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5 Graphic Novels by Women You Need to Check Out

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

Gone are the days when comics were “just for boys.” Today female writers and illustrators are making themselves known with their unique characters, exquisite artwork, and incredible storylines. Here are five graphic novels by women to get you started on you started on your new obsession. 

    1. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

    The author’s own life story centred around her time growing up in Iran as a girl during the Islamic Revolution. Set over a generous amount of time, from Marji’s young childhood to her teenage years, the narrative perfectly captures the author’s changing outlook on life and her circumstances. The narrative is deep and thought-provoking, and the superficially simplistic artwork perfectly complements the themes and symbolism that pervade the entire novel.


    2. Who is AC? by Hope Larson and Tintin Pantoja

    The story of young aspiring writer Lin who gains super cyber-powers. This story may be best suited to younger readers as it lacks much depth and development, yet it does manage to  draw a lovely feeling of nostalgia from anyone who grew up enjoying Sailor Moon and the entire Magical Girl genre. Extra points for having a strong and relatable biracial main character. Ultimately, this is a book you’d buy as a gift for your ten-year-old cousin, but would absolutely read before handing it over.

    3. This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

    A bittersweet story of two young girls, Rose and Windy, who have been friends for years, yet only ever see each other for a few weeks during the summer while they stay at the same beach town. The story is an endearing combination of childhood innocence and something darker, as the events of the last year are slowly revealed. Every single character is full of emotion, thanks in equal parts to the artwork and the writing. This story one you’ll want to revisit many times in the future. 

    4. Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

    Growing up homeschooled alongside her four brothers, Maggie struggles with finding friends, discovering herself, and dealing with the ghost of a Victorian woman that only she can see. The slightly gothic artwork complements the atmosphere of the story and the personalities of its characters perfectly. I fully recommend this book to anyone and everyone, but especially to any aspiring artists out there. 

    5. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

    Nimona is the spunky shapeshifting sidekick of Ballister Blackheart, scourge of the kingdom and… science buff? As the story progresses we begin to wonder, is Ballister really the one calling the evil shots around here? Is anyone who they appear to be? And though the pair are self-proclaimed villains, are they truly the bad guys? For humour, soul, and heartwarming characters, look no further than this masterful subversion of fantasy tropes.

There you have it HCUBC Cuties, women are taking over the comic world. Now grab one and get reading!


Photo Credits: amazon.com, gingerhaze.com

Avery is a second-year student at the University of British Columbia, where she is exploring her innumerable and possibly not very practical interests. She hails from the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island and has plans to do much more travelling before she gets too tired. If given a choice she would much rather have gone to Hogwarts, but readily admits that UBC is a close second. Her most notable talent is an uncanny ability to quote Hamilton during almost any conversation.