Great Graphic Novels for Teens Nominations
Updated May 3, 2016.
Brown, Box. Tetris: the Games People Play. 2016. First Second. $19.99. 9781626723153. This graphic novel tells the story of how Tetris was first imagined, then created, and finally distributed as a game in multiple formats throughout the world.
Dini, Paul & Eduardo Risso. Dark Night: a True Batman Story. 2016. Vertigo. $22.99. 9781401241438. In the 1990s, legendary writer Paul Dini had a flourishing career writing the hugely popular Batman: The Animated Series and Tiny Toon Adventures. Walking home one evening, he was jumped and viciously beaten within an inch of his life. His recovery process was arduous, hampered by the imagined antics of the villains he was writing for television including the Joker, Harley Quinn and the Penguin. But despite how bleak his circumstances were, or perhaps because of it, Dini also always imagined the Batman at his side, chivvying him along during his darkest moments.
Fitzgerald, Meags. Long Red Hair. 2015. Conundrum Press. $17.00. 9781894994958. Long Red Hair is Meags Fitzgerald's follow up to her acclaimed Photobooth: A Biography. In this graphic memoir, Fitzgerald paints a childhood full of sleepovers, playing dress-up, amateur fortune-telling and renting scary movies. Yet, Fitzgerald suspects that she is unlike her friends. The book navigates a child's struggle with averageness, a preteen's budding bisexuality and a young woman's return after rejection. Fitzgerald takes us from her first kiss to a life sworn to singlehood, while weaving in allusions to witches in history and popular culture. Long Red Hair alluringly delves into the mystique of red hair and the beguiling nature of alternative romantic relationships.
Lee, Stan and Peter David. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir. 2015. Illus. Touchstone/Simon and Schuster, $30.00. 9781501107726. Stan Lee, co-creator of some of the Marvel Universe's best superheroes and villains, tells his own story with his usual humor. Little known facts about his life and the creation of comics are explored in living color.
McClanahan, Scott & Ricardo Cavolo. The Incantations of Daniel Johnston. 2016. Two Dollar Radio. $16.99. 9781937512453. Biography on the life of musician Daniel Johnston.
Ottaviani, Jim & Leland Purvis. The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded. 2016. Abrams ComicArts. $24.95. 9781419718939. Explores the life of brilliant mathematician and code-breaker Alan Turing from his early childhood to his untimely death.
Rall, Ted. Bernie. 2016. Seven Stories Press. $16.95. 9781609806989. Details the recent history of the Democratic Party, Bernie’s childhood and history in politics, and the election up to the Iowa caucus.
Ross, Edward. Filmish: a Graphic Journey Through Film. 2015. Self Made Hero. $24.95. 9781910593035. Cartoonist Edward Ross uses comics to illuminate the ideas behind our favorite movies. In Filmish, Ross’s cartoon alter ego guides readers through the annals of cinematic history, introducing some of the strange and fascinating concepts at work in the movies. Each chapter focuses on a particular theme—the body, architecture, language—and explores an eclectic mix of cinematic triumphs, from A Tripto the Moon to Top Gun. Like other bestselling nonfiction graphic novels such as Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Filmish tackles serious issues—sexuality, race, censorship, propaganda—with authority and wit, throwing new light on some of the greatest films ever made.
Allison, John. Bad Machinery, Volume 5: The Case of the Fire Inside. 2016. Oni Press. $19.99. 9781620102978. Our favorite sleuths are back! Sonny meets a mysterious new girl who seems to have climbed out of the sea itself, while Mildred falls for the bad boy of Saturday detention. But, can either of them succeed in the face of jealous exes, overprotective fathers, and the persistent tide of DESTINY?
Allison, John & Lissa Treiman. Giant Days, Volume 1. 2015. Boom! Box. $9.99. 9781608867899. Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But, in the face of hand-wringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.
Allison, John & Lissa Treiman. Giant Days, Volume 2. 2016. Boom! Box. $14.99. 9781608868049. Friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy continue their first semester in college while balancing boys, halls, rivals and classes.
Bermejo, Lee, Rob Haynes & Khary Randolph. We Are Robin: The Vigilante Business. 2016. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401259822. After the Joker has turned many of Gotham’s citizens into zombies, including Duke Thomas’ parents, a group of masked teens going by the name Robins decide they can’t sit back and wait for someone to save them. With the help of a mysterious identity, going only by Nest, the Robins begin to fight back against the crime spreading throughout the city. In the process, Duke never gives up on finding his parents.
Cliff, Tony. Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling. 2016. First Second. $16.99. 9781626721555. A 19th century adventurer meets a new challenge, which leads her to confront her past.
Corson, Heath & Gustavo Duarte. Bizarro. 2016. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401259716. Jimmy Olsen and Bizarro road trip to Canada or Bizarro America. The United States is tired of Bizarro and all the accidental chaos he brings. Jimmy Olsen decides to road trip to Canada and drop Bizarro off with our Northern neighbors and write a coffee table book about the experience. Along the way the get into trouble, face off with ghosts, ancient gods, and free aliens trapped in Area 51. Will Jimmy become Bizarro's worstest friend ever?
Doerries, Bryan. The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan. 2016. Pantheon. $19.95. 9780375715167. A Sergeant deployed in Afghanistan, recounts to his squad the story of the Odyssey.
Doyle, Ming & Riley Rossmo. Constantine: the Hellblazer, Volume 1: Going Down. 2016. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401259723. The dark adventures of DC’s foremost occult detective continue in an all-new series as he investigates the cruelest case he’s ever come across – his own dark history!
Fletcher, Brenden & Annie Wu. Black Canary, Volume 1: Kicking & Screaming. 2016. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401261177. Dinah Lance hits the road! After years as a soldier and vigilante, the last place Dinah saw herself is on stage…but she’s quickly learning she’d die to protect the gang of misfits she’s fallen into. And, she just might have to – for some reason, the newly rechristened band Black Canary seems to be a magnet for trouble…and Dinah’s not gonna believe it when she finds out the reason why.
Fridolfs, Derek & Dustin Nguyen. Secret Hero Society 1: Study Hall of Justice. 2016. Scholastic. $12.99. 9780545825016. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are new students a Ducard Academy, a strange middle school full of peculiar teachers.
Gaiman, Neil, Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba. How to Talk to Girls at Parties. 2016. Dark Horse. $17.99. 9781616559557. A man tells a story from 30 years before, when he was a 15 year old attending an all boys school. His friend Vic is invited to a party by a girl but when Vic leaves the directions to the party at home, they end up attending a party full of exotic tourists.
Gaiman, Neil & J.H. Williams III. Sandman: Overture. 2015. Vertigo. $24.99. 9781401248963. Morpheus, the personification of Dreams, has made a mistake, and it could cost the whole universe.
Gillen, Kieron & Salvador Larocca. Star Wars Darth Vader, Volume 1: Vader. 2015. Marvel Comics. $19.99. 9780785192558. After a losing a critical battle to the rebel alliance, Darth Vader searches for ways to turn the tide back to the Empire's favor.
Hart, Tom. Rosalie Lightning. 2016. St. Martin’s Press. $19.99. 9781250049940. The author recounts his family’s life after the death of their young daughter.
HERO. Horimiya. 2015. Yen Press. $13.00. 9780316342032. When a liberally pierced and tattooed Miyamura unexpectantly appears on the doorstep of secretly-plain homeboy Hori, they discover there are multiple sides to every story...and person.
Hicks, Faith Erin. The Nameless City. 2016. First Second. $21.99. 9781626721579. In a city that changes names every few years when a new nation conquers it, newcomer Kaidu learns new skills from native Rat.
Hicks, Faith Erin & Yishan Li. Buffy: the High School Years – Freaks & Geeks. 2016. Dark Horse. $10.99. 9781616556679. Shadowing the plot of the TV series by Joss Whedon, Buffy is identified as the One, the slayer who has been chosen to help rid the world of vampires. It’s not an easy task for her to balance school, friends, and slaying, but thanks to her mentor Giles and her understanding friends Willow and Xander, life isn’t all work and no play.
Higashimura, Akiko. Princess Jellyfish 1. 2016. Kodansha Comics. $19.99. 9781632362285. In this gender bender, the quiet life of an 18 year old otaku girl living with other geeky girls in a communal Tokyo apartment is turned upside down by a beautiful and fashionable woman who isn't quite what she initially seems.
Hirsh, Ananth & Yuko Ota. Lucky Penny. 2016. Oni Press. $19.99. 9781620102870. If Penny Brighton didn't have bad luck, she'd have no luck at all.
Ishida, Sui. Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 3. 2015. Viz Media. $12.99. 9781421580388. Kaneki continues to struggle as a human/ghoul hybrid and faces a tough decision.
Knisley, Lucy. Something New. 2016. First Second. $19.99. 9781626722491. Lucy Knisley recounts her journey through dating, engagement, wedding planning and wedding.
Krause, Fran. Deep Dark Fears. 2015. Ten Speed Press. $14.99. 9781607748151. A collection of fears - some gruesome, some funny, some bizarre - submitted by the author and readers.
LaTour, Jason. Spider-Gwen, Volume 1: Most Wanted? 2015. Marvel Comics. $16.99. 9780785197737. In an alternate timeline, Gwen Stacey is bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker and must now decide how to use her “great power.”
Lemire, Jeff & Ramon Perez. Hawkeye, Volume 5: All-New Hawkeye. 2015. Marvel Comics. $15.99. 9780785194033. The Hawkeyes face a moral dilemma, while we learn more about Clint Barton’s origin.
Leth, Kate & Brittney Williams. Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! Volume 1: Hooked on a Feline. 2016. Marvel Comics. $15.99. 9781302900359. Patsy Walker has managed to escape her past, her enemies and Hell itself (literally) - but nothing compares to job hunting in New York City!
Ooima, Yoshitoki. A Silent Voice, Volume 4. 2015. Kodansha Comics. $10.99. 9781632360595. A trip to the amusement park complicates Shoya’s continued attempts to make amends with Shoko.
Russel, Mark & Ben Caldwell. Prez, Volume 1: Corndog in Chief. 2016. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401259792. In a nation where corporations can run for office, the poor are used as human billboards, and tacos are delivered by drone, nineteen-year-old social media celebrity, Beth Ross, unwittingly becomes President of the United States.
Schwartz, Simon. First Man: Reimagining Matthew Henson. 2015. Graphic Universe. $31.99. 9781467758420. Schwartz weaves together Inuit mythology and conventional history to describe the life of an African-American man who, it has been argued, might have been the first man to reach the Arctic.
Seagle, Steven & Jason Katzenstein. Camp Midnight. 2016. Image. $16.99. 9781632155559. Skye's parents are divorced and she is supposed to spend the summer with her father. Her father and stepmother decide to send her to camp. She accidentally gets on the wrong bus and ends up at the wrong camp- Camp Midnight. Things are strange at Camp Midnight, the activities take place at night and the campers are encouraged to let their "true" selves out. Can Skye make friends, keep her secret, and survive this monstrous camp?
Stevenson, Noelle, Shannon Watters, Carolyn Nowak. The Lumberjanes, Volume 3: A Terrible Plan. 2016. Boom! Box. $14.99. 9781608868032. A quiet day at camp turns into weird adventures for Mal and Molly while Jo, April, and Ripley try to get all the badges.
Stewart, Cameron, Brenden Fletcher & Babs Tarr. Batgirl: Family Business. 2016. DC Comics. $16.99. 9781401259662. Batgirl continues to fight crime in Burnside, while running into some familiar Gotham characters.
Takno, Ichigo. orange: The Complete Collection 1. 2016. Seven Seas Entertainment. $18.99. 9781626923027. Naho receives a letter from her future self, begging her to watch over new student Kakeru.
Thompson, Kelly & Sophie Campbell. Jem and the Holograms: Showtime. 2015. IDW. $19.99. 9781631403958. Meet Jerrica Benton - a girl with a secret. She and her sister Kimber team with two friends to become... JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS! But what does it mean to be JEM today? Fashion, art, action, and style collide in Jem and the Holograms: Showtime!
Tsubaki, Izumi. Nozaki-kun, Volume 1. 2015. Yen Press. $13.00. 9780316309479. Chiyo Sakura is recruited to be an assistant to shojo manga-ka Nozaki.
Vaughan, Brian K. & Cliff Chiang. Paper Girls 1. 2016. Image. $9.99. 9781632156747. In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time.
Waid, Mark, Fiona Staples, Annie Wu & Veronica Fish. Archie 1: The New Riverdale. 2016. Archie Comics. $19.99. 9781627388672. Archie Andrews, America's Favorite Teenage, is reborn in this modernized origin story.
Watanabe, Wataru. Yowamushi Pedal, Volume 1. 2015. Yen Press. $24.00. 9780316309524. Otaku Onoda joins his high school’s bicycle racing team.
Wilson, G. Willow & Adrian Alphona. Ms. Marvel, Volume 4: Last Days. 2015. Marvel Comics. $17.99. 9780785197362. Kamala Khan teams up with her hero, Carol Danvers, to face the end of the world side-by-side.
Young, Skottie. I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1. 2016. Image. $9.99. 9781632156853. "An Adventure Time/Alice in Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against grown-up, Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness." Gertie is a grown woman trapped in a six-year-old's body and trying to find her way out of Fairyland.