Graphic Novels- Ten of the Best for Christmas 2008

Thanks to the surge in interest for comics and graphic novels, due to films such as The Dark Knight, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and next year’s WATCHMEN film adaptation, many people are turning to the pointed page in search of the perfect Christmas gift for 2008. Getting into graphic novels can be extremely daunting due to the sheer number of available titles, so here’s a run-down of ten of the greatest graphic novels of all time. These are title which fans new and old should have in their collections. These are amongst the finest examples of the genre and the comics industry as a whole. They are presented here for your delectation in no particular order.

WATCHMEN

Widely acknowledged as the greatest graphic novel of all time, and certainly the bestselling book to hit comics shelves. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created something so monumental that it has been a bestseller for almost two decades, not to mention spawning the most anticipated film of 2009.

V FOR VENDETTA

Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s original graphic novel that inspired the ht movie. A moving and gripping masterpiece that is considered one of the genre’s landmarks.

MARVELS

The beautifully painted artwork of Alex Ross was the perfect accompaniment to Kurt Busiek’s flawless script in this superb book. A unique and near perfect exploration of the Marvel Universe’s early years.

KINGDOM COME

Alex Ross also supplied the artwork for DC’s incredible alternate future story. Complex and engrossing, Kingdom Come, written by Mark Waid, cemented Ross as one of the true stars of the comics medium.

CIVIL WAR

The biggest event to rock the Marvel Universe in years. Hero faced off against hero as the debate over the superhero registration act spilled over into violence. A truly monumental thriller, which saw writer Mark Millar take the core Marvel characters to a new level of drama.

THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

Frank Miller transformed the comics industry, and more specifically the character of Batman, with this seminal graphic novel. Batman has been retired for ten years, and Bruce Wayne once more takes on the mantle of the Bat in order to take on a new breed of villains.

MAUS

This is a unique memoir by Art Spiegelman, presented as a graphic novel, which thirteen years to complete. It recounts the struggle of Spiegelman’s father to survive the Holocaust as a Polish Jew told in a stark black and white story featuring stylized cats and mice.

PREACHER

The nine volume DC Vertigo series PREACHER is one of contemporary comics’ greatest works. Wriiten by Garth Ennis and featuring gorgeous art by Steve Dillon with covers by Glen Fabry, it is a harrowing and gripping tale of redemption, religion and vampire hicks.

Y, THE LAST MAN

A fascinatng, multi-part epic following the misadventures of Yorick, the last man on Earth, and his monkey. A deeply moving examination of a very dark future indeed.

THE KILLING JOKE

Currently the most sought-after Batman title published. This stunning one-shot provided some of the source material for the mega hit movie The Dark Knight, and features a typically sparkling script by Alan Moore and sleek art from 2000ad star Brian Bolland.

These are just some of the groundbreaking trade paperback graphic novels that have enthralled comics fans all over the world, and have cemented the comics industry as a force to be reckoned with. The impact of these works is huge, and has seen the genre move from being a niche interest to an entertainment and literature phenomenon in recent years. There are countless others to enjoy, but these are the cream of the crop and would make a good starting point for your Christmas gift list. Happy reading!

Andrew Hawnt

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