A Year in Graphic Novels

Graphic novel collection on white shelves

The collection of graphic novels available in the Davis Lounge keeps growing – here is a short summary of the titles we added in 2021 for your entertainment and education, divided by subjects and regions.

The Media and Society

À vos masques! (2020) is a series of press cartoons from the world over, collected by the Cartooning for peace initiative. As you can guess, they are situated within the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Available under call number 614, HEIBD 120.

Noisemakers: 25 women who raised their voices & changed the world (2020) is perhaps self-explanatory. This collection for younger readers echoes other titles (Women in battle, Culottées, …) celebrating female role models in history. Call number 305.4, HEIBD 139.

Light in dark times: the human search for meaning (2020) sits at the crossroads of anthropology and philosophy. Published by Toronto University Press, it is an exploration of the discipline. Call number 306, HEIBD 134.

The influencing machine (2011) describes the complex relationship between people and the media in American history and beyond. It has achieved high recognition and became a part of media studies in various US universities. 302.2, HEIBD 130.

La machine ne ferme jamais les yeux (2021) is a translation of The machine never blinks, a history of surveillance from 1984 to Facebook, published in 2020. A great exploration of the issues facial recognition, the Internet, freedom and rights. 347, HEIBD 124.

North America

Paying the land (2020) is Joe Sacco’s recent exploration of the life and contemporary history of the Dene people in Canada’s Northwestern territories. Capitalism and colonialism’s impacts are well-documented, as with all of his graphic novels. 323.1(71), HEIBD 129.

They called us enemy (2020) is George Takei’s (yes, of Star Trek fame, among others) memoir about U.S. concentration camps for Japanese-Americans during the Second World War, echoing the rise of the far-right in the contemporary world. 940.53(73), HEIBD 123.

Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio (2020) traces back to a tragedy when the U.S. National Guard shot at protesters against the Viet-Nam war on university grounds, killing four students and injuring nine. This well-documented event was a major turn in the student strike of 1970. 973, HEIBD 128.

Guantanamo voices (2020) presents testimonies about the infamous extraterritorial U.S. prison built in Cuba and the legal and human rights issues it continues to raise. 365(73), HEIBD 135.

South America… well, Brazil, actually

Angola Janga: Kingdom of runaway slaves (2019) retells the history of this attempt at an independent nation founded in the late 16th century in Brazil. 981, HEIBD 121.

Gringo love: stories of sex tourism in Brazil (2020) is an illustrated ethnography published by the University of Toronto Press, including appendices and a good bibliography as a starting point. 306.74(81), HEIBD 137.

Texaco: et pourtant nous vaincrons (2019) documents the judicial fight of inhabitants of the Amazon against Texaco for the heavy pollution caused by its exploitation of oil in the region. 333.8(81), HEIBD 136.

Africa, North and South

Histoire dessinée de la guerre d’Algérie (2016) is a popularisation of the bloody “troubles”, the colonial conflict leading to Algerian independence from France. 965, HEIBD 133.

Algériennes, 1954-1962 (2018) covers the same period, but focuses specifically on the experience of Algerian women in those times and place. 965, HEIBD 138.

Willis from Tunis, 10 ans et toujours vivant ! (2021) is a collection of political cartoons in which Nadia Khiari comments on the situation in Tunisia, from Ben Ali’s fall to our time, through a cat called Willis. 070(611), HEIBD 127.

Lissa: a story about medical promise, friendship, and revolution (2017) is published by the University of Toronto Press and presents a story about class differences in access to medical care, and the impact of the recent Egyptian troubles on their lives. 962, HEIBD 122.

L’argent fou de la Françafrique: l’affaire des biens mal acquis (2018) presents one of the many financial scandals in the postcolonial relationship between France and some of the autocrats ruling its former colonies in Subsaharan Africa. 327(44/6), HEIBD 131.

Lake of tears (2018) is a Ghanaian short fiction inspired by the issues of child trafficking and exploitation in the region. Call number: 326(667), HEIBD 141.

Going North and East

Other Russias (2017) is an illustrated exploration of life in Russia under Putin. It includes a series of portraits, a retelling of the Pussy Riot trials, and images from all across this gigantic Eurasian country. 947.086, HEIBD 132.

L’Odyssée d’Hakim (2018) is a three-volume retelling of a Syrian migrant’s voyage from his home country to asylum in Europe. 325.254(569.1), HEIBD 125.

The Wolf of Baghdad: Memoir of a lost homeland (2020) tells us through ghosts about the destruction and flight of the Jewish community in Iraq, which composed up to a third of the capital’s population in the 1940s and all but disappeared within a decade. 296(567), HEIBD 126.

No Further East?

It was indeed a poor year for our acquisitions of titles related to Asia and Oceania! Now might be the time to suggest titles we could add to our collection in the future. Comment with recommendations, or send them through our purchase suggestion form!

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