This list of YA comics was originally published in our YA newsletter, What’s Up in YA? Sign up for it here to get YA news, reviews, deals, and more!
If you love YA books and haven’t been reading YA comics lately, I hope this roundup will convince you to pick up a new title or two. For those who already know the incredible range of talent in YA comics, this look at a handful of 2019 YA comics will also likely add some new finds to your reading lists.
My own YA comics reading this year has been lacking, despite an incredible slate of new titles, so descriptions are from Amazon while I frantically catch up. This isn’t comprehensive, of course.
Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden
Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou.
This chance encounter sends them on a journey through West Texas, where strange things follow them wherever they go. The landscape morphs into an unsettling world, a mysterious cat joins them, and they are haunted by a group of threatening men. To stay safe, Bea and Lou must trust each other as they are driven to confront buried truths. The two women share their stories of loss and heartbreak ― and a startling revelation about sexual assault ― culminating in an exquisite example of human connection.
This magical realistic adventure from the celebrated comics creator of Spinning and On a Sunbeam will stay with readers long after the final gorgeously illustrated page.
Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau
Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band ― if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom…that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.
Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw
Mads is pretty happy with her life. She goes to church with her family, and minor league baseball games with her dad. She goofs off with her best friend Cat, and has thus far managed to avoid getting kissed by Adam, the boy next door. It’s everything she hoped high school would be…until all of a sudden, it’s not.
Her dad is hiding something big ― so big it could tear her family apart. And that’s just the beginning of her problems: Mads is starting to figure out that she doesn’t want to kiss Adam…because the only person she wants to kiss is Cat.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley’s dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There’s just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend.
Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy’s best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it’s really Laura Dean that’s the problem. Maybe it’s Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever.
Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.
Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige and Stephen Byrne
When the Xebellian military plots to overthrow Atlantis and break free of its oppressive regime, Mera seizes the opportunity to take control over her own destiny by assassinating Arthur Curry — the long-lost prince and heir to the kingdom of Atlantis. But her mission gets sidetracked when Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love. Will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side, or will he die under her blade as she attempts to free her people from persecution?
An astonishing graphic novel that explores duty, love, heroism and freedom, all through the eyes of readers’ favorite undersea royalty.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.
One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.
Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.
Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.
But this Halloween is different ― Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.
Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if ― instead of moping and 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! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years…
What if their last shift was an adventure?