Check out our graphic novels and trades recommendations for October

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Mar 25, 2021, 11:00 PM EDT (Updated)

Despite the fact that it’s felt like a million degrees outside recently, fall actually is upon us. And with it comes a new round of awesome comics to read! October is full of incredible graphic novel and trade (single issues collected into a larger paperback so you get a fuller story) releases. I actually had to remove a few picks from this list (including a Star Wars paperback — sorry, Screaming Citadel!) because there’s so much good stuff.

That’s okay, though. Having a lot of choices is a positive thing, and I think any reading fan (whether you’ve been picking up comics for years or have never really read one) will find something to love on this list. And with that, let’s get on to our Fangrrls picks for October!


Credit: Macmillan

Pashmina - Nidhi Chanani (First Second, October 3)

I’ve had an eye on this graphic novel ever since it was first announced, and now it’s finally here. It stars Priyanka Das, who is curious about her mother’s homeland of India and her family history. Unfortunately, her mother is less than forthcoming on the subject. One day, Priyanka finds a magical pashmina in her mother’s suitcase, one that transports her to a different place entirely. This book certainly sounds like a lot of fun — plus I always want to support my fellow South Asian authors.


House of Women - Sophie Goldstein (Fantagraphics, October 3)

I don’t know much about this graphic novel; in fact, I only heard about it a few days ago. But the description sounds so odd and intriguing that I’m pretty sure I want to read it as soon as I get the chance. This black and white comic is described as “science fiction meets psychosexual drama,” and it’s about what ensues when a group of women try to “civilize” people from another planet. I don’t know what that means, but I’m curious to find out.


Niobe: She Is Life - Sebastian Jones, Amandla Stenberg, Ashley Woods, Darrell May (Stranger Comics, October 6)

You may recognize Amandla Stenberg’s name; after all, she played Rue in The Hunger Games and has quite a few recent and upcoming movies. But she also is a writer, co-authoring a comic book called Niobe: She Is Life that stars a young half-elf, half-human. Niobe was born to be a queen, but she’s been on the run. The world is against her — even her own people don’t welcome her — but she finds a kindred spirit in a fellow outcast. I heard a lot about this series when it first released, and I’m eager to pick it up now that all four issues have been collected into a single volume.


New Super Man, Vol. 2: Coming to America - Gene Luen Yang, Viktor Bogdanovic, and Billy Tan (DC Comics, October 10)

I was so excited when Gene Luen Yang was announced as the writer for DC’s Superman comic. After their Rebirth relaunch, he moved over to the New Super Man book along with Viktor Bogdanovic on art, which is set in China and features the adventures of Kong Kenan, a boy who has the superhero’s powers. The second volume releases in mid-October, so it’s the perfect chance to catch up on this series if you haven’t given it a chance yet.


Letters for Lucardo, Book 1 - Noora Heikkilä (Iron Circus Comics, October 17)

This erotic graphic novel was actually Kickstarted and raised over $20,000 — and now it’s here for everyone to enjoy. From what I can tell, it features a paranormal romance between a common man who works as a scribe in a palace and a mysterious aristocrat. Iron Circus Comics puts out some really great work, including the famous anthology Smut Peddler, so this is one that you should have on your list if you enjoy erotic comics.


Ladycastle - Delilah Dawson, Ashley A. Woods, and Rebecca Farrow (BOOM! Studios, October 24)

What happens when all the men ride off to war and the castle is left in the hands of the ladies? And what happens when all the men die at the hands of a dragon? That’s the premise of the 4-issue series Ladycastle (penned by Phasma author Delilah Dawson). I’ve read it, and I can tell you it’s a hoot. If the premise appeals to you at all, I think you’ll love the actual comic.


The Witch Boy - Molly Ostertag (Graphix, October 31)

I adore Molly Ostertag’s art — if you haven’t checked out her webcomic with Brennan Lee Mulligan, Strong Female Protagonist, I highly recommend it. Now Ostertag is releasing a graphic novel featuring a young boy named Aster. In Aster’s world, all boys are shapeshifters and are girls are witches. It’s the way it’s always been. But Aster is intrigued by witchcraft and doesn’t want to be held back by the norms that govern his people. It seems like it will be a gorgeous and intriguing look at the complexity of gender norms and being true to yourself.


Black Panther and the Crew: We Are the Streets - Ta-Nehisi Coates, Yona Harvey, Butch Guice, and John Cassaday (Marvel, October 31)

This series was canceled after its second issue (why, comics, why), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pick this up. It contains six issues in total and brings together Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Storm, and Black Panther to solve a the mystery of the death of an activist based in Harlem.


The Tea Dragon Society - Katie O’Neill (Oni Press, October 31)

I loved Katie O’Neill’s Princess Princess Ever After, which featured the story of princesses who save each other, so I’m eager to read her new graphic novel The Tea Dragon Society. It’s an all-ages book that follows the story of a girl named Greta who finds a creature called a tea dragon at the market and has to learn to care for it. This started out as a webcomic; I always enjoy seeing webcomics I like make it to print, and definitely want to support this one.


The Mortal Instruments, Vol. 1 - Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean (Yen Press, October 31)

Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series is incredibly popular, so much so that it’s been adapted into a movie and a television show. Now it’s a comic as well. Yen Press is putting out a manga version of the series. It’s not clear whether this is a full adaptation of the first book, or whether there will be multiple volumes per book, but either way, if you’re a fan of the series (or have wanted to pick it up but haven’t yet) you should definitely keep an eye out for the first volume.

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