Vanessa Stefaniuk’s Top 10 Go-to Comic Book and Graphic Novel List

True North Country Comics presents the top 10 go-to comic books and graphic novels from Vanessa Stefaniuk.

Vanessa is an illustrator, sequential artist, animator, writer and crafter based in Toronto, Ontario. She edited both volumes one and two of the Where Is Home comic and illustrative anthologies. Vanessa has applied her skills to create the ongoing webcomic turned graphic novel Radio Silence.

Here’s Vanessa Stefaniuk’s top 10 go-to comic book and graphic novel list:

  1. Giant Days (series) written by John Allison, with art by Max Sarin and Lissa Treiman
    Giant Days is by far my favourite comic series, one that has recently tied a bow on top of this gift of a story and gently passed it into the reader’s lap, whole and handcrafted and lovingly complete. It has humour woven throughout, but never once loses the thread of honest human experience in its storytelling. I was once as lost as the girls were, and now, as bittersweet as it is to know their story is now complete, I am never again without their supportive presence thanks to this series existing.”
  1. The Prince and the Dressmaker art and story by Jen Wang
    “This story is like being surprised with your favourite dessert and being given the luxury of time to sit and enjoy every bite. This story explores the complex relationship some have with gendered clothing and social norms, sweeping the reader up in their arms and dancing them around while reassuring them to trust that it will be okay. The artwork is spectacular, the characters so expressive exactly where the story needs it most, and subtle where it needs it even more.”
  1. Check, Please! art and story by Ngozi Ukazu
    “If you’ve read webcomics, you’ve likely heard of Check, Please! already. But on the odd chance that you haven’t, this college hockey series is a marvellous slice of life story that touches on the human experience in such a personal yet welcoming way. It unlocks this trove of possibilities for what friendship can be, delivers on the promise of found family as well as mends some of our existing wounds with blood family. I played hockey for 16 years so of course I embraced the comic with excitement over that aspect alone, but I’ve also introduced it to people who had no extensive hockey knowledge beforehand and they had no trouble getting lost in the world of Samwell University.”
  1. The Babysitter’s Club (series) written by Ann M Martin, art by Raina Telgemeier and Gale Galligan
    “Speaking specifically on the books that Gale has drawn (only because those are the ones I own – I’m sure the rest of the series is perfect too!), this series is so delightfully soft and warm, like a hug from an old friend. The adaptation brings these stories to life again for a new audience in a way that is both timeless and modern, and the girls have such individual style and lives that it’s hard to ever pick a favourite.”
  1. Agents of the Realm art and story by Mildred Louis
    “I will, forever and again, continue to recommend Mildred Louis’ work to everyone who is looking to wet their feet in reading comics. Her artwork is delightfully punchy and gorgeous, her characters are beautifully flawed and varied and all together so relatable, and her storytelling is superbly thorough in its world building, pacing, and fresh experience. No one does comics like Mildred, and I will again and again look to her work for further inspiration on where comics have the potential to grow.”
  1. Woman World art and story by Aminder Dhaliwal
    “Aminder’s Woman World is an absolute joy to read and reread. I’ve known her work for a long time (since we went to college together), but she continues to draw laughs and tears out of me with her punchy storytelling and delightfully expressive characters. This post-apocalyptic story is dominated by women of all kinds and wraps readers up in a ‘what if’ scenario that’s relevant now more than ever.”
  1. Gawain and the Green Knight art and story by Emily Cheeseman
    “Having been a fan of Emily’s work for years, I am always delighted to pour over her incredible retelling of Gawain and the Green Knight. The storytelling is excellent, but most of all what shines brightest is the gorgeous illustrative sense in which the story lives and breathes through Emily’s artwork itself.”
  1. Be Prepared art and story by Vera Brosgol
    “As a former girl guide, Be Prepared tugged on my heartstrings with its very personal storytelling about a young girl’s experience at an overnight camp. The very youthful reactions to being in such an emotionally trying new environment felt honest, and the story pulls the reader along just like the camp does the protagonist: stumbling forward and having to trust that your feet will fall somewhere safe.”
  1. Minotaar art and story by Lissa Treiman 
    “While technically a zine as part of the Short Box subscription service, this story can be purchased separately from that, as I had a friend pick it up for me last year at MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo). Hedged on the near universal experience of navigating an IKEA store, Minotaar takes the reader on a surreal experience that pushes the boundaries of a friendship to its limits.”
  1. Go with the Flow written by Karen Schneemann, art by Lily Williams
    “A very real and touching story of female friendship, Go with the Flow feels like an excellent example of normalizing discussion of health topics while incorporating excellent storytelling. The realistic narrative goes hand in hand with a very well needed openness that I felt was refreshing.”

You can discover more about Vanessa on Twitter at @quietsnooze and online at

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