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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And then Came..... the Alchemist
The Graphic Novel
James Lowe
Dr. Lowe is the Tenderloin's art brut genius. —Recommended by Ivy, 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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Batman is Lost in a Woods
David Enos
The greatest mystery Bat-Man has ever faced may be the disappearance of his wife, Amity. The wooded acres surrounding their castle home offer few clues, and months of searching have led him no closer to the truth. In a case of this nature, even his unmatched investigative techniques may not be enough.
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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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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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The Complete Zap Comix
Box Set
R. Crumb
This is a more-than-complete collection (it includes the unpublished 17th issue!) of the quintessential underground comic book. 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...
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The Diary of a Teenage Girl
An Account in Words and Pictures, Revised Edition
Phoebe Gloeckner
"I don't remember being born. I was a very ugly child. My appearance has not improved so I guess it was a lucky break when he was attracted by my youthfulness." So begins the wrenching diary of Minnie Goetze, a fifteen-year-old girl longing for love and acceptance and struggling with her own precocious sexuality.
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Drinking at the Movies
Julia Wertz
Representing Julia Wertz's critically acclaimed first graphic memoir in a new format, with a brand new sketchbook from Wertz, and an introduction by Janeane Garofalo. But don't worry; we haven't replaced any of the wrenching and ribald, whiskey-soaked coming-of-age tale. This is Wertz at her best, which is sometimes her worst.
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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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Hip Hop Family Tree 1
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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Hip Hop Family Tree 2
Ed Piskor
The second installment of this acclaimed graphic novel hip-hop history (originally serialized on the popular website Boingboing) covers the years 1981-1983. Covering the early years of 1981-1983, Hip Hop has made a big transition from the parks and rec rooms to downtown clubs and vinyl records.
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Hip Hop Family Tree 3
Ed Piskor
The third volume of the popular webcomic tells the true story of hip-hoppers The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, The Fat Boys, and many more. Ed Piskor's acclaimed graphic novel series continues! Book 3 highlights Run DMC's rise to fame and introduces unassailable acts like Whodini, The Fat Boys, Slick Rick, and Doug E Fresh.
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The Horror! The Horror!
Comic Books the Government Didn't Want You to Read!
Jim Trombetta
The Horror! The Horror! uncovers a rare treasury of some of the most important and neglected stories in American literature—the pre-Code horror comics of the 1950s. These outrageous comic book images, censored by Congress in an infamous televised...
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Hot Dog Taste Test
Lisa Hanawalt
Hilarious! —Recommended by Don, City Lights Books

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