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Step by Bloody Step

An emotionally nuanced, action-packed, absolutely astonishing feat of graphic narrative.

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr

A passionate and refreshingly unsentimental fable that suggests every aspect of the human experience is vital and worthy of celebration.

The Nice House on the Lake, Vol. 1

A deeply unsettling, breathlessly thrilling, uncommonly engrossing horror story, rendered in exquisitely atmospheric illustration, and a provocative meditation on what it takes to stay alive, and to stay human, in a collapsing world. This volume collects the first six issues of a 12-issue story.

What Is Home, Mum?: A Memoir

An essential purchase for all collections. Add it to the top of your book club suggestion list, and offer it to readers of literary fiction exploring similar themes of identity and belonging.

Queen of Snails: A Graphic Memoir

In a triumph of recovery and reinvention, Burdock has reworked her chaotic past to build a memory-rich present through research, reflection, and compelling artistry.

Love Everlasting, Vol. 1

King (Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow) and Charretier’s (Department of Truth, Vol. 3) gripping mystery subverts the romance-comic genre but still delivers genuine romantic melodrama. An uncommonly compelling first volume.

Organisms from an Ancient Cosmos

Working in black and white, Zahler (Forbidden Surgeries of the Hideous Dr. Divinus) creates a peculiar but engrossing blend of hard sci-fi and prison drama that transforms into a tense, high-stakes space opera tinged with a dose of cosmic horror in the last act.

Who Will Make the Pancakes? Five Stories

A treasury of impactful stories from a virtuosic artist with a distinctively empathetic point of view.

Bungleton Green and the Mystic Commandos

Featuring page after page of non-stop action and pulpy melodrama imbued with Jackson’s perspective as a Black American in the 1940s, this is a work of immense historical value that’s also very fun to read.

Below Ambition

Hanselmann remains a singular talent with a distinctive, necessary voice.

Black Paradox

Ito (The Liminal Zone) combines macabre horror and absurd humor in his most successfully disturbing long-form work in recent years.


An incredibly moving, uplifting coming-of-age story from a creator working at the top of his ability. Not to be missed.


A delightfully disquieting and thoroughly enjoyable nightmare.


Lang’s graphic novel debut is a fantastic riff on a simple Japanese folktale, clearly told and lovingly rendered with cinematic aplomb. Will delight brave young readers and fantasy-loving adult readers alike.

Mission: Yozakura Family, Vol. 1

Serialized on Shonen Jump, Gondaira’s English-language print debut is a wacky and exciting shonen adventure that will appeal to young adults looking for found-family plotlines. Fans of Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family and manga with a wild variety of ragtag characters will feel right at home.

A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings

The art style is a little unconventional, but readers will likely be drawn in by the poignant, yet humorous tale.

A Fade of Light

A capable slice-of-life memoir, this captures the denial, frustration, and despair of observing a loved one’s fading away.

Look Again

Intense, articulate, and self-reflective, this makes one look hard at the shifting nature of memory. An involving graphic memoir for enthusiasts of the genre.

Look Back

A beautiful, dream-like story about art-making, friendship, and growing up, best appreciated by manga fans with a basic sense of the visual and cultural cues of the genre.

Talli, Daughter of the Moon, Vol. 1

Laced with humor and hard-hitting action, the story unfolds fast from the very first page. Teens and up will clamor for more of this epic fantasy.

Living & Dying in America: A Daily Chronicle, 2020–2022

A wrenching moral call to awareness and action that belongs in social sciences, history, and medicine collections and on curricula for high schoolers and up.

The Keeper: Soccer, Me, and the Law That Changed Women’s Lives

Rich with informational content and flashes of brilliance, Ervick’s graphic novel is thoughtful and personal, best suited for an audience interested in the topics of athletics and feminism that it delves so deeply into.

The Night Eaters: She Eats the Night

An intriguing first entry in a promised trilogy, sure to leave fans anticipating the second installment.

Upside Dawn

Jason’s virtuosic storytelling and idiosyncratic perspective remain as compelling as ever in this essential new collection.

Phenomena: The Golden City of Eyes

Bendis and Araújo have created a fascinating world of adventure, with intriguing mysteries and likable characters galore. A wildly entertaining first installment.

Birds of Maine

DeForge’s often hilarious, sometimes cutting satire is made more impactful by the sense he’s driven less by anger than compassion for those trapped in absurd, faltering systems. Not to be missed.

Fantastic Four: Full Circle

Ross’s style combines tight linework and painted illustration in a color palette heavy on fluorescent shades of purple and green, warm shades of orange, and eerie blue, resulting in a distinctive pop art masterpiece that must be seen to be believed.

Slash Them All

Maillard’s debut arrives in English having already won the 2022 Best Crime Graphic Novel award at the prestigious Angouleme International Comics Festival. A skillfully crafted, uncommonly insightful, and genuinely disturbing horror story.

The Liminal Zone

While this latest collection never quite manages to evoke the berserk emotional intensity of his best work, Ito’s knack for crafting psychologically complex tales that veer between creeping dread and surrealistic body horror remains unparalleled.

Talk to My Back

In this seminal feminist alt-manga, Yamada (who passed away in 2009) revealed her protagonist’s complex inner life through poetic prose and fluid, expressive linework reminiscent of fashion illustration but keyed to depict complex emotion. A brilliantly realized, keenly insightful, resonant character study.

A Concise Dictionary of Comics

This reference is useful and recommended for most libraries so that they can support the growing interest in comic books within many user groups.

Revenge of the Librarians

Gauld’s (Department of Mind-Blowing Theories) literary comic strips, originally published in The Guardian, are sharp and range in their humor.

Bone Orchard: The Passageway

Sorrentino exhibits a mastery of illustrative technique, conveying creeping dread through oddly angular or looping layouts of overlapping panels, depicting unexpected details in the first half of this volume and later expressing cosmic terror with starkly realistic double-page depictions of inexplicable landscapes.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

An unflinchingly honest coming-of-age memoir and unforgettable depiction of capitalism’s dehumanizing effect on the individual.

The Con Artists

Healy’s (Americana [and the Act of Getting Over It]) broad cartooning reveals his characters’ inner lives through gesture. His keen insight into the tension between what people want and what they actually need from one another, plus his clever dialogue, results in scenes of genuine humor and real pathos. A playfully structured, frequently hilarious character study.

Dog Biscuits

Graham (Cosmic Be-Ing; This Never Happened) has created an occasionally scathing yet perceptive portrait of an especially fraught period in American history.

The Third Person

A masterfully crafted, fearlessly vulnerable memoir stressing the importance of coming to terms with trauma in order to better know oneself.


Animal Castle, Vol. 1

Dorison’s briskly paced script skillfully balances a large cast of memorable characters, all brought to life by Delep’s vibrantly painted illustrations. This edition collects the first five issues of the ongoing series.

Flip It Like This!

Some conservative churchgoers might protest that they are being misrepresented by Hayward’s comics. However, pastors, readers sympathetic to a broader Christianity, and many people who have been hurt or excluded by conservative Christianity will recognize the ring of truth and find a hilarious, brutally honest ally in Hayward and his work.

The Amazing Screw-On Head

Nothing that will disappoint Mignola fans, but nothing to overly excite them either. Not recommended, except for serious Mignola completists.


While Christmas’s (Tartarus) narrative and character development could have used more page-space to breathe, this paranormal lesbian romance (a digital graphic novel that’s collected here in print for the first time) is nevertheless a promising choice for libraries with a strong graphic novel readership.


This volume, which collects issues 1 through 4 of the “Parasomnia” series, is highly recommended for fans of Bunn, Mutti, stories of parents seeking their missing children, or parallel worlds.

Vampire Hunter D: Omnibus Book One

Fantasy, science fiction, and western elements seamlessly come together in a compelling and rich world filled with vivid characters. It recalls the blending of western and science fiction tropes in the Firefly/Serenity universe, creating a fresh experience for readers.

Run on Your New Legs, Vol. 1

Midori (Kuchikake Ryu no Keiyakusha) has created a sports-themed manga that will really entice fans of similar titles like Haikyu!!, where naturally talented protagonists learn a sport from the bottom up. This manga will especially appeal to readers looking for a sports manga with realist emotions (with downs as well as ups), whose protagonist recovers from a major trauma and navigates life with disability.

Fear Case

Kindt (Mind MGMT) amps up the cursed object concept, taking a police procedural approach to horror and centering the relationship between Winters and Mitchum. Tyler and Hilary Jenkins’s art is unsettling, presenting both eerie, dreamlike imagery and macabre depictions of death. Overall, this is a satisfying one-shot evoking a nihilistic worldview.


This enjoyable adventure pulls readers in with quirky fantasy details underlain by universal issues: gentrification, coming of age, fear of change, and family legacies. Teens through adults will enjoy Temerity’s exploits.

Snow Angels, Vol. 1

Lemire (Sweet Tooth) and Jock (The Losers) create a harsh, frozen world that generates more questions than answers. This first volume sets the stage for deeper mysteries that might be resolved in later issues. The story will appeal to mature tweens and older readers as they follow the young female protagonists surviving in a violent, alien landscape.

The Worst Dudes

Not recommended for public libraries, unless they have a large audience for niche science fiction graphic novels.

The Ghost in You

A cleverly plotted, thoroughly entertaining thriller with a keen focus on characterization and exceptionally realized illustration.

One Beautiful Spring Day

Woodring’s animation-influenced cartooning creates a powerful sense of fluid motion across panels bursting with fantastic imagery. This hallucinatory adventure resonates with the intensity of raw self-disclosure.

Keeping Two

Crane’s magnum opus is a stylistically adventurous evocation of how fear and grief create barriers to genuine intimacy. Not to be missed.

Acting Class

Drnaso’s mastery of pacing and tone, plus his knack for developing characters through specific detail and natural dialogue, results in an incisive exploration of alienation that is increasingly unsettling as it builds to a shocking conclusion.

Putin’s Russia: The Rise of a Dictator

Cunningham’s simplistic, unobtrusive cartooning and keen ability to communicate a clear narrative (even with the multitude of characters and historical events detailed here) create an insightful, often-chilling account of both Putin and Russian history since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Clementine, Book 1

Walden’s knack for character development and unique perspective result in a tale perfect for diehard fans of The Walking Dead, as well as newcomers.

Alice in Borderland, Vol. 1

Aso proves a master of suspense and visual storytelling, especially over the course of a sequence depicting a game of tag through a sprawling apartment complex, complicated by the presence of a hulking, gun-toting serial killer wearing a terrifying horse mask. This first volume, which is the inspiration for a hit Netflix series, should have readers clamoring for future installments.

Deadpool: Samurai, Vol. 1

A unique, thoroughly enjoyable blend of action-adventure and cutting satire.

Meteor Men: Expanded Edition

Jarrell’s (Teen Titans Go! Roll With It!) realistic, occasionally moody illustration creates a sense of gritty realism that’s perfectly matched to Parker’s (Warlord of Mars Attacks) cleverly subversive script in this surprising, emotionally resonant science-fiction coming-of-age story.

Everyday Hero Machine Boy

Creators Kniivila (Year of the Dog) and Vuong (The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn) present a funny, uncommonly charming mash-up of martial arts, superhero, and sci-fi comics. The rare all-ages title that will entertain, and perhaps even enthrall, adolescents and adults alike.

Doctor Who: Missy

Unabashedly geared toward fans who will no doubt love this volume.

Love of Kill, Vol. 1

The artwork is very nice, though the violent action scenes are reminiscent of a Quentin Tarantino film. This is a love story with guns and dead bodies. Despite their more futuristic settings, Cowboy Bebop and Gunslinger Girl have similar vibes.

Deep Beyond, Vol. 1

This title has beautiful artwork that is very similar to “Ultimate X-Men” and other superhero comics from the early 2000s. The plot of the book is fast paced and entertaining in a manner reminiscent of the plot in Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.

Policing the City: An Ethno-graphic

Highly recommended, as it adds to discussions on equity.

Middlewest: The Complete Tale

Highly recommended for library purchase.

Nocterra: Full Throttle Dark, Vol. 1

This new series will take readers on the ride of their lives and leave them eager for the next volume.

Ultramega, Vol. 1

Highly recommended for all fans of Harren’s and Stewart’s works, as both put their best efforts into this story.

Old Head

Against this campy backdrop, Eisner-nominated Starks (Sex Castle) weaves an endearing multigenerational tale about family bonds and standing up for what’s right. A charming pastiche of humor, classic horror, and modern family drama, this title has something to appeal to just about any reader.

Unnatural Omnibus

With an action-packed plot and vibrant, likable characters, this title perfectly balances humor, thrills, and eroticism and will make a great fantasy addition to adult collections.

The Low, Low Woods

This smart, scary mystery from sci-fi/fantasist Machado (Her Body and Other Parties) will suck in readers intrigued by haunting body horror wrapped in a women-centered plot.

Noir Is the New Black: Noir Stories from Black Creators

The expert plotting that packs so much into each vignette can be breathtaking, while the skillful incorporation of historical injustices adds moral depth. This title will easily draw in mystery/crime readers looking to feed their fix.

Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession

Early in this hefty tome, Campbell’s seemingly haphazard willingness to follow various tangents quickly proves a brilliant structural design that allows intuitive and enlightening connections between cases, texts, and the author’s own life. True crime fans are sure to embrace this funny, fascinating volume.

Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books

Abounding in lavish color reproductions from historical comic books, Quattro’s exhaustive research allows glimpses into the challenges, roadblocks, and successes that Black comics illustrators experienced. A compelling eye-opener about boundary-breaking stories behind the stories, and winner of a 2021 Eisner Award.

Geiger, Vol. 1

The sublime coloring makes this graphic novel a sparkling gem in this genre. Although the story does not feel original, fans of high-quality graphic artwork, reluctant super-antiheroes, and bombastic fight scenes will truly love this ambitious and wonderfully composed book.

Black Star

Despite the sometimes-unclear narrative flow, the story is gripping thanks to the inventiveness of the pair’s planetary struggles, plus the psychological twists. A good choice for readers attracted to survivalist thrillers and women protagonists.

Fine Print, Vol. 1

Sejic’s dialogue is quick and clever; the line work, staging, and color are perfect. Adult readers who enjoy some titillation, bordering on lascivious spice (including explicit nudity and sex acts), will find this a uniquely seductive visual fling filled with beautiful people from cover to cover, including the covers.

Haha: Sad Clown Stories

Fans of jarring and ironic sequential art books will enjoy this aggregation of carnival melancholy.

Other Lives

Some of the aughts-era technology references here may feel dated, but Bagge’s exceptional insight into self-delusional characters, who are struggling to retain carefully crafted identities, proves timeless. A compelling, fierce satire.

Knock Out! The True Story of Emile Griffith

Kleist’s study in contrasts paints a powerful portrait of an athlete fighting not just opponents but also racism and homophobia. In reexamining such wrenching events of the past, readers are encouraged to understand today’s still-necessary push-back against sociocultural stigmas.

Box of Bones: Book One

This mesmerizing blend of Black American folk tradition and dark fantasy provides much food for thought, as well as edgy entertainment.

MPLS Sound

A graphic novel that can entertain and inspire readers to dream big themselves and to seek new ways when original goals slip out of reach.

Send Help! A Collection of Marooned Cartoons

A terrific anthology containing powerfully funny insights into modern life and highlighting how diverse voices and fresh perspectives can enliven a seemingly exhausted format.

Time Before Time, Vol. 1

This series has potential for growth but may be frustrating for fans of gripping time travel fiction such as Brian K. Vaughan’s Paper Girls.

Madame Livingstone: The Great War in the Congo

Based on a true incident, this beautifully rendered and rousing graphic novel will give readers naïve about Belgian colonialism an entry point for understanding viewpoints and outcomes.

Run Home If You Don’t Want to Be Killed: The Detroit Uprising of 1943

Like the infamous 1921 Tulsa race massacre, the Detroit uprising was historically one of thousands of riots nationwide, resulting from centuries of racism and inequity that still echo today. Williams’s thoroughly researched case study provides much to ponder for activists or simply those concerned about social justice.

The History of Science Fiction: A Graphic Novel Adventure

Hardcore science fiction fans and newcomers alike are sure to enjoy this comprehensive overview of the genre, spotlighting both well-known and under-appreciated authors.

Friday, Vol. 1: The First Day of Christmas

A beautiful and dark homage to the classic “child sleuth” character, crossed with the Sunday funnies page. It’s funny, brutal, and most of all riveting in a way that feels at once nostalgic and frightening. This collection is enticing from page one and becomes nearly impossible to put down once opened.

Ballad of an American: A Graphic Biography of Paul Robeson

Rudahl packs both detail and feeling into Robeson’s life story, profiling a hero for all seasons to inspire today’s activists, as well as inform others unaware of restrictions imposed upon descendants of slaves before the 1960s civil rights breakthroughs.

Luther Strode: The Complete Series

May appeal to some readers, but this collected edition is is only recommended for libraries that don’t already have the series’ individual issues. Otherwise, librarians looking to bolster their adult graphic novels collections should seek out alternatives to this title.

BRZRKR, Vol. 1

Garney renders action sequences with frenetic energy while Reeves and Kindt’s script explores the psychological and spiritual toll of combat with real depth. More than just another gorefest, the four issues collected here form the beginning of what promises to be a fascinating character study of a traumatized warrior searching for peace of mind.

The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History

This nuanced and gripping history supplies much needed background for today’s activism relating to violence against Black people. For all adult and teen collections.

Cutting Edge

Dimitri’s dense, fast-paced plot prioritizes action and intrigue, leaving little room for in-depth characterization. Regardless, the story is thoroughly entertaining, and Alberti’s stunningly intricate illustrations are among the most impressive published in 2021. A refreshingly strange high-concept thriller.

Elegy for Mary Turner: An Illustrated Account of a Lynching

This well-done art-text collage about an unimaginably horrific crime resonates eerily with 2020’s racist murders and antiracist activism

Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula

A masterfully illustrated and poignant biography presented with a sense of drama that’s well-suited to its subject, who gave a performance powerful enough to remain iconic after almost a century.

This Is How I Disappear

An empathetic, detailed character study exploring the interior and exterior obstacles to seeking mental health support.


With outstanding worldbuilding, this immersive, unusual adventure will charm fans of the fantastic, leavened with realistic social commentary.

Blade Runner: Origins, Vol. 1; Products

By exploring the inner lives and motivations of the Replicant uprising, this tightly plotted in-canon prequel accomplishes the rare feat of enriching the source material.

Monumental: Oscar Dunn and His Radical Fight in Reconstruction Louisiana

Thoroughly buttressed with scholarly backmatter, this accessible and moving biography of Dunn will jolt readers with how similar Reconstruction’s political struggles were to our own today, including their roots in factionalism.

Snakes Eyes: Deadgame

A beloved character on a high-stakes solo mission, with friends and enemies like Roadblock, Scarlett, and Storm Shadow appearing along the way to lend a hand and deliver unbelievably hardboiled exposition. This one might not be to everyone’s taste, but G.I. Joe fans are in for a treat.


A tense, compelling espionage thriller woven together from real events, invented characters, and speculation. Gelatt (“Pariah” series) imbues even minor characters with rich inner lives, and Crook’s (B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, Vol. 1) moody illustration imbues scenes of sly manipulation and thrilling action with a sense of impending doom and moral decay.

Gung Ho, Vol. 2

A horror/action series with an emphasis on teenage romance; like The Walking Dead at a breakneck pace, with a sense that the lives these characters are fighting for might actually be worth living.

Ninjak, Book One

Fans of high-concept thrillers and exceptional illustration are in for a very good time.

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