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Slice of Life Graphic Novels/Manga

While I like a good sci-fi, fantasy, or superhero story as much as the next person, I've found one of my favorite genres of graphic novels is "slice of life." It can incorporate numerous other subcategories, such as cooking, travel, sports, and biography, but the common thread is that the story is true, or could be true, in a real-world setting. I love having the opportunity to see other people's perspectives on problems I've also faced, experiences I will never have, distant countries, or nostalgic memories of childhood. Who knows, maybe one of these titles will inspire you to start keeping a comic journal!


Between Gears TP by Natalie Nourigat
Amazon Says: This honest, autobiographical account of a college senior's life will transport you to the land of Jell-O shots, term papers, job interviews, road trips, and sanguine optimism more...
Amazon Says: This honest, autobiographical account of a college senior's life will transport you to the land of Jell-O shots, term papers, job interviews, road trips, and sanguine optimism in the face of uncertainty and change. This trade paperback of Between Gears collects the comic in its entirety, with 30-pages of new material! less...
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Blankets by Craig Thompson
Amazon Says: At 592 pages, Blankets may well be the single largest graphic novel ever published without being serialized first. Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Bla more...
Amazon Says: At 592 pages, Blankets may well be the single largest graphic novel ever published without being serialized first. Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith. A profound and utterly beautiful work from Craig Thompson. The New Printing corrects 3 small typos, widening the spine graphics, but otherwise is identical to the first printing. less...
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Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle
Amazon Says: THE POPULAR TRAVELOGUE NOW IN PAPERBACK From the author of Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea and Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China comes Burma Chronicles, an informative lo more...
Amazon Says: THE POPULAR TRAVELOGUE NOW IN PAPERBACK From the author of Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea and Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China comes Burma Chronicles, an informative look at a country that uses concealment and isolation as social control. It is drawn with Guy Delisle’s minimal line, interspersed with wordless vignettes and moments of his distinctive slapstick humor. less...
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Amazon Says: #1 New York Times Bestseller2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTIn her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several y more...
Amazon Says: #1 New York Times Bestseller2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTIn her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the “crazy closet”—with predictable results—the tools that had served Roz well through her parents’ seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed.While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies—an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades—the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant will show the full range of Roz Chast’s talent as cartoonist and storyteller. less...
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Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Amazon Says: Raina Telgemeier, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Eisner Award winner, SMILE, brings us her next full-color graphic novel . . . DRAMA! Callie loves theater. And more...
Amazon Says: Raina Telgemeier, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Eisner Award winner, SMILE, brings us her next full-color graphic novel . . . DRAMA! Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! Following the success of SMILE, Raina Telgemeier brings us another graphic novel featuring a diverse set of characters that humorously explores friendship, crushes, and all-around drama! less...
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French Milk by Lucy Knisley
Amazon Says: Through delightful drawings, photographs, and musings, twenty-three-year-old Lucy Knisley documents a six-week trip she and her mother took to Paris when each was facing a mil more...
Amazon Says: Through delightful drawings, photographs, and musings, twenty-three-year-old Lucy Knisley documents a six-week trip she and her mother took to Paris when each was facing a milestone birthday. With a quirky flat in the fifth arrondissement as their home base, they set out to explore all the city has to offer, watching fireworks over the Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve, visiting Oscar Wilde's grave, loafing at cafés, and, of course, drinking delicious French milk. What results is not only a sweet and savory journey through the City of Light but a moving, personal look at a mother-daughter relationship. less...
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Amazon Says: Winner of: Gourmand Magazine Best US wine book translation Slate Cartoonist Studio Award nomineeA graphic novel that explores the nature of one’s vocation, this book more...
Amazon Says: Winner of: Gourmand Magazine Best US wine book translation Slate Cartoonist Studio Award nomineeA graphic novel that explores the nature of one’s vocation, this book offers a look at the daily devotion to craft in two dissimilar professions. Étienne Davodeau is a comic artist—he doesn’t know much about the world of winemaking. Richard Leroy is a winemaker—he’s rarely even read comics. But filled with good will and curiosity, the two men exchange professions, and Étienne goes to work in Richard’s vineyards and cellar, while Richard, in return, leaps into the world of comics. Providing a true-life representation of how both professions work, this insightful book investigates two fascinating fields, exploring each man’s motivations and ultimately revealing that their endeavors and aspirations are not much different. less...
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Amazon Says: Meet Amelia Louise McBride. She’s been forced to move out of Manhattan after her parents decided to get divorced, and is now living in a small town (who cares which one) wit more...
Amazon Says: Meet Amelia Louise McBride. She’s been forced to move out of Manhattan after her parents decided to get divorced, and is now living in a small town (who cares which one) with her mom and her aunt, Tanner. Not to mention the fact that she’s dealing with being the new kid in school, many trips to the principal’s office, first kisses, etc. But you know what? She’s got her friends Reggie, Rhonda, and Pajamaman, and everything’s going to be okay. Except, of course, when it isn’t. In this fourth installment of Amelia Rules!, Amelia discovers a box of old photos and learns a thing or two about love, rebellion, and what it means to be a family. less...
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Amazon Says: In an incredibly fun and accessible two-color graphic-book format, the cofounders of Honest Tea tell the engaging story of how they created and built a mission-driven busin more...
Amazon Says: In an incredibly fun and accessible two-color graphic-book format, the cofounders of Honest Tea tell the engaging story of how they created and built a mission-driven business, offering a wealth of insights and advice to entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, and millions of Honest Tea drinkers about the challenges and hurdles of creating a successful business--and the importance of perseverance and creative problem-solving. Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff began Honest Tea fifteen years ago with little more than a tea leaf of an idea and a passion to offer organic, freshly brewed, lightly sweetened bottled tea. Today Honest Tea is a rapidly expanding national brand sold in more than 100,0000 grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores and drugstores across the country. The brand has flourished as American consumers move toward healthier and greener lifestyles. less...
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Paul Goes Fishing by Michel Rabagliati
Amazon Says: "Free of self-loathing . . . [Rabagliati's] black-and-whie panels eschew half-tones for a spirited line." --Voice Literary Supplement This fourth installment in Michel Rabagl more...
Amazon Says: "Free of self-loathing . . . [Rabagliati's] black-and-whie panels eschew half-tones for a spirited line." --Voice Literary Supplement This fourth installment in Michel Rabagliati's semiautobiographical series finds Paul settling comfortably into adult life, occasional twinges of anxiety aside. His graphic design business has taken off, his partner, Lucie, is pregnant, it's mid-July and time to leave behind the city to go fishing. Long lazy days stretch out while Paul's thoughts wander from the colorful characters at the fish-and-game camp to the lurking depths of childhood, a Holden Caulfield-esque adolescence, and the encounters that have shaped his sense of family thus far. But the golden glow soon lifts off his vacation with the realization that the lake isn't as idyllic as it would seem, and neither is pregnancy.  Elegant composition and spare, condensed drawing crystallize emotion and atmosphere in this wistful and engaging account of everyday hopes and hardships, told with a keen and playful sense of iconic detail. Even the mundane holds beauty and meaning in this compassionate story of expectation, disappointment, and wonder. less...
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Play Ball by Nunzio DeFilippis
Amazon Says: Most girls, when they get to a new school, just want to fit in. But Dashiell Brody isn't like most girls. A natural at softball, Dashiell discovers her new school has a champi more...
Amazon Says: Most girls, when they get to a new school, just want to fit in. But Dashiell Brody isn't like most girls. A natural at softball, Dashiell discovers her new school has a championship level baseball team - and Dashiell wants to play ball! One girl's quest to play the national pastime with the boys will turn her family, her school, and her state upside down! less...
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The Property by Rutu Modan
Amazon Says: INCLUDED ON MORE THAN TEN BEST OF THE YEAR LISTS, INCLUDING THE GUARDIAN, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, SALON, AMAZON, AND THE WASHINGTON POST!"Modan delights in bringing the su more...
Amazon Says: INCLUDED ON MORE THAN TEN BEST OF THE YEAR LISTS, INCLUDING THE GUARDIAN, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, SALON, AMAZON, AND THE WASHINGTON POST!"Modan delights in bringing the subtlest emotional shadings to vivid and often comical life on the page...[The Property is a] wryly funny and ultimately wrenching graphic novel." —NPRThe award-winning author of Exit Wounds returns with a story about secrets, money, and the bonds of love The Property is a work that will inspire, fascinate, and delight readers and critics alike. Savvy and insightful, elegant and subtle, Rutu Modan’s second full-length graphic novel is a triumph of storytelling and fine lines.      After the death of her son, Regina Segal takes her granddaughter Mica to Warsaw, hoping to reclaim a family property lost during the Second World War. As they get to know modern Warsaw, Regina is forced to recall difficult things about her past, and Mica begins to wonder if maybe their reasons for coming aren’t a little different than what her grandmother led her to believe.      Modan offers up a world populated by prickly seniors, smart-alecky public servants, and stubborn women—a world whose realism is expressed alternately in the absurdity of people’s behavior and in the complex consequences of their sacrifices. Modan’s ever-present wit is articulated perfectly in her clear-line style, while a subtle, almost muted color palette complements the true-to-life nuances of her characterization. Exit Wounds made a huge splash for this signature combination of wit, style, and realism, and The Property will cement Modan’s status as one of the foremost cartoonists working today. less...
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Amazon Says: Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, more...
Amazon Says: Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life. Each chapter is bookended with an illustrated recipe—many of them treasured family dishes, and a few of them Lucy's original inventions.  A welcome read for anyone who ever felt more passion for a sandwich than is strictly speaking proper, Relish is a graphic novel for our time: it invites the reader to celebrate food as a connection to our bodies and a connection to the earth, rather than an enemy, a compulsion, or a consumer product. A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013 An NPR Best Book of 2013 less...
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Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Amazon Says: From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap. Raina just wants to be a normal s more...
Amazon Says: From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap. Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. less...
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Amazon Says: Born during the sunrise - an auspicious beginning - the Azumas' newborn son is named Hikaru, which means "light". But during one play date, his mother notices that her son i more...
Amazon Says: Born during the sunrise - an auspicious beginning - the Azumas' newborn son is named Hikaru, which means "light". But during one play date, his mother notices that her son is slightly different from the other children. In the alternately heartwarming and bittersweet tale, a young mother tries to cope with both the overwhelming discovery of her child's autism and the trials of raising him while keeping her family together. This is a story that resonates not only for those whose families have been affected by autism, but also for all past, present, and future parents. less...
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Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
Amazon Says: 1998 Ignatz Award Winner, Outstanding Graphic Novel: The inspiration for the feature film and one of the most acclaimed graphic novels ever.Ghost World has become a cultural a more...
Amazon Says: 1998 Ignatz Award Winner, Outstanding Graphic Novel: The inspiration for the feature film and one of the most acclaimed graphic novels ever.Ghost World has become a cultural and generational touchstone, and continues to enthrall and inspire readers over a decade after its original release as a graphic novel. Originally serialized in the pages of the seminal comic book Eightball throughout the mid-1990s, this quasi-autobiographical story (the name of one of the protagonists is famously an anagram of the author's name) follows the adventures of two teenage girls, Enid and Becky, two best friends facing the prospect of growing up, and more importantly, apart. Daniel Clowes is one of the most respected cartoonists of his generation, and Ghost World is his magnum opus. Adapted into a major motion picture directed by Terry Zwigoff (director of the acclaimed documentary Crumb), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. This graphic novel is a must for any self-respecting comics fan's library. Two-color comics throughout less...
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Amazon Says: A New York Times Notable Book A Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year” A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepo more...
Amazon Says: A New York Times Notable Book A Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year” A San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love. less...
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