A Guest in the House City of Glass: Graphic Novel Summer Blonde Carnet de Voyage: A Travel Diary by the author of Blankets, New edition
I Am Not Okay With This Americana (And the Act of Getting Over It.) Flake Alison: a stunning and emotional graphic novel unlike any other
Persepolis I & II Days of the Bagnold Summer A Guest in the House City of Glass: Graphic Novel
Summer Blonde Carnet de Voyage: A Travel Diary by the author of Blankets, New edition I Am Not Okay With This Americana (And the Act of Getting Over It.)

Graphic Novels for Adults

By Faber

Graphic Novels for Adults

By Faber

Angus Cargill, Publishing Director and editor of Faber’s Graphic Novels list, picks some of his favourite titles from this fast-growing genre of literature.

With A Guest in the House, Emily Carroll’s long-awaited and inspired follow-up to Through The Woods, just published, the gorgeous Twentieth Anniversary Edition of Blankets to follow, not to mention the second year of our Graphic Short Story Prize in conjunction with the Observer still open for submissions, it’s an exciting time for Faber’s graphic novel list.
 

The Godfather of the list is the great avant-garde artist and designer Andrzej Klimowski – famous for his film posters and book cover designs of the nineties – whose two ‘silent’ (wordless) graphic novels The Depository and The Secret we published in 1994 and 2002. I then started publishing graphic novels here more regularly in the mid 2000s, starting with Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli’s masterful adaptation of the first book of Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, City of Glass and not long after that taking on Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings – now a major film, directed by Randall Park – and two of his previous titles, Sleepwalk and Other Stories and Summer Blonde. Alongside his brilliant North American publisher, Drawn & Quarterly, we have published everything of Adrian’s since, and for me he lies at the very heart of what our Graphic Novel publishing represents – work which combines illustration and the written word in unique and revealing ways.

Here are some recommends, a list of my personal favourite graphic novels – some old, some new; some gentle, some not so gentle; some Faber titles, some not; some very famous, some not as famous as they should be – which I hope will be useful for fans of the form and for readers who might be curious to dip their toe for the first time …

A Guest in the House

A Guest in the House

Emily Carroll

£18.99 £18.04

City of Glass: Graphic Novel

City of Glass: Graphic Novel

Paul Auster

£12.99 £12.34

As an avowed Paul Auster fan, the chance to pick up the UK rights to this classic adapt – first published in the US in 1994 as part of a short-lived Neon Lit (!) series, but never available in the UK – was far too good to pass up. A classic.

Summer Blonde

Summer Blonde

Adrian Tomine

£16.99 £16.14

Picking a favourite Adrian Tomine book is a bit like trying to pick your favourite Beatles album, but I’m going to go with this one today – a good Tomine-gateway-drug – four long-ish stories, including ‘Hawaiian Getaway’, which, on its own, is about as good as comics get for me.

Carnet de Voyage: A Travel Diary by the author of Blankets, New edition

Carnet de Voyage: A Travel Diary by the author of Blankets, New edition

Craig Thompson

£14.99 £14.24

In between his great coming-of-age memoir Blankets and his breakout hit Habibi seven years later – both essential reads – Craig Thompson toured, travelled and kept a sketchbook. The result is this moving, revealing and hugely inspiring travel-cum-process book.

I Am Not Okay With This

I Am Not Okay With This

Charles Forsman

£14.99 £14.24

From the author of the better known The End of the F***ing World, comes this Carrie-influenced high-school-horror comic – yes please! I really liked the Netflix adapt of this too.

Americana (And the Act of Getting Over It.)

Americana (And the Act of Getting Over It.)

Luke Healy

£16.99 £16.14

Luke Healy’s autobiographical portrayal of his walk of the Pacific Trail is a great comics-counterpart to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, and every bit as good and moving. One of my favourite books to give to people as a present.

Flake

Flake

Matthew Dooley

£18.99 £18.04

Matthew Dooley’s 2020 debut – his ice-cream-wars tragicomedy – is so beautifully drawn and pitched; a droll, northern treat.

Alison: a stunning and emotional graphic novel unlike any other

Alison: a stunning and emotional graphic novel unlike any other

Lizzy Stewart

£12.99 £12.34

Lizzy Stewart’s 2022 breakout, again combines sadness, humour and insight through its gorgeous illustrations and careful prose, to sensitively explore ideas of class and the formative but problematic relationship at the heart of the story.

Persepolis I & II

Persepolis I & II

Marjane Satrapi

£10.99 £10.44

Absolutely essential, Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical coming-of-age story of her childhood in Tehran at the time of the Iranian Revolution. For me this is one of the great works of literature of the last twenty-five years – empathetic, cross-cultural, funny and insightful.

Days of the Bagnold Summer

Days of the Bagnold Summer

Joff Winterhart

£12.99 £12.34

A heartbreakingly great (and funny) portrayal of teen angst and ennui. Joff Winterhart’s debut was memorably shortlisted for the Costa Book Award in 2012 and is the other graphic novel I often give to people as a present. I was recently recommending it, and the excellent 2019 film adaption, to Stuart Murdoch when he smiled and gently pointed out that his band (Belle and Sebastian) had done the soundtrack to the film. Of course they had!

In September next year, we have our first ever commissioned adaptation, Aimée de Jongh’s take on William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
 

Publishing to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the original novel, it is, like Karasik and Mazucchelli’s take on City of Glass, a new and revelatory interpretation of one of the classic pieces of literature on the Faber list, and it’s thrilling to see this kind of conversation across generations and forms.
 

We also have more homegrown talent coming through, with Luke Healy’s neurotically brilliant and funny Self Esteem and the End of the World to look forward to, his second book with us, and Mollie Ray’s stunning ‘silent’ graphic novel Giant, which as the debut of a young, northern voice is sure to get huge attention.

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