If you’re a graphic novel fan, you’re probably familiar with titles such as David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp, or the more contemporary Saga series by Brian K. Vaughan. While you may notice that some of the most mainstream novels come from American writers, there’s a wealth of other amazing stories from creators around the world. This year, read outside the box and check out these graphic novels from international authors.
by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo
Set against the backdrop of gritty Manila in the Philippines, Trese follows the story of Alexandra Trese, a young woman investigating the supernatural events in the city to keep its inhabitants safe from harm. The graphic novel blends elements of horror, crime, and noir, with storylines steeped in Filipino politics and folklore. Its success has even led to an animated adaptation on Netflix.
by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
Daytripper is about an obituary editor named Bras de Oliva Domingos, who laments his career of writing about death instead of life. Throughout the novel, you see Bras at different points in his life, with the twist that he dies at the end of each chapter. At once heart-wrenching and heart-warming, Daytripper is the perfect read for those who enjoy pondering life and mortality — with a dash of magical realism.
by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Dense world building and high fantasy elements define Monstress, which has drawn comparisons to Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. It’s about Maika Halfwolf, an orphaned teenager trying to uncover the mysteries of her childhood. She also happens to share a psychic link with a powerful monster inside her. With such rich lore and intricate character histories, Monstress is everything a fantasy reader could want in a graphic novel.
by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius
Sci-fi lovers will find a gem in the French graphic novel, The Incal. It narrates the misadventures of John Difool, a private investigator who happens upon a mysterious item known as The Light Incal, a sought-after artifact desired by powerful intergalactic factions. It’s a must-read for anyone who enjoys intergalactic voyage, science, politics, debauchery, humor, and satire.
by Elizabeth Holleville
This debut graphic novel from French illustrator Elizabeth Holleville is a coming-of-age story with a supernatural twist. Summer Spirit follows the story of a young girl named Louise, who spends a summer in her grandmother’s house along with her sister and cousins. While the other girls are busy fawning over boys, Louise remains uninterested, choosing to hang out with none other than the manor’s resident ghost. It’s a relatable tale of young love, family bonds, and the growing pains of becoming an adult.
Tips For A Better Reading Experience
It’s easy to get absorbed in a fictional world for hours on end — and equally easy to get eye strain, neck, and back pains while doing so. To have the best reading experience without risking your physical health, have the following on hand for your reading nook:
A reading light – Proper lighting is always vital when reading, so invest in a good book light. There are lots of convenient clip-on lights that are easy to use. Most of these emit warm light instead of blue light, which make them perfect for a reading session before bed.
A back support pillow – Lumbar support pillows that prevent back pain should be part of any cozy reading space. Specially designed to adjust to the shape of your back, these pillows also have strategically placed holes in their structure to provide both cooling and comfort. You can make long reading sessions more comfortable thanks to these pillows.
A book stand – Whether you’re reading a physical book or using a Kindle, consider getting a book stand. Propping up your book or device ensures you aren’t hunching over and hurting your neck. As such, these book stands help you maintain good posture.
If you’re tired of zoning out in front of your television, consider taking up our reading list for the best international graphic novels. For more recommendations, check out some of the standout titles we’ve reviewed this year.
Brynnlee Johan is a freelance writer who is currently based in Brooklyn. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking for her neighbors, and going on hikes.