Great Reads on Words + Drawings

I’ve updated this page to include more on hybrid work, especially work that mingles words and drawing. I try to keep it updated with work I’ve read and love.

Some Great Books among the Growing Universe of Visual Storytelling:

(note:  The links are either to the publisher page or to indiebound.  If these books aren’t on the shelf at your favorite independent bookstore, you can order them there anyhow and then have a solid excuse for returning to the store.) You might also check out my article on the website DIY MFA, Diving into Graphic Novels without Drowning, which gives an overview of the subgenres of books with pictures.

Theory + Awesome

Unflattening by Nick Sousanis, mostly in comics form but has pages of words, and is generally mind-blowing

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, see also Making Comics, less theory, more practice, but both are great

What It Is and Making Comics by Lynda Barry, actually all her books are amazing and inspiring

Graphic Memoir

Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart, heart-breaking and ground-breaking

Fetch by Nicole J. George, great dog love story

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui, beautiful

Fun Home by Allison Bechdel, goddess of comics

Hybrid Words and Images

One Year in America by Elisabeth Belliveau, hybrid of comics and e-mails

The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam by Ann Marie Fleming, like a comics collage with a timeline, really cool

Radioactive by Lauren Redniss, about Marie and Pierre Curie, fascinating and was a National Book Award finalist

The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner, lots of words interspersed with her awesome comics

Becoming Unbecoming by Una, combines drawings, sexual abuse statistics and personal narrative

Snapshots of a Girl by Beldan Sezen, story that seems told in whatever form was needed for the page, the font changes all the time, making it feel written as it’s happening

Just plain old amazing:

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris, most amazing use of a roller ball type pen I’ve ever seen + a wild hybrid memoir/ monster tale

Tenements, Towers & Trash by Julia Wertz, urban history, hilarity, love of New York City

Below are some resources I’ve found useful over the years for writing

Writing for a young audience: (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Including young adults) (Mary Cole’s site filled with great advice)

General help for writing and getting published: great workshops with author Ariel Gore wonderful creative nonfiction conference put on by Hippocampus Magazine

DIY MFA a site with all the tools for crafting your writing life

WOW, Women on Writing, offers workshops with amazing writers, such as Chelsey Clammer and Melissa Grunow, as well as resources for your writing life (Nathan Bransford’s awesome blog) (Posts interviews with literary agents)

Looking for a home in a Small Indie Press: Small Press Distribution carries many small presses, so you can go through their list to find a press whose catalog seems compatible with your manuscript or book proposal.

My book is being distributed through Itasca Books, another indie distribution organization.

Finding Books to Read: (great site specific to LGBTQ-focused books)

The shelves of your local indie bookstore! Mine is Changing Hands

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