Share 10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

Caitlin Kleinschmidt is part of the sales team at Workman Publishing. She has previously held positions at Viking/Riverhead, Simon & Schuster, Oxford University Press, and Macmillan. A Navy brat, she lived on both coasts and credits the Dear America series for her lifelong love of history. She has a special place in her heart for narrative nonfiction, as well as books about Eastern Europe and ballet.

For years and years, I labored under the assumption that comic books were only read by nerdy guys with a childish penchant for superheroes. But after seeing Marjane Satrapi’s harrowing and exuberant film, Persepolis, I was shocked to find that it was adapted from a graphic memoir. I had to read it—and I’ve been hooked on the genre ever since. Heart wrenching and intimate, vivacious and funny, these graphic memoirs will turn anyone into a true believer.


Persepolis
by Marjane Satrapi

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution is intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original. The child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Satrapi bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis
Marjane Satrapi

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution is intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original. The child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Satrapi bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

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Hyperbole and a Half
by Allie Brosh

“I have read very few books in my life that compelled me to laugh so loudly in public that it made the people around me visibly uncomfortable. Allie Brosh’s HYPERBOLE AND A HALF is one of them.”

Read Sarah Jane Abbott’s review here.

Hyperbole and a Half
Allie Brosh

“I have read very few books in my life that compelled me to laugh so loudly in public that it made the people around me visibly uncomfortable. Allie Brosh’s HYPERBOLE AND A HALF is one of them.”

Read Sarah Jane Abbott’s review here.

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Maus
by Art Spiegelman

The story of a Jewish Holocaust survivor and his son—a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father’s story and history itself—Maus has been hailed as “the first masterpiece in comic book history” by The New Yorker. It was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize and established the genre as a force to be reckoned with.

Maus
Art Spiegelman

The story of a Jewish Holocaust survivor and his son—a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father’s story and history itself—Maus has been hailed as “the first masterpiece in comic book history” by The New Yorker. It was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize and established the genre as a force to be reckoned with.

MENTIONED IN:

10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | June 18, 2015

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Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
by Guy Delisle

North Korea remains one of the most secretive nations on Earth, and in early 2001, Guy Delisle became one of the few Westerners to be allowed access to this fortresslike state. His two months in North Korea’s capital resulted in this remarkably informative and personal look at a dangerous and enigmatic country.

Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
Guy Delisle

North Korea remains one of the most secretive nations on Earth, and in early 2001, Guy Delisle became one of the few Westerners to be allowed access to this fortresslike state. His two months in North Korea’s capital resulted in this remarkably informative and personal look at a dangerous and enigmatic country.

MENTIONED IN:

10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | June 18, 2015

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Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995
by Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco spent five months in Bosnia in 1996, immersing himself in the human side of life during wartime, researching stories that are rarely found in conventional news coverage. He emerged with this magnum opus, an astonishing first-person account of a besieged town in war-torn Yugoslavia.

Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995
Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco spent five months in Bosnia in 1996, immersing himself in the human side of life during wartime, researching stories that are rarely found in conventional news coverage. He emerged with this magnum opus, an astonishing first-person account of a besieged town in war-torn Yugoslavia.

MENTIONED IN:

10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | June 18, 2015

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Fun Home
by Alison Bechdel

In this groundbreaking graphic memoir and inspiration for the recent Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father, the director of a small town funeral home, until she came out as a lesbian in college and discovered that he was also gay.

Fun Home
Alison Bechdel

In this groundbreaking graphic memoir and inspiration for the recent Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father, the director of a small town funeral home, until she came out as a lesbian in college and discovered that he was also gay.

MENTIONED IN:

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Blankets
by Craig Thompson

Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, this profound and utterly beautiful memoir explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers.

Blankets
Craig Thompson

Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, this profound and utterly beautiful memoir explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers.

MENTIONED IN:

10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | June 18, 2015

Close

Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey
by GB Tran

Born and raised in South Carolina as a son of Vietnamese immigrants who fled during the fall of Saigon, GB Tran grew up distant from (and largely indifferent to) his family’s history. It was only in late twenties that he visited Vietnam for the first time and began to learn the tragic history of his family, and of the homeland they left behind.

Vietnamerica: A Family's Journey
GB Tran

Born and raised in South Carolina as a son of Vietnamese immigrants who fled during the fall of Saigon, GB Tran grew up distant from (and largely indifferent to) his family’s history. It was only in late twenties that he visited Vietnam for the first time and began to learn the tragic history of his family, and of the homeland they left behind.

MENTIONED IN:

10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | June 18, 2015

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March
by John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis is an American icon. His commitment to justice and nonviolence took him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president. Rooted in his personal story, this vivid firsthand account also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

March
John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis is an American icon. His commitment to justice and nonviolence took him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president. Rooted in his personal story, this vivid firsthand account also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

MENTIONED IN:

10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | June 18, 2015

Close

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant
by Roz Chast

In her first memoir, beloved New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast addresses what it’s like being the only child of aging parents—and coping the best she can. Filled with her signature wit, this National Book Award Winner showcases the full range of Chast’s talent as a cartoonist and storyteller.

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant
Roz Chast

In her first memoir, beloved New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast addresses what it’s like being the only child of aging parents—and coping the best she can. Filled with her signature wit, this National Book Award Winner showcases the full range of Chast’s talent as a cartoonist and storyteller.

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10 Compelling Graphic Memoirs that Will Make You a Devoted Fan of the Genre

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | June 18, 2015

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