YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, has announced its “Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens” covering books published in 2008.  Just a glance at this list demonstrates the wide range of excellent graphic novel offerings published last year ranging from the straight ahead adventure of Brian Clevenger’s Atomic Robo and the Fighting Scientists of Tesladyne from Red Five Comics; to the bleak slice-of-rugged-bohemian-life saga of an artist living in the subway tunnels under New York City chronicled by Youme Lansdowne and Anthony Horton in Pitch Black; to the locale-rich magical realism of G. Willow Wilson’s Cairo from DC’s Vertigo.


Once again manga is well represented on the list which includes Hinako Ashihara’s sensitive shojo drama Sand Chronicles; Takehiko Inoue’s hardhitting and very realistic saga of wheelchair basketball, Real; and Junji Ito’s masterful “horror as obsession” saga Uzumaki, all three published by Viz Media.  The other manga on the list is a delightful OEL title from Go Comi, Aimee Major Steinberger’s Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan, the saga of a six-foot cosplayer’s dream trip to Japan.


Special notice should be taken of Jessica Abel and Gabriel Soria’s Life Sucks from First Second, the most original graphic novel take on the vampire mythos ever; Skim, a brilliant first effort from cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, a haunting coming of age tale as fascinating and sensitively observed as Craig Thompson’s Blankets; and Gerard Way’s innovative superhero saga, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite from Dark Horse.




The Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens for 2008

Abel, Jessica. Life Sucks. First Second. 2008. 978-1-59643-107-2. $19.95.

Ashihara, Hinako. Sand Chronicles, v. 1. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1477-2. $8.99.
---. Sand Chronicles, v. 2. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1478-9. $8.99.
---. Sand Chronicles, v. 3. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1479-6. $8.99.

Clevinger, Brian. Atomic Robo: Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne. 2008. Red Five Comics. 978-0-9809302-0-7. $18.99.

Inoue, Takehiko. Real, v. 1. VIZ. 2008. 978-4215-1989-0. $12.99.
---. Real, v. 2. VIZ. 2008. 978-1-4215-1990-6. $12.99.

Ito, Junki. Uzumaki, v.1. VIZ. 2007. 978-1-4215-1389-8. $9.99.

Landowne, Youme. Pitch Black. Cinco Puntos Press. 2008. 978-1-9336-9306-4. $14.00.

Steinberger, Aimee Major. Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan. Go Comi. 2007. 978-1-933617-83-1. $16.99.

Tamaki, Mariko. Skim. Groundwood Books. 2008. 978-0-8889-9753-1. $18.95.

Way, Gerard. Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite. Dark Horse. 2008. 978-1-59307-978-9. $17.95.

Wilson, G. Willow. Cairo. Vertigo. 2007. 978-1-4012-1140