Totally niche!
December 14, 2011 10:02 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a recommendation for a graphic novel for a 30 year old lesbian journalist. I want something funny, sharp, dark, etc.

Does anyone have any good recommendations? This is for a present. Thank you!
posted by timpanogos to Media & Arts (31 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
All of the Girls With Slingshots books would be great - the early ones in particular have some journalism-specific plotlines, but they're in general the adventures of 20-to-30something queer-ish women in the modern world. I am a 30 year old lesbian, and I adore them. (They're funny and sharp, but not particularly dark.)
posted by restless_nomad at 10:05 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

Fun Home by Alison Bechel.
posted by saucysault at 10:06 AM on December 14, 2011 [11 favorites]

Alison Bechdel's work leaps to mind--either one of the Dykes to Watch out For volumes or maybe Fun Home (which is great, but much more dark than funny).
posted by johnofjack at 10:06 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

Has she read any of Ellis' Transmetropolitan? Journalists tend to love Transmet. It's basically cyberpunk Hunter S. Thompson fanfic.
posted by griphus at 10:06 AM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

These are great! Thank you.
posted by timpanogos at 10:15 AM on December 14, 2011

This mid-thirties queer woman really likes Epileptic, even though it's not about journalists or queer people. It's funny, sharp, dark and has amazing art.

Oh, no, wait, I take that back. You want to get her Berlin, City of Stones and maybe the sequel Berlin, City of Smoke. These graphic novels are set at the end of Weimar and the rise of national socialism....the main characters include a left-wing journalist, a woman art student from a wealthy Koln family, a queer (trans?) young person named Anna, a communist labor organizer, a working class radical woman, a young Jewish boy who secretly sells radical papers...And the art is amazing, all drawn from archival photos of the period. (It was so weird - I was watching a documentary about queer life in Weimar and there popped up on the screen the exact picture of one of the characters.)
posted by Frowner at 10:15 AM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

Eagle is an awesome political/journalist comic that deals with race and marginalization in a good way.

If they're in New York (or are from New York), maybe look at Ex Machina

Transmet is also good, for reasons stated above. It's hilarious, gripping, and clever.

Alison Bechdel is a great writer, but I always feel weird giving stuff like that to folks because I'm afraid it comes across as "I think you'll like this book by a know...'cause you're a lesbian." On the other hand, some people are super super into their gender identities and enjoy defining themselves by it.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:17 AM on December 14, 2011

Yeah, I came in to recommend Transmetropolitan. It's pretty much the best.
posted by 256 at 10:18 AM on December 14, 2011

Is your friend a graphic novel reader already? Would she be familiar with the more popular ones? If not, I'd recommend these*

Perseopolis (if you get just one, get this one! But if she's generally well-read, chances are she's read it.)
Fun Home (Personally I don't enjoy most of Bechdel's work, but this was very good. It's way more dark than her Dykes to Watch Out For comic strips, which I find trite.)
Louis Riel

*relevant info: I'm an almost-30, queer, politically conscious girl who enjoys good writing, but hadn't ever read graphic novels before these. My partner introduced me to these and I loved them. Other graphic novels I've read didn't really do anything for me.
posted by 100kb at 10:18 AM on December 14, 2011

I'm not horribly fond of Alison Bechdel, except in small portions, but I adore Hothead Paisan!
posted by QIbHom at 10:18 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Jessica Abel's stuff, esp. PERDIDA.
posted by liketitanic at 10:23 AM on December 14, 2011

Transmetropolitan is funny, filthy, poignant and enjoyable for any journalist. Warren Ellis at his finest.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:23 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

transmet, epileptic, locas, ted rall's "To Afghanistan and Back" or "Silk Road to Ruin" (comedy platinum about an ill-fated road trip through the Stans PLUS BUZKASHI) uhhh i relaly like ivan brunetti but ymmv, seconding jason lutes' berlin, also if you can find em, the McConey books are just cold hilarious
posted by beefetish at 10:59 AM on December 14, 2011

Take a look at Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto (it's dark but it definitely has some good humor).

Also Good Eggs by Phoebe Potts (has some really sweet, funny stuff--can be wistful but in the end I wouldn't call it dark).

I also love Fun Home (and I'm not a lesbian).
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:04 AM on December 14, 2011

Ellen Forney is great.
posted by bq at 11:51 AM on December 14, 2011

I once had an older woman read The Dark Knight Returns. It's Batman, obviously, so it wasn't right up her alley. But she did remark several times that what she really enjoyed was the book's satirical portrayal of the media.

e.g. massive blackout caused by a Soviet nuclear attack ... and a news show breathlessly reaches out to favorite celebrities to ask, "Where were you when the lights went out?"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:02 PM on December 14, 2011

Y: The Last Man is great.

Fables - fun and funny.
posted by bunderful at 12:23 PM on December 14, 2011

"Miss Remarkable & Her Career" by Joanna Rubin Dranger!
posted by springload at 12:26 PM on December 14, 2011

None of these are har-har funny, but Ariel Schrag's graphic novel memoirs of high school are poignant and great. Blankets by Craig Thompson is likewise a touching high school retrospect. Black Hole is one of the creepiest, greatest SF works I've ever read.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:48 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, also Just about everything by Lynda Barry.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:50 PM on December 14, 2011

Seconding Transmetropolitan!
posted by honeydew at 12:53 PM on December 14, 2011

Transmet is brilliant but if you're gifting her something make sure it's not just book one. While that's got some fun Hunter-esque stuff and a good kick-off it spends some time on worldbuilding and doesn't, IMHO, hit its stride till book two.

Mind you, it keeps getting even better than THAT, but I can imagine it being easy to under-estimate from just the first 4 issues contained in the first graphic novel.
posted by phearlez at 1:07 PM on December 14, 2011

Phearlez- thanks for the advice- should I get the first 2 volumes then for the gift I already purchased the first Transmet.
posted by timpanogos at 1:30 PM on December 14, 2011

Vol. 1 is a little self-contained story (basically a pilot) that was written and drawn before the book was picked up on Vertigo (it was published on Helix? I think?) Vol. 2 is where the series picks up actual steam.
posted by griphus at 1:33 PM on December 14, 2011

My husband wanted to throw in a suggestion for The Invisibles, which he says has strong, positive portrayals of queer and trans characters. And he wanted to second the suggestion for Fun home (really, it's awesome).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:59 PM on December 14, 2011

Nthing Fun Home.
posted by Wordwoman at 3:22 PM on December 14, 2011

Fun Home is fantastic.

EDIT: Oh, already recommended. Well, now you have another!
posted by schroedinger at 5:56 PM on December 14, 2011

Sandman, is of course, a standard classic. It has some lesbian/gender identity stuff in it too, but not as a main focus.

DMZ is about a journalist in the no man's land of... New York City. May or may not like it.
posted by Jacen at 6:54 PM on December 14, 2011

AH, someone elses thumb for a edit button.

I know nothing about Ghostworld, but i hear it mentioned in association with LBGT fairly commonly.

Fables is of course totally awesome.
posted by Jacen at 6:56 PM on December 14, 2011

The Push Man and Other Stories
Tatsumi, Yoshihiro

Anything by Chris Ware but especially the
Jimmy Corrigan series
The Maus Series
posted by ljesse at 8:22 PM on December 14, 2011

Some great suggestions here- I'm going to return to this thread for bday wishes as well. Fun Home will be next on my list!! Thanks everyone.
posted by timpanogos at 8:59 AM on December 15, 2011

« Older Time for a new phone, what should I get?   |   szzzZSHROMmmmSHZzzooomm Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.