Five Notable Recent Non-Fiction Graphic Novels

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Looking through my favorite books of the year, I happened to notice that most of my well-liked adult graphic novels were non-fiction titles. All published within the last two years, these five titles are standout books both within their format and as non-fiction in general. Each artist uses their style, medium(s) of choice, pacing and panels to work with the writing and elevate both, whether the subject is fun food writing, heartbreaking memoir, informative history, or unique daily journaling.

Rosalie Lightning

A graphic novel memoir about loss, unimaginable grief, love, and life, Tom Hart explores the impact of his daughter Rosalie’s death.

Hot Dog Taste Test

A collection of Hanawalt’s comic (in format and tone) stories about food and culture, interspersed with whimisical, absurd pieces of art.

Queer: A Graphic History

Covering a wide swath of history and critical theory, Barker and Scheele deploy the comic format to good use, providing a clear overview of queer theory, queer theorists, gender and sexuality, and the pervasiveness of binary thinking.

Bright-Eyed at Midnight

One page a day, one day at a time, Leslie Stein illustrated and wrote her way through a year, illuminating the small but important stories of life, whether funny, sad, meditative, or depressed.

You & a bike & a road

Davis narrates her attempt to cycle from Arizona to Georgia as she also contemplates her reasons for doing so – both a journal comic and a meditation on nature and how to be human.