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Word Balloons: Best graphic novels of 2011
5. “Big Questions”
Anders Nilsen's existentialist graphic novel follows a flock of birds dealing with a newcomer. Massive, bizarre and thought-provoking.
Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba create the story of the life of Bras de Olivias Dominguez in the graphic novel “Daytripper,” originally released as 10 individual issues. Each issue follows a day in the life of Bras, with each ending the same — he dies. The following story picks up at a different point in Bras' life, unconnected to his previous death. Bras is the son of a famous author, a “miracle child” struggling to find his place and his way, as told through each separate vignette. The beauty of Brazil and the fragility of life play key roles in this highly recommended graphic novel. It's beautiful, challenging and at times heartbreaking.
Writer Jim Ottaviani and artist Leland Myrick recount the life and career of noted physicist Richard P. Feynman in a funny and educational book.
8. “Green River Killer: A True Detective Story”
Jeff Jensen writes a true-crime story of the killer who plagued Oregon. Jensen's father was the lead detective on the case, and the book also looks at the impact the case had on the family. Art by Jonathan Case.
9. “The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists”
The artist/writer known as Seth imagines an alternate history of Canadian cartooning, centered on a fictional cartoon society in the city of Dominion, which served as a gathering place for artists.
10 . “Troop 142 by Mike Dawson”
Dawson (“Freddie and Me”) collects his webcomic story of a summer at a boys' scout camp; it explores the cruelty of difficulty of childhood, and the veneer of civility we paste on top of such conflicts as adults.