Comics aren’t just for kids! These influential graphic novels offer laughter and insightful opinions on both the real and fantasy world
Having majored in arts in college, we were taught that graphic novels are legitimate forms of literature and serve a crucial aesthetic purpose in today’s world. They’re just as thought-provoking and entertaining as your favourite dystopian novels, quirky podcasts or classic 90s movies. Here is a list of our favourite graphic novels and comics, and we promise you will be totally wowed by them.
Our favourite graphic novels of all-time
Infidel by Pornsak Pichetshote
Situated in a building haunted by xenophobic entities, Infidel follows the supernatural incidents that happen to an American Muslim woman and her multi-racial neighbours. The book uses graphic imagery to portray the worst of racism, and as told by one of the characters in the book, “racism’s a cancer that doesn’t get cured”. Named for NPR’s 100 Favourite Horror Stories of All Time, it’s definitely one of our favourite graphic novels of 2018.
Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz
Documenting Julia Wertz’s own journey in Brooklyn, New York, Drinking at the Movies is all about self-deprecating humor and the fucked-up whisky-soaked life of a twenty-something that refuses (but is forced) to be a grown up. It’s one of those honest graphic novels that makes you laugh from beginning to end. We’re also big fans of the other autobiographical graphic novels – The Fart Party Vols. 1 and 2 – created by Wertz.
Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam: And Other Stories by Simon Hanselmann
The main characters – Megg the witch, Mogg the black cat, Owl and Werewolf Jones – lack decent humanity and ambition in life, all they do is live on weed and mess up other people’s lives. The Megg, Mogg and Owl series touches upon issues like depression, anxiety, drug use, sexuality and poverty. This dark comedy is a re-imagination of children’s book Meg and Mog, and it’s definitely one of my favourites.
MAUS by Art Spiegelman
MAUS illustrates the details that Spiegelman received after interviewing his father about his terrifying experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The comics use animals to symbolise different ethnicities – in which Jews are drawn as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as pigs. It gives readers a better understanding of what happened in Auschwitz with delicate illustrations and a strong narrative.
Black Hole by Charles Burns
Charles Burns is most known for his surrealist drawing style. The story is set in the mid-70s, where reckless depressive teenagers are conceiving a horrendous sexually transmitted disease that can grow out of your skin. It’s for anyone that’s down for a gloomy exploration of human nature.
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home is a heart-wrenching memoir about the relationship between a lesbian daughter and a closeted gay dad. Bechdel shares with us her childhood as a lesbian figuring out her sexuality, while noticing her homosexual father’s not-so-subtle flirtation with younger boys. It’s a story about growing up in a literary yet dysfunctional household, and it’s definitely a must-read for fans of literatures, graphic novels, or LGBTQ+ issues.
Patience by Daniel Clowes
Patience is an exciting science-fiction love story about a man going on multiple time travels after he finds his pregnant wife, Patience, killed in their apartment. Cartoonist Daniel Clowes, most known for his well-received graphic novel Ghost World, has presented another classic with his distinctive illustrations and wonderful plotline.
Tomboy by Liz Prince
Liz Prince first got recognised with her earlier works like Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed and Alone Forever. Often being mistaken as a butch lesbian or described as un-ladylike, Prince ridicules society’s absurd gender stereotypes with humor and jokes. Personally, I’m a big fan of all her hilarious yet light-hearted drawings.
My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
Cartoonist Derf Backderf brings us back to the time when he went to school with the notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who raped, murdered and dismembered 17 known victims. Having undergone interviews with former acquaintances and Dahmer’s relatives, as well as intensive research of different news sources and FBI files, My Friend Dahmer offers a narrative for the readers to see what shaped this antisocial kid into a cold blooded murderer.
Fante Bukowski by Noah Van Sciver
In the hopes of pursuing his dreams and fame, struggling writer Fante Bukowski becomes the kind of man that lives off of his parents’ wealth, prints out his own lousy zines and begs for publication. With this graphic novel by Sciver, you’re guaranteed a good laugh with his imaginative lame poetries and self-patronizing sentiments, especially for those who work in publishing or are a fan of the real Bukowski.