You know, YA and comics aren’t all that different…

If you’re a regular reader of YA novels, the thought of reading comics might seem foreign or even unappealing altogether. Being a reader of both though, I think there’s room to enjoy both if you wanted to. A few of my girlfriends are similar to me in that they love comics as well as YA, and I sat down to have a think about why this might have been the case. There are more crossovers between YA and comics than I think people realise.

  • YA narratives play like a movie in your mind as you read. Comics are the visual element on paper.
    I’ve read some incredible YA books that open up your imagination as you read them – Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Iron Fey Series, the Soulstice series to name a few. In many ways, this is how comics work. Narrative and illustrations. Only, the illustrations are on paper, and you can visually see the world the author is trying to convey for you. This cuts down on a lot of the narrative when it comes to “world building”. In many ways, comics have an advantage of being able to jump straight into the story itself because they don’t have to work as hard to set it up.


  • Just like YA series, comics have series too
    Some of my favourite YA series have 3 books in the series (or more!) or sometimes even spin off series. Comics aren’t disimilar. Comics usually tell a bigger story one chapter at a time in a single issue released usually on a monthly basis. So over 12 months, you’ve read 12 “chapters” if you will. Usually most comic companies will take these “chapters” and pop them into a hard cover book (or volume) in with about 6 or 7 chapters combined in one to create a whole story. I usually buy most comics this way, in a collection or volume where I can then read all of the “chapters” together and enjoy them. And just like some of my favourite YA series, some of these volumes have huge cliffhangers too!


  • Both are stereotyped and often misunderstood
    I think the perception is that comics are always based on superheroes or all slapstick. Likewise when I’ve told my adult friends that I read YA novels, I’ve had many people say ‘Oh, like Twilight?’ because they just don’t understand.Both YA and comics have a lot more to offer, which leads me to my next crossover…


  • Both YA and comics don’t limit themselves to the here and now with titles ranging from contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, superpowers, romance, thriller, and supernatural themes.
    What attracted me to YA originally was that the books were exciting and had plots that were complex (trying to explain some of these plots to my non-reader friends over the years has been fun! Lol) and unique and challenge your imagination with all kinds of weird and wonderful storylines that you often don’t find in adult fiction.

As such, I thought it might be a nice guide to comics if I posted a recommendation post. For instance, if you liked These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner then you’ll probably enjoy the comic series Saga Volume 1. I am working on a pretty epic list of comics for next week! I’m also working on a series of other posts for those of you who might be interested in comics and more importantly, where do you get started? They can be overwhelming, but if you know what to pick up they can be incredibly enjoyable, fun and addictive!

Keep your eyes out – these will be weekly features for now as we try and diversify Book Nerd Reviews a bit. Whilst we’ve always been traditionally a YA book blog, I think most of you will see I have been transitioning more to comics for the last 12 months whilst Kristy has stuck with YA books.

With this in mind we’ll be looking to broaden our audience with both comic fans and YA fans alike sharing the same space. We may get some YA fans opening their minds to comics and likewise, we may get some comic fans understanding what YA is all about as well. I’d like to think that we’ll offer a bit of something for everyone all the same!

What do you think?

  • I’m not traditionally a comic reader. I’ve read a few graphic novels but most of those have been based on novels I’ve already read - like Mercy Thompson, Vampire Academy, House of Night etc. I have to admit I wouldn’t know where to start to find something I’d like.

    Saga Vol. 1 looks interesting. I think I’ll have to have a quest to my local library to see if they have a copy!

    • Melissa says:

      I completely understand. It’s very overwhelming, and even understanding the difference between the collections/volumes and the single issues is tough. It took me a couple of years just to understand it, and I wish I had been told a lot of things when looking at getting into them - which is the information I am planning on sharing here for others. Hopefully I can help make it easier.

      Saga Volume 1 is a fantastic way to dip your toes into the water and it’s a truly wonderful book. I highly suggest seeking it out to whet your appetite for comics!
      Melissa recently posted…You know, YA and comics aren’t all that different…My Profile

  • Makaela says:

    Great post! I read comics as well, although I haven’t gotten immersed in the culture as much as I have with YA. My fiance had a ton when I first met him, but when we moved last year they were all stolen. Luckily there are such things as libraries and Barnes and Noble. I fell in love with DC Comics and haven’t tried any other yet; besides The Walking Dead. My next venture is Hellboy. I’ve found that I love comics and I try to promote and relate them to reading novels in some of my posts and conversations, especially YA…. because it’s fun and exciting!

    I agree that comics don’t really have a need for world-building. The art in a lot of them is mind-blowing. I have a hard time keeping up sometimes. I forget to look at the pictures. It just takes some getting used to. But, it’s totally worth it!

    Thanks for recommending Saga! I added it to my TBR. It sounds great. I enjoyed These Broken Stars for the most part. Looking forward to your future posts on the subject. More YA related recommendations, please! =)

    • Melissa says:

      Oooh someone else that reads comics, I love that! I too started with DC Comics and The Walking Dead (Image), so I have a similar background to you. Some comics I enjoyed outside of DC Comics that you might like are Ms Marvel (They just rebooted her recently from issue #1 - currently at issue #4 so you can catch up) by Marvel Comics and I like Deadpool as well by Marvel.

      I have a huge appreciation for good comic art!! I love the art in the new 52 Batgirl… it’s mesmerising. :)

      You’re most welcome, it’s my most recent addicition and Saga is mindblowingly amazing. It’s Romeo and Juliet on another planet. I don’t even like sci fi, but I love this to bits.

      I am really pumped about doing post(s) relating comic reads to YA. My mind is already working in overdrive with ideas!! I plan to post something comic related most Fridays, so aiming for next Friday for the first installment!
      Melissa recently posted…You know, YA and comics aren’t all that different…My Profile

  • You know what Melissa, I couldn’t agree more with this post! Comics and Graphic Novels are underrated and it’s such a shame I think, but hopefully this gets out to a few more people! :D

  • […] Melissa says that YA and comics aren’t all that different. […]

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