Graphic Novels & Comix History

Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.



   
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On to the Next Dream
Paul Madonna
The tech gentrification of San Francisco, forcing out everyone from artists to middle-income families, captured in a first-person illustrated story.
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My Favorite Thing is Monsters
A young girl befriends monsters, real and imagined, in this unhinged and singular coming-of-age story. —Recommended by Stacey
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Perfect Hair
Gender, sex, & love(?) presented as spectacular sequential art. This beautiful debut troubles the line between pleasant human interaction & detachment. Feels like floating above your body in a movie about yourself dreaming(?). —Recommended by Jared, City Lights Books
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Fluke Fanzine #12
Loisada
Bobby Madness
A true story of Bobby's life on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early '80s, when he was just 14 and 15 years old. It's based on three shows he saw down there - The Cramps, Ramones, and Stiff Little Fingers. Join in the fun (& fatigue) Bobby experienced as he ran in the streets with his friend Chris, in search of drugs, girls, and punk rock!
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Here
Richard McGuire
A beautiful exploration of a single place through time, from void to form to void again. Go ahead, open to a page, any page... —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books Also recommended by Paul, City Lights Books
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The Complete Zap Comix
Box Set
R. Crumb
A VERY LIMITED EDITION SET!! There scarcely was an underground comics world before Robert Crumb's classic solo first issue ofZap. By Zap #2, he had begun assembling a Seven Samurai of the best , the fiercest, and the most stylistically diversified cartoonists to come out of the countercultural kiln.
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Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt
Chris Hedges
A searing portrait of American life, this reaches into those forgotten and ravenous corners where desperation waters the seeds of resistance. Stunning. —Recommended by Ivy, City Lights Books
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Hip Hop Family Tree 1
1970s-1981
Ed Piskor
This is a well-documented history of the beginnings of hip hop. Beautifully drawn in Old School comic form; hilariously written and sharply dissected. Open to any page and you'll be hooked. New York City, DJs and graffiti in the late 70s? You can't beat it, because "the beat don't stop til the break of dawn!"—Recommended by Don, City Lights Books
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Blue Is the Warmest Color
Julie Maroh
In this tender, bittersweet, full-color graphic novel, a young woman named Clementine discovers herself and the elusive magic of love when she meets a confident blue-haired girl named Emma: a lesbian love story for the ages that bristles with the energy of youth and rebellion and the eternal light of desire.
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Are You My Mother?
A Comic Drama
Alison Bechdel
Pretty heady stuff going on here as Bechdel cross-examines her childhood to consider how she was affected by a smart, artistic, but emotionally-removed mother, and a repressed, angry father. If you don't regularly gravitate towards graphic novels, but love memoirs, this might be the ideal book for you to get a sense of the amazing genre.
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My Friend Dahmer
Derf Backderf
Unlike many of the other cold-blooded, psychotic serial killers that we've seen throughout history, there's something remarkably "different" about Dahmer’s mind, his story, and his life. He had a considerably normal upbringing and, during his school...
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Sigmund Freud Eats a Hot Dog
Allen Hui
Sigmund Freud grapples with the underpinnings of his sexuality while deciding whether to eat a hot dog, or not.
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The Beats
A Graphic History
Paul Buhle, Harvey Pekar
I've read a lot of Beat books in my time here at City Lights, but none are quite as fun as this graphic history. The perfect collection for those who think they've heard all the stories about Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, et al. The Beats also provides...
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The Complete Persepolis
Marjane Satrapi
Here, in one volume: Marjane Satrapi's best-selling, internationally acclaimed memoir-in-comic-strips. Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic...

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