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Recommended Reading

There are SO many great comics these days… it’s IMPOSSIBLE to keep up with them all!  SO, here’s a VERY BASIC LIST of titles that come to mind immediately.  I will post more as time allows, and please feel free to let me know if you find a comic that SHOULD be on this list.  — Marek

NOTE: Remember, it’s important to preview every page of a graphic novel before bringing it into your classroom!



  • The Arrival (Shaun Tan) — An immigrant family tries to make a new life in a strange new country. (Wordless!)
  •  The Cartoon History of The Universe (Larry Gonick) and…
    The Cartoon History of the Modern World (Larry Gonick) — Two books in an immense series of history (and science) comics.  Fun, enjoyable, painstakingly researched, and well done indeed.
  •  The Golem’s Mighty Swing (James Sturm) — Historical fiction: a barnstorming Jewish baseball team struggles to make ends meet in 1920s rural America.
  • Journey Into Mohawk Country (H.M. van den Bogaert & George O’Connor) — O’Connor’s artwork brings this centuries-old Dutch colonial narrative to life!
  • Louis Riel (Chester Brown) — Metis farmers in central Canada struggle for independence during the 1860s.
  •  Maus (Art Spiegelman) — A young artist interviews his father, who survived the holocaust in Poland.  (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.)
  • Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi) — A young woman comes of age in revolutionary Iran.
  •  The Photographer (Emmanuel Guibert)
  • Safe Area Gorazde (Joe Sacco)
  •  Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow (James Sturm) — Baseball players in the Negro Leagues struggle for their basic human rights under Jim Crow laws.
  •  Thoreau at Walden (John Porcellino)


  • Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards (Jim Ottaviani & Big Time Attic) — Two paleontologists fight over the world’s first dinosaur bones, in the Wild West!
  •  Clan Apis (Jay Hosler) — Entomologist Jay Hosler tells this engaging biography of a single honey bee, from egg to old age and beyond.  Includes tons of facts about bees, plus imaginative elements (such as the bees’ creation myth).  Winner of a Xeric Grant.
  •  The Sandwalk Adventures (Jay Hosler) — A long-running conversation (about life, evolution, the universe, and more) between Charles Darwin and a microscopic hair follicle mite who lives in his eyebrow.  (Yes, you just have to read it to believe it!)
  • The Dvorak Zine (Alec Longstreth) — This self-published zine (read: cheap! $1!) explains why you shouldn’t be using the computer keyboard you’re using.  It’s great for studying inventions, history of technology, or typing.
  • Gon (Masashi Tanaka) — A tiny dinosaur lives in lots of different ecosystems all over the Earth, and manages to mess up (or save) most of them!  (Okay, maybe this one’s more action-adventure than science, really.)
  •   Graphic Medicine = a website devoted to the “role of comics in the study and delivery of healthcare.”  Includes this extensive list of health-related graphic novels.
  •  Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Hiyao Miyazaki) — A brave girl fights to protect all forms of life in a future era of environmental collapse.
  • Tyrant (Steve Bissette) — The life story of a Tyrannosaurus Rex!


  • The Adventures of Tintin (Herge) — Tintin, the boy reporter, travels all over the world to solve mysteries and save his friends.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller) — Dark, gritty story of Batman at age 60, coming out of retirement for one last adventure… taught in college courses, appropriate for high school (mythology, pop culture).
  • Bone (Jeff Smith) — An amazing epic, with wide scope and literary qualities.  Jeff Smith self-published this as an unknown artist, and it’s now a legend in the comics world.  Very kid-friendly.  Now collected (in color!) by Scholastic.
  • Krazy Kat (George Herriman) — This was one of the first truly great newspaper strips.
  •  Masterpiece Comics (R. Sikoryak)
  • One! Hundred! Demons! (Lynda Barry) — Funny, painful coming-of-age stories.  Great for looking at society, morality, self-awareness.  (Appropriate for high school.)
  • Pinky and Stinky (James Kochalka) — Two pigs go on a mission to Pluto, but get stranded on the Moon instead.
  • Pogo (Walt Kelly) — Satire, wordplay, and great characters in never-ending nonsensical mishaps.
  • Spiral-Bound (Aaron Renier) — Friendly, mysterious stories about a town populated by animals.  Lots of summer camp, secret tunnels, and a monster-legend, too!



Other links here: https://comicsworkshop.wordpress.com/2007/10/05/links-for-teachers/

MORE Lists for Comics in Education:

Lots of librarians & educators have put together their own lists (with links, reviews, podcasts, and more)… For example*:

* Remember, all the sites listed in this box are independent sites & not related to COMICS WORKSHOP’s programs at all in any way!

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