Children's & Middle Grade · Comics

Book Riot Recs: Comic Books

Welcome back to my Book Riot Read Harder Challenge recommendations! The last post gave some suggestions for fulfilling the queer prompts, and this one will do the same for the comic-specific prompts. I counted comics in a handful of categories last year, but there are two in this challenge that specifically require you to read a graphic novel.

An all-ages comic:

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North. Super cute and I love the way Doreen is drawn. Of course, this one also counts as a superhero comic with a female lead for the next challenge!

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers by Chris Eliopoulos. Another Marvel comic, this one about a bunch of superheroes’ pets (or animals associated with them) teaming up to save the planet. It’s pretty heavily tied into continuity references, so more for kids who are already comic geeks perhaps.

Kevin Keller by Dan Parent. Really most Archie comics, although the further back you go the more of a historian you have to be. Kevin Keller is recent, with big colorful art, and a great example of how queer content doesn’t have to be “adult.”

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson. A cute, funny, and touching webcomic reminiscent of Calvin & Hobbes.

Space Battle Lunchtime Vol. 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion! by Natalie Riess. The only one in today’s post I haven’t read yet, but look at the title!

Gon Vol. 1 by Masashi Tanaka. A wordless manga about a baby dinosaur. Wordless comics are awesome for using another part of your brain to figure them out, and they work for all ages! Another favorite is the Owly series.

A superhero comic with a female lead:

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson. You’ve probably heard me talk about Ms. Marvel a lot already.

Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III. Gorgeous art, badass lesbian superheroine, great stuff.

Black Widow Vol. 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto. Another one with beautiful art, and more of a spy/thriller atmosphere.

Power Girl by Geoff Johns et al. She used to get on my nerves, but this collection of comics from various points in her history made me love her.

Birds of Prey Vol. 1: Of Like Minds by Gail Simone. This series is a classic for a reason!

The Black Canary Archives, Vol. 1. A lot of superheroines’ titles were feminist for their times, but Black Canary holds up better than Wonder Woman in my opinion. Good stories too, and these Archives books are in color!

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