Best 12 Graphic Novels for Budding Girl Geeks

headerIf your little girl looks to be becoming as big a geek as you are, perhaps it’s time to introduce her to the wonderful world of graphic novels.

And here’s 12 books she won’t be able to put down!

Before we begin, though, a brief (ish) disclaimer: these books are not “just for girls.” Nor are there such things as books “just for boys.” Books are books and they’re for everyone.

Unless you’re speaking of Catwoman‘s initial run in DC’s New 52 in 2011, because that was for NOBODY. Ugh. What I mean to say is that you’re not going to find books on this list whose only requirements were that they were pretty, pink and feminine. You’re going to find books that feature phenomenal stories, astonishing art and characters that you can not only identify with, but ones you outright root for.

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That being said, I’m going to focus this list on books with strong female protagonists and storylines, if only because that’s one way to get your little geeky girls interested in comics and graphic novels. Then, once they’re hooked, all bets are off! (Hey, I certainly spent some time playing with my sister’s Barbies, so who’s to say your little girl won’t one day be geeking out over Conan the Barbarian?)

So, this ain’t no girly-girl list.

This is a list of fantastic books–books I love with all my heart–and ones that will hopefully ease your little gal into a long-lasting love of graphic art. So, let’s get to it!

(Disclaimer #2: As always, be sure to check out any book yourself before giving it to your kiddos, so that you can be sure it’s age and content appropriate. Some of the following books are intended for much older audiences than others… Use your discretion!)

Top 12 Graphic Novels for Geeky Girls

12. Runaways – Brian K. Vaughan

RunawaysWhat would you do if you found out your parents, and all your parents’ friends, were members of a super-villain super-group, hell-bent on world domination and other nasty things?

Well, if you’re like Alex, Chase, Gert, Karolina, Molly and Nico, you get together and run the heck away!

These kids, each with their own unique powers, work to undo the evil plans of their parents while also working through issues every teenager understands. Love, friendship, loyalties and self-confidence will all be tested and those who don’t pass may not live long enough to try again.

This is a super exciting book with characters I’ll remember my whole life. If your little geeky gal can’t relate to the ladies in this book, then she may just be a robot. (And you should be afraid.)

Crave it? GET IT!

11. Coraline — Neil Gaiman

CoralineMaster storyteller Neil Gaiman introduces us to little Coraline and takes all of us on an adventure reminiscent of Alice’s time in Wonderland.

After reading the book, be sure to check out the stop-motion animated movie adaptation from Laika.

It’s just incredible.

Crave it? GET IT!

10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer — Joss Whedon & Co.

BuffyOne of the best action/fantasy television shows of the last several decades was Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Everything about it was just about perfect: strong, inspiring characters; fantastically fun plots; true drama and tragedy and comedy; and plenty of creative risk-taking.

It was a dream come true to geeky guys and gals. And it’s been continued in comic book form. There are stand-alone stories and actual seasons of Buffy printed in graphic novels and they are definitely worth checking out!

Crave it? GET IT!

9. Skim — Mariko & Jillian Tamaki

SkimLet’s face it, just about all of us have thought about ourselves as “outsiders” at some point, and in talking with my sisters and nieces, it seems that this is doubly true for girls.

Whatever the reasons, the doorway into friendship is often a revolving one for kids. They’re in, they’re out, they’re back in… If your little girl ever finds herself out, then Skim will be a wonderfully inspiring read.

It takes place in Catholic all-girl school in Toronto and follows the story of a girl named Skim who does not fit in. It’s a wonderful read and something of a hidden gem, since it (criminally!) hasn’t received the attention it absolutely deserves.

Crave it? GET IT!

8. Fables — Bill Willingham

FablesThese books are just plain fun (until about the ninth collection…. then it gets kind of “eh”…).

They follow the adventures and tribulations of a group of fairy tale characters who have come to New York City to escape the impending destruction and doom of The Adversary. Kind of like TV’s Once Upon a Time, but even better.

The art is amazing, the stories are thrilling, the characters enthralling, and even the page layouts are unbelievably beautiful! Definitely worth a look-see.

Crave it? GET IT!

7. Bone — Jeff Smith

BonePresented in glorious black and white, Jeff Smith’s Bone series is a wonderfully funny tale of high, grand, epic adventure.

Partially inspired by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Bone follows the quest of a small creature to reach far away lands, meeting a fantastically bizarre group of friends and enemies along the way.

This is a book everyone will love.

Crave it? GET IT!

6. Persepolis — Marjane Satrapi

PersepolisThis book (and it’s sequel) is a darkly beautiful autobiographical work from Marjane Satrapi, telling the story of growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution.

It’s a great story of becoming who you are meant to become in the face of adversity.

Crave it? GET IT!

5. Ghost World — Daniel Clowes

Ghost WorldThis is a wonderfully written, and pretty darn frank, look at adolescence. Ghost World follows Enid and Rebecca as they struggle to understand what it means to be a teenager in smalltown, America.

And then again as they struggle to understand that maybe there is no understanding at all. A great book for teenage girls especially, but really an excellent book for all ages and genders.

Crave it? GET IT!

4. Y The Last Man — Brian K. Vaughan

Y The Last ManBrian K. Vaughan returns to the list with another exciting adventure in Y The Last Man.

These books revolve around Yorick, the only male survivor of a strange plague, as he works closely with Agent 355 and Dr. Allison Mann to discover what happened and how it might be fixed. Talk about strong female characters?

Agent 355 is about the toughest lady this world of fiction has ever known!

Crave it? GET IT!

3. Swamp Thing — Alan Moore

Swamp ThingWhat? Who said Swamp Thing was a comic only for dudes?

Let’s face it: this is one of the greatest series of comics ever created, written by one of the greatest comic authors in history. It’s not for dudes, it’s for everyone.

When Alan Moore was given the reins to the classic tale of Swamp Thing, no one but his editors (maybe!) knew what he was about to do. These stories are cerebral, horrific, lovely, strange, avant-garde, exciting and educational. In short, they are the cat’s meow.

Crave it? GET IT!

2. Sandman — Neil Gaiman

SandmanAnother brilliant run of comics for the ages is Sandman by Neil Gaiman. This is a series that explores the mythology of cultures, worlds, people, life, dimensions and relationships.

Like Swamp Thing, this is on the list for its sheer brilliance, though there are several strong female characters found throughout the books (including the personification of Death, who I still have a major crush on… which is kind of weird… I guess…).

Crave it? GET IT!

1. Astonishing X-Men — Joss Whedon

X-MenAm I saying that Whedon’s X-men run is wholly better than Swamp Thing or Sandman? No. I’m not.

What I am saying, though, is that there may be no better female superhero protagonist in any comics anywhere, than Kitty Pryde in this collection.

Joss has taken Kitty, a heretofore way underused X-“man” and turned her into a superstar.

Under his guidance, she’ll make you laugh, cry, groan, and feel how big your heart can swell. If your little gal gets her hands on this one, then she’s a guaranteed comic book geek for life. Period.

Crave it? GET IT!

What did I miss? Any other graphic novels out there that are perfect for new girl geeks? Let’s make an extended list in the comments below!

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About Peter Diseth

Geek-tician and Sci-Fi-nancier, Peter has been honing his research for Geeks Raising Geeks for better than three decades. He makes a living creating web content for individuals and businesses, both local and international. He's also a veteran actor of stage and screen, and doing this makes "making a living" worthwhile. Peter is also the sole creator of NewsAttire.com (a satirical news blog in the vein of The Onion) and a once-contributor to WhatCulture.

Peter lives in New Mexico with the three loves of his life: his wife Kate, his kitty Kitty, and his vast library of well-loved and well-worn genre fiction.

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