There’s no better time to catch up on reading than during the last month of summer, so why not take some comics on your next vacation?
I’m Alison Walker and I’m the comics curator at Amazon Books—Amazon’s chain of brick-and-mortar bookstores. Every few months I’ll bring you a thematic roundup of the season’s best comics, cartoons, and graphic novels.
The Perfect Comic to Take Stargazing
When her father loses his job in deep space, Amy and her family are sent back to earth. She is, of course, devastated—and who wouldn’t be, when leaving home means abandoning your best friend and the only life you know? When she wakes up from cryogenic sleep 30 years later, everything has changed and Amy must negotiate her new, futuristic planet, find friends, and be a teenager. Stephen McCranie’s Space Boy is the perfect blend of evocative art, crystal-clear storytelling, and innovative lettering—it’s a comic for teens and adults in equal measure, and a great comic for those dipping their toes into the genre.
The Perfect Comic for a Labor Day Barbecue
If American Horror Story had a tie-in comic it would be W. Maxwell Prince and Martín Morazzo’s Ice Cream Man. Featuring four loosely connected one-shots filled with horror, a little gore, and a tiny sprinkle of redemption, you’ll find yourself looking twice at all of the smiling faces around you with more trepidation that normal. But always save room for ice cream, because the interplay between Prince’s sparsely written but terrifying stories and Morazzo’s evocative art will have you questioning everything.
The Perfect Comic for the Long Car Ride to the Vacation That You Didn’t Want to Go on Anyway
Look, I get it, parents get to pick all the vacations. Even if their idea of “vacation” means spending a week on a lake with no friends, no internet, and no fun. I’d much rather be reading Brenna Thummler’s graphic novel, Sheets, than singing around a campfire. It’s a compact story about a lonely girl named Marjorie Glatt who befriends Wendell, a dead youth (ghost), after he visits her family’s laundromat. Thummler’s story manages to capture the quiet trauma of not fitting in, but her art—and especially her Wes Anderson-esque color palette—allows readers to fully submerge themselves into Marjorie and Wendell’s stories.
The Perfect Comic to Take on Your First Weekend Getaway
Catana Chetwynd’s comics are like a warm hug, a mug of hot cocoa with extra marshmallows, a tiny and happy respite in a mean world. Instead of focusing her attention on a world-stopping, cinematic love story, Chetwynd highlights the tiny moments between lovers and, in the process, creates a relatable, silly, and simply wonderful book (that pairs perfectly with a mug of hot cocoa). Pick this one up when you need a boost or a mid-afternoon smile.
The Perfect Comic When You’re Visiting Your Hometown for the First Time in a Long Time
A thought-provoking graphic novel on identity and self-acceptance, Luisa: Now and Then by Carole Maurel and adapted by Mariko Tamaki is the sort of comic one reads in a single sitting. Luisa is a discontented and connectionless 32-year-old living in Paris when, one day, she meets her 15-year-old self and must confront the fact that her present self doesn’t quite measure up to all she had hoped. Maurel’s emotive and honest art is the seamless accompaniment to Luisa’s raw story of self-discovery.
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