You may not be able to solve any major problem with graphic novels, but they are the perfect answer to the following statement: “I don’t read books because they don’t have any pictures.”
Exclusives.co.za counts down the top 10 Graphic Novels for the new collector of comics.
10. The Big Bad Bitterkomix Handbook
The Big Bad Bitterkomix Handbook brings together the full range of the authors’ work produced from the mid-1990s until now, including published covers, postcards, posters and drawings from personal sketchbooks. Interspersed with these images, and providing both context and comment, are a number of essays and addresses by such commentators as Antjie Krog, Andy Mason, Ryk Hattingh and Gregory Kerr.
9. Pappa in Afrika
Kannemeyer is unflinchingly committed to using the polemics of race to explore the vigorous debates about racism that still enliven and shadow daily life in South Africa. As the shimmer of the rainbow nation has faded, issues around race continue to underlie the most contested issues in the country. Each day the newspapers abound with stories provoked by inequalities linked to race, from instant wealth as a result of Black Economic Empowerment to impoverished whites affected by affirmative employment policies. Yet the subject of race is rarely addressed directly, remaining the most sensitive issue in the country – and the continent – due to the long history of exploitation of Africans by Europeans.
8. Ghost World
It tells the story of Enid and Rebecca, two above-it-all best friends confronted with the prospect of adulthood and the uncertain future of their friendship.
7. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life
Scott Pilgrim’s life is totally sweet. He’s 23 years old, he’s in a rockband, he’s “between jobs,” and he’s dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott’s awesome life getturned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends in battle? The short answer is yes. The long answer is Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1:Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life.
At 592 pages, Blankets may well be the single largest graphic novel ever published without being serialized first. Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith. A profound and utterly beautiful work from Craig Thompson. The New Printing corrects 3 small typos, widening the spine graphics, but otherwise is identical to the first printing.
5. The Complete Persepolis
Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.
4. The Sandman Vol. 1
In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.
3. V for Vendetta
A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet.
2. The Complete Maus
Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale and Maus II – the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler’s Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival – and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.
“Watchmen” redefined superhero conventions and re-introduced comics to an adult audience with a gripping, labyrinthine piece of comic art. Rorschach, a half-psychotic vigilante must convince his ex team-mates, now middle-aged and retired, that he has uncovered a plot to murder the remaining superheroes – along with millions of innocent civilians…Even reunited, will the remnants of the ‘Watchmen’ be enough to avert a global apocalypse? With a powerful storyline masterfully told by comics supremo Alan Moore and beautifully rendered artwork by the talented Dave Gibbons – this is the one that started the graphic novel revolution and is definitely not one to miss!