NOT JUST SUPER-HEROES – Autobiographical & Semi-autobiographical comics

 Getting into reading and collecting comics can seem difficult to the newcomer and not everyone likes Superheroes.

Harvey Pekar

 Graphic Memoirs

While Mythology. Crime & Fantasy comics are rare in the mainstream of comics there is a lot of crossover with the superhero mainstream – some even exist in the same universes as superheroes.  Meanwhile, there’s a style of comic that is rarely found in comic stores and that is the stories of people’s lives.  Often self-published, underground or independently produced comics or treated as literature and published by “real” book publishers and more likely to be found in bookstores these true, partially true or truish stories are emotional, honest and personal and chart real life from the tragic to the mundane and the romantic and bittersweet.

The following are a sampling of available stories from this genre.  The link to reviews in some of the items are to the highly recommended “Satia’s Reviews” blog.


Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home & Are You My Mother?

Houghton Mifflin, 2006 & 2012.

  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006) – a graphic memoir of Bechdel’s relationship with her father.
  • Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama (2012) –  a graphic memoir of Bechdel’s relationship with her father.
  • Review of Are You My Mother?



Tom Beland’s True Story, Swear to God

AiT/Planet Lar & Image

  • Where to start:  True Story, Swear to God: Chances Are (vol 1, issues #1 – 4), True Story, Swear to God Archive vol 1 (vol 1, issues #1 – 17).



Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby

Paradox Press, 1995.

  • Homosexuality & racism in the 60s.


calling dr laura

Nicole J Georges’ Calling Dr Laura: A Graphic Memoir

Mariner, 2013



Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor

various, 1976 – 2008

  • Slice of life stories.
  • See also: Our Cancer Year & The Quitter.



Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis

L’Association, 2000.

  • The story of Satrapi’s life growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and afterwards.
  • Sometimes in 2 parts:  “The Story of A Childhood” and “The Story of a Return.”
  • Reviews of part 1 & part 2.



Ariel Schrag’s Awkward, Potential, Definition & Likewise

Slave Labor Graphics, 1997, 1999 & 2000.

  • Each collection tells a year of Schrag life including high school and coming out.



Art Spliegelman’s Maus

Panteon Books, 1991.

  • Maus: A Survivor’s Tale – a story about a father’s experience during the Holocaust.
  • Sometimes in 2 parts:  “My Father Bleeds History” and “And Here My Troubles Began.”
  • Review of both parts.



Jim Valentino’s Vignettes: The Auto-Bio Comix


  •  A collection of his Valentino comics from the 80s.
  • See also the semi-autobiographical A Touch of Silver, about growing up in the 60s, but discontinued because it got too personal.



Julie Wertz’s Drinking at the Movies

Free Rivers, 2010.

~ DUG.


One thought on “NOT JUST SUPER-HEROES – Autobiographical & Semi-autobiographical comics

  1. Pingback: MY TOP X – And now more Top 10s By Me | Top X Topics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s