Over the last few years, I’ve got more and more into graphic novels, mostly I think because it combines my appreciation for beautiful design and my love of reading into one. Graphic novels is honestly one of the most diverse and interesting genres of literature, as many authors and artists use the format to explore a number of social issues, personal stories and debates that can’t be explored in the same way with purely words.
Here are just some of my favourite graphic novels:
Soppy by Philippa Rice
This is one of the cutest books I have ever had the fortune to read!
If you’ve ever been in a serious relationship, had an awkward first date or ever purely appreciated just being in the company of someone else, this is the perfect book to reminisce with, bring a smile to your face and give you an appreciation of the small things in life we miss.
Take It As a Compliment by Maria Stoian
A beautiful mix of an incredible and stunning changing art style with distressing yet powerful real stories of sexual abuse victims and survivors. This graphic novel blew me away in the 15-20 minutes it took me to read it and so quickly resonated with me in such a permanent way. Maria Stoian displays so much respect for the stories of these victims – I highly recommend this to everyone!
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Saga is simultaneously amazing and incredibly frustrating a series to read. On one hand this book holds such a great narrative set in this futuristic world. It has some diverse, amazing characters, particularly the family at the focus of its narrative. However, the narrative is so well planned and so absorbing that each of these books are almost too short, you finish one and already want the next one. I’ve so far read the first three books and already ready/saving up money to buy the rest.
Brian K. Vaughan also writes the Paper Girls series with Cliff Chiang which has a great Back to the Future meets Stranger Things meets 10 Things I Hate About You vibe. Image Comics are one of my favourite graphic novel publishers for sure.
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Spiegelman recalls his conversations with his father, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. This adds something special and unique to literature about the Holocaust, depicting WWII as literally a game of cat and mouse – the mice are the Jews, the fat cats are the Nazis.
I remember reading this around Christmas time and staying awake until the early hours of the morning over the week leading up to Christmas because I was so absorbed in this book. This is a powerful and heartbreaking read both about a personal account of the Holocaust, but also about the relationship between father and son. If you have any interest in reading a graphic novel, I urge you to make sure you read this one.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
This is the first graphic novel I read a couple of years ago. It is completely different to anything I had ever read before and I loved the mixture of history interwoven in this book with simply the story of a girl growing up and trying to navigate both adolescence and then adulthood.
This has since been turned into a film – all animated in the same art style as the graphic novel. On the first day I celebrated International Women’s Day a few years ago, I went to a local coffee shop to catch the film with my boyfriend who had lent me the book. He was one of the only men there, but absolutely loved the atmosphere and the film.