First things first…graphic novels are NOT just for kids and teens. In fact, many are meant for strictly adults! Graphic novels and comic books are coming back in style in a big way. Here are some fabulous authors/illustrators for anyone who is beginning their journey to the wonderful world of graphic novels!
Robert Crumb is mostly known for his 60s & 70s comic, Fritz the Cat. His artwork and content teeters on the line of taste in the best way. Crumb’s subject matters range from sex, to racial tensions, to politics. The most poignant aspect of Robert Crumb’s work though, is his ability to make autobiographical comics. He is not afraid to show his deepest, darkest insecurities. In fact, he completely embraces his weirdness and celebrates it!
Daniel Clowes is most known for Ghost World, a graphic novel that was later turned into a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Thora Birch. Clowes likes to play with humor, vulgarity and surrealism. Although Ghost World is a gem, and an amazing literary comic, Clowes has a lot of other amazing works, such as David Boring and Ice Haven.
Jhonen Vasquez is widely known as the creator of the Nickelodeon cartoon, Invader Zim. The show was essentially on a children’s network, but the content has so much adult overtones. In fact, that may be why it didn’t have a long run. Its a hilarious and strange show for all ages. Vasquez’s comic book work is very macabre and morbidly funny. That’s pretty apparent just by reading the title of one of his most famous comics, Johnny The Homicidal Maniac. Vasquez has such an incredible style. He is edgy, satirical and a little bit goth.
Marjane Satrapi is an Iranian-French graphic novelist who has been critically acclaimed for her autobiographical novel, Persepolis, which was later turned into a film. Satraps depicts her childhood in Iran. She is able to make modern-day Iran seem more personable and “normal.” Her style is creative, sarcastic and open. She leaves no topics in silence and no stones unturned.
Lucy Knisley is a fairly new author/illustrator in the graphic novel world. Nonetheless, she is becoming more and more renowned for her thoughtful and autobiographical works. A theme in most of her books is food. She thoughtfully describes her experiences with food in the most fun and thrilling ways. Her book, French Milk depicts a six-week trip around Paris and all the food and drinks she has. She also recently released her book Something New, which hilariously illustrates what it is like to get married and be newlyweds in this day and age.