Thoughts on Graphic Novels

Hi everyone! This week I want to talk about some particular types of books that are near and dear to my heart, graphic novels and manga (for anyone unsure of what manga is, it’s a Japanese graphic novel).  When I really started to blossom into the nerdy person I am today, I stumbled upon a classic manga, Magic Knights Rayearth by CLAMP, and became completely enamored with it. The traveling to an unknown world, the magic, the drama and romance – my 12-year-old self was completely obsessed with it. I loved everything about the story and the artwork, plus I could read through one volume in about an hour! It was such a gratifying accomplishment. These days, though I’m significantly older, I still hold a lot of love for manga, along with American graphic novels, and frequently read them when I feel like my brain is overwhelmed by everything else.

I find myself encountering a good number of people who don’t considering reading graphic novels or manga to be reading because it’s mostly illustrations, however I find that both have a lot of merit and I personally think that it is reading. Sure, it has a different format than most books, but there’s still a story and words that you have to take in to understand what’s going on. Graphic novels/manga are a great option for those of us who may be less inclined to pick up a 300+ page book. Also, they’re just fun. You can see everything playing out in front of you, something that you don’t get to do with a regular book. I love to use my imagination, but it’s also really nice to see the characters as the author intended them to be. The graphic novel/manga section of our young adult area is one of our busiest areas, not just with teens, but with adults too. It’s a popular medium of reading and I hope to continue expanding upon our offerings as much as I’m able.

With all of this discussion, naturally I’m going to share some of the titles that we have here in the library. Hopefully something will pique your interest.


  • Princess Jellyfish by Akiko Higashimura: A funny, wholesome story about fangirls, fashion, love and cute little jellies. You’ll yourself torn between laughter and shock at the shenanigans that take place in this series.
  • Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama: An action-packed manga with giant humanoid creatures called Titans. No one knows where they come from, only that they consume humans, and for humanity to survive they must fight.
  • Wolf Children by Mamoru Hosoda: After the death of her love, a young mother does her best to raise her two children, both of whom turn into wolves. This story is heartbreaking and sweet. I’ll admit it, I cried.
  • Erased by Kei Sanbe: A man has an uncontrollable gift that takes him back in time and allows him to alter horrific events. When he’s taken back to a year in his childhood when a classmate disappears, he finds himself wrapped in a mystery that seemingly has no end.
  • My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame: A lovely and heartwarming series about family and love. When his brother-in-law whom he’s never met shows up at his door, Yaichi must finally come to terms with his prejudices, who his brother really was and his grief.
  • The Ancient Magus Bride by Kore Yamazaki: A rich fantasy full of magic, fairies and other mystical creatures. An orphan must come to terms with her new life as she’s sold into the service of a powerful mage. This one is quickly coming up in my to-be-read pile and I can’t wait!

Graphic Novels

  • Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell: A sweet, autumnal read that takes place in a pumpkin patch. This graphic novel follows two best friends on a mission of love, only to discover that they may have been looking in the wrong place.
  • Heartstopper by Alice Oseman: With a bit of a sad start, it turns into a heartwarming story about friendship, being true to oneself and finding love in the least likely of places. A queer love story for the ages. I can’t wait for volume two!
  • Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters & others: If you’re looking for a series full of girl power, this is the one for you. Lumberjanes follows a group of friends at a summer camp with a lot more going on than you’d expect. Things like time portals, Greek Gods, mermaids, and lots of kittens, with a strong dose of powerful friendships make this series one you’re not likely to forget.
  • The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman: Zombies. I think that just about sums it up. In all seriousness, this series is the one that inspired the popular show and has some fairly significant differences that make it worth reading.
  • Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn: A time twisting, sci-fi series that’s full of kick-butt girls. Volume one has a lot of weird stuff going on and can be slightly confusing, but it’s worth continuing for all the excitement.
  • On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden: Another sci-fi story, but with a completely different take, On a Sunbeam is a journey through space and a hunt for one girl’s long-lost love. The artwork is stunning and the story will melt your heart.
  • Through the Woods by Emily Carroll: This collection of stories is eerie, haunting and ominous. This collection shares dark stories reminiscent of fairy tales, with bold artwork and open ending that will have readers questioning everything.

While this is a fairly large list, it’s really only grazing the surface of what we have in our collection. If you can’t find something on the list of interest to you, come look at what else we have, or reach out to me and I can offer some other suggestions. You can reach me at or 374-5515 ext. 22.

Happy reading!