When the news is filled with difficult, overwhelming, and scary information (and when isn’t it?), it’s important to arm yourself with facts. Roundups like Brian’s recent post on climate change and Jill’s post on decolonizing history are tremendous resources! But, if I’m being honest, sometimes my brain needs a rest before diving in to do the challenging mental and emotional work of educating myself. And my favorite way to take a break (especially in the cold, sometimes gloomy, busy winter months) is to read delightfully wholesome comics! Here are some that I come back to again and again when I need a pause from the world.
Everything by Katie O’Neill
Katie O’Neill’s all-ages graphic novels are delicate and serene. Featuring gorgeously cozy, warm art, her stories are like curling up with a good cup of chamomile tea. Check out Aquicorn Cove, The Tea Dragon Society, or Princess Princess Ever After!
Bolivar by Sean Rubin
This under-the-radar graphic novel tells the quiet story of a dinosaur living in New York City and his next door neighbor, a little girl who is the only person to notice that he is a dinosaur. Full of gentle, intricate art, this is a book that sweeps you away (although, at 9.5×9.5″ and over 2.5 pounds, the design keeps you firmly grounded)!
Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson
At Miss Quinzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hard-Core Lady-Types, five girls from the Roanoke Cabin forge friendships and fight monsters while sticking to the maxim “Friendship to the Max!” With bright colors, charming characters, and delightful humor, this comic book series (which at the moment includes nine volumes, several standalone comics, and a few chapter books) is a never-ending fount of joy.
everyone’s a aliebn when you’re a aliebn too by Jomny Sun
A sweet, poignant series of vignettes about Jomny, an lonely alien assigned to research life on Earth. Oscillating between silly and profound, it’s a perfect reminder that differences are beautiful and we’re not as alone as we might feel. (Also, the author hosts an amazing Twitter account called @tinycarebot — check it out for quality hourly self-care reminders!)
Alright, so this one isn’t quite wholesome, but when I need a true, deep, nerdy laugh, Kate Beaton’s collections of comic strips about the quirkiest bits of history and literature do the trick.
Share your escapist recommendations below!
– Kazia, WFPL Children’s Librarian