A graphic novel is another way of describing a comic book, but we use the term because we want to express the level of maturity that come with these works. They are full of complex characters, phenomenal literature and hidden moral stories, a far cry from what most book readers think of them.
There have been some graphic novels which have stood the test of time and which are recommended over and over again by comic book fans. These comics have brought the genre more followers and spurned the massive success of the Comic Convention which is now a $160 million a year boost for San Francisco. Sales figures for comics in 2013 were just below $800 million in North America alone and the numbers are rising.
8 Best Graphic Novels
1. Watchmen – Alan Moore
The central story in “Watchmen” is quite simple: apparently someone is killing off or discrediting the former Crimebusters. The remaining members end up coming together to discover the who and the why behind it all, and the payoff to the mystery is most satisfactory. But what makes Watchmen so special is the breadth and depth of both the characters and their respective subplots.
2. V for Vendetta – Alan Moore
“V” is set in a Britain which has embraced Fascism following a nuclear conflict which left the nation intact but badly bruised. Mirroring Hitler’s ascent over the ashes of the Weimar Republic, the Norsefire party seizes power in Britain and restores order at a horrible price.
That is, until a stylish terrorist in a Guy Fawkes mask codenamed “V” appears on the scene to tear the new order down.
3. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns –
This story is responsible for the re-emergence of Batman not just as a superhero, but as a tortured anti-hero with flaws that make him no less obsessed than the super-villains he hunts. Not only do we get heaping servings of the dark, obsessed Batman, we also meet an him as an older man, a true “lion in winter” who must come to grips with his mortality and the unstoppable decline of age.
4. The Sandman Series – Neil Gaiman
Sandman is one of those rare comics that transcend the medium. This is no mere comic book.
This is fiction, with artwork. This is visual storytelling, a modern descendant of humanity’s earliest art forms. Don’t let the “comic book” label fool you. This is a full-fledged book.
5. All Star Superman –
This is one of the best Superman stories ever by any standard. It’s timeless, it captures the core of the character, and it is fun. And, thankfully, it doesn’t waste space with the origin story. Morrison tells you everything you need to know, and moves forward immediately.
6. Maus Series –
Spiegelman interviewed his father, Vladek, a Holocaust survivor living outside New York City, about his experiences. The artist then deftly translated that story into a graphic novel. By portraying a true story of the Holocaust in comic form–the Jews are mice, the Germans cats, the Poles pigs, the French frogs, and the Americans dogs–Spiegelman compels the reader to imagine the action, to fill in the blanks that are so often shied away from. Reading Maus, you are forced to examine the Holocaust anew.
7. Y: The Last Man Series
Yorick Brown is an escape artist; has a fabulous girlfriend who’s traveling in Australia; and possesses a genetic make-up that’s allowed him to survive a plague that killed every male being on the planet except for him and his pet monkey. Yorick is the last man on earth, and in the resulting chaos, he must find a way to help save the human race.
8. Saga of the Swamp Thing Series – Alan Moore
Before Watchmen, Alan Moore made his debut in the U.S. comic book industry with the revitalization of the horror comic book The Swamp Thing.