Staff Favorites 2021--Graphic Format

Whether you love graphic format books or have never tried one before and want to, this list has something for you!

Many of these titles are available in ebook and eaudio format, and can be found on the DPL Staff Favorites 2021-Fiction and DPL Staff Favorites 2021-Nonfiction lists on Overdrive.

Andersen, Sarah (Cartoonist), author, illustrator.

Adulthood is a myth confronts head-on the horrors, anxiety, and awkwardness of modern adult life. From the agony of holding hands with a gorgeous guy to the yawning pit of hell that is the wifi gone down to the eye-watering pain of eating too-hot pizza because one cannot stand to wait for it to cool down, Sarah fearlessly documents it all. Like the work of fellow Millennial authors Allie Brosh, Grace Helbig, and Gemma Correll, Sarah's total frankness on extremely personal issues such as body image, self-consciousness, introversion, relationships, and bra-washing makes her comics highly relatable and consistently hilarious.

Bechdel, Alison, 1960- author.

"From the author of Fun Home, a profoundly affecting graphic memoir of Bechdel's lifelong love affair with exercise, set against a hilarious chronicle of fitness fads in our times"-- Provided by publisher

Brooks, R. Alan, author.

"Image you've been paralyzed for 5 years, all because of a betrayal by those you trusted. Then, one day, you suddenly have a healthy body, and can pursue your would-be murderers. Of course, none of you are human, and you were sent to this world for a reason. What would you do?"-- Provided by publisher.

Brosh, Allie, author.

Solutions and Other Problems includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh's childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life.

Calin, Cassandra, 1994- author, artist.

Hilarious and relatable comics about one young woman's life, relationships, and day-to-day humorous musings on why it's good to leave the house sometimes-and when it's better to stay home. Cassandra Calin's ability to document the hilarity of relatable everyday events in a series of webcomics has generated a huge following on social media. This beautifully illustrated compendium of first-person comics about the trials of the single life, school, stress, junk food, shaving, and maintaining a healthy self-image. Cassandra Calin's comics frequently highlight the humorous gap between expectations and reality, especially when it comes to appearance and how much she can accomplish in one day. This book is funny, lighthearted, introspective, and artistically stunning-the perfect gift for young women, recent graduates, and anyone who might need a little comedic incentive to leave the house today.

Chast, Roz, author, illustrator.

"In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. 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. When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the "crazy closet"--with predictable results--the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed. While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies--an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades--the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care" -- from publisher's web site.

Cook, Courtney, 1995- author.

"A witty and one-of-a-kind debut graphic memoir detailing and drawing the life of a girl with borderline personality disorder finding her way-and herself-one day at a time. What does it feel like to fall in love too hard and too fast, to hate yourself in equal and opposite measure? To live in such fear of rejection that you drive friends and lovers away? Welcome to my world. I'm Courtney, and I have borderline personality disorder (BPD), along with over four million other people in the United States. Though I've shown every classic symptom of the disorder since childhood, I wasn't properly diagnosed until nearly a decade later, because the prevailing theory is that most people simply "grow out of it." Not me. In my illustrated memoir The Way She Feels: My Life on the Borderline in Pictures and Pieces, I share what it's been like to live and love with this disorder. Not just the hospitalizations, treatments, and residential therapy, but the moments I found comfort in cereal, the color pink, or mini corn dogs; the days I couldn't style my hair because I thought the blow-dryer was going to hurt me; the peace I found when someone I love held me. This is a book about vulnerability, honesty, acceptance, and how to speak openly-not only with doctors, co-patients, friends, family, or partners, but also with ourselves"-- Provided by publisher.

Dawson, Delilah S., author.

"When all the men in Mancastle get eaten by a dragon, the women take over! Now the blacksmith's wife Merinor is King, Princess Aeve is the Captain, and the only remaining (and least capable) knight Sir Riddick is tasked with teaching the ladies of the castle how to defend against all manner of monsters!" -- provided by publisher.

Domnok, 1962- author.

Niki de Saint Phalle knew art could save the world because art saved her. From madness, from violence. From herself. Niki de Saint Phalle was a French-American sculptor, painter, and filmmaker. She was one of the few women artists widely known for monumental sculpture.

Duffy, Damian, author, artist.

"Home is a new house with a loving husband in 1970s California that is suddenly transformed into the frightening world of the antebellum South. Dana, a young black writer, can't explain how she is transported across time and space to a plantation in Maryland. But she does quickly understand why: to deal with the troubles of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder - and her progenitor. Her survival, her very existence, depends on it. This searing graphic-novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler's science fiction classic is a powerfully moving, unflinching look at the violent, disturbing effects of slavery on the people it chained together, both black and white - and made kindred in the deepest sense of the word"-- Provided by publisher.

Endo, Tatsuya, author.

"Master spy Twilight is the best at what he does when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions in the name of a better world. But when he receives the ultimate impossible assignment--get married and have a kid--he may finally be in over his head! Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn't know is that the wife he's chosen is an assassin and the child he's adopted is a telepath!"--Page [4] of cover.

Eveleth, Rose, 1987- author.

"In this innovative collection of comics and essays, Rose Eveleth poses provocative questions about our future, which are brought to life in twelve b rand-new comics, each by a different acclaimed artist. Eveleth then reports on what is complete fantasy and what is only just out of reach. Introducing compelling visions of our potential to progress or wreak destruction, [this book] reveals how complicated, incredible, frightening, and curious our future might be."--Back cover.

Fahmy, Huda, author, illustrator.

"Chaperones, suitors, and arranged marriages aren't only reserved for the heroines of a Jane Austen novel. They're just another walk in the park for this leading lady, who is on a mission to find her leading lad. From the brilliant comics Yes, I'm Hot in This, Huda Fahmy tells the hilarious story of how she met and married her husband. Navigating mismatched suitors, gossiping aunties, and societal expectations for Muslim women, That Can Be Arranged deftly and hilariously reveals to readers what it can be like to find a husband as an observant Muslim woman in the twenty-first century. So relevant in today's evolving cultural climate, Fahmy's story offers a perceptive and personal glimpse into the sometimes sticky but ultimately rewarding balance of independent choice and tradition."--Provided by publisher.

Feder, Tyler, author, illustrator, letterer.

"Tyler Feder shares her story of her mother's first oncology appointment to facing reality as a motherless daughter in this frank and refreshingly funny graphic memoir."-- Provided by publisher.

Fielder, Tim, author, artist.

"An Afrofuturist graphic novel that presents a new universe, tackling racism, classism, and gender equality while exposing ancient mysteries"-- Provided by publisher.

Gené, Gemma, author, illustrator.
Goto, Hiromi, 1966- author.

Poet and novelist Hiromi Goto effortlessly blends wry, observational slice-of-life literary fiction with poetic magical realism in the tender and surprising graphic novel Shadow Life, with haunting art from debut artist Ann Xu. When Kumiko's well-meaning adult daughters place her in an assisted living home, the seventy-six-year-old widow gives it a try, but it's not where she wants to be. She goes on the lam and finds a cozy bachelor apartment, keeping the location secret even while communicating online with her eldest daughter. Kumiko revels in the small, daily pleasures: decorating as she pleases, eating what she wants, and swimming in the community pool. But something has followed her from her former residence--Death's shadow. Kumiko's sweet life is shattered when Death's shadow swoops in to collect her. With her quick mind and sense of humor, Kumiko, with the help of friends new and old, is prepared for the fight of her life. But how long can an old woman thwart fate?

Gulledge, Laura Lee, author.

A bold and original YA graphic novel about battling your inner doubts and fears-and finding your genius Sometimes, the world is too much for Mona Starr. She's sweet, geeky, and creative, but it's hard for her to make friends and connect with other people. She's like a lot of sensitive teenagers-but in the hands of graphic novelist Laura Lee Gulledge, Mona's struggle with depression takes on a vivid, concrete form. Mona calls it her Matter. The Matter gets everywhere, telling Mona she's not good enough, and that everyone around her wishes she would go away. But through therapy, art, writing, and the persistence of a few good friends, Mona starts to understand her Matter, and how she-and readers-can turn their fears into strengths. Heartfelt, emotionally vulnerable, and visually stunning, The Dark Matter of Mona Starr is a story that takes the inner life of a teenager seriously, while giving readers a new way to look at the universal quest for meaning and connection.

Hall, Rebecca, 1963- author.

"An historical and imaginative tour-de-force, WAKE brings to light for the first time the existence of enslaved black women warriors, whose stories can be traced by carefully scrutinizing historical records; and where the historical record goes silent, WAKE reconstructs the likely past of two female rebels, Adono and Alele, on the slave ship The Unity. WAKE is a graphic novel that offers invaluable insight into the struggle to survive whole as a black woman in today's America; it is a historiography that illuminates both the challenges and the necessity of uncovering the true stories of slavery; and it is an overdue reckoning with slavery in New York City where two of these armed revolts took place. It is, also, a transformative and transporting work of imaginative fiction, bringing to three-dimensional life Adono and Alele and their pasts as women warriors. In so doing, WAKE illustrates the humanity of the enslaved, the reality of their lived experiences, and the complexity of the history that has been, till now, so thoroughly erased"-- Provided by publisher.

Hickman, Jonathan.

This is the world. It is not the one we wanted, but it is the one we deserved. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse roam the Earth, signaling the End Times for humanity, and our best hope for life lies in Death.

Jamieson, Victoria, author, illustrator.

"Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp"-- Provided by publisher.

Jennings, John, 1970- adaptor.

The drama takes place in a small Nigerian town during a violent and unexpected storm. A Nigerian-American woman named Chioma answers a knock at her door and is horrified to see a boy with a severe head wound standing at her doorstep. He reaches for her, and his touch burns like fire. Something is very wrong. Haunted and hunted, Chioma must embrace her heritage in order to survive. John Jennings and David Brame's graphic novel collaboration uses bold art and colors to powerfully tell this tale of identity and destiny.

Kirkman, Robert, author.

"A decade ago 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost in Oblivion. The government made every attempt to recover them, but after many years they gave up. Nathan Cole...won't. He makes daily trips, risking his life to try to rescue those lost, alone and afraid, living in the apocalyptic hellscape of Oblivion. But maybe---Nathan is looking for something else? Why can't he resist the siren call of the Oblivion Song?--Page 4 of cover

Lemire, Jeff, author.

The legend of the Black Barn tells of an otherworldly building that has appeared and reappeared throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake. Now its mystery ensnares and entwines the lives of two very different men. One: a young recluse, obsessed with finding hidden clues within the city's trash. The other: a washed-up Catholic priest, finding his place in a small town that hides dark secrets. Neither of them are prepared for what's inside the Black Barn.

Leyh, Kat, author, artist.

"Fresh out of shipwreck wine, three tipsy mermaids decide to magically masquerade as humans and sneak onto land to indulge in much more drinking and a whole lot of fun in the heart of a local seaside tourist trap. But the good times abruptly end the next morning as, through the haze of killer hangovers, the trio realizes they never actually learned how to break the spell, and are now stuck on land for the foreseeable future. Which means everything from: enlisting the aid of their I-know-we-just-met-can-we-crash-with-you bartender friend, struggling to make sense of the world around them, and even trying to get a job with no skill set ... all while attempting to somehow return to the sea and making the most of their current situation with tenacity and camaraderie (especially if someone else is buying)."--Amazon.

Machado, Carmen Maria, author.

"When your memories are stolen, what would you give to remember? Follow El and Vee as they search for answers to the questions everyone else forgot. Shudder-to-Think, Pennsylvania, is plagued by a mysterious illness that eats away at the memories of those affected by it. El and Octavia are two best friends who find themselves the newest victims of this disease after waking up in a movie theater with no memory of the past few hours. As El and Vee dive deeper into the mystery behind their lost memories, they realize the stories of their town hold more dark truth than they could've imagined. It's up to El and Vee to keep their town from falling apart...to keep the world safe from Shudder-to-Think's monsters."-- Provided by publisher.

Nagata, Kabi, author, illustrator.

"An emotional new diary manga about critical illness from award-winning creator Nagata Kabi. Nagata Kabi's downward spiral is getting out of control, and she can't stop drinking to soothe the ache of reality. After suffering from unbearable stomach pains, she goes to a clinic, where she is diagnosed with pancreatitis - and is immediately hospitalized. A new chapter unfolds in Nagata Kabi's life as she struggles to find her way back to reality and manga creation in the wake of her breakdown."--page [4] of cover.

North, Ari, author, artist.

In the near-future, people use technology to give the illusion of all kinds of body modifications-but some people have "Egan's Syndrome," a highly sensitive immune system that rejects these "mods" and are unable to use them. Those who are affected maintain a "natural" appearance, reliant on cosmetics and hair dye at most to help them play with their looks. Sunati is attracted to Austen the first time she sees her and is drawn to what she assumes is Austen's bravery and confidence to live life unmodded. When Sunati learns the truth, she's still attracted to Austen and asks her on a date. Gradually, their relationship unfolds as they deal with friends, family, and the emotional conflicts that come with every romance. Together, they will learn and grow in a story that reminds us no matter how technology evolves, we will remain ... always human.

O'Malley, Bryan Lee, author, illustrator.

"Katie's got it pretty good. She's a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie's life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all--but they don't come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over: 1. Write your mistake 2. Ingest one mushroom 3. Go to sleep 4. Wake anew. And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She's also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms--and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it's against the rules. But Katie doesn't care about the rules--and she's about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions" -- from publisher's web site.

Radtke, Kristen, author, artist.

"When Kristen Radtke was in her twenties, she learned that, as her father was growing up, he would crawl onto his roof in rural Wisconsin and send signals out on his ham radio. Those CQ calls were his attempt to reach somebody--anybody--who would respond. In Seek You, Radtke uses this image as her jumping off point into a piercing exploration of loneliness and the ways in which we attempt to feel closer to one another. She looks at the very real current crisis of loneliness through the lenses of gender, violence, technology, and art. Ranging from the invention of the laugh-track to Instagram to Harry Harlow's experiments in which infant monkeys were given inanimate surrogate mothers, Radtke uncovers all she can about how we engage with friends, family, and strangers alike, and what happens--to us and to them--when we disengage. With her distinctive, emotionally charged drawings and unflinchingly sharp prose, Kristen Radtke masterfully reframes some of our most vulnerable and sublime moments"-- Provided by publisher.

Ries, Ariel Slamet, author.

"In the witch kingdom Hyalin, the strength of your magic is determined by the length of your hair. Those that are strong enough are conscripted by the Witch Guard, who enforce the law in peacetime and protect the land during war. However, those with hair judged too long are pronounced enemies of the kingdom, and annihilated. This is called a witch burning." -- page 4 of cover.

Rowell, Rainbow, author.

"Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. Every autumn, all through high school, they've worked together at the world's best pumpkin patch. They say good-bye every Halloween, and they're reunited every September 1. But this Halloween is different. Josiah and Deja are finally seniors. It's their last season at the Patch, their last shift together--their last good-bye. Josie's ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. (He's the melancholy type.) But Deja has a plan: What if, instead of moping and instead of the usual--slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut--they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! Maybe Josie could even talk to that cute girl he's been mooning over for three years ... What if their last shift was an adventure?"--Provided by publisher.

Rubio, Salva, 1978- author.

"This is a dramatic retelling of true events in the life of Francisco Boix, a Spanish press photographer and communist who fled to France at the beginning of World War II. Through an odd turn of events, Boix finds himself the confidant of an SS officer who is documenting prisoner deaths at the camp. Boix realizes that he has a chance to prove Nazi war crimes by stealing the negatives of these perverse photos--but only at the risk of his own life, that of a young Spanish boy he has sworn to protect, and, indeed, that of every prisoner in the camp"-- Provided by publisher.

Scott, Sabrina, author, illustrator.

An inspiring, playful, and sensual invitation to the experience of everyday magic--in the form of a wildly original graphic novel. Witchbody is an invitation to awaken a sense of wonder to what lies beneath the surface of our experiences--the magic of all things. A plant, a tree, a coffee cup, garbage bins, you, me--they're all full of magic. Witchcraft is simply the power we all have to awaken to this magic."Reading Sabrina Scott's beautiful graphic novel Witchbody has been a transformative experience for me. I hope that the messages of Sabrina's work, their perspectives on ecology, materiality, nature and magic, will feel relevant to everyone who reads this."--Beth Maiden, Little Red Tarot "Witchbody is smart, beautiful, and highly recommended" --Spiral Nature.

Snyder, Scott, author.

"What if we found a cure for death? Years after the discovery of a genetic cure for mortality, one man starts to questions everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own personal legacy." -- page [4] of cover.

Som, Bishakh, 1968- author, illustrator.

"The meticulous artwork of transgender artist Bishakh Som gives us the rare opportunity to see the world through another lens. The exquisite graphic novel memoir by a transgender artist, explores the concept of identity by inviting the reader to view the author moving through life as she would have us see her, that is, as she sees herself. Framed with a candid autobiographical narrative, this book gives us the opportunity to enter into the author's daily life and explore her thoughts on themes of gender and sexuality, memory and urbanism, love and loss."--Amazon.

Spillett-Sumner, Tasha, 1988- author.

"Dez and Miikwan's stories continue in this sequel to Surviving the City. Dez's grandmother has passed away. Grieving, and with nowhere else to go, she's living in a group home. On top of everything else, Dez is navigating a new relationship and coming into her identity as a Two-Spirit person. Miikwan is crushing on the school's new kid Riel, but doesn't really understand what Dez is going through. Will she learn how to be a supportive ally to her best friend? Elder Linda is doing her best to be supportive, but she doesn't know how to respond when the gendered protocols she's grown up with that are being thrown into question. Will Dez be comfortable expressing her full identity? And will her community relearn the teachings and overcome prejudice to celebrate her for who she is?"-- Provided by publisher.

Takei, George, 1937- author.

Graphic novel memoir of George Takei's childhood imprisoned in American concentration camps for people of Japanese descent during World War II.

Taylor, Tom, 1978- writer.

"The Suicide Squad are assigned to neutralize a group of international super-terrorists known as the Revolutionaries--and the survivors are forced into joining the Squad! Who can Harley Quinn and Deadshot trust when their new teammates are the very people their crew was assigned to kill? This Squad might survive their next mission, but they may not survive each other-with a 'team' like this, the body count starts high, and only gets higher!"-- Provided by publisher.

Thapp, Manjit, author, illustrator.

""How are you feeling?" It's a difficult question to answer, let alone capture in visual form. But Manjit Thapp, popular Instagram artist and illustrator of The Little Book of Feminist Saints, does just that with touching honesty, exploring the depth, variety, and manifestation of the emotions that we all share, but often struggle to articulate. With lyrical, poetic prose and stunning graphic art, this book excavates what lies beneath that all too-common response and emboldens us to celebrate, and truly feel, our feelings. Thapp carries us along as she experiences various emotions throughout the year, working her way through the six seasons of the Indian calendar. From the spark of possibility and jolt of creativity in High Summer to the desolation and numbness of Winter, Thapp implores us to consider the seasons of our own emotional journeys and the moods that can change as quickly as the weather, allowing us to take stock and take comfort"-- Provided by publisher.

Thrash, Maggie, author, illustrator.

"Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She's from Atlanta, she's never kissed a guy, she's into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie's savant-like proficiency at the camp's rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it's too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand" -- provided by publisher.

Tynion, James, IV, author.

Cole Turner has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn't prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK Assassination to Flat Earth Theory and Reptilian Shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth?

Yee, Reimena, author, artist.

"After watching her circle of friends seemingly fade away, Lora is determined to still have fun on her own, so when a tea party leads Lora to discovering Alexa, the ghost that haunts her house, they soon become best friends."-- Provided by publisher.