(graphic novels you could be reading instead of engaging with all this hearts-flowers-Valentines treacle)


Battle Royale, by Koushun Takami and Masayuki Taguchi

Skip the ‘love in the ruins’ idiom for ‘killing people in the ruins,’ perfectly emblematized in Battle Royale.   There will be so, so many dead schoolchildren by the end of this series. . . .


Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel

What more could you want out of your Valentine’s Day book than a funeral home?  Plus, this book also has people wearing turtlenecks.


King City, by Brandon Graham

No one’s love life in King City even has a hope of ending happily.  At least this book has exceedingly floppy cats to alleviate your romance-related sorrows.


Moomin, by Tove Jansson

Strangely-shaped Moomin is never happy in his love life and so spends time going on mysterious adventures instead, usually punctuated by strange and unhappy endings.  A perfect Valentine’s Day book for the ennui-inflicted reader.


Shark King, by R. Kikuo Johnson

Sharks are, in my personal opinion, the least romantic animal that there is, and this book includes both the danger of getting eaten by sharks (obviously very problematic) and the danger of getting mobbed by angry villagers (also distressing).  What better to put you in an acrimonious mood?

Happy Valentine’s Day!