Stories from the past highlighted the best graphic novels in 2013, with a look at the early days of the civil rights era topping the list. Other tales looked at the Boxer Rebellion in China and the birth of the Beatles. But not all stories looked back — a Canadian race for the moon in an alternate present and a story about love in a future filled with artificial intelligence were also among this year's best. Here are my selections for the best 10 graphic novels of 2013.
1.‘March Book One'
Congressman John Lewis worked with co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell on this illustrated history of his life, part one of a trilogy. It's a superbly told history that highlights Lewis's accomplishments fighting segregation and Jim Crow laws in a critical era of American history.
2.‘Boxers and Saints'
Gene Luen Yang crafted a two-part interlocking graphic novel history of the Boxer Rebellion in China, each focusing on a young adult caught up in historical forces.
3.‘Hyperbole and a Half'
Collecting some of the best stories from Allie Brosh's blog, “Hyperbole and a Half” mixes text and illustrations in stories that range from the hilarious to the near-crushing. The chapter about Brosh's depression and her attempt to cope with it is bracingly honest and insightful.
4.‘The Fifth Beatle'
The story of how Brian Epstein worked behind the scenes to bring the Beatles to prominence is recorded in this graphic novel from writer Vivek J. Tiwary and artists Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker.
5.‘The Lost Boy'
Nate discovers a tape recorder under the floorboards of his bedroom in a new house. The tapes lead him into a dark mystery in the forest, and into a world that may have claimed a boy who went missing many years ago. Gorgeously illustrated by Greg Ruth, “The Lost Boy” opens a magical and dark world that will both enthrall and unsettle readers.
Gilbert Hernandez (“Love and Rockets”) tells the semi-autobiographical tale of his youth with comic books, action figures and neighborhood friends and enemies playing a large role.
In this sequel to “Far Arden” from writer/artist Kevin Cannon, retired Arctic seaman Army Shanks is pulled into a spy situation involving a Russian tanker and a potential moon rocket. The title “Crater XV” refers to Canadian astronauts living in a simulated moon base in Devon Island who are pulled into active duty when Canada finds itself in a race to the moon.
8.‘A Boy and a Girl'
Writer Jamie S. Rich and artist Natalie Nourigat craft this a romance set in a near-future in which androids with artificial intelligence interact with, and are nearly indistinguishable from, humans.
Rutu Modan is the writer-artist of this graphic novel, which follows the journey of a young TV producer who accompanies her grandmother to Warsaw to reclaim property the grandmother's family was forced to abandon during World War II.
10.‘Hip Hop Family Tree'
Ed Piskor examines the early days of hip-hop in a series of illustrated tales.
ONLINE: Read more about comics and graphic novels at NewsOK.com/blogs/nerdage.