Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
Comics/Graphic Novels

Quiz: Create Your Perfect Night In and Get a #Relatable Comic Book Recommendation

Margaret Kingsbury

Contributing Editor

Margaret Kingsbury grew up in a house so crammed with books she couldn’t open a closet door without a book stack tumbling, and she’s brought that same decorative energy to her adult life. Margaret has an MA in English with a concentration in writing and has worked as a bookseller and adjunct English professor. She’s currently a freelance writer and editor, and in addition to Book Riot, her pieces have appeared in School Library Journal, BuzzFeed News, The Lily, Parents,, and more. She particularly loves children’s books, fantasy, science fiction, horror, graphic novels, and any books with disabled characters. You can read more about her bookish and parenting shenanigans in Book Riot’s twice-weekly The Kids Are All Right newsletter. You can also follow her kidlit bookstagram account @BabyLibrarians, or on Twitter @AReaderlyMom.

Barely Functional Adult by Mechi Ng and Harper Perennial

From the creator of Barely Functional Adult, a painfully relatable webcomic with over 130k followers on Instagram, comes a never-before-seen collection of incriminating short stories about exes, murder, friendship, therapy, anxiety, Hufflepuff, sucking at things, freaking out about things, calming down momentarily, melodrama, wrinkles, pettiness, and other wonderful delights.

In this beautiful, four-color collection Meichi perfectly captures the best and worst of us in every story, allowing us to weep with pleasure at our own fallibility. Hilarious, relatable, and heart-wrenchingly honest, Barely Functional Adult will have you laughing and crying in the same breath, while taking solace in the fact that we’re anything but alone in this world.

What does the perfect night in look like for you? Tea and bookish socks? Covered in fur babies with a salty snack and a soft robe? An all-nighter with a book that makes you sob and a glass of wine? Whatever your night-in reading style, there’s a comic book for you. Comic books make perfect night-in reads because they can often be read in a single sitting. Plus, the comic books on this quiz feature relatable stories, both fictional and real. From memoirs of life as an immigrant to stories of activism and humorous essays on life in general, these comic books feature engaging characters in situations and settings that readers can relate to, even if they haven’t experienced them themselves.

I’ve written before how, after having a child, I found much to relate to in comic books and how, despite preferring fantasy in most of my bookish life, I enjoy reading realistic comic books the most. The sparse, simplified text combined with illustrations makes it easy to connect to the story even when characters live vastly different lives than mine. There are plenty of studies showing that this very premise is why comic books that deal with social issues should be used and taught in school settings. “Graphic novels,” Dr. Rachel Marie-Crane Williams argues, “like a compelling work of art, or a well-crafted piece of writing, have the potential to generate a sense of empathy and human connectedness among students.” The same reasoning applies to adult readers. 

I also find that, with the amount of stress going on right now in the world, comic books offer an accessible way to read. Many people are experiencing a quarantine reading slump. Comic books can help readers break the reading slump cycle. 

Another way to break a reading slump is to create the perfect night in. While for most of us every night is a night in right now, we can still make it special. Whether that means putting on your favorite pajamas and making a snack station by your favorite reading spot or turning off your phone and making some comfort tea, we can create an atmosphere conducive to reading. A relatable comic book that can be read in a single sitting makes for the perfect reading companion. Take this comic book quiz to find the perfect one for your perfect night in.

For more comic book recommendations, check out this list of classic comic books to read this winter, and these two lists of excellent graphic memoirs.