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Read (Comics & Graphics Novels) Harder: Challenge Accepted, Part Three

The words Graphic Novel Making Contest are in a speech bubble with an illustration of a pencil to the right.

Natasha and Megan here, back with more recommendations for the Read (Comics & Graphic Novels) Harder Challenge. This week's task is to read a comic originally published in a newspaper. Newspaper comics provide us with laughs and can offer social or political commentary. They are slice-of-life ephemera, snapshots of time and historical records. Don't forget to check our previous selections in our Challenge Accepted posts.

Here's what we read this week:


Natasha's Pick:

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, book cover

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For Alison Bechdel

For twenty-five years Bechdel’s path-breaking Dykes to Watch Out For strip has been collected in award-winning volumes (with a quarter of a million copies in print), syndicated in fifty alternative newspapers, and translated into many languages. Now, at last, The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For gathers a “rich, funny, deep and impossible to put down” (Publishers Weekly) selection from all eleven Dykes volumes. Here too are sixty of the newest strips, never before published in book form. -Publisher's Description


Megan's Pick

Boondocks, book cover

Boondocks Aaron McGruder

Huey and Riley Freeman are Black brothers living in a predominantly white suburb who occupy opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. Huey is radical, cynical and socially conscious. He looks up to the Black Panthers and wants to fight for justice and the betterment of the Black community. Riley idolizes gangsta rappers he sees on TV and is always trying to emulate them, reveling in the “thug life” and trying to uphold his “street cred” much to the chagrin of Huey. Their Grandad, Robert Freeman, a WW2 vet and former civil rights activist, finds both of these attitudes offensive and ridiculous. Like any good satire, The Boondocks uses humor to openly discuss complex issues like racial and socio-economic inequality, political corruption, racial stereotypes and the media’s role in perpetuating those stereotypes. Starting its run in the University of Maryland school paper The Diamondback in 1996, before being syndicated nationally in 1997, The Boondocks has always been an important, often controversial, discussion of Black culture in America.  -Megan


Reading Recommendations

Pearls Sells Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury, book cover

Pearls Sells Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury Stephan Pastis

Stephan Pastis has done it again with Pearls Sells Out: A Pearls Before Swine Treasury. This edgy comic is the perfect collection of insight and observation on humanity's pitiful plight as seen by an arrogant rat, a half-wit pig, and their insane entourage. Pearls Sells Out gives fans their much-needed dose of humor, wit and biting sarcasm. The book also features thoughts and sly comments from Pastis about the strips in running commentary throughout the book. -Publisher's Description

The Far Side, book cover

The Far Side Gary Larson

The Far Side was syndicated in more than 1,900 daily newspapers from 1980 to 1995, when Gary Larson retired. During its run, the cartoon spawned 22 books from AMP, which were translated into a total of 17 different languages. For his work with The Far Side, Larson was awarded the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist from the National Cartoonists Society in 1991 and 1994. The group also named The Far Side Best Syndicated Panel in both 1985 and 1987. -Publisher's Description

Krazy & Ignatz: "At Last My Drim of Love Has Come True", book cover

Krazy & Ignatz: "At Last My Drim of Love Has Come True" George Herriman

Krazy Kat, with its eternally beguiling love triangle of kat/dog/mouse, its fantastically inventive language, and its haunting, minimalist desert decor, has consistently been rated the best comic strip ever created, and Fantagraphics award-winning series one of the best classic comic-strip reprint series ever published. -Publisher's Description

Calvin and Hobbes, book cover

Calvin and Hobbes Bill Watterson

This is the first collection of the popular comic strip that features Calvin, a rambunctious 6-year-old boy, and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, who comes charmingly to life. -Publisher's Description

How's That Underling Thing Working Out for You?, book cover

How's That Underling Thing Working Out for You? Scott Adams

If you agree that every indeterminable project has to have at least one WDG (Worthless Dumb Guy), or are subjected to results-free sensitivity training, questionable employee surveys, and freelance consultants that seem to offer little more than exorbitant invoices, then chances are you find the corporate cubicle culture philosophy represented inside How's That Underling Thing Working Out for You? alive and well inside your own work environment--and that's exactly what makes Dilbert one of the most successful and popular comic strips of all time. -Publisher's Description

Blog Category
Graphic Novels


Submitted by Jo-Ann Wang on Fri, 08/07/2020 - 9:29 AM


Your Comment
I loved seeing some of the old comics I read when I was growing up: Calvin and Hobbs and Far Side. I thought no one read them anymore. :)

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