Fauquier County Public Library

Comic Books for Grownups

Posted by becky on

Starting January 27, comics for adult readers are on display at the Warrenton central library. We have something for every reader, from graphic novels to classic comic strips.

If you’re interested in comics but not sure where to start, here are five recommendations for adult readers.

Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes

book cover of Ice Haven

Daniel Clowes is best known for his wonderfully dark coming-of-age graphic novel, Ghost World. Here I’m going to highlight one of his lesser-known works, “Ice Haven.”

Through deceptively simple comic strips, Clowes weaves a profound tale of love and murder. The storytelling is quirky but accessible and will appear to fans of literary fiction and black comedy.

Graphic memoirs by Lucy Knisley

Knisley’s four slice-of-life memoirs (including the forthcoming Displacement) follow the author’s experiences with travel, food, and relationships.

My favorite is probably An Age of License, a narrative about finding independence as a maturing adult, set during Knisley’s travels in Europe. There’s a lot of humor here, as well as illuminating small details of food, travel, and love.

The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert et al.

book cover for The Photographer

I’m a huge fan of European comics, with their large format art and varied subject matter. It’s no surprise that this flourishing comics scene produced “The Photographer.”

This work of nonfiction follows a photojournalist who traveled in war-torn Afghanistan in the 1980s. The book incorporates Didier Lefèvre’s stunning black-and-white photographs. It’s a dark but moving portrait of a tragic moment in history.

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

If you’re interested in learning more about how comics creators produce their works, “Understanding Comics” is a must read.

This smart book gets into the nuts and bolts of how comics creators use art, panels, and words to tell stories. If you enjoy this volume, McCloud’s follow-up Making Comics is equally brilliant.

Six Novels in Woodcut by Lynd Ward

These two masterful volumes from an early graphic novelist push the boundaries of comics as a medium.

Beautiful woodcuts without words tell six dramatic stories about art and the American spirit. Lynd movingly tackles the political and spiritual questions of the twentieth century. These volumes also include Ward’s essays on his artform and an introduction by master comics creator Art Spiegelman.

Becky, Adult Reference, Warrenton central library 

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library.  For online book lists published prior to Jan. 2015, visit Book Notes, our blog all about books.

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