Best Books: Graphic Novels and Comics

I have long been intrigued by graphic novels. I have many times wandered to their section in the bookstore and run my finger along their spines, wondering which one I might like, pulling them out and flipping through the intense illustrations. But I have so little exposure to them, I really wouldn’t know where to begin.  And when I consider their price in light of how long it would take me to read them… I walk away. So far, I’ve only managed to read Smile, Sisters, and Drama, all YA by Raina Telgemeier.

Since I am reading through the best literature in the world, I thought it would make sense to include a genre I would like to get to know better.

I also have a suspicion I would like to write one of my own, one day.

Now, I am not exactly sure, but there are probably some titles here that I won’t end up reading because they are outside of my genres-for-review. In other words, if it is graphic novel erotica or graphic novel horror, I will be skipping along to the next title. Otherwise, I am really looking forward to threading these titles into my Best Books list.

(And then later I decided to include comics and comic books more generally, so those are listed below.)

  • The Underwater Welder, Jeff LemireUNDERWATER WELDER
  • 100 Bullets, Azzarello and Risso
  • Batman, The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller
  • Daytripper, Moon and Ba
  • Asterios Polyp, David Mazzuccelini
  • Tank Girl, One, Hewlett and Martin
  • Scott Pilgrim, 1 Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, Bryan Lee O’Halley
  • Daredevil, Man Without Fear, Miller and Romita
  • Astro City, 1, Life in the Big City, Kurt Busiek
  • Saga of the Swamp Thing, 1, Alan Moore
  • New Avengers, 1, Breakout, Brian Michael Bendis
  • Batman, The Long Halloween, Loeb and Sale
  • We3, Morrison and QuitelyTANK GIRL
  • Astonishing X-Men, Omnibus, Wheedon and Cassaday
  • Punisher Max, 1, In the Beginning, Garth Ennis
  • Kingdom Come, Mark Waid
  • All Star Superman, 1, Morrison and Quitely
  • Authority, 1, Relentless, Bryan Hitch
  • Wanted, Mark Millar
  • Blankets, Craig Thompson
  • The Walking Dead, 1, Days Gone Bye, Robert Kirkman
  • DMZ, 1, On the Ground, Brian Wood
  • Ex Machina, 1, The First Hundred Days, Vaughan and Harris
  • Powers, 1, Who Killed Retro Girl?, Bendis and Oeming
  • Batman, The Killing Joke, Moore and Bolland
  • Palomar, The Heartbreak Soup Stories, Gilbert HernandezY THE LAST MAN
  • Violent Cases, Gaiman and McKean
  • Y the Last Man, 1, Unmanned, Brian K. Vaughan
  • Fables, 1, Legends in Exile, Bill Willingham
  • Invisibles, 1, Say You Want a Revolution, Grant Morrison
  • The Tale of One Bad Rabbit, Bryan Talbot
  • 100 Bullets, 1, First Shot Last Call, Brian Azzarello
  • Criminal, Omnibus, Brubaker and Phillips
  • 300, Frank Miller
  • Transmetropolitan, 1, Back on the Street, Ellis and Robertson
  • Ultimates, 1, Super-Human, Millar and Hitch
  • Preacher, 1, Gone to Texas, Garth Ennis
  • Batman, Year One, Frank Miller
  • Hellblazer, 1, Original SinsSANDMAN
  • Sandman, 1, Preludes and Nocturnes, Neil Gaiman
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 1, Moore and O’Neill
  • Hellboy, 1, Seed of Destruction/Wake the Devil, Mike Mignola
  • Marvels, Busiek and Ross
  • Batman, Arkham Asylum, Morrison and McKean
  • Alice in Sunderland, Bryan Talbot
  • 2000 AD,Judge Dredd, Complete Case Files, 1
  • Maus, The Complete Maus, Art Spiegeman
  • From Hell, Campbell and Moore
  • V for Vendetta, Moore and Lloyd
  • Watchmen, Moore and Gibbons
  • Batman, The Dark Night Returns, Frank Miller
  • Madman, 1, Michael AllredNIGHTLY NEWS
  • The Invisibles, Say You Want a Revolution
  • All-Star Superman, 1, Morrison and Quitely
  • The Nightly News, Jonathan Hickman
  • Alias, Bendis and Gaydos
  • Black Hole, Charles Burns
  • The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S., A Love and Rockets Book, Jaime Hernandez
  • Summer Blonde, Adrian Tomaine
  • The Last Man, Deluxe 1, Brian K. Vaughan
  • Depths, Paul Chadwick
  • Bad Night, Brubaker and Phillips
  • Pyongyang, Guy DelisleLA PERDIDA
  • Heavy Liquid, Paul Pope
  • La Perdida, Jessica Abel
  • Safe Area Gorazde, Joe Sacco
  • Fell, 1, Feral City, Ellis and Templesmith
  • It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken, Seth
  • Super Spy, Matt Kindt
  • Bottomless Belly Button
  • Tekonkinkreet, Black & White, Taiyo Matsumoto
  • Puma Blues, Murphy and Zulli
  • Multiple Warheads, Brandon Graham
  • Berlin, Jason Lutes
  • Onward Toward Our Noble Deaths, Shigeru Mizuki
  • 100 Bullets, Azarello and Risso100 BULLETS
  • You’ll Never Know, C. Tyler
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Stan Sakai
  • Hark! A Vagrant, Kate Beaton
  • Finder, Carla Speed McNeil
  • Pluto, Naoki Uruasawa
  • Sex Criminals, Fraction and Zdarsky
  • Saga, Vaughan and Staples
  • Stray Bullets, David Lapham
  • Paying for It, Chester Brown
  • Journey, WIlliam Messner-Loebs
  • Unterzakhan, Leela Corman
  • Dal Tokyo, Gary Panter
  • Mister X, Dean MotterDIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL
  • Diary of a Teenage Girl, Phoebe Gloekner
  • The Incal, Jodorowsky and Moebius
  • Preacher, Garth Ennis
  • What It Is, Linda Barry
  • Curses, Kevin Huizenga
  • Freak Angels, Ellis and Duffield
  • Our Cancer Year, Peaker, Brabner and Stack
  • The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
  • Twisted Sisters, 1, Various
  • Akira, Katshuiro Otomo
  • King Cat, John Porcellino
  • A Contract With God, Will Eisner
  • Cerebus, Dave Sim
  • Achewood, Chris OnstadGHOST WORLD
  • The Adventures of Tintin, Herge
  • Hicksville, Dylan Horrocks
  • Alec, The Years Have Pants, Eddie Campbell
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • Ghost World, Daniel Clowes
  • Epileptic, David B.
  • The Invisibles, Grant Morrison
  • From Hell, Moore and Campbell
  • The Complete Robert Crumb, Robert Crumb
  • Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
  • Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Boy on Earth, Chris Ware
  • American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang *
  • March: Book One (and trilogy), Lewis, Aydin, and Powell *
  • They Called Us Enemy, George Takei

To check out Wizard Magazine’s 100 Best Graphic Novels, including lots of superheros, click HERE.

COMICS (and there are plenty of graphic novels mixed in here, too, because I really couldn’t find lists with one and not the other.)

  • Watchmen, Alan Moore
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller
  • The Sandman, Neil Gaiman
  • The Complete Maus, Art Spiegelman
  • The Walking Dead: Compendium One, Robert Kirkman
  • Hellboy, Omnibus Volume One, Mike Mignola
  • Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book One, Alan Moore
  • Marvels, Kurt Busiek
  • Y: The Last Man, Omnibus, Brian K. Vaughan
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Year One, Kieron Gillen
  • X-Men, God Loves Man Kills, Brent Anderson
  • Preacher, Book One, Garth Ennis
  • Fables, The Deluxe Edition Book One, Bill Willingham
  • Transmetropolitan, Book One, Warren Ellis
  • Batman: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore
  • Saga, Compendium One, Brian K. Vaughan
  • From Hell, Alan Moore
  • Daytripper, Gabriel Ba
  • My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Emil Ferris
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum, Grant Morrison
  • Sex Criminals, Volume One: One Weird Trick
  • Sin City, Frank Miller
  • Astro City: Life in the Big City, Kurt Busiek
  • V for Vendetta, Alan Moore
  • Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, Scott McCloud
  • Vision: The Complete Collection, Gabriel Hernandez Walta
  • Invincible: Compendium Volume 1, Robert Kirkman
  • March: Book One, John Lewis *
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Allison Bechdel
  • Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume, Jeff Smith
  • Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1, Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Kingdom Come, Mark Waid
  • Blankets, Craig Thomas
  • Hellblazer, Vol. 1: Original Sins, Jamie Delano
  • Paper Girls, Vol. 1, Brian K. Vaughan
  • Black Panther, Vol. 1, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 300, Frank Miller
  • The Planetary Omnibus, Warren Ellis
  • Absolute All Star Superman, Grant Morrison
  • Punisher Max: Complete Collection Vol. 1, Derick Robertson
  • Sweet Tooth: Compendium, Jeff Lemire
  • The League of Extraordiary Gentlemen, Omnibus, Alan Moore
  • Bitch Planet, Vol. 1, Kelly Sue Deconnick
  • Monstress, Book One, Marjorie Liu
  • East of West, Vol. 1, The Promise, Jonathan Hickman
  • Black Hammer, Library Editions Vol. 1, Jeff Lemire
  • Superman: Red Son, Mark Millar
  • Lone Wolf and Cub, Omnibus Vol. 1, Kazuo Koike
  • Chew, Vol. 1, Taster’s Choice, John Layman
  • The Underwater Welder, Jeff Lemire
  • The Invisibles, Book One, Grant Morrison
  • Doom Patrol, Omnibus, Grant Morrison
  • Usagi Yojimbo Saga, Vol. 1, Stan Sakai
  • DC: The New Frontier, Darwyn Cooke
  • The Collected Essex County, Jeff Lemire
  • The Wake, Scott Snyder
  • Blacksad: The Collected Stories, Juan Diaz Canales
  • Astonishing X-Men, Joss Whedon
  • Hawkeye, Omnibus, Matt Fraction
  • Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 1, Ed Piskor
  • Gotham Central, Omnibus, Ed Brubaker
  • Locke & Key, Keyhouse Compendium, Joe Hill
  • Black Science, Premier Hardcover Vol. 1 Remastered, Rick Remender
  • Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E., the Complete Collection, Stuart Immonen
  • I Killed Adolf Hitler, Jason
  • Southern Bastards, Book One Premier Edition, Jason Aaron
  • Marvel, Omnibus Vol. 1, Adrian Alphona
  • Love & Rockets, Vol. 1, Music for Mechanics, Gilbert Hernandez
  • Batman: The Long Halloween
  • Kingdom Come
  • Batman: The Killing Joke
  • Batman: Year One
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
  • Nimona
  • Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
  • This One Summer, Tamaki
  • Through the Woods, Emily Carrol
  • Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
  • Here, Richard Maguire
  • How to Be Happy, Eleanor Davis
  • Megahex, Hanselmann
  • A Contract with God, Will Eisner
  • The Color of Earth trilogy, Kim Dong Hwa
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, Isabel Greenberg
  • Eightball, Daniel Clowes
  • Mouse Guard, David Petersen
  • The MAD Archives, Vol. 1
  • Whiteout, Rucka and Lieber
  • Finder, Carla Speed McNeill
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Miyazaki
  • Akira, Otomo
  • Pluto, Urasawa
  • One Piece, Oda
  • Fullmetal Alchemist, Arakawa
  • Goodnight Punpun, Asano
  • Persepolis, Satrapi
  • Fun Home, Allison Bechdel
  • Your Black Friend, Ben Passmore
  • Shade, the Changing Man, Milligan and Bachalo
  • The Incal, Jodorowski
  • Elfquest, Pini and Pini
  • Krazy Kat: Love in a Kestle or Love in a Hut
  • Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Waterson
  • Pogo, Walt Kelley
  • Dykes to Watch Out For, Allison Bechdel
  • Bloom County, Berke Brethead
  • Mary Perkins on Stage, Vol. 1, Leonard Starr
  • Peanuts, Charles M. Shultz
  • Little Lulu, John Stanley
  • Ernie Pook’s Comeek, Lynda Barry
  • Thimble Theater, E. C. Segar
  • Ghosts, Raina Telgemeier *
  • Castle Waiting, Linda Medley
  • American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang *
  • Carl Barks’ Disney Ducks, Carl Barks
  • Zita the Spacegirl, Ben Hatke
  • Amulet, Kazua Kibuishi
  • El Deafo, Bell and Lasky
  • Action Comics (1938-2000), #1
  • Fullmetal Alchemist, Arakawa
  • Inuyasha, Takahashi
  • Kingdom Come, Waid and Ross
  • One Piece, Oda
  • Mind MGMT, Matt Kindt
  • The Goon, Eric Powell
  • Asterios Polyp, Mazzuchelli
  • The Left Bank Gang, Jason
  • Criminal, Brubaker and Philips
  • Fables, Willingham
  • Berlin, Jason Lutes
  • Giant Days, John Allison
  • Concrete, Paul Chadwick
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Don Rosa
  • American Vampire, Snyder
  • Strangers in Paradise, Terry Moore
  • Lucifer, Carey
  • Essex County, Jeff Lamire
  • Batman by Grant Morrison
  • Eightball, Daniel Clowes
  • Patience, Daniel Clowes
  • Thor by Jason Aaron
  • Animal Man, Grant Morrison
  • Parker, Darwynn Cooke
  • The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century, Miller and Gibbons
  • X-Force/X-Statix, Milligan and Allred
  • The Eternaut, Oesterheld
  • The Maxx, Sam Keith
  • Alias, Bendis
  • I Kill Giants, Kelly and NimuraThe Sixth Gun, Bunn and Hurt

One thought on “Best Books: Graphic Novels and Comics

  1. So that I don’t lose the comments made on Facebook:

    Matt Talamini: “I can speak to how good Sandman is. Also Scott Pilgrim & We3. Excellent.”

    Lauren Ruffrage: “Hark! A Vagrant, Persepolis, I think you would like Hope Larson’s books, The Property, Hyperbole and a Half, Displacement, Super Spy (I love Matt Kindt)…there are so many!”

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