The following comics and graphic novels are recommendations from my “Comics Make You Smart” talk, presented at the Brave Writer Retreat in July, 2016.
Part of this talk was broadcast on Periscope—you can view it here. Note: For now, what follows is simply a booklist—no mini-reviews. I’ll add those as time permits. I promised the retreat attendees I’d put together a post of all the comics I mentioned in my talk, so here it is for easy reference. Commentary to come later!
Gotham Adventures by Scott Peterson (my brilliant hubby)—Batman comics aimed at young readers. These came out monthly in the ’90s and are now available in digital editions. (The books at this link that say “by Ty Templeton” were edited by Scott; the others were written by him.)
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson—of course these need no introduction! We have several collections and have checked out many others from the library. You can’t go wrong with Calvin.
American Born Chinese by Gene Yang
Boxers and Saints by Gene Yang
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
Babymouse series by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
Squish series by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
Zita the Spacegirl series by Ben Hatke
Bird & Squirrel by James Burks
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci
Owly by Andy Runton
Sidekicks by Dan Santat
Bake Sale by Sara Varon
Lunch Lady series by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Tintin by Hergé
Oz graphic novels — excellent adaptations by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young
(Here’s a post I wrote for Wired.com about this fabulous collection!)
(I interviewed one of the cartoonists here. Unfortunately it seems GeekMom’s migration to GeekDad has broken the images.)
(Note: this is Fable Comics published by First Second, NOT the outstanding but very adult Fables series published by DC Comics.)
Some awesome nonfiction graphic novels:
Around the World by Matt Phelan
Lewis & Clark by Nick Bertozzi
The U.S. Constitution by Jonathan Henessey
A few recommendations for older readers:
Bone series by Jeff Smith
The Eternal Smile by Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
(There are many, many other excellent books I could rave about. I’ll continue to add recs to this page as time permits!)
Amazon links earn me a small referral fee, which will undoubtedly be spent on yet more books.
Books Are Like Dominoes
Jog My Memory?
Booknotes: Last Week’s Reading
Booknotes: June 2010
A look at the creative process: Ty Templeton’s Batman Adventures covers