A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

10 graphic novels recommendations


The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua

Meet Victorian London’s most dynamic duo: Charles Babbage, the unrealized inventor of the computer, and his accomplice, Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the peculiar proto-programmer and daughter of Lord Byron.

Lovelace and Babbage have completely captured my heart. I can’t remember the last time I loved characters more. They have such a great male/female friendship, and they are both oddball and fun and I just – I love them so much. If I ever get access to a time machine, my new answer to what I would do with it is: GO AND HANG OUT WITH LOVELACE AND BABBAGE.


Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan and Rainbow Rowell

Meet Alex, Karolina, Gert, Chase, Molly and Nico – a group of teens whose lives are about to take an unexpected turn…

This is the teen superheroes comic you’ve always wanted. The original run was written a few years ago, and has since been rebooted by YA superstar Rainbow Rowell. If you want a long, angst-filled read, this series is a great way to get into comics for a YA reader. Then read Fangirl.



Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Currently a free to read webcomic, and soon to be published in paperback, this UK based contemporary romance between two secondary school boys is beautifully drawn and written, and ties into the YA novel Solitaire. Meet Charlie and Nick, and fall in love.



The Sandman by Neil Gaiman


A wizard attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his escape, Dream goes on a quest for his lost objects of power.

This is the series that got me into graphic novels. It’s very long, and I distinctly remember the desperate search over a few years to track them all down in my local library system. It follows a group of immortal siblings, centred around Dream (the ‘sandman’), as well as his goth sister Death. It features cameos from Shakespeare and others. It captures the nineties perfectly, and I promise it will keep you hooked until the very end.




Giant Days by John Allison

Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.

Set at a British university, this series about the adventures of three girls is one of the most perfectly English things you can imagine. It also now has an excellent tie-in novel by UK YA superstar and fellow Allsort, Non Pratt!



Saga by Brian K. Vaughan


Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds.

This name might be familiar, as Brian K. Vaughan wrote Runaways, above. You can’t get far in the world of graphic novels without reading one of his works, as he’s the creator of some of the most original work out there today. Saga is an inventive, hugely ambitious science fiction, well, saga, told from the point of view of a baby throughout her entire childhood. There are bar fights, heists, prison break-outs, spaceship speed races, western gunfights and giant monsters. It truly has everything, and I love it.


28587971The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

In the tradition of The Arabian Nights, a beautifully illustrated tapestry of folk tales and myths about the secret legacy of female storytellers in an imagined medieval world.

Mythical, beautiful, romantic and feminist, there’s really no one else like Greenberg in the UK making graphic novels. Each one is work of art that can be read over and over, just for the pictures. But the story is pretty excellent too.


Nimona by Noelle Stevenson


Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc.

This is a graphic novel, about a shapeshifting girl who forces an Evil Villain to let her be his sidekick. He is a grouchy, one-armed villain with a tragic backstory, and she slowly melts his heart and makes him kind-of happy again. With great diversity, and the strongest of strong female leads (with the best hair), this is a wonder to read.


Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley29800

Scott Pilgrim’s life is totally sweet. He’s 23 years old, he’s in a rockband, he’s “between jobs” and he’s dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties.

Funny, slick, silly and supernatural, this comic which inspired the film is a cult classic. It kick-started a lot of the trends in current graphic novels, and it’s really worth a read for that alone – but it’s also a great story in its own right.


On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together.

The most beautifully drawn, imaginative graphic novel about space travel. Every page of this was just absolutely stunning, especially the fish spaceships.



Lauren James was born in 1992 and is the British Young Adult author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and The Next Together series. She graduated in 2014 from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics.

She started writing during secondary school English classes, because she couldn’t stop thinking about a couple who kept falling in love throughout history. She sold the rights to the novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university.

Her books have sold over fifty thousand copies in the UK alone, and been translated into five languages worldwide. The Bookseller called her ‘funny, romantic and compulsively readable’ and Kirkus said ‘An ambitious, promising premise . . . James is one to watch’. She has been longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, a prize given to recognise an outstanding novel by a first time writer.

Her other novels include The Last Beginning, the epic conclusion to The Next Together which was named one of the best LGBT-inclusive works for kids and young adults by the Independent, who called it ‘ideal for teenagers. The Last Beginning is on the ball’. Two short stories set in the world of The Next Together series, Another Together and Another Beginning, are also available.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was inspired by a Physics calculation she was assigned at university. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and all of her books feature scientists in prominent roles.

She lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for the GuardianBuzzfeed and The Toast, and wrote an article for the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2019. She works with Writing West Midlands, providing creative writing courses to children through the Spark Young Writers programme.

About Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including Green Rising, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. She is a RLF Royal Fellow, freelance editor and screenwriter. Lauren is the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League, and on the board of the Authors & Illustrators Sustainability Working Group through the Society of Authors. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide and been translated into six languages. The Quiet at the End of the World was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2022. She has taught creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands.


This entry was posted on June 16, 2018 by .

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