Best graphic novels of 2022

by MATTHEW PRICE

From the Friday, Jan. 6 edition of The Oklahoman

Houses with secret murders; holy grails; superheroes visiting other dimensions – these are all stories taking place in some of the year’s most acclaimed graphic novels. The following are my picks for the best graphic novels of 2022.

The Ghost In You: A Reckless Book 

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips create another noir mystery set in the 1980s as part of their series featuring investigator Ethan Reckless. In this book, Reckless is out of town on a case, and his investigative partner Anna must find out the dark secrets of a Hollywood mansion being renovated by a movie scream queen. 

The Rez Detectives: Justice Served Cold 

“The Rez Detectives” features an Oklahoma-related creative team and can be seen as a modern take on an Encyclopedia Brown or Nancy Drew type mystery, but doing so while exploring a Native American childhood experience. In the middle grade graphic novel, the Rez Dog Detective Agency is made up of two youngsters: the brash Tasembo and the brainy Nuseka. Writers Steven Paul Judd and Tvli Jacob, from Oklahoma, join artist M.K. Perker on the graphic novel. Judd is Kiowa and Choctaw and a writer and filmmaker; Jacob is a Choctaw filmmaker and professor living in Tulsa. 

It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth

U.K. Cartoonist Zoe Thorogood crafts an autobiographical story with innovative drawing and storytelling techniques as she deals with loneliness and depression on a trip to America.  

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

Cartoonist Kate Beaton (“Hark! A Vagrant”) crafts an illustrated memoir about her time working in the oil sands of Alberta, Canada. 

The Liminal Zone

Death and the afterlife are among the themes of this latest collection from Junji Ito. The four stories each examine a horrific happening, including a student dreaming of murders that he finds are happening in real life.  

Fantastic Four: Full Circle

Alex Ross (“Kingdom Come”) writes and draws this sequel to a 1966 Stan Lee-Jack Kirby story where the Fantastic Four venture into the Negative Zone. Ross creates a poppy color palette that reflects the story’s otherdimensional nature.  

Days of Sand

Aimee de Jongh is the writer/artist of this tale of the Great Depression, as 22-year-old photographer John Clark is sent to document the Dust Bowl by the Farm Security Administration.

Chivalry

Writer Neil Gaiman and artist Colleen Doran adapt Gaiman’s short story into a graphic novel. In the story, a British widow buys an item from a second-hand store – and the item turns out to be the Holy Grail, attracting an ancient knight to her doorstep. 

The Night Eaters: She Eats The Night

The first part of this new horror trilogy from the “Monstress” team of Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda follows Chinese-American twins investigating a house that was the site of a grisly murder. 

Apple Crush

Lucy Knisley continues the story of Jen on Peapod Farm. As Jen starts the sixth grade, she deals with family relationships and crushes.

Birds of Maine

Michael DeForge creates a post-apocalyptic tale with an upbeat spin, as birds have created a paradise of sorts on the Moon. 

Matthew Price, matthew@matthewlprice.com, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

The Ghost in You: A Reckless Book [Image Comics]

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