I think we all know by now that cozy fantasy is taking over—as it well should—and comics are no exception. Now, I love a good cozy comic as much as an action-packed one, so it should come as no surprise that I’ve read a fair few cozy fantasy comics and graphic novels. Middle grade graphic novels, in particular, are leading the pack in that genre. It makes sense, too, since cozy adventures, fantasy, and middle graders are a winning combination. These middle grade cozy fantasy comics and graphic novels don’t shy away from everyday difficulties that kids—and adults—face, like bullying, loss, fear, and anxiety, but they also don’t dwell on negativity. Instead, these stories show characters living life and overcoming hardship. Definitionally, cozy fantasy isn’t going to get too dark.
So, these 12 cozy fantasy comics for middle graders are basically a breath of fresh air. There’s certainly a time and a place for reading more challenging stories, but when you’re looking for something light and uplifting, these comics and graphic novels are always there. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, reader, or librarian, middle grade cozy fantasy comics are exactly the thing you and your kiddos have been searching for.
Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen
When Willow’s emotions get the best of her one day, she runs away to the woods. She quickly realizes just how reckless a decision that was, though, when she meets a lost tree spirit named Pilu. Unlike Willow, who chose to run away, Pilu can’t find her way home. But Willow knows the way. She and her mother used to visit that magnolia grove all the time. Willow is determined to help the lost tree spirit, but if she can’t learn to confront her own feelings, her emotions might become too big for her to keep inside.
Mamo by Sas Milledge
A young hedge witch has to take up her calling after the death of her grandmother. Ever since her Mamo passed, strange and unnerving things have been happening in Haresden. Poltergeists are haunting attics, and crops are failing. Now, it’s up to Orla to set things right again. Mamo always wanted Orla to take over for her, but is the young witch really ready to lay her grandmother’s bones to rest and stop all these hauntings? Mamo thought so, and Orla’s new friends do, too.
The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill
In this charming middle grade cozy fantasy comic, the daughter of a blacksmith returns a lost tea dragon to its caretakers and learns about the lost art of tending to tea dragons. Soon, Hesekiel and Erik, as well as their shy ward, help Greta see just how rewarding it is to care for creatures other than yourself and brew up a nice, steamy cup of tea.
Snapdragon by Kat Leyh
Snap’s never been too worried about fitting in, so befriending the supposed town witch isn’t that out of the ordinary, really. Jacks isn’t really a witch, anyway, just a weird old lady who sells articulated roadkill skeletons online. But she has a surprising connection to Snap’s own family. That, and the more time Snap spends with her, the more she begins to wonder if Jacks might actually have magic after all.
No One Returns From the Enchanted Forest by Robin Robinson
When her fearless little sister runs away to find the Earth Queen at the heart of the Enchanted Forest and asks her to stop the earthquakes that are destroying their goblin village, Bix is forced to venture into the forest after her. But unlike Pella, Bix is scared of everything. She knows no one ever returns from the Enchanted Forest, but to bring her little sister home, she’ll brave anything—even the fury of the Earth Queen herself.
Atana and the Firebird by Vivian Zhou
When a firebird named Ren crashes to earth, a young mermaid finally finds a reason to venture beyond her lonely shores. Atana knows there are hunters who would do anything to capture a mermaid like her, but Ren’s only hopes of safety may lie in deeper waters. The secretive Witch Queen could provide protection for Ren and answers about Atana’s past, and her offer to stay at the Blue Palace is a generous one. But while it may hold the answers Atana has desperately been searching for, it might also prevent her from pursuing the bright future she’s only just begun to believe is possible.
Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee
Lora is lonely after losing most of her friends, who are more interested in teen things now rather than playing pretend. But when Lora discovers Alexa, the ghost haunting her house, she finally has someone to spend her time with who loves all the same things she does. Unlike Alexa, though, Lora is still aging. Will she be able to embrace the changes of growing up and keep her friendship with Alexa in the process?
Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen
A nervous garlic bulb reluctantly sets off to confront a vampire in this adorable, vegetal tale. Garlic worries she never does anything right, but with her friend Carrot and the Witch Agnes by her side, she finds comfort in tending to the garden. So when rumors of a new vampire taking residence nearby begin to spread, she should be the last choice to confront him, right? Right?? Unfortunately, her vegetable friends have other ideas, and since garlic is supposed to discourage vampires, surely it can’t go too badly. Can it?
Tidesong by Wendy Xu
Eager to get a better grasp on her magic, a young witch tired of being given chores to do instead of spells to cast attempts to perform a bit of magic—only for it to go disastrously wrong. Now, her magic is entangled with a water dragon named Lir. His memories are lost, and he has no idea where he came from, but Sophie’s family seems to like him even more than her. Not to mention, his magic could be the key to finally unlocking her own. With Lir’s help, Sophie might finally be able to ace the entrance exams to the Royal Magic Academy. But doing so might keep his memories from returning—and being reunited with his family.
¡¡Manu!! by Kelly Fernández
At a boarding school for witches, one girl is always getting into trouble. Manu doesn’t care, though. She’d rather have fun than follow the rules. Only the headmistress believes there’s more to Manu than all the shenanigans she gets up to. But when Manu winds up with a curse that throws her magic out of control, she goes from a troublemaker to full-on trouble. Can she and her best friend Josephina figure out some way to sort things out before the haywire magic takes over Manu and the whole town?
Bean the Stretchy Dragon: A Sally & Bean Adventure by Ari Stocrate
What could be cozier than a stretchy, cheerful dragon familiar working alongside her grumpy witch? Bean lives in the forest alongside Sally the witch, but not all of Bean’s adventures revolve around Sally. Bean is her own dragon! Whether working alongside Sally or adventuring solo, Bean is always up for a challenge and a bit of adventure. This cute, slice-of-life comic shows a day in the life of the cutest little stretchy dragon there ever was.
The Baker and the Bard by Fern Haught (March 5, 2024)
Two apprentice bakers set out on a quest to gather the ingredients for a customer’s order, only to discover a mystery along the way. Something has been eating the local farmers’ crops. Seeing an opportunity for adventure and to improve their bardic skills, Hadley convinces Juniper they should follow the trail into the woods to find out more. Soon, they’re making friends with fey and trying to save a bunch of furry critters from losing their home.
Need even more cozy comics and cozy fantasy in your life?