Books·Holiday Gift Guide

12 books for the comics reader on your list

If you've got a graphic novel fan on your holiday shopping list, check out this collection of topical, timely and fun comics.

If you've got a graphic novel enthusiast on your holiday shopping list, check out this collection of topical, timely and fun comics.

You can see the complete CBC Books gift guide here

Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal

Woman World is Aminder Dhaliwal's first graphic novel. (Drawn & Quarterly, Kenneth Hung)

In Woman World a genetic defect has left the earth populated entirely by women and natural disasters have ravaged the planet. Only Grandma remembers a time when men existed in this satirical and humorous comic. Initially created as a series of bi-weekly comic strips posted to Instagram, Woman World was published after gaining a sizeable following online.   

Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonny Sun

Gmorning, Gnight! is a collaboration by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and author and illustrator Jonny Sun. ( Random House Canada)

This collaboration between the creator of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Jonny Sun, also known as 'Twitter alien' 'Jomny Sun,' is a compilation of daily affirmations collected from Miranda's Twitter account illustrated in Sun's signature quirky style. 

Anne Frank's Diary by Anne Frank, adapted by Ari Folman, illustrated by David Polonsky

A composite image of a book cover in the centre for Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, flanked by portraits of men with white hair.
Ari Folman (L) and David Polonsky (R) adapted the Diary of Anne Frank into the graphic novel Anne Frank's Diary. (Anne Frank Fonds/Pantheon)

Anne Frank's Diary is an illustrated re-imagining of The Diary of Anne Frank, which famously chronicled Frank and her family's struggle for survival during the Holocaust. David Polonsky's art renders the brutality of the Nazi regime in vivid and haunting detail. 

Godhead by Ho Che Anderson

Ho Che Anderson is a comic book creator based in Toronto (Fantagraphics)

This gritty sci-fi graphic novel by Toronto comic creator Ho Che Anderson, envisions a world where a multinational corporation has invented technology that allows them to communicate directly with God. Godhead examines the repercussions of this technology from the interpersonal all the way up to its global, scientific and religious implications.   

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, illustrated by Fred Fordham

Fred Fordham adapted and illustrated Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird into a graphic novel. (HarperCollins)

Harper Lee's seminal novel To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most widely known and celebrated books of the 20th century. This graphic re-imagining by author and illustrator Fred Fordham captures the social and racial tension of 1930s American south.   

Forward by Lisa Maas

Forward is a memoir by Lisa Maas. (Arsenal Pulp Press)

In Forward, the debut graphic novel from Lisa Maas, two women — one still reeling from a bad breakup, and the other trying to recover from the death of her wife — cross paths and connect in the midst of their grief and vulnerability.   ​

Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

Nick Drnaso is the author of Sabrina. (Drawn & Quarterly/Kevin Penczack)

In 2018, this graphic novel by Nick Drnaso became the first ever graphic novel to be nominated for the prestigious Man Booker Prize. Sabrina uses the disappearance of a young woman as a lens to analyze and critique the disconnected and apathetic nature of modern human interaction. 

Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major & Kelly Bastow

Caitlin Major (left) and Kelly Bastow (right) are the team behind the graphic novel Manfried the Man. (Penguin Random House Canada)

Caitlin Major and Kelly Bastow's Manfried the Man takes place in an alternate universe populated by anthropomorphic cats that have dim-witted, but cute, human men as pets.

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Hey, Kiddo is a graphic memoir by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. (Derek Fowles, Graphix)

This graphic memoir is an unflinching portrayal of what it's like growing up as the child of a parent suffering from addiction. Hey, Kiddo is inspired by author Jarrett J, Krosoczka's own childhood dealing with his mother's heroin addiction, stints in and out of rehab, his absentee father and the effects that has on a young person.

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Emily Carroll​

Laurie Halse Anderson's (left) book Speak is brought to life by illustrations from Emily Carroll (right). (Raincoast Books, Farrar Straus & Giroux, Emily Carroll)

Originally published in 1999 as a YA novel, Speak is the story of a teenage girl named Melinda who is ostracized by her peers for calling the police and shutting down an end-of-summer party. Unbeknownst to the other students Melinda was raped by an upperclassman that night at the party and through an art project she struggles to face what happened to her.   

Coyote Doggirl by Lisa Hanawalt

Coyote Doggirl is a new graphic novel by Lisa Hanawalt, a producer and production designer on the animated series BoJack Horseman. (Drawn & Quarterly)

As production designer and producer for Netflix series Bojack Horseman, Lisa Hanawalt has become known for her surreal art style and her anthropomorphic animals — and Coyote Doggirl is no different. This satirical Western comic follows a half-dog, half-coyote protagonist on her adventures with her loyal steed Red. 

Passing for Human by Liana Finck

Liana Finck's new graphic novel is called Passing for Human and it's out now. (Jorge Colombo/Random House)

Passing for Human is an illustrated memoir by New Yorker cartoonist Liana Finck. Born out of a feeling that she had lost a part of herself — her shadow as she calls it — Passing for Human is an examination of Finck's idea of self and a memoir of her journey of self-discovery and self-understanding.