Graphic Novels for Urban Fantasy Readers

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Graphic Novels for Urban Fantasy Readers

It’s Not All Superheroes and Saving the World

I'm pretty new to the world of adult graphic novels. In all honesty,until late 2015 I hadn't read a graphic novel since I was a kid reading Archie. But a couple of fellow DC Public Library staff members turned me on to some really great series that appeal to the urban fantasy reader in me. So if you've shied away from graphic novels because you think they are for kids, these may just be the entry you need into a whole new and exciting area of reading.

Sandman by Neil Gaiman – This is a weird series of stories but it has twisty plots and fantastic characters. The Endless are both fascinating and appalling - as death and its ilk usually are to humans – and the engaging stories, while sometimes a little disturbing, draw readers in. Nominally focused on Dream, the stories show not just the Endless and their familial interplay but also how humans interact with the members of that family and the realms the Endless inhabit. There are ten compilation volumes for the complete series and DC Public library has them all. Start with Volume 1 Preludes and Nocturnes.
 
Fables by Bill Willingham – A twist on the fairy tales you thought you knew. Fables takes the well-known characters out of their world and places them in New York. Their lives have changed dramatically and it makes the characters more “real” – like Snow White or the Big Bad Wolf. What if Prince Charming isn’t a hero after all? The characters are well known, so it’s like visiting old friends and yet the plot twists and the setting change make it a fun and interesting series. Start with Legends in Exile.
 
Lucifer by Mike Carey – A spinoff of the Sandman series, focusing on the Lucifer character who appeared first in Volume 4 Season of Mists.  This series is not quite as dark as Sandman but there is a definite edge to the characters – including the angels. He may have retired from Hell but he lost none of his intelligence or power and it’s impossible to guess what the devil will do next. Darker and less comic than the new television show but an epic series that will suck you in. Start with The Sandman Presents: Lucifer 1 - 13.
 
Afterlife with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa – The world of Archie comics – with a massive twist! Reggie is still a jerk, Veronica and Betty are still fighting over Archie, Jughead is still eating his way through every food he can get his hands on, and Cheryl and Jason Blossom are still the horrible siblings of old. The twist: Sabrina the Teenage Witch unknowingly brings about the zombie apocalypse when she tries to help Jughead save his dog. Who survives? Who flees? The memories of your childhood Archie comics reading will never be the same. Start with Escape from Riverdale
 
Shutter by Joe Keatinge – If you’ve read the Fables series and are looking for something similar but different enough to grab you, Shutter might just be what you are looking for! A little bit Indiana Jones, a a little bit urban fantasy, a little bit steampunk, and a whole lot of fun. Main character Kate Kristopher and her cat sidekick jump back into crazy Indiana Jones style adventures when she discovers a bunch of unknown siblings and a plot by an evil mastermind to murder her. Start with Wanderlost.