Finder: Talisman is the best graphic novel you've never heard of. My ignorance is my own fault; I assumed the wonderful world of non-superhero graphic novels to be rather recent, apart from genre breakthroughs like Maus and Sandman.
In 1996, Carla Speed McNeil wrote and illustrated a magical tale that's about a book, any book really, but the book that changed your life when you were a chlid, and no matter how hard you work to find it again, you never can. About how the book mutates in your mind to help you deal with the circumstances of your life. How it grows bigger and bigger until it can no longer be anything as mundane as a bound stack of paper.
I won't spoil the magic of the story by telling you any more, but young Marcie's lifelong quest to rediscover her Talisman leads her on a remarkably entertaining journey through her imagination, through her reality, and her imagined reality.
McNeil's artwork also bears special mention. Seriously, look:
Finder: Talisman starts off a long-running series, but this one stands perfectly well on its own. I don't know a whole lot about what follows, but rumor has it that we meet some aboriginal legends and Hindu mystics, all tied to the magic of books.
Stay tuned. The beautiful hardcover edition arrives in stores October 3rd.