The best books about comics 📚

Browse the best books on comics as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of The Complete Persepolis

The Complete Persepolis

By Marjane Satrapi

Why this book?

Marjane Satrapi’s powerful graphic novel memoir is one of my all-time favorite books in any genre. The stories that comprise her young life during Iran’s cultural revolution, her eventual solitary exile in Europe, and her post-war return, are riveting, heartbreaking, hilarious, and unforgettable. Illustrated in stunning black and white drawings, Persepolis blends Satrapi’s inner and outer experience of events and characters with such sublime artistry that her story will (if I can predict it) become instantly lodged in your heart. 

From the list:

The best coming-of-age stories by diverse women

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Book cover of Thor: Tales Of Asgard

Thor: Tales Of Asgard

By Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

Why this book?

This series of short back-up strips in the 1960s Thor comic from Marvel retold and embellished on the myths in characteristically bombastic Lee/Kirby fashion. While Thor himself, in the main feature, battled costumed supervillains in contemporary New York, the supporting feature dealt with his youth, his allies and enemies in Asgard itself and the rest of the Nine Realms, and a whole host of sorcerers, witches, and grotesque monsters. Kirby in particular seemed enthused by the project and it shows in his artwork.

From the list:

The best books if you came to Norse mythology via Marvel comics

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Book cover of Asterix and Cleopatra

Asterix and Cleopatra

By René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo

Why this book?

A Belgian series of 36 comic books originally written in French, these have been brilliantly translated into English. Set in the time of Julius Caesar with a small band of Gauls as the heroes and the Romans the ‘baddies’ this series offers many surprisingly accurate insights into the world of ancient Rome. A colourful, humorous, visual format means it will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Start with Asterix and Cleopatra just to get them hooked.

From the list:

The best books for kids on ancient Rome

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Book cover of Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

By Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos Papadimitriou

Why this book?

Logicomix is a revelation. It tells the colorful life stories of some incredibly important philosophers and mathematicians of recent times, how they met and how their lives reflect their thoughts about some of the most difficult questions ever posed. The stories are beautifully illustrated with a detail that conveys more than mere words. It feels wondrous how the most abstract ideas can be made comprehensible and captivating when we had only the vaguest notions about what these ideas even meant.
From the list:

The best graphic novels that explain things that matter

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Book cover of Laika

Laika

By Nick Abadzis

Why this book?

Beyond the science and technology that it takes to launch something into space, there’s a story with a deeply human heart. That human heart is very much the center of “Laika,” the story of the Soviet dog that was the first living creature to orbit Earth. This book is a glimpse into how space history was made, but also a sweet tribute to the dog that made it. (And if you like this book, consider picking up First in Space by James Vining, the story of space-chimp Ham, who helped pave the way for America’s Mercury 7 astronauts to fly!)

From the list:

The best books for a graphic-novel exploration of space

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Book cover of Aya: Life in Yop City

Aya: Life in Yop City

By Marguerite Abouet, Clément Oubrerie, Helge Dascher

Why this book?

I’ve added this graphic novel to my list in part for nostalgic reasons. Although the book and its two sequels were published in the 2000s, they are all set in 1970s Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, when I had the good fortune to live there. Aya is an adolescent girl living in the vibrant neighborhood of Yopougon, where everyone knows each other’s business. While she just wants to focus on her studies, she keeps getting distracted by the drama of those around her—from the boy-chasing machinations of her girlfriends to the foolish missteps of her parent's generation.

From the list:

The best novels from French-speaking Africa translated into English

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