As we pause today to celebrate Memorial Day and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom, I’d like to highlight some manga and graphic novels that address more serious topics.

We all know manga and graphic novels can be fun, scary, romantic, or heartwarming, but some titles do more than just entertain us. Here are some titles that address very real topics and some that are historical in nature.

Catherine’s War: A graphic novel based on the true story of Rachel Cohen, a young Jewish girl who hides her true identity in order to survive the Nazi regime in France during World War II. Using the assumed name Catherine Colin, Rachel takes her beloved camera and photographs the events taking place around her. Based on the novel by Rachel’s daughter, the graphic novel beautifully illustrates the courageous journey of a young girl.

A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns: As gender neutral pronouns become more the norm in many parts of our society, there are many people, workplaces and situations that still struggle with understanding the importance of honoring and respecting personal choice in pronouns. This educational yet fun resource is designed to help those struggling with the proper use of gender neutral pronouns in a gentle and nonjudgmental way.

Embrace Your Size: A manga about body positivity by a plus-size author, this book is beautifully illustrated and supportive to anyone not 100% satisfied with their own body – which let’s face it – is all of us! Beauty and fashion are available to everyone, regardless of our body size.

I’m a Terminal Cancer Patient But I’m Fine: This powerful manga memoir by erotic manga artist Hilnama chronicles her journey though colon cancer treatment after receiving a terminal diagnosis at age 38. In order to deal with struggles of the diagnosis and treatment, she did what she knew best: picked up paper and pen and created a manga.