Recommendations: The Graphic Novel Edition

Previously, I've provide an extensive list of recommendations on education books as well as another post on recommendations for social media books.  Now, I'm jumping into another realm of interest of mine:  graphic novels.  Apparently as of this writing, I've read over 1400 graphic novels in my life.  I guess that would mean that I have some experience and knowledge in this arena, right?  

Well, let's hope so.  Here is my list of the best of the best.  They are broken down into a couple categories--not by genre, really, but by single-volumes (e.g. 1 shot graphic novels), complete American series (multi-volume graphic novel series--often originating in comic form), complete Manga series (multi-volume manga series), and ongoing graphic novel series (series I am enjoying that are still publishing new volumes).  

The reasons why these stories make the list varies.  Much of the time, it's because of the power of its story but some are definitely a mixture of story and art.  (e.g. Gareth Hinds and anything with Jeff Lemire). Regardless, any of them are a good time!

Book Cover:  New York: Life in the Big City by Will Eisner.  Image Source:


  • Benson, Gabriel, and Jeff Amano. Fade from Grace. Berkeley, Calif: Image Comics, 2005. Print.
  • Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.
  • Busiek, Kurt, and Alex Ross. Marvels. New York, N.Y: Marvel Comics, 1994. Print.
  • Cunningham, Darryl. How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Science Denial. New York: Abrams ComicArts, 2013. Print.
  • Eisner, Will, Will Eisner, Will Eisner, and Will Eisner. The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. Print.
  • Eisner, Will, Scott McCloud, and Denis Kitchen. Life, in Pictures: Autobiographical Stories. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2007. Print.
  • Eisner, Will. Will Eisner's New York: Life in the Big City. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. Print.
  • El, Rassi T. Arab in America. San Fransisco: Last Gasp, 2007. Print.
  • Fleming, Ann M. The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam. New York: Riverhead Books, 2007. Print.
  • Gipi, . Notes for a War Story. New York: First Second, 2007. Print.
  • Gladstone, Brooke, Josh Neufeld, Randy Jones, and Susann Jones. The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011. Print.
  • Goodwin, Michael. Economix: How and Why Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work) in Words and Pictures. New York: Abrams ComicArts, 2012. Print.
  • Gross, Milt. He Done Her Wrong: The Great American Novel. Seattle, Wash: Fantagraphics Books, 2005. Print.
  • Guggenheim, Marc, and Paul Gulacy. Squadron Supreme: Hyperion Vs. Nighthawk. New York: Marvel, 2007. Print.
  • Gruenwald, Mark, et al. Supreme. New York, N.Y: Marvel Comics, 1997. Print.
  • Hickman, Jonathan. The Nightly News. Image Comics, 2007. Print.
  • Hinds, Gareth, and William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare's King Lear: A Graphic Novel. Cambridge, Mass: Thecomic.Com, 2007. Print.
  • Hinds, Gareth, and Homer. The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel. Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press, 2010. Print.
  • Hobbs, Eric, and Noel Tuazon. The Broadcast. Chicago: NBM Publishing, 2010. Print.
  • Johnson, Mat, Warren Pleece, and Clem Robins. Incognegro. New York: Vertigo/DC Comics, 2008. Print.
  •  Kuper, Peter. The System. New York: DC Comics, 1997. Print.
  • LaRiccia, Michael V. Black Mane. S.l.: One Time Press, 2005. Print.
  • Lemire, Jeff. Essex County. Atlanta: Top Shelf Productions, 2009. Print.
  • Lemire, Jeff. The Underwater Welder. Atlanta: Top Shelf Productions, 2012. Print.
  • Mathieu, Marc-Antoine. The Museum Vaults: Excerpts from the Journal of an Expert. New York: NBM, 2007. Print.
  • Mazzucchelli, David. Asterios Polyp. New York: Pantheon Books, 2009. Print.
  • McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. Print.
  • McCloud, Scott. Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. New York: Harper, 2006. Print.
  • Millar, Mark, Dave Johnson, and Kilian Plunkett. Red Son. Santa Monica, Calif: Titan, 2004. Print.
  •  Miller, Frank, Klaus Janson, Lynn Varley, John Costanza, and Bob Kane. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. New York, N.Y: DC Comics, 2002. Print.
  • Miller, Frank, and David Mazzucchelli. Batman: Year One. New York: DC Comics, 2005. Print.
  • Moore, Alan, and Kevin O'Neill. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Vol. 1, 1898. La Jolla, CA: America's Best Comics, 2000. Print.
  • Moore, Alan, David Lloyd, Steve Whitaker, Siobhan Dodds, Jeannie O'Connor, Steve Craddock, Elitta Fell, and Tony Weare. V for Vendetta. New York: Vertigo/DC Comics, 2005. Print.
  • Moore, Alan, and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen. New York: DC Comics Inc, 1987. Print.
  • Morales, Robert, Kyle Baker, and Robert Morales. Captain America: Truth. New York: Marvel Pub, 2009. Print.
  • Normanton, Peter. The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics. London: Robinson, 2008. Print.
  • Ottaviani, Jim, and Leland Purvis. Suspended in Language: Niels Bohr's Life, Discoveries, and the Century He Shaped. Ann Arbor, MI: G.T. Labs, 2004. Print.
  • Pedrosa, Cyril. Three Shadows. New York: First Second, 2008. Print.
  • Peeters, Frederik. Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Print.
  • Reed, Gary, and Galen Showman. Renfield: A Tale of Madness. Berkeley, CA: Image Comics, 2006. Print.
  • Rodionoff, Hans, Keith Giffen, and EnrĂ­que Breccia. Lovecraft. New York: DC Comics, 2003. Print.
  • Ruth, Greg. Lost Boy. New York, NY: Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic, 2013. Print.
  • Ryan, Johnny. The Comic Book Holocaust. Oakland, Calif: Buenaventura Press, 2006. Print.
  • Ryan, Johnny. The Klassic Komix Klub. Oakland, CA: Buenaventura Press, 2008. Print.
  • Satrapi, Marjane, and Marjane Satrapi. The Complete Persepolis. New York: Pantheon Books, 2007. Print.
  • Spiegelman, Art. The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale. Pantheon Books, 2011. Print.
  • Straczynski, J M, John Romita, Scott Hanna, Dan Kemp, and Richard Starkings. 'nuff Said. New York: Marvel Comics, 2002. Print.
  • Tatsumi, Yoshihiro, Adrian Tomine, Taro Nettleton, and Yoshihiro Tatsumi. A Drifting Life. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly, 2009. Print.
  • Tezuka, Osamu. Mw. New York: Vertical, 2007. Print.
  • Tezuka, Osamu, and Camellia Nieh. Ode to Kirihito. New York: Vertical, 2006. Print.
  • Tobocman, Seth. Disaster and Resistance: Comics and Landscapes for the 21st Century. Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2008. Print.
  • Tobocman, Seth, Eric Laursen, and Jessica Wehrle. Understanding the Crash. New York: Soft Skull Press, 2010. Print.
  • Tobocman, Seth. You Don't Have to Fuck People Over to Survive. Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2009. Print.
  • Vaughan, Brian K, Niko Henrichon, and Todd Klein. Pride of Baghdad. New York: DC Comics, 2006. Print.
  • Waid, Mark, and Alex Ross. Kingdom Come. New York, N.Y: DC Comics, 1997. Print.
  • Walker, George A, Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, Giacomo Patri, and Laurence Hyde.Graphic Witness: Four Wordless Graphic Novels. Buffalo, N.Y: Firefly Books, 2007. Print.
  • Ward, Lynd. Vertigo. New York: Random House, 1937. Print.
Book cover: Ex-Machina Volume 1 - Brian Vaughan


  • Bluesman by Rob Vollmar
  • Boys by Garth Ennis
  • Cartoon History by Larry Gonick
  • DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke
  • DMZ by Brian Wood
  • Earth X series by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, et al
  • Ex Machina by Brian K, Vaughan
  • Incorruptible by Mark Waid
  • Irredeemable by Mark Waid
  • Preacher by Garth Ennis
  • Rising Stars by J. Michael Straczynski
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
  • Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire
  • Y the Last Man by Brian K, Vaughan
Book cover: Buddha Volume 1 - Osamu Tezuka


  • Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa
  • Buddha by Osamu Tezuka
  • Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba
  • Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki
Book cover: Fables Volume 1 - Bill Willingham


  • The Walking Dead by Kirkman, Robert
  • Fables by Bill Willingham
  • Invincible by Robert Kirkman
  • The Unwritten by Mike Carey  
  • Powers by Brian Michael Bendis
  • The Manhattan Projects Jonathan Hickman,
  • The Best American Comics Series

What are your favorites when it comes to graphic novels? 

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