Friday, November 14, 2008

a josh top 10 (graphic novels)

Let’s do my personal top 10 graphic novels. As always, this is one man’s opinion and isn’t worth any fuss. I do, however, urge anyone who isn’t really into comic books to give some of these a try and see what you think. Any Barnes and Noble or Borders has nice comfy chairs and books to choose from if you want to take an hour and give something a try.

10. Planet Hulk: The Illuminati, a secret gathering of the world’s most powerful “super” people including Charles Xavier and Tony Stark, forge a plan to rid the world of the increasing threat presented by the Hulk, aka dr. Bruce Banner. But their plan to shoot him into space leaves the Hulk on a vicious alien planet to which he ultimately becomes king. It sounds bizarre, I know, but it is a truly dynamic and epic story.

9. The Long Halloween: Batman, Gordon and Harvey Dent spend a year trying to bring the mysterious killer known only as “Holiday” to justice, but at what cost? This story is so well written it was ultimately one of a handful of comic inspirations for Christopher Nolan’s Batman films.

8. The Watchmen: Anyone who is into comic books will tell you that “The Watchmen”, written by Alan Moore, one of the most notoriously strange writers in the comic world, is one of the greats, and it is. It’s actually so complex and so engrossing that it’s hard to describe. It broke a whole mess of ground, set a new standard for the comic medium and to this day seems to be without peer in many ways. Movie looks cool too.

7. The Tick (The Naked City): This collection of Ben Edlund first few Tick comics is easily one of the funniest things I’ve read in my life. It is comically timed and drawn to such utmost perfection that you have to read it over and over again.

6. The Walking Dead (Vol.1): I was in a comic shop in California that had little index cards beneath popular titles to summarize the kind of book it was to new readers. The one under Walking Dead said something like: “A character driven post-apocalyptic zombie soap opera that is as addictive as crack”, and I’m not sure I’ve heard it described better. This is one of few books that leave even my wife hanging for the next installment like it was an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

5. Bone (One Volume Edition): Most people describe Bone as “bugs Bunny meets Lord Of The Rings” and that’s kind of right, but maybe not enough. This is a 1,200-page epic that takes perfectly done elements of cartoon and adventure fantasy and smashes them together amazingly.

4. Captain America (Omnibus):
Ed brubaker is one of the best writers in the comic world right now. What a blessing it is to have him writing Captain America. This collection gives you the first 20 something issues penned by Ed, a man who knows how to write Cap the way he deserves to be written, and who ultimately penned his death.

3. Civil War:
One of the most enthralling events in the marvel universe. A government appointed “superhuman registration act” forces the countries heroes to reveal their identities and sign with the government to fight crime lest they face arrest and imprisonment. This splits the heroes into two groups, those who support the registration act, led by Tony stark aka iron man, and those who defy the government and fight for the right to serve the public on their own watch, led by the man himself, Captain America

2. The Dark Knight Returns: Again, this is one of the big dogs in the comic world and is largely responsible for taking Batman out of the world of the cartoon and camp and into a darker, grittier, cooler place. Like “Watchmen” this is an 80’s book that raised the bar high. Thanks Frank Millar.

1. The Maxx: (Vol.1):
The Maxx is a beyond bizarre, hard to understand and even harder to explain epic 35 issue series about a homeless man who lives in a box and believes he is a superhero that defends his social worker in prehistoric Australia. Man is it cool.


Orion said...

Nice list. I love Bone and Watchmen, and have been craving some decent GNs. I've yet to find an affordable Civil War, but its been on my to-read list for a while. And now The Maxx is going to be ruthlessly hunted down until it is read.

prozacgensing said...

interesting. iv not got into comics at all but now im considering it

Brennon said...

very good list. i read a few of them already and the watchmen is definately the next one im reading, i never could get into batman comics though...

Daniel said...

I'll definitely look into Bone, the entire volume is less than $20 on Amazon. With that being said, I have Batman: Dark Victory coming in the mail today.

dan said...

i just orderd all these in to the library cuz the only graphic nov ive read has been black-ted dekker

Robert Cochran said...

yer no. 1 pick looks like its pretty good

Cory said...

I just started reading WATCHMEN recently and I guess now I will have to read these, too.


britters said...

I love The Maxx! That is one i would highly recommend as well!

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unopposed said...

I haven't read comics since I was a wee child. However, your list has inspired me to check out some of these GN's.

I got 3 Civil Wars (Civil War/Road to Civil War/Spiderman)from my local library (It's a county co-op)

I went to Borders to start reading Walking Dead. I LOVE IT! I plan on picking up the complete TPB editions of it (On for less than 60 bucks total!! ALL 9).

When I get through Civil War, I will probably check out Planet Hulk.

I'm also considering getting Bone.

Gavin D said...

I've gotta say, Watchmen has amazing characters but I couldn't stand how dirty it was. I think Marvel Civil War should have been up at Number 1