Beyond Bestsellers: Getting Past the First Volume

By Kaley C

​My appreciation of graphic novels is well documented. Graphic novels can be one full arc complete with character history, world-building, and plot design. In addition to having fully developed plots and characters, they are often broken down into volumes. I’m always on the hunt for a solid series to start reading. It’s rare, but every so often I’ll find one that I might not feel the need to continue (sorry Black Science fans, one volume was all I needed) while other have me checking various sites for publication dates. These are just a few of my current favorite series I’ve enjoyed getting past the first volume.

I’m not in the business of giving away major plot points, but this is your official warning to proceed with caution if you haven’t read the first volumes!

Iinvisible republic 2

Invisible Republic 2 is driven by the characters and world building more than its predecessor. There’s still action, but here we get a better background story of the players which will give you more of a concrete understanding of the politics involved. This Hugo Award nominee is worth your time. You continue flashing between the story’s present and past while questioning who to trust.


Paper girls

Papergirls 2 this time-travel science fiction seems to only get more intense as we learn more about the characters pasts and futures and what the heck is going on in Cleveland. It picks up after Erin, Mac, and Tiffany travel unexpectedly from 1988 to 2016 and meet a 41-year-old Erin while still on the run from creatures and people they don’t understand.


Jon and Suzie move past the honeymoon phase of their relationship
With my next series it’s important to remember that not everyone will enjoy the same sense of humor as the creators. Sex Criminals Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One Cop gives us a deeper understanding of Jon and Suzie’s relationship after the end of their honeymoon phase as we watch Jon struggle with managing mental illness. Volume two will leave you on a heck of a cliffhanger, so here’s the link for the third so you can go ahead and place a hold right now. This series continues to make you laugh while being educational. The fourth volume was published recently and I’d definitely suggest it as well.

 Image result for wayward vol 2

Wayward Vol 2: Ties That Bind introduces us to a new girl named Ohara Emi that, like with the teens in the first volume, thought she was normal until new powers began to emerge. Rori and Shirai have been missing and presumed dead since the last huge battle, and now they’re being hunted by the Yokai, Japanese creatures and spirits that wish to hoard power they’ve built over the centuries.

Tread gently with my next suggestion because No Mercy Volume Two is so intense! The first volume shows Princeton-bound teens fighting for survival after an accident in Central America. The following installment shows that surviving the first night is only the beginning of their problems. Many have split off into their own terrifying story-lines as we learn more about their past. I am both scared and excited to read volume three!

I’ve got more here, but I’m really curious if you have any series you can’t put down either! Please let me know in the comments if there’s additional series that I need to be reading.

Tags: , , , ,


2 responses to “Beyond Bestsellers: Getting Past the First Volume”

  1. Emily Z says:

    Confession: I have not yet read Sex Criminals, but now I think I have to.

    Bitch Planet is delightful and I need more. I particularly enjoy the mock advertisements between issues, as well as the whole unsettling Handmaid’s Tale vibe.

    Also, what about when the second volume in a graphic novel run gets *sniff* cancelled? I was so excited, nay–JAZZED–to finally lay eyes/hands on Nowhere Men vol 2 but it looks like it’s not coming. How do you cope with unfinished narratives?

    • Kaley C says:

      Sex Criminals is very funny and weird. You’ll enjoy Chip Zdarsky’s hidden jokes in the art.

      I’m with you on Bitch Planet and lucky for us this is coming very soon.

      I’m dealing with this a bit from Fresh Romance right now. The next volume was funded on Kickstarter, but it only exists as an eBook that I’d have to purchase. Anyway, I usually check up every so often to see if anyone else will pick up or fund the publication and it that doesn’t happen, I drink lots of hot cocoa with Harry Potter or dinosaur shaped sprinkles.

Leave a reply (comments are moderated before posting)