Best Portuguese Graphic Novels

Reading Graphic Novels is a good way to learn Portuguese because the language is pretty colloquial and you get plenty of context which can help you suss the meaning of any unknown words without having to reach for the dictionary. Here are a few favourites. I’ll probably add to the list as time goes on.

  • Balada para Sophie – Filipe Melo and Juan Cavia. Hands down, in terms of reviews from Portuguese Booktubers, this is the top pick. Everyone loves it. Guaranteed crowd pleaser.
  • As Incríveis Aventuras de DogMendonça e Pizzaboy – Filipe Melo and Juan Cavia (this is the first volume. There’s also a volume 2 and volume 3) These are a Lisbon based crime fighting duo consisting of a werewolf detective and a pizza delivery boy. It’s pretty funny. This is the same author/illustrator as the one above. You might enjoy some of their other work but in my opinion these are the cream of the crop.
  • O Pior Banda Do Mundo – José Carlos Fernandes This one is dark and surreal and I love it. I find everything this guy does pretty entertaining but I definitely think he’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s pretty strange.
  • Desvio – Ana Pessoa. Relatively sedate book about a teenager staying at home while his parents are away. I enjoyed it but couldn’t quite put my finger on why…
  • A Vida Oculta de Fernando Pessoa – André F Morgado. Imagines Pessoa as a slayer of the undead. I was a big fan of this and gave it a good review but most Portuguese people I know gave me a lot of side-eye about it so I suspect they would question my taste.
  • Watchers – Luis Louro. This is a kind of media-focused Sci fi story reminiscent of Black Mirror (the logo on page 1 is so similar to the logo of Dead Set that I have to think he’s consciously copying Charlie Brooker) and I also got a slight whiff of Future Shocks from the old 2000AD comics. I liked it a lot but wasn’t wholly satisfied with the ending. Thereq are two versions, A and B, each with a different ending, and mine is A, so maybe try version B and you might have more luck!

If you’d rather stick to stuff you know in English, there are probably plenty to choose from. Just make sure they’re authentic European Portuguese not Brazilian. Here are my favourites.

  • The Walking Dead – Robert Kirman. There’s a run of these in European Portuguese that are really good and easy to follow. I loved them and I wasn’t familiar with them in English at all. Sadly they stopped producing them at… Volume 15 i believe. I’ve tried the Brazilian versions on Kindle. Not nearly as good though.
  • I always recommend Portuguese translations of French comics too, but you’ll probably already know if that’s the kind of thing you like: Astérix, Tintin (hm… he’s Belgian isn’t he?), Lucky Luke. Jordi Lefebre is really good but Apesar de Tudo is the only one of his I can find in Portuguese. I haven’t actually read it myself but if it’s as good as Les Beaux Étés you won’t be disappointed.