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Random comic book thought #1

April 8, 2010

The top 13 graphic novels that should be in new and/or established readers collection in my mind are:

From the mainstream (DC/Marvel)

Ronin-DC-Frank Miller’s best example to me of his art and writing style in his creator owned classic.    

Batmam: The Dark Knight Returns-DC- The book that redefined what could be done with a mainstream superhero, and one of Frank Miller’s most notable mainstream works as a writer and artist.

Watchmen-DC- Considered to be the best superhero book ever written, and a water shed moment in the comic book industry. With Alan Moore’s non-linear story telling and Dave Gibbon’s panel layout created a superhero mystery that deconstructed the traditional conventions of the superhero archetype.

Batman: Year One-DC- The story of Bruce Wayne’s first year as Batman as brought to you by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s art displays mood and tone that is pitch perfect, and one of my favorite Batman stories.

Batman: The Killing Joke-DC- The joker’s origin story as told by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. This is a great example of Alan Moore’s knack for characterization and compact story telling where as compared to his more lengthier works.

Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt-Marvel- The darkest, most surreal, and brooding version of Spider-Man. Probably the best Spider-Man story and one that gets lost in the shuffle by being over shadowed by the likes of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns.

Marvels-Marvel- The story of the important events in Marvel Universe from the every man point of view as told by Kurt Busiek and the first mainstream work by artist Alex Ross.

The independents and imprints

Kingdom Come– Elseworlds/DC- the story of DC’s golden age characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc., dealing with the new generation of  superheros to decide the future of the planet. Story by Mark Waid and art by Alex Ross one of the best Elseworlds stories.

We3-Vertigo/DC- the best introduction to the team of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. A great example of Grant Morrison not letting the concept get in the way of telling a great story, and if you’re not into superheros and an animal lover then this one’s for you.

Pride of Baghdad-Vertigo/DC- A great introduction to the writing of Brian K. Vaughan in this original graphic novel which poses the question of to live in captivity or die free.

Criminal: The Deluxe Edition-Icon/Marvel- A great jumping on point to one of the greatest crime/noir series on the market.

Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth-Pantheon Books- Chris Ware’s indie masterpiece is a classic that led the way for others like Blankets and Asterios Polyp. This book showed what is possible with the medium outside of superheros. Here is an example of simple design used to create a compelling and emotional story.

Last but not least is the winner for best hidden gem.

Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer-SLG Publishing- A dark and funny take on the Pinocchio myth by Van Jensen and Dustin Higgins.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Edward2962 permalink
    April 9, 2010 1:35 am

    Good list! I haven’t read We3,Pride of Baghdad,or Pinocchio but I like all the rest of your picks! More ppl should be hip to Crimminal.I was almost going to do a YouTube review of Ronin,but I ended up doing Electra:Assassin instead.

    • April 9, 2010 9:21 pm

      Thats cool Frank Miller’s best Daredevil work for me was Daredevil: Man Without Fear. It’s the only Daredevil book I own, and can someone tell me why he seems to have more respect for that character than Batman in his most recent work like DK2 and All-Star.

      • Edward2962 permalink
        April 16, 2010 8:14 pm

        DK2 was supposed to be satire,but I believe AllStar Goddam Batman was a hack job.I know it’s presumptuous of me to say this,but it felt like “Here’s yer freaking Batman story,chumps!If ya need me,I’ll be in Hollywood!”

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