Graphic Novels

Download a pdf version of this list.

Alan's War: the memories of G.I. Alan Cope.  Emmanuel Guibert.  A poignant and frank graphic memoir of a young soldier who was told to serve his country in WWII and how it changed him forever. 714.5944 Guibert

American Splendor: the life and times of Harvey Pekar. 
Harvey Pekar. 
File clerk and comic book writer Pekar chronicles the ordinary and mundane in stories both funny and touching. 741.5973 Pekar

The Arrival. 
Shaun Tan. 
In silent, captivating illustrations, this wordless novel captures the displacement and awe that immigrants experience in a new country. 741.5994 Tan

Aya of Yop City.  
Marguerite Abouet (Artwork by Clement Oubrerie).
In Africa’s Ivory Coast in the late 1970s, a case of question-able paternity fans the flames of activity in the community in this warm, vibrant, and funny story. 741.596 Abouet

Barefoot Gen. Vol. 1: a cartoon story of Hiroshima.   Keiji Nakazawa.
This semi-autobiographical novel of hope and destruction poignantly depicts the will to survive after the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan. 741.5952 Nakazawa

Batman: the Dark Knight Returns. Frank Miller.

It is 10 years since the last sighting of Batman. Gotham City is overrun with street gangs and decay.  Miller reinvents Batman in this highly praised graphic novel. 741.5973 Miller.

Bone: one volume edition. Jeff Smith.
This light fantasy chronicles the adventures of the Bone cousins, who are swept up in an epic of royalty, dragons, and evil forces out to conquer humankind. 741.5973 Smith 

Chicken with Plums. Marjane Satrapi.

Persepolis author Satrapi depicts her great-uncle, the acclaimed Iranian musician Nasser Ali Khan, who renounced the world, its pleasures, and life itself. B Khan, N. A.

Dormant Beast. Enki Bilal.

An examination of individual, collective, and potential memory set in an open-ended story of a future society reeling from terrorist violence. 741.5959 Bilai

A Drifting Life. Yoshihiro Tatsumi.
A comic artist’s memoir, from his childhood in post-war Osaka to his years struggling to succeed in the competitive manga market in 1950’s Japan. 741.5952 Tatsumi

Epileptic. David B.
The French cartoonist's memoir of growing up in a family in which his brother's grand mal epilepsy regularly took center stage.  741.5944 B  

Incognegro. Mat Johnson. (Artwork by Warren Pleece.)
Based on real life Black journalists, Zane Pinchback, a.k.a. Incognegro, goes undercover as a white man in the South to investigate a murder charge against his brother. 741.5 Johnson

It's a Good Life, If you Don't Weaken. Seth.

Seth discovers the life and work of Kalo, a forgotten cartoonist from the 1940s, but his obsession blinds him to the needs of his lover and the quiet desperation of his family. 741.5971 Seth

Making Comics. Scott McCloud.

This comic isn't really about how to draw comics: it's about how to make drawings become a story and how cartooning choices communicate meaning to readers. 741.51 McCloud

Maus: a survivor's tale, Vol. 1. Art Spiegelman.

A son’s tortured relationship with his aging father is woven with the horrific story of his parents’ experiences during the Holocaust. A Pulitzer Prize Winner.  940.5315 Spiegelman

The Photographer. Emmanuel Guibert. (Photos by Didier Lefevre.)

In 1986, a photojournalist joined a Doctors Without Borders mission to Afghanistan. These are his memories, told with photos and art. 741.5944 Guibert

Stitches. David Small.

A finalist for the 2009 National Book Award, this searing yet redemptive memoir depicts the author’s childhood, including a callous mother and two harrowing surgeries. B Small

Stuck Rubber Baby. Howard Cruse.
Set in the South in the early '60s, the main character comes to terms with his homosexuality while simultaneously becoming involved in the civil rights movement. 741.5973 Cruse

Understanding Comics: the invisible art. Scott McCloud.
McCloud explains how graphic storytelling works: how comics & graphic novels are composed and understood, getting to the heart of how we deal with visual languages.  741.5 McCloud

Waltz with Bashir: a Lebanon war story. Ari Folman. (Artwork by David Polonsky.)

A gripping reconstruction of an Israeli soldier's experience, it is as much a study of memory as it is of how war dehumanizes soldiers. 741.5956  Folman

Watchmen. Alan Moore. (Artwork by Dave Gibbons.)

Moore investigates issues of power and control in this classic graphic novel about a group called the Crimebusters and a plot to kill and discredit them. 741.5941 Moore