SelfMadeHero’s Guardian Masterclass Tutors Recommend their favourite Graphic Novels

In advance of Saturday’s ‘How to Write a Graphic Novel’ masterclass, curated by SelfMadeHero for The Guardian, we asked four of the event’s speakers to recommend a key text to budding graphic novelists. Here’s what they had to say:


Audrey Niffenegger, Writer and Artist

Life? or Theatre? by Charlotte Salomon


“I admire it because she was inventing a form to contain her life, the book is strange, honest, and extremely original. It was made long before the notion of a “graphic novel” took hold, and so she followed no rules and the book is the result of her need to tell (and show) her story.”

Paul Gravett, Writer

Annie Sullivan and The Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert


“In what is much more than a historical graphic biography, Lambert uses the visual/textual alchemy unique to comics brilliantly to convey the interiority of a blind, mute little girl’s halting, gradual awakening to the outside world and to her place in it, and the depth of caring and resolve of her tutor Annie Sullivan who takes her there.”

Pat Mills, Writer and Creator of 2000AD

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


“It’s a great story with identifiable characters and superb art, and it demonstrates how “political” themes can make excellent drama. ”

Karrie Fransman, Writer and Artist

The Wrong Place by Brecht Evens

karrie recommends

The Wrong Place demonstrates just the right balance of good storytelling and dialogue mixed with stunning painted visuals. In addition, it manages to break out of the usual ‘panels and speech bubbles’ formula while remaining readable and coherent.

“I’d also recommend getting your hands on a copy of the Blab anthologies published by Fantagraphics. They have an amazing mix of media and really demonstrate the potential of the medium: collage comics, history comics, painted and printed comics and even graphic journalism. Lots of inspiring stuff!”


Tickets are still available for the masterclass, which runs from 9am to 5pm this Saturday (7th September). To find out more – and to book tickets – click here.

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