By Thomas Rojek

Having grown up in a comic book store, I have always had a massive love for graphic novels. There is something special about the combination of a beautifully crafted story combined with art that draws people in, and since most people only think of graphic novels as easy reads/for kids, I wanted to share with you 5 titles that I am certain you will enjoy reading.

Based off the story of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, Queen of the Sea tells the story of young Margaret, a girl who lives on a remote island under the care of a Covenant of Nuns. Everything changes with the arrival of Elanor, the Queen of Albion, who has been banished after her sister took the throne. As the pair grow closer, secrets rise to the surface and present issues that they’ll have to face.

Dylan Meconis does an amazing job with both the story and the art, and any fan of whimsical art and history will love this book.

Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo bring us Batman: Damned, a standalone story featuring the caped crusader searching for whoever murdered the Joker. As the story progresses, we are introduced to various magical members of the DC Universe and one of my personal favorites, John Constantine joins Batman to help him track down the killer.

Azzarekki does an amazing job with the story, giving us a gritty and dark look at Bruce Wayne and his life and a disturbed version of what we know from the canon. Combined with Lee’s beautiful illustrations, this is a wonderful standalone supernatural batman comic.

Based on the original story written by Bram Stoker, this is a faithfully done manga version of the story of Dracula. Keeping with the theme of the original work, the story is presented as entries in diaries or letters, as written by the cast of characters.

With the excellent artwork from Virginia Nitouhei to add to the classic story that was adapted by Stacy King, this is a fantastic approach to the classic tale of the original Vampire.

Frogcatchers is a story about an old man and a boy trying to escape from the edgewater hotel while being chased by evil frog men at the behest of the Frog King. As they run, reality begins to blur and jump, locations and objects appearing and disappearing, Jeff Lemire’s story and art blend together in a beautiful way to create an environment and story that draws the reader in and ultimately ends in a beautiful way.

Sparrowhawk by Delilah S. Dawson and Rebecca Nalty Matias Basla is an amazing story of a young girl who is pulled into the realm of fairies and must make allies with dubious faey and seek a way home from a world that is trying to kill her. Whimsical and charming with bloody violence, this graphic novel is an amazing take on the fairy realm. Rebecca’s art style is phenomenal and unique, and with the addition of Delilah’s storytelling, this graphic novel is sure to delight.