The best comic books that let you sneak into someone else’s brain for the day

Who am I?

I was a funny little anxious kid, and still remember the relief of coming across friends who opened up and told their darkest thoughts and silliest moments. This is what I seek out in books and try to show in my own stories. To say...Look! We’re all deeply weird! You are not alone! Comics and graphic novels have such a unique and immediate way of whispering into your heart and it amazes me that so many people haven’t yet discovered what a wonderful art form they are. 


I wrote...

Shame Pudding: A Graphic Memoir

By Danny Noble,

Book cover of Shame Pudding: A Graphic Memoir

What is my book about?

Danny Noble grew up in an eccentric family with two weird and wonderful Jewish grandmas living right around the corner. One grandma stuffed her full of love and gefilte fish, and the other pinched her cheeks shrieking "shayn punim!" The strange words hung in the air, sounding like "shame pudding." Was this some sort of insult? It was never explained that those words meant "beautiful face" in Yiddish.

This memoir, told in graphic novel format, is a personal celebration of the author's charming and vibrant family and how they saved her from the machinations of her own brain. Full of food, picket lines, and rock and roll, Danny Noble's expressive style brings this delightful cast of characters to life.

The books I picked & why

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Billy, Me & You: A Memoir of Grief and Recovery

By Nicola Streeten,

Book cover of Billy, Me & You: A Memoir of Grief and Recovery

Why this book?

When I was halfway through Billy, Me, and You, I got off the tube I was riding, cancelled my plans, and took the book to a pub to give it my full attention. That was the power it had. So submerged in its world I was unable to put it down. It's so beautifully written and big and painful, it held my hand in my own grief and somehow radiated such warmth and hope like a magic thing.


Hot Comb

By Ebony Flowers,

Book cover of Hot Comb

Why this book?

Every panel of Hot Comb is full of music and movement. The dialogue is so perfectly observed it's like sitting on a park bench with a good old friend and overhearing conversations as they pass by. Some of the stories are directly autobiographical I think, and some are not, but they all feel very real and the dynamics of the relationships very familiar. A beautiful and sharp book about small personal everyday things and how huge and political they really are.


Fear Of Mum-Death and The Shadow Men

By Wallis Eates,

Book cover of Fear Of Mum-Death and The Shadow Men

Why this book?

Wallis Eates is the master of picking scabs and upturning stones to see what scuttles beneath. And often among all the dirt and bugs, she finds such amazing treasure. In this book, she has such vivid and detailed memories I found myself staring into her wonderful pencil marks and time travelling back into the mind of my own little self and feeling all the fear and awe of those years. I was going to write, it's like happening upon someone’s secret diary, but it's so visceral, it's more like being Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap and suddenly, wonderfully finding yourself in someone else’s body for a minute.


One! Hundred! Demons!

By Lynda Barry,

Book cover of One! Hundred! Demons!

Why this book?

Lynda Barry remembers exactly what it's like to be a kid and in her beautiful bold drawings, she shows you around her world so well you can smell the food bubbling away in her kitchen and the chain-smoking relatives stirring the pots. It's so sad and funny and human and Lynda’s energy leaps off every page making you wish you knew her. 


Sunburning

By Keiler Roberts,

Book cover of Sunburning

Why this book?

Most of the books I’ve chosen are a bit wild and frantic like my own. Sunburning is very still and quiet and so, so funny. I felt the oceans of emotions under the surface though everything is drawn in such a careful way, and the brilliant pacing recreates the strange and humourous tension of being a human in this crazy old world. The dialogue is so well-drawn and in the gaps in between it I felt I could hear the whirr of Kieiler’s busy brain. Another book to make you feel less alone. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the brain, comics, and bipolar disorder?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the brain, comics, and bipolar disorder.

The Brain Explore 90 books about the brain
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Bipolar Disorder Explore 19 books about bipolar disorder

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual: Trauma-Informed Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, Ptsd & Substance Abuse, The Ellimist Chronicles, and The Human Brain Coloring Book if you like this list.