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3 graphic novels for people who don't know what graphic novels are

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3. Watchmen, Alan Moore( and Dave Gibbons (art)):Much like Maus, Watchmen is widely considered one of the first (and best) works of comics as literature, which Time Magazine regarded as one of the best English Language novels since 1922.  Moore, who wrote the comics behind the films V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell, pens this soon to be blockbuster film about the “real lives” of masked vigilantes (aka “superheros”).   The innovative sci-fi mystery inserts these “Watchmen” into a real history – into World War II, into the turbulent 60s, into the Cold War – and explores the motivations of people who run around in masks in order to take law into their gloved hands.  Moore treats these characters as real people, creating complex histories through “real” documents –  memoirs, psychological evaluations, press clippings – which enrich the already sophisticated story.  And beyond all the hoity-toity literary nonsense, the story is just a fun read, in which we are fully immersed in the Watchmen’s world, and the mystery the morally ambiguous Rorschart (a “hero” who wears a mask with a constantly changing Rorschart blot) tries to unravel.

And three more! (click the links to read more):

Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

The Rabbi’s Cat, Joann Sfar

Y: The Last Man, Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra (Art)

Also, a few more “top graphic novel lists”:

Time Magazine

DC Comics

Great Graphic Novels for Teens 

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Adam Bessie is an assistant professor of English at Diablo Valley College, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a co-wrote a chapter in the 2011 edition of Project Censored on metaphor and political language, and is a frequent contributor to (more...)
 
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