Graphic Non-Fiction

Non-fiction in the Graphic Novel Format

Unflattening is an insurrection against the fixed viewpoint. Weaving together diverse ways of seeing drawn from science, philosophy, art, literature, and mythology, it uses the collage-like capacity of comics to show that perception is always an active process of incorporating and reevaluating different vantage points. -Unflattening


Why Read Them?

The graphic novel format can dramatically broaden the appeal of a topic or area of study. The combination of word and picture along with generally shorter time commitment is especially conducive to those with only a casual interest in an academic or reality-based topic. A great example of this is the Showa series by Shigeru Mizuki, which covers Japanese history from 1926-1989. While no replacement for a formal study of Japan (or watching The Great Course DVD Understanding Japan: A Cultural History), Mizuki's summary of key events in the form of a graphic novel series is much more accessible than an expensive academic tome that would take weeks to get through.

Some titles, like Sarah Glidden's Rolling Blackouts and Igort's Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks, help us understand current events from angles we would not have considered. Others set out to present hefty formal documents into readable abridgements and adaptations, such as Sid Jacobson's grim summary of the United States' Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, or Robert Sikoryak's more light-hearted take on Apple's iTunes Terms and Conditions document. These and other titles from a wide range of non-fiction topics are listed below, so simply click on a book jacket image to place your requests.