While it’s still winter, pick up a comic or graphic novel with a cold weather setting or scene! Weather can set the mood, play a part in the plot, or act as symbol and metaphor. Winter settings can evoke comfort, coziness, anticipation, and resilience, while extreme cold can intensify themes of isolation, survival, strength and terror.
What's your favorite cold weather graphic novel or comic?
From winter wonderlands to extreme weather, the following titles all feature cold climates or wintery settings.
Waluk: The Great Journey by Emilio Ruiz
Young Waluk is all alone. His mother has abandoned him, as is the way of polar bears, and now he must fend for himself. But he doesn't know much about the world-and unfortunately, his Arctic world is changing quickly. The ice is melting, and food is hard to find.
Luckily, Waluk meets Manitok, a wise old bear with missing teeth and a bad sense of smell. Manitok knows many survival tricks, and he teaches Waluk about seals, foxes, changing seasons, and-when Manitok is caught in a trap-human beings. Has Waluk learned enough from his friend to find a way to save him?
Freddy on the Ice by Maxi Luchini
At home in his igloo, Freddy's quiet morning gets interrupted when a tennis ball crashes through the window. A tennis ball?! Who would even dream of playing tennis in an icebound wilderness? Find out in this wordless graphic novel in which the artwork brings the story to life.
Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 by David Petersen
In the Winter of 1152, the Guard face a food and supply shortage threatening the lives of many through a cold and icy season. Saxon, Kenzie, Lieam, and Sadie, led by Celanawe, traverse the snow-blanketed territories acting as diplomats to improve relations between the mouse cities and the Guard. This is a winter not every Guard may survive.
Nuclear Winter by Caroline Breault
Nothing’s rougher than a Canadian winter . . . except maybe one that never ends!
It’s been nine years since an accident at a nuclear power plant plunged Montreal into an eternal winter; the city is now blanketed 365 days a year in radioactive snow. But life goes on for folks like Flavie Beaumont, a mail courier on snowmobile who’s carved out a pretty normal life for herself, despite mutant crushes, eclectic urban fauna, and unrelenting meteorological events of unprecedented force. It turns out surviving nuclear winter is hard . . . but it’s possible surviving your twenties is even harder!
First Man: Reimagining Matthew Henson by Simon Schwartz
In this graphic novel, Simon Schwartz weaves biography and fiction together to explore the life of Arctic adventurer Matthew Henson. Moving between different time periods and incorporating Inuit mythology, Schwartz offers a fresh perspective on the many challenges Henson confronted during his life.
As a Member of early missions to the North Pole, Henson braved subzero temperatures and shifting sea ice. As an African American at the turn of the twentieth century, he also faced harassment and prejudice. Henson won a place on Arctic expeditions through skill and determination-though he didn't receive the same credit as his teammates. He also won the respect of the native peoples he met during his journeys-though he couldn't prevent the harm the expeditions caused them.
More than a biography, First Man: Reimagining Matthew Henson is an artistic homage to Henson's accomplishments and the complicated realities of being a trailblazer in a society that didn't recognize black men as equals.
Winter War by Kurt Belcher
Winter War is the 100 day war of Finland against the Soviet Union at the dawn of World War II. Sniper Tero Toivanent answers the call from his homeland, Finland, when it's attacked by the USSR, which seeks a buffer zone against Nazi Germany. Although the Soviets anticipated a quick victory against the small Finnish army made up of largely citizen soldiers, the Finns used the advantage of their winter to hold off the Soviets for an amazing four months. In this fictionalized account, but based on real situations, Tero and his allies, Niklas and Manu, are deployed to southern Finland to stop the Russian division attacking over the frozen Lake Hirvasjarvi. Seeing plenty of death and destruction and the hopelessness a Finnish winter can bring, the three get a taste of the horrors of war. Will it be enough to freeze even their hearts, accustomed to the deepest cold?
Whiteout by Greg Rucka
You can't get any further down than the bottom of the world - Antarctica. Cold, desolate, nothing but ice and snow for miles and miles. Carrie Stetko is a U.S. Marshal, and she's made The Ice her home. In its vastness, she has found a place where she can forget her troubled past and feel at peace... Until someone commits a murder in her jurisdiction and that peace is shattered. The murderer is one of five men scattered across the continent, and he has more reason to hide than just the slaying. Several ice samples were taken from the area around the body, and the depth of the drilling signifies something particular was removed. Enter Lily Sharpe, who wants to know what was so important another man's life had to be taken for it. But are either of the women prepared for the secrets and betrayals at the core of the situation?
Blankets by Craig Thompson
Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.
Snowpiercer by Jacques Lob
In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice.
The surviving community are not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled...
The movie Snowpiercer, due for release in 2014, is directed by Joon-ho Bong (The Host) and is already causing a stir with parallels to 1984 and Animal Farm.