The Epitaph

The ultimate graphic novel recommendations

Time to ditch superheros and teenage dental horror drama for something better

By Luka Maeda

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“The New Ghost” by Robert Hunter

Hues of blue plaster across every page, creating a captivating story that ripples through readers’ hearts

“5,000 km per second”  by Manuele Fior

Italian cartoonist Fior brilliantly uses watercolor to illustrate five chapters of building and crushing in relationships.




“On a Sunbeam” by Tillie Walden 

“On a Sunbeam” revolves around Grace as she beats back past and present from when she attends an all-girl boarding school in space and five years in the future. Her story is incredibly captivating and she creates fictional worlds that are so immersive. Walden’s architecture and use of colors are beyond words.

“On a Sunbeam” is free-to-red at and will still be up when it is published by First Second books in fall 2018.

How to be Happy by Eleanor Davis

Incredibly heartfelt. “How to be Happy” is a collection of short, bizarre short stories, engulfing readers and transferring them into a different world. Davis explores each human life inside out with soft colors and warm artwork, cueing peace into hearts.




“Check please!”  by Ngozi Ukazu (webcomic that can be read online)

This one is a hidden gem. Each character is likeable and every chapter is packed with college humor.  “Check please!” is a comic in the format of a vlog from a gay college student on the hockey team.

The entirety can be read online at and will be soon published by First Second books in fall 2018.

“Ghost World” by Daniel Clowes

This is one of the few books where the movie adaptation was better, but the comic still does not disappoint. Dry humor is filled to the brim – think Aubrey Plaza – and the characters are pure wack.

The film adaption for “Ghost World” was released in 2001

“Demon” series by Jason Shiga

Mind-boggling. Shiga never fails to stun readers with his math-driven books and still add hilarious lines from characters. The “Demon” series is completed with 4 volumes, each filled with on-the-edge craziness and unsettling jokes.




“My Friend Dahmer” by Derf Backderf

Backderf, former “friends” with Jeffrey Dahmer, recollects his high school experience in 1977 with Dahmer. He remembers the odd, yet funny, gestures Dahmer kept making to mimic his drug-addict mother and his alcoholism kicking in already at age 16. Extremely chilling, “My Friend Dahmer” is sure to leave a twisted feeling in readers.

The film adaption of “My Friend Dahmer” was released just recently, in November 2017.

“Maus” by Art Spiegelman

“Maus” illustrates the horrid treatments Jewish people had faced during the Holocaust by using mice as characters. Sick-to-the-stomach dark and frightening, Spiegelman manages to leaves readers in silence.





“This One Summer” by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

“This One Summer” explores two friends who spend their everlong summer with each other at the small beach town of Awago. The enriching purple hues creates nostalgia and comfort to the never-ending summer filled with boredom, sleepy nights, and feverish love.

“Blue is the Warmest Color” by Julie Maroh

Clementine meets a girl with the brightest blue hair at a bar and finds herself falling head over heels. “Blue is the Warmest Color” follows Clementine and Emma, whose friendship weave into innocent love.

“Blue is the Warmest Color” was adapted into French film in 2013

“Spinning” by Tillie Walden

“Spinning” is a memoir of Tillie Walden when she was a figure skater for over a decade. She conceals being lesbian and hides her true desire to be accepted for who she is. In the competitive, backstabbing bubble of figure skating, Walden faces bullying and sexual harassment in her early years, but finds strength amongst frustration.

(“Check Please!” and “On a Sunbeam” also includes LGBTQ content!)




“Relish: My life in the kitchen” by Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley recall her relationships with food and particularly the junk food she was forbidden to eat from her parents. Filled with mouthwatering food on every page and warm stories on each page, “Relish: My life in the kitchen” is worth the read.

“The Lagoon” by Lilli Carre

A family is lured into a familiar song, sang by the Creature from the lagoon. The story about family history intertwined with simplistic, yet beautiful art makes this book one of the best ones yet



Honorable mentions: books that should still be recognized

In Real Life, Level Up, 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, Do It

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About the Writer
Luka Maeda, Reporter

Luka is a senior at Homestead but this is her first year as an Epitaph staff. She occasionally writes and watches films in her free time. Her favorite...

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