Best Autobiographical Graphic Novels

Top 10 Best Autobiographical Graphic Novels : Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Stitches, The Infinite Wait and Other Stories, Smile, Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, Over Easy, Drinking at the Movies, One Hundred Demons, The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
AuthorAlison Bechdel
In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father.

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had...
AuthorDavid Small
One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had cancer and was expected to die.

AuthorJulia Wertz
The Infinite Wait and Other Stories is the latest book from Julia Wertz, the critically acclaimed author of The Fart Party Vols. 1 and 2 (Atomic Books, 2007 and 2009) and Drinking at the Movies (Random House, 2010). In contrast to her last book, which was a full-length graphic memoir, The Infinite Wait...
AuthorRaina Telgemeier
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached....
Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama
AuthorAlison Bechdel
A graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel becoming the artist her mother wanted to be.

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also...
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me
AuthorEllen Forney
Cartoonist Ellen Forney explores the relationship between “crazy” and “creative” in this graphic memoir of her bipolar disorder, woven with stories of famous bipolar artists and writers.

Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly...
AuthorMimi Pond
A fast-paced semi-memoir about diners, drugs, and California in the 1970s.

Over Easy is a brilliant portrayal of a familiar coming-of-age story. After being denied financial aid to cover her last year of art school, Margaret finds salvation from the straightlaced world of college and the...
AuthorJulia Wertz
In her first full-length graphic memoir, Julia Wertz (creator of the cult-hit comic The Fart Party) documents the year she left San Francisco for the unfamiliar streets of New York. Don’t worry—this isn’t the typical redemptive coming-of-age tale of a young woman and her glorious triumph over...
One Hundred Demons
AuthorLynda Barry
In this graphic novel that's part memoir and part creativity primer, Lynda Barry serves up comics that delve into the funk and sweetness of love, family, adolescence, race, and the hood. Name that Demon!!! Freaky boyfriends! Shouting Moms! Innocence betrayed! These are some of the pickled demons...
The Diary of a Teenage Girl: An Account in Words and Pictures
AuthorPhoebe Gloeckner
"I don't remember being born. I was a very ugly child. My appearance has not improved so I guess it was a lucky break when he was attracted by my youthfulness." So begins the wrenching diary of Minnie Goetze, a fifteen-year-old girl longing for love and acceptance and struggling with her own precocious...
I Never Liked You
AuthorChester Brown
In one of the best graphic novels published in recent years, Chester Brown tells the story of his alienated youth in an almost detached, understated manner, giving the book an eerie, dream-like quality. For the new 2002 definitive softcover edition Brown has designed new layouts for the entire book,...
Carnet de Voyage
AuthorCraig Thompson
This is one of those ratings that I fully admit may not be equally applicable to everyone picking up this book. Yes, it's very, very good, but what makes it a five star for me may not hold true for everyone else. But oh. For me? For me, this is the book I never knew I wanted to read until I held it in my hands, and...
Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began
AuthorArt Spiegelman
Acclaimed as a quiet triumph and a brutally moving work of art, the first volume of Art Spieglman's Maus introduced readers to Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself....
AuthorJeffrey Brown
Jeffrey Brown's crude artistic style is certainly an acquired taste, and many may not get past his drawings. However, those willing to delve into his comics will find that his style coincides nicely with the intensely personal nature of his stories. Brown, in both his art and his writing, not only brings...
French Milk
AuthorLucy Knisley
A place where young Americans can seek poetic magic in the winding streets of a beautiful city. The museums, the cafs, the parks. An artist like Lucy can really enjoy Paris in January. If only she can stop griping at her mother. This comic journal details a mother and daughters month-long stay in a small...
Make Me a Woman
AuthorVanessa Davis
Make Me a Woman offers charming vignettes about being young, Jewish, and single

It's easy to understand why Vanessa Davis has taken the comics industry by storm and is poised to do the same with the world at large—her comics are pure chutzpah, gorgeously illustrated in watercolors. No story...
AuthorJeffrey Brown
I liked this a lot because it very clearly illustrated how people lie to themselves (and therefore the other person) at the start of relationships; they want to be a better person, so they tell the person that they're better than they are. They say, "I don't do drugs anymore," or "I have no interest in that...
My New York Diary
AuthorJulie Doucet

Back in print is the classic graphic novel by the acclaimed (though no longer working in comics) iconic artist Julie Doucet. In one of the first contemporary graphic novels, Doucet abruptly packs her bags and moves to New York. Trouble follows her in...
AuthorDavid B.
Hailed by The Comics Journal as one of Europe’s most important and innovative comics artists, David B. has created a masterpiece in Epileptic, his stunning and emotionally resonant autobiography about growing up with an epileptic brother. Epileptic gathers together and makes available in English...
Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?
AuthorLiz Prince
Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed? started out as an exercise in keeping a personal comic journal of the finer points of a relationship, but quickly evolved to become Liz Prince's first solo full length comic. Described as a mix between Jeffrey Brown and James Kochalka, Liz's comic is made up of short...
An Age of License: A Travelogue
AuthorLucy Knisley
Midnight picnics at the Eiffel Tower; wine tastings paired with blowgun lessons; and romance in cafés, cemeteries, and at the Brandenberg Gate--these are just some of New York Times best-selling cartoonist Lucy Knisley's experiences on her 2011 European book tour. An Age of License is both a graphic...
Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
AuthorGuy Delisle
Famously referred to as one of the "Axis of Evil" countries, North Korea remains one of the most secretive and mysterious nations in the world today. In early 2001 cartoonist Guy Delisle became one of the few Westerners to be allowed access to the fortress-like country. While living in the nation's capital...
Kiss and Tell: A Romantic Résumé, Ages 0 to 22
From her father and mother's interracial marriage to her own "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" moments on the playground—from drug experimentation to sexual/identity questions—MariNaomi lays her inner life bare. Kiss & Tell is her funny and frank memoir in graphic form: a fresh and...
AuthorAnanth Panagariya
One of our teen volunteers was the first to recommend the Johnny Wander webcomic to me. I was looking for good webcomics at the time and kept up with it, as well as others I found at the time, ever since. It emerged as one of my favorites.
Ananth and Yuko feel like friends of mine. They're cat people (I'm...
AuthorJustin Green
A lost classic of underground cartooning, Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary is Justin Green's autobiographical portrayal of his struggle with religion and his own neuroses. Binky Brown is a young Catholic battling all the usual problems of adolescence: puberty, parents, and the fear that the...
AuthorGabrielle Bell
The Voyeurs is a real-time memoir of a turbulent five years in the life of renowned cartoonist, diarist, and filmmaker Gabrielle Bell. It collects episodes from her award-winning series Lucky, in which she travels to Tokyo, Paris, the South of France, and all over the United States, but remains anchored...
AuthorJohn Porcellino
Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of The King-Cat Zine

Map of My Heart celebrates the twentieth anniversary of John Porcellino's seminal and influential comics zine, King-Cat Comics, which he started self-publishing in 1989 and which has been his predominant means of expression....
AuthorChester Brown
read this in the bookstore and didn’t buy it shhhhhh don’t tell

I really like Chester Brown and the sort of uncomfortable honesty of his memoir-ish comics is way more appealing to me than that of R. Crumb, who feels more like an actual slime ball. That being said, this entire graphic novel...
AuthorJonathan Ames
Acclaimed novelist Jonathan Ames writes his first comics work with the original graphic novel THE ALCOHOLIC, illustrated by THE QUITTER artist Dean Haspiel.

This touching, compassionate, ultimately humorous story explores the heart of a failing writer who's coming off a doomed romance...
AuthorJoyce Farmer
Joyce Farmer's memoir chronicles the decline of the author's parents' health, their relationship with one another and with their daughter, and how they cope with the day-to-day emotional fragility of the most taxing time of their lives.

Elderly parents Lars and Rachel, who have enjoyed...
Paying for It
AuthorChester Brown

Chester Brown has never shied away from tackling controversial subjects in his work. In his 1992 book, The Playboy, he explored his personal history with pornography. His bestselling 2003 graphic novel, Louis Riel, was a biographical...
AuthorCarol Tyler
You’ll Never Know is the first graphic novel from C. Tyler (Late Bloomer)
and sure to be one of the most acclaimed books of the year. It tells the story of the 50-something author’s relationship with her World War II veteran father, and how his war experience shaped her childhood and affected...
Don't Go Where I Can't Follow
AuthorAnders Nilsen
Don't Go Where I Can't Follow is a tender collection of letters, photographs, and drawings Anders Nilsen has compiled in memory of his fiancee, Cheryl Weaver, who died of cancer in November 2005. It is an appreciation of the time they shared together, and a heartbreaking account of the progression...
AuthorJulia Wertz
After trying and failing at a long distance relationship with her boyfriend in the original Fart Party collection, Julia quits her job and travels from coast to coast, meeting many strangers who will soon become a huge part of her world. She returns to San Francisco to wisecrack her way through a mundane...
Best Of American Splendor
AuthorHarvey Pekar
Experience the heartwarming, all-American story of a crank and his comic book...Thanks to the hit American Splendor movie, Harvey Pekar is now known around the world. But how did a former file clerk from Cleveland and up with an Oscar nomination? The story begins in 1976, when Harvey began publishing...
Alec: The Years Have Pants
AuthorEddie Campbell
For the first time ever, the pioneering autobiographical comics of master cartoonist Eddie Campbell (From Hell) are collected in a single volume Brilliantly observed and profoundly expressed, the ALEC stories present a version of Campbell's own life, filtered through the alter ego of "Alec MacGarry."...
AuthorEmmanuel Guibert
"When I was eighteen, Uncle Sam told me he'd like me to put on a uniform and go off to fight a guy by the name of Adolf. So I did."

When Alan Cope joined the army and went off to fight in World War II, he had no idea what he was getting into. This graphic memoir is the story of his life during wartime, a story...
AuthorKen Dahl
Part fiction and part deranged educational film strip, Monsters focuses both on the physical symptoms and the traumatic emotional damage of an STD that rarely affects two people the same way. Following his acclaimed collection of short comics, Welcome to the Dahlhouse, Ken Dahl cements his status...
Funny Misshapen Body
AuthorJeffrey Brown

Funny Misshapen Body is the story of Jeffrey Brown's evolution as a cartoonist, from his youthful obsession with superhero comics to his disillusionment with fine art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Drawn with Brown's scratchy, spare, trademark style, Funny Misshapen Body resonates...
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert's Story
AuthorDebbie Tung
Sweet, funny, and quietly poignant, Debbie Tung’s comics reveal the ups and downs of coming of age as an introvert.

This illustrated gift book of short comics illuminates author Debbie Tung's experience as an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Presented in a loose narrative style...
They Called Us Enemy
AuthorGeorge Takei
A graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself.

Long before George Takei braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke...
AuthorDavid Heatley
One of the most promising young talents in cartooning makes his debut with a dazzling collection—part freakish dreamlife, part quirk-o-rama autobiography, all genius.

Long a fixture in comics anthologies, David Heatley's deceptively crude, wickedly observant drawings have begun...
It's a Bird...
AuthorSteven T. Seagle
Gorgeously painted by European artist, Teddy Kristiansen, It's a Bird... is a Superman story that doesn't feature Superman at all. Rather, this unique graphic novel explores what the icon of Superman means to the world. Told from the perspective of an author who has written tales about Superman, this...
American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries, Vol. 1
AuthorJames Kochalka
A deluxe compilation of the first five years of James Kochalka's ground breaking daily diary comic strip.
Since October 1998, James Kochalka has kept a daily diary, drawn in comic strip form in his sketchbook. Drawn with relaxed and beautiful brushwork, these strips perfectly capture the rhythm...
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
AuthorRoz Chast
#1 New York Times Bestseller


In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative...
Petty Theft
AuthorPascal Girard
A hilarious romantic comedy about kleptomania and booklovers

Pascal is in a bad place. He’s out of work, he and his longtime girlfriend have just broken up, and when he goes out for a run to ease his frazzled nerves, he falls and injures his back so badly that he’s strictly forbidden from...
The Dumbest Idea Ever!
AuthorJimmy Gownley
What if the dumbest idea ever turned your life upside down?

At thirteen, Jimmy was popular, at the top of his class, and the leading scorer on his basketball team. But all that changed when chicken pox forced him to miss the championship game. Things went from bad to worse when he got pneumonia...
True Porn 2
AuthorRobyn Chapman
True Porn is back The critically acclaimed anthology of autobiographical sex stories has returned for a second volume of funny, heart-breaking, and crazy all-true comics Featuring some today's brightest cartoonists, True Porn Volume 2 is chock full of the real-life exploits of Sam Henderson (Magic...
A User's Guide to Neglectful Parenting
AuthorGuy Delisle
Meditations on fatherhood from the author of Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City

With A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting, the trademark dry humor that pervades Guy Delisle’s landmark and praised graphic travelogues takes center stage. Quick, light vignettes play on the worries...
AuthorJoe Matt
For over ten years Joe Matt has been notorious in cult circles for the embarrassing frankness with which he reveals his distressing habits and predilections. Utterly shameless and completely self-absorbed, Joe Matt writes with an exhibitionist's enthusiasm for his favorite subject, himself.

AuthorHarvey Pekar
""Pekar's most poignant and satisfying effort to date."--THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW"Dean Haspiel. . . .performs with virtuoso flair in THE QUITTER"--THE NEW YORKER"Brutally honest."--ROLLING STONE★"A searingly honest memoir. . . . Pekar's work dignifies the struggle of the average man."--PUBLISHERS...
AuthorHarvey Pekar
A lifelong Cleveland resident, Harvey Pekar (1939-2010) pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the mundane for magic since 1976 in his ongoing American Splendor series. Harvey Pekar''s Cleveland is sadly one of his last, but happily one of his most definitive graphic novels. It combines classic...
Our Cancer Year
AuthorHarvey Pekar
It was they year of Desert Storm that Harvey Pekar and his wife, Joyce Brabner, discovered Harvey had cancer. Pekar, a man who has made a profession of chronicling the Kafkaesque absurdities of an ordinary life - if any life is ordinary - suddenly found himself incapacitated. But he had a better-than-average...
Cancer Vixen
AuthorMarisa Acocella Marchetto
What happens when a shoe-crazy, lipstick-obsessed, wine-swilling, pasta-slurping, fashion-fanatic, single-forever, about-to-get-married big-city girl cartoonist with a fabulous life finds... a lump in her breast?

That/s the question that sets this powerful, funny, and poignant...
AuthorMiriam Engelberg
Miriam Engelberg was forty-three when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like anyone faced with a life-altering personal trauma, she sought out a coping mechanism. While fellow patients championed the benefits of support groups and hypnotherapy, Engelberg found her greatest comfort in drawing,...
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