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Monday, March 28, 2011

Top Ten Graphic Novels According to Booklist. 2011

Top 10 Graphic Novels

The Acme Novelty Library, v.20. By Chris Ware. Ware’s roughly annual books have been steadily expanding the range of what the comics format is capable of expression, and here he takes a dazzling leap forward, chronicling the entire life of yet another emotionally crippled antihero, Jason Lint.

Artichoke Tales. By Megan Kelso. Set in a fantasy land populated by artichoke headed people, this finely drawn graphic novel chronicles a family’s saga before, during, and after a bitter civil war.

Bodyworld. By Dash Shaw. Professional drug-addict Paulie Panther arrives in town to toke a bit of local plant that shoots users in the minds and bodies of others. Shaw continues to impress with this blend of dystopian sci-fi, dire comedy, and high school romance.

A Drunken Dream and other Stories. By Moto Hagio. This collection of short showcases the four-decade career of one of the most influential creators of manga for women, ranging from melancholic shojo romances to gender-bending sci fi to powerhouse introspective character studies.

Elmer. By Gerry Alanguilan. A son coming to terms with his dead father’s legacy isn’t a tremendously new narrative idea, but considering the characters are sentient chickens who were nearly wiped out by humans after gaining consciousness, this story is definitely in unmarked territory.

It Was the War of the Trenches. By Jacques Tardi. Eminent French cartoonist Tardi’s ground-level account of the First World War, chronicling the harrowing experience of French troops in the trenches, is a relentlessly grim and moving reminder of the cruelty and stupidity of war.

Koko Be Good. By Jen Wang. A spirit so free she nearly floats right off the page, Koko and two other misfits bounce around San Francisco and the early stages of adulthood, equally unsure of and inspired by one another.

Moving Pictures. By Kathryn Immonen. An elegant historical graphic novel that explores the personal relationships of a museum curator protecting revered works of art during the Nazi occupation of Paris.

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit. By Darwyn Cooke. Cooke’s second adaptation starring Donald Westlake’s professional heister (following The Hunter; 2009) pits the ruthless parker against a powerful crime syndicate in a virtuoso display of power noir silkiness.

The Umbrella Academy, v.2: Dallas. By Gerard Way. This ultra violent, peculiar, and effervescent play on the super-hero genre features a slew of brain-bending twists revolving around an attempt to thwart-and un-thwart- the Kennedy assassination.

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