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A beginner’s guide to graphic novels

04.29.2014

Graphic Novels are not just thick comic books (check out the comic by Jessica Abel above). They combine words and pictures to produce a uniquely wonderful storytelling experience. I’ve compiled a list of graphic novels that rank among my most favorite of all time. (They are also available to borrow from Smith Library.)

watchmen

Watchmen

by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

This is one of the most influential graphic novels of all time. It chronicles the story of a group of former super heroes being stalked by an unknown assassin.

Y last man

Y: The last man: Unmanned

by Brian K Vaughan & Pia Guerra

Brian K Vaughan’s epic tale of the sole survivor of a plague that instantly wipes out every last sperm, fetus, and fully developed mammal with a Y chromosome.

persepolis

Persepolis

by Marjane Satrapi

In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages 6-14, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.

batman

Batman: the Dark Knight returns

by Frank Miller & Klaus Janson; Lynn Varley

This story takes place 10 years after an elderly Batman has retired from crime-fighting. Gotham City has sunk deeper into decadence and lawlessness. The Dark Knight comes back for one final adventure when the city needs him most

blankets

Blankets: A graphic novel

by Craig Thompson

Craig Thompson writes and draws this coming-of-age tale based on his own adolescence. The story is touching, but the real draw is the intricate and expressive artwork.

vendetta

V for vendetta

by Alan Moore; David Lloyd

Set in a dystopian England under totalitarian rule, a mysterious man in a Guy Fawkes mask fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly ridiculous acts.

batman joke

Batman: The killing joke

by Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, & Richard Starkings

The Joker systematically goes after all of Batman’s closest friends. This is easily considered one of the best Batman stories ever told, and is a must-read for any Batman fan.

T_Middlebrooks
—Trae Middlebrooks
Late Night Library Supervisor, Smith Library
wmiddleb@highpoint.edu

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