Best of 2015- Graphic Novels

BestofGraphicNovelsBy Nolan P. Smith

The graphic novels released in 2015 have been superb- with so many quality books, it was hard to narrow it down to the great eight. But the honor can only go to a few, so here is Pastrami Nation’s Best of 2015- Graphic Novels, in no particular order.

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The Private Eye- The Cloudburst Edition- Image Comics/ Panel Syndicate

When the cloud literally explodes and unleashes all of our internet secrets and histories, it’s a very different world- one chronicled in The Private Eye. Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin craft an amazing maxi series here, and this astounding hardcover collects all its landscape glory found in the digital issues. This is an amazing collection to a story so reflective of today’s society, it’s scary.

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We Can Never Go Home- Black Mask Studios

Wouldn’t it be cool to have superpowers? To right the wrongs in this world, to use your superhuman strength to stop violence in an instant; I think at one time or another, we all wish we could be more than a normal human. But we don’t think of the flip side of that coin- what are the repercussions for your feats of “heroism”? We Can Never Go Home is brutal, eye opening take on superheroes.

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Space Riders- Black Mask Studios

Star Wars showed us the cool, adventurous nature of going from planet to planet, Guardians of the Galaxy showed us a modern take of the various planets on the creatures that inhabit it. Well, with Space Riders, we get a psychedelic, violent, grungy take at space- and it is a feast for the eyes. Space Riders, Volumen Uno collects the four issue series, and makes for an excellent read in one sitting. I haven’t been caught off guard with a comic book in some time- Space Riders completely blindsided me.

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A Glance Backward- Magnetic Press

Joey is an eleven year old boy in for the journey of his life. Whisked away to a fantastical land full of delight and danger, he is faced with the harsh reality of the world, and in the end, faces what it means to grow up from being a kid to an adult. Paquet and Sandoval have created a piece of work here that I think most adults can relate to- dealing with the all too human emotions that we battle with daily. This book caught me by surprise.

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Long Walk to Valhalla – Boom Studios/ Archaia

Life can be a funny, difficult, tragic thing. We live, and we live thinking we did as much as we can, with dreams of a better and brighter tomorrow. But when God comes calling, we all must answer. In the case of Long Walk to Valhalla, when the Gods call you home, you have no choice but to follow the Valkyrie to Valhalla. A strong, emotional book that will tug at your heartstrings and make you smile, I can’t find a thing wrong with this book.

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Michael Avon Oeming’s Oemnibus- Image Comics

For anyone who is a fan of Michael Oeming’s work, or has never heard of him, this collection serves as a love letter to fans and a thorough introduction to new readers. The Oemnibus is a necessary addition to any fan’s collection, and a must read for any lover of the comic medium.

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The Goon Library Edition- Dark Horse

Eric Powell’s epic story of the two fisted Goon is now available in a glorious hardcover library edition. This massive collection includes volumes 0-3, and does so in an amazing way. Horror, action, comedy? It’s all right here, and it should be on your bookshelf for this year.

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The Life After Volume 1- Oni Press

What comes after the bell rings? When its all said and done, what exactly does the afterlife look like? If it looks anything like Oni Press’s The Life After, then we are all in for one hell of a surprise. Fialkov and Gabo have delivered an amazing, disturbing look at the afterlife, a look that is bound to turn a few heads and open some eyes. I wholeheartedly believe that The Life After is one of the best books to hit in recent memory, and this trade is your entry to his wild ride.

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