Kathleen Gros’ Top 10 Go-to Comic Book and Graphic Novel List

True North Country Comics presents Kathleen Gros’ top 10 go-to comic book and graphic novel list.

Kathleen is a cartoonist living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the creator behind the graphic novel Jo: An Adaptation of Little Women (Sort Of) (HarperCollins 2020). Two more graphic novels with HarperCollins have been announced with releases slated for 2022 and 2024. Her other works include Last Night at Wyrmwood High (Cloudscape Comics, 2015), and Lunar Maladies (lunarmaladies.com, ongoing). Kathleen is also the current secretary of the Vancouver- based charitable organization, Cloudscape Comics. She graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2015 and teaches comics in the Continuing Studies program at Langara.

Here is the top 10 go-to comic book and graphic novel list from Kathleen Gros:

Thieves and Kings by Mark Oakley
“This series is a huge reason why I’m a cartoonist today. It’s a high fantasy story full of wizards, sorceresses, and yes, both thieves and kings. Oakley uses a unique approach to laying out his pages that I’ve never seen anywhere else—a combination of comics and illustrated manuscripts.”

Castle Waiting by Linda Medley
“I’m such a sucker for medieval-inspired aesthetics. Castle Waiting follows an eccentric collection of characters (vaguely based on fairy tales) who have arrived at a secret castle seeking refuge from dangers in the outside world.” 

Finder by Carla Speed MacNeil
“This is one of the most ambitious and intriguing sci fi series published in America, I think. Even though the Finder series is a multi-book series, each stands on its own. I love that in each book I feel like I can totally get lost in the world MacNeil has created. It’s thrilling.”

One! Hundred! Demons! by Lynda Barry
“I love all of Barry’s work, but this is the one I return to the most frequently. It’s a collection of short stories that are more or less autobiographical. I love the way she gets to the heart of emotions, and the poetic way she conveys memory.”

Make Me A Woman by Vanessa Davis
“This is another book that is hugely influential on me! It’s a collection of Davis’ personal essay comics and drawings. She’s so funny. The way she constructs her pages is inspiring. I love getting to see a glimpse into her character and life.”

The Paul Series By Michel Rabagliati
“I’m always drawn to stories that follow a character throughout their life. The Paul series follows the title character from childhood to adulthood in Quebec, weaving personal narratives in with events happening in the wider world. It’s made me cry more than once, and his brushwork makes me want to improve on my inking technique!”

Band vs Band by Kathleen Jacques
Band vs Band is one of those webcomics (also available in print) that I come back to over and over again. The general premise is somewhat Archie/Josie and the Pussycats-esque (but not intended for children). The comic follows the lead singers of two rival bands and the wacky world they live in. Jaques has a background in graphic design and plays with lettering and typography in a wildly unique way.”

When I Arrived at the Castle By Emily Carrol
“I feel like most of my picks are comics that make me think differently about the medium. Carrol is one of those cartoonists who blows my world wide open with her comics. She strikes the perfect balance of scary, suspenseful, a little bit sensual, and all with art and layouts that look like nothing else out there.”

Wendy by Walter Scott
“I think anyone who has been to art school will probably enjoy the Wendy books? Scott’s humour is scalding. Just like, such an accurate, critical, and deeply funny look at the art world and academia. I’m also a huge fan of the way he draws and letters his work—it has so much personality.”

Red: A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
“What Yahgulanaas does with form and narrative with his work is just phenomenal. Red changed the way I think about the space around and beyond the panel borders, and all the ways the space on the page can serve the characters.”

You can discover more about Kathleen on Twitter at @kagcomix and online at kagcomix.com

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