I used to regard graphic novels similarly to how I regard Pokemon. Not interested. (But adolescent boys/girls are wayyyy into those little guys.)
That is no longer the case. It was only my (incorrect) assumption that graphic novels are for children. Most of these volumes contain tough, mature content, so I would highly recommend these for an adult audience only.
It all started with this book. Bear in mind that I still haven’t finished this novel, but it’s one that I like to mull over from time to time, instead of devouring in a few days. This became the first graphic novel (by Art Spiegelman) to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. It details the author’s interviews with his aging father regarding the family’s struggle for survival during the Holocaust, where they lived in Poland during WWII. To describe the illustrative approach of the novel, Jews are depicted as mice, while the Nazis are portrayed as cats (non-Jewish Poles are sketched as pigs).
Maus is a novel executed with grace. This book will make your heart hurt.
You may be familiar with this title due to the buzz surrounding the film of the same namesake. Please, please, read this book, and ignore the movie that alters the storyline/ending, largely pandering to cheap shock value throughout. This novel is a typical “coming of age” story, albeit one dealing with the additional hardship of struggling with one’s sexuality and the resulting reception by family/friends. Above all, it is a love story. This book is gorgeously illustrated and thoughtfully crafted.
I won’t go into detail here, but this cult classic is next on my to-read graphic novel list. (Lindsey says it’s pretty great.)
The only thing better than a graphic novel is A SCARY graphic novel. This one is still on my Amazon Wishlist, but one of the short horror stories in Into the Woods is featured on author Emily Carroll’s website: His Face All Red. This is going to give me nightmares tonight, and I don’t even care. Worth it.
I have not read The Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes or Persepolis, but they both come very highly acclaimed.
I love the rich mixture of written word and often meticulously detailed illustrations on each page. It is a new experience, absorbing both mediums simultaneously. Get to reading, friends.