Monday, April 14, 2014

TOP TEN GRAPHIC NOVELS you must read before you croak!


(…in the English Language)

10. FORTUNE & GLORY

Written & illustrated by Brian Michael Bendis

For all of those who will never make it to Hollywood, here is a hilarious account of the misadventures of comic writer prodigy Brian Michael Bendis in the fabled land of movies and movie stars. True Story! A thoroughly entertaining work, Fortune & Glory- a true Hollywood comic book story has Bendis’ trademark rich dialogues giving us the accurate picture of what really happens behind the smoke and mirrors of Hollywood-land with the likes of Uma Thurman and Clint Eastwood making funny cameos.

09. TRICKED

Written & illustrated by Alex Robinson

Six masterful plotlines involving six different lead characters heading to a single gripping climax- that’s Tricked for you in a sentence. Alex Robinson’s stark black-and-white illustrations greatly supplement the brutal realism roaring from each frame all the way from chapter-50 to chapter-1. The change in tone, mood and habit of language and narrative for each plotline is detailed markedly different from each other.

08. MAHABHARATA

Written by Various, Illustrated by Dilip Kadam

Over 1300 pages split into three volumes, the graphic novel version of the great Indian epic Mahbharata published by Amar Chitra Katha and written by ten different authors, is a must read for all those mythology enthusiasts out there, despite being more or less a straightforward interpretation of the classic Sanskrit text, because there is more action, more drama and more magic in the basic plotline than can ever be imagined.

07. PALESTINE

Written & illustrated by Joe Sacco

This disquieting work is a triumph in the area of comics-journalism while assuring the future potential of the graphic medium in areas of reportage. True account of the author as a war-zone reporter in the Israel-occupied territories during 1991 and ’92, Palestine reveals, from Sacco’s intimate knowledge of the subject, the horrors of the impact of public policies on private lives, shown like never before in mainstream media.

06. ASTERIOS POLYP

Written & illustrated by David Mazzucchelli

Those of who told you Asterios Polyp was the Fountain Head of graphic novels didn’t get the point. Although a story of an architect, this meta-art of a novel is a satire on the tug between formalist rigor and emotional subtlety in art as well as life. The non-linear structure of this hallucinatory account is interspersed with vivid dream sequences involving the narrator who also happens to be the stillborn twin of the protagonist.

05. JIMMY CORRIGAN- THE SMARTEST KID ON EARTH

Written & illustrated by Chris Ware

Today and yesterday is enmeshed with fantasy and reality in this labyrinthine work presenting the life and dreams of an awkward cheerless middle-aged man and his boyhood as a friendless child of divorce. The dreams are what make Jimmy Corrigan the eponymous “smartest kid” in this multi-layered gem of a book with a considerable amount graphics that you are made to read without text.

04. WATCHMEN

Written by Alan Moore, Illustrated by Dave Gibbons

Watchmen is a stunner and a true example of creative mastery that exploits the expansive scope of graphic storytelling as a medium. The moving frames, the flashbacks, the quirkiness of the subject matter and the remarkable sub plots are all weaved into a volatile package with Moore’s distinctive command over the art. A Great game changer in the history of graphic novels!

03. PERSEPOLIS

Written & illustrated by Marjane Satrapi

The sheer simplicity of this autobiographical work set in the most turbulent time in the history of Iran and afterward is nothing short of breathtaking. Without taking sides, Satrapi exposes all those knotty details surrounding the Islamic revolution that demonized her country in front of the world biased by social censorship. The power and intensity of this revealing coming of age account is well complemented by the starkness of the art employed.

02. FROM HELL

Written by Alan Moore, Illustrated by Eddie Campbell

Well known for its spookily vast area of research into one of history’s most notoriously unsolved mysteries in the world, Jack the ripper; From Hell is a titanic work by a genius at play. Although Alan Moore solves the mystery with his reasons, the liberties he takes are kept transparent for the reader’s judgment. The Sinister artwork by Eddie Campbell depicting a shadowy London with all its crookedness has to be the best thing that happened to the project after it was conceived.

01. MAUS

Written & illustrated by Art Spiegelman

There is not another work in this list that will move you as much as Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize winning Holocaust masterpiece despite all the “animal people” in it. Attributing heads of mice, cats, pigs and dogs to Jews, Germans, non-Jewish Poles and Americans respectively, the harrowing experience of a Jewish holocaust survivor (Spiegalman’s father) is said with resounding honesty employing minimalist drawing style leaving behind a legacy of “serious” comics since its initial publishing.


And to move further down from the tail end of the above list, if you haven’t croaked by the end of top-ten, i.e, …

11. Dark Knight Returns (written by Frank Miller, Illustrated by Miller & Klaus Janson)
12. Ghost world (written & illustrated by Daniel Clowes)
13. Louis Riel (written & illustrated by Chester Brown)
14. A Contract with God (written & illustrated by Will Eisner)
15. Blankets (written & illustrated by Craig Thompson)
16. Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin(written & illustrated by Justin Green)
17. Stuck Rubber Baby (written & illustrated by Howard Cruse)
18. V for Vendetta (written by Alan Moore, Illustrated by David Lloyd & Tony Weare)
19. Mid-life (written & illustrated Joe Ollmann)
20. Buddha (written & illustrated Osamu Tezuka)

1 comment:

  1. I realized the importance of graphics and fonts when I designed my own website. It's a huge and totally different world of creativity. I liked 'Fortune & Glory'. Thanks for sharing Jithesh.

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