The best graphic novels that sweep you into a strange surreal world of dreams

Rikke Villadsen Author Of The Clitoris
By Rikke Villadsen

Who am I?

I have been a surrealist since I discovered Salvador Dali and David Lynch at the age of 14. I have been on a path to combine the art world’s depth in style; symbols and metaphors with storytelling. Becoming a comic artist was a natural path and the media is great for expressing the many complex questions in life; what it is to be human and a woman in this world. I have become an artist who revolves around feminism and surrealism, eros and doubt. 

I wrote...

The Clitoris

By Rikke Villadsen,

Book cover of The Clitoris

What is my book about?

A woman has an encounter with a tattooist that leads to a quick and very different pregnancy. This unexpected event leads her on a journey of self-discovery; deep in the flickering world of her subconscious, she discovers many potent symbols, poetic wonders, spiritual guides, and strange visions.

The books I picked & why

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Black Hole

By Charles Burns,

Book cover of Black Hole

Why this book?

This graphic novel has such a strange atmosphere. It is a classic in surreal graphic novels. The dreamlike scene get a nightmarish feel combined with the insecurity of teenage life. Personally it made me see different on my teenage years, and why I felt different. This book can make you go deeper into the questions of your alieness. I come from a back ground of cinematic art and this book felt like David Lynch’s Twin Peaks series in beautiful black ink drawings. It made me realize that stories told in drawings can offer as much as a movie.

My Most Secret Desire

By Julie Doucet,

Book cover of My Most Secret Desire

Why this book?

This comic is a 1:1 dream story. It has the weirdness and absurdity of dreams. It is about Juliet herself and is an autobiographical classic. And it made me wonder how very personal feelings in your dreams are actually universal. It also has feministic potential, being very honest with all its dreamy gender chaos and strangeness. And it’s funny.

W the Whore

By Anke Feuchtenberger, Katrin de Vries, Mark David Nevins (translator)

Book cover of W the Whore

Why this book?

This book is contemporary art. The graphics are on a different artistic level than most comics or graphic novels. It made me realize that the contemporary art scene can live and flourish in storytelling, which by the end of the day led me on my path to becoming a comic artist. The story about W the Whore has a weird poetic feel. It is not about a prostitute, but about a woman and that is the symbolism and metaphors Feuchtenberger introduces in her surreal landscape.

Arsène Schrauwen

By Olivier Schrauwen,

Book cover of Arsène Schrauwen

Why this book?

Arsène Schrauwen has the simplicity and length to give you this feeling of never being able to escape your sickness or your loneliness. Olivier Schrauwen works with graphic novels as a contemporary artist. His drawings are so precise and weird, they make me think of great folk art as done by Bill Traylor. We realize the inner truth in his simple line and the awkwardness of life. This book is an experience like a dream; both utterly original and strangely familiar.

The Bun Field

By Amanda Vahamaki,

Book cover of The Bun Field

Why this book?

The Bun Field is a dream journey of a genderless child. It has a strange and nightmarish feel to it; the protagonist is being so vulnerable and kind of hurt, but it is not without a constant dark sense of humor. Dark as the country Finland in wintertime. It has a delicious pencil-smudged style as the school of Feuchtenberger has influenced many northern artists, myself included. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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