Last time this blog looked at graphic novel adaptations of fiction and film. This time the focus is non-fiction.
Biographies and autobiographies are often told in graphic novel form and can be both interesting and informative – many other subjects have also been explored. Non-fiction graphic novels can be a good story, an excellent introduction to a subject or a different way to explore a topic of interest.
Here are a selection of those available in the Gawler Public Library.
The Red Baron by Wayne Vansant
True adventure and the legendary figure of Manfred von Richthofen (the infamous Red Baron), come together in this book. It is a biography, a concise history of WWI and early military avionics, a discussion of military strategy and includes illustrations with remarkable attention to detail, especially in the illustration of aircraft.
Jam! Tales from the world of roller derby.
Prefer sports? Plenty of graphic novels to choose from! Jam gives a fantastic introduction to the sport of roller derby with an explanation of how it works, what people love about it and tells stories about real people connected to the sport.
Legends of the Tour by Jan Cleijne
Another sport for the cycling enthusiasts! This is one of the Gawler Public Library’s newest graphic novels. Legends of the Tour is a joy to read and very informative. It covers a number of true stories from the history of the Tour de France. They range from the genuinely funny stories surrounding the foundation of the tour to the remarkable impact this event has had on the history of the world – even helping to avert civil war. The drug scandals that plagued the tour for many years are also covered remarkably well and honestly.
They Changed the World: Edison – Tesla – Bell,
Illustrated by Naresh Kumar
Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Alexander Graham Bell are some of the best known inventors in history. How their discoveries were inspired, the challenges each inventor faced and the way they changed the world are all shown in an engaging and fascinating presentation.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Marjane Satrapi was ten years old and living in Tehran when the Islamic Revolution happened. This autobiography is presented as a graphic novel – the illustrations are simple but the story and message are not. The chapters tell connected stories that range from humourous to chilling. As Marjane learns her family’s history and is exposed to various views of her society, great insight is given to the reader. This graphic novel has been on many recommended reading lists both those dedicated to graphic novels and broader lists.
Beatles with an a by Mauri Kunnas
The lives of John, Paul, George and Ringo from birth, through their time in Berlin and until the release of ‘Please, Please Me’ (warts and all) are presented with a sense of humour in this colourful graphic novel. Kunnas’ distinctive style is fun and playful, an excellent introduction to the early history of the tremendously influential band.
Do you want to learn more about graphic novels first hand from well known graphic author and film-maker Greg Holfeld? Why not join us this Friday at one of our Graffix sessions? Sessions include hands-on drawing and are available 11am – 12noon at Evanston Gardens Branch Library (11-14yrs) and
1.30 – 2.30pm (7-10 yrs) Gawler Library.
Follow this link to book into one of the sessions:
or phone 85229213
Reviews: Heather Iveson