A couple weeks ago, when I shared the list of graphic novels for kids on hoopla that I put together here on Facebook, my friend Adi started commenting with more and more titles of graphic novels that he’d read and loved on hoopla. It turns out that while I use hoopla mostly for audiobooks, Adi uses it mostly for graphic novels, a lot of graphic novels. So, I asked him if he’d do a guest post, and here it is! It’s mostly graphics from the smaller publishers (not DC or Marvel), so I’ll note that two Marvel series we both enjoy, Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel, are available on hoopla as well.
My name is Adi Peshkess, and I love graphic novels. I’ve been a bookworm my whole life, with a special love for the scary and mysterious, as well as the strange and futuristic. While I never read serial comic books, I started getting interested in graphic novels when Watchmen was being released as a movie and I decided to read the novel first. While typical comics always felt difficult to get into because of the myriad overlapping and diverging stories and timelines and reboots, self-contained graphic novels were very approachable and attractive to a long-time novel reader like myself. After that, I started looking for more graphic novel series in my local library.
In recent years, I was introduced to the Hoopla Digital app through my library and the vast array of comics available through it. Much like other online libraries and shopping sites, finishing one book or series would cascade me into several more based on the recommendations displayed at the end. I also found that reading on an iPad or other tablet was especially suited for comics and graphic novels, compared to reading paper books or on an e-reader. In the first place, the colors were much brighter, and reading in low light is never a problem. Also, you can easily zoom in on an individual panel, and Hoopla even has a reading mode that goes panel-by-panel instead of page-by-page. And most importantly, there’s no wait for a book to arrive from a store or to become available on the shelf at your local library, which will usually only stock one copy of a comic at a time.
So here’s a list of some of my favorite graphic novels and limited series of comics that I’ve come across on Hoopla over the years. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.
- Monstress – by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda, – an epic fantasy starring a teenage girl with a psychic link to a terrible monster (rated M)
- Y: The Last Man – by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Pia Guerra – in an instant, every mammal on earth with a Y-chromosome drops dead, except for one young man, and his pet monkey. (rated M)
- Beauty – by Jeremy Haun, illustrated by Jeremy Haun, Brett Weldele – what if physical perfection was a communicable disease? What if it might kill you? (rated M)
- Descender – by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dustin Nguyen – Years after A.I. has nearly wiped out all life in the galaxy, one child’s robot companion holds the key to saving everyone. (rated M)
- Ex Machina – by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Tony Harris – a former superhero with the power to control any machine has stepped into politics, becoming the mayor of New York City, but his city’s problems are not all political. (rated M)
- Saga – by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples – When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. (rated M)
Unfinished series for adults
These are series that I think are not yet finished, and may never be, but I really enjoyed them and recommend them strongly.
- Days of Hate – by Aleš Kot, illustrated by Danijel Zezelj – the United States of America in 2022 has become a police state in the service of white-supremacy, but there are some who still fight the system. (rated M)
- Injection – by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Fonografiks, Declan Shalvey, Jordie Belleaire – science and magic have more in common than you think, and five mad geniuses will try to save the world… from themselves. (rated M)
- Trees – by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Jason Howard – Giant alien structures landed all over the world. Ten years later, humanity is still wondering what they’re for. (rated M) (**note: Vol. 3 just dropped this year, haven’t read it yet, so it might actually be finished now)
For teens and up:
- Skin & Earth – written and illustrated by Lights – a young woman in a polluted future discovers a connection beyond this world. (With accompanying music album!) (rated Teen)
- Eclipse – by Zack Kaplan, illustrated by Giovanni Timpano – After a solar flare renders the surface of the Earth too hot for life, all of mankind lives in the dark. All except for one man with the power to withstand the sunlight, and he’s not here to save us. (rated Teen)
- Paper Girls – by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson – four paper-delivery girls in the 1980’s get sucked into an interdimensional, time-warping adventure. (rated Teen)
- Skyward– by Joe Henderson, illustrated by Lee Garbett – fifteen years after the world’s gravity is turned off, one teenager who has only known weightlessness goes on a mission to bring everyone down to Earth. (rated Teen)
- Fence – by C.S. Pacat, illustrated by Johanna The Mad – at a boys’ school with a top-level fencing team, the new kid tries to prove he deserves a spot. (rated Teen)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer – by Jordie Bellaire, illustrated by Dan Mora – a reboot of the classic high-school tv series, with the characters you love living their best lives in the present day. (rated Teen)
Unfinished Series for Teens and up
- Firefly – by Joss Whedon and various other authors and illustrators, depending on the series – a continuing series of the tales of Serenity and her crew. Some taking place before the events of the feature-length movie, some after. Lots of branches and parallel stories, so take it in as you like. (rated Teen)
- Doctor Who (the 13th Doctor) – by Jody Houser, illustrated by Rachael Stott, Enrica Eren Angiolini, Giorgia Sposito – the continuing adventures of the Thirteenth Doctor and her companions. (rated Teen)
- I Kill Giants – by Joe Kelly, illustrated by J.M. Ken Niimura – a young girl is the only thing that stands between terrible giants and the destruction of her small town. (rated Teen)
- Stranger Things: Six – by Jody Houser, illustrated by Edgar Salazar, Keith Champagne, Marissa Louise – a prequel story for the Netflix series, telling the story of another young woman with special powers. (rated Teen)
- Marvel 1602 – by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Andy Kubert – What if the Marvel heroes you love lived in the time of Queen Elizabeth and William Shakespeare? (rated Teen)
- They Called Us Enemy – by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott, illustrated by Harmony Becker – Takei’s graphic memoir, revisiting his haunting childhood in American concentration camps during World War II (rated Teen)
- Harleen – written and illustrated by Stjepan Sejic – an origin-story of how Dr. Harleen Quinzel became the partner of her most nefarious patient: the Joker! (rated M)