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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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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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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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 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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Howl
A Graphic Novel
Allen Ginsberg
First published in 1956, Allen Ginsberg's Howl is a prophetic masterpiece--an epic raging against dehumanizing society that overcame censorship trials and obscenity charges to become one of the most widely read poems of the century.  Now a major...
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The Secret History of Wonder Woman
Jill Lepore
Wonder Woman, created in 1941, on the brink of World War II, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, she has lasted the longest and commanded the most vast and wildly passionate following. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike others, she also has a secret history.
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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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Showa 1926-1939
A History of Japan
Shigeru Mizuki
A fascinating period in Japanese history explored by a master of manga Showa 1926–1939: A History of Japan is the first volume of Shigeru Mizuki's meticulously researched historical portrait of twentieth-century Japan. This volume deals with the period leading up to World War II, a time of high unemployment and other economic hardships...
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Animal Farm 50th Anniversary Edition
A Fairy Story Illustrated by Ralph Steadman
George Orwell
A special large-format fiftieth-anniversary edition, illustrated in full color by Ralph Steadman. Includes Orwell's proposed but unpublished preface to the original edition and his preface to the 1947 Ukrainian edition.
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Maus I: A Survivor's Tale
My Father Bleeds History
Art Spiegelman
A story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father's story and history itself.