Nonfiction and Autobiographical Comics

9781596438651

Ottaviani, Jim. Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. New York : First Second, 2013. Print.

Summary:  Primates tells us the true story of three primatologists; Dian Fossey (gorillas), Birute Galdikas (orangutans), and Jane Goodall (chimpanzees) and how anthropologist Louis Leakey, set out to recruit them all.

Appeal Factors:

  • Nonfiction/Historical Fiction/Scientists
  • Bibliography can be found at the end (author notes, recommended readings, and more).
  • Full color illustrations
  • Humorous (visually and verbally)
  • Panels with minimal text
  • 144 pages

Potential Readers:

  • Recommended Age Range: 12 – 18 years

Visual Style: 

  • Full color illustrations
  • Lots of jump-cuts
  • Comic-book style

Textual Style:

  • Dialogue is conversational and expressive
  • Narrative
  • Uses different fonts and/or typeface to narrate for each primatologist’s story (Dian Fossey, Beirut Galdikas, and Jane Goodall).
  • The narration text boxes are color-coded (signifying that a different narrator or person is speaking)
  • Sometimes the font seems illegible
  • Panels with minimal text

Awards: 

  • Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award Master List

Additional Information:

  • About the Author:Jim Ottaviani has written nonfiction, science-oriented comics since 1997, notably the number one New York Times bestseller, Feynman and Fallout which was nominated for an Ignatz Award, He has worked as a nuclear engineer, caddy, programmer, and reference librarian. Primates is his first collaboration with artist Maris Wicks. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.” Macmillan
  • “Presented as dedicated, iconoclastic, and profoundly in awe of the creatures around them, Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas are inspiring figures, and Ottaviani does a first-rate job of dangling enough tantalizing tidbits to pique readers’ interest in the topic.” –Booklist 

15786110

Knisley, Lucy. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. New York: First Second, 2013. Print.

Summary: Lucy Knisley presents readers with a beautifully illustrated and humorous graphic novel memoir about her love for cuisine, cooking, and detailed food memories.

Appeal Factors:

  • Food-focused memoir about growing up, family, cooking, and cuisine
  • Recipes can be found at the end of each chapter, which are illustrated, simple, and annotated
  • Full color, hand-drawn illustrations
  • Dialogue is expressive and humorous
  • Moderate to heavy amount of words per panel
  • 176 pages, short chapters

Potential Readers:

  • Recommended Age Range: 15-18 years

Visual Style: 

  • Drawings are bright, colorful, detailed, and precise
  • Cartoonish style
  • Representational
  • Hand-drawn illustrations
  • Engaging

Textual Style:

  • Episodic format
  • Tone-cheerful and enthusiastic
  • Short chapters
  • Language is uncluttered
  • Characters are lively
  • Dialogue is expressive and humorous
  • Narrative
  • Moderate to heavy amount of words per panel
  • Some text is located in speech bubbles located in the panels, while other text can be found written outside of speech bubbles above the panels.

Awards:

  • ALA Alex Awards Winner (Adult for Young Adults)
  • Apple iBooks Best of the Year
  • An NPR Best Book of 2013
  • Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2013

Additional Information:  

  • Fans of this particular graphic novel might also like Lucy’s Knisley’s  2008, graphic novel titled French Milk.
  • Fans of this particular graphic novel might also like Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child  by Jessie Hartland.
  • A book trailer for Relish can be found on YouTube
  • Lucy Knisley was born in New York City, raised in Rhinebeck, NY, and educated in Chicago, She has come home to roost in a tiny apartment in Manhattan, where she can be closer to her mom’s cooking. Her comics about life, food, travel and her adventures have gained her a devoted audience on the Internet, and she is now doing food comics for the magazine Saveur, who just sent her to Africa. Lucy’s first book, French Milk, is a travelogue about a trip to Paris. Relish is her most recent work.” Macmillan 
  • Lucy has two new books coming out. The first titled, An Age of License, “is the tale of Lucy’s trip through Europe, where she apparently has all sorts of adventures, meditates on the meaning of life and finds love. It’s due out this fall and will be about 200 pages, black and white with some color.” Comic Book Resources
  • The second book titled, Displacement, “Lucy takes her grandparents on a cruise, meditates on the meaning of life… This graphic novel will also be black and white with some color.” Comics Book Resources

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Larson, Hope, and Madeleine Engle. Madelaine L’Engles A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012. Print.

Summary: Hope Larson, takes the classic story of Madelaine L’Engles A Wrinkle in Time and creates a unique and vivid illustrated graphic novel adaptation of the award-winning children’s book.

Appeal Factors:

  • Literary adaptation
  • Might appeal to fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy stories
  • Might appeal to fans of the 1962 classic, A Wrinkle in Time.
  • Black, white, and blue illustrations
  • Most of the dialogue comes directly from Madelaine L’Engles original Wrinkle in Time.
  • Small panels, heavy on the dialogue
  • 400 pages

Potential Readers:

  • Recommended Age Range: 10 – 15 years

Visual Style: 

  • Illustrations are simplistic, whimsical, and expressive.
  • Cartoonish style
  • Panels use very little color (semi-monochrome- black, white, and blue tones used for highlighting or shading).

Textual Style:

  • Most of the dialogue comes directly from Madelaine L’Engles original Wrinkle in Time.
  • Conversational
  • Prose-heavy
  • Small panels, heavy on the dialogue

Awards:

  • #2 New York Times Graphic Books List Bestseller
  • Eisner Award Nominee
  • Eisner Award Best Publication for Teens Winner, 2013
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
  • A California Library Association Best Graphic Novel of 2012
  • A BN.com Best Graphic Novel of 2012
  • CCBC Choice (Univ. of Wi)
  • Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award Maser List

Additional Information: 

  • A book trailer for A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel can be found on Macmillan’s Website
  • “This adaptation is fabulous for presenting a fresh vision to those familiar with the original, but it’s so true to the story’s soul that even those who’ve never read it will come away with a genuine understanding of L’Engle’s ideas and heart.”    Booklist, Starred Review 
  • Fans of the space and time themes or literary classics might enjoy reading The Time Machine Graphic Novel by H. G. Wells, Lewis Helfand (Adapted by), and Rajesh Nagulakonda (Illustrator).
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