The Young Adult Library Services Association has released a list of 73 Great Graphic Novels for Teens
The list of 73 titles, drawn from 127 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for those ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. In addition, the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee created a Top Ten list. “There was a wealth of great titles to choose from this year,” said Eva Volin, committee chair. “This allowed the committee to create a well-rounded list that includes everything from European comics to manga, superhero titles to adaptations of classic literature. We think librarians will find this to be a very useful list.”
The Top Ten Graphic Novels are as follows:
Hardison, Jim and Bart Sears. The Helm. Dark Horse. 2009.
Igarashi, Daisuke. Children of the Sea, vol 1. VIZ Media. 2009.
Jensen, Van and Dusty Higgins. Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer. SLG Publishing. 2009.
Kelly, Joe and J.M. Ken Nimura. I Kill Giants. Image. 2009.
Lethem, Jonathan and Farel Dalrymple. Omega the Unknown. Marvel. 2008.
Love, Jeremy. Bayou, vol 1. DC Comics/Zuda. 2009.
Neufeld, Josh. A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. Pantheon Books. 2009.
Siddell, Tom. Gunnerkrigg Court, vol 1: Orientation. Archaia Studios Press. 2009.
Urasawa, Naoki and Takashi Nagasaki. Pluto. VIZ Media. 2009.
Yoshinaga, Fumi. Ooku: The Inner Chambers, vol 1. VIZ Media. 2009.
These ten picks are emblematic of pretty much the whole list — one worth analyzing a bit in terms of the breadth of the selections — this is “the new mainstream” or whatever you want to call it now, a mix of manga, non-event superheroes, licensed adaptations and YA graphic novels from mainstream publishers. While it encompasses a few critically acclaimed titles, it’s really more middle-of-the-road, and suggests that if this is what today’s comics-reading teens are reading, the next decade of comics may be even better than the last, at least in terms of being open to a wide variety of material.