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Best comics to buy for the non-comics reader in your life

No, Watchmen isn't on this list

Cover of Oh No
Image credit: Alex Norris

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Sometimes people hate comics. It's true! They hate books with pictures and like to read their words without a balloon or caption box around em. Maybe you should not buy those people comics. But sometimes people just don't read comics, and are unlikely to head to the comics shop and pick up a floppy (or even know where to start). And sometimes you should buy those people comics.

While I know there is a little voice inside your head that wants to give them Watchmen or Batman: Year One, you should consider that those aren't the most newbie-friendly of comics (and that not everyone loves superhero stories - or even deconstructions of superhero stories).

Here are six comics and graphic novels that are great for people who don't read comics.

For everyone of all ages: Olivia Jaimes' Nancy

Cropped cover of Nancy
Image credit: Olivia Jaimes

Everyone loves Nancy, but those who aren't up to date with comics may not be up to date with Olivia Jaimes' Nancy. While Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy is a classic, Olivia Jaimes' Nancy is just as selfish, vain, and lazy as we want her to be, with a contemporary spin. It'd be hard to read a handful of these comics without a giggle or two - and an entire volume? Well, you're in for some laughs.

For the romance novel lover: Alice Oseman's Heartstopper

Heartstopper
Image credit: Alice Oseman

Heartstopper, adapted to print graphic novel format from Alice Oseman's original webtoon, is a really good first graphic novel for YA romance readers. Not only is the story sweet (and heartbreaking at times), the format itself is perfect for new readers. A lot of new comics readers can get overwhelmed with the amount of panels and word ballons per page, but because Heartstopper was originally a scrolling comic, the graphic novel has plenty of white space, and even the newest comic reader shouldn't have any trouble figuring out which panel they're supposed to read next.

For the new adult Sarah Anderson's Adulthood is a Myth

Sarah marches with her rabbit
Image credit: Sarah Andersen

Becoming an adult is filled with silly, almost unbelievable moments. Sarah Anderson's comics (known online as Sarah's Scribbles) are all about the ridiculousness of adulthood. This comic makes a perfect gift for new adults who feel like they haven't quite figured it all out (has anyone?). And if this new reader gets hooked? A fifth volume from this collection is coming out soon.

For the artist (sweet): Alex Norris's Oh No

Cover of Oh No
Image credit: Alex Norris

You've probably seen some of Alex Norris' comics online. They're distinctively bright and all have the very same punchline "oh no." And yet, there certainly is so much differentiation within that form, as each comic finds its own silly, relatable, and heartening way to get to "oh no."

For the artist (grunge): Alex Krokus's Loudest and Smartest (A Loud and Smart Collection)
Cover of Loudest and Smartest
Image credit: Alex Krokus

Alex Krokus may be one of the single most underrated diary cartoonists we have today. His work is stellar, featuring him as a raccoon and his friends as other animals (I love the worm best). These comics are fresh and funny, though very much not for children.


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About the Author
Tiffany Babb avatar

Tiffany Babb

Deputy Editor

Tiffany Babb is Popverse's deputy editor and resident Sondheim enthusiast. Tiffany likes stories that understand genre conventions (whether they play into them or against them), and she cries very easily at the movies— but rarely at the moments that are meant to be tearjerkers.

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