Many people hear "comic books" and think "superheroes" and/or "kids," but the graphic novel format is being used to tell a variety of stories. Autobiographical, memoir, and "slice of life" comics, written for a grownup audience, seem to have exploded in the last few years... or maybe that's just when I caught on? Anyway, when I looked at my favorite comics that did not have people in capes, superpowers, or anything blowing up, I realized they had a common theme: growing up. They also have wonderful art and characters you can really root for.
I'm so excited to share them with you!
(If you need to get caught up, here are all of my comics recommendation posts: zombie comics, comics about magic, post-apocalyptic comics, comics about race and social justice, monster comics, comics about conspiracies, history and mythology comics, science fiction comics, crime comics, GLBTQ comics, and all-ages comics. This post uses Amazon affiliate links - but we always encourage checking your local library!)
First, the delightful El Deafo by Cece Bell.
Bell does a stellar job showing the emotional process she went through as a kid trying to fit in and find friendship. It can be tough when you have a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest during the school day! Anyone who felt out of place while growing up will appreciate kid Cece's struggles. Also, the people are drawn as bunnies, which is a plus in my book.
The book is both funny and emotionally real, and universal despite being "about" a specific topic. Read this! Don't skip the author's note at the end for more of Bell's adult perspective.