OPL 2015 Holiday Gift Guide--Graphic Novels

It's been a banner couple-of-years for comics. Here are some of our favorites.

We loved so many graphic novels lately, we gave them their own list! Try Dr. Comics and Mr. Games of Oakland for these, though a couple are self published and can be purchased directly from the artists. Follow the links!

We've grouped them under the age of the youngest appropriate reader, but any of the kids' and YA titles may be loved by adults too.


For kids' books that aren't comics, click here.


Flop to the Top
Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing
A silly story about an internet-famous dog. Buy it for: kids obsessed with selfies.

Written and Drawn by Henrietta
Liniers (available in Spanish)
Henrietta drawself as the star of her own story. Buy it for: little cartoonists.

Lost in NYC: a subway adventure
Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio García Sánchez (available in Spanish)
What if you got lost on a field trip--in New York City? Buy it for: the kid who navigates every drive.

El Deafo
Cece Bell
This graphic memoir about growing up with a hearing impairment is an instant charmer. Buy it for: real-life superheroes.

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor
Nathan Hale
In the latest installment of this silly history series, Harriet Tubman comes to life. Buy it for: kids who like to laugh and learn.

Sisters and Smile
Raina Telgemeier
Really, just anything by Raina Telgemeier. Buy it for: tweens who like real-life stories.

Roller girl
Victoria Jamieson
Can Astrid survive roller derby camp without her best friend? Buy it for: derby fans.

Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin
The fairy tales you wish you'd had growing up. Buy it for: kids who are over Cinderella.

Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis
You'll love these campers and their crazy adventures. Buy it for: anyone just a little too young for Scott Pilgrim.

Noelle Stevenson
Sassy Nimona wants to be a sidekick--but what is she, really? Buy it for: everyone. Everyone should read this book.


For YA and adult books that aren't comics, click here.


In real life
Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
Anda, a hero in the game Coarsegold, befriends a boy across the world named Raymond.  Instead of just playing the game for fun, Raymond’s life depends on his avatar’s success. Buy it for: comic fans and gamers.  

Through the woods
Emily Carroll
This beautifully illustrated graphic novel includes five chilling stories. Buy it for: horror fans. 

Liz Prince
Find out how Liz navigates this world when Liz doesn’t feel like a boy or a girl. Buy it for: the graphic novel and memoir enthusiast.

Ms. Marvel
G. Willow Wilson
Muslim- American Kamala loves the Avengers and wants to fit in with the popular kids. Despite her desire to be “normal,” she possesses shape shifting abilities. Buy it for: comic fans who are looking for something a little different.

The Shadow Hero
Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
An updated version of the classic The Green Turtle series, the first Asian American super hero. Buy it for: fans of super hero style comics and the hugely popular comic author Lang. 

Nothing can possibly go wrong
Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks
Charlie and Nate have an unlikely friendship that nearly ends when they have a war with the school cheerleaders. Buy it for: comedy fans who love the classic “nerds versus popular kids” type stories.



Killing and dying
Adrian Tomine
Six tales from a storyteller known for his cool illustrations, sharp observations and wry yet compassionate sense of humor. Buy it for: witty and moody indie readers.

Step aside, Pops!
Kate Beaton
Kate Beaton's webcomic Hark! a Vagrant is basically the best thing about the 21st century so far. Buy it for: anyone who loved her eponymous first collection.

Saga v. 1-5
Brian K. Vaughan
Saga is kind of impossible to describe. It's fierce, it's feminist, it's funny, and it's loaded with a$$-kicking aliens and ghosts. Buy it for: someone who wants to fall in love with a story--there's no end to this series in sight yet.

Lynda Barry
Lynda Barry is a phenomenon of a human (I'm not even sure she's human) and a pretty terrific teacher. This collection of her lecture notes and assignments for graphic novelists will inspire. Buy it for: that friend of yours who's always talking about maybe drawing a comic someday.

Whirlwind wonderland
Rina Ayuyang
A collection of little moments and stories by an Oakland artist. Ayuyang shows why traffic is your buddy, how to dance with Brad Pitt, and other lessons in charming ink drawings. Buy it for: someone who wants to slow down and notice things.

March, books 1 and 2
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
Congressperson and Civil Rights leader John Lewis recounts his story in these first two volumes of a projected trilogy. The graphic format vividly depicts defining moments in the nonviolent struggle against segregation and inequality while Lewis’s point of view adds a personal edge. Buy it for: Activists, historians and anyone who could use some inspiration.

Fun home
Alison Bechdel
Although this graphic memoir came out almost a decade ago, the Broadway adaptation won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015—a great excuse to revisit this groundbreaking work! Fun home is a deeply personal tragicomedy about the author, her coming out story and her relationship with her family, especially her closeted father. Buy it for: Anyone who might enjoy reading someone else’s diary.

Drinking at the movies
Julia Wertz
Not that we want you to move to New York, but-- you will probably love this comic about moving from San Francisco to New York. Julia Wertz (of Fart Party fame) could not be funnier. Buy it for: that hard-to-impress stand-up comedian.

Domestic Times
Tessa Brunton
What's it REALLY like to live with a partner? How does anyone do it and stay sane? This hilarious comic is guaranteed to smooth over any domestic squabbles. Buy it for: your friends who just moved in together.

Get Jiro: blood and sushi
Anthony Bourdain
In near-future Los Angeles, a violent war is brewing between organic locavore purists and exotic internationalists, and famous sushi chef Jiro is slashing through the middle of the combat. Buy it for: food snobs with a taste for blood.

Sandman: overture deluxe edition
Neil Gaiman
This brand-new edition collects all six "Overture" stories, the prequel (more or less) to Gaiman's amazing Sandman series. Buy it for: Sandman fans.

Bryan Lee O'Malley
The thoughtful and funny follow-up to O'Malley's blockbuster Scott Pilgrim series. Buy it for: anyone, and maybe buy them Scott Pilgrim while you're at it.

Thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: the (mostly) true story of the first computer
Sydney Padua
Victoriana! history! math! computer science! Buy it for: steampunk fans or your friend who just finished coding school.

Oakland Indie Bookstores

Remember to call before you visit if you're looking for particular titles. 

Laurel Book Store, 1423 Broadway. 452-9232
Pegasus- Oakland, 5560 College Ave. 652-6259
Marcus Bookstore, 3900 MLK Way. 652-2344
A Great Good Place for Books, 6120 LaSalle Ave. 339-8210
E. M. Wolfman, 410 13th St. 415-250-5527
Diesel Bookstore, 5433 College Ave. 653-9965
Walden Pond Books, 3319 Grand Ave. 832-4438
Dr. Comics and Mr. Games, 4014 Piedmont Ave. 601-7800