10 German Graphic Novels for Language Learners

Graphic novels provide captivating images and interesting plot points, making them ideal for learning a language like German.

They allow you to immerse yourself in the language and culture while losing yourself in the story. 

Some transport you to mysterious fantasy worlds, while others will teach you something about the complicated history and politics of Germany. 

With these 10 German graphic novels, you won’t have to dread your study time—instead, you’ll be clearing your schedule to curl up and devour them! 


1. “Faust” by Flix

Graphic Novel paperback: Faust: Der Tragödie erster Teil

“Faust” is written by an author named Flix, and it features a modified, yet inspired version of the famous “Faust” book from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The cover itself is enough to display that the illustrations offer a fun and playful take on the famous book, and it’s a wonderful option for fans of the original “Faust.” 

If you’re unfamiliar with the “Faust” story, it’s about a German scholar who makes a deal with the devil after becoming dissatisfied with the overall outlook of his life. This, unsurprisingly, leads to some undesirable consequences. 

2. “Asterix 36: Der Papyrus des Cäsar” (The Papyrus of Caesar) by Jean-Yves Ferri & Didier Conrad 

Asterix in German

This is a delightful addition to the beloved Asterix comic series, which consists of 40 books each with a different tale.

In this installment, Asterix and Obelix embark on an adventure to retrieve a stolen scroll containing Julius Caesar’s personal notes. This scroll, known as the Papyrus of Caesar, is coveted by various Roman officials who fear its revealing content.

Readers are treated to the classic Asterix humor, witty wordplay and satirical take on history as our Gaulish heroes face off against cunning Romans and engage in slapstick antics. This a must-read for Asterix enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

3. “Die Entdeckung der Currywurst” (The Invention of Currywurst) by Isabel Kreitz

Die Entdeckung der Currywurst

“Die Entdeckung der Currywurst” serves as a beautiful love story set in Hamburg in 1945

The graphic novel follows a man who’s reminiscing about his past and how he lost a girl who used to work at a snack bar. He goes out to find her, only to discover that she’s now at a nursing home, where he sits and talks to her about the past.

Reminiscent of “The Notebook,” this is a German graphic novel for those who like a good love story. The vocabulary isn’t too difficult to grasp, and it introduces themes of love, death and missed opportunities.

4. “Wir können ja Freunde bleiben” (We Can Indeed Be Friends) by Mawil

Wir können ja Freunde bleiben

“Wir können ja Freunde bleiben” is a fun yet sad graphic novel about a man who looks back on his life, only to realize that love was never his strong suit.

He thinks about his time as a young person in the church, during his days spent on the Baltic Sea and while studying art in school. Regardless of the fact that he always looked for love during his adventures, he was never able to find it.

This graphic novel works well for German language learners because it’s a lesson in expressing your feelings and reminiscing on the past, something we all do at some point in our lives. 

5. “Kinderland” (Childrenland) by Mawil


“Kinderland” is a heartwarming and nostalgic graphic novel. Set in East Berlin during the final years of the German Democratic Republic, it provides a unique perspective on life in a bygone era.

It follows a young boy named Mirco navigating the complexities of school, friendships and family dynamics in a divided country during the summer of 1989. He’s usually quite good in school, but he starts to have trouble with the Free German Youth, where his adventures begin.

Mawil’s charming and expressive art style captures the innocence and wonder of childhood amidst the backdrop of political change.

6. “Irmina” by Barbara Yelin


“Irmina” is a must-read for those who like World War II stories based on actual events. The author presents the story from her own connections and experiences.

The story follows a woman who moves to London to become a secretary but must return to Berlin in the middle of the Nazi movement. She ends up being coaxed into the Nazi party, which gives you a clearer view of the complexities that occurred in Nazi Germany. 

Yelin’s artwork is evocative and rich in detail, providing a vivid sense of time and place. This is an emotionally resonant graphic novel exploring complex themes of identity and morality. 

7. “Der Boxer” (The Boxer) by Reinhard Kleist

Der Boxer: Die Überlebensgeschichte des Hertzko Haft

“Der Boxer”  is one of the finest works by Reinhard Kleist. It’s based on the life of Harry Haft, a Jewish boxer who was sent to Auschwitz during World War II. 

There, he was forced to fight other prisoners for the entertainment of the Nazis. Eventually, he made it to the United States as a professional boxer.

The graphic novel is a compelling exploration of survival, trauma and the enduring impact of the Holocaust. A well-known story among Germans, “Der Boxer” is a testament to the human spirit’s ability to endure and find hope in the face of unimaginable adversity.

8. Die Wormworld Saga” (“The Wormworld Saga”) by Daniel Lieske


This is a digital graphic novel series that you can read online for free or purchase on Amazon for Kindle. There are currently 10 chapters with the 11th in progress. It’s available in English, German and Spanish.

The story follows the adventures of a young boy named Jonas, who discovers a magical painting that transports him to the land of the Wormworld. There, he encounters unique creatures and embarks on a quest to uncover its secrets.

Lieske’s mastery of digital art is evident in every panel, creating a visually immersive experience. “The Wormworld Saga” represents the future of graphic storytelling, seamlessly blending traditional narrative techniques with digital technology.

9. “Wave and Smile” by Arne Jysch


This is a powerful graphic novel that delves into the complexities of human relationships, set against the backdrop of an engaging coming-of-age story.

The narrative centers around Max, a young man living in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Max’s life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers a hidden letter in his late mother’s belongings, revealing a mysterious connection to his father.

The graphic novel artfully combines evocative illustrations with a poignant narrative, exploring themes of family, love and self-discovery. Jysch’s storytelling is emotionally resonant, and his artwork brings the characters and historical setting to life. 

10. Madgermanes” by Birgit Weyhe 


This gripping graphic novel unravels a lesser-known chapter of history, shedding light on the lives of Mozambican contract workers in East Germany during the Cold War.

The novel follows the journey of several Madgermanes, individuals who were part of a labor exchange program between East Germany and Mozambique.

Through meticulous research and compelling illustrations, Weyhe explores the struggles, dreams and harsh realities these workers faced while navigating two vastly different worlds. The graphic novel delves into themes of identity, longing for home and the enduring impact of political regimes on individual lives.

Why Graphic Novels are Great for German Learners

There are many reasons why German graphic novels are an excellent tool for learning the language. Here are just a few:

  • By definition, graphic novels are packed with visuals, allowing you to piece together what’s going on in the story. Although German books are handy for taking in fun stories and learning German, graphic novels have the unique advantage of helping you realize what some words mean just by looking at the pictures.
  • They provide some truly deep and relevant stories that you can lose yourself in. Many of the graphic novels outlined above are funny or heartbreaking, helping you feel like you aren’t doing any work since the storylines are so strong and enthralling. 
  • Many of their themes involve details from German history, from the Berlin Wall to the World Wars. Reading through graphic novels presents a visual and written documentation of what people were feeling during those times, and they help you understand how people used humor and art in order to cope with serious difficulties and tragic events. 
  • They combine visuals and text, engaging multiple parts of your brain to form connections between words and meanings. This type of immersion helps you remember the language better. 


The list above is only a hint of the beautiful German graphic novels available to you online or if you decide to visit Germany one day.

If you make it through them all and are ready for something a bit longer, check out these graded German readers or these excellent German novels next!

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