“The Golden Age of Science Fiction is 12.” —Peter Graham
The Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, has announced the titles of their Great Graphic Novel for Teens list for 2017.
Dating back to 2007, YALSA has listed the Top Ten titles, as well as a (very) long list of titles recommended for readers ages 12-18. In 2016, the 11-member committee recommended 112 titles from 170 nominations!
While not an official award, the list does serve as an excellent tool to help librarians, educators, and parents find great titles which appeal to children and teens. Along with the mainstream book publishers, the list also includes many popular titles from DC, Marvel, Boom!, and other comics publishers. Last year, Lumberjanes, Ms. Marvel, and the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl all made the Top Ten list.
[UPDATE: I forgot to include a link to the previous lists! Click here.]
The raw data:
The list of 104 titles, drawn from 145 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for those ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens.
Members of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee are: Traci Glass, chair, Eugene Public Library, Eugene, OR; Molly Collins, Tewksbury Public Library, Tewksbury, MA; Kim Farnsworth, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, CA; Jennifer Hartley, Danville Public Library, Danville, VA; Bethni King, Georgetown Public Library, Georgetown, TX; Robin Fogle Kurz, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS; Annette Lesak, Francis W. Parker School, Chicago, IL; Alea Perez, Westmont Public Library, Westmont, IL; Nikki Santiago, Berkeley Public Library, Berkeley, CA; Nate Wagner, Carol Stream Public Library, Carol Stream, IL; Emily Williams, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City, OK.
● Allison, John and Lissa Treiman.
- Giant Days, Volume 1. 2015. Illus. Boom! Box. $9.99. 9781608867899
- Giant Days, Volume 2. 2016. Illus. Boom! Box. $9.99. 9781608868049
● Coates, Ta-Nehisi and Brian Stelfreeze. Black Panther, Book One: A Nation Under Our Feet. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $16.99. 9781302900533.
● Hatke, Ben. Mighty Jack. 2016. Illus. First Second. $14.99. 9781626722644.
● Lemire, Jeff and Emi Lennox. Plutona. 2016. Illus. Image Comics. $16.99. 9781632156013.
● Lewis, John, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. March: Book Three. 2016. Illus. Top Shelf. $19.99. 9781603094023.
● Ross, Edward. Filmish: a Graphic Journey Through Film. 2015. Illus. Self Made Hero. $24.95. 9781910593035.
● Russel, Mark, Ben Caldwell, and Mark Morales. Prez, Volume 1: Corndog in Chief. 2016. Illus. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401259792.
● Takno, Ichigo. orange: The Complete Collection 1. 2016. Illus. Seven Seas Entertainment. $18.99. 9781626923027.
● Vaughan, Brian K. and Cliff Chiang. Paper Girls 1. 2016. Illus. Image. $9.99. 9781632156747.
● Vaughan, Brian K., Steve Skroce, and Matt Hollingsworth. We Stand On Guard. 2016. Illus. Image. $24.99. 9781632157027.
Image has three titles, the only publisher to chart more than once. There’s a diversity of titles, with superheroes, college life, manga, future war, time travel, and film studies all on the list!
This is why I frequently promote this list as a starting point for anyone who wants to read great graphic novels, at any age! (And because I discover titles I hadn’t noticed before!)
Here’s the long list for 2017, which includes the titles listed above (marked by an *):
Bennett, Marek. The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby. 2016. Illus. Comics Workshop. $19.95. 9780982415351. Learn about another perspective on the Civil War from the graphic novel adaptation of a New Hampshire teacher’s Civil War memoir.
Brown, Box. Tetris: the Games People Play. 2016. Illus. First Second. $19.99. 9781626723153. The story of how Tetris was first imagined, then created, and finally distributed as a game in multiple formats throughout the world.
Dini, Paul and Eduardo Risso. Dark Night: a True Batman Story. 2016. Illus. Vertigo. $22.99. 9781401241438. Walking home one evening, legendary Batman writer, Paul Dini, was jumped and viciously beaten. Through the darkest moments of his recovery, he always imagined the Batman at his side.
Geary, Rick. Black Dahlia (Treasury of XXth Century Murder). 2016. Illus. NBM. $15.99. 9781681120522. Rick Geary reconstitutes and reveals for us the life and murder of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short who had become known as the Black Dahlia.
Ito, Junji. Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu. 2015. Illus. Kodansha Comics. $10.99. 9781632361974. Master of Japanese horror manga Junji Ito presents a series of hissterical tales chronicling the real-life trials and tribulations of becoming a cat owner.
Krause, Fran. Deep Dark Fears. 2015. Illus. Ten Speed Press. $14.99. 9781607748151. A collection of fears – some gruesome, some funny, some bizarre – submitted by the author and readers.
Kurzweil, Amy. Flying Couch: a Graphic Memoir. 2016. Illus. Catapult. $18.95. 9781936787289. This graphic memoir/coming-of-age narrative captures three generations of Jewish women.
Lee, Stan and Peter David. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir. 2015. Illus. Touchstone/Simon and Schuster. $30.00. 9781501107726. Stan Lee tells his own story with his usual humor and bravado. Little known facts about his life and the creation of comics are explored in living color.
*Lewis, John, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. March: Book Three. 2016. Illus. Top Shelf. $19.99. 9781603094023. Congressman John Lewis chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement from 1963 through the Voting Rights Act.
Ottaviani, Jim and Leland Purvis. The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded. 2016. Illus. Abrams ComicArts. $24.95. 9781419718939. Explores the complicated life of brilliant mathematician and code-breaker Alan Turing from his early childhood to his untimely death.
*Ross, Edward. Filmish: a Graphic Journey Through Film. 2015. Illus. Self Made Hero. $24.95. 9781910593035. Ross’s cartoon alter ego guides readers through the annals of cinematic history, introducing some of the strange and fascinating concepts at work in the movies and tackles serious issues—sexuality, race, censorship, propaganda—with authority and wit.
Samanci, Özge. Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey. 2015. Illus. Farrar Straus Giroux. $16.99. 9780374316983. Growing up on the Aegean Coast, Özge loved the sea and imagined a life of adventure while her parents and society demanded predictability. In her graphic memoir, she recounts her story through inventive collages, weaving together images of the sea, politics, science, and friendship.
Wyld, Evie and Joe Sumner. Everything is Teeth. 2016. Illus. Pantheon. $24.95. 9781101870815. Evie Wyld’s deeply moving graphic memoir about family, love, loss, and the irresistible forces that, like the sharks that captivated her imagination, course through life unseen, ready to emerge at any moment.
Aaron, Jason and Chris Bachalo. Doctor Strange, Volume 1: The Way of the Weird. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $24.99. 9780785195160. Doctor Strange protects the earthly realm from mystic forces, but at what cost? Every time he uses magic, there is a price to pay and it’s catching up with him.
Aaron, Jason and Russell Dauterman. The Mighty Thor, Volume 1: Thunder in Her Veins. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $24.99. 9780785195221. While battling cancer, Thor finds herself facing war across the realms and at home.
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto and Robert Hack. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Book One. 2016. Illus. Archie Comics. $17.99. 9781627389877. The young sorceress Sabrina Spellman finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, and she has her own deadly agenda.
Allison, John. Bad Machinery, Volume 5: The Case of the Fire Inside. 2016. Illus. Oni Press. $19.99. 9781620102978. Sonny meets a mysterious new girl who seems to have climbed out of the sea itself, while Mildred falls for the bad boy of Saturday detention. But can either of them succeed in the face of jealous exes, overprotective fathers, and the persistent tide of destiny?
*Allison, John and Lissa Treiman.
- Giant Days, Volume 1. 2015. Illus. Boom! Box. $9.99. 9781608867899.
- Giant Days, Volume 2. 2016. Illus. Boom! Box. $9.99. 9781608868049.
Friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy navigate their first semester in college while balancing boys, halls, rivals, and classes.
Arawi, Keiichi. Nichijou: My Ordinary Life, Volume 1. 2016. Illus. Vertical Comics. $10.95. 9781942993308. In this surreal take on the “school genre” of manga, a group of high school friends grapple with all sorts of unexpected situations in their daily lives.
Austen, Jane and Stacy King. Sense & Sensibility: Manga Classics. 2016. Illus. UDON. $19.99. 9781927925638. A manga retelling of the classic novel, Sense & Sensibility.
Bermejo, Lee Haynes and Khary Randolph. We Are Robin, Volume 1: The Vigilante Business. 2016. Illus. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401259822. After the Joker has turned many of Gotham’s citizens into zombies, a group of masked teens going by the name Robins decide they can’t sit back and wait for someone to save them.
Brremaud, Frederic and Federico Bertolucci. Love the Fox. 2015. Illus. Magnetic Press. $17.99. 9781942367062. This wordless comic follow a single fox through its daily journey through the trees and along the seafront.
Bunn, Cullen and Tyler Crook. Harrow County, Volume 1: Countless Haints. 2015. Illus. Dark Horse Comics. $14.99. 9781616557805. A teenage girl discovers that her family and her town are not what they seem—but, neither is she!
Cain, Chelsea and Kate Niemczyk. Mockingbird, Volume 1: I Can Explain. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $17.99. 9781302901226. Former Avenger Bobbi Morse investigates suspicious events tied to SHIELD. Ask her about her feminist agenda.
Cliff, Tony. Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling. 2016. Illus. First Second. $16.99. 9781626721555. A 19th century adventurer meets a new challenge, which leads her to confront her past.
Cloonan, Becky, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl. Gotham Academy, Volume 2: Calamity. 2016. Illus. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401256814. Gotham Academy is haunted!
*Coates, Ta-Nehisi and Brian Stelfreeze. Black Panther, Book One: A Nation Under Our Feet. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $16.99. 9781302900533. When a superhuman terrorist group sparks a violent uprising, Wakanda is thrown into turmoil. Can its monarch, one in a long line of Black Panthers, survive the necessary change? Heavy lies the head that wears the cowl!
de Campi, Alex and Carla Speed McNeil.
- No Mercy, Volume 1. 2015. Illus. Image Comics. $9.99. 9781632154439.
- No Mercy, Volume 2. 2016. Illus. Image Comics. $14.99. 9781632156907.
A group of students on a pre-college trip to build schools in Latin America must survive a bus crash, the elements, and each other.
Doerries, Bryan. The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan. 2016. Illus. Pantheon. $19.95. 9780375715167. A U.S. Sergeant in Afghanistan recounts the story of Odysseus to his squad, highlighting the connection to modern warfare.
Doyle, Ming, James Tynion IV, and Riley Rossmo. Constantine: the Hellblazer, Volume 1: Going Down. 2016. Illus. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401259723. The dark adventures of occult detective John Constantine continue in an all-new series as he investigates the cruelest case he’s ever come across – his own dark history!
Fazekas, Michele, Tara Butters, Kris Anka, and Felipe Smith. Captain Marvel, Volume 1: Rise of Alpha Flight. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $15.99. 9780785196426. It’s a bold new frontier for Carol Danvers as she soars to new heights in her greatest mission yet: leader of the all-new Alpha Flight space program.
Fletcher, Brenden and Annie Wu. Black Canary, Volume 1: Kicking & Screaming. 2016. Illus. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401261177. After years as a soldier and vigilante, the last place Dinah saw herself is on stage…but she’s quickly learning she’d die to protect the gang of misfit musicians she’s fallen into.
Furudate, Haruichi. Haikyu!! Volume 1. 2016. Illus. Viz Media. $9.99. 9781421587660. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?
Gaiman, Neil and J.H. Williams III. Sandman: Overture. 2015. Illus. Vertigo. $24.99. 9781401248963. Morpheus, the personification of Dreams, has made a mistake that could cost the whole universe.
Gates, Sterling, Bengal, Emanuela Lupacchino, Carmen Carnero, and Emma Vieceli. Adventures of Supergirl, Volume 1. 2016. Illus. DC Comics. $16.99. 9781401262655. Supergirl protects National City from villains and evil aliens.
Gauld, Tom. Mooncop. 2016. Illus. Drawn & Quarterly. $19.95. 9781770462540. A police officer on the moon struggles to find meaning in his work in a colony whose population has been slowly dwindling.
Gillen, Kieron and Jamie McKelvie. The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 4: Rising Action. 2016. Illus. Image. $14.99. 9781632159137. Laura is back, and she’s ready to exact her revenge as the god Persephone.
Gillen, Kieron and Salvador Larocca.
- Star Wars: Darth Vader, Volume 1: Vader. 2015. Illus. Marvel Comics. $19.99. 9780785192558.
- Star Wars: Darth Vader, Volume 2: Shadows and Secrets. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $19.99. 9780785192565.
After a losing a critical battle to the Rebel Alliance, Darth Vader searches for ways to turn the tide back to the Empire’s favor.
Hanada, Ryo. Devils’ Line, Volume 1. 2016. Illus. Vertical Comics. $12.95. 9781942993377. Tsukasa, a college student, is rescued by Anzai, a half-devil who exploits his supernatural gifts as a member of a shadowy police task force that specializes in devil-related crime in Tokyo.
*Hatke, Ben. Mighty Jack. 2016. Illus. First Second. $14.99. 9781626722644. Jack, his sister Maddy, and new friend Lilly fight monster plants after he buys seeds from a mysterious stranger.
Hatori, Bisco. Behind the Scenes!!, Volume 1. 2016. Illus. Viz Media. $9.99. 9781421585246. Ranmaru has just started college when he stumbles upon a bloody zombie attack. Turns out it’s the Art Squad Club and he’s been recruited.
HERO and Daisuke Hagiwara.
- Horimiya, Volume 1. 2015. Illus. Yen Press. $13.00. 9780316342032.
- Horimiya, Volume 2. 2016. Illus. Yen Press. $13.00. 9780316268691.
When a liberally pierced and tattooed Miyamura unexpectantly appears on the doorstep of secretly-plain homebody Hori, they discover there are multiple sides to every story…and person.
Hicks, Faith Erin and Jordie Bellaire. The Nameless City. 2016. Illus. First Second. $21.99. 9781626721579. In a city that changes names when a nation conquers it, newcomer Kaidu learns essential skills from native Rat.
Hicks, Faith Erin and Yishan Li. Buffy: the High School Years – Freaks & Geeks. 2016. Illus. Dark Horse. $10.99. 9781616556679. It’s not an easy task for Vampire Slayer Buffy to balance school, friends, and slaying, but thanks to her mentor Giles and her understanding friends Willow and Xander, life isn’t all work and no play.
Higashimura, Akiko. Princess Jellyfish 1. 2016. Illus. Kodansha Comics. $19.99. 9781632362285. The quiet life of an 18-year-old otaku girl living with other geeky girls in a communal Tokyo apartment is turned upside down by a beautiful non-gender conforming fashionista.
Houser, Jody and Marguerite Sauvage. Faith, Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine. 2016. Illus. Valiant. $9.99. 9781682151211. Faith has just left her superhero team, broken up with her boyfriend and is on her own for the first time.
- Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 3. 2015. Illus. Viz Media. $12.99. 9781421580388
- Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 6. 2016. Illus. Viz Media. $12.99. 9781421580418.
- Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 7. 2016. Illus. Viz Media. $11.99. 9781421580425.
- Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 8. 2016. Illus. Viz Media. $12.99. 9781421580432.
- Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 9. 2016. Illus. Viz Media. $12.99. 9781421580449.
Human-ghoul hybrid Ken Kaneki is caught in the midst of a rapidly escalating conflict between his two worlds.
Jackson, Shirley and Miles Hyman. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. 2016. Illus. Hill & Wang. $30.00. 9780809066490. Townsfolk gather to draw a lottery to ensure a good and profitable year.
Johnson, Mike, Ryan Parrott, and Derek Charm. Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. 2016. Illus. IDW. $19.99. 9781631406638. Witness the student days of the iconic cast before they joined the Enterprise, and meet an all-new group of students as they embark on bold new adventures of their own.
Kaihou, Norimitsu and Sadoru Chiba.
- School-Live! Volume 1. 2015. Illus. Yen Press. $13.00. 9780316309707.
- School-Live! Volume 2. 2016. Illus. Yen Press. $13.00. 9780316309882.
- School-Live! Volume 3. 2016. Illus. Yen Press. $13.00. 9780316309929.
The School-Living Club strives to hang out, have fun and live – at school – without getting killed by zombies.
King, Tom and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than a Man. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $17.99. 9780785196570. The Vision moves to the suburbs with the nuclear family he created in Ultron’s lab. They share his grandest ambition – or is that obsession? – the unrelenting need to be ordinary. Behold The Visions!
Kusanagi, Mizuho. Yona of the Dawn, Volume 1. 2016. Illus. Viz Media. $9.99. 9781421587813. Spoiled Princess Yona’s whole world falls apart when her father is murdered on the evening of her sixteenth birthday. Now she must fight to win back her kingdom with only her bodyguard Hak at her side.
Larson, Hope and Rebecca Mock. Compass South, Book 1: Four Points. 2016. Illus. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. $17.99. 9780374300432. Twins Cleo and Alex sail on pirate ships bound for San Francisco, chased by gang members determined to steal the compass and knife left to them by their missing father.
Lemire, Jeff and Dustin Nguyen. Descender: Machine Moon. 2016. Illus. Image. $14.99. 9781632156761. Tim-21 is caught in a galactic struggle while trying to find his human friend, Andy.
*Lemire, Jeff and Emi Lennox. Plutona. 2016. Illus. Image Comics. $16.99. 9781632156013. You’ve heard this before: five kids find a body in the woods and don’t know what to do; but, this time it is the city’s greatest superheroine, Plutona!
Lemire, Jeff and Ramon Perez.
- Hawkeye, Volume 5: All-New Hawkeye. 2015. Illus. Marvel Comics. $15.99. 9780785194033.
- Hawkeye, Volume 6: Hawkeyes. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $17.99. 9780785199465.
The Hawkeyes are on a new mission, which spans past, present, and future.
Leth, Kate and Brittney Williams. Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! Volume 1: Hooked on a Feline. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $15.99. 9781302900359. Patsy Walker has managed to escape her past, her enemies and Hell itself (literally) – but nothing compares to job hunting in New York City!
Leth, Kate and Matt Cummings. Power Up. 2016. Illus. Boom! Studios. $19.99. 9781608868377. In this “magical girl” style tale, an art school grad, a single mom, a construction worker, and a goldfish become unlikely heroes.
Liu, Marjorie and Sana Takeda. Monstress, Volume 1. 2016. Illus. Image Comics. $9.99. 9781632157096. In an alternate matriarchal Asia, a teenage girl struggles to survive the trauma of war and shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power.
Loveness, Jeff and Brian Kesinger. Groot. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $24.99. 9780785195528. I am Groot.
Mignola, Mike and Troy Nixey. Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham. 2015. Illus. DC Comics. $16.99. 9781401258061. It’s Gotham City, 1928. Twenty years have passed since a madman slew the parents of young Bruce Wayne, heir to one of the city’s oldest fortunes. Twenty years since he fled the carnage of Gotham. But now Bruce Wayne has returned – and hell has followed.
Nogiri, Yoko. That Wolf-Boy is Mine! Volume 1. 2016. Illus. Kodansha Comics. $10.99. 9781632363732. When Komugi moves in with her estranged dad and starts a new school, she discovers that the “princes” are a lot more than they appear to be.
O’Neill, Katie. Princess Princess Ever After. 2016. Illus. Oni Press. $12.99. 9781620103401. Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, journey to figure out what “happily ever after” really means – and how they can find it with each other.
- A Silent Voice, Volume 4. 2015. Illus. Kodansha Comics. $10.99. 9781632360595.
- A Silent Voice, Volume 5. 2016. Illus. Kodansha Comics. $10.99. 9781632360601.
- A Silent Voice, Volume 6. 2016. Illus. Kodansha Comics. $10.99. 9781632360618.
- A Silent Voice, Volume 7. 2016. Illus. Kodansha Comics. $10.99. 9781632362223.
Despite their tense paths, Shoya begins to embrace the friend group that used to terrorize Shoko because she is deaf as they prepare for graduation and the futures.
Paquet, Pierre and Tony Sandoval. A Glance Backward. 2015. Illus. Magnetic Press. $19.99. 9781942367109. Joey is pulled into the walls of his home and enters a dark and fantastical world.
Phelan, Matt. Snow White. 2016. Illus. Candlewick Press. $19.99. 9780763672331. Set in New York City, the classic fairy tale gets a Roaring ‘20s revamp.
Riess, Natalie. Space Battle Lunchtime, Volume 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion! 2016. Illus. Oni Press. $12.99. 9781620103135. Does Earthling Peony really have what it takes to be the best cook in the Galaxy? Tune in and find out!
Runberg, Sywain and Miquel Montillo. Warship Jolly Roger. 2016. Illus. Magnetic Press. $19.99. 9781942367239. Escaped war criminal Jon Munro, along with three other prisoners, is on a mission to get revenge for the life and family that was taken from him.
*Russel, Mark, Ben Caldwell, and Mark Morales. Prez, Volume 1: Corndog in Chief. 2016. Illus. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401259792. In a future where corporations can run for office, the poor are used as human billboards, and tacos are delivered by drone, 19-year-old social media celebrity, Beth Ross, unwittingly becomes President of the United States.
Ryall, Chris, Tony Akins, and Ilias Kyriazis. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Interconnectedness of All Kings. 2016. Illus. IDW. $19.99. 9781631405082. Dirk has been forced to leave his beloved England behind, coming to the too-sunny, too-cheery, and altogether too-bizarre-even-for-Dirk city of San Diego, where he gets embroiled in three separate (or are they?) cases.
Seagle, Steven T. and Jason Adam Katzenstein. Camp Midnight. 2016. Illus. Image. $16.99. 9781632155559. Things are strange at Camp Midnight: the activities take place after dark and the campers are encouraged to let their “true” selves out. Can Skye make friends, keep her secret, and survive this monstrous camp?
Sears, Ben. Night Air. 2016. Illus. Koyama Press. $12.00. 9781927668290. Plus Man and his robot sidekick plunder a haunted castle.
Soule, Charles and Alex Maleev. Star Wars: Lando. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $16.99. 9780785193197. Desperate to pay off his debts, Lando takes a job that proves to be more than he bargained for.
Stevenson, Noelle, Shannon Watters, and Carolyn Nowak. Lumberjanes, Volume 3: A Terrible Plan. 2016. Illus. Boom! Box. $14.99. 9781608868032. A quiet day at camp turns into weird adventures for Mal and Molly while Jo, April, and Ripley try to earn all the badges.
Stevenson, Noelle, Shannon Watters, Brooke Allen, Maarta Laiho, and Aubrey Aiese. Lumberjanes, Volume 4: Out of Time. 2016. Illus. Boom! Box. $14.99. 9781608868605. When Jen gets separated from the girls during a freak blizzard, she meets a mysterious stranger from Lumberjane past.
Stewart, Cameron, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr. Batgirl, Volume 2: Family Business. 2016. Illus. DC Comics. $16.99. 9781401259662. Batgirl continues to fight crime in Burnside, while running into some familiar Gotham characters.
*Takno, Ichigo. orange: The Complete Collection 1. 2016. Illus. Seven Seas Entertainment. $18.99. 9781626923027. Naho receives a letter from her future self, begging her to watch over new student Kakeru.
Taylor, Tom and David Lopez. All-New Wolverine, Volume 1: The Four Sisters. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $17.99. 9780785196525. Laura strives to become her own Wolverine as she encounters more mutants like herself.
Thompson, Kelly and Sophie Campbell. Jem and the Holograms, Volume 1: Showtime. 2015. Illus. IDW. $19.99. 9781631403958. Music, fashion, art, and action collide in Jem and the Holograms: Showtime!
Tobin, Paul and Coleen Coover. Bandette, Volume 3: The House of the Green Mask. 2016. Illus. Dark Horse. $14.99. 9781506702193. Master thief Bandette confronts villain Dart Petite after a string of kidnappings occur, all of which point to the location of the legendary House of the Green Mask.
Tsubaki, Izumi. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Volume 1. 2015. Illus. Yen Press. $13.00. 9780316309479. In this parody of all things shojo, Chiyo Sakura is recruited to be an assistant to shojo manga-ka Nozaki.
*Vaughan, Brian K. and Cliff Chiang. Paper Girls 1. 2016. Illus. Image. $9.99. 9781632156747. In the early hours after Halloween 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time.
*Vaughan, Brian K., Steve Skroce, and Matt Hollingsworth. We Stand On Guard. 2016. Illus. Image. $24.99. 9781632157027. One hundred years in the future, Canada and the United States are at war and a small band of Canadian freedom fighters are all that stands in the way of total U.S. takeover.
Waid, Mark, Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Veronica Fish. Archie 1: The New Riverdale. 2016. Illus. Archie Comics. $19.99. 9781627388672. Archie Andrews, “America’s Favorite Teenager”, is reimagined in this modernized origin story.
Watanabe, Wataru. Yowamushi Pedal, Volume 1. 2015. Illus. Yen Press. $24.00. 9780316309523. Otaku Onoda joins his high school’s bicycle racing team.
Weisman, Greg and Pepe Larraz. Star Wars: Kanan, Volume 1: The Last Padawan. 2015. Illus. Marvel Comics. $19.99. 9780785193661. A young Jedi must escape the reach of the rising Empire.
Wilson, G. Willow and Adrian Alphona. Ms. Marvel, Volume 4: Last Days. 2015. Illus. Marvel Comics. $17.99. 9780785197362. Kamala Khan teams up with her hero, Carol Danvers, to face the end of the world side-by-side.
Wilson, G. Willow and Takeshi Miyazawa. Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous. 2016. Illus. Marvel Comics. $17.99. 9780785196112. Kamala struggles to find balance between her new superhero team and everyday responsibilities.
Yasohachi, Ryo. Immortal Hounds, Volume 1. 2016. Illus. Vertical Comics. $12.95. 9781942993599. Humans never die; if they get sick or injured, they simply “kill” themselves and immediately come back to life. But then a mysterious disease starts spreading through the populace.
Zdarsky, Chip and Erica Henderson. Jughead, Volume 1. 2016. Illus. Archie Comics. $19.99. 9781627388931. After the menacing Mr. Stanger takes over Riverdale High, teachers get replaced, school uniforms are established, and the school cafeteria food gets swapped out for tasteless mush. Not one to stand for bad food, Jughead starts delving into Mr. Stanger’s past in an effort to get rid of him and get his beloved burgers back.
YALSA published the nominations from last November. Here are the titles which didn’t make the final cut:
Updated: 11/3/2016 [Final list]
Crilley, Mark. The Drawing Lesson: a Graphic Novel that Teaches You How to Draw. 2016. Watson-Guptill. $18.99. 9780385346337. The basics of drawing are laid out in story form as you follow the main character, David, through a series of drawing lessons.
Easton, Brandon & Denis Medri. Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven. 2015. Lion Forge Comics. $12.99. 9781941302149. This unprecedented biography of Andre the Giant charts his earliest days on his family’s farm, to his enormously successful runs in Japan, to his heated feuds with the biggest wrestling stars of all time, to his memorable turns in Hollywood TV and cinema and to his darkest moments caused by excessive substance abuse.
Fitzgerald, Meags. Long Red Hair. 2015. Conundrum Press. $17.00. 9781894994958. Long Red Hair is Meags Fitzgerald’s follow up to her acclaimed Photobooth: A Biography. In this graphic memoir, Fitzgerald paints a childhood full of sleepovers, playing dress-up, amateur fortune-telling and renting scary movies. Yet, Fitzgerald suspects that she is unlike her friends. The book navigates a child’s struggle with averageness, a preteen’s budding bisexuality and a young woman’s return after rejection. Fitzgerald takes us from her first kiss to a life sworn to singlehood, while weaving in allusions to witches in history and popular culture. Long Red Hair alluringly delves into the mystique of red hair and the beguiling nature of alternative romantic relationships.
Glidden, Sarah. Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. 2016. Drawn & Quarterly. $14.95. 9781770462557. Cartoonist Sarah Glidden accompanies her two friends―reporters and founders of a journalism non-profit―as they research potential stories on the effects of the Iraq War on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees.
Hale, Nathan. Nathan Hale’s Dangerous Tales: Alamo All Stars. 2016. Amulet Books. $12.95. 9781419719028. This book follows the bloody fight for Texas’s Independence from Mexico, featuring key players including David Bowie, Stephen Austin, Davy Crockett, and other settlers and soldiers who made the wild frontier of Texas their home – until the bitter end.
McClanahan, Scott & Ricardo Cavolo. The Incantations of Daniel Johnston. 2016. Two Dollar Radio. $16.99. 9781937512453. Biography on the life of musician Daniel Johnston.
Piskor, Ed. Hip Hop Family Tree Book 4: 1984-1985. 2016. Fantagraphics. $27.99. 9781606999400. In the latest volume of the history of hip-hop told in graphic novel form, we are introduced to characters such as Dr. Dre, Will Smith, Salt-N-Peppa (some of whom were featured in the hit summer movie, Straight Out of Compton), and many more.
Rall, Ted. Bernie. 2016. Seven Stories Press. $16.95. 9781609806989. Details the recent history of the Democratic Party, Bernie’s childhood and history in politics, and the election up to the Iowa caucus.
Sattouf, Riad. The Arab of the Future 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984-1985. 2016. Henry Holt. $26.00. 9781627793513. In Volume 2, Riad, now settled in his father’s hometown of Homs, gets to go to school, where he dedicates himself to becoming a true Syrian in the country of the dictator Hafez Al-Assad.
Atwood, Margaret & Johnnie Christmas. Angel Catbird. 2016. Dark Horse. $14.99. 9781506700632. On a dark night, young genetic engineer Strig Feleedus is accidentally mutated by his own experiment and merges with the DNA of a cat and an owl. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired superhero adventure– with a lot of cat puns.
Conner, Amanda, Jimmy Palmiotti & Chad Hardin. Harley Quinn, Volume 5: The Joker’s Last Laugh. 2016. DC Comics. $24.99. 9781401269289. Mason Macabre is more than just Harley Quinn’s neighbor in her new Coney Island digs—he just might be the man of her dreams. But to save his life, she’ll have to face the clown of her nightmares!
Corson, Heath & Gustavo Duarte. Bizarro. 2016. DC Comics. $14.99. 9781401259716. Jimmy Olsen and Bizarro road trip to Canada or Bizarro America. The United States is tired of Bizarro and all the accidental chaos he brings. Jimmy Olsen decides to road trip to Canada and drop Bizarro off with our Northern neighbors and write a coffee table book about the experience. Along the way the get into trouble, face off with ghosts, ancient gods, and free aliens trapped in Area 51. Will Jimmy become Bizarro’s worstest friend ever?
Dunn, Georgia. Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats. 2016. Andrews McMeel Publishing. $12.99. 9781449474133. Lupin, Elvis and Puck deliver all of the news that is most important to cats, from the arrival of packing peanuts to the behavior of the strange cat outside.
Fridolfs, Derek & Dustin Nguyen. Secret Hero Society 1: Study Hall of Justice. 2016. Scholastic. $12.99. 9780545825016. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are new students a Ducard Academy, a strange middle school full of peculiar teachers.
Gaiman, Neil, Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá. How to Talk to Girls at Parties. 2016. Dark Horse. $17.99. 9781616559557. A man tells a story from 30 years before, when he was a 15 year old attending an all-boys school. His friend Vic is invited to a party by a girl but when Vic leaves the directions to the party at home, they end up attending a party full of exotic tourists.
Gillen, Kieron & Salvador Larocca. Star Wars: Darth Vader, Volume 3: Shu-Torun War. 2016. Marvel Comics. $16.99. 9780785199779. Vader looks to strengthen the Empire, while planning to rescue an ally. [Volume 1 and 2 made the final list.]
Goetzinger, Rodolphe & Annie Goetzinger. Marie Antoinette: Phantom Queen. 2016. NBM. $18.99. 9781681120294. During the 1930s, Maud, an artist, discovers she has a psychic gift. The first signs manifest themselves in the royal gardens of the Trianon where gradually she understands that a woman from the beyond is attempting to communicate with her. The revelation is beyond belief: it is the ghost of Marie Antoinette appearing to her to share a terrible secret that has tormented her for centuries.
Green, KC. Graveyard Quest. 2016. Oni Press. $19.99. 9781620102893. Running the family business in the shadow of your father can be a drag, especially when you’re a gravedigger and that shadow is actually your dad’s overly critical ghost.
Grunberg, Greg & Lucas Turnbloom. Nightmare Escape: Dream Jumper, Book 1. 2016. Graphix. $12.99. 9780545826044. Ben has a problem. When he sleeps he dreams, and when he dreams, they’re all nightmares! But he can also jump into other people’s dreams. So when his friends start falling victim to an evil dream-monster that prevents them from waking, Ben knows he has to help them.
Hart, Tom. Rosalie Lightning. 2016. St. Martin’s Press. $19.99. 9781250049940. The author recounts his family’s life after the death of their young daughter.
Hickman, Jonathan, Esad Ribic, & Paul Renaud. Secret Wars. 2016. Marvel Comics. $50.00. 9780785198840. The multiverse is destroyed leaving only one world, Battleworld.
Hirsh, Ananth & Yuko Ota. Lucky Penny. 2016. Oni Press. $19.99. 9781620102870. If Penny Brighton didn’t have bad luck, she’d have no luck at all.
Kindt, Matt & Clayton Crain. Rai, Volume 3: The Orphan. 2016. Valiant. $14.99. 9781939346841. Far from home, Rai tries to save New Japan.
Knisley, Lucy. Something New. 2016. First Second. $19.99. 9781626722491. Lucy Knisley recounts her journey through dating, engagement, wedding planning and wedding.
Krause, Fran. Deep Dark Fears. 2015. Ten Speed Press. $14.99. 9781607748151. A collection of fears – some gruesome, some funny, some bizarre – submitted by the author and readers.
LaTour, Jason & Robbi Rodriguez. Spider-Gwen, Volume 1: Most Wanted? 2015. Marvel Comics. $16.99. 9780785197737. In an alternate timeline, Gwen Stacey is bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker and must now decide how to use her “great power.”
Leth, Kate, Arielle Jovellanos, et al. Fresh Romance, Volume 1. 2016. Oni Press. $24.99. 9781620103463. FRESH ROMANCE is an exciting collection of romance comics from some of comics’ most talented creators, including Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sarah Kuhn, Marguerite Bennett, and Trungles. From unhappy historical marriages to covert teenage romances, there’s something for everyone in FRESH ROMANCE.
Maybe. To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts, Volume 1. 2016. Vertical Comics. $10.95. 9781942993414. During a protacted civil war that pitted the North against the South, the outnumbered Northerners used dark magic to create monsterous super-soldiers called Incarnates. Now that the war has ended, those Sacred Beasts must learn to make their way in a peaceful society, or face death at the hands of a Beast Hunter.
Mizuki, Shigeru. Shigeru Mizuki’s Kitaro: The Birth of Kitaro. 2016. Drawn & Quarterly. $12.95. 978177046228. Kitaro, the One-Eyed Monster Boy, takes on a variety of yokai.
North, Ryan & Erica Henderson. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now. 2016. Marvel Comics. $17.99. 9780785196266. With her unique combination of wit, empathy and squirrel powers, computer science student Doreen Green – aka the unbeatable Squirrel Girl – is all that stands between the Earth and total destruction. Well, Doreen plus her friends Tippy-Toe (a squirrel) and Nancy (a regular human with no powers). So, mainly Squirrel Girl.
Panetta, Kevin & Paulina Ganjcheau. Zodiac Starforce. 2016. Dark Horse. $12.99. 9781616559137. An elite group of teenage girls with magical powers work o save their world from the evil Diana and her mean-girl minions.
Pilkey, Dav. Dog Man. 2016. Scholastic Graphix. $9.99. 9780545581608. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound has a real nose for justice. But can he resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?
Schwartz, Simon. First Man: Reimagining Matthew Henson. 2015. Graphic Universe. $31.99. 9781467758420. Schwartz weaves together Inuit mythology and conventional history to describe the life of an African-American man who, it has been argued, might have been the first man to reach the Arctic.
Simon, Shaun, Michael Allred, & Matt Brundage. Art Ops, Volume 1: How to Start a Riot. 2016. Vertigo. $14.99. 9781401256876. Reggie Riot is no one’s idea of a cultural savior. The latchkey child of a busy single mother, he’s grown up to be a resentful slacker whose idea of high culture is getting stoned and admiring the graffiti in the alley where he scores his weed. His mother, however, is not your average working parent. She’s the head of a secret organization called Art Ops, whose mission is protecting the artistic treasures of the world—which have a lot more life in them than a casual observer might realize.
Stevenson, Noelle & Sanford Greene. Runaways: Battleworld. 2015. Marvel. $15.99. 9780785198826. On Battleworld, students are tested to extremes at a school run by Doctor Doom.
Telgemeier, Raina. Ghosts. 2016. Graphix. $10.99. 9780545540629. There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.
Tsuruta, Kenji. Wandering Island. 2016. Dark Horse Manga. $14.99. 9781506700793. When air delivery pilot, Mikura Amelia’s grandfather passes away, she discovers he left her an undelivered parcel addresses to an island that doesn’t exist…or does it?
Young, Skottie. I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1. 2016. Image. $9.99. 9781632156853. “An Adventure Time/Alice in Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against grown-up, Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness.” Gertie is a grown woman trapped in a six-year-old’s body and trying to find her way out of Fairyland.
Zdarsky, Chip & Joe Quinones. Howard the Duck, Volume 0: What the Duck? 2015. Marvel Comics. $16.99. 9780785197720. Howard’s new case takes him on a wild goose chase.
Zdarsky, Chip & Joe Quinones. Howard the Duck, Volume 1: Duck Hunt. 2016. Marvel Comics. $17.99. 9780785199380. Trapped in a world he’s grown accustomed to! The flightless fowl gets relaunched again, with the exact same superstar creative lineup as before -Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones! But this time, the entire universe is after Howard! The Duck is back, and this means “Waugh!”
Why? Perhaps the stories weren’t good enough. Or the book wasn’t suitable or the right audience for teens.
I enjoyed quite a few of the titles on this list. Apparently, some librarians thought them good enough to be nominated, but couldn’t generate enough traction with the final committee. Still, that’s a good list of titles for any library, you’ll just need to shelve them elsewhere!
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
Ask me anything!