ALA Launching ‘Best Graphic Novels for Adults’ Reading List

Reading comics
Credit: Creative Stock55 /

Press Release

ALA’s Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) is pleased to announce the new Best Graphic Novels for Adults Reading List. The inaugural year of the reading list will highlight the best graphic novels for adults published in late 2019 and throughout 2020, increase awareness of the graphic novel medium, raise voices of diverse comics creators, and aid library staff in the development of graphic novel collections. The first list will be announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2021. List selection will be determined by a committee of GNCRT members with a background in graphic novel selection and use for adults.

The GNCRT Awards and Reading Lists Committee – which is charged with developing and reviewing proposals for new awards and juried reading lists the round table might administer – worked last year on developing the criteria and structure for the new reading list. Kristin Anderson, committee co-chair said “The GNCRT is very excited about this new reading list and the committee that developed the proposal for the new reading list strove to put together a framework for the selection of the best and most engaging graphic novels for the adult audience. Other such lists exist for younger age demographics, so we thought it of great importance to create one for adults seeking fantastic graphic novel literature. Great care has been taken to ensure that all aspects of graphic novels be considered; from illustrations, to writing, to diverse content. It is our hope that this list sparks a new desire for these highly engaging materials.”

Graphic Novel Eligibility and Nominations

Eligible graphic novels for the 2020 Best Graphic Novels for Adults will include all fiction and non-fiction titles published between September 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020 that appeal to adults age 19 or older. Nominations can be made by all members of the public, including committee members and ALA members though an online form that will be available in January 2020 on the GNCRT website.

Publishers are welcome to submit copies of titles to the committee for review, though they are not eligible to nominate their own titles for consideration.

Call for Volunteers/About the Committee

The Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table is seeking volunteers to serve on the 2020 Best Graphic Novels for Adults Selection Committee. This new committee will lead selection for the first GNCRT Best Graphic Novels for Adults Reading List. Members will evaluate eligible graphic novels for inclusion on the Best Graphic Novels for Adults Reading List and determine the Top Ten Best Graphic Novels for Adults. GNCRT members who are library staff and/or educators who have experience with selection and/or use of graphic novels for adults are encouraged to apply

Members will serve on a virtual committee that will form in December 2019, begin their term in January 2020, and run through December 2020. During their term, members will review nominated graphic novel titles and create a final Best Graphic Novels for Adults list to be announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2021.

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