What Are Your Favorite Graphic Novel(s)?

What Are Your Favorite Graphic Novel(s)?
Comic book superheroes are becoming ever popular in pop culture today with Marvel and DC's movies and TV series capturing people's attention. But I'd like to ignore the movies, and instead focus on the original medium: comic books and graphic novels. Do you have a comic line or a particular graphic novel that resonates with you? What are those novels and why?

My first venture into comics was in high school when a good friend of mine recommended I pick up Watchmen. I was hooked from the start. I was used to Marvel's "happy-go-lucky" movie style at the time, and I was incredibly intrigued by the seriously dark approach Watchmen took to the superhero genre.

As for comic lines, I found myself really enjoying publications from Image Comics, and I was keeping up with Saga fairly regularly while I was in full swing reading comics. I haven't read any issues for several months due to time and money restraints, but I'd love to get caught back up with the series eventually!

Comments

JoeMilford
Awesome question and forum here. I too loved the Watchmen. I always loved Frank Miller's stuff as well, his The 300, etc. I fell in love with the Sandman series of graphic novels, and those were life-changing for me in terms of how I viewed the medium of "Comics". I completely consider graphic novels of quality to be literature now, and I have a collection of them right alonside my classic novels and books of poetry.
Posted by JoeMilford on 08-30-2017
TheArticulate
I have a similar feeling toward comics as you. My collection of graphic novels also sits right next to my collection of Vonnegut, Fitzgerald, and Dumas on my bookshelf. Neil Gaiman's work has always been highly regarded as far as I can tell, and The Sandman series has been on my list to read for the longest time now. The difficult thing I find is how much there is to read in the medium of graphic novels. I went through a phase where I loved independent publishers like Image Comics, and I would read as much published through them as possible.

Anymore I'm trying to get caught up with The Walking Dead graphic novels, while still exploring non-superhero storylines if I can.
Posted by TheArticulate on 08-31-2017
JoeMilford
Neil Gaiman is one of my writing heroes in terms of this genre. I think he could have easily become a very canonized and celebrated writer of novels in literary circles, on the academic level, but he chose a different path, and I think it has served him well. What graphic novels are you into now? I am looking for new titles, myself.
Posted by JoeMilford on 09-01-2017
TheArticulate
I've found myself to be a pretty big fan of Robert Kirkman and Brian K. Vaughan's work in comics. On Kirkman's side, I've been working my through The Walking Dead and Outcast, both of which are fantastic. The Walking Dead is interesting because the television show diverged from the graphic novels, so their stories are essentially completely different.

As for Vaughnn's work, I love Saga. If you're fan of "space opera" style stories, then I think you'll absolutely fall in love with Saga. The story is intriguing and the characters are entertaining and complex. He also wrote Y: The Last Man, which is about a sickness that kills every male in the world except for one young man, and focuses on his story as he tries to find his lost girlfriend and the reason as to why he wasn't affected by the sickness.
Posted by TheArticulate on 09-01-2017
Dkaraly
Well, I liked 'V for Vendetta' by Alan Moore and I found 'Maus' by Art Spiegelman to be a complex story. Maus is really interesting because of the way it captures the essence of many things that happened during the Holocaust, it also narrates using the point of view of a Holocaust survivor (the writer's own father) and their difficult father-son relationship many years after those facts. That writer had a rough childhood and many troubles, and it seems to me, his parents never fully recovered from the Holocaust trauma. That graphic novel won the Pulitzer in 1992 and many other prizes.
Posted by Dkaraly on 08-30-2017
Tania997
I liked V for vendetta a lot too, it was one of my first novels and the idea behind it is just brilliant. I used to believe that we should rise up against power every chance we get, and that novel was perfect for my ideas!
Posted by Tania997 on 08-30-2017
JoeMilford
That was an excellent comic/graphic novel. I loved V For Vendetta. Its twists and turns, and its take on dystopian societies and Orwellian politics and good versus evil was awesome. Plus, V's character was always so compelling, funny, and never boring. I think that Maus actually won a Pulitzer Prize once, if I remember correctly. It was also awesome, and it handled terrible and shocking historical subject matter in a beautiful way.
Posted by JoeMilford on 08-31-2017
TheArticulate
Both graphic novels are phenomenal reads. V for Vendetta is a classic, as is most of Alan Moore's work (I was fortunate enough to be able to read his graphic novel on Jack the Ripper, "From Hell", in an undergraduate literature course).

Maus is the graphic novel that got me interested in memoir-style comics. I love the way he formatted the story, alternative between his father's experience in Auschwitz and his present-day interactions with his dad. It added such a human element to the story that I related to. It's such a well told story.
Posted by TheArticulate on 08-31-2017
kingcool52
I don't even know what to say here because I never really read many graphic novels or comics. I don't think I ever bought any superhero graphic novels or comics when I was younger, to be honest. I do remember that I did buy a few comics that were based on the Simpsons so I guess those would have to be my favourite. It was more of a comic than a graphic novel but I enjoyed them so much especially since back then the Simpsons was one of my favourite cartoons.
Posted by kingcool52 on 08-30-2017
JaiGuru
If you like the Simpsons material you may find you like the Howard the Duck comics. If you hear that title and immediately think about hair bands int he 80's and questionable scenes of duck-based pornography, you should know that the old movie has basically nothing to do with the comics. Howard the Duck was culturally and politically subversive for its time in a way that mirrors early-Simpsons material. (Or rather, maybe the Simpsons took a page from Howard comics?)
Posted by JaiGuru on 08-31-2017
JaiGuru
Batman will always be my favorite. More than any other super hero, his story and premise are rooted in possibility. Batman could actually happen. Something about that makes the franchise more interesting for me. He's also a very complex character, as far as comic books go. Bruce Wayne has two alter-egos; the bat, and the playboy-millionaire who's role is to throw people off the trail of his cowled-counterpart. Watching the internal struggle he goes through in dealing with these two personas is almost more interesting than the capers he solves.
Posted by JaiGuru on 08-30-2017
jaysolano12
My favorite was ghost rider. It is extremely bad ass to see, such walking skeleton to judge evil doers. I always follow, and retracing the creation of such marvel character. I admired him much, while I still yet to discover more marvel heroes. The creation of marvel hero; ghost rider was still confusing, because I wanted to know, the exact extend of his power.

When I saw, some fight of hulk guy, and ghost rider. It was an epic scene of battle. I can't even believed that, ghost rider could match hulk power.
Posted by jaysolano12 on 08-30-2017
TheArticulate
This is a very interesting choice for favorite comic series. I went through a pretty big Ghost Rider phase shortly after delving into comics, and my friend told me he found my choice in line interesting as well. I think Ghost Rider is an interesting and complex character, and it's fascinating to see how he develops in regards to the anti-hero/superhero paradigm. I really enjoy Deadpool's comic lines as well, which is why I may have been drawn to Ghost Rider as well.

Which comic lines of Ghost Rider have you read? I went through the original Jonny Blaze series to see what the original line was like before moving into Danny Ketch's line. I haven't picked up the currently line that Marvel is publishing, though.
Posted by TheArticulate on 08-31-2017
wiseagent
I like to read some once in a while, but they are not my thing. So, I don't feel myself apt to say that I have some favorite one. Although I like very much of some of them, have to choose only one is - in a way - unfair.

I'd rather keep having fun with them without having to make any choices.
Posted by wiseagent on 08-30-2017
TheArticulate
Well, to be fair, that's why I added an (s) in parenthesis after the phrase "graphic novels", so you wouldn't have to pick just one. If you don't tell us what lines you like or even what publishers you enjoy, you're not really contributing to the conversation or sparking any sort of interest with what you say. What two comics do you really like? Are you reading anything right now that you find intriguing? Who's your favorite comic book artist or author? There's no reason you shouldn't be able to answer the question in some way, really.
Posted by TheArticulate on 08-31-2017
manmad
Transmetropolitan is possibly one of the best comics I've read. It's unique in a lot of ways that show a futuristic version of our world, where the problems are the same as ours and people wouldn't realise it. The main character is called "Spider", he is a journalist, who is sick and tired of this modern world and lives in a house on the mountains, however due to certain circumstances he has to go to the city and do his job, where he shows his intelligence and tries to fix the world or at least his position in it.
Posted by manmad on 08-30-2017
JoeMilford
I've never heard of this, but I love anything with a dystopian theme, so I will check this out, definitely. The future is already upon us, so to speak, and reality is quickly catching up to what was once the science fiction and fantasy that was represented in the comics and graphic novels of the past. The themes you mention above, in your graphic novel of choice, are universal concerns to all of us.
Posted by JoeMilford on 08-31-2017
TheArticulate
I have heard nothing but unending praise for Transmetropolitan, and it's been on my to-read list for the longest time now. You just reconfirm to me that I need to get around to reading it as soon as possible!
Posted by TheArticulate on 08-31-2017
Vatroslav
My favorite graphic novels must be "Killing Joke" and "The Dark Knight Returns". These two novels are what made me fall in love with Batman as a superhero. Such a beautiful reinvention of the classical Batman.
Posted by Vatroslav on 08-30-2017
TheArticulate
The Killing Joke is a highly, highly recommended novel in the comic world, and I understood exactly why after I read it. Really, it solidified my understanding of just how dark and mature DC's graphic novels and themes tended to be. I found the story to be much heavier than what I had been reading, which was a lot of Marvel's Deadpool stuff.
Posted by TheArticulate on 08-31-2017
JoeMilford
I agree with you about "Killing Joke" and "The Dark Knight Returns". I like the fact that Frank Miller, and writers like him, are willing to trust us an audience enough to take the kind of dark and intense risks with the writing and storylines like this. It adds a new dimension to the characters, and brings the medium to a mature and literary level/
Posted by JoeMilford on 09-01-2017
Marvadaum
I have always loved "Escape from NY" series It all started with the movie and then I took an interest in the character. Then I watched Escape from LA and my interest only grew. Then I got to read the comics. They're pretty good in case someone is wondering whether a comic book from a movie can or can't work.
Posted by Marvadaum on 08-30-2017
Joteque
I'm not sure how Iron Man stacks up on the list of super heroes but I would say there's a bit of realism in the portrayal of a man made super robot suit that can effectively execute some super hyperactive functionality in combat. I've seen the Batman vs Superman movie but I think the Batman vs Iron Man match up would have been a more fitting proposal since both are actually non super human beings capable of performing super hero like executions. This also highlights the evolving technological endeavor and gives a somewhat feeling of certainty that mankind is moving forward in the direction of this ever increasing technological era. It is said from time to time that reality influences fantasy and fantasy influences reality, as a result the fantasy world as we know it is in some ways slowly showing signs of a future reality as we observe from time to time that these once fictitious ensembles have uncovered a way to introduce reality into some form of a possible existence into the world as we know it.
Posted by Joteque on 08-30-2017
Vastor122
Character: Jean grey

reason first X women ever first student of prof X n she is freaking awesome also the phoenix force although sometimes it kinda bugs its a part pf jean though so its awesome.

Team: The X-Men (always)
Posted by Vastor122 on 08-30-2017
this_free_spirit
In our home, it's definitely Batman graphic novels that take center stage. It started with my husband who is a long time, obsessed Batman fan. He introduced me to the graphic novel format and I've enjoyed them as well. Another series we enjoy is The Shining Knight. I rather enjoy the mixture of characters (my husband rather likes Etrigan, but I like the Shining Knight) and setting of the series. Two other graphic novel series we enjoy is GR Martin's Game Of Thrones and his Hedge Knight series. I think the Hedge Knight series is my favorite because it's so much more light hearted than the Game of Thrones stuff.
Posted by this_free_spirit on 08-30-2017
wallet
I have read a lot of graphic novels, in fact when I was a small kid I liked to read the animated books and my favorite was RAHAN. I am sure you heard of him, is a man of the prehistory that is very smart for its time. If I remember right it was a French publication, and my parents had to struggle to find it because in my country the communism was on rising in the 80's and the food and newspapers was a luxury here. Rahan made my childhood nicer and it made my imagination to fly!
Posted by wallet on 08-31-2017
TheArticulate
I actually have not heard of RAHAN. Are there any specific publications about him that you would recommend? The only French comic-related person I know of is Jean Gerard Moebius, and I absolutely love his work. It's very surreal and fantasy-oriented, which is really entertaining to read. He had incredible artistic skills as well. It's often you see artwork that's as complex and detailed as his.
Posted by TheArticulate on 09-03-2017
muaaz.93
I have gone through so many graphic novels.It is difficult to choose one from so many but still, the best graphics novel vote goes to THE DEATH OF ARCHIE as I am avid Archie fan. Archie goes on to reimagine his life in this novel instead of living as a college student, he is shown to be a husband and a father of two, who eventually gets killed by some serial killer.
Posted by muaaz.93 on 08-31-2017
TheArticulate
That sounds really interesting. I've seen a lot of Archie stuff circulating online, but I have yet to take the time to try reading some of it. I was under the impression that it was more a kid-friendly comic line, so it's interesting that you mention something about a serial killer. Is there something that I don't know about Archie comics?
Posted by TheArticulate on 09-03-2017
Xyruz13
My favorite graphic novel is Combatron. You guys may not know it because it was made by a local newspaper in the Philippines. Combatron looks like Rockman and of course, he fights bad guys. It's storyline mainly depicts the current trends and issues on the society. I used to read that when I was a kid.
Posted by Xyruz13 on 08-31-2017
overcast
I have read Dark horse comics, DC and Marvel. So I have read most of the heroes and the vilians. You can see that some of the vilians on all of the comics are good. I think it depends on how dark type of stories you want to see. In case some marvel stories are really good. I would say some of those comics from the dark horse comics seems to be lot better. I can tell you that it's way better compared to any other graphic novel as of now.
Posted by overcast on 08-31-2017
TheArticulate
You name the comic book publishers you like, but not comic lines that are in them that you're fond of. Specifically, what Dark Horse comics do you like? They're a big publishing house and have a lot out on the market to choose from, after all.
Posted by TheArticulate on 08-31-2017
tophew
i use to read comics during my childhood days having the 90s comics spider , batman , superman but the most i like is the spider the story line make me amaze how spider it is way back 90s and all the graphic novel is well made by the producer but i cannot argue that this present generation is way more better in terms of graphics but i still enjoy those days reading it with food besides me.
Posted by tophew on 08-31-2017
cmoneyspinner
I don't have any favorite graphic novels but my kids have quite a collection of manga books. Do they count as graphic novels? To me, graphic novels are not much different from comic books. It was comic books for my generation. It's graphic novels for the new generation.
Posted by cmoneyspinner on 08-31-2017
TheArticulate
I don't see why you couldn't lump them into the same category as graphic novels. The distinction is generally that manga have a specific art style that differs from comic book styles, and is typically produced in eastern countries like Japan, Korea, etc.

I think the terms comic book and graphic novel are typically interchangeable, but I view at as comic books being those lines with serial publishing (like Marvel, DC, Image stuff), and graphic novels being one-shot publications or longer-form publications (such as Maus, Backsad, From Hell, etc.) It's really all semantics, comics are comics however you refer to them in my opinion.
Posted by TheArticulate on 09-03-2017
cmoneyspinner
OK. So I see I'm not that far off. Now I'm curious though. I noticed that my son has purchased some comic books and they are still in the plastic bags, which probably means they are collectibles and will likely increase in value the longer he keeps them. He, along with my other kids, are from the manga generation. I'm wondering if there is such a thing with manga. I mean ... like is there is coveted 1st edition of something and if people get their hands on it, it's worth a fortune and they can sell it on eBay? Are their manga collectors like there are comic book collectors?
Posted by cmoneyspinner on 09-05-2017
Authord
I hate the term Graphic Novel they're comics, just admit it and quit trying to hide behind fancy terminology. Graphic Novel is a term invented by people ashamed to admit they love comics and I will not be party to the sham. Actually the technical term for a collected edition is Trade Paperback. Graphic Novel is a term that was popularized in the 90s during the speculators boom when tons of non fans were buying up comics like crazy for the sake of later resale value. Those people treated fans who actually gave a damn about comics like lepers and didn't want to be too closely associated with us. So they started using the term Graphic Novel.
Posted by Authord on 08-31-2017
TheArticulate
All right, let’s tone it down there, Sparky. I would have differentiated between the terminology had I known the term “Graphic Novels” was going to get your elitist sensibilities in a tizzy.

So remind me again, because I didn’t catch it in your comment: what’s one of your favorite Graphic Novels again?
Posted by TheArticulate on 09-01-2017
Denis_P
I haven't read any graphic novels in quite a while, but I'm a huge Batman fan and went through quite a couple graphic novels over the years. Currently I would have to say that my favorite of the Batman graphic novels has to be a tossup between the Knightfall novel and Hush. I loved Knightfall because it's where we are introduced to Bane, and the whole arc is just incredibly suspenseful and entertaining. I loved Hush because of the mystery elements and the art work is some of my favorite out of any Batman comic.
Posted by Denis_P on 09-01-2017
TheArticulate
I enjoy Batman publications as well. I've heard unending praise for Knightfall and Hush, but I haven't had the opportunity to read either of them yet. My ex-girlfriend had both books, but she took them with her when we split up, naturally, so I missed my opportunity there, haha
Posted by TheArticulate on 09-03-2017
babyright
When i was much younger, i preferred comic books by reading the comic books featuring batman, superman and the hulk. I really loved reading and i like the way they appear in drawing or picture and i also watched their movies also.
Posted by babyright on 09-09-2017
Wubwub
I don't really read that many graphic novels but I do have some in my collection. I mostly just bought them back then because I liked the drawings but from time to time I will read some of them. I think I prefer actual comic books but I read Killing Joke once and I thought it was alright. I also tried reading Watchmen although I can't get into it and would need to revisit it again to see if anything has changed because I know I will be interested in it because I liked the movie.
Posted by Wubwub on 10-04-2017
Heatman
I really don't enjoy reading the comic books, I prefer watching them being acted and my favorite ones happens to be Gotham related ones. Batman is my most treasured. I loved his courage and valor in trying to fight for justice and saving of his city Gotham.

Most people suffer Heartbreak and emotional troubles from losing their parents but his changed him from being more than Bruce Wayne but the batman as well.

I also enjoy the superman, the only thing that makes me prefer batman over superman is because batman's strength is human and from training but superman is alien and as such is indestructible.
Posted by Heatman on 10-04-2017
hermessantos
I particularly like several. Some of them I remember at the moment are: Watchamen, Sadman, Batman, Hellboy, V for Vendetta
Posted by hermessantos on 01-27-2018