Best Graphic Novels List?
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I'm looking for an online list of the "best" graphic novels. Anyone have a link they recommend?
YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has annual lists of great Young Adult graphic novels. Naturally you won't find adult graphic novels here, but I've found lots of great reads here:
Note: they have recently started making casual browsers provide an email address to access these lists. Annoying, but the lists are worth it.
I found the reviews by Joanna Draper-Carlsson very interesting and complete.
Not just graphic novels, but also other comix genres
I can make my own list, but it's biased!
A couple that mightn't turn up around the place, but I recommend:
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Skim by Mariko Tamaki
Mother Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier
The Tale of One Bad Rat by Brian Talbot
Blankets by Craig Thompson
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Grease Monkey by Tim Eldred
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
They're quite different from the superhero classics that most people think of:
Watchmen and V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
Marvels by Kurt Busiek (a good history of the Marvel 616 universe as a single graphic novel)
Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (first in a continuing series, but stands alone pretty well)
Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek (a stand-alone alternate Superman)
Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman (only volume one - there are 13 of them).
You'll want to use the library when it comes to graphic novels - they get expensive very quickly, especially some of the larger ones.
Yes, graphic novels are definitely expensive.
I think it is impossible to talk about classic graphic novels without having to mention Maus.
Other than that there are lots of good ones but if you look to the visual expression there are a couple of distinctive styles and either you like the style or not. My personal favourites are Hugo Pratt, Jean Giraud and Enki Bilal.
That I think V for Vendetta a classic is more about the tale than the graphics. I just don't like Alan Moore's visual style. Too reminiscent of those horrid superhero comics.
Any Graphic Novel list is not complete without Will Eisner's A Contract with God.
By many regarded as the first true Graphic Novel.
Although the genre was created in USA, I think there are many fine examples from Europe (David B. Epileptic) and Asia (Osamu Tezuka: Buddha, Jiro Taniguchi: The Walking Man
Many people list TPBs of serial comics as Graphic Novel, although purists hate that.
For me, a Graphic Novel is a story in 1 book that stands on its own, but that may have been serialised before
When you click on the tag page for Graphic Novel, you get a list of about 1000 Graphic Novels, TPBs and other comic books.
In comics, especially in USA and Japan, author and artist are 2 different persons (often even more then 2). With Graphic Novels, they tend to be 1 person (with Alan Moore a nice exception).
I appreciate the personal recommendations; however, what I'm looking for is a definitive list like the one in post #2 but without the YA restriction.
I'm not sure if you mean the more restricted definition of graphic novels as stand-alone works or if you want to include collected long running serialized works, but these all include both types.
This list from Forbidden Planet is a pretty good one that covers a lot of the big names that routinely surface on these types of lists - but it is a bit superhero and series heavy.
Draper-Carlson mentioned in post 3 above does do best of lists in addition to individual reviews. She tends away from superheros if you looking for some balance. She's also seems to list more stand-alone works in the non-manga lists if you aren't interested in series.
If you want to go all out, there's 1001 comics to read before you die at http://www.paulgravett.com/index.php/1001_comics/1001_atoz/.
Finally the major industry awards are the Eisner Awards and the Harvey Awards.
>9 Hrm. Those are closer to what I'm looking for, but dang, 1001 comics?
What I may end up doing (and was trying to avoid) is a GD version like I did with 1001 Fantasy Books to Read Before You Are Turned into a Newt and such with nominations and voting. Might there be interest in that?
10 - Only if you are doing it for yourself. I wouldn't want you doing it out of obligation. I'd be happy to participate, but I have plenty of reading as it is.
Yeah. Like the other lists, my primary reason was because *I* wanted a list!
Yeah, 1001 does seem a bit much. I'd be hard pressed to name more than a couple of hundred in total never mind only ones worth recommending. Anyway, the same author has a shorter list in Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know which I've flipped through and thought was good but I don't own the book and can't find the list online.
>10 I think I'll try looking over that book first. I'm trying to avoid adding more projects at the moment. Thanks.
I'm reviving this thread for a slightly different reason. I figured a good discussion on graphic novels wouldn't go astray.
I've just finished reading the first volume of Barefoot Gen, a cartoon story of Hiroshima. It really hit home a lot of the things about Japan during WWII, and brings up a lot of topics that shouldn't be discussed here, but it's really a Japanese version of Maus in a lot of ways, and a more nightmare-inducing version of Grave of the Fireflies.
I've just ordered my own version of Fun Home, and I notice that Alison Bechdel has a new volume out soon, this time about her mother. The other ones I've ordered are trade paperbacks of one of my favourite superhero cities, Astro City by Kurt Busiek (who writes superheroes better than most).
I don't know if you had a chance to check out the book, but I found Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know at the library. Here is his list of 30 valuable works:
The Airtight Garage by Moebius
Maus by Art Spiegelman
The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs
Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez
Watchmen by Alan Moore
The Frank Book by Jim Woodring
My Troubles with Women by Robert Crumb
Cerebus by Dave Sim
Scene of the Crime by Ed Brubaker
The Nikopol Trilogy by Enki Bilal
A Contract with God by Will Eisner
It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth
From Hell by Alan Moore
American Splendor by Harvey Pekar
Black Hole by Charles Burns
Palestine by Joe Sacco
Ghost World by Daniel Clowe
Lost Girls by Alan Moore
Buddha by Osamu Tezuka
Sin City by Frank Miller
Strange Embrace by David Hine
Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa
Epileptic by David B.
Gemma Bovery by Posy Simmonds
Corto Maltese by Hugo Pratt
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
Locas by Jaime Hernandez
Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware
There's no doubt that it's a list of very well received high quality works. It also clearly says comics are "Very Serious Business" so please don't dismiss our medium. There's plenty of light hearted fun stuff that's well done and worth reading.
The book then give 4 other similar recommendations for each of the above work as well as some lists by genre.
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