Best Graphic Novels of 2015


No, that’s not a typo. I enjoy looking back at my yearly summaries, so I’m filling in those I missed as I can. And 2015 was a good year, with plenty of diverse, entertaining, substantial reads. (Plus, with more time to look back, I can better know which works are longer-lasting, instead of the hot thing to talk about that year.)

  1. Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova — An outstandingly good graphic novel for and about kids, with surprising depth regarding motivations and emotions. Learning to understand and come to like someone not like you is a worthwhile skill we can all appreciate.
  2. Awkward

  3. Hopeless Savages Break by Jen Van Meter, Meredith McClaren, and Christine Norrie — A return to a strong set of characters, demonstrating the virtue of serialized art in allowing us to grow with those we enjoy reading about. Well-established fictional personalities shed new light on the changing moments of life.
  4. Last of the Sandwalkers by Jay Hosler — There are now a lot of true-science comics, but Hosler’s are the most creative, with a science-focused beetle and a unique view of their world.
  5. Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks — Another non-fiction comic that demonstrates how versatile and educational the medium can be.
  6. Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale — Graphic memoir does a terrific job of bringing lives to life, and this, about Harriet Tubman, is powerfully eye-opening.
  7. Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson — Fairy tales aren’t always old-fashioned; new ones come along all the time, but rarely as well told as this pastry-centered piece about learning to balance one’s work and necessities with time for oneself and making friends.
  8. The Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden — A substantial, affecting memoir in unique style, covering key elements of Hayden’s life as student, mother, daughter, and cancer survivor through looking at how female body parts change with life events.
  9. The New Deal by Jonathan Case — A retro caper with modern twists, questioning deep assumptions about class and culture.
  10. Max & Lily: The Complete Collected Strips by Kris Dresen — Perhaps this choice has too much nostalgia involved, but I was highly impressed to re-read the ten-year-old comic strip about two gay friends and still find it funny, pointed, and insightful.
  11. Benjamin Bear: Brain Storms! by Philippe Coudray — Incredibly clever classic cartooning with animal humor.

Honorable mentions (to keep the list at the arbitrary ten):

Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

The Oven by Sophie Goldstein

Russian Olive to Red King by Kathryn Immonen and Stuart Immonen

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