100 books like In the Shadow of No Towers

By Art Spiegelman,

Here are 100 books that In the Shadow of No Towers fans have personally recommended if you like In the Shadow of No Towers. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics

Michael Tisserand Author Of Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White

From my list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was walking across the country in 1986 when I met a journalist named Mike Sager who showed me that writing can also be an adventure. Since then, I’ve edited an alternative weekly newspaper and written books about zydeco, Hurricane Katrina, comics, and old Kodachrome photos. So far, most everything I write seems to be centered in some way around my adopted home state of Louisiana, a place that never seems to run out of stories. Also, I still like to walk.

Michael's book list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies

Michael Tisserand Why did Michael love this book?

Bill Blackbeard was the Harry Smith of comics. Just as Smith’s landmark Anthology of American Folk Music helped launch a folk music revival, so did Blackbeard’s massive volume of old newspaper comics spark a new generation of comics fandom and scholarship. This was also the first book of old newspaper funnies I ever read, during a childhood Saturday afternoon in the Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana, when I discovered the magical “741.5” shelf that held books of comics. Other big, beautiful anthologies of old newspaper funnies have been compiled by comics creators like Jerry Robinson and Brian Walker, but Blackbeard is the granddaddy.

By Bill Blackbeard (editor), Martin Williams (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Selected comic treasures from American newspaper pages from 1896 to the 1970s display a range of graphic experimentation and imaginative storytelling


Book cover of Society is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy at the Dawn of the American Comic Strip 1895-1915

Michael Tisserand Author Of Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White

From my list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was walking across the country in 1986 when I met a journalist named Mike Sager who showed me that writing can also be an adventure. Since then, I’ve edited an alternative weekly newspaper and written books about zydeco, Hurricane Katrina, comics, and old Kodachrome photos. So far, most everything I write seems to be centered in some way around my adopted home state of Louisiana, a place that never seems to run out of stories. Also, I still like to walk.

Michael's book list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies

Michael Tisserand Why did Michael love this book?

Warning: This book will make you build a new bookshelf. Like other oversized offerings from Peter Maresca’s Sunday Press Publishing, you need a tape measure, not a ruler, to determine its dimensions. This means that you can read this startling collection of strips from 1895 to 1915 in the grand size in which they first appeared in early newspapers, back when the colors and characters screamed off the page, reflecting and refracting the frenetic dawn of a new century. These old newspaper comics pages are where Americans first learned to laugh together. Society is Nix can be difficult to find but is well worth the effort.

By Peter Maresca,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Society is Nix as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BIRTH OF COMICS. From the Yellow Kid to the Captain and the Kids, these are the origins of the American comic strip, created at a time when there were no set styles or formats, when artistic anarchy helped spawn a new medium. This book features the earliest offerings (1895 to 1915) from the famous and lesser-known cartoonists who where there when comics were born-over 150 creations from more then 50 superb artists, most reprinted for the first time ever. And all in the original broadsheet size and brilliant colors. Chris Ware calls Society Is Nix,"a mind-blowing portable museum retrospective…


Book cover of Screwball! The Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny

Michael Tisserand Author Of Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White

From my list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was walking across the country in 1986 when I met a journalist named Mike Sager who showed me that writing can also be an adventure. Since then, I’ve edited an alternative weekly newspaper and written books about zydeco, Hurricane Katrina, comics, and old Kodachrome photos. So far, most everything I write seems to be centered in some way around my adopted home state of Louisiana, a place that never seems to run out of stories. Also, I still like to walk.

Michael's book list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies

Michael Tisserand Why did Michael love this book?

Paul Tumey is one of our pre-eminent comics scholars, but like the cartoonists he honors in this work, he mainly wants to make you laugh. To this end, he’s assembled cartoons, comics, and old photos, mostly dating to the early 1900s, to build a case for a comics genre he calls Screwballism. It’s all a very funny read, and if the names of genius creators like Frederick Burr Opper and Gene Ahern aren’t yet household names, don’t blame Tumey.

By Paul C. Tumey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Screwball! The Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of screwball comics, with new research and rare art from some of the most hilarious cartoonists of all time.

Before "screwball" became a movie genre, it was a staple of other forms of American culture, including newspaper comic strips. Emerging from the pressures of a rapidly accelerating technological and information-drenched society, screwball comics offered a healthy dose of laughter and perspective. The disruptive, manic, and surreal verbal-visual comedy of these "funnies" fostered an absurdist sensibility embraced by The Marx Brothers (who took their names from a popular comic strip), W. C. Fields, Tex Avery, Spike Jones, Ernie Kovacs,…


Book cover of The Goat Getters: Jack Johnson, the Fight of the Century, and How a Bunch of Raucous Cartoonists Reinvented Comics

Michael Tisserand Author Of Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White

From my list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was walking across the country in 1986 when I met a journalist named Mike Sager who showed me that writing can also be an adventure. Since then, I’ve edited an alternative weekly newspaper and written books about zydeco, Hurricane Katrina, comics, and old Kodachrome photos. So far, most everything I write seems to be centered in some way around my adopted home state of Louisiana, a place that never seems to run out of stories. Also, I still like to walk.

Michael's book list on for reading century-old newspaper funnies

Michael Tisserand Why did Michael love this book?

Before there were funny pages, there were sports pages with funnies on them. Eddie Campbell, best known as the artist-collaborator with Alan Moore on From Hell and the creator of his own wonderful and sort-of autobiographical Alec: The Years Have Pants, has pored over these old sports pages to uncover the secret origins of the funnies. Along the way, he tells stories of a lurid murder trial and a racially charged boxing match, all seen through the eyes of sports cartoonists. This is hidden history at its most entertaining.

By Eddie Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Goat Getters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rip-roaring and exhaustively researched new take on the origin of the comic strip by one of the leading cartoon storytellers of our time.

With more than 500 period cartoons, The Goat Getters illustrates how comics were developed by such luminaries as Rube Goldberg, Tad Dorgan, and George Herriman in the sports and lurid crime pages of the daily newspaper. This wild bunch of West Coast-based cartoonists established the dynamic anatomy and bold, tough style that continue to influence comics today, as well as their own goofy slang that enriched the popular lexicon.

The Goat Getters also captures early twentieth…


Book cover of MacDoodle St.

David Kamp Author Of Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America

From my list on coming of age in New York City.

Why am I passionate about this?

“You spend your first 18 years as a sponge and the rest of your life using those early years as material.” Martin Short said this to me when I collaborated with him on his memoir, I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend. My own writing bears this out. My nonfiction books The United States of Arugula and Sunny Days are not first-person books, but they examine two significant cultural movements that defined my formative years: the American food revolution led by the likes of Julia Child and Alice Waters and the children’s-TV revolution defined by Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Much of my journalism finds me chasing down the cultural figures who captured and shaped my young imagination, e.g., Sly Stone, Johnny Cash, Charles Schulz.

David's book list on coming of age in New York City

David Kamp Why did David love this book?

My curveball choice. In the late 1970s, Stamaty drew a brilliant, phantasmagoric, visually dense comic strip for The Village Voice that captured the chaos, charm, and entropic scuzziness of Manhattan in that era. His protagonist, a bearded nerd named Malcolm Frazzle, travels on a very funny Joseph Campbell-like hero’s journey that involves a talking cow, the Zen of dishwashing, and overpacked subway cars. I’ve spent the last 40 years revisiting this compendium of Stamaty’s strips, whose every page is a loony, trippy world to fall into.

By Mark Alan Stamaty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked MacDoodle St. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A collection of legendary absurdist comic strips about life in 1970s New York City, now available in print for the first time in over thirty years.

Every week, from 1978 to 1980, The Village Voice brought a new installment of Mark Alan Stamaty's uproarious, endlessly inventive strip MacDoodle St. Centering more or less on Malcolm Frazzle, a blocked poet struggling to complete his latest lyric for Dishwasher Monthly, Stamaty's creation encompassed a dizzying array of characters, stories, jokes, and digressions. One week might feature the ongoing battle between irate businessmen and bearded beatniks for control of a Greenwich Village coffee…


Book cover of Bolivar

Barbara Lehman Author Of Red Again

From my list on celebrating city life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I especially love books for children that capture city life in a way that feels both unique and child scaled. I have set most of my books in cities because I love the story possibilities that exist in what are almost entirely human-made environments. Paradoxically, city settings make any kind of connection to the natural world or animals even more important. On this list are all books I feel show a particularly special aspect of city life for children.

Barbara's book list on celebrating city life

Barbara Lehman Why did Barbara love this book?

I love recognizing Central Park, The Met, The Museum of Natural History, the subway, Chinatown, and more in this story of Bolivar, a dinosaur on the loose In Manhattan. The author has a clear affection as well as a keenly observing eye for all details of a contemporary NYC setting, and the story is fun. Everything from rooftop elements to his depiction of subway mosaic tile is lovingly observed and rendered as a rich backdrop to the rollicking storyline.

By Sean Rubin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bolivar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Going extinct isn't for everyone. Sybil knows that there is something off about her next door neighbor, but she can't seem to get anyone to believe her. Everyone is so busy going about their days in the busy streets of New York City that they don't notice Bolivar. They don't notice his odd height, his tiny arms, or his long tail. No one but Sybil sees that Bolivar is a dinosaur. When an unlikely parking ticket pulls Bolivar into an adventure from City Hall to New York's Natural History Museum, he must finally make a choice: Bolivar can continue to…


Book cover of 75 Years of DC Comics. the Art of Modern Mythmaking

Roy Schwartz Author Of Is Superman Circumcised?: The Complete Jewish History of the World's Greatest Hero

From my list on comic book history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of Is Superman Circumcised? The Complete Jewish History of the World's Greatest Hero, which won the 2021 Diagram Prize, and The Darkness in Lee's Closet and the Others Waiting There. I write about pop culture for The Forward and CNN.com. My writing has appeared in a range of publications, including New York Daily News, Jerusalem Post, and Philosophy Now. I’ve taught English and writing at the City University of New York and am a former writer-in-residence fellow at the New York Public Library.

Roy's book list on comic book history

Roy Schwartz Why did Roy love this book?

Paul Levitz was a writer, editor, editor in chief, publisher, and president of DC Comics for decades. This oversized coffee table book is a treasure trove of his insights, memories, and analysis. It’s the definitive history of DC, which only he could write. And it’s full of fun colorful images, making it interesting to younger readers as well as a perfect gift to any pop culture or comics lover.

By Paul Levitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 75 Years of DC Comics. the Art of Modern Mythmaking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1935, DC Comics founder Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson published New Fun No. 1-the first comic book with all-new original material-at a time when comic books were mere repositories for the castoffs of the newspaper strips. What was initially considered to be disposable media for children was well on its way to becoming the mythology of our time-the 20th century's answer to Atlas or Zorro.

More than 40,000 comic books later, TASCHEN has produced the single most comprehensive book on DC Comics. More than 2,000 images-covers and interiors, original illustrations, photographs, film stills, and collectibles-are reproduced using the latest technology to…


Book cover of Kristy's Great Idea

Heather Alexander Author Of Project Startup

From my list on kids starting businesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write both fiction and nonfiction for kids and with Eat Bugs, I got to combine both loves. The book was inspired by two real-life female entrepreneurs, who literally cooked up an edible bug business in their college dorm room. After I watched them land a deal on Shark Tank, we met and I reimagined their story as if they’d started their business in sixth grade. I’ve always been fascinated by entrepreneurs who have the courage and tenacity to follow their dreams–no matter how wacky the idea may seem.

Heather's book list on kids starting businesses

Heather Alexander Why did Heather love this book?

Who doesn’t love Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey and their babysitting adventures? I was also an in-demand suburban babysitter when I was their age and I only wish I’d thought to join forces with my friends when I was scrambling for a new way to stop a kid from crying or fresh ideas to make bedtime fun. This is the ultimate best-friends-who-start-a-business book! And as a full-color graphic novel, the drama and the humor soar to new heights.

By Ann M. Martin, Raina Telgemeier (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Kristy's Great Idea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Now a major Netflix series!

Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding
members of THE BABYSITTERS CLUB. Whatever
comes up - cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls
- you can count on them to save the day.

Babysitting isn't always easy though, and neither is dealing with
strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious
secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most:
friendship.

Raina Telgemeier, using
the signature style featured in her acclaimed graphic novels Smile and Sisters,
perfectly captures
all the drama and humor of the original novel!…


Book cover of The System

Lee Nordling Author Of BirdCatDog (Three-Story Books)

From my list on wordless books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Eisner-nominated and award-winning graphic novel and comics writer, editor, and book packager. I've worked on staff at the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Disney Publishing, DC Comics, Nickelodeon Magazine, and Platinum Studios. My sequential art book, The Bramble, won the 2013 Moonbeam Gold Medal for Picture Books, and I created a new way to read comics with BirdCatDog, a 2015 Eisner Awards nominee, that received the 2015 Moonbeam Spirit Award Gold Medal for Imagination, and was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best children’s books of 2014. SheHeWe, the third book in the series, was a 2016 Eisner Award nominee for Best Publication for Early Readers.

Lee's book list on wordless books

Lee Nordling Why did Lee love this book?

In 1997, Peter Kuper knocked my socks off with The System, a wordless book that exposes the underbelly of New York City as an airbrushed wonderland of strippers, druggies, the homeless, dirty cops, killers, taggers, sleaze-balls, muggers, and—oh, yes—there’s a terrorist with a bomb who wants to blow things up. Never was anything so bright and colorful so decadently revealing.

By Peter Kuper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The System as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It has been said that the flutter of insect wings in the Indian Ocean can send a hurricane crashing against the shores of the American Northeast, and such a premise lies at the core of The System, a wordless graphic novel created and painted by award-winning illustrator Peter Kuper. A sleazy stockbroker is lining his pockets, a corrupt cop is shaking down drug dealers, a mercenary bomber is setting the timer, a serial killer is stalking strippers, a political scandal is about to explode, the planet is burning, and nobody’s talking. Told without captions or dialogue, this piece of art…


Book cover of My New York Diary

François Vigneault Author Of Titan

From my list on graphic novels from Quebec no matter your taste.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American-born cartoonist who’s been living and working in Montreal since 2015. My mother is from Quebec, and when I immigrated here I was looking to reconnect with my cultural roots. Reading graphic novels from here was a huge part of how I got to know my adopted community. I might be a bit biased, but I have to say Quebec has one of the world’s most vibrant comic arts scenes; a blend of American comic books mixed with Franco-Belgian bande dessinée. With more and more graphic novels from Quebec getting translated into English you’re sure to find something you’ll dig, whether you’re looking for slice-of-life or science fiction.

François' book list on graphic novels from Quebec no matter your taste

François Vigneault Why did François love this book?

This slim but dense book chronicles the ups and (mostly) downs of a young woman’s life in Montréal and New York in the 80s and early 90s, a scuzzy time capsule full of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Doucet’s maximalist, punk-inflected art packs each and every claustrophobic panel to bursting, a perfect fit for this tale of a suffocating, toxic relationship playing out in the shadow of the Cold War. It’s no exaggeration to say that Doucet, who recently won the Angouléme Festival's Grand Prix, is one of the most important figures in modern comics, she was one of the first women to break into the boys’ club of the alt comix scene and rewrote the rules of the medium. She remains not only a giant in the history of Quebec comics but of the entire graphic novel art form.

By Julie Doucet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My New York Diary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'My New York Diary' documents the events in Doucet's life during a six-month period in 1991. At that time, she packed her bags and moved to New York and waiting for her was her new boyfriend, an aspiring cartoonist himself who took Julie to his apartment.


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