being sold outside the Philippines.
This is a great story about an American Filipino character, and about what it is like to grow up within a culture you believe to know well, just to visit the country and realise it is actually full of surprises.
Make sure you add them to your list, and I hope you enjoy discovering them as much as I have.
Looking for more upcoming releases? Check out our new release archives!