The 50 best comics and graphic novels for children

It’s pretty easy to watch most of the Big Two comics and assume that all comics these days are meant for adults only. However, if you look at the bestseller lists for graphic novels, they are books for children that, by and large, get most copies in the hands of readers. From funny stories to heartbreaking coming-of-age stories, children of all ages rave about comics … especially comics that have been specially written for them.

The fact is, we live in a golden age of children’s comics. Almost all major traditional publishers have created graphic novel prints suitable for children in recent years because children devour these books and beg for more. Even DC and Marvel are finally bringing more children’s comics to the table, especially DC with its line of young readers and middle-class graphic novels. In view of the large selection of books and the upcoming holidays, how do you choose the right one for your special young reader? We have put together 50 of the best children’s comics to help you decide.

Note: This list contains no information about manga. This is a completely different list.

Sci-Fu

Yehudi Mercado

Meet Max, a young Mixmaster from the 1980s in Brooklyn. He is very good at what he does, but when he scratches the perfect beat, it catches the attention of robots from the planet Discopia! Max, his family, his best friend and his crush are all kidnapped and they have to learn the “intergalactic musical martial arts of Sci-Fu” if they want to save their skin and the earth. Old school hip hop meets old school science fiction in this fun comic.

Buy it on Comixology | Oni Press | Your local comic book store

American born Chinese

Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang, former National Ambassador for Youth Literature, is known for thoughtful writing and beautiful graphics. This graphic novel, which won the Eisner Prize, is a perfect example of both. American Born Chinese consists of three different stories that examine the Chinese tradition and diasporic identity of many Chinese Americans. While the stories appear to be completely separate at first, readers will slowly discover the coherent message between the three stories.

Buy it on DC Comics | Macmillian | Your local comic book store

Little Titans (Series)

Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani

The Tiny Titans books contain several fun short stories (and some individual comics) about the different pals of the DC universe as children. The series is a wonderful way for young readers to learn more about DC superheroes and at the same time see how their favorites experience silly adventures. Parents who are fans of comics will also enjoy little inside jokes from classic comic stories, but everything is still child-friendly.

Buy it on Comixology | DC Comics | Your local comic book store

Owly (series)

Andy Ruton

The title Owly is a kind and adventurous bird who likes to make friends and help solve problems. The series is largely dialog-free and is therefore perfect for younger children who want to switch from picture books to challenging visual stories. The gorgeous art style enchanted children and adults alike and awarded Owly with an Eisner, Harvey and Ignatz Prize. In addition to the graphic novels, Ruton offers several free short stories with Owly on its website.

Buy it on Scholastic | Your local comic book store

All’s fair in middle school

Victoria Jamieson

Impy is 11 years old and finally goes to public school after years of schooling. But she’s not an average student – her family is part of the local Renaissance fair. The children at school are more judgmental than expected, and Impy soon begins to feel ashamed of their life as a squire in training. After a few mistakes and difficult lessons, Impy learns to embrace who she wants to be and to stand up for others like a real knight would.

Buy it on Penguin Random House | Your local comic book store

Aquicorn Cove

Katie O’Neill

After a big storm, Lana discovers a hidden colony of aqua grains, magical creatures that look a bit like seahorses. Her aunt encourages her to save an aqua grain that has been injured in the storm and to take good care of it. If a second storm threatens Aquicorn Bay, Lana will have to find a way to protect her new friends, even if that means standing up to her own people. Aquicorn Cove is a beautifully drawn book about protecting our oceans and the life in them.

Buy it on Comixology | Oni Press | Your local comic book store

How the crow flies

Melanie Gillman

Charlie Lamonte spends a week of her summer at Camp Three Peaks, a very white, very “traditional” Christian hideaway, whose messages have changed little since it was founded in the 19th century. Charlie certainly doesn’t fit Three Peak’s vision of a perfect motorhome. It quickly becomes difficult to enjoy the camping and adventure parts of the retreat when the rhetoric against outsiders like this is so strong. It is a great book for young queer readers but also for heterosexual readers to learn more about queer experiences.

Buy it on Comixology | Iron Circus | Your local comic book store

Calvin & Hobbes (series)

Bill Watterson

For many readers, daily comics are the first comics they are interested in. And while the series ended almost three decades ago, Bill Watterson’s comic book about a mischievous boy and his stuffed tiger still delights readers and remains relevant. With these collected volumes, children can read a lot instead of waiting day after day!

Buy it on Andrews McMeel | Your local comic book store

The shark king

Kikuo R. Johnson

A long time ago, a boy named Nanaue was born in Hawaii to a human virgin and the mythical shark king. The shark king returned to the ocean hoping to protect his son. The young Nanaue is not safe on land and has to travel the sea to find his father. The Shark King not only tells a compelling adventure story, but also teaches young readers about Hawaiian myths and traditions.

Buy it on Toon Books | Your local comic book store

DC Super Hero Girls (series)

Shea Fontana, Yancey Labat

Based on the cartoons, DC Super Hero Girls’ comic novels have become DC’s best sellers. The stories of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Bumblebee and all of their friends who participate in Super Hero High are popular with girls and boys alike. Like Tiny Titans, DC Super Hero Girls introduce readers to the larger DC canon and bring them funny stories about their favorite superheroes. Older comic fans will enjoy seeing who makes up the school staff, including Amanda Waller, Gorilla Grodd, and even Crazy Quilt!

Buy it on Comixology | DC Comics | Your local comic book store

The Backstagers (series)

James Tynion IV., Rian Sygh, Walter Baiamonte, Jim Campbell

Jory is super intimidated on his first day at school, but quickly finds his place among the friendly, hardworking theater stage crew called the Backstageers. It turns out that theater is literally magical, and the back door leads to other dimensions and amazing adventures with new friends. This beautiful series shows healthy friendships and boys who are not afraid to share their feelings.

Buy it on Comixology | Boom Studios | Your local comic book store

The unstoppable wasp

Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier, Gurihiru, Alti Firmansyah, Espen Grundetjern and Vc Joe Caramagna

The young Nadia is the new wasp and she is not alone in the fight against bad guys! With the support of Janet Van Dyne, the original wasp, Nadia recruits brilliant scientists to form a team. With the representatives of G.I.R.L. (Genius In Action Research Labs) by her side there’s nothing Nadia can’t fix … right? With this diverse cast of characters, readers can see how there’s no way to be a hero.

Buy it on Comixology | Marvel | Your local comic book store

El Deafo

CeCe Bell, Dan Lasky

CeCe Bells from the critically acclaimed comic tells of her own experience with hearing loss at the age of four. Eventually CeCe got a phonetic ear, an uncomfortable but powerful hearing aid. When the strange-looking hearing aid alienated her from her classmates, CeCe created her alter ego – El Deafo, “Listener for All”. With her imagination, El Deafo hugs and finds a true friend along the way.

Buy it on Comixology | Abrams | Your local comic book store

Hilo (series)

Judd Winick

J.D. and Gina are normal children with a normal life. That means they see a boy falling out of the stratosphere. Her new friend Hilo doesn’t know where he came from or how he came to earth. Oh yes, and he has strange powers! Hilo may be a bit strange (and doesn’t understand normal earthly child things), but the life of J.D. and Gina never gets boring again. With fun dialogues and a focus on friendship, Hilo is a fan favorite among children.

Buy it on Random House | Your local comic book store

lumberjack

Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson

Welcome to the camp of Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet for Hardcore Lady Types! The Lumberjane Scouts (especially the girls in the Roanoke Cabin) are looking forward to an adventurous summer. Little do they know the secrets and dangers lurking in the nearby forests. Join Jo, April, Molly, Mal and Ripley as they investigate strange events and earn badges of merit.

Buy it on Comixology | Boom Studios | Your local comic book store

smile

Raina Telgemeier

Raina Telgemeier, the reigning queen of children’s graphics, will appear several times in this list. These memoirs explore Raina’s childhood experience with braces, a topic many children know well. After a severe fall that unbalances her two front teeth, young Raina has to deal with braces, surgery and embarrassing headgear. She also has problems with boys, fake friends, and other heart problems. Like Beverly Cleary before her, Raina sums up the bittersweet embarrassment of middle school.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

sisters

Raina Telgemeier

Smile’s companion, Sisters, focuses on Raina’s childhood relationship with her little sister. Raina and Amara don’t always get on, but when a third child shows up and their parents’ relationship begins to change, the girls get closer and learn to support each other through the good and the bad.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Derek Charm and Rico Renzi

Doreen Green has both the powers of a squirrel and a girl. She prevented Galactus from eating the earth and Dr. Doom (twice!) Beaten up. If Doreen were in the MCU, Infinity War would have been much shorter. And in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Doreen faces her biggest challenge yet – her bachelor’s degree in computer science! While our heroine is a college student, younger readers will love her optimism, focus on empathy and prudence towards violence, and the different cameos of other Marvel heroes.

Buy it on Comixology | Marvel | Your local comic book store

Fürstenlos

Jeremy Whitley, Mia Goodwin, Emily Martin, Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt

Princess Adrienne’s parents locked her in a tower. This happens to all princesses so that a prince comes and proves that it is worth marrying them. But when a bored Adrienne becomes friends with the dragon guarding her tower, she realizes that there is no reason why she can’t escape her prison. In addition, it’s time for a little riot – time to help all the other princesses leave their towers.

Buy it on Comixology | Action Lab | Your local comic book store

Dog man (series)

Dav Pilkey

If your child is a fan of Captain Underpants books, be sure to check out these comics. Dog Man was originally the children’s comic book in the universe of Captain Underpants and tells the story of a hero who is partly dog, partly man, completely hero. With his loyal buddy Cat Kid, Dog Man saves the day and learns important lessons. You may also notice the funny homages to classic literature.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

Click (series)

Kayla Miller

When Olivia’s school announces a fun variety show for students, she is surprised that all of her friends have formed groups to perform without them. As someone who seems to be liked by everyone, Olive doesn’t understand why she is alone now. Click and the sequels camp and the upcoming act explore the complicated world of middle school friendships and learn who you are. But do not worry. In the end everything works.

Buy it on Comixology | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Your local comic book store

The babysitter club (series)

Raina Telgemeier, Gale Galligan, Ann M. Martin

Ann M. Martin’s successful Scholastic series has been popular with young readers for decades, and the recent tweaks to the graphic novel help bring these stories to a new generation. See Kristy, Mary-Ann, Claudia, and Stacy grow together as friends as they navigate school, fall in love with a group, frustrate siblings, and run their growing babysitting business. There are up to seven comic book adaptations and they will be included in the Little Sisters books.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

Fürstenlos – Raven the Pirate Princess

Jeremy Whitley, Ted Brandt and Rosy Higgens

In this spin-off from Princeless, the titular raven was placed in a tower by her pirate father, and her lazy brothers took the pirate fleet that was rightly hers. Now free from her prison, Raven assembles her own ship crew to go after her brothers and regain her birthright. This is a great book for older children looking for an exciting adventure on the high seas. You are sure to find a new favorite character among Raven’s brave, lively crew.

Buy it on Comixology | Action Lab | Your local comic book store

Moon girl and devil dinosaur

Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, Natacha Bustos and Ray-Anthony Height

Lunella Lafayette is a great genius, but nobody seems to take her seriously. She really needs a girlfriend … luckily a bright red T-Rex is teleported from a country ahead of time and falls straight into her neighborhood. Thanks to her inhuman genes, Lunella discovers that she has a mental connection to this devil dinosaur and soon they will be the wildest superhero duo in New York.

Buy it on Comixology | Marvel | Your local comic book store

Baba Yaga’s assistant

Marika McCoola, Emily Carroll

Masha runs away from home to join the fabled Baba Yaga in the forest. The witch woman is known to eat children, but Masha wants to be her assistant. Baba Yaga agrees to let her stay, but only if she does some tricky tests. Masha is smart and ready for the challenge, but Baba Yaga has more to teach her than she realizes.

Buy it on Penguin Random House | Your local comic book store

The Cardboard Kingdom

Chad Sell, Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs and Barbara Perez Marquez

A neighborhood of children turns cardboard into castles and costumes that work together throughout the summer to create their own cardboard kingdom. The award-winning graphic novel was a collaboration of 11 different writers who were interwoven through the beautiful graphics by Chad Sell. While each chapter focuses on one or two of the children, they all work towards the messages of creativity, empathy, and love for who you are. Disclosure: I am one of the contributors to this book.

Buy it on Penguin Random House | Your local comic book store

Li’l Gotham (series)

Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs

Damien Wayne, the current Robin, is very serious about being a superhero – he could use some fun. Li’l Gotham takes place all year round, while Damien’s friends and Batfamily show him the joy of different holidays and seasons. Children can see different superheroes (and bad guys) interacting as they learn about different vacation traditions.

Buy it on Comixology | DC Comics | Your local comic book store

Amulet (series)

Kazu Kibuishi

When her mother is lured into a mysterious cellar door in her old family home, Em and Navin follow her and discover a whole new dark universe of monsters, robots and talking animals. With a mystical amulet, Em and her brother find allies and become heroes themselves as they work to save their mother and protect their friends. With eight books and one count, this series is ideal for readers who want to immerse themselves in an adventure epic.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

Hex Vet (series)

Sam Davies

Nan and Clarion are two passionate witches who specialize in monster veterinary medicine. From familiar to phoenix, they are here to ensure that magical creatures are happy and healthy. If puzzles arise, Nan and Clarion must work together as a team to save their patients. Children who loved Hagrid in Harry Potter will be delighted with the many monsters they will find in this adorable series, especially Davies’ colorful style.

Buy it on Comixology | Simon and Schuster | Your local comic book store

Bones (series)

Jeff Smith

This long-standing, critically acclaimed series is about three cousins ​​who are thrown out of their home in Boneville and face the vast, wild world in front of them. Much like the hobbit led to Lord of the Rings, the series begins as a humor book and evolves into a darker (but still funny) fantasy story. This is a series that your kids can really grow into … as long as they don’t spur the whole series on.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

ghosts

Raina Telgemeier

Cat’s little sister, Maya, suffers from cystic fibrosis and her family moves to the cool coastal town of Bahía de la Luna in Northern California to help her feel better day by day. But the sisters learn that the city is full of ghosts. Maya may be excited to meet these ghosts, but Cat doesn’t want anything to do with it. More than that, she is afraid that Maya will join them. Ghosts deals with chronic illnesses and deaths in a child-friendly manner and does not speak to them.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

Black Canary: Ignite

Meg Cabot, Cara McGee

This recently released DC comic submerges the fans’ favorite heroine on the way to high school. The 13-year-old Dinah Lance loves to play in her rock band and wants to fight crimes like her cop father. But when her family and friends are attacked by a mysterious stranger, Dinah learns about her mother’s secret story and the gifts she inherited. Maybe she’ll even save the day herself.

Buy it on Comixology | DC Comics | Your local comic book store

Drawn together

Minh Lê, Dan Santat

A young boy visits his grandfather, but neither of them speaks the other’s language. The power of art and the love of visual storytelling bridge the language gap, and these two generations can share their experiences. Drawn Together, a mix of picture book and comic, is a great choice for early readers, but the message is good for all ages.

Buy it on Disney Books | Your local comic book store

Nimona

Noelle Stevenson

Nimona is a brazen young shapeshifter who needs a mentor. She quickly becomes an apprentice / buddy of the evil Lord Ballister Blackheart, enemy of Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. But is Lord Blackheart really the bad guy in this story? This comic book teaches older children that things are not always what they seem. Heads up: cartoonist Stevenson also runs Netflix cartoon She-Ra. Fans of the show in particular should watch this book.

Buy it on Comixology | Harper Collins | Your local comic book store

Mr. Wolf’s class (series)

Aron Nels Steinke

These charming books tell different stories from the fourth grade of Mr. Wolf. The children have various problems and many adventures while Mr. Wolf tries to help them as much as possible. Elementary school readers will definitely grapple with these stories, and teachers will absolutely relate to Mr. Wolf’s challenges.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

Gotham Academy

Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, Karl Kershl, Michele Assarasakron, Dave McCaig, John Rauch

What is life like for high school students in Gotham City? Not as fun as you expect. Olive and her friend Maps visit the prestigious Gotham Academy prep school, whose creepy halls hold secrets as old as the city itself. But while the two best friends are investigating the strange events in their school, Olive has some secrets for himself … and they wonder why she hates Batman so much. This series is perfect for fans of high school manga and Nancy Drew alike.

Buy it on Comixology | DC Comics | Your local comic book store

theatre

Raina Telgemeier

Callie can’t sing, but she really wants to be part of her school’s musical. She thinks she can be a stage designer, but things get complicated quickly. Callie has a lot to offer, from the feud of crew members to the dwindling early sale of tickets to two cute brothers who join the production. Crushes, egos and carpentry collide in this best-selling graphic novel.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

Dear Justice League

Michael Northrop, Gustavo Duarte

What if your kids could send questions to their favorite superheroes? In Dear Justice League, DC superheroes answer children’s fan mail. Readers learn about Wonder Woman’s 11th birthday, whether Aquaman actually smells of fish, and whether Superman ever makes mistakes. In this fun book, kids can see that these heroes are just humans – even the Kryptonians.

Buy it on Comixology | DC Comics | Your local comic book store

This summer

Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki

Young friends Rose and Windy always spend the summer together in the beach town of Awago. But this summer everything is going wrong. From arguing parents to other children who keep dangerous secrets, these two friends have to stick together. This is a great coming-of-age story for younger teenagers and teenagers.

Buy it on Scholastic | Your local comic book store

Hilda (series)

Luke Pearson

Hilda loves to experience adventures in the wild forests near her, especially when she meets fantastic creatures like trolls and giants! When she moves to the quiet town of Trolberg with her mother, Hilda makes new friends and finds the magic in the world. If your kids love the Hilda Netflix series, they’ll love the original comic series.

Buy it on Penguin Random House | Your local comic book store

Roller girl

Victoria Jameson

11-year-old Astrid is really looking forward to the Roller Derby Camp, but her best friend Nicole visits a dance camp instead. As she feels her friendship with Nicole weakening, Astrid has to branch out in the camp and build new relationships – and be the best scooter girl she can be. As with Alls Faire in middle school, Victoria Jameson explores the intricate emotions an adolescent brings and teaches readers about a fun hobby that they may not know about.

Buy it on Scholastic | Your local comic book store

The witch boy (series)

Molly Easter day

The rules in the Aster community are simple: boys become shapeshifters, girls witches. Everything else is strictly forbidden. But Asher can’t change, and he’s much more interested in witchcraft. If something goes after the other boys, Asher decides to devote himself entirely to witchcraft to solve the puzzle. The witch boy encourages readers to break strict gender rules and instead be their best selves.

Buy it on Scholastic | Your local comic book store

Ms. Marvel (series)

G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Jake Wyatt, Takeshi Miyazawa and Nico Leon

Kamala Khan has won the hearts of Marvel readers around the world since its first edition in 2014. Young Kamala is a big fan of Captain Marvel and wants to do amazing things with her life. When her inhuman powers suddenly become activated and give her growing, shrinking, and stretching powers, Kamala decides to take Carol Danver’s previous title and make it her own.

Buy it on Comixology | Marvel | Your local comic book store

guts

Raina Telgemeier

Guts, Telgemeier’s third childhood memory, deals with chronic health problems that she experienced as a teenager. It starts off as a bad stomach defect, but after Raina has overcome the initial illness, she still has abdominal pain. While she is dealing with certain foods, maintaining strong friendships, and working at school, her stomach discomfort worsens. The graphic novel destigmatizes these taboo health problems and lets the children know that they don’t have to be in pain alone.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

Tea Dragon Society (series)

Katie O’Neill

Greta learns to be a blacksmith. When she comes across a lost tea kite in the market, she meets two tea shop owners and learns the dying art of taking care of tea kites. Soon she will learn how to take care of tea kites and discover how this art form is changing her life for the better. O’Neill’s beautiful art really shines in this enchanting series of books.

Buy it on Comixology | Oni Press | Your local comic book store

Mega Princess

Kelly Thompson, Brianne Drouhard

Above all, 10-year-old Princess Max wants to be a great detective. Apparently her fairy godmother didn’t get the memo because she gave Max the powers of every princess in the known universe. Max pouts at this crappy gift when the alarm goes off – her little brother has disappeared! Now Max and her clever pony horse must use these new princess powers to solve the riddle and save her brother.

Buy it on Comixology | Boom Studios | Your local comic book store

New child

Jerry Craft

Jordan Banks has a hard time in seventh grade. He is not only the new child, but also one of the few colored children in this very respected, very white private school. He doesn’t know where to fit in school, but he also struggles with his old friendships in his neighborhood. Many readers will get in touch with Jordan’s situation and enjoy his journey to find his place by being himself.

Buy it on Comixology | Harper Collins | Your local comic book store

Supergirl: 8th grade comic book adventure

Landry Q. Walker, Eric Jones

There are many different Supergirl stories, and this one is about a preteen falling to Earth and drawing the attention of her cousin Superman! With the pseudonym Linda Lee, Supergirl can go to school and be like any other earthling. But maybe finding (and keeping) friends is always more difficult than fighting super villains.

Buy it on Comixology | DC Comics | Your local comic book store

Hey kiddo

Jarrett J. Krosoczka

In this moving graphic novel memoir, Krosoczka shares his experience with a largely absent addicted mother and not a father in his life. The young Jerrett is raised by loving (and empathetic) grandparents and takes years to fully put together his family history. Through his love of art and self-reflection, he finds out who his parents are and who he is. Hey Kiddo was a finalist in the National Book Award and is worthy of praise.

Buy it on Comixology | Schulisch | Your local comic book store

Cleopatra in space

Mike Maihack

The young Cleopatra (yes, this Cleopatra) finds a strange tablet that she zaps into the distant, distant future from Egypt to space. It turns out that it is destined to save the entire galaxy! Während der gesamten Serie muss Cleopatra gegen Übeltäter auf Planeten weit über der Erde kämpfen… und gleichzeitig die Yasiro-Akademie besuchen, um ihre Heldenfähigkeiten (und Algebra) zu verbessern. Freundschaft und Abenteuer erwarten den einen und zukünftigen Pharao!

Kaufen Sie es auf Comixology | Schulisch | Ihr lokaler Comicladen

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