You remember the feeling of reading illustrated books as a child. They were great, they brought the story to life. And cartoons? Those were the best. Entire books of Calvin and Hobbes could be devoured in one sitting. Then somewhere along the way, we transitioned. We didn’t need those pictures to make sense of the stories. We left them behind and moved into the adult world of text only. The thing is, somewhere along the way we started thinking that we’d outgrown illustrations, seeing them as some sort of crutch, instead of as beautiful artwork that can enhance our reading experience. At least, I went that route. Maybe you realized all along how beautiful illustrated adult books are, but I’m just coming back around, and oh boy are there more options out there than I realized.

Comic strips, for example, are not just for children, adult ones have evolved past Garfield into something a little more mature. We have a few new acquisitions in our adult comic book section (Kate Beaton, Hark! A Vagrant -- pictured below), crafted very specifically for an adult audience. It’s quick, intelligent, hilarious reading, touching on topics such as history and politics. Allie Brosh writes a hysterical web-blog turned book that (while applicable to most ages) speaks frequently on the difficulties of adulting when you don’t feel quite like an adult.


Then of course there are graphic novels, which can come in many shapes and sizes. There are the comic books (not just for kids, in fact some are very explicitly not at all for kids, as movie goers found when Deadpool came to the big screen). Ms. Marvel is aimed at a YA audience, but I found to be a great read anyway. We have a selection of popular works turned graphic novel (Wheel of Time, Game of Thrones, or classics such as Pride and Prejudice and The Hobbit) and some that are only in graphic novel form (Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Buffy by Joss Whedon).

Then there are some that you don’t expect to come with illustrations, but somehow those illustrations make them delightful and unique, just adding a little something extra, like this gem sitting in our Biography section, Something New by Lucy Knisley, a graphic memoir about her during the throes of wedding planning.

They’re popping up more and more, across all genres, books that are accompanied by unique illustrations that add a certain something the story wouldn’t otherwise have. If you haven’t yet, pick up a graphic novel, an illustrated memoir, or an adult comic strip. There are lots of beautiful works of art out there that pair very well with their literary material. Have you tried reading one yet?

About the Authors

Hi - my name is Carolyn Graham and I am the Head Librarian and I love my job! One of the best parts of my job is that I am the first one to see all the beautiful new books as they arrive. I have always loved to read and my favorite way to relax is with a good book. I strongly believe that having good reading skills is an integral part of all learning. Being able to share good books and authors that I have enjoyed is great fun. Feel free to come and ask for suggestions.

Hi - I’m Aubrey Walker, Assistant Librarian at the Jake Epp Library. I’m a librarian and coffee guzzler by day, a reader and tea sipper by night. Reading and writing (and talking endlessly about both) are passions of mine, so I’m rather lucky to have a job where those things are relevant and important. I’m also the voice behind our Facebook page, and I love connecting with people about books both online and off. is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.