Some of My Favorite Graphic Novels

I was introduced to graphic novels (book length “comic books”) while enrolled in a Young Adult Literature class at library school.  I thought they would be all about superheroes and not of interest to me.  I discovered two things.  One, graphic novels are not all about superheroes.  Two, the superheroes are far more interesting that I thought.

Ever since this class in graduate school I have been a BIG fan of graphic novels.  I read them often, and exchanged tips about good series with other GN fans.

Here is a list of some of my favorites:
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan
This series tells a story in the very near future when something (disease?) kills off all the men (except one) on earth within minutes.  (Imagine half of the worlds population dying at once.)  Panic and the breakdown of society occur.  The one man left is it great danger.
Fables by Brian K. Vaughan
All characters of fables (Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, the Big Bad Wolf, Old King Cole, etc.) have left their Fable land because it was taken over by “monsters”.  The Fables now live in our world and deal with murder, theft, and being found out by the Mundies (regular mundane humans).
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
This Pulitzer Prize winning book tells the story of a Jewish man’s life during World War II.  The Jews are drawn as mice, the Germans are cats, and the Americans are drawn as dogs.
Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto
The author of this memoir writes of her struggle with breast cancer with strength, wit, and cartoons. Plus, there is Italian food, love, jealousy, and a wedding.
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
In a comic book format, McCloud details the history of using images to tell a story up to the current interest in graphic novels.  He also explains visual tricks and styles used by comic creators.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The true story of a young girl growing up in Iran.  Her parents send her to America to escape the political unrest in the 1970s.  Amazing graphics and stories.
King of Thorn by Yuji Iwahara
Read this manga (Japanese comic) from right to left while finding out what happens to the individuals unfrozen from cryogenics into a frightening world of disease and monsters.
Pedro and Me by Judd Winick
I cried while reading this book about a man suffering from AIDS.
The Nail by DC Comics
This is a story of what might have happened if Superman never existed in the world of The Justice League of America.

Enjoy this list and let me know about some of your favorite graphic novels.



2 responses to “Some of My Favorite Graphic Novels

  1. Great post!

    I don’t read a lot of graphic novels but I have enjoyed French Milk by Lucy Knisley, A Thousand Ships: Age of Bronze by Eric Shanower, and Jellaby by Kean Soo.

  2. You left out a lot. Anything by Alan Moore is almost always going to be a good read. Yes, some of his work is about superheroes, but his approach to them is peerless. V for Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell, Swamp Thing, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are all great.

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