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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Five best graphic novels

Have you guys ever read graphic novels? They're full-length comic strips for grown-ups that often tell hilarious and touching stories. They're entertaining and compelling--it's almost like reading a movie. And you'll notice clever little things in the pictures that add to the story (like a flirty sideways glance or a suspicious bead of sweat). Here are my five favorites...

1. Ghost World, above, follows the adventures of two moody teenage girls, Enid and Becky, after high-school graduation, as they grow up and drift apart. (Did you see the film?) I find it mindblowing how a middle-aged male cartoonist--the hilarious Dan Clowes--managed to portray two listless young women so realistically. (He nailed it.) Ghost World won approximately one million awards for being the best graphic novel ever.
2. French Milk is a funny memoir of a 22-year-old's six-week stay in Paris with her mother--complete with drawings of croissants, striped shirts, the Eiffel Towel and some crankiness (which just makes her more charming). Really sweet to see the mother-daughter relationship.
3. Persepolis tells the story of the author's childhood under the Islamic Revolution. Her neighbors' homes are bombed, and her once-wealthy parents now struggle to educate her. Her father considers fleeing to America, but then asks to his wife, "I can become a taxi driver and you a cleaning lady?" As she grows up, the girl's rebellious streak puts her in danger. Touching that the story is told through a child's eyes.
4. Shortcomings follows Ben, a cynical Japanese-American guy in his twenties, on his search for contentment--and the perfect girl. He's kind of a jerk but you grow to love him, or, at least, understand him. Fascinating insight into a certain type of male mind. (The genius author Adrian Tomine also illustrates for the New Yorker; I once spotted him in a record store! I creepily trailed him around but was too shy to say hello.)
5. Cancer Vixen has a scary cover, but I promise you, this book is a-maz-ing. (Even my manly brother-in-law was obsessed with it.) Written by a New Yorker and Glamour cartoonist, the novel tells Marisa's true story of finding a lump in her breast right after meeting the love of her life. This book made me laugh out loud and shed tears, and I couldn't put it town.

Have you ever read graphic novels? Do you have any favorites?

P.S. Ten best documentaries and my favorite book of all time.

245 comments:

1 – 200 of 245   Newer›   Newest»
lisanne said...

blankets, by craig thompson
http://www.amazon.com/Blankets-Craig-Thompson/dp/1891830430

ZombieHilary said...

What a fun post! I can never get into graphic novels but now I feel inspired to try again!

Hilary
ifzombiesweresupermodels.blogspot.com

Kerry said...

Maus by Art Spiegelman. Touching and heartbreaking.

Sarah said...

The movie of Persepolis is also amazing and very true to the book.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Brown's early books are great (clumsy, unlikely, etc.). I also love everything by Guy Delisle.

Anonymous said...

Joe Sacco wrote two great graphic novels, "Palestine" & "Safe Area Gorazde"

Anna said...

I know it's about the Holocaust, which is about as appealing as cancer, but Maus by Art Spiegelmann is one of my favorite books of all time, graphic or not.
And then I was also obsessed with the Scott Pilgrim series for a while, notwithstanding the movie.
Alison Bechdel's Fun Home is on deck on my bedside table as my next graphic novel. I've heard great things.

Kiana said...

I love Persepolis! Being of Iranian descent, I've heard the story of the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamic Republic a million times but Persepolis provides a refreshing, comic, and very human point of view. Thumbs up!

Joanna Goddard said...

ooooh great recommendations! i forgot they made a movie of Persepolis--going to put it on netflix now! thank you, sarah!

p said...

I will admit that I have read only one graphic novel (well, technically two because it is in two parts). So, my favorite is Art Spiegelman's Maus, which is about his father's experiences during the Holocaust. The most amazing thing is how he doesn't glorify his father or himself. Truly a worthwhile read.

Lillian (Unstitched.) said...

Blankets by Craig Thompson! And Sandman, by Neil Gaiman. But Blankets especially - really a great graphic novel! :)

Erin @ likewantneed said...

Echoing Sarah here, but I saw Persopolis and loved it. Rent it asap! I've never read graphic novels though!

Katie said...

Blankets is the best.

M.R. said...

I have read a few, but now I have a few more to add to my reading list.

Thanks!

MINDOFMR.BLOGSPOT.COM

Jw said...

Ghost World is one of my favorite movies but I have yet to read the graphic novel - I need to get on that.

Cancer Vixen looks interesting. My mom was diagnosed with stage four cancer last spring, which she beat (go mom!), but it would have been nice to have something, with humor, for her to relate to.

Katie said...

These all look so fun, next time I'm in a bookstore I'm going to poke around for these!

erica said...

another recommendation for Maus by Art Spiegelman

Nest said...

BLANKETS! Love this post:)

jessie said...

Someone above mentioned Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, which I highly, highly recommend. It's a hilarious and engrossing memoir about, among other things, growing up with a secretly gay dad.

Tifa said...

Sandman. I re-read the whole set about once a year. It's just gorgeous.

Jennifer King said...

I love this post! Persepolis is definitely one of my favorites along with Maus by Art Spiegelman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maus

Both are such inspiring tales. I can't wait to read French Milk!

Unknown said...

The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell is amazing. Such a great story and the pictures are truly fabulous!

carina said...

Loved Persepolis! Haven't read the others, but will try to get copies. I highly recommend Swedish Joanna Rubin Dranger's 'Miss Remarkable and Her Career'.

http://www.amazon.com/Remarkable-Career-Joanna-Rubin-Dranger/dp/014200300X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313004067&sr=1-3

I read it while I was doing my thesis and could really connect to Miss R who never feels that what she is doing is quite good enough.-)

meesch said...

i loved ghost world growing up! good pick = )

-meesch
http://aperfectkindofday.blogspot.com

nicole said...

Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell is on my list. Thanks for these suggestions! xo.

Corey said...

"V for Vendetta" - don't dismiss it because of the movie. It's amazing!

deanna said...

I love graphic novels and definitely second Blankets and Maus!

Closet Cravings said...

I haven't read any graphic novels before, but Ghost World and French Milk make me want to check them out.
WIN $100 SHOPBOP GIFT CARD!

Nicole Jeannette said...

Those look great! I've been looking for a good graphic novel! I think I'll try Cancer Vixen first!

TANYA said...

My all-time fave is Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Beautiful, funny, heartbreaking and absorbing...

Heba said...

I've never read a graphic novel before but I guess I have to try it

http://girlynote.blogspot.com/

Sarah L. Hunt said...

GREAT post, Joanna! I have a cartoonist husband, so we have practically every indie comic/graphic novel ever made in our apartment.

Anon. - LOVE Guy Delisle!

I HIGHLY recommend anything by Chris Ware, especially "Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth" and most recent, ongoing graphic novel "Rusty Brown".

Also, my favorite graphic novel of the year is Gabby Schulz/Ken Dahl's "Monsters".

Linda said...

I looooove Jason Lutes' "Berlin: City of Stones" and the sequel...I can't wait for the third to come out! Also, Spiegelman's memoir of 9/11 is incredibly compelling.

Amanda Blair said...

I didn't even know about this genre but reading your reviews makes me want to go pick up a copy of each! Thanks for recommendations :)

Melissa Blake said...

thanks for the recommendations, joanna! i've never read graphic novels, but cancer victim looks wonderful! xoxo

Amy said...

i just spent a month on holiday in cape town, south africa and discovered an adorably snarky graphic novel called "i don't like chocolate" by the local jesse breytenbach (http://shop.jessebreytenbach.co.za/products/i-dont-like-chocolate-graphic-novel). despite the name (i LOVE chocolate!!!) i absolutely love it and highly recommend it to my fellow americans.

Stacey said...

I chose Persepolis somewhat randomly for my book group this year and was so glad I had...we all absolutely loved it. Some of the others mentioned have been on my amazon wish list for ages, this might spur me on to actually purchase some of them!

Anne said...

I love the ones people already suggested "Palestine" by Joe Sacco and Blankets by Craig Thomas. They are both stunningly good.

thenodramamomma said...

This is awesome! I always thought of graphic novels as Spiderman and typical "boy" stuff, so this has opened up a whole new world for me!

Anonymous said...

http://www.amazon.com/Asterios-Polyp-David-Mazzucchelli/dp/0307377326

If you liked any of the graphic novels above, you're missing out if you haven't read Asterios Polyp! Besides being a completely engaging story... for the design nerds out there it sorta fun to pick out/recognize the pieces in his house.

slicknik said...

Maus and Persepolis definitely. I read French Milk but definitely need to pick up the rest. I'm very nerdy.

Catherine said...

You simply must read Blankets. Simply. Must.

Mindy said...

I just bought (and read) The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznek...granted this is a kid's book but it's beautiful!! The art is breathtaking and the story is charming!

Claudia said...

If you enjoyed Persepolis, you will love Maus. One of my favorite is Guy Delisle (from my part of Canada: Quebec).He wrote "Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea" and "Burma Chronicles". The serie "Paul" by Michel Rabagliati (also from Quebec) is super cute. My husband and I LOVE graphic novels :)

Isa said...

I'm a big fan of Marjane Satrapi. I highly recommend another from her: "Chicken with Plums". Beautiful.

stephanie said...

I've never read any of these! You should read Blankets, it's my favorite graphic novel :)

ariane said...

Agree with blankets, Shortcomings is great, Essex County is also great (very Canadian). Another favourite is the Paul series (Paul moves out, Paul goes fishing) they are delightful and written by Micheal Rabligatti, and finally Cecil and Jordan in New York by Gabrielle Belle.

pdl said...

I am an unabashed Lucy Knisley fan (French Milk). She's working on a food-memoir called "Relish" right now (I guess she grew up in a family of farming foodies) and I can. not. wait. Her blog is crazy entertaining, too. When I first discovered it (after reading French Milk) I spent like a week of free time pawing through the archives. Thanks for such a cool feature, Joanna.

campblsoupgrl said...

I have so many new graphic novel recommendations I can't wait to read them!

The only two graphic novels I've read and loved were The Walking Dead (yes, I'm a zombie nut) and Fables.

gperv said...

Maus and Maus II! They are amazing graphic novels about the Holocaust. Moving, descriptive, educational -- I highly recommend.

Megan Meyer said...

I LOVE Strangers in Paradise. http://www.strangersinparadise.com/

winnie said...

Some excellent suggestions here. I highly recommend Logicomix, especially if you're into math and/or philosophy); pretty much anything by the genius Alan Moore -- but especially V for Vendetta, Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and From Hell; Charles Burns's Black Hole, for the angsty teenager inside you; Will Eisner's Contract with God Trilogy, if you love NYC and its history; and Naoki Urasawa's incredibly moving and beautiful series Pluto.

In a Certain Fashion said...

Neil Gaiman's Sandman series is one of the most amazing works of art, period. Must. Read. The Watchmen is also really eye-opening and wonderful. Third, I second The Walking Dead series. I didn't think I could get so sad and so legitimately terrified to turn out the lights from a book!

-Kate

weaser said...

Maus, by Art Spiegelman. Absolutely wonderful graphic novel. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Maus-Survivors-Tale/dp/0679406417/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1313007094&sr=8-2

ellie said...

I always thought the genre was for the young until I read "Special Exits" by Joyce Farmer. She is one of the original underground-comics artists and writes about her experiences with her elderly parents as they become increasingly dependent on her. Hits home for me and many of my generation.

Brandy Utter and Co. said...

I was going to add Blankets but I am beat to the punch. Read it at once. Love your blog!

The Sentimental Geek said...

Persepolis is a movie too! Saw it a few years ago, it was really good, I should probably read the graphic novel version.

Sarah O'Brien said...

i read persepolis in my freshman english writing and literature course in college. and i read shortcomings which was recommended by a friend last year. i loved both of them, now i'm off to get the others you've mentioned. graphic novels are so much fun!!!

rooth said...

I was initiated via The Watchmen and then read American Born Chinese, which are two very different types of graphic novels. Thanks for delving into this genre and your suggestions

Melissa said...

Stitches, A Memoir by David Small is quite good. I agree with the Blanket recommendation too.

Transmetropolitan is *great* series that you can buy collected. Violent, filthy, political... I loved it.

Habibi is Craig Thompson's -- of Blanket fame -- new work.

{ CopyStrands } said...

One of my favorite graphic novels is Blankets by Craig Thompson. I also loved the challenging language in Moving Pictures by Kathryn Immonen. Other favorites: That Salty Air by Tim Sievert, Breakfast After Noon by Andi Watson and Harvey by Herve Bouchard and Janice Nadeau.

Sarah Reaves said...

I've never read one before, but I will now. I especially Cancer Vixen, I'm going to find a copy now

rzy said...

loved this post! have read some of them and look forward to reading the others.

as for some other favourites to check out:

Mail Order Bride by Mark Kalesniko

and anything else by Jeffrey Brown (though my favourite is probably Clumsy)

xo

ali said...

i'm surprised no one mentioned preacher by garth ennis & steve dillon. it's one of the very best and a real page turner. i'll throw my hat in the ring for maus by art spiegelman. and lighter, but not nearly as mind-blowingly epic as the first 2: strangers in paradise by terry moore.

Shannon Morley Milliken said...

As a longtime comic book fan I have plenty of suggestions. If you like HBO programming, look toward DC's imprint Vertigo. I always tell people to start with the Neil Gaiman "Sandman" series (Think of each graphic novel like a television season, and each individual serialized comic in the collection as an episode.) From there, try Brian K. Vaughn's "Y: The Last Man," Garth Ennis's "Preacher," Mike Carey's "Unwritten," and of course, all things Alan Moore. His "Watchmen" is the only graphic novel to make it to the best novel list. I have so many more.

balladofseasons said...

When I first moved to France, a friend of mine gave me Persepolis (4 series of graphic novels) and it was AMAZING!! It's a true story of Marjane Satrapi. She is the illustrator of the novel too. (Its movie is excellent too!)
I'm reading graphic novels a lot here in France, since it's very common here. You can find loads of them in the libraries. But my favorite is Persepolis!

http://balladofseasons.blogspot.com/

Seasick Sarah said...

I loved Persepolis but French Milk fell a little flat for me. As someone else mentioned, Fun Home is a good read and I would also recommend Rent Girl. I love an autobiography and this one is about Tea's time as a prostitute. Good read if you're into a little grit!

Victory Paper Designs said...

Ghost World is one of my favorite movies! Too bad the only movies ScarJo does now involve her being the vixen character :/

victorypaperdesigns.blogspot.com

crackerjax7 said...

Love Fun Home, about an adolescent girl growing up in a funeral home in the '70s. Sounds dark, but actually beautiful portrait of her and her dad. Also would echo the love for Persepolis and Maus. I've heard great things about Epilepsy, too... they teach graphic novel classes for first year writing seminars, now!

littlewinterbride said...

I'm repeating what everyone else said but only because they are my absolute favorites. Blankets by craig thompson is a MUST. My hubs gave it to me when we were dating. Go to Forbidden Planet (best comic book shop in nyc in union sq) and buy it along with anything by Jeffrey Brown, reads like art school boy & his love escapades memoir. Also, maybe not considered graphic novel, but At A Crossroads by Kate T. Williamsom so clever and funny.

crackerjax7 said...

*Fun Home* is the title, by Alison Bechel (not love fun home;) I just happen to love it

Sarah Hurwitz said...

Maus I and Maus II

http://www.amazon.com/Maus-Survivors-Father-Bleeds-History/dp/0394747232

and epeliptic!

http://www.amazon.com/Epileptic-David-B/dp/0375714685/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313010309&sr=1-1

Catherine Masi said...

Wonderful post idea! Loved Ghost World and Persepolis ... will try the others, as well. Have you read Blankets? I think that's the title. A friend gifted it to me several years ago and I found it to be so touching.

I'm Christy! said...

Fun Home is not only my favorite graphic novel of all time, but is in my top ten books, period. It is so flipping good. Her attention to detail in each drawing is incredible. The story is at once tragic, hilarious and so human. I've read it three times.

And... everyone mentioned Blankets, but no one mentioned Goodbye, Chunky Rice! Goodbye, Chunky Rice is one of my favorites. So touching! So sweet!

The Watchmen is also fantastic; don't be dissuaded by the inferior movie adaptation.

If you like food or are interested in Japan, I recommend both Oishinbo (a long-running series) as well as A Year in Japan.

My sweetie and I are both HUGE graphic novel fans.

owo said...

Great post, I love graphic novels! I second the Chris Ware recommendation.

I also highly recommend Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown. An honest, often hilarious account of a long distance relationship. It's really great:
http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog/clumsy/180

Judy said...

I love graphic novels!! From this list I've read Persepolis, but I really want to read the rest now. Maus is also a classic.

Tyler Faith said...

I love this list! I'm a big fan of creating graphic memoir-y stuff (I have an essay on my blog) and I'm always on the lookout for inspiration. Thanks!

Kristin said...

LOVE graphic novels! Thanks for the ideas!

Carolynn Cecilia said...

The Man Who Grew Young by Daniel Quinn. It's Benjamin Button-esque. Everyone lives life backwards except for the main character. It has to do with mans relationship with nature. I kinda dig it.

http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Grew-Young/dp/1893956172

morgan said...

love this post! I've read a few, its kinda a must when your boyfriend writes them.ha I really love Neil Youngs Greendale. :)

Alex said...

I've read French Milk and thoroughly enjoyed it, aside from the narrator's constant complaining. But it was a charming book!

Amy said...

I've only read Persepolis of the graphic novels you named. It's fantastic!

Two of these look particularly terrifc to me: French Milk and Ghost World. Ghost World is a great movie, I've seen it several times but had no idea it was based on a graphic novel

jean goddard said...

I love Maus, too.

Anonymous said...

American Born Chinese

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Born_Chinese

You should check it out -it's achingly, cringingly funny.

alex said...

i rarely read graphic novels, but i will definitely check these out!

Anonymous said...

i also second the chris ware recommendations - his style is great!

Kristen said...

Absolutely love Persepolis (the film's worth it too). While Maus was written for a slightly younger audience, it's emotional depiction of the Holocaust is extraordinary - told through cats and mice.

Melanie Kameko said...

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel blew my mind.

Elisa Shere said...

Wow, Joanna! Great post, thanks for getting the word out about this awesome medium. Can't wait to check out Cancer Girl.

Anonymous said...

Maus by Art Spiegelman! Absolutely fantastic. I've even studied it in univeristy.

Also, Black Hole by Charles Burns. Very dark, explicit but a great story.

Brooklynn said...

Joanna, I adore you and your blog. I just happened upon Lucy Knisley as well when my friend dropped off the book "Make Yourself Happy" by her (which came after French Milk)--I even wrote about it last week on my blog. I cannot wait to read the rest of her work--her writing style (like yours!) is addicting.

katie said...

Asterios Polyp is absolutely incredible!

Veuve said...

LOVE Ghost World, French Milk, and Cancer Vixen! I guess that means I'll have to read all the others on your list. :)

Dottie said...

I love Ghost World and Persepolis. The others are now on my to-buy list. As many others mentioned above, Fun Home is my favorite.

Kirstin said...

Thank you so much for this! I've wanted to start reading graphic novels but I didn't know where to start! I think I will read Ghost World and French Milk first.

Jamie said...

Another vote for Asterios Polyp here. It's amazing!

Joey M said...

This is a great list! Thanks for the suggestions. I will get to reading.

darnkitten said...

It's a Bird... by Steven Seagle. A look at Superman-as-concept/metaphor/abstraction set against the reality of Huntington's disease.

Roseann (The Naked Rose) said...

Art Spiegelman's "Maus" is a heartbreaking account of the Holocaust. It is really beautifully done.

The Naked Rose

Anonymous said...

My favourite is 'Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story' by Frederik Peeters. Amazing!

http://www.amazon.ca/Blue-Pills-Positive-Love-Story/dp/061882099X

jamie said...

i LOVE this post - and will have to pick up ghost world asap.

Jess said...

I love Graphic Novels! I especially love Sin City, but I love the news ones I just found on your blog!

Tanith said...

I was going to say 'Blankets' by Craig Thompson as well, but since that's up here tons of times, I will suggest:

Elf Quest - Wendy and Richard Pini
I know it sounds cheesy, but it's a really cool, grown-up fantasy graphic novel, sort of like the lord of the rings/modern fiction. Plus, it's entirely drawn and colored by Wendy Pini who is amazing!

300, and The Dark Knight - Frank Miller does both of these graphic novels and they're fan-freaking-tastic. He's the one who gave Batman his dark demeanor as opposed to a purple, cartoonish character.

Anonymous said...

FUN HOME!!!!

jessica quadra photography said...

persepolis 1 & 2 were amazing. and most recently, marjane satrapi published "el suspiro" - the sigh?? not sure if she's published it in english or not, but it's very folksy. it could work well as a children's book, i think! xo

pinkshirtsandcarwrecks said...

Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware! He's an amazing artist.

Wallace said...

So many comments to read through -- how do you keep track of them all?!? So, this has probably been mentioned (The Impostor's Daughter) and I see Fun Home was mentioned above. Both worth a look if you're into Graphic Novels. :)

Haven't read French Milk -- but I, apparently, need to add it to my list ASAP, thanks for the rec!

Vanessa said...

Your first four are also my absolute favorites! I also really love "Too Cool To Be Forgotten" and "Fun Home"

robinmotion said...

Hi Jo,

(My wife's a regular reader and sometimes sends me your way; as a comics guy, I loved this post)

I'll forgo recommending all the supernatural/superhero stuff that rocks my world, and instead say that I think that some of your readers might like Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things. It's not a realist/modern tale like the ones you mention, but it's not as graphic or gruesome as Sandman or Walking Dead ... more of a lighthearted nostalgic look at childhood and girl power. A smarter, more compelling Harry Potter. Great for recovering goths!

Katie said...

The Impostor's Daughter is also a great cartoon novel!

http://katiejaynenorman.blogspot.com

Barbara said...

I basically survive of Japanese graphic novels. I didn't know French Milk and it looks really worth of a look. Ghost World has been one of my favourite films ever, I loved the cynicism in there (still I need to grasp the ending which I didn't understand very much). Cool suggestions, thanks a bunch :) - Barbara

Anonymous said...

the storm in the barn by matt phelan. he was inspired by the faces of people in the dust bowl. beautiful sweeping drawings and a liitle boy who harnesses the rain.

Charity said...

these all sound fantastic! will definitely put these on my must reads, i love graphic novels!

Cassie Boorn said...

Love this list! Fun Home is my fave.

rachel said...

i LOVE ghost world -- both the graphic novel and the movie. thanks for this post, joanna :)

moseyblog said...

I'm not a huge graphic novelist person but I loved loved loved 'goodbye chunky rice' - it made me cry though.

urbanrhetoric said...

definitely maus...still one of my favs....

~p

Elizabeth said...

KILL ME. Ghost World is not Daniel Clowes best work and comic nerds don't like comics to be referred to as "graphic novels."

Darina said...

I haven't read a graphic novel recently, but think I'll give one of these a try. Thanks for sharing! I'm excited to pick one of these up.

Darina
afoggycitylife.blogspot.com

Julie said...

I've only read one graphic novel in my life and I'm glad you've recommended these!

kristin e bazan. said...

i looooooved persepolis. the story, the history. it was superb. makes me want to read more graphic novels.

Thivia said...

I'm really surprised nobody's mentioned DAYTRIPPER.

http://www.amazon.com/Daytripper-Gabriel-Ba/dp/1401229697/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313027068&sr=8-1

My boyfriend, who's pretty well-versed in comics and graphic novel, told me to check it out even though he hadn't read it himself but had heard great things. The idea is simple: One man's journey through life and how unexpectedly that can come to an end. But the execution is splendid! It's a beautiful story that will touch you repeatedly. :)

Didn't think I could be so moved by a graphic novel...

punkychewster said...

Neil Gaiman's Sandman Series is my all time favorite!! and i also enjoyed Persepolis and Maus (i see a few other commenters loved them too!)

Nicole said...

Blankets is my favorite too!

flossie said...

anything by Alan Moore. ANYTHING. And the Sandman series is amazing.

Swedish in Atlanta said...

I actually have the French Milk one:) Bought it years ago and read the whole thing in an afternoon. It was pretty cute. Mostly because I love Paris.
Petra

Angry Birds for pc said...

i LOVE ghost world , thanks for this post ! :d
well come angry birds for pc

Joy said...

Oh my goodness- I LOVE when you do these lists. I just ordered "Crazy Vixen" and I can't wait. I'm also about to watch "Stranded"- listed on your "Ten best documentaries."

Ok, so will you consider coming up with a " favorite restaurants in NYC list"? I know it doesn't apply to everyone...but I am SO curious to hear!!
xo

wedding dress said...

this picture is really interesting! love your posts! thanks for sharing!

Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi said...

No can't say I've read a lot of graphic novels. No particular reason - just none have found their way into my hands. But after reading this I'd love to give 'Ghost World' and 'French Milk' a go ..

allison said...

"Blankets" and "Carnet De Voyage" by Craig Thompson are MUST READS for sure! Blankets might seem intimidating, because it's HUGE but I swear I got so sucked into that book I read it all in an afternoon. Another good one is "Mr. Wonderful" by Daniel Clowes.

:)
unpetitchatblanc.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

city of glass by paul auster

Rose said...

I love Fun Home by Allison Bechdel.

Rose

http://roselillian.blogspot.com/

Stack said...

Teenagers from Mars!

Alice Young said...

I just heard David Small talk this past weekend about his memoir, "Stitches." Here is a Youtube video to the trailers for the graphic novel:

http://youtu.be/8Qb7mvbBCBE

I read the novel today and love it. So honest and touching!

Beverly Houpt said...

I love the persepolis comic and movie :)
Shortcomings made me a little sad

Kimia Kline said...

as a persian woman, persepolis is an all time favorite of mine. it is hilarious, honest, gut wrenching, and beautiful.

Wouterra said...

Great choices! I'm also really fond of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

Clare said...

Blankets - by Craig thompson. A cominf of age story that deals with love and religion and has STUNNING artwork! Wish I could frame it!

Rafaela said...

MAUS: A survivor's tale by Art Spiegelman.
Really, you have to read it. The only book EVER that made me shed a tear. Actually it's my favorite book.

Dilly said...

French Milk looks amazing! What a great idea....need to have a purchase me thinks! Thanks for the constant inspirationX

Anonymous said...

I love Marjane Satrapi, and as Sarah said the film is also amazing... Do you know "the rabbi's cat" by Joann Sfar ? It's a very good graphic novel, and has been adapted as a film too. I love it, I think it's my favorite one, lots of laugh of wisdom in it !

Chloé said...

I love Marjane Satrapi, and as Sarah said the film is also amazing... Do you know "the rabbi's cat" by Joann Sfar ? It's a very good graphic novel, and has been adapted as a film too. I love it, I think it's my favorite one, lots of laugh of wisdom in it !

Sarah said...

I'd also place a vote for Blankets. It was sad and beautiful.

Sarah L. said...

It looks like a few people have beat me to it but I'd also recommend Blankets, it's really beautiful and poignant.

antique engagement rings said...

I am picking up cancer vixen today... thank you!

Johanna said...

These are all great suggestions!

I recently fell in love with Laika by Nick Abadzis. It is based on Laika, the first dog in space, who was launched in the Soviet space program's Sputnik 2.. It's a very endearing, tearful and captivating story. http://www.amazon.com/Laika-Nick-Abadzis/dp/1596431016

conceptionquestions said...

Epileptic, by David B. is the first graphic novel I fell in love with. It's beautiful, which helps, and it's scary to watch his brother's epilepsy take over their family. The book is much more about family and sibling relationships than the illness they try so hard to deal with. (Another product of France!"

Jayda said...

Fun Home was my first and only graphic novel I've read (actually a graphic memoir), but I quickly realized that I should look into the genre a bit more because it was really enjoyable. Great recommendations!

Shana said...

Maus is the only graphic novel I have read and I loved it - I will have to check out these! Thanks!

Joanna Goddard said...

joy, GREAT idea about a restaurant round-up! i will get on that! :) thank you!!

Joanna Goddard said...

thanks for all these amazing recommendations; i'm going to buy blankets today :)

Joanna Goddard said...

ooh! another good one that i had forgotten about is The Imposters Daughter. xo

Lisa said...

Blankets was a beautiful read. It broke my heart.

Also love the Sandman series.

Julia said...

Joanna,
I read The History of Love under your recommendation, and while it was sweet (I even cried a little) I thought the ending crumbled a bit. Still, I enjoyed.

That being said, have you read Love in the Time of Cholera? If you like The History of Love, you'll love this book. No one writes more beautifully than Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Eliana said...

This post made me so happy! I actually took a class on graphic novels last year and wrote my own (I'm in art school in Michigan :). My favorite is called Jar of Fools by Jason Lutes. The plot is really bizarre, but the emotions are incredibly real.

drinkeatplayrepeat said...

You definitely should read Maus [part i and ii]- amazing story. I cried.
Watchmen is also really good- much better than the movie, but aren't books always better?

Karissa {Tragic and Lovely} said...

I LOVE graphic novels and am trying to get the high school where I teach to start a graphic novel course.
Persepolis is one of my favorites; Maus is an excellent one too.

Luli said...

I read Persepolis a year ago. I will never forget the heroine or the story and her struggles. Did you see the film based on the graphic novel? I think I'll have to read French Milk next. It looks awesome.

~Heather said...

Ordinary Victories
by Manu Larcenet, Patrice Larcenet (Illustrator)
I read them over a year ago - I think there are a few of them. Really touching stories...

Rebecca said...

American Splendor is my favorite comic book series; a few years ago some compilations were published making it easier to get all issues. It was also made into a movie starring Paul Giamatti. Highly recommended!

Abbey said...

I loved the Japanese Manga series entitled Maison Ikkoku by Rumiko Takahashi. A little different than graphic novels, but such a sweet romantic comedy.

Elizabeth and Kyle @ Love Is the Adventure said...

You have totally inspired me to pick up a graphic novel. I'm gonna do it. Today even. Yeah. That's right. WOOOOOOOOOOO!

Seriously, thank you for the recs!

Kristen Solecki said...

Please check out any and all of Craig Thompson's work. As mentioned above, "Blankets," is by far one of the best stories let alone graphic novels that I read. Also his graphic novel, "Goodbye Chunky Rice," is fantastic.

Rachel said...

Some great books! You should also check out Skim by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (http://www.amazon.com/Skim-Mariko-Tamaki/dp/088899964X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313075894&sr=8-1)

Mobrandtly said...

So fun! I just purchased a nook and I will secretly be reading these under my desk at work!

xoxo, dania said...

so weird!! i just watched an episode of the OC where they were planning on making a graphic novel!

http://xoxo-carolinalove.blogspot.com

Shelf Elf said...

Graphic novels make me happy (and sometimes they make me cry).

Here's one for happy:

Babymouse by Jenny Holm

Here's one for tears:

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

You MUST read these. They may be marketed for kids, but they are written for everyone!

Sophie said...

WOW! I want to read all of these! Thanks Joanna!
I've only read Watchmen. Loved it, but the movie sucked.
How do you think the movie versions of Persepolis and Ghost World compare to the novels?

Mina said...

I read Persepolis and LOVED it. I am half Persian and it was a great way to get in touch with my roots. I'd also recommend the movie!

DENISE. said...

I love hearing about something so fun & interesting that's utterly brand spankin' new to me! THANK YOU, can't wait to try these out.

erica lorraine scheidt said...

I'm totally with the two folks that said American Born Chinese. It's amazing. And I just saw David Small (children's book illustrator) speak so I'm super excited to read Stitches.

elle Vee said...

I'm chiming in for Chris Ware. Dude loves pathos. He's amazing, his characters are so flawed and human and sometimes pathetic, and so relatable. A very talented author/illustrator.

Bun said...

ahh! love this...already making a list to pick up a few of these...

www.bybun.com

Jess said...

Blankets, of course, and Craig Thompson's new graphic novel, Habibi, comes out this fall. Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth is by Chris Ware and very well written, and more recently I really enjoyed Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol. It's a great, darkened version of a teen graphic novel.

Chelsea said...

Love French Milk!!

Marion said...

I fell in love with graphic novels reading Alex Robinson's "Box Office Poison". It portrays the intertwined lives of a series of characters ranging from students fresh from college to an old comic writer. Tears and laughter on the menu. Once you've started it, you can't put it down.

maticki said...

love this post! thx

I watched the Persepolis and didn't even know there was a book. Same with Ghost Town

Laura said...

I've never read any graphic novels before, but I'm definitely interested in checking them out now! I've heard of Lucy Knisley before, but only through her blog. She just did an awesome illustrated series of every Harry Potter book. It's here if you're interested: http://lucylou.livejournal.com/596984.html

Carmen D said...

Thanks for the interesting book recommendations! Glad I finally know what a graphic novel is, I'll definitely be reading some of them soon! I also just bought The History of Love and am so excited to read it now!

http://afternoonsunlight.blogspot.com/

stargirl said...

For kids, BABYMOUSE is AWESOME!!!! (More so for girls though)

And American Born Chinese is good for young adults and adults!

kelseamarie said...

The tiny font in graphic novels is too much for me. Gives me a headache. =/

Maggie said...

I must admit, I don't know a ton about graphic novels. This is more of a graphic memoir - but Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, is fantastic. Absolutely perfect book.

hello, Friday said...

I totally love Persepolis. Love the tone and the music. xoxo

http://hellofridaybypaik.blogspot.com/

Maiz Connolly said...

If you like "Blankets," Craig Thompson has a new novel coming out on September 20th that looks like it will be amazing, it's called "Habibi." I love his other books, too.

Kacie @ A Collection of Passions said...

This is so great and totally unexpected! I can't wait to check them out! Thanks!

Kacie
http://www.acollectionofpassions.blogspot.com/

Scott Snowden said...

Winshluss's pinocchio is beautiful ( he helped animate Persepolis) The work of Canadian artist Seth pulls you in, he even built models of a fictional town so that he could get the mood right. There are so many that I don't even know where to begin!

Jimmy Corrigan
The arrival
American splender
Black hole

The list goes on and on!

indium said...

i want to say like this:Someone above mentioned Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, which I highly, highly recommend. It's a hilarious and engrossing memoir about, among other things, growing up with a secretly gay dad

hibeyond said...

black boots

Chocolate boots

sand boots
Chestnut boots

gray boots

pink boots

grey boots
pink boots

hibeyond said...

black boots

Chocolate boots

sand boots
Chestnut boots

gray boots

pink boots

grey boots
pink boots

michness said...

Love it! I'm buying some this weekend :)


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ANC said...

ah! i borrowed french milk from a fellow who grew up with the adorable lucy knisley and absolutely loved it! made me re-live my 7th grade paris trip with my mother years later. xo

mookina said...

Jo, I love, love, love The Fart Party I & II and Drinking At The Movies, all by Julia Wertz. They are the tales of a young woman from San Francisco growing up, falling in love, breaking up, moving to NYC, becoming an alcoholic, and then cleaning up her life. Very raunchy but also very poignant. As a dear lover of SF, her drawings of places around the city get right at my heart. Highly recommended!

Lisa said...

I love 3 of these 5, but have never heard of the other two. Now I'm inspired to hit my neighborhood comic book store. Thanks for the recommendations!

Anonymous said...

I don't *think* anyone's mentioned these (I'm a big fan of many of the others mentioned in the comments- Blankets, Fun Home, etc.):

"Good Eggs: A Memoir" By Phoebe Potts (about struggling w/infertility, but much more than just that)

"Dragonslippers: This is What an Abusive Relationship Looks Like" By Rosalind B. Penfold (pseudonym). I know the title sounds very heavy, and this isn't a "ha ha" graphic novel, but it's a really fascinating, gripping story - and I've never been involved in an abusive relationship (thank god). Could see it being very helpful, too, for those who have experienced this horror.

Vanessa said...

I have to throw my hat in for the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. I have always loved his novels, and I read Sandmen 1-10 over the past week (yay summer vacation), and I canNOT stop thinking about them. The man is a masterful, amazing story teller. I love love love him.

Ingrid said...

I was hoping you'd mention Cancer Vixen...It's my favorite!

Erica [pocket full of chuckles] said...

Persepolis is my FAVORITE graphic novel! It is an amazing read :)

Zoë {Conversation Pieces} said...

I adore graphic novels - so loving this post. Never read French Milk though so may have to go seek that out – thank you x

Claire Star said...

My favorite graphic novel is Maus by Art Spiegelman, and it's quite easily my favorite book, too. I've never read anything as powerful and informative as Maus, and I think it's absolutely brilliant: by turning Jews into mice and the Nazis into Cats, Spiegelman is able to give the readers an even more up-close and personal side of the Holocaust. I'm fascinated.

On another note, I'm just about to reserve all five at my library now! Thanks for recommendations, I love seeing your documentary and book choices, Joanna!

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