Graphic Novels 101: A Beginners Guide

Breaking into the world of graphic novels doesn’t have to be intimidating.

1. Maus by Art Spiegelman

Pantheon / Via amazon.com

This chilling novel is the story of a Jewish Holocaust survivor in Hitler’s Europe. The novel depicts Art Spiegelman as he interviews his father about the horrible experiences he went through. You can purchase the novel here!

2. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore

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All you need to know: literary characters team up Justice League style to kick some ass. Could it be any cooler? You can purchase the novel here!

3. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

Vertigo

A New York Times best-seller, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is a tale of the forces that are stronger than life and death. The novel is a must for those interested in ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales. You can purchase the first novel here!

4. Watchmen by Alan Moore

DC Comics / Via industrialtoys.com

A Hugo Award-winning novel, Watchmen has long been thought of as one of the best graphic novels of all time. The first novel tells the story of a group of superheros who have succumbed to their human tendances. You can purchase it here!

5. Blankets by Craig Thompson

Top Shelf Productions / Via belle80.wordpress.com

Blankets is the autobiographical story of Craig Thompson’s childhood in Wisconsin. Topics covered include: his first girlfriend, his Evangelical Christin family, and his rivalry with his brother. Sound up your alley? You can purchase the novel here!

6. Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware

Pantheon / Via hazelfoster.com

This unusual graphic novel uses paper cut-outs, fold out instructions and a brief apology to tell the story of a romance that deports itself between Chicago in 1890 and a small Michigan town in 1980. You can buy the novel here!

7. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

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Persepolis is the funny but heartbreaking story of Marjane Satrapi’s youth in Iran during war time. You can purchase the novel here!

8. Batman: Year One by Frank Miller

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A New York Times best seller, Batman: Year One follows the Caped Crusader’s first year fighting crime. You can purchase the novel here!

9. 300 by Frank Miller

Dark Horse Comics / Via hazelfoster.com

The original THIS IS SPARTA, 300 by Frank Miller is an epic retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae. You can get the novel here!

10. Batman: Court of Owls by Scott Snyder

DC Comics / Via digitalspy.com

A #1 New York Times bestseller, Batman: The Court of Owls, follows the Caped Crusader as he looks into a deadly mystery that brings him to a conspiracy going back to his youth. You can purchase the novel here!

11. The Killing Joke by Alan Moore

DC Comics / Via geek-art.net

After shooting and paralyzing Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl), the Joker kidnaps Commissioner Gordon in hopes of driving him insane. You can grab the novel here!

12. Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Oni Press / Via nytimes.com

Follow Scott Pilgrim as he is forced to fight his girlfriend’s seven ex-boyfriends in a series of epic battles. The first novel can be found here!

13. From Hell by Alan Moore

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From Hell is the story of the infamous, Jack the Ripper. You can buy it here!

14. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

Abrams ComicArts / Via cleveland.com

Derf Backderf unpacks his friendship with famed killer Jeffrey Dahmer in this chilling and incredible graphic novel. You can grab the novel here!

15. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

In this sad but amazing graphic novel, lesbian writer Alison Bechdel looks into the relationship she had with her english teaching, funeral directing and closeted gay father, Bruce. You can purchase the novel here!

16. Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes

On the surface, this fantastic novel tells the story of a murder through 29 short comic strips. However, underneath Daniel Clowes takes the reader through the interrelated lives of the residents of the small town of Ice Haven. You can grab the novel here!

17. V For Vendetta by Alan Moore

A meditation on loss of freedom and individuality, Alan Moore’s novel takes place in a totalitarian England following a war that has changed the planet for the worse. You can purchase the novel here!

18. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

DC Comics / Via geek-art.net

Ten years since he retired, Batman returns to Gotham. Joined by Carrie Kelly, a teenage female Robin, Batman takes on mutant gangs that have overrun his home. The novel can be purchased here!

19. Demo by Brian Wood

Vertigo / Via comicattack.net

A collection of stories about conflicted teens grappling with love, loss, and the joy, Demo was hailed, “touching…breathes with a sense of space and life rarely seen” by Entertainment Weekly. You can pick up the novel here!

20. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Scholastic Press / Via collider.com

An orphan clock keeper, Hugo lives alone in the walls of the Paris train station. When he meets a talkative, book smart girl, his quiet life and most valuable secret are put into jeopardy. You can get the novel here!

21. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Fantagraphics Books / Via amazon.com

Daniel Clowe’s Ghost World has been hailed one of the best graphic novels of all time. Following two best friends who face the pressure of growing up, the novel was adapted for the silver screen and was in turn nominated for an Academy Awards. You can grab the novel here!

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