The graphic novel format lends itself beautifully to illustrated life stories, either of the author's own life or another person's. Here are some recommendations from our librarians.
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This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.
In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents. Available to download: eBook
This intimate, engaging autobiographical work from an Irish visitor to the United States recounts the author's own attempt to walk the length of the USA's west coast. Healy's life-changing journey weaves in and out of often humorous reflections on his experiences in America and his development as an artist, navigating both the trail itself and the unique culture of the people who attempt to complete it.
Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life.
In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.
Visionary artist and New York Times bestselling author Kim Krans returns with a decadently illustrated and incredibly raw graphic memoir that chronicles her multi-layered search for truth and recovery from an eating disorder and infertility in the throes of a health and wellness-obsessed culture, touching on the healing potentials of creativity and spirituality.
March is a vivid first-hand account of Congressman John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Available to download: eBook
Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she discovers that he's not the man he says he is - not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them - herself.
In striking, virtuoso graphic style that captures both the immediacy of childhood and the fervor of political idealism, Riad Sattouf recounts his nomadic childhood growing up in rural France, Gaddafi's Libya, and Assad's Syria--but always under the roof of his father, a Syrian Pan-Arabist who drags his family along in his pursuit of grandiose dreams for the Arab nation.
One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had throat cancer and was expected to die. Small, a prize-winning children's author, re-creates a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka.
Acclaimed for his visionary short-story collections, the legendary Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi has come to be recognized in North America as a precursor of today's graphic novel movement. A Drifting Life is his monumental memoir eleven years in the making, beginning with his experiences as a child in Osaka, growing up as part of a country burdened by the shadows of World War II.
In 2005, Andy Warner traveled to Lebanon to study literature in Beirut, one of the world's most cosmopolitan and storied cities. As street protests grow and the city is rocked by political violence, Warner feels his grasp on reality slowly begin to slip as he confronts traumas in his past and anxiety over his future. Illustrated in beautiful and intricate detail, Spring Rain is an absorbing and poignant graphic memoir of a young man's attempt to gain control over his life as well as a portrait of a city and a nation's struggle to define its future in the predawn of the Arab Spring.
When she was a little girl, passing her summers in the heat of coastal Australia, award-winning author Evie Wyld was captivated by sharks--by their innate ruthlessness, stealth, and immeasurable power--and they have never released their hold on her imagination. Here is a deeply moving graphic memoir about family, love, loss, and the irresistible forces that, like sharks, course through life unseen, ready to emerge at any moment.
La Voz De M.A.Y.O: Tata Rambo is based on the oral history of Ramon Jaurigue, an orphan and WWII veteran who co-founded the Mexican, American, Yaqui, and Others (M.A.Y.O.) organization, which successfully lobbied the Tucson City Council to improve living and working conditions for members of the Pascua Yaqui tribe.
To the public, Jeffrey Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, "Jeff" was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides. In My Friend Dahmer, writer-artist Backderf creates a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young man struggling against the morbid urges emanating from the deep recesses of his psyche - a shy kid, a teenage alcoholic, and a goofball who never quite fit in with his classmates.
Early morning on Monday, October 9, 2017, wildfires burned through Northern California, resulting in 44 fatalities and the destruction of homes and other property. A Fire Story brings together author Brian Fies's firsthand account of this tragic event and the fire stories of his neighbors and others in his community.
This graphic novel chronicles the rise of Bowie's career from obscurity to fame; and paralleled by the rise and fall of his alter ego as well as the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust. As the Spiders from Mars slowly implode, Bowie wrestles with his Ziggy persona. The outcome of this internal conflict will change not only David Bowie, but also, the world.