Quirk Books is one of my favorite publishers. There, I’ve said it; I’ve made my opinion known! Their book Night of the Living Trekkies caused me to sleep call my husband (the first and only time I’ve done that) and Warren the 13th and the All Seeing Eye is an amazing blend of horror tropes and childhood whimsy. From self-help books to geek culture, cute kitties and nerdy cook books, Quirk has it all.
But the discovery of Grady Hendrix added a new layer to my love of Quirk Books. Hendrix’s first book Horrorstör is a story about a haunted IKEA-esque home furnishing store and the group of employees who are tasked to figure out what is causing the strange occurrences. The book layout is fantastic, mimicking those pesky instruction manuals, and the story is engaging and terrifying.
So, when Hendrix’s second book with Quirk was announced, I was on board. My Best Friend’s Exorcism is described as Heathers meets The Exorcist, filled with southern 80’s nostalgia. I devoured this book, read it in five days. Abby and Gretchen are best friends, but forces outside their control pull them apart. From wealth to intelligence, no one would expect them to be best friends, but these two stick together through everything. But after one weekend at the lake house, Gretchen isn’t the same, and it will take something supernatural to cure her.
If you like 80s nostalgia, supernatural possession, or both, here are some great Graphic Novels to recommend to readers who would also enjoy My Best Friend’s Exorcism.
By: Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chang
Published by: Image Comics
File under: 80s Science Fiction
A gang of teen newspaper delivery girls in 1988 find themselves at the center of a strange, alien (maybe, perhaps?) time travel saga on Halloween night. As futuristic space ray guns, bizarre languages, and odd technologies are dropped into their laps, the girls struggle with how to handle the situation, all while referencing your favorite 80’s pop culture icons. With frizzy hair and jean jackets, the royalty of cliff hangers, Brian K. Vaughan and unique artist Cliff Chang transport you to a story where you’ll always ask for more.
By: Tony Sandoval
Published by: Magnetic Press
File under: Heavy Metal Music
Set firmly in the grunge, metal music of the 80’s, Doomboy is a heartwarming story of love and loss and music. When teenaged guitarist D’s girlfriend suddenly passes away, he doesn’t know what to do. He falls out with his band, loses friends, and becomes a recluse. But one day, D decides to play for his girlfriend on the beach one last time and, with the help of a friend and an FM tuner, plays his metal music on pirate radio. Little does D know, the whole community, and some other worldly entity, is listening to, and admires, his music naming this mysterious musician Doomboy. When a mysterious sea monster emerges for the water, only Doomboy can put it to rest. Doomboy earned Tony Sandoval several awards, including an Eisner and truly is a story that captures the teenaged angst in all of us.
By : Brian K. Vaguhan, Adrian Alphona & Takeshi Miyazawa
Published by: Marvel
File under: Superheroes
This is the second BKV book on the list, I think that he just understands what it means to be a teenager and the struggle they go through to make sense of the world as an adult. In The Runaways, six seemingly normal teenagers discover that their wealthy parents are members of a secret criminal society knowns as the Pride. With their secret known, these parents are willing to do anything to keep their criminal organization safe while the children grow to understand the true nature of their abilities. Join Nico, Chase, Karoline, Gertrude, Molly, Alex and the dinosaur Old Lace as they hide out in Los Angeles. Six distinct teenagers with six distinct super villainous families can be very difficult to execute, some criticisms of this book is the stereotypical nature of the characters; the goth, the surfer girl, the smart guy, etc., but it can be helpful to have familiar tropes in comics. Runaways was also a very long lasting series, so it’s great for people who really want to dig in.
By: Robert Kirkman & Paul Azaceta
Published by: Image
File under: Possession, Supernatural Horror
Kyle Barnes has had demons following him his entire life. First his mother, then his wife, it seems that anyone Kyle gets close to is susceptible to possession. When his mother dies and he inherits her house, Kyle returns to the south and with the help of a clergyman from his childhood, seeks to discover what haunts him and those around him. You may recognize Kirkman from the comic and television series The Walking Dead, and Kirckman is taking the same route with Outcast, which recently released its pilot episode on Cinemax.
My Friend Dahmer
By: Derf Backderf
Published by: Abrams
File under: Biographical, Non-Fiction
Many people have heard of the notorious serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, but none may have known him better than those who were around him day in and day out. Author of My Friend Dahmer, Derf Backderf attended high school with Dahmer and saw firsthand how childhood and teenage years can set someone down a particular path for the rest of their life. Showing up to school drunk, having neglectful parents, and feelings of repressed homosexuality led Dahmer down a path of destruction. Great for teenagers and adults, My Friend Dahmer has won numerous awards including the ALA/YALSA Alex Award and a Revelation Award at Angoulême.