6 Nonfiction Graphic Novels to Get You Ready For Summer

By Rachel Gonzalez, Business Manager
June 5, 2024

Comics aren’t always superheroes, fantasy creatures, and high-action plots. They can be hard-hitting dramas, breathtaking memoirs, or cute love stories. Here are some nonfiction graphic novels that fit outside of the box one might assume of comics. Bonus, all of these are available at the Winter Park Library to check out!

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Katie Beaton

Key elements: Narrative nonfiction, memoir, environmental, Canadian

Kate Beaton depicts her time spent working at the oil sands in Alberta, Canada. In the hopes of easily paying off her student loans, she decided to move across Canada to work a job she knew next to nothing about. She walks us through the day-to-day trudge of working in a tool shed and the trauma that encircles being a woman in a majority male-dominated space.

book cover


Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh 

Key elements: Memoir, essays, mental health, childhood 

Allie Brosh is back with another compilation of stories from her childhood to adulthood. Her graphic memoirs merge cartoonish illustrations with narrative. She has a way of bringing comedy to the dark moments of life. In Solutions and Other Problems, Brosh depicts struggling with grief, depression, and loneliness juxtaposed with strange childhood misadventures. The essays range from her sneaking into her neighbor's house through a pet door as a little girl to her battle with a mysterious illness.

book image


Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Key elements: Memoir, high-brow, LGBTQIA+, family


You may have heard of the Bechdel Test.* Yes, this is the Bechdel that coined it. In this graphic memoir, Bechdel focuses on her late father and their relationship.  Bruce Bechdel taught English and ran a funeral home (aka the Fun Home). After Bechdel comes out as a lesbian in her early twenties, she finds out her father is gay. This revelation takes place mere weeks before his death. Get ready for this one to make you want to pick up some Proust.


*Whether a piece of media has two or more female characters that have a conversation that doesn’t revolve around a man.

book cover
book cover



Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacobs 

Key elements: Tough topics, race, family, first-generation American 


Mira Jacobs depicts difficult conversations visually with her six-year-old, Zakir, about everything from love to the state of the world. These conversations pull her back to her experiences as a child of Indian immigrants. This ranges from bad relationship advice to encountering being stereotyped after 9/11 in New York City as a POC.  

Book Cover


Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley 

Key elements: Pregnancy, family, parenthood, relationships 


Lucy Knisley is one of my all-time favorite comic artists/writers. She has a way of bringing her personal stories to life from learning to cook to traveling with her grandparents. This one covers her pregnancy and early stages of parenthood. Trust me, you do not even have to be a parent for Knisley to sweep you away with her struggles and joys in this graphic novel. 

book cover


Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder 

Key elements: Family, grief, death, cancer, coming of age 


In this touching graphic memoir, Tyler Feder reflects on the loss of her mother to cancer. She takes us from her mother’s diagnosis to her journey of healing after the passing of her mother. It reads as both tragic and funny as she explores the endings and beginnings within her journey of healing from loss.  

book cover


rachel g headshot

About the Author

WPL Business Manager, Rachel Gonzalez (they/she), spends most of her free time reading and creating book related videos for her YouTube channel. She plans on reading over 100 books this year, the best one so far being James by Percival Everett. She has an MLIS from USF and has been with the Library for over nine years.If you enjoyed this list, be sure to subscribe to the author’s Booktube channel: Moonlightlibrary

Post Tags