8 graphic novels and trades to read this November

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You know that song from The LEGO Movie, “Everything Is Awesome”? That’s my theme song right now, except replace the word “awesome” with “garbage” because the world is a dumpster fire right now. Reading is one of my few escapes from what’s going on in this world. It’s why I’m not reading a lot of heavy, serious stuff right now. There’s always a place for that, and I’ll get back to it at some point, but these days I’m really attracted to the bright, splashy comics with gorgeous colors and intricate art.

That’s why there are, in fact, two Star Wars comics on this list. There’s also romance and a comic that’s about, I’m not kidding, cat sitting. These are the kinds of stories I want to read right now, with bold colors and hope that the world isn’t as bad as we think it is (or that maybe it is, but it will get better. Hopefully? Possibly??)

Fresh Romance, Vol. 2 - Various Artists (Emet Comics, November 1)

If you’ve thought to yourself, “I wish romance comics were a thing that were more common,” have you met Fresh Romance? It’s an anthology stories about romance, crossing all different genres. From paranormal to fantasy to historical, you’ll find a taste of everything in this anthology. Pick up the first volume, and then dive into this second installment that releases in print on November 1.

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting - Justine Prado and Jenn St. Onge (Emet Comics, November 1)

Finding Molly started out as a webcomic, but now it’s been collected into a trade, and you’ll definitely want to pick it up. Molly is done with art school, but she doesn’t quite know where her life is going yet. She’s back at home living with her parents and feels stuck. But when she’s given the opportunity to cat sit, she sees a way out of her current predicament. The colors in this series are really excellent, and it’s a cute and fun story that cat lovers will adore.

Poe Dameron, Vol. 3 - Charles Soule and Angela Unzueta (Marvel, November 14)

POE POE POE. The world really does need more Poe Dameron, and that’s why I’m so excited that the third volume of this comic series is here. Soule nails the voice of our favorite Resistance pilot, and Phil Noto’s art is, as always, breathtaking. It looks like there was a switch in artists for this latest run, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Unzueta’s art complements Soule’s story (and I’m always happy to see more women working on Star Wars comics.)

Paper Girls, Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1 - Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson (Image Comics, November 21)

Stranger Things fans, I really hope you’re reading Paper Girls the 80s paper-route girls meets sci-fi comic that has been getting so much acclaim. It draws on that nostalgia that makes Stranger Things so popular, but it’s made all the more brilliant by Matt Wilson’s incredible colors (he does The Wicked + The Divine, if you want another example of his work.) This deluxe edition hardcover collects the first two volumes of the series. While it’s probably better for those who already know and love the series, it’s a good reminder to check it out if you haven’t already.

Goldie Vance, Vol. 3 - Hope Larson, Brittney Williams, and Sarah Stern (BOOM! Studios, November 21)

How does the idea of Nancy Drew/Veronica Mars set in the 1970s in a Florida hotel sound? That’s the premise of Goldie Vance, which centers on sixteen-year-old Goldie who dreams of becoming a private detective. She lives at the hotel with her father, the manager, which means she gets to help out the onsite detective with the cases that come his way. This comic is brilliant and adorable; it’s one of those that puts a smile on my face every time I read it.

Batwoman, Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death - Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV, Steve Epting, Stephanie Hans, Renato Arlem, and Jeromy Cox (DC Comics, November 21)

My history with Batwoman is basically zero. I knew very little about the character before it was announced that Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV would be cowriting her book for DC’s Rebirth. I still don’t know much about this run, to be honest, but I know it features Kate Kane and that it’s been billed as friendly to new readers. Kate is also an openly gay superhero, so it means a lot to queer readers that she has her own book. I’m definitely going to pick this up soon.

4 Kids Walk into a Bank - Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss (Black Mask Comics, November 21)

The folks over at Black Mask Comics are doing fine work. In fact, they’re better than fine — they’re putting out some of the most creative and interesting comics currently being published. 4 Kids Walk into a Bank features four kids who are forced to rob a bank. When criminals come into Paige’s life expecting her father to pull one last job for them, Paige enlists her three friends to do it instead in order to spare her father. The plot sounds great, but honestly, the cover and title are enough to make me want to pick this up.

Star Wars: Captain Phasma - Kelly Thompson and Marco Checchetto (Marvel, November 28)

I have been WAITING for this series to release in trade since it was first announced. After the first issue released, I heard quite a bit of chatter on just how good it was. I read it and realized I’d be much happier if I just waited until all four issues were out so I could read them all at once. If you’re in a Phasma mood, pair this with Delilah Dawson’s novel and you’re in for a real treat.