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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at IUP chapter.

During my time as an English major, I’ve discovered the wondrous world of nonfictional comics and graphic novels. A bit of a miracle, considering that I’m typically drawn to fictional stories and comics filled to the brim with adventure, fantasy and romance.

But I’m glad that I’ve discovered this underrated genre, and wanted to recommend some amazing stories that I’ve discovered; ones that I don’t think would work as well in the traditional literary format that most readers might be accustomed to.

Extremely Important Thing to Note

All of these recommendations contain mature subject matter and sensitive topics. If you are interested in reading any of these stories, please be sure to look up the individual trigger warnings beforehand.


By Art Spiegelman

In the late 1970s, Spiegelman interviewed his father, Vladek, where they mostly discussed the latter’s experiences as a survivor of the Holocaust. The novel switches between Vladek’s recollection of this horrific period of his life, and the introspective journey that Spiegelman embarks on as he carries out the interview.


By Marjane Satrapi

In this autobiography, Satrapi looks back on her childhood and early adulthood. Specifically, how she’d grown up in Iran (and Austria, for a time) during and after the Iranian Revolution, and how she’d struggled with her identity.

Fun Home

By Alison Brechdel

As Brechdel looks back on her childhood and explores her identity as an open lesbian, she reflects on her relationship with her closeted gay father. Particularly the complexities and mysteries behind who he was as a person before his sudden death.

My Friend Dahmer

By John “Derf” Backderf

A retrospective look at the early life of infamous serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer. Told from the perspective of a former friend and classmate, this novel describes the type of person that Dahmer had been during his high school years and the warning signs that he’d shown even then. All without trying to excuse the heinous actions that he’d commit later in life.

Portia Coulter is a writer at Indiana University of Pennsylvania's HER Campus chapter. She covers topics in the entertainment industry, ranging from video games to animation. Portia is also an editor for Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s New Growth Art Review, having joined earlier this year. Some of her work has previously been published in the 2023 edition of the New Growth Art Review; they were also submitted to that year’s horror competition: a short story that won 2nd place and an art piece that won 3rd. Currently an English Literature/Culture major with a minor in Communications Media, Portia plans to graduate in May 2024 and pursue her dream of writing an original graphic novel series. In her free time, Portia likes to play video games (she has a crippling Genshin Impact addiction), watch cartoons, sing and dance, and is currently learning how to knit and crochet. She likes to create a plethora of different fan works for her favorite series, from art to short fiction. It also serves as a good way to hone her craft as an artist. An introvert at heart, Portia likes to hide in her room, curled up under a mountain of blankets, and watch the newest romance anime while she attempts to knit a scarf.