I love reading comics, from graphic novels to memoirs, and I enjoy reading children’s comics as much as the adult ones. I usually read comics between prose books. They’re a nice break. They’re also great to read when you have little children. It can be hard to keep up the same reading pace when toddlers take up ALL YOUR FREE TIME. But comics are fast and fun to read–I often finish them in 1-2 sittings. So here are some of my favorite 2019 comics for children and adults.
2019 Comics for adults
Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley
This is such an excellent pregnancy and birth memoir, my favorite in fact. Knisley is honest about the realities of her troubles with conceiving, her miscarriages, her difficult pregnancy, and her life-threatening birth. She gives none of the idealizations of motherhood that drive me nuts. Between each chapter, she has a science breakdown, where she explores the science behind what’s happening to her. Unfortunately, she didn’t know much of this science until afterward, which is a shame and one way the discussion around women’s health needs to improve. For example, I learned from reading her memoir that I had preeclampsia, which because I was having a scheduled c-section anyway due to a second-degree heart block, my OB decided I didn’t need to know. At least she knew, unlike Knisley’s doctor! But still, reading a graphic memoir a year after giving birth is a weird way to find out that the reason I had intermittent blindness is that I was preeclamptic, though I had been showing signs right before hospitalization. Knisley has written several graphic memoirs, though I haven’t read the others yet. Many people, in particular, recommend Relish: My Life in the Kitchen to me, her food memoir. I’ll be reading it soon.
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob
Jacob’s memoir looks at parenting an elementary-aged biracial child in Trump’s United States, and also her own story of growing up as an Indian immigrant in the West. She fits so much into this graphic novel, which despite its heft at 400 pages, I read in a single sitting. The mixed media art is interesting and arresting, it’s just as funny as it is thought-provoking, and I consider it a must-read for the year. Though my child is white, I know we’ll need to have similar conversations when she’s older.
2019 Comics for children
Fox & Chick: The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier
This is Ruzzier’s second Fox & Chick book, the first being Fox & Chick: The Party: and Other Stories. Both are equally good. Jen recommended we read these books, and I’m so glad she did! They’re clever and funny and Marian knows how to say both Fox and Chick so she likes to read them too. It’s unusual to find the comic style of illustrations in books for young children. I’ve seen it a few times but never done as well as in these books.
Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis
I feel like I’m cheating with this one. The book is targeted at middle schoolers, but I really enjoyed it and I think it crosses over into adult reading. It’s definitely still appropriate for middle schoolers! Queen of the Sea is a fictionalized retelling of Elizabeth I’s young adult years when she was exiled by Queen Mary I. It’s not from Elizabeth’s perspective, however, but from Margaret’s, a young girl who has been left on an island in the care of nuns. This is such an interesting reimagining of Queen Elizabeth’s life. Margaret’s character is vivacious and clever, and I loved the bits of the nunnery’s history.
Check out more of our adult/children book pairings!