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100 Must-Read Graphic Novels [Aug. 20th, 2008|02:57 pm]
100 Must-Read Graphic Novels -- According to Eddie Campbell, "anyone who thinks there are more than a few dozen so-called 'graphic novels' worth reading is an idiot." Sorry, Eddie, I beg to differ. Here's my list of 100 Must-Read Graphic Novels. Funny part is, I limited most creators to two or three slots, or Eddie Campbell's oeuvre would have made up a good half-dozen all on their own, and the list would have been closer to 200.

100 - Little Nothings: The Curse of the Umbrella by Lewis Trondheim (NBM)

099 - Reid Fleming: Rogue to Riches by David Boswell (Deep Sea Comics)

098 - Real Stuff by Dennis Eichhorn et al (Swifty Morales Press)

097 - The Norm in Color by Michael Jantze (thenorm.com)

096 - Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley (Drawn and Quarterly)

095 - Life's a Bitch: The Collected Bitchy Bitch by Roberta Gregory (Fantagraphics)

094 - Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell (Top Shelf)

093 - Curses by Kevin Huizenga (Drawn and Quarterly)

092 - American Splendor: The Best of American Splendor by Harvey Pekar et al (Ballentine)

091 - War Stories by Garth Ennis et al (two volumes) (DC Comics)

090 - A Treasury of Victorian Murder: Abraham Lincoln by Rick Geary (NBM)

089 - Storeyville by Frank Santoro (Picturebox)

088 - All Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC Comics)

087 - Spent by Joe Matt (Drawn and Quarterly)

086 - My War with Brian by Ted Rall (NBM)

085 - Mad Night by Richard Sala (Fantagraphics Books)

084 - Late Bloomer by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics Books)

083 - The Collected Hutch Owen by Tom Hart (Top Shelf)

082 - God's Bosom and Other Stories by Jack Jackson (Fantagraphics Books)

081 - Fred the Clown by Roger Langridge (Fantagraphics Books)

080 - Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (Marvel)

079 - Ripple by Dave Cooper (Fantagraphics)

078 - Conan: Born on the Battlefield by Kurt Busiek and Greg Ruth (Dark Horse)

077 - City of Glass by Paul Auster, Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli (Harper Perennial)

076 - Bone One Volume Edition by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)

075 - Black Hole by Charles Burns (Pantheon)

074 - Daddy's Girl by By Debbie Drechsler (Fantagraphics Books)

073 - The Gypsy Lounge: Lunchtime Variety Criminals by Jasen Lex (Aweful Books)

072 - Marvel Boy by Grant Morrison and JG Jones (Marvel Comics)

071 - The Walking Man by Jiro Tanaguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

070 - Waterwise by Joel Orff (Alternative Comics)

069 - Red Eye, Black Eye by K. Thor Jensen (Alternative Comics)

068 - Good-Bye by Yosihiro Tatsumi (Drawn and Quarterly)

067 - Abandon the Old in Tokyo by Yoshiro Tatsumi (Drawn and Quarterly)

066 - The Push Man - by Yoshiro Tatsumi (Drawn and Quarterly)

065 - Shuck Unmasked by Rick Simth and Tania Menesse (Top Shelf)

064 - Paul Has A Summer Job by Michel Rabagliati (Drawn and Quarterly)

063 - Monkey vs. Robot by James Kochalka (Top Shelf)

062 - Hellboy by Mike Mignola (six volumes to date) (Dark Horse)

061 - Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie (Top Shelf)

060 - McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #13 edited by Chris Ware (McSweeney's)

059 - The Legend of Wild Man Fischer by Dennis Eichhorn and J.R. Williams (Top Shelf)

058 - The Fart Party by Julia Wertz (Atomic Books)

057 - Demo by Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan (DC/Vertigo)

056 - The Silver Surfer by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Marvel Comics)

055 - Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus by Jack Kirby (four volumes) (DC Comics)

054 - Pizzeria Kamikaze by Etgar Keret and Asaf Hanuka (Alternative Comics)

053 - James Sturm's America by James Sturm (Drawn and Quarterly)

052 - Palestine by Joe Sacco (Fantagraphics Books)

051 - Strangehaven by Gary Spencer Millidge (three volumes to date) (Abiogenesis Press)

050 - The Outer Space Spirit by Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer and Wallace Wood (Kitchen Sink)

049 - Top Ten by Alan Moore, Zander Cannon and Gene Ha (two volumes) (America's Best Comics)

048 - The Placebo Man by Tomer Hanuka

047 - We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC/Vertigo)

046 - David Boring by Dan Clowes (Pantheon)

045 - Cages by Dave McKean (NBM)

044 - Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw (Fantagraphics Books)

043 - Crecy by Warren Ellis and Raulo Caceres (Avatar Press)

042 - The Maakies by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics Books)

041 - The Book of Leviathan By Peter Blegvad (The Overlook Press)

040 - Fantastic Butterflies by James Kochalka (Alternative Comics)

039 - B. Krigstein Comics by Bernard Krigstein (Fantagraphics Books)

038 - Jay's Days: Rise and Fall of the Pasta Shop Lothario by Jason Marcy (Hairy Bald Guy Books)

037 - Gødland by Joe Casey and Tom Scioli (Image Comics)

036 - Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley (four volumes to date) (Oni Press)

035 - The Filth by Grant Morrison and Chris Weston (DC/Vertigo)

034 - The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (Andrews McMeel)

033 - Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

032 - Marbles in My Underpants by Renee French (Oni Press)

031 - Catwoman Volumes One through Four by Ed Brubaker, Darwyn Cooke, et al (DC Comics)

030 - Bluesman by Rob Vollmar and Pablo Callejo (NBM)

029 - The Castaways by Rob Vollmar and Pablo Callejo (NBM)

028 - DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke (DC Comics)

027 - Mad Love by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm (DC Comics)

026 - The Journal Comic by Drew Weing (Self-published)

025 - 32 Stories by Adrian Tomine (Drawn and Quarterly)

024 - The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard by Eddie Campbell and Dan Best (First Second)

023 - It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken by Seth (Drawn and Quarterly)

022 - Street Angel by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca (SLG)

021 - Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli (DC Comics)

020 - Daredevil: Born Again by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli (Marvel Comics)

019 - Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (three volumes to date) (Marvel/Icon)

018 - Sleeper by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (four volumes) (DC/Wildstorm)

017 - Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)

016 - The Complete Peanuts by Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics Books)

015 - King-Cat Classix by John Porcellino (Drawn and Quarterly)

014 - Locas by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics Books)

013 - The Frank Book by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics Books)

012 - The Ticking by Renée French (Top Shelf)

011 - Bob and Harv's Comics by Harvey Pekar and R. Crumb (4 Walls 8 Windows)

010 - Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics Books)

009 - Alec: How to be an Artist by Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf)

008 - Hey, Wait... by Jason (Fantagraphics Books)

007 - Ghost World by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics Books)

006 - Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware (Pantheon)

005 - American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries of James Kochalka (Top Shelf)

004 - Ice Haven by Dan Clowes (Pantheon)

003 - Louis Riel by Chester Brown (Drawn and Quarterly)

002 - Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner (Frog LTD)

001 - From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf)

What do you think? Is Eddie Campbell right, or are there more than a few dozen graphic novels worth reading? I think every book on this list demands the attention of anyone that loves good comics and wants to know all the very best works the artform has to offer, and I think this list is just a beginning.

What's on your list?

[User Picture]From: davidwynne
2008-08-20 07:08 pm (UTC)
Campbell's wrong, but he's a grumpy old bastard and a genius to boot, so we can forgive him, I think.

I'm turning this into a meme later, I hope you realise. I'm gonna copy and paste it and bold the ones I've read, italicise the ones I want to read, etc.

Things you missed? Hmm. The Minotour's Tale by Al Davison. Krazy Kat (if Schultz gets on the list, Herriman definitely deserves a spot). Others.. I don't know. I'll think about it.
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[User Picture]From: alandaviddoane
2008-08-20 07:13 pm (UTC)
Herriman's a tough one, because there's no one essential collection...I wish there was, though.
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[User Picture]From: davidwynne
2008-08-20 07:17 pm (UTC)
Ihave a really nice hardback collection of Sunday strips that was put out by Titan years ago... it's far from comprehensive though. Still, there's stuff in there that's had more influence on my work than a lifetime of Batman comics.
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[User Picture]From: alandaviddoane
2008-08-20 07:20 pm (UTC)
Wish I had that!

Looking forward to your list...
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[User Picture]From: box_in_the_box
2008-08-20 08:02 pm (UTC)
Campbell is wrong, but I suck at making lists, so ... yeah. :)

Campbell is not a dumb guy for saying so, but he does have a tendency to remind me of a social subset of people I used to think of in the 1980s as the "turn the dial to PBS and then have it removed" people, if that makes any sense.
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[User Picture]From: wormulus
2008-08-20 11:18 pm (UTC)
I've read maybe 1/4 of these. I don't know that I could possibly rank the books I like, though. Moebius would be somewhere on my list. I'm glad to see that Yoshihiro Tatsumi is on yours; I love his stuff. I really should read "From Hell" one of these days.
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[User Picture]From: alandaviddoane
2008-08-20 11:41 pm (UTC)
From Hell is #1 with a bullet as far as I am concerned; no graphic novel has ever achieved more, and I will be pleasantly surprised if its impact and artistry is topped in my lifetime.

I dig Moebius's stuff when I see it, but I am ashamed to say at the moment I don't think I own anything by him. I know there's a definite lack of eurocomics on my list...
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