This year has been another banner year for YA graphic novels and comics! Since January, we’ve seen more exciting DC adaptations, highly anticipated sequels, and just so many great debuts and original stories from exciting creators. It’s also been one of the most diverse years for YA comics and graphic novels since I started compiling these new release guides. We’ve seen more creators of color debuting and publishing, and as usual, this particular art form continues to be pretty queer!
And just like that, we are nearing the end of 2023! It’s still deliciously fall here, but I know the rest of the year is going to go by quickly. Luckily for us, I’ve got a nice compilation of YA graphic novels and comics hitting shelves between now and the end of December, so there will be no shortage of great reading.
While this quarter’s list isn’t as big as earlier quarters, I think there’s a delightful mix of existing fandoms, original stories from newbies and your faves, and exciting adaptations and sequels! And because we are headed into spooky season quickly followed by winter, there are some really awesome seasonal reads that you won’t want to miss out on!
Plus, book award season is upon us, and I’m excited to share that one of these books has already been longlisted for the National Book Award, even though it’s not out yet. Yay, comics! Let’s dive in.
Clementine Book Two by Tillie Walden
In this sequel to Clementine, the fan favorite from the Walking Dead world, finds herself rescued by a mysterious island community led by a charismatic doctor. But as she heals physically, Clementine begins to suspect that all is not as it seems in her new home. I’ve never seen The Walking Dead, but Tillie Walden’s illustrations are really tempting me to pick this up!
The Glass Scientists by S.H. Cotugno
Dr. Henry Jekyll knows that mad scientists need an image makeover, which is why he founds the Society for Arcane Sciences so that he and his fellow mad scientists can talk about scientific studies and push the laws of physics without fear of an angry mob coming after them. But when a stranger arrives and hijacks his society, Henry finds himself scrambling to save his society and keep his secrets. I am here for all the clever takes on classic gothic lit!
Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy by Faith Erin Hicks
Alix is great at hockey. Controlling her temper? Not so much. When a teammate’s bullying incites Alix to lash out, she’s suspended from the team, and her hockey career is on the line. To salvage the situation, she turns to Ezra, a theater kid who never seems to lose his cool. She asks for help learning how to manage her anger, and she finds that there’s more to Ezra than she realized — and perhaps more to their relationship, too. I will always read anything Faith Erin Hicks writes!
Brooms by Jasmine Walls & Teo Duvall
Mississippi, alternate 1930s. Magic is illegal except for the privileged few, and the members of the Night Storms racing team aren’t part of that group. But they have a passion for illegal broom racing, and they each have something to prove. With a diverse cast of characters, this is the queer, witchy graphic novel of my dreams.
Huda F Cares? by Huda Fahmy
In this sequel to Huda F Are You?, Huda is thrilled to learn that her family is finally taking a vacation to Disney World but less excited about the long car trips with her sisters and the stares that seem to follow them once they’re outside of Dearborn. Will their family vacation turn into a family disaster? This book has already been longlisted for the National Book Award, so don’t miss it!
If You’ll Have Me by Eunnie (October 17)
Momo is a trusting, loyal person who will do anything for her friends. P.G. is a loner with a reputation but a secret heart of gold. When an unexpected meet cute throws them together, they have to navigate new love, their friends’ opinions, and their pasts. This is a great graphic novel for fans of Heartstopper!
Static: Up All Night by Lamar Giles & Paris Alleyne (November 7)
Virgil, aka Static, can do a lot of really cool things thanks to his electrical talents, but the one thing he’s unable to do is get over his ex-girlfriend. When his friends convince him to attend a music festival to get his mind off things, he reluctantly agrees…but then sees his ex there. I’ve been a big fan of Giles’s contemporary fiction, and this sounds amazing!
The Darkness We Brought Back by Alex Segura, Rex Ogle, Joe Eisma (November 7)
When six high schoolers step through a door into a different world, what they find there changes them forever. Even after they return home, they can’t forget what they saw…and in fact, their souls might be consumed unless they work together to stop a monster once and for all. I am a sucker for a disparate cast of characters having to work together to save themselves, and this one is drawing Stranger Things comparisons!
The Quarry by Mike Salisbury and Marvin Luna (December 5)
Based on a short story, this graphic novel is about a boy whose family is suffering from a recent loss who sets out to find the perfect Christmas tree with his brother’s ex-girlfriend. Set against the snowy and stunning backdrop of northern Michigan, this is “a coming-of-age story of love and loss.” I’ll just say it — there’s a lack of Christmas-set graphic novels in the YA sphere!
Need more great graphic novel and comics recommendations? Check out last quarter’s round-up of new releases!