100 Must-Read Graphic Memoirs

This post is sponsored by It’s All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot.

It’s All Absolutely Fine is for anyone who struggles with not feeling absolutely fine. Tackling the not-so-simple subjects of depression, anxiety, and body image, Ruby’s unique, humorous, and brutally honest voice and eccentric illustrations will remind readers that they’re not alone—and that it’s okay to struggle and to talk about struggling.

 

 


There’s a scene in Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez where one character opens another’s head and looks around–literally. That’s what I imagine graphic memoirs doing. I can only live one life, but with their combination of prose and art, graphic memoirs let me see what life is like for someone else in a new, deeper way and on a range of topics and places of origin, from growing up in a country in revolution to living with mental illness to coping with tragic loss. So take a peek. Here are some must-read graphic memoirs.

  1. American Splendor by Harvey Pekar: “American Splendor is the world’s first literary comic book. Cleveland native Harvey Pekar is a true American original. A V.A. hospital file clerk and comic book writer, Harvey chronicles the ordinary and mundane in stories both funny and touching. His dead-on eye for the frustrations and minutiae of the workaday world mix in a delicate balance with his insight into personal relationships. Pekar has been compared to Dreiser, Dostoevsky, and Lenny Bruce. But he is truly more than all of them—he is himself.”
  2. American Widow by Alissa Torres and Sungyoon Choi: “On September 10, 2001, Eddie Torres started his dream job at Cantor Fitzgerald in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The next morning, he said goodbye to his 7½-months-pregnant wife, Alissa, and headed out the door. In an instant, Alissa’s world was thrown into chaos. Forced to deal with unimaginable challenges, Alissa suddenly found herself cast into the role of ‘9/11 widow,’ tossed into a storm of bureaucracy, politics, patriotism, mourning, consolation, and, soon enough, motherhood.”
  3. An Age of License by Lucy Knisley: “Acclaimed cartoonist Lucy Knisley (French MilkRelish) got an opportunity that most only dream of: a travel-expenses-paid trip to Europe/Scandinavia, thanks to a book tour. An Age of License is Knisley’s comics travel memoir recounting her charming (and romantic!) adventures. It’s punctuated by whimsical visual devices (such as a ‘new experiences’ funnel); peppered with the cute cats she meets along the way; and, of course, features her hallmark―drawings and descriptions of food that will make your mouth water. But it’s not all kittens and raclette crepes: Knisley’s experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries, and quotidian revelations―about traveling alone in unfamiliar countries, and about her life and career―that many young adults will relate to. An Age of License―which takes its name from a French saying―is an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan.”
  4. The Arab of the Future by Riad Sattouf: “In striking, virtuoso graphic style that captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism, Riad Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gaddafi’s Libya, and Assad’s Syria–but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian Pan-Arabist who drags his family along in his pursuit of grandiose dreams for the Arab nation.”
  5. The Arab of the Future 2 by Riad Sattouf: “In Volume 2, Riad, now settled in his father’s hometown of Homs, gets to go to school, where he dedicates himself to becoming a true Syrian in the country of the dictator Hafez Al-Assad. Told simply yet with devastating effect, Riad’s story takes in the sweep of politics, religion, and poverty, but is steered by acutely observed small moments: the daily sadism of his schoolteacher, the lure of the black market, with its menu of shame and subsistence, and the obsequiousness of his father in the company of those close to the regime. As his family strains to fit in, one chilling, barbaric act drives the Sattoufs to make the most dramatic of changes.”
  6. Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel: “Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.”
  7. Becoming Unbecoming by Una: “This extraordinary graphic novel is a powerful denunciation of sexual violence against women. As seen through the eyes of a twelve-year-old girl named Una, it takes place in northern England in 1977, as the Yorkshire Ripper, a serial killer of prostitutes, is on the loose and creating panic among the townspeople. As the police struggle in their clumsy attempts to find the killer, and the headlines in the local paper become more urgent, a once self-confident Una teaches herself to ‘lower her gaze’ in order to deflect attention from boys.”
  8. The Best We Could Do by 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.”
  9. Billy, Me & You by Nicola Streeten: “Nicola Streeten’s little boy, Billy, was two years old when he died following heart surgery for problems diagnosed only 10 days earlier. Gut-wrenchingly sad at times, her graphic memoir is an unforgettable portrayal of trauma and our reaction to it – and, especially, the humor or absurdity so often involved in our responses. As Streeten’s story unfolds and we follow her and her partner’s heroic efforts to cope with well-meaning friends and day-to-day realities, we begin to understand what she means by her aim to create a ‘dead baby story that is funny.'”
  10. Bitter Medicine by Clem Martini and Olivier Martini: “In 1976, Ben Martini was diagnosed with schizophrenia. A decade later, his brother Olivier was told he had the same disease. For the past thirty years the Martini family has struggled to comprehend and cope with a devastating illness, frustrated by a health care system lacking in resources and empathy, the imperfect science of medication, and the strain of mental illness on familial relationships.”
  11. Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story by Frederik Peeters: “One summer night at a house party, Fred met Cati. Though they barely spoke, he vividly remembered her gracefulness and abandon. They meet again years later, and this time their connection is instantaneous. But when things become serious, a nervous Cati tells him that she and her three-year-old son are both HIV positive. With great beauty and economy, Peeters traces the development of their intimacy and their revelatory relationship with a doctor whose affection and frankness allow them to fully realize their passionate connection. Then Cati’s son gets sick, bringing Fred face to face with death. It forces him to question the meaning of life, illness, and love — until a Socratic dialogue with a mammoth helps him recognize that living with illness is also a gift; it has freed him to savor his life with Cati.”
  12. Bright-Eyed at Midnight by Leslie Stein: “Beginning at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2014, and ending on January 1, 2015, Leslie Stein drew a comics page a night. Fueled by an urge toward visual and narrative experimentation and made possible by serendipitous bouts of insomnia, Stein has combined words and images in a series of comic strips, paintings, and collages that reflect her life.”
  13. Calling Dr. Laura by Nicole J. Georges: “When Nicole Georges was two years old, her family told her that her father was dead. When she was twenty-three, a psychic told her he was alive. Her sister, saddled with guilt, admits that the psychic is right and that the whole family has conspired to keep him a secret. Sent into a tailspin about her identity, Nicole turns to radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger for advice.”
  14. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast: “In her first memoir, New Yorker cartoonist 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.”
  15. A Chinese Life by Li Kunwu and Philippe Otie: “A Chinese Life is an astonishing graphic novel set against the backdrop of the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. This distinctively drawn work chronicles the rise and reign of Chairman Mao Zedong, and his sweeping, often cataclysmic vision for the most populated country on the planet.”
  16. Dare to Disappoint by Ozge Samanci: “Growing up on the Aegean Coast, Ozge loved the sea and imagined a life of adventure while her parents and society demanded predictability. Her dad expected Ozge, like her sister, to become an engineer. She tried to hear her own voice over his and the religious and militaristic tensions of Turkey and the conflicts between secularism and fundamentalism. Could she be a scuba diver like Jacques Cousteau? A stage actress? Would it be possible to please everyone including herself?”
  17. Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White by Lila Quintero Weaver: “Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White is an arresting and moving personal story about childhood, race, and identity in the American South, rendered in stunning illustrations by the author, Lila Quintero Weaver.”
  18. Displacement by Lucy Knisley: “In the latest volume of her graphic travelogue series, New York Times-best selling cartoonist Lucy Knisley must care for her grandparents on a cruise.”
  19. Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow by Anders Nilsen: “Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow is an eloquent appreciation of the time the author shared with his fiancée, Cheryl Weaver. The story is told using artifacts of the couple’s life together, including early love notes, simple and poetic postcards, tales of their travels in written and comics form, journal entries, and drawings done in the hospital in her final days. It concludes with a beautifully rendered account of Weaver’s memorial that Glen David Gold, writing in the Los Angeles Times, called ‘16 panels of beauty and grace.’ Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow is a deeply personal romance, and a universal reminder of our mortality and the significance of the relationships we build.”
  20. Dragon’s Breath by MariNaomi: “In this collection of raw, emotionally honest stories, MariNaomi explores a wide range of topics including youthful rebellion, mortality, disillusionment, and compassion. Many of these stories were first serialized on the popular site the Rumpus. These poignant stories, some filled with hope, others tinged with remorse, are sure to appeal to even the most discerning reader.”
  21. A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi: “Acclaimed for his visionary short-story collections The Push Man and Other StoriesAbandon the Old in Tokyo, and Good-Bye―originally created nearly forty years ago, but just as resonant now as ever―the legendary Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi has come to be recognized in North America as a precursor of today’s graphic novel movement. A Drifting Life is his monumental memoir eleven years in the making, beginning with his experiences as a child in Osaka, growing up as part of a country burdened by the shadows of World War II.”
  22. Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz: “Representing Julia Wertz’s critically acclaimed first graphic memoir in a new format, with a brand new sketchbook from Wertz, and an introduction by Janeane Garofalo. But don’t worry; we haven’t replaced any of the wrenching and ribald, whiskey-soaked coming-of-age tale. This is Wertz at her best, which is sometimes her worst.”
  23. El Deafo by Cece Bell: “Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid.”
  24. Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi: “From the best–selling author of Persepolis comes this gloriously entertaining and enlightening look into the sex lives of Iranian women. Embroideries gathers together Marjane’s tough–talking grandmother, stoic mother, glamorous and eccentric aunt and their friends and neighbors for an afternoon of tea drinking and talking. Naturally, the subject turns to love, sex and the vagaries of men.”
  25. Epileptic by David B.: “David B. was born Pierre-François Beauchard in a small town near Orléans, France. He spent an idyllic early childhood playing with the neighborhood kids and, along with his older brother, Jean-Christophe, ganging up on his little sister, Florence. But their lives changed abruptly when Jean-Christophe was struck with epilepsy at age eleven. In search of a cure, their parents dragged the family to acupuncturists and magnetic therapists, to mediums and macrobiotic communes. But every new cure ended in disappointment as Jean-Christophe, after brief periods of remission, would only get worse.”
  26. Ethel & Ernest by Raymond Briggs: “Poignant, funny, and utterly original, Ethel & Ernest is Raymond Briggs’s loving depiction of his parents’ lives from their chance first encounter in the 1920s until their deaths in the 1970s.”
  27. Everything Is Teeth by Evie Wyld and Joe Sumner: “When she was a little girl, passing her summers in the heat of coastal Australia, Evie Wyld was captivated by sharks—by their innate ruthlessness, stealth, and immeasurable power—and they have never released their hold on her imagination. From the award-winning author of All the Birds, Singing, here is a deeply moving graphic memoir about family, love, loss, and the irresistible forces that, like sharks, course through life unseen, ready to emerge at any moment.”
  28. Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac: “Standing alongside Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Joe Sacco’s Palestine, Nina Bunjevac’s Fatherland renders the searing history of the Balkans in the twentieth century through the experiences of the author and her family. In 1975, fearing her husband’s growing fanaticism, Nina Bunjevac’s mother fled her marriage and adopted country of Canada, taking Nina―then only a toddler―and her older sister back to Yugoslavia to live with her parents. Her husband and Nina’s father, Peter, was a die-hard Serbian nationalist who was forced to leave his country in the 1950s. Remaining in Canada, he became involved with a terrorist organization bent on overthrowing the Communist Yugoslav government and attacking its supporters in North America. Then in 1977, while his family was still in Yugoslovia, Peter was killed in an accidental explosion while building a bomb.”
  29. Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence by Geoffrey Canada and Jamar Nicholas: “Long before President Barack Obama praised his work as ‘an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty effort that is literally saving a generation of children,’ and First Lady Michelle Obama called him ‘one of my heroes,’ Geoffrey Canada was a small and scared boy growing up in the South Bronx. His childhood world was one where ‘sidewalk boys’ learned the codes of the block and were ranked through the rituals of fist, stick, knife, and, finally, gun. In a stunning pairing, acclaimed comics creator Jamar Nicholas presents Canada’s raw and riveting account, one of the most authentic and important true stories of urban violence ever told.”
  30. Flying Couch by Amy Kurzweil: “Flying Couch, Amy Kurzweil’s debut, tells the stories of three unforgettable women. Amy weaves her own coming-of-age as a young Jewish artist into the narrative of her mother, a psychologist, and Bubbe, her grandmother, a World War II survivor who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto by disguising herself as a gentile. Captivated by Bubbe’s story, Amy turns to her sketchbooks, teaching herself to draw as a way to cope with what she discovers. Entwining the voices and histories of these three wise, hilarious, and very different women, Amy creates a portrait not only of what it means to be part of a family, but also of how each generation bears the imprint of the past.”
  31. Forget Sorrow by Belle Yang: “When Belle Yang was forced to take refuge in her parents’ home after an abusive boyfriend began stalking her, her father entertained her with stories of old China. The history she’d ignored while growing up became a source of comfort and inspiration, and narrowed the gap separating her―an independent, Chinese-American woman―from her Old World Chinese parents.”
  32. French Milk by Lucy Knisley: “Through delightful drawings, photographs, and musings, twenty-three-year-old Lucy Knisley documents a six-week trip she and her mother took to Paris when each was facing a milestone birthday. With a quirky flat in the fifth arrondissement as their home base, they set out to explore all the city has to offer, watching fireworks over the Eiffel Tower on New Year’s Eve, visiting Oscar Wilde’s grave, loafing at cafés, and, of course, drinking delicious French milk. What results is not only a sweet and savory journey through the City of Light but a moving, personal look at a mother-daughter relationship.”
  33. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel: “A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books. This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel’s sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, it’s a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.”
  34. A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return by Zeina Abirached: “When Zeina was born, the civil war in Lebanon had been going on for six years, so it’s just a normal part of life for her and her parents and little brother. The city of Beirut is cut in two by bricks and sandbags, threatened by snipers and shelling. East Beirut is for Christians, and West Beirut is for Muslims. When Zeina’s parents don’t return from a visit to the other half of the city, and the bombing grows ever closer, the neighbors in her apartment house create a world indoors for Zeina and her brother, where they can share cooking lessons and games and gossip. Together they try to make it through a dramatic evening in the one place they hoped they would always be safe—home. Zeina Abirached, born into a Lebanese Christian family in 1981, has collected her childhood memories of Beirut in a warm story about the strength of family and community.”
  35. Good Eggs by Phoebe Potts: “In the tradition of the acclaimed graphic memoirs Fun Home and Persepolis, Phoebe Potts’s Good Eggs is a funny, insightful, and deeply moving book about learning to appreciate what we have…even when we can’t seem to get what we want. In Good Eggs, Phoebe’s quest to conceive a baby forces her to come to terms with her lapsed Judaism, her aspirations as an artist, her neurotic family, and her depression—happily, all with the support of her true loving husband. Potts’s clever, charming, and wonderfully detailed graphic novel evokes the intimacy of Alison Bechdel and the humor of New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.”
  36. Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash: “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.”
  37. The Hospital Suite by John Porcellino: “The Hospital Suite is a landmark work by the celebrated cartoonist and small-press legend John Porcellino―an autobiographical collection detailing his struggles with illness in the 1990s and early 2000s.”
  38. How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden: “Sarah Glidden is a progressive Jewish American twentysomething who is both vocal about and critical of Israeli politics in the Holy Land. When a debate with her mother prods her to sign up for a Birthright Israel tour, Glidden expects to find objective facts to support her strong opinions. During her two weeks in Israel, Glidden takes advantage of the opportunity to ask the people she meets about the fraught and complex issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but their answers only lead her to question her own take on the conflict.”
  39. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh: “Every time Allie Brosh posts something new on her hugely popular blog Hyperbole and a Half the internet rejoices. Touching, absurd, and darkly comic, Allie Brosh’s highly anticipated book Hyperbole and a Half showcases her unique voice, leaping wit, and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceptively simple illustrations.”
  40. An Iranian Metamorphosis by Mana Neyestani: “One of Mana Neyestani’s cartoons sparked riots, shuttered the newspaper he worked for, and landed the cartoonist and his editor in solitary confinement inside of Iran’s notorious prison system. But that’s not the whole story. Neyestani exposes the complex interplay between art, law, politics, ethnic sensitivities, and authoritarian elements inside of Iran’s Islamic Republic. In his journey to escape imprisonment, the artist travels from Iran to Dubai, Turkey, Malaysia, all the way to China. Along the way he shines a light on the dangerous and convoluted measures taken by refugees in their attempts to find safety and freedom. Mana Neystani’s story is at once unique, universal, and truly Kafkaesque.”
  41. I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached: “Zeina Abirached, author of the award-winning graphic novel A Game for Swallows, returns with a powerful collection of wartime memories. Abirached was born in Lebanon in 1981. She grew up in Beirut as fighting between Christians and Muslims divided the city streets. Follow her past cars riddled with bullet holes, into taxi cabs that travel where buses refuse to go, and n outings to collect shrapnel from the sidewalk. With striking black-and-white artwork, Abirached recalls the details of ordinary life inside a war zone.”
  42. I Thought You Hated Me by MariNaomi: “When MariNaomi first meets Mirabai in grade school, Mirabai seems to be more of a bully than a friend. But over the course of time, their relationship shifts from tense to friendly, to drifting apart, to reconnecting and finding something much deeper. I Thought You Hated Me is a comics memoir about female friendship, a story that doesn’t involve stale tropes like acrimonious competition or fighting over boys. It explores the complexity and depth of this particular friendship through snapshot-vignettes of relevant moments over thirty years, painting a portrait of something unique but relatable, common but extraordinary.”
  43. The Impostor’s Daughter by Laurie Sandell: “Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job–interviewing celebrities for a top women’s magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad’s life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he’s not the man he says he is–not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them–herself.”
  44. In-Between Days by Teva Harrison: “Teva Harrison was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 37. In this brilliant and inspiring graphic memoir, she documents through comic illustration and short personal essays what it means to live with the disease. She confronts with heartbreaking honesty the crises of identity that cancer brings: a lifelong vegetarian, Teva agrees to use experimental drugs that have been tested on animals. She struggles to reconcile her long-term goals with an uncertain future, balancing the innate sadness of cancer with everyday acts of hope and wonder. She also examines those quiet moments of helplessness and loving with her husband, her family, and her friends, while they all adjust to the new normal.”
  45. In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman: “For Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were both highly personal and intensely political. In the Shadow of No Towers, his first new book of comics since the groundbreaking Maus, is a masterful and moving account of the events and aftermath of that tragic day.”
  46. Invisible Ink by Bill Griffith: “This is the renowned cartoonist’s first long-form graphic work ― a 200-page memoir that poignantly recounts his mother’s secret life, which included an affair with a cartoonist and crime novelist in the 1950s and ’60s. Invisible Ink unfolds like a detective story, alternating between past and present, as Griffith recreates the quotidian habits of suburban Levittown and the professional and cultural life of mid-century Manhattan in the 1950s and ’60s as seen through his mother’s and his own then-teenage eyes. Griffith puts the pieces together and reveals a mother he never knew.”
  47. It’s All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliott: “Explore the highs and lows of modern life through the sharp, dark wit of Ruby Elliot—creator of the massively popular Tumblr account, Rubyetc, which has over 210k followers and growing. Ruby’s simple drawings of not-so-simple issues capture the humor and melancholy of everyday life.  Her comics appeal to both new adults who are beginning to explore these subjects and to battle-tested veterans of the daily struggles of life with mental illness.”
  48. Janet & Me by Stan Mack: “In words and drawings both candid and human, Stan Mack follows his eighteen-year relationship with Janet Bode, a lighthearted fling that beat the odds to become an enduring love affair. The only thing they couldn’t beat was cancer.”
  49. Kiss & Tell by MariNaomi: “From her father and mother’s interracial marriage to her own ‘you show me yours, I’ll show you mine’ moments on the playground—from drug experimentation to sexual/identity questions—MariNaomi lays her inner life bare. Kiss & Tell is her funny and frank memoir in graphic form: a fresh and offbeat coming-of-age story unfolding against the colorful backdrop of San Francisco in the ’80s and ’90s. Through deft storytelling and charming illustration, MariNaomi carries us through first love and worst love, through heartbreak and bedroom experimentation, as she grows from misfit teen to young woman.”
  50. Letting It Go by Miriam Katin: “Miriam Katin has the light hand of a master storyteller in this flowing, expressive, full-color masterpiece. A Holocaust survivor and mother, Katin’s world is turned upside down by the news that her adult son is moving to Berlin, a city she’s villainized for the past forty years. As she struggles to accept her son’s decision, she visits the city twice, first to see her son and then to attend a museum gala featuring her own artwork. What she witnesses firsthand is a city coming to terms with its traumatic past, much as Katin is herself. Letting It Go is a deft and careful balance: wry, self-deprecating anecdotes counterpoint a serious account of the myriad ways trauma inflects daily existence, both for survivors and for their families.”
  51. Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green: “Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She’d sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she’d have to eat it for breakfast. But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly. One day you can find yourself being told you have two weeks to live. Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.”
  52. Little White Duck by Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez: “The world is changing for two girls in China in the 1970s. Da Qin–Big Piano–and her younger sister, Xiao Qin–Little Piano–live in the city of Wuhan with their parents. For decades, China’s government had kept the country separated from the rest of the world. When their country’s leader, Chairman Mao, dies, new opportunities begin to emerge. Da Qin and Xiao Qin soon learn that their childhood will be much different than the upbringing their parents experienced. Eight short stories–based on the author’s own life–give readers a unique look at what it was like to grow up in China during this important time in history.”
  53. Long Red Hair by Meags Fitzgerald: “Long Red Hair is Meags Fitzgerald’s follow up to her acclaimed Photobooth: A Biography. In this graphic memoir, Fitzgerald paints a childhood full of sleepovers, playing dress-up, amateur fortune-telling and renting scary movies. Yet, Fitzgerald suspects that she is unlike her friends. The book navigates a child’s struggle with averageness, a preteen’s budding bisexuality and a young woman’s return after rejection. Fitzgerald takes us from her first kiss to a life sworn to singlehood, while weaving in allusions to witches in history and popular culture. Long Red Hair alluringly delves into the mystique of red hair and the beguiling nature of alternative romantic relationships.”
  54. Make Me a Woman by Vanessa Davis: “It’s easy to understand why Vanessa Davis has taken the comics industry by storm and is poised to do the same with the world at large―her comics are pure chutzpah, gorgeously illustrated in watercolors. No story is too painful to tell―like how much she enjoyed fat camp. Nor too off-limits―like her critique of R. Crumb. Nor too personal―like her stories of growing up Jewish in Florida. Using her sweet but biting wit, Davis effortlessly carves out a wholly original and refreshing niche in two well-worn territories: autobio comics and the Jewish identity.”
  55. Marbles by Ellen Forney: “Cartoonist Ellen Forney explores the relationship between ‘crazy’ and ‘creative’ in this graphic memoir of her bipolar disorder, woven with stories of famous bipolar artists and writers.”
  56. March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell: “March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.”
  57. March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell: “After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence — but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before. Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the movement’s young activists place their lives on the line while internal conflicts threaten to tear them apart.”
  58. March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell: “By the fall of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement has penetrated deep into the American consciousness, and as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is guiding the tip of the spear. Through relentless direct action, SNCC continues to force the nation to confront its own blatant injustice, but for every step forward, the danger grows more intense: Jim Crow strikes back through legal tricks, intimidation, violence, and death. The only hope for lasting change is to give voice to the millions of Americans silenced by voter suppression: ‘One Man, One Vote.'”
  59. Marzi by Marzena Sowa and Sylvain Savoia: “Told from a young girl’s perspective, Marzena Sowa’s memoir of a childhood shaped by politics feels remarkably fresh and immediate. Structured as a series of vignettes that build on one another, Marzi is a compelling and powerful coming-of-age story that portrays the harsh realities of life behind the Iron Curtain while maintaining the everyday wonders and curiosity of childhood. With open and engaging art by Sylvain Savoia, Marzi is a moving and resonant story of an ordinary girl in turbulent, changing times.”
  60. A Matter of Life by Jeffrey Brown: “In A Matter of Life, Jeffrey Brown draws upon memories of three generations of Brown men: himself, his minister father, and his preschooler son Oscar. Weaving through time, passing through the quiet suburbs and colorful cities of the midwest, their stories slowly assemble into a kaleidoscopic answer to the big questions: matters of life and death, family and faith, and the search for something beyond oneself.”
  61. Maus I by Art Spiegelman: “Acclaimed as a quiet triumph and a brutally moving work of art, the first volume of Art Spiegelman’s Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spieglman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father’s terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiarity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive.”
  62. Maus II by Art Spiegelman: “This second volume, subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, moves us from the barracks of Auschwitz to the bungalows of the Catskills. Genuinely tragic and comic by turns, it attains a complexity of theme and a precision of thought new to comics and rare in any medium. Mausties together two powerful stories: Vladek’s harrowing take of survival against all odds, delineating the paradox of family life in the death camps, and the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. At every level this is the ultimate survivor’s tale—and that too of the children who somehow survive even the survivors.”
  63. Mendel’s Daughter by Martin Lemelman and Gusta Lemelman: “In 1989 Martin Lemelman videotaped his mother, Gusta, as she opened up about her childhood in 1930s Poland and her eventual escape from Nazi persecution. Mendel’s Daughter, now in paperback and selected as one of the best books of 2006 by the Austin Chronicle, is Lemelman’s loving transcription of his mother’s harrowing testimony, bringing her narrative to life with his own powerful black-and-white drawings, interspersed with reproductions of actual photographs, documents and other relics from that era. The result is a wholly original, authentic and moving account of hope and survival in a time of despair.”
  64. Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies: “Winner of the 2005 Eisner Award in the category of Best Digital Comic for the original Web version, Mom’s Cancer is now available as a graphic novel. An honest, unflinching, and sometimes humorous look at the practical and emotional effect that serious illness can have on patients and their families, Mom’s Cancer is a story of hope—uniquely told in words and illustrations.”
  65. My Depression by Elizabeth Swados: “This intimate journey through long-term depression is by turns tender, funny, poignant, and uplifting. Swados’ charming words and frenzied drawings bring home the experience of severe depression, from the black cloud forming on the horizon to feelings of self-loathing and loss of self-confidence; from contemplating suicide, which Swados describes as wandering off into the Sahara desert (discounting the buzzards and the scorpions), to actively seeking out methods for fighting depression—including psychics, diet, and repression therapy—to experimenting with antidepressants that make you snippy, sleepy, or judgmental. My Depression is an engaging and heartening memoir of an illness that has been stigmatized for too long and on how it is possible to survive, one little challenge at a time, with medication and the occasional tasty, messy slice of pizza; with dancing to a boombox on the street and thanking the mailman for the newest catalogue, then proceeding to read it cover to cover!”
  66. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf: “You only think you know this story. In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer—the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper—seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, ‘Jeff’ was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides. In My Friend Dahmer, a haunting and original graphic novel, writer-artist Backderf creates a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young man struggling against the morbid urges emanating from the deep recesses of his psyche—a shy kid, a teenage alcoholic, and a goofball who never quite fit in with his classmates. With profound insight, what emerges is a Jeffrey Dahmer that few ever really knew, and one readers will never forget.”
  67. NonNonBa by Shigeru Mizuki: “NonNonBa is the definitive work by acclaimed Gekiga-ka Shigeru Mizuki, a poetic memoir detailing his interest in yokai (spirit monsters). Mizuki’s childhood experiences with yokai influenced the course of his life and oeuvre; he is now known as the forefather of yokai manga. His spring 2011 book, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, was featured on PRI’s The World, where Marco Werman scored a coveted interview with one of the most famous visual artists working in Japan today.”
  68. Nylon Road by Parsua Bashi: “In the tradition of graphic memoirs such as Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, comes the story of a young Iranian woman’s struggles with growing up under Shiite Law, her journey into adulthood, and the daughter whom she had to leave behind when she left Iran. Nylon Road is a window into the soul of a culture that we are still struggling to understand.  Beautifully told, poignant, this is a powerful work about the necessity of freedom.”
  69. One Hundred Demons by Lynda Barry: “In this graphic novel that’s part memoir and part creativity primer, Lynda Barry serves up comics that delve into the funk and sweetness of love, family, adolescence, race, and the hood. Name that Demon!!! Freaky boyfriends! Shouting Moms! Innocence betrayed! These are some of the pickled demons you’ll meet as Lynda Barry mixes the true and the un-true into something she calls ‘autobificitionalography.’ From her nattering and intolerant/loving Filipina grandmother to the ex-boyfriend from hell who had lice, Lynda Barry’s demons jump out of these pages and double-dare you to speak their names. Called by Time magazine ‘a work of art as well as literature,’ One Hundred Demons has been hailed for its shimmering watercolor images and unforgettable stories about life’s little monsters.”
  70. The Other Side of the Wall by Simon Schwartz: “Simon Schwartz was born in 1982 in East Germany, at a time when the repressive Socialist Unity Party of Germany controlled the area. Shortly before Simon’s birth, his parents decided to leave their home in search of greater freedoms on the other side of the Berlin Wall. But East German authorities did not allow the Schwartzes to leave for almost three years. In the meantime, Simon’s parents struggled with the costs of their decision: the loss of work, the attention of the East German secret police, and the fragmentation of their family.”
  71. Our Cancer Year by Harvey Pekar, Joyce Brabner, and Frank Stack: “It was they year of Desert Storm that Harvey Pekar and his wife, Joyce Brabner, discovered Harvey had cancer. Pekar, a man who has made a profession of chronicling the Kafkaesque absurdities of an ordinary life (if any life is ordinary) suddenly found himself incapacitated. But he had a better-than-average chance to beat cancer and he took it — kicking, screaming, and complaining all the way. Pekar and Brabner draw on this and other trials to paint a portrait of a man beset with fears real and imagined — who survives.”
  72. Over Easy by Mimi Pond: “Over Easy is a brilliant portrayal of a familiar coming-of-age story. After being denied financial aid to cover her last year of art school, Margaret finds salvation from the straightlaced world of college and the earnestness of both hippies and punks in the wisecracking, fast-talking, drug-taking group she encounters at the Imperial Café, where she makes the transformation from Margaret to Madge. At first she mimics these new and exotic grown-up friends, trying on the guise of adulthood with some awkward but funny stumbles. Gradually she realizes that the adults she looks up to are a mess of contradictions, misplaced artistic ambitions, sexual confusion, dependencies, and addictions.”
  73. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi: “Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.”
  74. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi: “Here is the continuation of her fascinating story. In 1984, Marjane flees fundamentalism and the war with Iraq to begin a new life in Vienna. Once there, she faces the trials of adolescence far from her friends and family, and while she soon carves out a place for herself among a group of fellow outsiders, she continues to struggle for a sense of belonging.”
  75. Prison Island by Colleen Frakes: “McNeil Island in Washington state was the home of the last prison island in the United States, accessible only by air or sea. It was also home to about fifty families, including Colleen Frake’s. Her parents—like nearly everyone else on the island—both worked in the prison, where her father was the prison’s captain and her mother worked in security. In this engaging graphic memoir, a Xeric and Ignatz Award-winning comics artist, Colleen Frakes, tells the story of a typical girl growing up in atypical circumstances.”
  76. Ramshackle: A Yellowknife Story by Alison McCreesh: “Over the past decade, the North, or at least the idea of it, has slowly made its way back to our consciousness, a notion that the North is synonymous with a lawless, rugged freedom. But at first glance Yellowknife, NWT is actually a somewhat disappointing modern capital city. There are tall buildings, yoga pants, a Walmart and a lot of government jobs. None the less, if you dig a little deeper, you do find that alternative off-grid reality. Barely five minutes from the downtown core, wedged between million dollar houses, you find little shacks where people exist without running water and use honey buckets for toilets.When Alison McCreesh moved from Quebec to Yellowknife she quickly fell in love with the quirky ways in which it seemed possible to live up North. Part travelogue, part comic book, part love story and part guide to the North and its quirky inhabitants Ramshackle spans her first summer north of 60.”
  77. Relish by Lucy Knisley: “Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe―many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy’s original inventions.”
  78. Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart: “A Goodreads Choice Award Semi-Finalist, Amazon Best Book of 2016, one of TheWashington Posts Best Graphic Novels of 2016, and one of Publishers Weekly’s 100 Best Books of 2016, Rosalie Lightning is Eisner-nominated cartoonist Tom Hart’s #1 New York Times bestselling touching and beautiful graphic memoir about the untimely death of his young daughter, Rosalie. His heart-breaking and emotional illustrations strike readers to the core, and take them along his family’s journey through loss. Hart uses the graphic form to articulate his and his wife’s on-going search for meaning in the aftermath of Rosalie’s death, exploring themes of grief, hopelessness, rebirth, and eventually finding hope again.”
  79. Scenes from an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine: “At the behest of his soon-to-be wife, Adrian Tomine set out to create a wedding favor for their guests that would be funnier and more personal than the typical chocolate bars and picture frames. What started out as a simple illustrated card soon grew into a full-fledged comic book: a collection of short strips chronicling the often absurd process of getting married. A loose, cartoony departure from Tomine’s previous work, Scenes from an Impending Marriage is a sweet-natured, laugh out-loud skewering of the modern marriage process, including hiring a DJ, location scouting, trips to the salon, suit fittings, dance lessons, registering for gifts, and managing familial demands. The most personal and autobiographical work of Tomine’s career, Scenes from an Impending Marriage is a charming, delightful token of love.”
  80. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier: “Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.”
  81. Smile by Raina Telgemeier: “Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.”
  82. Snapshots of a Girl by Beldan Sezen: “In this autobiographical graphic novel, Beldan Sezen revisits the various instances of her coming of age, and her coming out as lesbian, in both western and Islamic cultures (as the daughter of Turkish immigrants in western Europe)—to friends, family, and herself. Through a series of vignettes, she navigates the messy circumstances of her life, dealing with family issues, bad dates, and sexual politics with the raw honesty of a young woman looking for happiness. Snapshots is an amusing, thoroughly modern take on dyke life and cultural identity.”
  83. Something New by Lucy Knisley: “In 2010, Lucy and her long-term boyfriend John broke up. Three long, lonely years later, John returned to New York, walked into Lucy’s apartment, and proposed. This is not that story. It is the story of what came after: The Wedding.”
  84. Special Exits by Joyce Farmer: “In the vein of Alison Bechdel or Harvey Pekar, Joyce Farmer’s memoir chronicles the decline of the author’s parents’ health, their relationship with one another and with their daughter, and how they cope with the day-to-day emotional fragility of the most taxing time of their lives. Set in southern Los Angeles (which makes for a terrifying sequence as blind Rachel and ailing Lars are trapped in their home without power during the 1992 Rodney King riots), Farmer details the slow, inexorable decline in Lars’ and Rachel’s health, and perfectly captures the timbre of the exchanges between a long-married couple: the affectionate bickering; their gallows humor; their querulousness as their bodies break down.”
  85. Stitches by David Small: “David Small, a best-selling and highly regarded children’s book illustrator, comes forward with this unflinching graphic memoir. Remarkable and intensely dramatic, Stitches tells the story of a fourteen-year-old boy who awakes one day from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he has been transformed into a virtual mute―a vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot. From horror to hope, Small proceeds to graphically portray an almost unbelievable descent into adolescent hell and the difficult road to physical, emotional, and artistic recovery.”
  86. The Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden: “When Jennifer Hayden was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43, she realized that her tits told a story. Across a lifetime, they’d held so many meanings: hope and fear, pride and embarrassment, life and death. And then they were gone. Now, their story has become a way of understanding her story.”
  87. Sunday in the Park with Boys by Jane Mai: “Jane Mai will give you advice if you ask for it. With Sunday in the Park with Boys she has given us a poetic account of self-discovery and self-loathing. In this comic as emotional cartography, persona and person collide as Mai contends with loneliness, heartache and herself.”
  88. Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée: “Goglu is a daydreamer with a young working mother, a disengaged stepfather, and a father who lives five thousand miles away. Drawing, punk rock, and the promise of true independence guide Goglu to adulthood while her home’s daily chaos inevitably shapes her identity. Susceptible is a devastating graphic novel debut by Geneviève Castrée; it’s a testament to the heartbreaking loss of innocence when a child is forced to be the adult amongst grownups.”
  89. Tangles by Sarah Leavitt: “In this powerful memoir the the LA Times calls ‘moving, rigorous, and heartbreaking,’ Sarah Leavitt reveals how Alzheimer’s disease transformed her mother, Midge, and her family forever. In spare blackand- white drawings and clear, candid prose, Sarah shares her family’s journey through a harrowing range of emotions—shock, denial, hope, anger, frustration—all the while learning to cope, and managing to find moments of happiness. Midge, a Harvard educated intellectual, struggles to comprehend the simplest words; Sarah’s father, Rob, slowly adapts to his new role as full-time caretaker, but still finds time for wordplay and poetry with his wife; Sarah and her sister Hannah argue, laugh, and grieve together as they join forces to help Midge. Tangles confronts the complexity of Alzheimer’s disease, and ultimately releases a knot of memories and dreams to reveal a bond between a mother and a daughter that will never come apart.”
  90. Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust: “Back in 1984, a rebellious,17-year-old, punked-out Ulli Lust set out for a wild hitchhiking trip across Italy, from Naples through Verona and Rome and ending up in Sicily. Twenty-five years later, this talented Austrian cartoonist has looked back at that tumultuous summer and delivered a long, dense, sensitive,and minutely observed autobiographical masterpiece.”
  91. Tomboy by Liz Prince: “Growing up, Liz Prince wasn’t a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing Pretty Pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn’t exactly one of the guys either, as she quickly learned when her Little League baseball coach exiled her to the outfield instead of letting her take the pitcher’s mound. Liz was somewhere in the middle, and Tomboy is the story of her struggle to find the place where she belonged.”
  92. Turning Japanese by MariNaomi: “In 1995, twenty-two-year-old Mari had just exited a long-term relationship, moving from Mill Valley to San Jose, California. Soon enough, she falls in love, then finds employment at a hostess bar for Japanese expats, where she is determined to learn the Japanese language and culture. Turning Japanese is a story about otherness, culture clashes, generation gaps, and youthful impetuosity.”
  93. Two Generals by Scott Chantler: “In March of 1943, Scott Chantler’s grandfather, Law Chantler, shipped out across the Atlantic for active service with the Highland Light Infantry of Canada, along with his best friend, Jack, a fellow officer. Not long afterward, they would find themselves making a rocky crossing of the English Channel, about to take part in one of the most pivotal and treacherous military operations of World War II: the Allied invasion of Normandy. Two Generals tells the story of what happened there through the eyes of these two young men — not the celebrated military commanders or politicians we often hear about, but everyday heroes who risked their lives for the Allied cause. Meticulously researched and gorgeously illustrated, Two Generals is a harrowing story of battle and a touching story of friendship — and a vital and vibrant record of unsung heroism.”
  94. The Vanished Path by Bharath Murthy: “In 2009, Bharath Murthy took refuge as a lay Buddhist. Soon after, accompanied by his wife Alka, he set out on a pilgrimage to the historical sites in India and Nepal associated with the life of Siddhattha Gotama, the Buddha. The Vanished Path is an account of their journey through the ruins that mark the Buddha’s life the places where he lived and taught, lands from where all traces of that past have almost disappeared. As the duo wends its way from Sarnath to Lumbini, from Kudan to Bodhgaya, and many places in between, Bharath’s pen brings alive the sights and sounds and smells of these places. Whether it is Buddhism you’re interested in or travel, this is a journey you will find yourself drawn into.”
  95. Vietnamerica by G.B. Tran: “GB Tran is a young Vietnamese American artist who grew up distant from (and largely indifferent to) his family’s history. Born and raised in South Carolina as a son of immigrants, he knew that his parents had fled Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. But even as they struggled to adapt to life in America, they preferred to forget the past–and to focus on their children’s future. It was only in his late twenties that GB began to learn their extraordinary story. When his last surviving grandparents die within months of each other, GB visits Vietnam for the first time and begins to learn the tragic history of his family, and of the homeland they left behind.”
  96. The Voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell: “The Voyeurs is a real-time memoir of a turbulent five years in the life of renowned cartoonist, diarist, and filmmaker Gabrielle Bell. It collects episodes from her award-winning series Lucky, in which she travels to Tokyo, Paris, the South of France, and all over the United States, but remains anchored by her beloved Brooklyn, where sidekick Tony provides ongoing insight, offbeat humor, and enduring friendship.”
  97. We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin: “In this captivating and elegantly illustrated graphic memoir, Miriam Katin retells the story of her and her mother’s escape on foot from the Nazi invasion of Budapest. With her father off fighting for the Hungarian army and the German troops quickly approaching, Katin and her mother are forced to flee to the countryside after faking their deaths. Leaving behind all of their belongings and loved ones, and unable to tell anyone of their whereabouts, they disguise themselves as a Russian servant and illegitimate child, while literally staying a few steps ahead of the German soldiers.”
  98. What is Obscenity? by Rokudenashiko: “A graphic memoir of a good-for-nothing Japanese artist who has been jailed twice for so-called acts of obscenity and the distribution of pornographic materials yet continues to champion the art of pussy. In a society where one can be censored, pixelated, and punished, Rokudenashiko asks what makes pussy so problematic?”
  99. When Anxiety Attacks by Terian Koscik: “Frank and full of gentle humor, Terian Koscik’s graphic memoir shares her experiences of living with anxiety, finding the courage to see a therapist, and learning more than she could have imagined.”
  100. A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova: “A Year Without Mom follows 12-year-old Dasha through a year full of turmoil after her mother leaves for America. It is the early 1990s in Moscow, and political change is in the air. But Dasha is more worried about her own challenges as she negotiates family, friendships and school without her mother. Just as she begins to find her own feet, she gets word that she is to join her mother in America — a place that seems impossibly far from everything and everyone she loves. This gorgeous and subtly illustrated graphic novel signals the emergence of Dasha Tolstikova as a major new talent.”
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