10 books like The Ten-Cent Plague

By David Hajdu,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Ten-Cent Plague. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

By Michael Chabon,

Book cover of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Joe Kavalier and Sammy Clay are cousins, two young men working in the Golden Age of comic books. As tensions rise in Europe, Joe and Sam create the Escapist, a superhero whose adventures put him on the front lines of the culture war brewing in American comics. Chabon’s book is a beautiful, dramatic story about family and struggle. It’s also meticulously researched, providing a remarkable insight into the early days of comic books and giving the reader a glimpse into the world that would create the superhero genre that has become so prevalent in media today.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

By Michael Chabon,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay' is a heart-wrenching story of escape, love and comic-book heroes set in Prague, New York and the Arctic - from the author of 'Wonder Boys'.

One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay's cramped New York bedroom, his nerve-racking escape from Prague finally achieved. Little does he realise that this is the beginning of an extraordinary friendship and even more fruitful business partnership. Together, they create a comic strip called 'The Escapist', its superhero a Nazi-busting saviour who liberates the oppressed…


Seal of Approval

By Amy Kiste Nyberg,

Book cover of Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code

Amy’s book takes on the same topic, but from the perspective of an academic—and with a more balanced, objective approach. In particular, she examines the role of anti-comics crusader Dr. Fredric Wertham, arguing that his “role in the crusade against comics has been largely misinterpreted by fans and scholars alike, who dismiss his findings as naïve social science, failing to understand how his work on comic books fits into the larger context of his beliefs about violence, psychiatry, and social reform." 

Seal of Approval

By Amy Kiste Nyberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For the past forty years the content of comic books has been governed by an industry self-regulatory code adopted by publishers in 1954 in response to public and governmental pressure.

This book examines why comic books were the subject of controversy, beginning with objections that surfaced shortly after the introduction of modern comic books in the mid-1930s, when parents and teachers accused comic books of contaminating children's culture and luring children away from more appropriate reading material.

It traces how, in the years following World War II, the criticism of comic books shifted to their content, and the reading of…


Comic Book Nation

By Bradford W. Wright,

Book cover of Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America

Another readable academic work, Bradford’s book helped me situate the history of comics within the broader narrative of post-war America’s emerging youth, pop, and consumer cultures.

Comic Book Nation

By Bradford W. Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Comic Book Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As American as jazz or rock and roll, comic books have been central in the nation's popular culture since Superman's 1938 debut in Action Comics #1. Selling in the millions each year for the past six decades, comic books have figured prominently in the childhoods of most Americans alive today. In Comic Book Nation, Bradford W. Wright offers an engaging, illuminating, and often provocative history of the comic book industry within the context of twentieth-century American society. From Batman's Depression-era battles against corrupt local politicians and Captain America's one-man war against Nazi Germany to Iron Man's Cold War exploits in…


The Great Comic Book Heroes

By Jules Feiffer,

Book cover of The Great Comic Book Heroes

Jules wrote this book in 1965, so it certainly doesn’t reflect the latest scholarship. But as probably the first critical history of the Golden Age, it’s a valuable read—and a lot of fun!  Jules gives a real sense of what it was like to be alive, in New York City, creating these great works.

The Great Comic Book Heroes

By Jules Feiffer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A great book about the super heroes of comic books( Superman, Captain Marvel, Human Torch, The Flash, Green Lantern, The Spectre, Hawkman, Wonder Woman.Sub Mariner, Captain America, Plastic Man, The Spirit, Afterword. All in colorful comics book style. In tub 87


Showa

By Shigeru Mizuki, Zack Davisson (translator),

Book cover of Showa: A History of Japan, 1926-1939

A key cliche which comic book writers like myself are trying to get over is that comic books and manga are just for kids. That has never been true. This Showa book is an excellent example of that, as the four volumes range over a 63 year period (1926 to 1989) in Japanese history in which we learn about the war, Japanese society, the changes over time, and Mizuki’s personal story. Such comic books and manga, or graphic novels to give them their fancy modern term, are an excellent way to learn about a wide variety of topics with both text and visual working together in an engaging dance. Mizuki was one of the key figures in Japanese manga but for me, this book on history and culture, told in a personal way is his most impressive work.

Showa

By Shigeru Mizuki, Zack Davisson (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fascinating period in Japanese history recounted by manga s most distinguished author. Showa 1926 1939: A History of Japan lays the groundwork for Eisner award-winning author Shigeru Mizuki s historical and autobiographical series about Japanese life in the twentieth century. Depicted against his trademark photorealistic backdrops, Mizuki effortlessly portrays a nation forced into a period of upheaval and brings history into the realm of the personal. Indeed, as a child coming of age in the Showa era, the author s earliest memories coincide with key events of the time. It all begins with the Great Kanto Earthquake, a natural…


Let's Make Comics!

By Jess Smart Smiley,

Book cover of Let's Make Comics!: An Activity Book to Create, Write, and Draw Your Own Cartoons

The author of this book is a working cartoonist and illustrator and that makes this one of the best books out there. The book packs an immense amount of practical information about how to draw cartoons into easy, fun worksheet-style activities. Different styles of writing, as well as complex concepts, are communicated in simple visually striking lessons. I have to admit if I was giving a young artist a book (and they already had both of mine) I would definitely give them this book. It’s comprehensive, fun, and simple. It also allows the young artist room to draw in their own style, instead of copying a given drawing. That’s one of my pet peeves!

Let's Make Comics!

By Jess Smart Smiley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let's Make Comics! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A light-hearted interactive guide to comics and cartoon-making that uses an activity book format and creatively stimulating prompts to teach the fundamentals of cartooning in a fun and easy-to-follow fashion.

From a working cartoonist and comic book making instructor, this all-ages activity book uses humorous and informative one-page comics and exercise prompts to guide young readers (and readers who are young at heart) through easy-to-master lessons on the skills needed to make comics. The activities cover a range of essential comics-making tasks from creating expressions for characters to filling in blank panels to creating original characters and placing them in…


John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 1

By Jamie DeLano, John Ridgway (illustrator),

Book cover of John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 1: Original Sins

These collected graphic novels set the benchmark for Occult Detectives in comic form. Constantine shows up as a fully realized character from the off, and having him as a rough-and-tumble Brit is a stroke of genius. His adventures tie together modern comic sensibilities with pulp themes to great effect and having 'names' as the writers and artists ensures a high standard of storytelling throughout. This collection is the perfect place to start to follow his journeys. 

John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 1

By Jamie DeLano, John Ridgway (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The very first Hellblazer collection is back in a new edition that includes John Constantine's early appearances in SWAMP THING #76-77 along with HELLBLAZER #1-9. This is the first of a series of new HELLBLAZER collections that put all his adventures in reading order, capturing Constantine at his youthful, anarchic best.


Roller Girl

By Victoria Jamieson,

Book cover of Roller Girl

This is one of the first graphic novels I ever read, and I couldn’t stop laughing. The story is fun, and it’s the perfect example of a girl staying true to who she is while realizing that sometimes people change and friends grow apart as they grow up. I loved that I got to learn a new sport while enjoying this coming-of-age story. 

Roller Girl

By Victoria Jamieson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Roller Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Newbery Honor Award Winner and New York Times bestseller Roller Girl is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby-perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile!

For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid's life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend…


Xxxholic Omnibus 1

By Clamp,

Book cover of Xxxholic Omnibus 1

I was introduced to CLAMP’s work through one of their most popular works, Card Captor Sakura when I was seven or eight, but I really grew to love their darker, more surreal projects such as xxxHolic. Not only is the artwork throughout the manga series gorgeous, but the story also introduces you to all sorts of Japanese folklore, explores time loops, and the thin barrier between the human world and spirits. xxxHolic has been at the top of my recommendation list for manga lovers and newbies to the medium for years. Any fan of dramatic twists and turns, the supernatural, and snarky, snappy dialogue will certainly love this series as much as I do.

Xxxholic Omnibus 1

By Clamp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kimihiro Watanuki is haunted by visions of ghosts and spirits. He seeks help from a mysterious woman named Yuko, who claims she can help. However, Watanuki must work for Yuko in order to pay for her aid. Soon Watanuki finds himself employed in Yuko's shop where he sees things and meets customers that are stranger than anything he could have ever imagined! Watanuki is Yuko's unwilling assistant, but even he is compelled by the fascinating adventures he's having since he started working for the 'space-time witch.'


Sidekicks

By Dan Santat,

Book cover of Sidekicks

A graphic novel about superhero pets? Yes, please! This is a super fun book (see what I did there?) perfect for young readers. Crime-stopping superhero, Captain Amazing is getting older. He’s starting to think it may be time to bring in a sidekick— his pets think they can help. With hilarious twists and turns - this wonderfully illustrated book is both heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny. 

Sidekicks

By Dan Santat,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Suit up for this high-octane graphic novel debut by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat!

Captain Amazing, the hometown hero of Metro City, is so busy catching criminals that he rarely has time for his pets -- he hasn't even noticed they've been developing superpowers of their own!

So when Captain Amazing announces he needs a sidekick, his eager pets -- a dog, a hamster, and a chameleon -- all decide to audition for the part and a chance for one-on-one time with the Captain. But while each pet is focused on winning the coveted sidekick spot, an even bigger battle in…


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