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The 7 Best Romance Comics And Graphic Novels

So we've talked about romance in movies, art, and literature, but readers have alerted us to a medium we've so far left unexplored: comics and graphic novels.

For the uninitiated, comics may bring to mind more associations with villains and violence than with love, but in recent years, graphic novelists have been using words and pictures to convey what are often surprisingly subtle and accurate depictions of love and relationships.

We asked three top comic writers and editors to share their favorites with us. Check them out, then share your favorites in the comments below.

1. You'll Have That, by Wes Molebash

"You’ll Have That is a webcomic that ended a few years ago, but is one of my favorite series about relationships, love, and life in the modern world," says Rick Marshall, editor of MTV's Splash Page comics blog. "It follows Andy and Katie, a just-married couple in their early 20s as they get used to the whole 'married life' thing. Their friends are still in the dating scene, and they’re still trying to figure out their own paths in life, but they’re very much in love – and the series does a great job of exploring that time period when you find the person you love and try to make a life together.

2. Blankets, by Craig Thompson

Writer and graphic novel enthusiast Mara Wilson tells us: "It's a beautiful coming-of-age story that perfectly captures the giddy surrealism of falling in love for the first time."

3. Jaka's Story by Dave Sim

Comics writer and editor Aubrey Sitterson recommends this one: "[It's] a bittersweet, mostly bitter, love triangle between Dave Sim's greatest creation, Cerebus, the dancer Jaka and her doltish husband Rick. Sim later caught a lot of heat for some ideas that have been rightly characterized as misogynistic (and homophobic), but Jaka's Story is Sim at the height of his powers, with one of our greatest living cartoonists delivering a shockingly real portrait of a woman caught between her work, the society around her, the aardvark she loved and the man she's with."

4. True Story Swear To God by Tom Beland

Says Marshall: True Story Swear To God is Tom Beland’s autobiographical comic about a chance meeting with the love of his life, and how they made a long-distance relationship work despite all of the problems, heartache, and anxiety that comes with being far from someone you love. The award-winning comic covers their unexpected meeting right on through their developing relationship. It’s a really sweet, funny comic that its author clearly poured his heart into."

5. I Killed Adolf Hitler, by Jason

According to Sitterson: "The Norwegian cartoonist Jason is known for his anthropomorphic Belgian clean line style takes on different genres, and here he turns his focus to the classic time travel quest of killing Adolf Hitler. But using the time travel conceit, and making the logic work in a shockingly neat fashion, he also tells a decades-spanning love story."

6. Ronin, by Frank Miller

Sitterson says: "It's a romance in a very similar way to how Nine Inch Nails' 'Closer' is a love song, in that you have to look around all of the badassery to get to it. But once you take in all of the futuristic sci-fi dystopia, sentient robots, cannibals, Nazis and hundreds of years old Samurai feuds, it's really a story about a man and a woman finding one another."

7. Love and Capes by Thomas Zahler

Says Marshall: "Thomas Zahler’s Love and Capes is a funny series about Abby and Mark. Abby runs a bookstore, Mark’s an accountant… and a superhero. In many ways, this comic is what you’d expect from Lois Lane and Superman’s relationship when he’s not out saving the world. Abby and Mark meet and go through all of the normal early relationship troubles – with a few superhero twists – but once they fall in love and Mark reveals his identity, the real story begins. It’s a fun, funny look at the dating life of superheroes and the adventure falling in love can be for everyone – even when you have superpowers."

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