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Best Graphic Novels of All Time | Graphic Novels for Everyone’s TBR

By Sakshi Nadkarni

Most of us think of long, fat passages of prose when we think of novels. However, that’s just one form of novel. And if you want to sharpen your rusty reading skills, or cultivate reading habits like never before, graphic novels are the perfect place to start. Including comics and manga among other forms, graphic novels are those that contain graphics, or images. However, graphic novels should not be confused as a genre, they’re merely a format of novels. They may include, fiction, non fiction, anthology and a wide range of other genres. Today, we have made a list of the best graphic novels of all time that should be on everyone’s TBR.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Best Graphic Novels of All Time

This candid memoir is Satrapi’s story. It includes her childhood in Tehran, Iran, her high school years in Vienna, her homecoming. Following this is her decision to leave her home country and venture into the diasporic community. Set against the backdrop of the Iranian revolution, the story merges a coming of age tender innocence with political upheaval and its cunning glory. Together with beautiful and fine graphics, the novel becomes a world of itself that will pull you in.

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Graphic Novels for Everyone’s TBR

Steeped in the snow of Wisconsin winters is this poignant tale of two brothers and their sibling rivalry and two beautiful romances that bud. Thompson is as expressive through his brushstroke as he is through his pen. Incorporating elements from his own story such as faith, love and its abandonment, Thompson crafts a masterpiece of delicacy and love.

Paper Girls by Brian K Chiang

Best Graphic Novels of All Time

Set in the late 1980s, this story follows four girls as they navigate their tween life delivering newspapers in the wee hours of morning. Urban drama and supernatural mysteries intersect in this graphic novel,  creating an absorbing and fantastic novel. The aesthetic of colours has been developed in the novels to suit the 80s and there are lots of references to that period as well, so if you like period drama, this will definitely make you nostalgic.

Ant Colony by Michael DeForge

Graphic Novels for Everyone’s TBR

Written as a fable embedded in a graphic novel, this one follows a colony of black ants under attack from a nearby colony of red ants. DeForge adds elements of our own world into his animal world, such as war, false prophets, corrupt officials and so on. The novel deals with individual themes just as it does with global ones – at the heard of the novel is loneliness, ache, faith and love.

A Contract with God by Will Eisner

Best Graphic Novels of All Time

One of the first graphic novels to see the light of day, this one gives its readers into the American experience of the 1930s. In this anthology of four interconnected stories, Eisner draws on his own experiences as a New Yorker and meditates on the human condition. The mood and  tone of these stories may be melancholic, beak and pessimistic, but Eisner captures his sentiments in words and pictures delightfully. In short, this legendary work of graphic fiction is a must read for all.

My New York Diary by Julie Doucet

Graphic Novels for Everyone’s TBR

In this classic graphic novel, the narrator promptly picks up her bags and heads to New York. Drawn into a life of alcohol and drugs, in trouble with her possessive ex-boyfriend, dealing with her insecurity about art, miscarriages and worsening epilepsy – she navigates the iconic city. Full of beautiful detailing and breathtaking art, she presents her vision of a New York art school and a coming of age story.

After Nothing Comes by Aidan Koch

Best Graphic Novels of All Time

This is a collection of Aidan Koch’s stories illustrated in is unique manner. He presents his characters as hazy, translucent and diaphanous. This gives a dreamlike, chimeral, nostalgic quality to his graphic novels. It also enables them to capture the moods he is trying to convey – tender and fragile. These are stories that one could compare to a wonderful piece of classical music or a lilting monsoon breeze.

V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Graphic Novels for Everyone’s TBR

This is a piece of dystopian fiction, whose effect the stunning art enhances. Akin to Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World, this is the story of a totalitarian government which erases the notion of identity and freedom. The rebellion that this prompts among the masses is bloody and gory. With powerful images that supplement the brilliant passages of political and literary caliber, this one’s a classic. What most people don’t know, however, is that this novel includes plenty of /\philosophy in addition to politics and war.

Meat Cake Bible by Dame Darcy

Best Graphic Novels of All Time

This Victorian ‘neo-horror/humour/romance’ as Goodreads describes it, follows a bunch of weird characters. These characters include Effluvia the Mermaid and Igpay the Pig. Also worth mentioning is Stregapez who throws pez like tablets through her throat while speaking and more. There are the Siamese twins Perfidia and Hindrance, Scampi the Selfish Shellfish and the blonde Richard Dirt. As these eclectic characters and their lives intersect, what comes to life is a story of brilliant imagination.

Also Read: Best Books Written By Neil Gaiman

Sakshi Nadkarni

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