Bingo Square: Ocean-themed graphic novel

Are you participating in the 2022 Adult Summer Reading Challenge and having a hard time figuring out what to read the square “ocean-themed graphic novel”? Here are some suggestions for you.

Looking for more summer reading bingo suggestions? Check our blog archive for more!

Black is the Color by Julia Gfrörer. Black is the Color begins with a 17th-century sailor abandoned at sea by his shipmates, and as it progresses he endures, and eventually succumbs to, both his lingering death sentence and the advances of a cruel and amorous mermaid. The narrative also explores the experiences of the loved ones he leaves behind, on his ship and at home on land, as well as of the mermaids who jadedly witness his destruction. At the heart of the story lie the dubious value of maintaining dignity to the detriment of intimacy, and the erotic potential of the worst-case scenario.

Corto Maltese: Under the Sign of Capricorn by Hugo Pratt. The adventures of this modern Ulysses are set during the first thirty years of the 20th Century in such exotic locales as Pratt’s native Venice, the steppes of Manchuria, the Caribbean islands, the Danakil deserts, the Amazon forests, and the waves of the Pacific. This book, the first of twelve volumes, launches the definitive English-language edition of Hugo Pratt’s masterpiece.

Low by Rick Remender. Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth’s surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun’s scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope.

The Massive by Brian Wood. In a post-war, post-Crash, post-disaster, post-everything world, the environmental action trawler Kapital scours the earth’s oceans for its missing sistership, The Massive, while struggling to redefine its core mission. Captain Callum Israel, a man who dedicated his life to the ocean, now must ask himself–as our planet dies–what it means to be an environmentalist after the world’s already ended.

Moby Dick adapted by Chabouté. A masterful adaptation of the timeless literary classic, faithfully and beautifully rendered by an award-winning artist. In striking black-and-white illustrations, Chaboute retells the story of the Great American Novel. Captain Ahab strikes out on a voyage, obsessively seeking revenge on the great white whale that took his leg.

The Rime of the Modern Mariner by Nick Hayes. A mariner appears on a park bench and begins his tale. Cursed by an albatross he slew whilst hunting whales, the mariner and his crew find themselves stranded within the North Pacific Garbage Patch: a vast, hypoxic, slow-whirling maelstrom of plastic waste; a hidden repository for the world’s litter. Along the way, he meets various characters of our current environmental tragedy: a lady made of oil, a deserted ghost-ship drilling barge, a 2-inch salp (the human race’s oceanic ancestor), a blue whale and a hermit. Nostradamus, Cassandra, Medusa, Poseidon, Thor, Gaia, Al-Javari, Mephistopheles and a buzzard also make cameo appearances.

The Sea by Rikke Villadsen. Told in expressive pencil drawings, provocative symbolism, and a madness that doesn’t just bubble beneath the surface of the water, but drenches the sailor–and the reader–like a tidal wave, this story is about a man, literally and figuratively, lost at sea.

Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh. Fresh out of shipwreck wine, three tipsy mermaids decide to magically masquerade as humans and sneak onto land to indulge in much more drinking and a whole lot of fun in the heart of a local seaside tourist trap. But the good times abruptly end the next morning as, through the haze of killer hangovers, the trio realizes they never actually learned how to break the spell, and are now stuck on land for the foreseeable future. Which means everything from: enlisting the aid of their I-know-we-just-met-can-we-crash-with-you bartender friend, struggling to make sense of the world around them, and even trying to get a job with no skill set … all while attempting to somehow return to the sea and making the most of their current situation with tenacity and camaraderie (especially if someone else is buying).

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki. Rose and her parents have been going to Awago Beach since she was a little girl. It’s her summer getaway, her refuge. Her friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had, completing her summer family. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and Rose and Windy have gotten tangled up in a tragedy-in-the-making in the small town of Awago Beach. It’s a summer of secrets and heartache, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire. As an underwater welder on an oilrig off the coast of Nova Scotia, Jack Joseph is used to the immense pressures of deep-sea work. Nothing, however, could prepare him for the pressures of impending fatherhood. As Jack dives deeper and deeper, he seems to pull further and further away from his young wife and their unborn son. Then one night, deep in the icy solitude of the ocean floor, something unexplainable happens. Jack has a mysterious and supernatural encounter that will change the course of his life forever.