Graphic Novels for The Afraid

I will come right out and say that I do not like superheroes (movie or print) and I didn't read comic books as a kid, so I am not naturally drawn to the graphic novel format. Because I'm kind of a nerd, what I do like is big fat novels and dusty historical nonfiction. So color me surprised when recently I've been enjoying more graphic novels. Last night as I finished Mercury by Hope Larson I began to wonder and hope that the reason went beyond the fact that I can read one in a single sitting -- though that is very satisfying too! My rationale is that I've been craving something different. I have read enough fiction to be somewhat bored with a traditional storyline. I want to think while I read -- to be engaged! And picking up some graphic novels has been the way to do that recently. I've tried to compile a list of graphic novels for the hesitant -- for anyone who thought that they weren't interested. Give one a try, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Maus by Art Spiegelman
This classic graphic novel is on every "must read" list -- and for good reason. This personal and moving tale is told through flashbacks of the author's father, a Holocaust survivor. In 1992 this was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Stitches by David Small
A finalist for the 2009 National Book Award, this touching memoir tells the tale of Small's childhood and examines the frightening possibility that his father caused his cancer through unnecessary and experimental radiation treatments.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan
This graphic novel tells the classic immigrant story -- what it is like to leave loved ones and arrive in a seemingly alien world - all without words. Yep, without words. Amazing illustrations and a true story arc make up for the need of even a single letter of text.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Both immesely funny and serious, this is Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Revolution, starting at the age of nine.

Mercury by Hope Larson
Two young women in a rural area of Novia Scotia struggle with family obligations, relationships and growing up -- over 100 years apart. Love this book.