Many of my students and former students have asked me which graphic novels they should consider teaching in their middle and high school English language arts classes. I’ve also been working with students in the GVSU MA to formulate reading lists for comprehensive exams. The result is a compilation, included below, of works that I think secondary teachers should know. Not all are appropriate for younger readers, but the list as a whole would provide a basic knowledge of the field and some important resources. I’ve divided the list into categories, as shown below. You’ll forgive the lack of formatting and links to the works on Amazon, I trust.

Comics/Graphic Novels Reading List: Pedagogy Focus

Teaching with Graphic Novels
Bitz, M. (2009). Manga High: Literacy, Identity, and Coming of Age in an Urban High School.
Harvard Education Press.
Carter, J. B. (2007). Building Literacy connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by
Panel. NCTE.
Cary, S. (2004). Going Graphic: Comics at Work in the Multilingual Classroom. Heinemann.
Tabachnick, S. E. (Ed.). (2009). Teaching the Graphic Novel. MLA.

Comic History and Theory (in the Comics Medium)
Abel, J., & Madden, M. (2008). Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga,
Graphic Novels, and Beyond. Macmillan.
Eisner, W. (1985). Comics and Sequential Art. Poorhouse Press.
McCloud, S. (2011). Making Comics: Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and
Graphic Novels. Harper Collins.
McCloud, S (2000). Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology are Revolutionizing
an Art Form. William Morrow.
McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding comics: The Invisible Art. William Morrow. 
Van Lente, F. (2012). Comic Book History of Comics. IDW Publishing.

Commonly Taught Graphic Works (Secondary Curriculum)
Satrapi, M., & Log, W. (2007). Persepolis-The Story of a Childhood. Pantheon.
Spiegelman, A. (2003). The Complete Maus. Penguin Books Limited.
Yang, G. L. (2007). American Born Chinese. Macmillan.

Important Graphic Works by Category

History / Non-Fiction
Baker, K. (2008). Nat Turner. Abrams.
Jackson, J. (1978) Comanche Moon. Texas A and M. History.
Jacobson, S., Colón, E. (2006). The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation. Macmillan.
Jacobson, S., Colón, E. (2010). Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic
Biography. Hill and Wang.
Jacobson, S., Colón, E. (2009). Che: A Graphic Biography. Hill and Wang. 
Lewis, J. R., Aydin, A., & Powell, N. (2016). March Trilogy. Top Shelf Productions.
O’Connor, G (2006). Journey into Mohawk Country. First Second.

Journalism
Delisle, G. (2007). Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea. Drawn and Quarterly.
Delisle, G (2015). Jerusalem: Notes from the Holy City. Drawn and Quarterly.
Neufeld, J. (2010) A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. Pantheon.
Sacco, J. (2002). Safe Area Goražde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-95. Fantagraphics.
Sacco, J. (2001) Palestine. Fantagraphics.

Graphic Novel
Aaron, J. & Guera, R.M. (2007). Scalped Volume One: Indian Country. Vertigo.
Clowes, D (1998) Ghost World. Fantagraphics.
Eisner, W. (1978) A Contract with God and other Tenement Stories. Baronet Press.
Hergé. (1994). The Adventures of Tintin, Vol. 1 (Tintin in America / Cigars of the Pharaoh / The Blue Lotus). Little Brown.
Moebius. (2014). The Incal. Humanoid Press.
Moebius (1988) Moebius 4: The Long Tomorrow and Other Science Fiction Stories. Marvel
Enterprises.
Moore, A (1989). V for Vendetta. Vertigo.
Moore, A., & Campbell, E. (1989). From Hell. Top Shelf Productions.
Thompson, C. (2003). Blankets: an illustrated novel. Top Shelf Productions.
Thompson, C. (2011). Habibi. Pantheon.
Ware, C. (2001). Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. Random House.
Yang, G (2013). Boxers and Saints. First Second.

Graphic Memoir / Autobiography
Backderf, D. (2012). My Friend Dahmer. Abrams.
Bechdel, A. (2007). Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Bechdel, A. (2013). Are You My Mother? Random House.
Lemire, J. (2012). Essex County. Top Shelf Productions.
Pekar, H. (1994). Our Cancer Year. Running PressBook Pub.
Small, D (2010). Stitches. Norton.
Tasumi, Y. (2014) A Drifting Life. (also Manga) Drawn and Quarterly.

Superhero
Adams, N., & O’Neil, D (2000). The Green Arrow / Green Lantern Collection. DC Comics.
Gaiman, N. (1988). Black Orchid. Vertigo.
Gaiman, N. (2003). Sandman Volume 1: Prelude and Nocturnes. Vertigo.
Loeb, J. & Sale, T. (2009). Spider-Man: Blue. Marvel (1846).
Mignola, M (1994). Hellboy: Seeds of Destruction. Dark Horse Comics.
Miller, F. (1986). Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. DC Comics.
Miller, F. (1988). Batman Year One. DC Comics.
Moebius, & Lee, S (2012). Parable. Marvel.
Moore, A. (1986). Watchmen. DC Comics.
Moore, A., & Bolland, B. (2008). Batman: The Killing Joke. DC comics.
Moore, A. (2012) Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book One. Vertigo.
Morales, R., & Baker, K (2004). Captain America, Truth: Red, White, and Black. Marvel Comics.

Graphic Adaptations of Literary Works
Babra, N. (2008). No Fear Shakespeare: Hamlet.
Chwast, S. (2010). Dante’s Divine Comedy. Bloomsbury.
Hamilton, T. (2009). Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Hill and Wang.
Larson, H. (2013). A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. Square Fish.
Hinds, G. (2010). The Odyssey. Candlewick Press.
Hinds, G. (2015). Macbeth. Candlewick Press.
Hinds, G. (2007) Beowulf. Candlewick Press.
Kuper, P (2003). The Metamorphosis. Hampton-Brown.
Pollocks, I. (2006). William Shakepeare: King Lear. Can of Worms Press.
Sims, G (2015). Monster: The Graphic Novel. Amistad (also Multicultural)

Multicultural
Abel, J (2008). La Perdida. Pantheon.
Abouet, M, & and Oubrerie, C (2007). Aya. Drawn and Quarterly.
Bell, C. (2014). El Deafo. Abrams.
Brosgol, V. (2014) Anya’s Ghost. First Second.
Brooks, M. (2014). The Harlem Hellfighters. Broadway Books. Also History/Non-Fiction.
Jamar, N. (2010). Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence. Beacon.
Long, M. (2012). The Silence of Our Friends. First Second.
Voloj, J. & Ahlering, C. (2015). Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker.
Sturm, J (2007) Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow. Hyperion.
Weaver, L. (2012) Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White. University of Alabama Press.
Yang, G. (2014). The Shadow Hero. First Second.

Manga
Nakazawa, K. (2004). Barefoot Gen, Vol. 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima. Last Gasp.
Taniguchi, J. (2016). A Distant Neighborhood Complete Edition. Ponent Mon S.L. 
Taniguchi, J. (2014). The Walking Man. Ponent Mon S.L. 
Tezuka, O. (2015). Astroboy Omnibus Volume 1. Dark Horse Manga.
Tobe, K. (2007). With The Light: Raising an Autistic Child Volume 1. Yen Press
Urasawa, N (2014). Monster Volume One: The Perfect Edition. Viz Media.

Critical Theory (in print)
Chute, H. (2010). Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics (Gender and
Culture Series). Columbia University Press.
Heer, J., & Worcester, K. (2009). A comics studies reader. Univ. Press of Mississippi.
MacWilliams, M. W. (2014). Japanese Visual Culture: Explorations in the World of Manga and
Anime. Routledge.
Smith, M. J., & Duncan, R. (Eds.). (2012). Critical approaches to comics: theories and methods.
Routledge.

Journals
European Comic Art
International Journal of Comic Art.
ImageTexT 
Image and Narrative 
Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 
SANE journal: Sequential Art Narrative in Education 
Studies in Comics