Comics Newsletter

Light-Hearted Comics to Make You Smile

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Leah Rachel von Essen

Senior Contributor

Leah Rachel von Essen reviews genre-bending fiction for Booklist, and writes regularly as a senior contributor at Book Riot. Her blog While Reading and Walking has over 10,000 dedicated followers over several social media outlets, including Instagram. She writes passionately about books in translation, chronic illness and bias in healthcare, queer books, twisty SFF, and magical realism and folklore. She was one of a select few bookstagrammers named to NewCity’s Chicago Lit50 in 2022. She is an avid traveler, a passionate fan of women’s basketball and soccer, and a lifelong learner. Twitter: @reading_while

Things are…tough out there. Game of Thrones is a mess, politics is terrifying, and my Twitter feed is all debates and horror. There’s plenty to be said for staying engaged even with the tough, difficult things of this world, but sometimes it’s nice to escape. Perhaps with a beer or a cup of tea, beside a book full of comics that will make you laugh and smile.

Here are a bunch of recommendations for comics that are easy to read, fun to glance through, and just make me laugh or giggle every time. Light-hearted, joyous, or just poking humor at the state of millennials today, these comics will make you smile.

Need a good smile? These light-hearted comics will help you do just that. comics | book lists | light-hearted comics | fun comics | books to make you smile

big mushy happy lump by sarah scribblesBig Mushy Happy Love: a Sarah Scribbles Collection by Sarah Andersen

The day before I graduated college, I picked up Adulthood is a Myth, Andersen’s first collection, and spent the evening giggling at the too-true comics about the struggles of early adulthood. Andersen has followed it up with another fun collection rooted in honesty about the difficulties of mental illness and being an adult (but not yet an Adult).

Book Love by Debbie Tung

Tung’s comic is absolutely designed for bookworms. Are you in love with books, through and through? (I am too! Wow!) These comics will resonate with book lovers everywhere, making them laugh, shake their heads, and look at their own bookshelves with a small little smile. Book nerds will feel seen, acknowledged, judged, and loved.

oh no by Alex Norris

Laugh—but in, like, a gloomy way. Norris captured our hearts with Webcomic Name, writing about a blob with the struggles all of us suffer day-to-day. Yes, it’s about our struggles, but it’s about them in a way that makes us giggle and say under our breath, “oh no.”

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📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚 . . . . . #webcomicname #webcomics #books

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Loading Penguin Hugs: Heartwarming comics from Chibird by Jacqueline Chen

Chen’s motivational comics and illustrations on mental health, self-esteem, and more fill this book, as small penguins, hedgehogs, chibirds, and more send you encouragement and motivation to get through your hardest times. I’ve been a huge fan of Chen’s comics for a long time, and am just waiting to get my hands on this book brimming with positivity—as well as two whole pages of stickers!

manfried saves the dayManfried Saves the Day by Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow

Have you ever thought to yourself, “You know what my life is missing? A graphic novel where the roles between cats and humans are reversed, and human-size cats run a ‘man’ shelter? And to save the shelter, they have to enter their adorable little men into the Manflower Man Show?” No? Well, you should. Major and Bastow’s second in their series about Steve Catson and his pet man, Manfried, is hilarious, absurd, and a great quick read.

Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd

Finding Catana Comics made me so, so happy, and I’m not the only one. They capture something very true about the smallest, most private moments of modern-day relationships, pointing out the absurd and the silly in their day-to-day lives. These comics never fail to make me smile, and this book was an invaluable addition to my collection, especially as a tremendous number of the panels remind me of my boyfriend and me: the sweet moments, the silly moments, the annoying moments, and the loving ones.

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Tell us some of your most specific looks! #catanacomics

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Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda and illustrated by Jonny Sun

Jonny Sun illustrates a large collection of the uplifting tweets that Lin-Manuel Miranda sends to his followers each morning and each night. These lovely, positive encouragements and affirmations will help keep anyone happy, motivated, and smiling.

Share books that always make you smile in the comments!