Essential Graphic Novels

ShortList Magazine have compiled a Top Ten list of “essential” Graphic Novels.

The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

Watchmen – Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima Keiji Nakazawa

From Hell – Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell

American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar – Harvey Pekar

Sin City: That Yellow Bastard – Frank Miller

Batman: The Killing Joke – Alan Moore and Brian Bolland

Preacher: Gone to Texas – Garth Ennis

Tank Girl: Volume 1 – Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin

Sandman: Volume 1 – Neil Gaiman

My main intention here is not to disagree with the list but to ask you, the readers, what your opinions are on the chosen titles.  I would also like to know what changes, if any, you would make to the list.  However, since I’m here…

On the face of things this appears to be a perfectly reasonable list of titles.  I’d be surprised if you aren’t familiar with most, if not all, of the Graphic Novels mentioned.  But therein lies the problem I have with this list.  I am not disputing the fact some highly influential titles are listed but outside of Barefoot Gen the titles appear to be chosen based on recent and upcoming movie tie-ins.  I can only assume V For Vendetta was omitted since Alan Moore already appears on the list three times.

I wonder if those who compiled the list were subconsciously trapped in the notion that a Graphic Novel must be essential reading if it spawned a successful movie.  Sandman must be essential reading because Neil Gaiman is hugely popular at the moment which is partly down to his enhanced celebrity status on Twitter.

As I mentioned above, this is not an attempt to bash any of the titles in this Top Ten nor is it an attempt to bash those who created the list.  I just wonder why these particular titles were chosen and, more than that, I am curious as to what you guys think.

Source: ShortList

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2 comments

  1. matt /

    Transmetropolitan. ALWAYS Transmetropolitan. So prescient it hurts. Also Strangers in Paradise for showing, to quote Kevin Smith, that romance comics aren’t dead. And Cerebus, perhaps solely for Jaka’s Story. Oh, and Asterious Polyp too.

  2. The Bazz /

    Y: The Last Man., should DEFINATELY be on that list.

    If it’s good enough for Hugo (of Lost fame), then it’s good enough for everyone.

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