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Unleash the Ink: 5 Books Begging for Illustrated Glory

Beloved books and hidden gems are frequently optioned for film, but most readers would agree that the books are usually better than their movie counterparts. Many times, the true essence of a great story is lost in translation from the page to the big screen. But when it comes to comic book and graphic novel adaptations, there is a whole new world of possibilities to explore.

Here are five reads, I'd love to see reimagined as illustrated works.

1. The Undead Truth of Us by Britney Lewis

As if the cover isn't enough indication, this YA horror fantasy screams graphic novel.

'I heard once that Van Gogh said, 'The more you love, the more you suffer." And, well, we all knew what happened to him.'

Crafting a compelling blend of art with coming-of-age Black Girl Magic and a unique take on zombies, Lewis' frequent use of Van Gogh references combined with gorgeous prose would make a stunning feast for the eyes.

2. Sign of the Slayer by Sharina Harris

Not into zombies? How about a story where a band geek becomes a vampire slayer?

"Sweat and funk that even Febreze can't freshen cling like dew on grass. I breathe in deep. Not so bad. Blood and burning flesh smell worse."

Reminiscent of Buffy, but with a large dose of unapologetic melanin, Sharina Harris' YA urban fantasy is a fast-paced, action-packed, and full of nerdy pop culture fun.

With witty dialogue and a familiar premise with a fresh voice, this book is ready for a comic book adaptation.

3. To Astera, With Love by Amanda Ross

This supernatural urban fantasy is the perfect literary anthem for our current generation.

"America. 2022- Drugs are legal. Witches are real And a literal vampire is president."

A wild ride filled with bloody, gritty action, a lovable ensemble of found family, and snarky, socio-political commentary, Ross's writing would be fun to explore with colors and imagery as bold and bright as her storytelling.

4. Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope

This high-stakes, historical fantasy is like a time machine, transporting readers back to the 1920's, into a world full of magic, mayhem, and Black excellence.

"Maybe the biggest thing holding her back now was the limits of her own imagination. Maybe the problem was her."

The immersive world Penelope creates leaves a potential blueprint for a compelling illustrated narrative that is both enchanting and nostalgic.

5. Sistah Samurai by Tatiana Obey

This one is a true love letter for the blerds!

"They called me Sistah Samurai, but in truth, I was just a tired woman, tired of being tired."

An action fantasy inspired by Afro Samurai, Obey creates a modern masterpiece that deserves representation in other forms of media like comics (and anime). Until then, add this upcoming release to your carts and TBRs. It launches November 1, 2023.

While these five books may not be in illustrated form...yet, they are perfect reads for the Fall season. Click on the titles or images to explore more on these authors and their stories.

What books would you like to see as comic books or graphic novels? Share your recommendations in the comments.


About Montrez, Contributor

Montrez is a sci-fi and fantasy author, a freelance editor, and blogger passionate about celebrating and amplifying BIPOC and indie voices in the bookish and blerd community.

Visit her website for more on her books and editing services at .

Follow her on Instagram and subscribe to The Novel Creature Network to connect with your favorite blerds and creatives.

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