Introduction

We’ve probably all seen the Science Comics series and the Manga Guides, but did you know there were so many more options out there for nonfiction comics about science? Included in this list are biographies, comics about chemistry, biology, and even the science of surfing. So pick up one of these hidden gems and learn a little more about a topic you maybe hadn’t considered reading on before.

Cells at Work

Akane Shimizu

Cover Image

Join the adventures of an anthropomorphic red blood cell and her new friend, a white blood cell. Over the course of the series, the cells handle bacterial and viral invasions, cancer, injuries, and more!

Appeals to

Readers looking for a light fun read that incorporates some good science as well!

Content Notes

Some gore

Creator Identities:

Japanese |

Main Character Identities:

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth

Jay Hosler

Kevin Cannon

Cover Image

Bloort, a scientist from an alien race, regales his king and prince with the history of life on Earth. With clear explanations, excellent illustrations, and a dash of humor, Evolution: the Story of Life on earth is a natural selection for school library and public library science collections.

Appeals to

Teen and adult readers looking for a fun and accessible explanation of evolution

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

How to Fake a Moon Landing

Darryl Cunningham

Cover Image

Learn about the origins and fallacies behind some of the most well-known conspiracy theories like: climate change, the moon landing, vaccines causing autism, and whether evolution is real. These comics are short, kind of like short stories covering each conspiracy theory, but filled with good facts that make it easy to understand just why these theories are wrong, as well as a bibliography in the back.

Appeals to

Great for anyone wanting to better understand what leads people to believe conspiracy theories, and for those who want to know more on how to combat the misguided thinking behind them.

Content Notes

Though the creator presents these conspiracy theories frankly and with some humor, it can still be upsetting to read about some of the topics discussed.

Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

Rainbow the Koala

Remy Lai

Cover Image

Young animal lovers will eat up this narative about a baby koala named Rainbow that teaches them about the life of a koala in the wild and the impacts that bushfires have had on their habitat. The end of the graphic novel included details about the real life event that inspired the book as well as additional information about koalas and where they live.

Appeals to

Kids who can't get enough of animal books will love Rainbow the Koala.

Creator Identities:

Indonesian |

Main Character Identities:

Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

Seen: Rachel Carson

Birdie Willis

Rii Abrego

Cover Image

While not necessarily an ideal choice for a casual reader, this graphic novel is an excellent choice for school libraries because it's geared towards being used as a teaching text. Rachel Carson's story is told clearly and simply, and there are tons of great resources at the back to guide discussion and with further resources to help build lessons.

Appeals to

This is a great pick for school librarians looking for more approachable teaching texts, or for tween readers who want to start learning about Rachel Carson with an approachable text.

Creator Identities:

Latine |

Queer |

Nonbinary |

Main Character Identities:

Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

The Science of Surfing

Kim Dwinell

Cover Image

Two surf enthastist, Sam and Jade, share their love of the ocean in this nonfiction addition to the Surfside Girl series. In this graphic novel they cover the physics that makes the ocean moves, facts about the creatures that live in the ocean, and lesson on how to surf! Whether you like the ocean for it's sea creatures or it's sick waves, you'll find something to love about this book.

Appeals to

All ocean lovers will learn something new from this book packed with facts the deep blue sea.

Recommended by

Tayla Cardillo

Two Heads

Uta Frith

Daniel Locke

Cover Image

In this lively and engaging graphic novel, scientists Uta and Chris Frith take the reader through the research on the human brain and how human brains affect interactions. The writing in this book is excellent--the explanations are delivered well--with illustrations that convey information and humor--and show strong synthesis of the topic while also driving home the point that science is about finding and answering new questions and verifying results.

Appeals to

Older teen and adult readers interested in psychology and human interaction will want to dive into this well-researched comic

Recommended by

Megan Rupe

Wonderful Life with the Elements

Bunpei Yorifuji

Cover Image

Looking to learn about the periodic table, but struggling through dry texts? Try this comic! Each element has a personality, and the creator ties the study of the elements back to our daily lives as well. There's also a bonus section in the back covering minerals and how they affect the body.

Appeals to

While this is obviously handy for students of chemistry trying to find another way to memorize elements, it's also written in such a way that anyone who wants to learn more about the units that make up our world can come away having learned something and had fun doing it.

Content Notes

Though it's not graphic, the elements are generally portrayed as male-bodied people with genitalia. It serves more as humor than anything else, but it is present.

Recommended by

Shannan Prukop

  • Megan

    | She/Her

    Features Writer

    Megan earned her MLIS from Simmons College and is currently the evening librarian at Bay State College in Massachusetts. She satisfies her voracious appetite for graphic novels and manga through regular visits to her local public libraries and puts her love of graphic novels to good use by adding to Bay State’s collection whenever possible. Megan maintains a personal blog, Ferret with a Strobe Light, where she discusses awesome books she’s read lately. When not engaged in reading or library work, she likes running, drinking tea, and working on her own stories and art.

  • Shannan

    | She/They Teen Services Librarian, San Antonio Public Library

    Features Writer

    Shannan waffled between English professor and librarian as career choices for all of college; eventually librarian won. She is a Teen Services Librarian with the San Antonio Public Library. When not running TTPRG games for their teens or teaching them how to bake, she's doing what she can to promote comics to anyone who will listen. At home they're likely deep in the middle of their latest cosplay project or watching B movies with her husband, while generally pushing the cats out of the way.

  • Tayla

    | She/Her Branch Librarian

    Features Writer

    Tayla Cardillo (she/her) is the Branch Librarian of the Oaklawn branch of the Cranston Public Library in Cranston, RI. She is also a member of the ALA Graphic Novel and Comic Round Table and the chair of the Rhode Island Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee. She completed her MLIS at the University of Rhode Island and her B.A. in English at Rhode Island College. Tayla has known that she wanted to be a librarian since she was 17 years old. When not doing library wizardry, she enjoys playing tabletop games and cosplaying.

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