Graphic Novels (For People Who Don’t Read Graphic Novels)

Welcome to the world of graphic novels! (Don’t worry—we’ve skipped the superheroes for this list.)

August 7, 2023

Welcome to the world of graphic novels!

Graphic novels are a unique blend of storytelling, artwork, and visual narrative that can be immersive and captivating. They can cover a wide range of topics, from superheroes and action-packed adventures to heartwarming coming-of-age stories and thought-provoking memoirs—although we’ve skipped the superheroes for this list.

This list includes:


Funny and Insightful

Hyperbole And A Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole And A Half
Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, And Other Things That Happened

Allie Brosh

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative—like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it—but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

Darth Vader And Son by Jeffrey Brown

Darth Vader And Son

Jeffrey Brown

In this comic reimagining, Darth Vader is a dad like any other—except with all the baggage of being the Dark Lord of the Sith.

In Love & Pajamas by Catana Chetwynd

In Love & Pajamas
A Collection Of Comics About Being Yourself Together

Catana Chetwynd

When you’ve reached that sweatpants-wearing cozy place in your relationship, it’s all In Love & Pajamas! This brand-new collection of Catana Comics presents comics that delight and amuse readers of all ages. W

Just Peachy by Holly Chisholm

Just Peachy
Comics About Depression, Anxiety, Love, And Finding The Humor In Being Sad

Holly Chisholm

Just Peachy is a comic series that explores what the day-to-day is like with depression and/or anxiety. The all-too-real cartoon protagonist gives readers a character to empathize with, and helps explain some of the not often talked about consequences and symptoms of having depression. The comics also explore the themes of heartbreak, finding love, dealing with stress, and capturing the magical moments in life that keep us going.

Strange Planet by Nathan W Pyle

Strange Planet

Nathan W Pyle

In Strange Planet, a group of blue aliens who live on a distant planet, and the humorous observations they make about mundane things in our world. These short, quirky comics offer a unique perspective on the world we live in.


Illustrated Non-Fiction

What To Do When I'm Gone by Suzy Hopkins, Hallie Bateman

What To Do When I’m Gone
A Mother’s Wisdom To Her Daughter

Suzy Hopkins, Hallie Bateman

When Bateman came the realization that someday Hopkins, her mother, would die, it became a catalyst to begin recording step-by-step instructions to take her through the days, months, and years of life after loss. The project became a way for mother and daughter to connect with humor, honesty, and gratitude. Now this illustrated manual will leave readers laughing, teary-eyed, and considering their own mother/daughter relationships.

The Mental Load by Emma

The Mental Load


Emma reflects on social and feminist issues by means of simple line drawings, dissecting the mental load, ie all that invisible and unpaid organizing, list-making and planning women do to manage their lives, and the lives of their family members.

The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone

The Influencing Machine
Brooke Gladstone On The Media

Brooke Gladstone

Nearly one million weekly listeners trust NPR’s Brooke Gladstone to guide them through the distortions and complexities of the modern media. Now, a cartoon Brooke conducts the reader through two millennia of history-from the newspapers in Caesar’s Rome to the penny press of the American Revolution and the manipulations of contemporary journalism. Gladstone’s manifesto debunks the notion that “The Media” is an external force, outside of our control, since we’ve begun directly constructing, filtering, and responding to what we watch and read. With fascinating digressions, sobering anecdotes, and brave analytical wit, The Influencing Machine equips us to be smart, savvy, informed consumers and shapers of the media. It shows that we have met the media and it is us. So now what?

The United States Constitution by Jonathan Hennessey

The United States Constitution
A Graphic Adaptation

Jonathan Hennessey

Our leaders swear to uphold it, our military to defend it. It is the blueprint for the shape and function of government itself and what defines Americans as Americans. But how many of us truly know our Constitution? The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation uses the art of illustrated storytelling to breathe life into our nation’s cornerstone principles.

On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

On Tyranny
Twenty Lessons From The Twentieth Century

Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder’s New York Times bestseller On Tyranny uses the darkest moments in twentieth-century history, from Nazism to Communism, to teach twenty lessons on resisting modern-day authoritarianism. Among the twenty include a warning to be aware of how symbols used today could affect tomorrow (‘4: Take responsibility for the face of the world’), an urgent reminder to research everything for yourself and to the fullest extent (’11: Investigate’), a point to use personalized and individualized speech rather than clich�d phrases for the sake of mass appeal (‘9: Be kind to our language’), and more.


Fiction and Graphic Adaptations

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood

A graphic-novel adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s modern classic depicts the terrifying realities of women consigned to childbirth roles in the occupied Republic of Gilead.

Bottled by Chris Gooch


Chris Gooch

Jane is sick of her dead-end life in the suburbs and desperate for a change. Her old schoolmate Natalie made it out, working in Japan as a fashion model. Now, as Natalie comes back to town on business, Jane sees a way for her friend to do her a favor’ whether she likes it or not.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

In Aldous Huxley’s darkly satiric yet chillingly prescient imagining of a ‘utopian’ future, humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order—-all at the cost of their freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also their souls. Originally published in 1932, Brave New World has enthralled and terrified millions of readers for decades and now it has been reborn for a new age.

The Walking Dead Compendium One by Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead Compendium One

Robert Kirkman

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months society has crumbled—no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.

A Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game Of Thrones
Volume 1

George R. R. Martin

The kingdom of the Stark family faces its ultimate challenge in the onset of a generation-long winter, the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, and the arrival of barbarian hordes.

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

The Night Bookmobile

Audrey Niffenegger

The Night Bookmobile tells the story of a wistful woman who one night encounters a mysterious disappearing library on wheels that contains every book she has ever read. Seeing her history and most intimate self in this library, she embarks on a search for the bookmobile. But her search turns into an obsession, as she longs to be reunited with her own collection and memories.

1984 by George Orwell


George Orwell

With evocative, immersive art, this vision of George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece provides a new perspective for longtime fans but is also an accessible entry point for readers who have yet to discover the iconic storythat is still so relevant today.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm

George Orwell

A beautiful graphic adaptation of George Orwell’s timeless and timely allegorical novel.

After by Anna Todd

Volume 1

Anna Todd

Fall in love all over again in volume one of the graphic novel adaptation of the global phenomenon AFTER! Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother determined to keep her on course. But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin, with his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, and tattoos. Good looking, confident . . . and rather rude, even a bit cruel. For all his attitude and insults, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—-until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites a passion she’s never known before.



The Secret To Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel

The Secret To Superhuman Strength

Alison Bechdel

A profoundly affecting graphic memoir of Bechdel’s lifelong love affair with exercise, set against a hilarious chronicle of fitness fads in our times.

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

The Best We Could Do

Thi Bui

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Roz Chast

Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.

I Was Their American Dream by Malaka Gharib

I Was Their American Dream

Malaka Gharib

The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigated her childhood chasing her parents’ ideals, learning to code-switch between her family’s Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid.

And Now I Spill The Family Secrets by Margaret Kimball

And Now I Spill The Family Secrets

Margaret Kimball

Glastonbury, Connecticut. 1988. When Kimball is only four years old, her mother attempts suicide on Mother’s Day—and this becomes one of many things Kimball’s family never speaks about. As she searches for answers nearly thirty years later, Kimball embarks on a thrilling visual journey into the secrets her family has kept for decades.

Seek You by Kristen Radtke

Seek You
A Journey Through American Loneliness

Kristen Radtke

There is a silent epidemic in America: loneliness. Shameful to talk about and often misunderstood, loneliness is everywhere, from the most major of metropolises to the smallest of towns. In Seek You, Kristen Radtke’s wide-ranging exploration of our inner lives and public selves, Radtke digs into the ways in which we attempt to feel closer to one another, and the distance that remains.