5 Graphic Novels To Read If You Are New To The Genre

5 graphic novels to read if you are new to the genre

I only really discovered graphic novels in the last eighteen months.  Before that, I never gave them the time of day, and it is a shame that I spent so many years missing out on such an incredible genre.  So many people I talk to have no idea what graphic novels even are!  It is such an underrated genre, and I am determined to give them the attention they deserve.

I’ve comprised a list of five graphic novels I think anyone wanting to explore the genre should read:

1.) Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green

Goodreads | The Book Depository

Based on the author and illustrator’s true story, this work of art gives the deep and moving account of a girl’s battle with an eating disorder and anxieties.  With the use of shading and minimalism (less is often more, after all), it is easy to get a sense of the sadness and confusion felt by the author.

2.) Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Goodreads | The Book Depository

Through the Woods

Through the Woods is a collection of five horror stories, illustrated predominantly in black, white and red.  It is a great example of how effective the medium of art can be for eliciting a reaction in people – namely fear in this instance.

My review of this book, one of my favourite graphic novels, can be read here.

3.) The Kite Runner: Graphic Novel by Khaled Hosseini

Goodreads | The Book Depository

This graphic novel is adapted from a best-selling and moving book about friendship and war in Afghanistan.  It is often fascinating to see how well-loved stories are adapted – did the illustrator draw the characters as you’d imagined them, what colour schemes were chosen?

4.) Batgirl, Volume 1, New 52 Series by Gail Simone

Goodreads | The Book Depository


Comics have of course been around for years, but I never knew how to get my hands on them, and was always too shy to go into a comic shop and ask!  Anyway, the film industry is booming with superhero films at the moment, with Marvel and DC characters alike.

One of the less well-known superheroes is Batgirl, the daughter of police commissioner Gordon.  If you’re looking for a familiar backdrop – Gotham has been portrayed in books and television for years now – then reading something from DC’s New 52 Series is a great place to start.

My review of Batgirl Volume 1 and 2 of the New 52 Series can be read here.

5.) The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

Goodreads | The Book Depository

This completely unique and beautiful collection of stories are like nothing I have ever read before!  A book like this can only be done in the form of a graphic novel, and I highly recommend experiencing what it has to offer.

What are your thoughts on graphic novels?  Can you recommend any to people wanting to start reading the genre?


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  1. 4th February 2016 / 5:19 pm

    Great post! I’m so glad you posted this because I have been wanting to read a graphic novel for ages but had absolutely no idea where to start! Through the Woods and The Encyclopaedia of Early Earth both look amazing 🙂

    • 4th February 2016 / 8:22 pm

      I loved them both and recommend them so much. You’ll have to let me know what you think if you decide to read them! Thanks for the comment 🙂

      • 6th February 2016 / 7:30 pm

        Will do! 🙂 I’m definitely considering Through the Woods… just trying to decide if I can justify buying more physical books as I have quite a few preorders coming soon and no space for them at all in my bookshelf… but then that’s never stopped me before haha 🙂

        • 6th February 2016 / 8:45 pm

          Unfortunately graphic novels always seem to cost more than normal books, so I get most of the ones I read from the library or ask for them as gifts on special occasions 🙂 You could always get a copy from the library and if you enjoy it and there’s room on your shelf, then buy it 🙂 I have the same problem, my bookshelves are way too full haha. What have you preordered, anything good? 🙂

          • 9th February 2016 / 7:16 pm

            Ooh great idea! I may just do that! I keep forgetting about the library, but really want to start using it more. Aaand I preordered Stars Above by Marissa Meyer (which came really late so I was waiting tooo long), and I’ve also preordered Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare which is coming next month. And I feel like there was another one which has slipped my mind, so hopefully I’ll be getting a surprise package soon 🙂

          • 13th February 2016 / 12:51 am

            I only really rediscovered the library a few years ago, but haven’t looked back since! I’ve heard of Stars Above, but not Lady Midnight – I hope you enjoy them! Surprise packages are definitely the best kind 🙂 I stopped pre-ordering books after Welcome to Night Vale took aaaages to arrive 🙁

  2. 14th February 2016 / 5:52 am

    This is a great list for me since I -am- new to the genre and haven’t been all that eager to dip into Sandman (the first Volume felt too chaotic for me). Thank you this. 🙂 And BTW, all the graphics on your blog are super cute! Did you draw them?

    • 14th February 2016 / 11:28 am

      Thanks for your kind words! I haven’t read Sandman, but starting with relatively straightforward graphic novels certainly helped to ease me into the genre!

      As for my graphics, many of them are made on A Beautiful Mess (creative photo editing app), and the bigger drawings are commissions drawn by an incredible artist on the website Fiverr. I’ve drawn one or two things on the site, but you can generally tell what I’ve done as they look a lot more amateur 🙂

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