Graphic novels are very popular with their readers and it is not without reason that their popularity continues to rise. The comic novels, which are mainly aimed at adults, come to their readers on the couch with impressive drawings and exciting topics and offer evening entertainment. In times of digitization and fast pace, graphic novels are welcome opportunities to slow down and are therefore also a gift on festive days.

Graphic novels are serious, drawn novels in which all topics have now found a home. Readers will find everything their heart desires here: Whether fiction, such as true crime stories and fantasy stories, biographies or non-fiction books, everyone can find the right illustrated story for themselves.

Graphic novels are novels with multi-faceted drawings

The style of the illustrations is as varied as the themes of the stories. Here you can find cartoon, comic or manga influences. The graphic novels usually don't pretend to be silly. Completely different from what is planned for Mickey Mouse magazines, the stories are therefore rarely directed at children and are therefore perfect as gifts for adult readers and comic fans.

Graphic novels as a gift or to browse for yourself

We have summarized our editorial highlights of the graphic novels for you. This resulted in 10 ideas that not only make an ideal gift for festive days, but also as a companion through the current “stay home - stay safe” time of the pandemic.

"The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl" was written by the writer Ryan North. The young heroine is already well known to fans of Marvel comics. Half human, half squirrel, Doreen Green goes to college and really only has one wish: she wants to be normal! But with her fluffy tail and a squirrel by her side as her best friend, that seems impossible. Plus, there are tons of dangerous enemies waiting to take on Squirrel Girl.

Marvel's Squirrel Girl as a comic novel. Image: Marvel

Marvel's Squirrel Girl in a comic book novel. Image: Marvel

On the hunt for bad guys with Marvel's Squirrel Girl

Readers can expect a mix of well-known and lesser-known Marvel villains. Squirrel Girl was a previously underrated Marvel character that should get a lot more exposure. Ryan North achieved this in an entertaining way with his graphic novel.

In "Persepolis" the reader travels into the childhood story of the author Marjane Satrapi, during the Islamic revolution. Between her own poverty and the noticeable worries of her left-wing parents, Marjane lived a childhood in which the houses of her neighbors were bombed and all western values ​​were suppressed by the state. Meanwhile, her parents, who are defying the regime, are considering emigrating to America.

Persepolis is an impressive biography about the desire for freedom

But then the child-like Marjane gets older and begins to rebel against the oppression in society. Between fear, jeans and dreams of a better world, the graphic novel Persepolis tells a touching story that tells the reader about life during the Islamic revolution. The story starts in the childhood of the author and ends when she is a young adult.

Graphic novel Persepolis is about a life of oppression and the desire for freedom. Image: Edition Moderne

Graphic novel Persepolis is about oppression and the desire for freedom. Image: Edition Moderne

Persepolis is a moving and impressive biography of the author Marjane Satrapi, who gets by with simple black and white drawings without losing any of the feelings that the graphic novel seeks to convey to the reader. Together with the young self of the author, they experience feelings of oppression, otherness and the desire to escape from them.

Graphic novel with a Guy Fawkes mask. Image: Panini

Graphic novel with a Guy Fawkes mask. Image: Panini

In "V for Vendetta" V is an anarchist revolutionary. He lives in a fascist state, with an almost mindless population. All resistance was unscrupulously crushed by the government. It remains a surveillance state with a corrupt police force. But V defends himself by saving people, killing members of the government and doing everything possible to overthrow the iron regime. At the same time, V encourages the reader to think in his very own, melodramatic way.

V for Vendetta fights for social freedom

The story V for Vendetta poses the question of how much personal commitment a life in social freedom is worth to the reader or whether the desire for comfort wins out. Today we know V's Guy Fawkes mask as the hallmark of the Anonymous movement. The graphic novel story was first published in 1982 as a satire on the highly controversial Thatcher government led by the "Iron Lady". The theme of the comic novel is still topical and of great social importance. V for Vendetta has already been filmed and written in several types of literature.

Sci-fi fans should check out the graphic novel "bitch planet take a closer look. The author Kelly Sue DeConnick describes in her comic dystopia what if men would banish all "nonconforming" women to a prison outside the planet. Appropriately written in the style of the 60s and 70s, women are initially suppressed here, but then strike back in superhero fashion!

Graphic novel Bitch Planet is a comic book anthem to women. Image: Image Comics

Graphic novel Bitch Planet is a comic book anthem to women. Image: Image Comics

In Bitch Planet, superheroes fight stereotypes

In Bitch Planet, all women become heroes! You get by without the typical stereotypical body features. The story, which fans of the series "Orange Is the New Black" may particularly enjoy, shows in an action-packed way how misplaced social expectations of the appearance of women are.

"Mouse" von Art Spiegelman tells us his very personal family story. About the outbreak of World War II and the consequences for the life of a Jewish family. With clear words and impressive pictures, Spiegelman describes not only the fall of freedom, but also the subsequent escape from captivity in Auschwitz and the life path after this time.

Maus tells of a Jewish life in Holocaust times

A life in which there was little acceptance for Jewish people. We travel with his family to Poland, Auschwitz, Sweden and New York. The people were drawn as animal races. Jewish people are mice, Nazis are cats, Poles are pigs, and Americans are dogs. Maus is a brutal and at the same time tearful story about the life of a Jewish family during the Holocaust.

A queer graphic novel. Image: Cross Cult

A queer graphic novel. Image: Cross Cult

"Stuck Rubber Baby" shows life between the 1950s and 1960s in the homophobic and racist American South. According to the author Howard Cruse, the attitude there is not completely different today. The graphic novel is not a biography of Cruse, but he has incorporated his own experiences. Told from the perspective of protagonist Toland Polk, Stuck Rubber Baby clearly describes the impressive effort to heal his unwanted "gayness" and achieve the goal of becoming more racist.

Stuck Rubber Baby tells a disturbing queer story

While Polk is beginning to learn to suppress his true feelings, the Ku Klux Klan carries out an attack on a meeting place for local civil rights activists. They advocate the values ​​of a free society, plus the fact that his pseudo friend is part of the movement. Polk has to decide if he wants to belong to the wrong thinking people or finally to stand by his own feelings. Stuck Rubber Baby went through the roofs of the underground queer comics scene for a reason. The graphic novel by Cruse asks the right questions and impressively tells the suffering behind false social constraints and values.

"Palestine" by Joe Sacco is comic journalism. For this graphic novel, which describes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sacco interviewed people from both sides. He researched, questioned and experienced the situation with his own eyes. The result of his observations is a touching story that puts the Palestinian experiences somewhat in the foreground.

Palestine is a testimony to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Always more with an empathetic look at the personal stories of the people than at the political events. We learn something about the ruthless everyday life in Palestine and the feeling of having to live as a suspected terrorist, because that's how the media describe its inhabitants. Palestine tells the reader impressively about the harrowing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and about the people who have to live behind this brutal, political network.

The real world becomes torture in blankets. Image: Faber and Faber

The real world becomes torture in blankets. Image: Faber and Faber

"blanket" by Craig Thompson describes what it is like to sleep in the same bed with someone for the first time. This sentence hits the heart of the partly autobiographical graphic novel. Blanket's story begins in Craig's childhood, when he has to share a bed with his brother. A bed that serves as a fraternal battlefield, but also as a shelter.

Blankets tells of the escape from an extremely religious family

A shelter from the demands of his extremely religious parents, who raise their children according to strict Christian values, from the tyrants of his provincial town and later as a refuge from the confusion of his young love for Raina. Blankets tells a strong and at the same time touching story that tells about a life that lies somewhere between extremely controlling parents, Christian guilt, first love, emotional confusion, fears and the flight into art.

"Fun home - A Family of Marked Ones is an autobiography by author Alison Bechdel. While she was in college, her father died suddenly, leaving his family with a mountain of unanswered questions. The graphic novel-turned-Broadway musical explores the history of Bechdel's family.

Fun Home tells the impressive story of a family

She wants to reveal who her father was and why he was hiding his sexual identity. But above all, she wonders what exactly happened on the day of his death. At the same time, it is about your own self: your sexual orientation, sadness, joy and your view of the dark secrets of the Bechdel family.

"Black Hole" by Charles Burns is said to be an autobiographical graphic novel that was originally published as a comic book. The author, Mr. Burns, is also believed to be a friend of Matt Groening. The story of Black Hole takes place in the 1970s and is about the unhappy youth in the suburbs of Seattle. Burns describes teenagers loitering in the forest in a dark and harsh way. They run away from their life and try to forget. Meanwhile, they take drugs, have sex, find love, loneliness, and death.

Black Hole is a disturbing story with a serious background. Image: Pantheon

Black Hole is a disturbing story with a serious background. Image: Pantheon

Black Hole is a disturbing growing up story

Yet all of these teenagers are suffering from a strange sexually transmitted disease at the same time. The effects seem fatal as they suffer from open wounds, growing animal tails and they begin to shed their skin. Each of them deals with this dark fate in their own crazy way and some even begin to murder. Black Hole divides the readership and bluntly plays with topics such as alienation from normality, growing up, the AIDS / HIV issues of the 1970s, sexuality, violence and science fiction.


Last updated on 26.01.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API