6 Graphic Novels Celebrating Families

embroideries book cover

The holiday season is upon us! Regardless of your faith or cultural traditions, these cozy winter months are a great time to reconnect with family and friends. Why not try some family-themed graphic novels to celebrate the season?

The Vision by Tom King

You may remember Vision as the calm, polite android who fights alongside the Avengers in the Marvel Universe. But what you may not know is that Vision, once a lone android, has become a family man. He creates a wife, a daughter, and a son in the same laboratory where he was created, and moves his whole crew to the suburbs, aiming to have a normal life. Unfortunately, life can only be so normal for a family of androids, and as neighbors become suspicious of the Vision family, this superhero tale morphs into a slow-burning horror. Ranked one of the best comics of 2016, The Vision is bound to impress.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Family can be a touchy subject. No one knows this better than Alison Bechdel, who wrote and illustrated this 2006 graphic memoir about her relationship with her father. Covering themes of sexuality, loneliness, and what it means to be a family, Fun Home is touching, sad, and uplifting all at once. This title has also been adapted into a Broadway musical.

Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

If you enjoy multigenerational women’s fiction, you’ll love this graphic novel. The story begins with the narrator, Marjane, serving tea to her mother, grandmother, aunts, and family friends, and as she moves about the room, the women tell her stories from their lives. Think of this as an Iranian version of the 1995 film How to Make an American Quilt. The women share laughs, tears, family gossip, and love stories, and Marjane soaks it all in. Embroideries can be read in under an hour, but it definitely packs a punch.

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm

This middle grades title focuses on a girl named Sunny who is shipped off to visit her grandfather for the summer. Not only is Sunny unsure of why she’s spending the summer away from home, but also, she’s utterly bored by the lack of activity in her grandfather’s retirement community. She eventually makes a friend who introduces her to the world of comics and takes her on adventures around the neighborhood. Eventually, she comes to terms with the real reason why she’s spending the summer with her grandfather, and she must navigate her rapidly changing family structures.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

If Romeo and Juliet reimagined as a space opera sounds interesting to you, you’ll love Saga. Consistently rated among the best comics, Saga is the story of a romance between soldiers from warring planets and their desperate fight to protect themselves and their young daughter from various enemies. Saga really has something for everyone, so if you’ve never tried a graphic novel before, this is a great place to start.

The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang

This teen comic is a unique spin on the traditional capes and tights superhero comic. The story begins when a woman is saved from a robbery by a superhero. She’s so inspired by him that she pushes her teenaged son, Hank, into becoming a superhero as well. As he works to develop his superpowers, he learns valuable lessons about bravery, responsibility, and love. This would be a great title for reluctant readers, and it’s perfect for the whole family.