A couple of awesome graphic novels won a couple of awards at the L.A. Times Book Festival over the weekend, and you should probably pick them up right away. Then tell all your friends, because they’ll want to do the same.
Gene Luen Yang‘s Boxers & Saints won the top award for Young Adult Literature — the first graphic novel to ever win in a non-graphic novel category. Easily one of the best graphic novels in recent years, the two-book epic tells the story of both sides of China’s infamous Boxer Rebellion using Chinese mythology, brilliant art and scripting and sharp stabs of humour. It’s a fascinating tale weaved into a particularly divisive time in China’s history and a heck of a lot more interesting than many of the other tomes on the subject. Joan d’Arc even makes an appearance!
The other winner for Graphic Novels/Comics was Ulli Lust‘s Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life. It begins as a lighthearted travel memoir about two broke Austrian girls making their way into Italy, it’s beaches and all the good times that come with it, and develops into an unflinching look at male privilege, sex, crime, drugs and the search for just one good-hearted person. While that may make it sound depressing, you’ll fall in love with the protagonist (the author’s 17-year-old self) and her refusal to accept the status quo, especially when it comes to men.
Both are equally deserving of a place on your bookshelf. Order them here.