September 25th is National Comic Book Day! Let’s celebrate by diving into this fun and quirky genre followed by a must-read comic book list.
Although American comics have roots in the late 1800s, the Golden Age of comics really began in the 1930s with Superman. In fact, many of our superheroes began in the pages of a comic book, from Batman to Wonder Woman. Nowadays, graphic novels have moved into the comic book space and these genres can overlap. In general, graphic novels are longer in length and the plot is more developed. They both make use of panels and telling a story or a scene in an abridged way. Both genres are super fun, creative, and often need to be examined more than once to grasp the meaning. On the other hand, some are just silly with hopes of making you laugh!
Although comics are short and therefore seem “easy,” there is a lot of intricate technique that goes into reading and writing them. You should generally read American comics from left to right and then down, in a zigzag type of pattern. You can read more on the how-to here.
In honor of National Comic Book Day, we’ve put together a list of our top recommended resources and titles. Don’t forget to log your reading in Beanstack. Comic books most definitely apply!
Resources for Librarians and Educators
Comic books are high interest options that help keep readers engaged in your challenges. Consider expanding your collection to include age-appropriate digital comics and graphic novels.
With LibraryPass’ ComicsPlus, your students or patrons can simultaneously read more than 20,000 titles, including popular titles like Avatar: The Last Airbender & The Legend of Korra, Big Nate, Bone, Disney Princesses, Geronimo Stilton, Stranger Things, Locke & Key, American Gods, and timely, award-winning nonfiction like March and They Called Us Enemy. All at a price that won’t break your materials budget! Learn more at comicsplusapp.com and sign for a free demo account.
Comic Book Recommendations for Readers
The Akissi comics are bound in this incredible volume to give you more Africa, more Akissi, and more misadventures! Pranks, painful hairdos, and general kid stuff abound in these tales to give readers a glimpse into another place and culture rooted in commonalities like family and love.
This story offers a glimpse into a Chinese neighborhood and a family that values hard work and determination. Despite her disability, Yu’er wants to become a champion swimmer and, together with her grandfather, nothing is going to stop her. Dive into this sweet story and find the perseverance, love, and loyalty that help Yu’er reach for her dreams, no matter what.
Tiny Titans is the place to start if you are looking for more “traditional” comic book characters. Elementary school will never be the same when you have friends like Cyborg and Starfire wandering around.
How could you go wrong with a classic like Spiderman? Peter Parker takes on the demands of high school life in this new glimpse at Spiderman in a more vulnerable way. Escape in this fantasy world where Peter toggles between teenage troubles and the irresistible urge to fight the bad guys as Spider-Man!
In this graphic novel, Somalian brothers Omar and Hassan will steal your heart. Without access to the education, healthcare, and entertainment most of us are accustomed to, Omar must pave their way towards freedom and care for Hassan, who has a seizure disorder. Family, purpose, and difficult decisions take center stage in this accessible story.
Finally, a non-white woman is taking center stage. Ms. Marvel AKA Kamala Khan is a force to be reckoned with. She has to navigate her family’s religious beliefs and, you know, being a teengager. But now, she is a shape shifter with extending limbs! Watch out world!
Teens & Up
Who was Hatshepsut? How did she become a king in a male-dominated society? Girl power takes on a whole different meaning on this adventure to Ancient Egypt!
You can’t go wrong with a graphic novel by powerhouses like Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks. Deja and Josiah work and hang out every autumn at work, which just so happens to be a pumpkin patch. But all good things must come to an end, right? Maybe not without some more fun first.
Learning about the evolution of hip hop through a comic book? Yes please. Head to the scrappy scenes of 1970s and 80s New York to find out how it all began and which key players began one of the most popular music genres of today.