Monday, 22 September 2008

The five best graphic novels ever...

This is a list excluding major superheroes like Batman, Spider-man and Dare Devil.

Though they are numbered, they are not in order...

1) The Watchmen - Alan Moore

This is the superlative post-modern superhero tale involving pulp noir, science, hubris, the Cold War, love, lust, craziness and pirates. Told in 12 parts, it's about a disbanded team of superheroes who are being picked off one at a time in mysterious circumstances. The world has banned them, they can't stand each other anymore and yet they have to work out what sinister plot is bringing them all together again. This is absolutely amazing stuff. Check out the pretty faithful film trailer for next year's Zack Synder effort.

2) Ghost World - Daniel Clowes

Daniel Clowes is able to tell brilliant stories of stunted growth and wanted to be a child forever but dealing with the world around you and its grotesque circus of disgusting yet similarly childlike characters. This is an examination of the lives of two recent high school graduates from the advantaged perch of a constant and undetectable eavesdropper, with the shaky detachment of a scientist who has grown fond of the prize microbes in his petri dish.

3) Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth - Chris Ware

Jimmy Corrigan is a lonely man in his mid-30s with an inferiority complex, a debilitating lack of self-confidence and an overbearing mother. The plot--dealing with Jimmy's reunion with his father, who abandoned him as a child--is almost secondary, as Ware tells the tale of previous generations of Corrigan males via flashbacks, demonstrating how their own lives and circumstances culminated in Jimmy's feeling of alienation, abandonment and social awkwardness.

4) Maus - Art Spiegelman

A holocaust survivor's tale told to Art by his dad, lovingly recrafted as a tom and Jerry-esque landscape, taking away none of the pathos and complex emotion and heartache of the original source material. Required GCSE material I think.

5) Persepolis - Marjane Sartrapi

The author's oral history of Iran and her life in Iran and in France trying to retain her Iranian culture but also grow up and become independent. Fiercely funny, methodical (it's all very consistent panelling all the way through) and political. An absorbing narrative in black and white and full of simple family dilemmas and sagas, yet never taking its critical eye off the last 200 years of Iranian society and politics.

Honorable mentions:

Ronin - Frank Miller
David Boring - Daniel Clowes
Pussay - Daniel Clowes
The Dark Knight Returns - Frank Miller
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Alan Moore
Shortcomings - Adrian Tomine
Sandman - Neil Gaiman
Quimby the Mouse - Chris Ware
Transmetropolitan - Warren Ennic
The Invisibles - Grant Morrison
American Splendor - Harvey Pekar

Also, take a look at some online comics that Jeffrey Lewis has done:


the Lady formally known as D.I.E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cardigan Unlimited said...

Maus made me cry and Ghost Worl made me be Enid for at least
5 years of my life

You need Moochowski in your life