Just as movies influence audiences through moving scenes and music connects to listeners’ emotions, graphic novels can have a profound influence on readers. Characters are well developed in a series that connects with readers, and storylines can open up topics for discussion and provoke thought.
From material that tackles difficult topics like love and death to toxic sexuality and masculinity, it’s easy for a graphic novel to influence readers’ thinking and change lives. Redditors have decided their lives are changed forever after reading these graphic novels.
Daytripper By Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
Hiker is a ten-issue series that follows the story of Brás, a writer of obituaries who dreams of becoming a novelist like his father. Challenges with family, relationships, and fatherhood are front and center as each episode ends with a different take on Brás’ death.
A Deleted Reddit User Explains The Life-Changing Impact Of Hiker, writing: “I’m just thinking about the person I want to be. How I want to be remembered. With each death, the series tackles life’s major questions, such as the meaning of life. With recognizable storylines, it’s easy for the series to sway the readers.
A Far Neighborhood By Jiro Taniguchi
Following Niroshi Nakahara as he inexplicably time travels more than 30 years into the past, A distant neighborhood gives Niroshi the power to relive old memories and interact with lost family members. The Japanese manga is a touching story in that the protagonist has his adult memories intact, but is blessed with the ability to recall moments that he has forgotten.
Redditor PataudLapin explains, “I found some pages of this book so emotionally powerful.” Many memories fade with time and it’s important to remember to stop and capture the good times. A distant neighborhood reminds readers to appreciate moments and individuals.
Mouse by Art Speigelman
With many Holocaust films, the subject matter takes the form of a graphic novel Mouse. Creator Art Speigelman interviews his father about his Holocaust survival experience as a Polish Jew and his story is told through animals such as Nazi soldiers as cats and Jews as mice.
Redditor forrealthoughcomix explains, “It really made me think a lot about the trauma people carry.” Since the narrative switches from the past to the present all the time Mouseit’s easy to see how the Holocaust impacts Speigelman’s father both during and after, and how the trauma is lifelong.
Bamse – The World’s Strongest Bear by Rune Andréasson
Originating as a Swedish cartoon and comic in the 1960s, Low he’s a cute bear in a blue suit who teaches moral values and eats a special honey that makes him super strong. Over time, Bamse becomes a father and teaches his puppies about gender equality and intellectual disabilities.
Redditor senalmoondog praises the series, writing, “It taught me why taxes are good. Don’t be a racist. Be nice and kick ass if you have to.” Low teaches practical knowledge that all children should learn before they become adults, as well as how to be a better person and treat others with kindness.
Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Spiderman he may be known for terrifying villains in Marvel comics, but for some readers, Peter Parker is an inspiration. The comics about the teenager who became a superhero thanks to a radioactive spider bite have been a worldwide phenomenon with a series of big screen adaptations.
Per Reddit Dorlando_CalrissianSpiderman “It taught me that no matter how bad things get, you always have the option to do the right thing.” People may strive to do the right thing instead of making emotional decisions during tough times.
Goblin Girl By Moa Romanova
Moa gets more than she bargained for when she matches with a celebrity on a dating site in Goblin girl. He believes the old man is the answer to his problems. He is broke, depressed and nearly homeless. But there are strings tied to her love encounter.
Redditor jagvetinteriktigt appreciates the idea of graphic novels “that no matter how difficult things get and how bad your problems get, they will always go away in the end.” Moa learns a hard lesson that only she can create her own happiness and pull it out of a pit of despair. It’s an important moral to any story.
The Sandman: Dream Country By Neil Gaiman
With four stories and no common plot, The Sandman: Land of Dreams he is no stranger to death. There are heartbreaking deaths throughout comics, but one story, in particular, stands out to readers. In “Façade”, Death helps a superhero die.
Redditor thetiredregular writes of the story: “For some reason, that story changed the way I viewed death.” Urania wants to kill herself because of her “bizarre-of-her” appearance after retiring from being a superhero and her Death helps her with a merciful end. The story has significant commentary on appearance and death for the readers.
Strangers in Heaven by Terry Moore
Strangers in Heaven tells a love triangle between two women and a man as the story alternates with a mystery about an international criminal organization that manipulates and kills men and women in positions of power.
Redditor Archer_Quiet praises the series, writing, “It’s given us so many, many opportunities to discuss absolutely everything about relationships, sexuality, and how people develop in general.” The series heavily discusses sexuality, divorce, and infidelity, along with eating disorders, which can aid in readers’ self-discovery.
Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s boys
Similar to the Amazon Prime series, The boys follows a group consisting of Billy Butcher, Mother’s Milk, the Frenchman, the female, and Hughie Campbell as they monitor superheroes with gruesome outcomes. While many of the comics are left out of the adaptation, some readers are influenced by the comics.
Redditor hipedog explains, “That series got weirdly cool and had a lot to say about the nature of masculinity.” With intense, swashbuckling superheroes like Homelander and graphic violence, the commentary on toxic masculinity is palpable as male characters struggle to display emotion or endanger their friends for narcissistic reasons.
Preacher By Garth Ennis And Steve Dillon
It’s good versus evil in Preacher while Texan preacher Jesse Custer becomes possessed by a supernatural creature that is the product of an angel and a demon. Custer and his girlfriend Tulip travel to the United States in search of God, who left heaven when the creature was born.
The series is influential to Redditor Zealousideal-Bowl-51, who writes that it “changed the way I look at the world as it asks you not to believe in a magical man in the sky, but to look at your fellow man and believe in humanity . ” Preacher encourages people to find support in each other when it seems all hope is lost.
Next: 7 comics and graphic novels adapted into the 2022 Netflix series