5 Graphic Memoirs You Should Read Immediately
by Sara Voigt (@meaningfulmadness)
Some of us (me!) might be having a hard time getting through books. What better way to get through some books than to read some really great graphic memoirs? If you are not familiar with this sub-genre, I think you are going to be happy you found it. The great thing about graphic novels is that they are quick and have beautiful artwork to enjoy along the way. The great thing about memoirs is they are raw, truthful, and often share moments of struggle that we can all relate to. Graphic memoirs merge all of this together. Here is a list of some of the ones I have loved.
So without further ado, here they are in no particular order:
1. El Deafo by Cece Bell -- This graphic memoir is incredibly funny and poignant. This follows Cece in her hearing loss journey as a child, and it is perfection. I laughed and cried--it is just so very good. Great for grown-ups and kids.
2. Hey Kiddo by Jarret Krosoczka -- Wow. This book is truly remarkable. This graphic memoir chronicles Krosoczka's life dealing with a mother who is a victim of addiction and his grandparents who look after him. Krosoczka illustrated and wrote the book, and it is phenomenal. We had the honor of seeing him speak at the Virginia Festival of the Book in 2019, and his story is incredible.
3. Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned by Judd Winnick -- If you are a child of the 90s like me, you will remember on of the first reality television program to hit the airwaves--The Real World on MTV. In its third season, The Real World made history by putting a diverse group of young adults together to live in house in San Francisco. One of these people was Judd Winick, the author of this graphic novel, and one was Pedro Zamora, an HIV-positive, gay man. This graphic novel is a beautiful story of friendship and activism.
4. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Stephen Scott, and Harmony Becker (illustrator) -- This remarkable graphic memoir by actor George Takei is so important. The book follows his life in an American concentration camp during World War II when President FDR ordered all Americans of Japanese descent on the west coast to be moved to relocation centers. It is a must read for everyone, and a reminder that we must do better.
5. Blankets by Craig Thompson -- In this autobiographical graphic novel, Thompson describes his coming of age in an Evangelical Christian family and his early adulthood. This graphic novel is beautiful, tender and special. You won't be disappointed.
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