Ten Great Graphic Novels to Check Out for First Second’s 10th Anniversary

This year marks First Second’s tenth anniversary! For the past ten years, we’ve been publishing graphic novels around the clock—and we’re delighted to celebrate that this February. Whether you’re a fan of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or adventure, we’ve got something to satisfy every reader! Head below for 10 of our favorite can’t-miss titles!


The Wrenchies, by Farel Dalrymple

wrenchiesFor Science Fiction Readers

So say in the future that mysterious vampiric creature started to such out everyone’s brains once they hit puberty—to the extent where the only people left were kids under twelve. But then the kids discover magic… and time travel—and that’s where the story begins. It’s crazy and awesome.


Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula, by Andi Watson

princess-decomposiaFor Fantasy Readers

What do you do when your father, the king of the underworld, leaves you with all the responsibilities and none of the power to fix the problems? Why, you hire a vampire chef who can bake his way out of anything! This book is delightful and sweet—and full of magical baking.


Cat Burglar Black, by Richard Sala

cat-burglar-blackFor Horror Readers

Something mysterious is going on in K’s boarding school—can it be monsters? Maybe… but perhaps it’s a secret society of villainous cat burglars hiding out under the school instead!


Feynman, by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

feynmanFor Geeky Readers

Interested in the US’ most popular scientist? Now you can read a biography in comics form—including all the lock-picking and bongo drum episodes you always wanted to actually see.


Templar, by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puvilland

templarFor Adventure Readers

If you’re a fan of Indiana Jones, you’ll love this book—it’s got Knights Templar, mysterious conspiracies, and a heist caper! Will our protagonists escape (and hide the secrets of the Knights Templar to this very day)? You’ll have to read the book to find out.


American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang

american-born-chineseFor Young Adults

When you’re an Asian-American kid having trouble fitting in, you know what only makes the situation worse? Having the mythical Monkey King start meddling with your life—and making your subconscious wish to fit in come true.


Andre the Giant, by Box Brown

andre-giantFor Nonfiction Readers

If you’re a fan of The Princess Bride, you should check out this book—it gives a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Andre the Giant (and it’ll teach you about the intriguing world of professional wrestling to boot).


Battling Boy, by Paul Pope

battling-boyFor Kids

When your father leaves you alone on a monster-filled planet, it’s your job to clean it up… even if you’re only thirteen. And if you don’t know how, you’d better learn. Paul Pope’s dynamic artwork and fantastic characters make this book a must-read.


Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden

drawing-wordsFor Aspiring Graphic Novel Creators

This is the textbook—it’s actually a literal textbook—for anyone who wants the basics of how making comics work. Homework assignments, reference materials, lesson plans—this book has it all! Start at the beginning and do all the activities through the end, and you’ll improve your cartooning skills tenfold.


A.L.I.E.E.E.N., by Lewis Trondheim


We’re serious about this recommendation—this book is entirely written in an alien language, so we’re not even exactly sure what it’s about. Any help, aliens? A universal translator would come in handy about now.…


What are your favorite graphic novels from First Second?

Gina Gagliano does marketing and publicity for First Second, and she likes graphic novels a whole lot, too. First Second Books is a publisher of graphic novels, and this year is their tenth anniversary! First Second is fond of cats and other amphibious mammals, as well as comics, chocolate, and cookies (as appropriate for any ten-year-old).


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