Get out of your comfort zone… and into a graphic novel?


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It might happen ever-so-subtly during a stroll around the neighbourhood or overcome you suddenly in an ‘aha’ moment. You know that feeling – the one you get when you discover something new.

This summer, the Vancouver Learning City’s Summer of Learning program wants you to get out of your comfort zone and feed the curiosity that inspires these moments. Luckily, our fair city is filled with events and excitement to nudge even the most couch-friendly to venture out and explore.

With this in mind, the library’s reading experts have put together this round-up of graphic novels to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone.

Out of Your Comfort ZoneScott Pilgrim Vol. 1 by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Set in Canada, this graphic novel captures the world of gaming, mid-20s slackerdom and the heartsickness of real love. Of course, there are loads of the bizarro and madcap moments that define the shonen-style of manga spoofed and referenced by Bryan Lee O’Malley. While you’re poring over this great read, check out this gamers guide while you’re at it.

The Magic Flute adapted by P. Craig Russell

Is opera more your thing? P. Craig Russell’s graphic adaptation of world-famous operas is at his best with Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The brilliant fantasy adventure of Prince Tamino’s rescue of the Queen of the Night’s daughter is given a wonderful art deco tint. Read it in the afternoon sun, float on over to this guide to the universe and find out how you can win a special night of opera with Vancouver Opera.

Prince of Cats by Ronald Wimberly

Ronald Wimberly tries something graphically different with Prince of Cats, as he re-imagines Romeo and Juliet as a Brooklyn melodrama. The only thing comparable to this Shakespearean mash-up is Jim Jarmusch’s film Ghost Dog. If you’re looking for a little improvised romance in your life, read this guide and catch Shakespeare live with Bard on the Beach.

The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book by Gord Hill

Gord Hill illustrates the long-standing Indigenous resistance to the European colonization of the Americas. With the recent presentation of findings by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa, our city and country is stepping out of the comfort zone to examine the past. Flash through 500 years with this graphic novel and learn more about local First Nations with this guide.

Coltrane by Paolo Parisi

Music has the ability to transport us to another state of mind. Follow the giant steps of jazz legend John Coltrane with this visual biography of one of the most celebrated figures in America’s musical history. To bring some jazzy tunes into your day, check out this guide to jazz in Vancouver.

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