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Truth in Pictures

Graphic novels go beyond the world of fiction. Subjects that might seem dry or complicated in words only, can be presented in new ways with the graphic novel, making understanding much easier for some and potentially more entertaining for everyone.

Keiji Nakazawa; Art Spiegelman; Project Gen (Organization)

Barefoot Gen: a cartoon story of Hiroshima. San Francisco Calif.: Last Gasp of San Francisco, 2004.

Loosely based on the authors own experiences as a survivor of Hiroshima, this looks at the survivors of the atomic bombing and how they deal with the resulting challenges and aftermath.

Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis 2: the story of a return. New York: Pantheon Books, 2004.

An autobiographical work of the author’s childhood to her early teen years growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. This is the second book in a series of two.

Craig Thompson

Blankets: a graphic novel. Marietta, Ga.: Top Shelf, 2003.

An autobiographical graphic novel showing us the coming of age of the author in an evangelical Christian household. Time magazine list Blankets as number one in its 2003 best comics list. Has also been the winner of multiple Eisner and Harvey awards.

Gene Luen Yang; Lark Pien

American born Chinese. New York: First Second, 2006.

Winner of the 2007 Eisner award for best graphic album. The graphic novel brings together three separate stories that look at racial stereotypes of Chinese in the US and the struggle to find ones identity as a minority in America.

Chaos! Comics.; Dark Horse Comics.; Image Comics.; DC Comics, Inc.

9–11: artists respond. Milwaukie, Or.: Dark Horse Comics, 2002.

A collection of works from various artists in response to the 9–11 tragedy. The proceeds were donated to the victims by the publishers of the work. From a purely artistic view, we are treated to a tremendously diverse amount of art styles.

Art Spiegleman

Maus: a survivors tale. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986–1991.

The Maus series, which is made up of two volumes recounts a Jewish family’s survival of the holocaust as told to the author by his father. One thing that makes this particular work unique is the use of animals to depict the various national/ethnic groups. Winner of over 10 international awards including a Pulitzer, Harvey and Eisner.

Fred Van Lente; Ryan Dunlavey

The comic book history of comics. San Diego, CA: IDW, 2012.

A history of the modern comic told in comic form. Learn the history behind some of the biggest names in the comic world as well as the continuing metamorphosis the medium continues to under go.

Fred Van Lente; Ryan Dunlavey

Action philosophers!: the lives and thoughts of history’s A–list brain trust. Brooklyn, NY: Evil Twin Comics, 2009.

An entertaining as well as educational look at philosophy and the people who thought it up. The series was nominated for an Ignatz outstanding debut award in 2010.

Harvey Pekar; Dean Haspiel; et al.

Best of American Splendor. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.

A down to earth look at like in the midwest city of Cleveland. The comic is an autobiography and shows off a variety of artwork, as the author was not an artist himself. Artist Robert Crumb is one notable contributor to the collection. A movie adaptation was released in 2003.

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