August 4, 2016

Comics and graphic novels: how NoveList can help

Written by:
Alina Gerall

Tags: , ,

Comics and graphic novels can feel like an entirely new world to librarians not familiar with them. Never fear, NoveList is here!  For a quick overview of some search strategies, check out this PDF! For more detail, read on!

Lists and articles

Consider a Recommended Reads list to get you started. NoveList offers a broad selection of curated Graphic Novel lists at three different age levels: Adult, Teen, and Ages 9-12. These lists, broken out by genre and appeal, are ideal for anyone from an adult looking for a great selection of indie comics or a middle schooler looking for more books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Yes, that’s right; even those graphic novel hybrids are searchable. Try GN Illustrated Books AND RL Ages 9-12. To see all of NoveList’s readers’ advisory content, including articles on graphic novels for young kids, genre overviews, and curated lists, search for “graphic novels” and click on the Lists and Articles tab.

Search for yourself

A search for GN Graphic Novels will get you started by returning all books with the “Graphic novels” genre, and further genre breakouts can help narrow your options. Try any of the following searches for genre-specific graphic works:

  • GN Manga
  • GN Superhero comics
  • GN Action and adventure comics
  • GN Fantasy comics
  • GN GLBTQ comics
  • GN Historical comics
  • GN Horror comics
  • GN Humorous comics
  • GN Mystery comics
  • GN Noir comics
  • GN Paranormal comics
  • GN Romance comics
  • GN Science fiction comics
  • GN Spy comics
  • GN Steampunk comics

Try narrowing your search further by picking a specific audience age from the menu on the left of your search results, or by including one of the following in your search: AND RL Adult; AND RL Teen; AND RL Ages 9-12; AND RL Ages 0-8.

But genre will only take you so far in finding the right graphic novel for a reader. NoveList’s appeal terms, especially the tone and illustration appeals, can help focus your searches. Here are some examples of searches with appeals you can use to find the right book for a broad range of readers:

  • GN Graphic novels AND AP Cartoony for bold art often (though not always) paired with humorous narratives.
  • GN Graphic novels AND AP Lavish for vivid, richly detailed art, which often evokes a strong sense of place.
  • GN Graphic novels AND AP Witty for snark-filled dialog and fast-talking characters, though not necessarily humorous narratives.
  • GN Graphic novels AND AP Colorful for the reader who enjoys the format but tire of just black and white illustrations.
  • GN Superhero comics AND AP Bleak for dark, gritty stories, often focused on the misuse of superpowers.
  • GN Manga AND AP Amusing for lighthearted, gently humorous and hijinks-filled manga.

The power of appeal searching is at your fingertips! Learn more about NoveList’s searchable appeal terms and snag a complete list of terms.


Alina Gerall is an Associate Juvenile Bibliographer at NoveList.





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