I’m trying to remember: has there ever been a time when, emptying my suitcase at the end of the summer holidays, I didn’t find at least a few specs of sand hidden inside the covered in sunblock book I was reading on the beach?


Probably not. And especially this year, when the goal is to distance myself from the toxic doom scrolling of my social media feed, any distraction, and any means of satisfying my need for escape will be immediately welcomed. So, apart from all the other practical issues that need to be organized to escape the city, I have one more mission this year: to find what I’ll be reading while I’m lying by the sea trying to relax.

So, we’re in need of something different. Maybe a graphic novel?

For the graphic novel aficionados, it goes without saying that a graphic novel can offer great literary pleasure of a different kind in fact than that of a traditional comic book. That’s because a graphic novel offers a new way of telling a story, which can vary from the story of a “heavy” novel to that of a modern-day short story. That is, it’s different from the fast serialized stories we have come to identify with comics.

So, after doing a little research to see what the Greek market has to offer, I discovered some choices that are real gems. More below:

1. Jupiter’s Legacy by Frank Quitely και Mark Millar – Book 1, Oxy

The first book of the famous series by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, that’s gained even more fame due to the Netflix series of the same title. The protagonists of this “superhero saga” are some elderly super-heroes and their children. A different approach to the generation gap with the USA during the Great Depression and today as the background.

2. Exarcheia, The Bitter Orange by Nicolas Wouters and Dimitris Mastoros, Haramada Publications

Comic artist Dimitris Mastoros was born in Belgium and moved to the Athenian neighbourhood of Exarcheia when he was twelve years old. Bitter Orange is inspired by this experience and was created in collaboration with Belgian native Nicolas Wouters, aiming originally to introduce this different side of Athens to those unfamiliar with it. “We enter as we enter a castle, overtaken by the smell of something burning and of a feast. The historic neighbourhood of Exarcheia is sailing without a captain in the cement sea of Athens.”

3. Fight Club 3 by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart, Oxy

It’s of little importance that the public first heard of Chuck Palahniuk, and came to worship him, through David Fincher’s amazing film with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. What’s important is that today he is recognised as one of the most important modern authors, the creator of a harsh, dirty, annoying, and sarcastic story, just like it’s cynical lead, Tyler Durden.

4. Slaughterhouse 5 or The Children’s Crusade by Kurt Vonnegut, Ryan North and Albert Monteys, Anubis

If you haven’t read one of the most important American anti-war novels, maybe now is your chance to give it a go in a brand-new graphic novel version. The adaptation is by the awarded script-writer Ryan North and the awarded illustrator Albert Monteys and aims to change the mind of those who don’t believe the classics should be adapted.

Plus: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: With Artwork by Yayoi Kusama – Penguin Books

Yayoi Kusama, one of the most popular artists around the world, with her difficult personal life and her love for dots permeating her work, illustrates one of the most popular stories of modern literature. And in doing so lifts it off the round artistically managing to make us forget of the images we’ve come to identify with Alice.