My favorite history comic books, by Max Brooks, author of the Zombie Survival Guide


this is a great list! thanks for sharing.

Anyone looking to add to this list, you should add Joe Sacco. He has graphic novels on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as on the wars in the Balkans:

Also, the work of Howard Zinn, his people’s history series, has been comic-ified. Oh, and of course, Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha series, and of course, since you mention Will Eisner’s work (I’ve never read that one, actually), Dropsie Avenue is a great bottom up history of a new york neighborhood, and I really loved his history of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, The Plot which might have been the last thing he published before passed away:

Of course, Maus is a classic. Everyone should read it. As well as his 9/11 graphic novel.

I think that not just historical retellings are good for use in a classroom, but also graphic novels written in a particular time period could be an effective teaching tool. I’ve thought about using one of Alan Moore’s books to talk about the late period of the Cold War, for example…

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Another good graphic novel is Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby about coning of age in the 60’s South while facing up to his own racism & homosexuality.


As a history professor, I just want to say RIGHT ON to Max Brooks. Comic books, and graphic novels, are tremendous introductions to what many of us love most about history: The great stories, the great truths about the human condition, the tragedies. And also the funny.

Here are three great graphic novels that might serve as “next steps” or “deeper cuts” following Max Brooks’ and others great suggestions above: Jason Lutes, City of Stones and City of Smoke, both on Weimar Germany; and, coming soon, the amazing graphic novel of the U.S. Civil War by Ari Kelman who just won the Bancroft Prize for his book on the Sand Creek massacre in the American West. These are serious works of history but visually striking and hugely entertaining as well.

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I’ll have to check out those Weimar comics… what an interesting historical period…

And a Bancroft award winner is getting a graphic novel? Outstanding!

I’m curious, how have you used graphics/comics in class?

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