Some people don’t consider graphic novels “real books” because they contain pictures and images, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Graphic novels and comic books are great segways into more complex readings, and they help your concentration. I know for me, since I’ve been so used to being on the computer, it’s been hard to sit down and read a book.
If you find yourself struggling with the same thing, I would recommend picking up a graphic novel and/or comic book. Graphic novels/comics are not only a great source of literature for writers and readers, they are also great for artists. Artists often can see more in animation than meets the eye and can be inspired by the differing art styles across comics.
There are so many great selections out there waiting to be read, but here is a list of my favorites:
- Bone series, by Jeff Smith. I loved this graphic novel series because of the adventure, the wacky and loveable characters, and the beautiful animation. There are 10 books in the series, including a prequel called Rose.
- Amulet series, by Kazu Kibuishi. This was an emotional, yet fun, graphic novel series telling the story of a family moving into a new house. A brother and sister have to travel into a new world to save their mother after she is captured. There are currently eight books out, with the ninth scheduled for release on October 26, 2021.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, by Gene Luen Yang, Michael Dante DiMartino, and Bryan Konietzko. If you loved Avatar: The Last Airbender like I did, definitely consider reading this graphic novel. It’s all about what happened after the show, and how the characters continue life after the avatar ends the one-hundred-year war. This is the first book in the series, and it consists of three parts.
- Smile, by Raina Telgemeier. This is the true story of a girl who loses her two front teeth, but it is so much more than that. It deals with self-acceptance, finding the right people, and loving yourself. This is a great read for all high schoolers!
- Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson. This graphic novel was interesting, and it takes place in the perspective of the villain who meets a girl that changes his view on life. It was super cool to see the effect that humans can have on each other. There were also a ton of fantasy elements in this graphic novel.
- Illegal, by Andrew Donkin and Eoin Colfer. This book deals with immigration and a boy coming to America to start a new life. Reading this will give you a newfound appreciation for the people who escape poor countries without much assistance.
- Maus, by Art Spiegelman. This graphic novel takes the monstrosity of the Holocaust and breaks it down into simple terms, making each ethnic group different types of animals. It’s a perfect book for preteens to educate themselves on the horror of the holocaust.
- Skyward, by Joe Henderson. I love this comic book because it shows what the world would be like if gravity disappeared. If you are into adventure and fantasy, as well as hypothetical writing, this is the comic series for you. There are currently 15 volumes.
- Ms. Marvel comics, by G. Willow Wilson. This comic series features a Muslim woman as the lead, and we see her struggle with her family dynamics as well as trying to keep her city safe! There are 10 volumes by the Muslim artist G. Willow Wilson. It starts with Ms. Marvel: No Normal and ends with Ms. Marvel: Time and Again.
Nimona was a National Book Award finalist and Bone was an Eisner Award winner. The Eisner Awards are basically the Oscars for comics!
I hope you’ll consider checking these books out, as they are all amazing reads. I know that right now, we all want things to go back to normal; we’re all stressed and worried. Next time you are feeling that, try to decompress with a graphic novel/comic book and immerse yourself in the pages. You may be surprised at how good it can make you feel!