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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City of Clowns
Daniel Alarcón
A gorgeously rendered graphic novel of Daniel Alarcón's story City of Clowns. Oscar "Chino" Uribe is a young Peruvian journalist for a local tabloid paper. After the recent death of his philandering father, he must confront the idea of his father’s other family, and how much of his own identity has been shaped by his father’s murky morals.
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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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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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Fun Home
A Family Tragicomic
Alison Bechdel
Award-winning comics artist Alison Bechdel has been known for decades as "one of the best, one to watch out for," in the words of Harvey Pekar. Her latest work-the groundbreaking, genre-busting, best-selling graphic narrative Fun Home-has established...
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Hyperbole and a Half
Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
Allie Brosh
READ ALL THE THINGS!!!!! —Recommended by Anah, City Lights Books. This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative— like maybe someone who isn't me wrote it...
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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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Black Hole
Charles Burns
This is a beautifully drawn and eerie novel set in the 1970s. Seattle teens get a disease that transforms them into mutants. Their battle against this and other more normal high school situations, makes for a frighteningly good read.
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Ghost World
Daniel Clowes
Dan Clowes described the story in Ghost World as the examination of "the lives of two recent high school graduates from the advantaged perch of a constant and (mostly) undetectable eavesdropper, with the shaky detachment of a scientist who has grown...
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Mox Nox
Joan Cornellà
To mox, or nox to mox—that is the question .. Mox Nox for the people! The people for Mox Nox! Mox Nox is the most seminal work of all humanity! Kick off yo' sox and step into Mox Nox's toxic box! —Recommended by Jared, 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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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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Hot Dog Taste Test
Lisa Hanawalt
Hilarious! —Recommended by Don, City Lights Books

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