I figured Id start with the best first in my list of great graphic novels. And yes, the correct term is graphic novels, not comic books. And whoever said that graphic novels arent real books never read these.
For kids and adults who are still kids at heart
Meet Amelia Louise McBride.
Shes nine years old, a former New Yorker whos now living in a small town after her parents divorced. Shes dealing with everything from being the new kid in school to getting her first kiss. But you know what? Shes got her mom and her aunt Tanner (who happens to be an ex-rock star) and her friends Reggie, Rhonda, and Pajamaman, and everythings going to be okay.
Except, of course, when it isnt.
I discovered this series at Barnes and Nobles, and I am so glad I did because they changed my life. I have read many graphic novels over the years, but these are still the best.
The art is fantastic, and the story plot is even more impressive. Through all eight books, we watch Amelia grow from a nine-year-old kid to an eleven-year-old tween. The first three books are more about being a kid and doing fun kid things. After that, you see Amelia and all the other characters grow more into themselves. These stories are wild, crazy, and funny, but they also show that life is hard, that it isnt simple or fair.
Since I started reading these books, its been my dream to write my own graphic novel with my own characters. Unfortunately, thats probably never going to happen. I have a hard time coming up with a complete story, and I have a hard time finishing things. Im surprised Ive been able to keep this blog going for so long.
I actually read the 3rd book first by mistake, and in my opinion, its the best one. Superheroes has more humor and more heart than any other graphic novel Ive ever read before or since.
Her Permanent Record (Book 8) was written back in 2012, and I dont know if Jimmy Gownley plans to continue the series, but I really hope he does. Its hard to put into words just how great these books are. Youll just have to read them and see for yourselves. I think everyone, kids and adults, should read these books.
I found this video on YouTube of Jimmy Gownley revealing the origins of Amelia Rules. I would like to share it with you because finding out where the idea for a story came from is cool:
Before I wrap up this review, I would like to share a quote from each book:
The Whole Worlds Crazy: Anytime you find magic in this world, you have to fight hard to keep it. – Tanner
What Makes You Happy: Was that a flying ninja? – Amelia
Superheroes: Every day, you sit in class, and the clock seems to stand still. Then, one day you look behind you . . . and you wonder where all the time went. – Amelia
When the Past is a Present: Who are we? Why are we here? What can we do to freak out some poor, random, convenience store clerk?
The Tweenage Guide to Not be Unpopular: We are visitors from the future! A future without war! Or pollution! Or gangsta rap. Amelia and Rhonda
True Things (Adults Dont Want Kids to Know): I think the reason people have kids is so they can pass their own brand of crazy on to a new generation. Tanner Clark
The Meaning of Life and Other Stuff: All that matters is that were in this together now . . . forever . . . and no matter what trials, what challenges, what evil is thrown at us . . . they will never tear us apart. – Reggie
Her Permanent Record: Life is tough, Tanner! And sometimes crap happens that you dont like! But you dont run! You act like a grown-up! Amelia
Well, thats it for this review. Tune in next week for another graphic novel by Jimmy Gownley.
This weeks Weird but True Fact about the Comics Code Authority
Until 2011, the Comics Code Authority made rules about what could appear in comic books. Werewolves, vampires, and zombies were not allowed.