Best Political Graphic Novels

 Posted by on October 9, 2015
Oct 092015


Comic books, from their inception, have been in a unique position to address political and social issues of the day. From the unbridled feminism of Wonder Woman to the more subtle commentary of Archie comics, the medium is perfectly situated to discuss complex issues in an accessible way despite being a “low” art. Here are just five graphic novels that have drawn from political sources in order to craft stories with messages.


Persepolis is the autobiography of Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian woman who lived through the changes to the country during and after the Islamic revolution. It discusses her struggle with identity, how she tries to fit into this new world, and how it is different for adults and children. The simple art style makes the story even more stark, and the telling is both heartwarming and terrifying. It was removed from Chicago Public Schools in 2013 for containing, “graphic language and images that are not appropriate for general use” according to former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett who retired earlier this year in the midst of controversy regarding a no-bid contract awarded to a company she had ties to.


Written and drawn by artist Art Spiegelman, Maus is centered around an interview with Spiegelman’s father about his experiences as a Polish Jew during the Holocaust. It depicts the main groups as animals, with Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and non-Jewish Poles as pigs. It was the first graphic novel to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and uses metaphorical imagery to depict the horrors of the age in a way that is accessible, but no less impactful. About its only flaw is the simplistic characterization that can take a reader out of the story.

Tank Girl

This is the story of Rebecca Buck, better known as Tank Girl. In this British comic, Tank Girl drives around in the aforementioned tank with her boyfriend Booga, an anthropomorphic kangaroo, fighting against authority wherever she goes. While the book is great at producing a generalized “reject conformity” message, it’s otherwise unfocused both in style and substance. It’s difficult to tell what it wants you to be fighting on the story side, and on the art side spends a lot of time on visual asides and surrealistic tangents.

V for Vendetta

Set in a fascist future Britain, this classic epic from Alan Moore follows Evey Hammond, a prostitute saved from rape by V. V is an anarchist who opens her eyes to the corruption around her, eventually revealing how he has been systematically planning to bring down the government and inspire the people of Britain to rise up. While incredibly ham-handed at times, especially when V makes long-winded speeches, the book does do a good job of presenting the flaws of V’s plans, arguing by default for a balanced approach to governance. The film, starring Hugo Weaving as the titular character, can be streamed online through Amazon and DirecTV and is a bit less direct in its messaging.

Captain America

Originally created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby as WWII propaganda to keep the kids and troops supporting the good ‘ol US of A, Captain America has evolved in the past 70+ years. Since then, it has tackled a lot of questions about freedom, the promise of America, and what patriotism is. From punching Hitler in the face to Cap’s stand during the Marvel Civil War to Bucky grappling with post-2008 American politics, Captain America has always been about what it means to be American and how we can be better at it.

There are, of course, other comics out there that also deal with politics, but these are some of the best of the bunch and a great way to confront new ideas in an entertaining medium.


Jan 142011

Join us Thursday, January 20, 2011, at 7pm PST at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles or at in the discussion for our first ever Comic Book-of-the-Month club, focused entirely on The Walking Dead. Learn more about the books, the television series, or just geek-out with a bunch of fellow Walking Dead-Heads. Want to know more? Then read on!

Have you ever wanted to get into comic books but have no interest in superheroes and/or mutants? Or, perhaps you have never thought about getting into comics but happen to be a huge fan of all things horror/zombie/gruesome? Or you are already obsessed with The Walking Dead and just looking for people to geek out about the book and series with? At the meet-up, we will discuss the book series from the beginning, and why it might be the perfect book for you to pick up if you’ve been toying with the idea of getting into graphic novels but haven’t taken the plunge.

Jenna Busch (Moviefone Minute, Huffington Post, Cineboobs) will be leading a discussion on the hit AMC program show based on the series, followed by a discussion lead by Stephanie Wooten from Nerds in Babeland on the best-selling comic book series.  In between the discussions we will even provide a zombie make-up tutorial by Jackie Bagwell, an owner & organizer of Ashtoberfest (a week-long festival dedicated to all-things zombie).

All attendees will get 20% off all purchases at Meltdown, Inc during the duration of the event. Can’t be there in person because you don’t live in Los Angeles? Show up to the online chat and receive a discount code good for 20% any online order placed through Meltdown Comics.

What: Comic Book-of-the-Month club.

When: Thursday, January 20, 2011 7PM PST.

Entry fee: $6.00 You’ll also have the opportunity to enter a raffle in order to win a copy of a Walking Dead graphic novel.


RAINCHECK: TWD BOOK ONE is currently out of stock from their distributor. Get 20% off if pre-purchase during the event.

Check for live streaming online with an online chat component for those who cannot join us in person.

Produced by: Nerds in Babeland (with the help of Girls Read Comics Too & All Things Fangirl)

Source: (

Purchase Tickets Online via our Webshop

Sep 162010

Fresh Ink Online host Blair Butler reviews graphic novels Cuba: My Revolution, The Unwritten, Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story, Chew: The Omnivore Edition Vol. 1, and Titmouse

Now that you’ve been schooled by Blair, make your way to Meltdown Comics and pick up any of these Graphic Novels;
Dark Rain, Titmouse Vol. 1, Cuba: My Revolution, Chew and Unwritten. All available now!

*Titmouse Mook Vol. 1 available for wholesale. Please submit all inquiries here.

Jan 172010

First Holiday of 2010
MONDAY the 18th!
Martin Luther King Jr.


30% OFF Any comic ISSUES marked 2009


While *Supplies* Last!

*offer cannot be combined with any ongoing discounts and promotions.

Meltdown Comics/Sunset Blvd.
Open: 11am -10pm

Jan 112010

One part MOME collection, one part authorized IFC Channel spinoff, the first quarter of this jacketed hardcover collects the work — storyboards, scripts, character designs, etc. — that Shaw has created for a series of original shorts for The latter 3/4ths collect his acclaimed short stories from MOME, as well as several little-seen stories from elsewhere, and a new 20 page story.

The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D. is Shaw’s first book since his breakthrough graphic novel of 2008, Bottomless Belly Button, which was named Publishers Weekly’s best graphic novel of 2008, one of Entertainment Weekly’s top ten books of 2008, and one of’s top ten graphic novels of the year, amongst numerous other accolades. The book also collects Shaw’s acclaimed, genre-bending short stories from MOME, including “Look Forward, First Son of Terra Two,” a remarkable story of two lovers traveling in opposite directions… in time. Also featured: “Galactic Funnels,” the 2008 Ignatz Award nominee for “Outstanding Story,” about the parasitic relationship between an artist and his lover/mentor; “Satellite CMYK,” a sci-fi mindwarp that ingeniously drives the narrative through Shaw’s masterful control of color, and “Making the Abyss,” a fictionalized story of a surreal film set filled with nuclear tanks, hot tubs, and blind ambition.

Befitting the restless experimentation and innovation of Shaw’s work, this slim hardcover features a first for Fantagraphics: a clear acetate overlay dust jacket, meant to evoke an animation cel.
Download an EXCLUSIVE 10-page PDF excerpt (8.8 MB), which includes the first five pages of two stories.