Hey guys, because you demanded it! I’ve decided to create a list of what I, in my biased way, consider some of the best graphic novels of all time.
Let it be known most of these titles you can pick up through numerous vendors, so none of them should be too hard to find.
Well enough self promotion. Onto the list of… THE 100 FAVORITE GRAPHIC NOVELS!!!!
This list is not ordered from best to worst, in fact it’s in no particular order other than from well known to obscure (and I try, when possible, to group by writer).
So we start off with the books EVERYONE mentions. And I can’t argue with their inclusion on any list. They are on everyone’s list for a reason… they are masterpieces, and I’ll very quickly list them. They are:
100. WATCHMEN-“The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waist, and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout ‘Save Us!’… and I’ll look down and whisper… NO!”
Watchmen Absolute Edition
99. FROM HELL
98. MIRACLEMAN BOOK I,II,III (Alan Moore’s legendary run, from issue 1 to 16) Kimota! The Miracleman Companion: The Definitive Edition (See all Comics & Graphic Novels History & Price Guides)
96. BATMAN YEAR ONE
95. THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS
94. DAREDEVIL BORN AGAIN
93. SIN CITY:THAT YELLOW BASTARD
93. KINGDOM COME
So that’s a list of the usual suspects:
4 Alan Moore achievements…FROM HELL just edging out the brilliant WATCHMEN. And the three books in his legendary MIRACLEMAN run, comprise one story (which unfortunately is out of print, but back issues can still be found, and are worth the finding)… it is the definitive story of the thunder and the lightning, of the mensh unt uber-mensh. And of course his entire three year run on SWAMP THING must make anyone’s best list. Those are the only Alan Moore books you’ll find on this list.
I’m going to speak heresy here and say I’m not a big fan of Moore’s LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and thought James Robinson’s (STARMAN) script and Stephen Norrington’s (BLADE) direction made a movie that I liked better than the book. [Yes, I dug the movie LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMAN. I thought it was as kick-ass as Norrington's BLADE film, and I think it's been unfairly castigated for not being slave to the book. But I think defined on its own merits, as a two fisted love letter to an age of pulp heroes past... it succeeds brilliantly. Norrington hasn't made a movie since, and I think that's a bloody shame. He's a brilliant fucking director.]
Frank Miller also has 4 titles on this list, BATMAN YEAR ONE the followup to his genre changing work THE DARK KNIGHT, being unbelievably even better than THE DARK KNIGHT! Also on this list is DAREDEVIL:BORN AGAIN which is absolutely stunning, and tends to get overlooked. And bringing up the rear is the best of Frank Miller’s SIN CITY books, THAT YELLOW BASTARD. Honorable mentions for Frank Miller being RONIN, WOLVERINE MINI SERIES, HARDBOILED, MARTHA WASHINGTON, and BIG GUY AND RUSTY THE ROBOT.
KINGDOM COME by Alex Ross and Mark Waid rounds out the list of usual suspects. As the title that brought me back to comics, it is single handedly responsible for me even having this blog. A monumental work. Now we move on to increasingly more eclectic choices. Absolute Kingdom Come (See all Superheroes Graphic Novels)
90. UNCLE SAM
89. MYTHOLOGY-not a graphic novel, an art book, but it’s an important enough work to the field of graphic literature that it bodes inclusion
88. ASTRO CITY:LIFE IN THE BIG CITY
87. ASTRO CITY:FAMILY ALBUM
86. UNCANNY X-MEN CLAREMONT/COCKRUM/BYRNE OMNIBUS
85. THE FANTASTIC FOUR: LEE/KIRBY OMNIBUS #1
84. THE FANTASTIC FOUR: LEE/KIRBY OMNIBUS #2-It’s been said the foundation of Marvel Comics was shaped in this legendary Lee and Kirby run. Brilliant creation after brilliant creation. Doing more in their 100 issue run, then has been done in most of the hundreds of issues since. Required and fun reading! Fantastic Four Omnibus Volume 2 HC
83. WEIRD SCIENCE EC ARCHIVES VOL 1-The EC books helmed by Feldstein, are astoundingly good! And most amazingly of all is not only that they hold up, but they blow away most modern comics. Engaging, fun, brilliant story-telling. The EC Archives: Weird Science Volume 1 (Weird Science: Fantasy)
82. WEIRD SCIENCE EC ARCHIVES VOL 2
81. SHOCK SUSPENSTORIES EC ARCHIVES VOL 1
80. TALES FROM THE CRYPT EC ARCHIVES VOL 1
79. CRIME SUSPENSTORIES COMPLETE 5 BOOK COLLECTION
78. BATMAN ILLUSTRATED:NEAL ADAMS VOL 1
77. BATMAN ILLUSTRATED:NEAL ADAMS VOL 2
76. THE DEADMAN COLLECTION:NEAL ADAMS-Neal Adams changed the whole face of comic art. His importance to the medium cannot be overstated. And this volume, as well as the BATMAN ILLUSTRATED are indispensable vehicles for viewing a master, redefining the medium… one comic at a time. The Deadman Collection
75. THE GOLDEN AGE FLASH ARCHIVES VOL 1-Very few Silver Age age stories hold up for me, and even fewer Golden age stories. This volume of Gardner Fox’s FLASH being the exception. Wonderful sci-fi based stories, fun and engrossing! The Golden Age Flash Archives, Vol. 1 (DC Archive Editions)
74. THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY SHOWCASE
73. JONAH HEX SHOWCASE-The best of the Showcase books. Staggeringly good stories, wonderfully rendered, that look great in black and white. Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex, Vol. 1
72. THE PRIVATE FILES OF THE SHADOW HC- collects the great O’Neil/Kaluta run Shadow the Private Files
Those all had more or less historic significance, or compilations of older books. Now onto more varied choices:
71. MOSAIC by Kyle Hotz
70. GOLDFISH- the book that put Brian Michael Bendis on the map
69. TORSO-Bendis’ finest Indie Book! Torso
68. ALIAS- With the big toys to play with, Bendis creates his finest work to-date. Stunning. Alias Omnibus (Marvel Comics)
67. ENEMY ACE:WAR IDYLL- Wonderfully Illustrated by George Pratt
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