Here are two great graphic novels by pros at the top of their game.
Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules by Tony Cliff. First Second, 2018. 9781626728042. 247pp.
You ever read a graphic novel where suddenly a page or a panel is so awesome it just stops you cold? I love that moment. But it also makes me wonder: was the artist holding back on the other pages to achieve that effect?
Well Tony Cliff never holds back. Every page and panel of this graphic novel is beautiful, and feels like he poured all of his love for the time period and the characters into it.
The Delilah Dirk books center on the international adventurer and her faithful friend, Selim, in the early 1800s. This one is about the search for a lost city, with some bits about the price of fame and those who want to exploit history and archaeology for monetary gain. I know that’s a crappy pitch, but the less said about the plot the better. Start at the first one if you haven’t read any of Cliff’s books yet, so you can see how Delilah and Selim meet. I guarantee that the action scenes he draws will leave you breathless.
Come Again by Nate Powell. Top Shelf, 2018. 9781603094283. 272pp.
Powell has become well known for drawing the March trilogy, which is great, but he’s been putting out amazing work for years. This is his first indie graphic novel since winning the National Book Award. It’s about an affair gone wrong between folks who live in a nice little commune, and a little boy who goes missing. It’s mostly quiet, the layouts work as hard as the lettering, and Powell is a master of using black and white space with a minimal coloring palette. I know it’s not true but his lines make every page feel effortless. Read it to see a master comic creator at the top of his game.