Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Nominees Round Up, Summer Edition

Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See the full list below.

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the officially nominated titles to date. These titles have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple team members, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, each team will choose the final list of nominations and determine the Selected List’s Top Ten from these titles. Since we skipped our March Quarterly Round-Up, this post catches you up on all titles officially nominated since the committee began its work in January 2023. For brevity, we have not included official nominations of subsequent volumes in ongoing series in this round-up, only first volumes and standalone titles. 

–Kelley Blue, GGN Coordinator

83 Days in Mariupol: A War Diary. By Don Brown. Art by the author. 2023. 128p. Clarion Books, hardcover, $22.99 (9780063311565). Gr. 10-12. 947.7086.

This journalistic nonfiction graphic novel focuses on the siege of Mariupol and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A Blanket of Butterflies: The Spirit of Denendeh, vol. 1. By Richard Van Camp. Art by Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk and Nickolej Villiger. 2022. 56p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920404). Gr. 10-12. 741.5971.

A former Yakuza’s search for lost family armor leads him to a Dene community where the armor has ended up mysteriously.

A First Time for Everything. By Dan Santat. Art by the author. 2023. 230p. First Second, paper, $14.99 (9781250851048). Gr. 4-6. B.

The summer before his first year in high school, Dan Santat spent a summer abroad, traveling Europe with his classmates and stepping outside his comfort zone.

Belle of the Ball. By Mari Costa. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250784124). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Feelings get complicated between mascot Belle, cheerleader Regina, and all-star athlete Chloe in this refreshing take on the high school love triangle.

Blue Box, vol. 1. By Kouji Miura. Art by the author. 2022. 192p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974734627). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

In this light sports-romance manga, badminton player Taiki admires basketball star Chinatsu, who inspires him to become a better athlete.

Call the Name of the Night, vol. 1. By Tama Mitsuboshi. Art by the author. 2023. 194p. Yen Press, paper, $13.00 (9781975352004). General Adult. 741.5952.

Is Mira gifted or cursed? With the help of a new mentor and some shadowy spirits, Mira may learn to feel good about her strange powers.

Charisma’s Turn. By Monique Couvson. Art by Amanda Jones. 2023. 128p. The New Press, hardcover, $19.99 (9781620974018). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

After repeat suspensions for fighting, Charisma is given an alternative way to work out her issues at school: lead the social justice club.

DC vs. Vampires, vol. 1. By James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg. Art by Otto Schmidt. 2022. 160p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779516794). 741.5973.

A master vampire is turning heroes and villains alike into vampires. The Justice League is compromised. Can Batman save the day?

D&D Dungeon Club, vol. 1: Roll Call. By Molly Knox Ostertag. Art by Xanthe Bouma. 2022. 208p. HarperAlley, hardcover, $19.99 (9780063039247). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Jess and Olivia have a long-running, two-person D&D campaign. When Olivia wants to bring in new players, Jess worries about their friendship.

Dinosaur Sanctuary, vol. 1. By Itaru Kinoshita and Shin-ichi Fujiwara. Art by Itaru Kinoshita. 2022. 194p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781685793241). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

A dinosaur sanctuary in Japan faces financial ruin, but the staff is determined not to close. Yes, the dinosaurs are real!

Doughnuts and Doom. By Balazs Lorinczi. Art by the author. 2022. 136p. Top Shelf Productions, paper, $14.99 (9781603095136). Gr. 7-9. 741.5941.

Magical Margot heads to a local doughnut shop after failing an exam, then accidentally wrecks the shop and curses Elena, who works there. Oops!

DPS Only! By Velinxi. Art by the author. 2022. 432p. Andrew McMeel Publishing, paper, $18.99 (9781524876494). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Vicky’s brother is a big-shot esports player, and he has no idea that she’s been secretly playing (and winning) the same game behind his back.

Embrace Your Size: My Own Body Positivity. By hara. Art by the author. 2022. 160p. Yen Press, paper, $17.00 (9781975347291). General Adult. 306.4.

This nonfiction manga contains vignettes about the creator’s personal experiences with body image and how body positivity does/does not exist in society.

Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam. By Thien Pham. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250809728). Gr. 10-12. 302.

Distinct food memories link the milestones in Thien’s life, from fleeing Vietnam, living in a refugee camp, and coming of age after arriving in America.

Firebird. By Sunmi. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780062981516). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Sophomore Caroline begins tutoring senior Kimberly, and the two strike up an increasingly close relationship while navigating family issues, queer identities, and potential romance.

Freestyle. By Gale Galligan. Art by the author. 2022. 240p. Graphix, paper, $12.99 (9781338045802). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Cory navigates the challenges of 8th grade with members of his dance crew and newfound friend, Sunna, with plenty of moves and yo-yo tricks.

Hollow. By Shannon Watters and Branden Boyer-White. Art by Berenice Nelle. 2022. 176p. Boom Box, paper, $19.99 (9781684158522). Gr. 9-12. 741.5973.

In this standalone retelling, Izzy Crane moves to the town of Sleepy Hollow where “the legend” and the legacy are  all too real.

Hoops. By Matt Tavares. Art by the author. 2023. 215p. Candlewick Press, paper, $12.99 (9781536231953). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Inspired by real players and events, Hoops tells the story of a trailblazing women’s high school basketball team at the dawn of Title IX.

Hungry Ghost. By Victoria Ying. Art by the author. 2023. 198p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250767004). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

A significant life event forces high school senior Valerie to realize that her relationships with food, her body, and her mother are toxic and causing her harm.

In Limbo: A Graphic Memoir. By Deb JJ Lee. Art by the author. 2023. 339p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250252661). Gr. 10-12. B.

This graphic memoir explores some of the author’s most poignant and painful memories of growing up as a Korean-American and perpetually feeling ‘in limbo’ with friends, family, and community.

Insomniacs After School, vol. 1. By Makoto Ojiro. Art by the author. 2023. 178p. VIZ Media, paper, $12.99 (9781974736577). General Adult. 741.5952.

Sleepless high school student Ganta Nakami begins napping in his school’s astronomy observatory with a classmate (and fellow insomniac), Isaki Magari.

It Won’t Always Be Like This: A Graphic Memoir. By Malaka Gharib. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. Ten Speed Press, paper, $19.99 (9781984860293). General Adult. B.

Malaka’s parents divorced, and she now spends summers with her dad in Egypt, where she struggles to understand where she fits within family and culture.

Kwändür. By Cole Pauls. Art by the author. 2022. 140p. Conundrum Press, paper, $25.00 (9781772620771). General Adult. 741.5973.

This collection of shorter comics and zines touches on the artist’s family, culture, and experiences living in Haines Junction, Yukon.

Match Point. By Maddie Gallegos. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. First Second, paper, $14.99 (9781250784148). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Rosie Vo hates racquetball, but her dad, a former champion, wants her to play. Can a new teammate turn things around for Rosie?

Maybe an Artist: A Graphic Memoir. By Elizabeth Montague. Art by the author. 2022. 176p. Random House Studio, paper, $17.99 (9780593307823). Gr. 7-9. B.

This graphic memoir follows artist Liz Montague’s life from childhood to the start of her professional career as a Black female cartoonist.

Mermaid Scales and the Town of Sand. By Yoko Komori. Art by the author. 2023. 408p. VIZ Media, paper, $19.99 (9781974734658). General Adult. 741.5952.

Tokiko and her father move from Tokyo to a small seaside town with a strange mystery. Can Tokiko and her new friend Yoskue discover the truth?

Miss Miyazan Would Love to Get Closer to You, vol. 1. By Akitaka. Art by the author. 2022. 146p. Kodansha, paper, $12.95 (9781647291419). General Adult. 741.5952.

Transfer students Miyazen and Matsubayashi are from different worlds but are drawn to each other at their new school. Shyness makes getting closer a lengthy process.

Monkey Meat. By Juni Ba. Art by the author. 2022. 160p. Image Comics, paper, $16.99 (9781534323230). General Adult. 741.5973.

Welcome to a wacky world where the Monkey Meat corporation rules, and their products might give you supernatural powers!

Muhammad Najem, War Reporter: How One Boy Put the Spotlight on Syria. By Muhammad Najem and Nora Neus. Art by Julie Robine. 2022. 320p. Little, Brown Ink, paper, $12.99 (9780759556904). Gr. 4-6. 956.9104.

After losing nearly everything to war, teenager Muhammad gathers the stories of Syrian children and makes a global impact with his reporting.

My Life Among Humans. By Jed McGowan. Art by the author. 2023. 96p. Oni Press, hardcover, $19.99 (9781637151990). General Adult. 741.5973.

An alien is forced to collect data on an Earth family secretly, but observing humans leads him down a path of discovery and revelation.

Numb to This: Memoir of a Mass Shooting. By Kindra Neely. Art by the author. 2022. 304p. Little, Brown & Co., paper, $17.99 (9780316462099). Gr. 7-9. 362.88/B.

The author recounts a mass shooting at her college and explores what it is like to be a survivor in an age epidemic of gun violence.

Pardalita. By Joana Estrela. Art by the author. 2023. 224p. Levine Querido, paper, $16.99 (9781646142569). Gr. 7-9. 741.5946.

A coming-of-age story told in poems and panels about 16-year-old Raquel and her developing relationship with alluring drama student Pardalita.

Saving Sunshine. By Saadia Faruqi. Art by Shazleen Khan. 2023. 224p. First Second, paper, $14.99 (9781250793812). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

On a family trip to Key West, bickering twins Zara and Zeeshan have their phones confiscated to help them learn to get along.

Sea Serpent’s Heir, bk. 1: Pirates Daughter. By Mairghread Scott. Art by Pablo Tunica. 2022. 160p. Image Comics, paper, $14.99 (9781534321298). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Aella’s mom keeps a BIG secret from her: Aella is the reincarnation of the demonic sea serpent Xir, destined to destroy the world.

Show-ha Shoten!, vol. 1. By Akinari Asakura. Art by Takeshi Obata. 2023. 192p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736829). General Adult. 741.5952.

Introvert Azemichi Shijima and extrovert Taiyo Higashikata share a love of comedy. Can they make it as a standup duo?

Space Trash, vol. 1. By Jenn Woodall. Art by the author. 2022. 96p. Oni Press, hardcover, $21.99 (9781637150405). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

Sent to a reformatory high school on the moon, Stab, Yuki, and Una want nothing more than to find a way back to Earth.

Sunshine: How One Camp Taught Me About Life, Death, and Hope. By Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. Graphix, paper, $14.99 (9781338356311). Gr. 7-9. 302.

In this graphic memoir, Krosoczka recounts his experiences as a teen counselor at Camp Sunshine, a camp for seriously ill children and their families.

Talli, Daughter of the Moon, vol. 1. By Sourya. Art by the author. 2022. 168p. Oni Press, paper, $19.99 (9781637150825). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

Talli discovers she is a summoner, a descendent of the moon goddess, forced to live on the run with a ragtag group of allies.

The Infinity Particle. By Wendy Xu. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. Quill Tree Books, paper, $18.99 (9780062955760). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.
From the co-creator of Mooncakes: Young scientist Clementine Change moves to Mars and begins a blossoming romance with a humanoid AI named Kye.

The Keeper. By Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes. Art by Marco Finnegan. 176p. Abrams Comic Arts, hardcover, $24.99 (9781419751554). General Adult. 741.5973.

Aisha’s grandmother promised she would never end up in the foster system. Even when she dies, someone (or something) keeps  her promise to Aisha.

The Keeper: Soccer, Me, and the Law That Changed Women’s Lives. By Kelcey Ervick. Art by the author. 2022. 336p. Avery Publishing Group, paper, $27.00 (9780593539187). General Adult. B.

One athlete’s personal history with Title IX is interspersed with factual details about the fight for equality in women’s sports and the history of women’s soccer.

The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel. By Antonio Iturbe and Salva Rubio. Art by Loreto Aroca. 2023. 144p. Laura Godwin Books, paper, $14.99 (9781250842985). Gr. 10-12. 741.5946.

This graphic adaptation of the YA novel is based on the life of Dita Kraus, who was entrusted with keeping forbidden books safe in Auschwitz.

The Moth Keeper. By K. O’Neill. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. Random House Graphic, paper, $13.99 (9780593182260). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

Anya becomes the apprentice Moth Keeper for her nocturnal village, but the job is more difficult than she imagined.

The Tryout: A Graphic Novel. By Christina Soontornvat. Art by Joanna Cacao. 2022. 272p. Graphix, paper, $12.99 (9781338741261). Gr. 4-6. B.

In this graphic memoir, Christina recounts the experience of trying out for cheerleading as the only Asian-American in her Texas middle school.

The Witch’s Throne, vol. 1. By Cedric Caballes. Art by the author. 2022. 320p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $15.99 (9781524876500). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Inspired by the heroic stories of her childhood, young alchemist Agni ventures out to become a Throne Seeker, picking up three companions haphazardly along the way.

The Witches of Silverlake, vol. 1. By Simon Curtis. Art by Stephanie Son. 2023. 200p. Legendary Comics, paper, $19.99 (9781681160849). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

After a tumultuous year, Elliot enrolls at a new private school where he befriends a group of misfits but soon discovers they are witches.

The World After the Fall, vol. 1. By S-Cynan. Art by Undead Gamja. 2022. 280p. Ize Press, paper, $20.00 (9798400900044). Gr. 7-9. 741.5951.

Jaewhan is the last of the Tower Walkers, an elite group of ‘chosen ones’ selected to climb the levels of dystopian towers filled with monsters.

Tower of God, vol. 1. By S.I.U. Art by the author. 2022. 288p. Webtoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259906). Gr. 7-9. 741.5951.

Welcome to the Tower. Everyone’s dream is to ascend it. Hundreds will try; few, if any, will rise to its challenges.

Twelfth Grade Night: Arden High, bk. 1. By Molly Horton Booth and Stephanie Kate Strohm. Art by Jamie Green. 2022. 160p. Disney-Hyperion, paper, $14.99 (9781368064651). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

Twins Vi and Sebastian start a new year at different schools. Soon Vi is swept up in some Shakespearean-level romantic drama. Literally!

Unfamiliar, vol. 1. By Haley Newsome. Art by the author. 2022. 160p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $15.99 (9781524876838). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

A culinary witch named Planchette gathers help from new friends and familiars to exercise the many ghosts living in her new home.

Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice. By Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes. Art by Dawud Anyabwile. 2022. 208p. Norton Young Readers, paper, $17.95 (9781324052159). Gr. 7-9. B.

Track-and-field gold medalist and civil rights icon Tommie Smith recounts his life leading up to his participation in the 1968 Summer Olympics in this riveting and relevant graphic memoir.

Villains Are Destined to Die, vol. 1. By Gwon Gyeoeul. Art by Suol. 2022. 256p. Ize Press, paper, $20.00 (9798400900006). General Adult. 741.5952.

Ever fall asleep grinding too many hours on a new RPG? Careful! You may wake up inside the game.On hard mode. As the villain.

We Survived the Holocaust: The Bluma and Felix Goldberg Story. By Frank W. Baker. Art by Tim Ogline. 156p. Imagine and Wonder, paper, $19.99 (9781637610206). Gr. 7-9. 900/B.

This graphic biography follows the lives of Bluma and Felix Goldberg from childhood, life inside German concentration camps, and their years together after the war.