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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Sep 17, 2014
Headline for Drawn from History: 10 Graphic Novels Based on Real Events
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Drawn from History: 10 Graphic Novels Based on Real Events

Graphic novels can bring a new energy into old stories or events. They give us a new perspective and inspire us through visual storytelling. Here are 7 graphic novels that re-tell the real stories with wonderful drawings.

1

Kenk by Alex Jansen, Jason Gilmore, Nick Marinkovich

Kenk by Alex Jansen, Jason Gilmore, Nick Marinkovich

Igor Kenk was dubbed by the Guardian as “The world’s most prolific bicycle thief”. This graphic novel is a journalistic chronicle of the life of this unconventional entrepreneur, which is both hilarious and thought-provoking. One may scoff at the thief at first, but the story brings up issues of waste, consumption, and gentrification. In the end, you might think he's a hero.

2

Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson by Will Bingley

Gonzo: A Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson by Will Bingley

Hunter S. Thompson played in the world of the deviant. It was almost as if he knew that those were the types of people who tend to change the world. This graphic biography is another of his life stories, but told through the visual. This was often a tactic Thompson used in his own work. His soul fits perfectly in the graphic genre.

3

Thoreau at Walden by John Porcellino

Thoreau at Walden by John Porcellino

This is a graphic novel for the young ones based on the time Henry David Thoreau spent at Walden Pond. The book is stripped down and non-pretentious, much like Thoreau himself. In its graphic format, the book manages to tie in his writings and philosophy seamlessly in with the images.

4

Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss

Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss

Lauren Redniss tells the love stories of Marie and Pierre Curie. The first story is the story of the love between them. The second story is the love they both had for science. Redniss has a unique artistic style that magically makes the scientific pursuit whimsical and romantic.

5

Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History by Harvey Pekar

Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History by Harvey Pekar

This graphic novel is a historic look into the SDS during the 60s and 70s when the smell of revolution was in the air. The students from SDS held conventions where radical ideas were discussed and heard. They challenged power by uniting under peace and equality. You can still feel it in the air today.

6

Women Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge

Women Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge

Margaret Sanger fought for a woman’s right to birth control and was the founder of Planned Parenthood. A woman like her deserves the energy and creativity of a graphic novel to tell her story. She led an extraordinary life which can’t be told in all 70 pages of this book, but it’s worth the start.

7

Paths Toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations of Everyday Anarchism by Cindy Milstein and Erik Ruin

Paths Toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations of Everyday Anarchism by Cindy Milstein and Erik Ruin

This is a graphic story that takes a look at every day practices and attaches meaning to them that shows us how they could contribute to an egalitarian society. It’s a fascinating look into what otherwise might be taken for granted, and holds these things up high as tools for a new world.

8

Palestine by Joe Sacco

Palestine by Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco is known for telling his journalist history through the visual medium. Palestine is about his time spent in Gaza and the West Bank during the early 90s. Life in the occupied territories is told through pictures outside the platform of big media news reports. It's also a fascinating personal experience.

9

Feynman by Jim Ottavani and Leland Myrick

Feynman by Jim Ottavani and Leland Myrick

This graphic novel covers the exciting life of Nobel winning astrophysicist Richard Feynman. It follows this scientific super hero through his life, picture by picture.

10

Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans by Roland Liard, Charles R. Ronson

Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans by Roland Liard, Charles R. Ronson

This graphic novel has received many praises in the way it beautifully explains this history in it's graphic pages. It's scope is outstanding as it follows the history of African Americans from colonial slavery to the civil rights movement to Obama's presidential win.