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Essential Graphic Novels

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People who added this item 158 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Sin City is a gory, black and white neo-noir trip through crime. Don't read on a full stomach though, since there's quite a lot of disturbing bloodshed. It's also Robert Rodriguez's best movie, along with (*gasp!*) Quentin Tarantino. If it's good enough for Tarantino, you should probably read it.
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People who added this item 85 Average listal rating (51 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
300 - Frank Miller_II, Lynn Varley
Another Frank Miller classic, if you haven't heard of this one, you've probably heard of the movie ("This. Is. Sparta!!"). A beautiful and really fun adventure about King Leonidas as he takes 300 men to battle the entire Persian army. Yes, the ENTIRE army. Naturally, they all die. But it's still great, and very true to the real story.
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People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
From Hell - Alan Moore_III,Eddie Campbell_II
[Please note this is not the first time you'll see Alan Moore on this list.]
"From Hell" is a crazy, watercolor look about Jack the Ripper, of all things. It's scary, gruesome, and just genuinely uncomfortable but it still makes for an entertaining experience.
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People who added this item 106 Average listal rating (53 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Ghost World - Daniel Clowes
Ghost World is a cool book. It's pretty sad, but good for anyone who tends to not plan ahead. It's also another great comic for teenagers and kids. Also watch the movie too, it's alright.
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People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Whether you saw the Guillermo Del Toro movie or not, Hellboy is awesome. Who doesn't like an inter-dimensional nazi-fighting demon from hell? Mignola has become a legend due to this groundbreaking and beautiful series, and Volume 1 is the perfect place to start.
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
Pyongyang - Guy Delisle
"Pyongyang" is an autobiography of Delisle's visit to North Korea. He starts noticing small things like public "brainwashing" schemes and propaganda. Then things get dark. Really dark. I suggest you read this because it's one of the best books about North Korea and the secret hell the citizens are going through every day.
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People who added this item 86 Average listal rating (53 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Blankets - Craig Thompson_XI
Blankets is nice. A story of love, nostalgia, friendship, and memories. It makes you feel warm and look back on your own memories, so it lives up to it's name. It achieves only what "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and ironically, the "Scott Pilgrim" series has done in capturing that perfect feel of a realistic relationship.
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Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman" is a surreal trip, and unfortunately it's very unorganized with lots of entries into the series, so prepare your wallets before you dive into this "emo", artsy fantays-noir.
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A more artful and poetic look at a lesbian relationship, "Blue is the Warmest Color" is a sad, yet hopeful and campy book that leaves you with a strange yet pleasant aftertaste. (Heads up on the movie, don't watch it with your parents. Trust me.)
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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang
A look at Chinese lifestyle, lifestyle as a Chinese immigrant in America, and American stereotypes of Chinese people, "American Born Chinese" are three different stories all relating to one theme. It's a captivating look at how cultures collide and how they are different.
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People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick
Brian Selznick's sketched-out masterpiece is a joyride through silent movies, clocks, and plenty and plenty of trains. Some people who don't even like graphic novels like this book a lot, because most people don't realize it's a graphic novel, despite it's alternating style of two-page sketches and words is quite random.
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While "Precious Little Life" is definitely not the best in the series - which happen to be my personal favorite comics by the way - it's the only place to start the 6-volume series. Scott Pilgrim is hilarious, beautiful, and damn it, it's just so relatable, as previously mentioned. Also watch the movie, it's great too.
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People who added this item 36 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Black Hole - Charles Burns
A book about sex - which seems to be a popular one in the graphic novel industry, with Sex Criminals as an example - "Black Hole" is a big look at teenage mindset. The whole book is about an STD passed around kids in 70's Seattle that does some pretty freaky stuff to you. Worth a read if you're looking for something a little more than what you're used to.
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People who added this item 492 Average listal rating (242 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
V for Vendetta - Alan Moore_III, David Lloyd_XIX
"V for Vendetta" is something to marvel at. Possibly the most iconic graphic novel (and movie) to date, "Vendetta" offers a gripping, dystopian look at a future England, and more importantly, the downfall of it. Makes for a most enjoyable ride.
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People who added this item 111 Average listal rating (62 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
The Complete MAUS - Art Spiegelman
Art Spiegelman's "Maus" is not a happy story. As not made clear by the gaping swastika on the cover, it's a holocaust story, and not a colorful one at that. While it does have some lighter aspects (i.e. the cats being the nazis and the mice being jews), Maus is a disturbing, beautiful adaptation of a true Jewish person's tale.
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People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi
"Persepolis" was the book that made people realize comics don't have to be about superheroes. As an autobiography of Satrapi's childhood after the Iranian Revolution, "Perespolis" managed to top as many bestseller lists as possible and showed the world that an over-paid middle aged man didn't have to write comics about superhumans to be enjoyable.
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People who added this item 34 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 9.3 IMDB Rating 0
"The Dark Knight Returns" is a colorful yet gritty and sickeningly violent beast of a thrill ride through an older Bruce Wayne's comeback into fighting crime. This one showed that Batman, in reality, is really a serious, dark character in an even darker world. The only downside is that it inspired "Batman v. Superman" but we don't talk about that one.
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People who added this item 62 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
Batman: Year One - Frank Miller_II, David Mazzucchelli_III, Richmond Lewis
Frank Miller's second Batman graphic novel on this list is a book of legend. While "Dark Knight Returns" helped move the iconic figure into the brooding, black mysterious man we all love, "Year One" established the firm backstory for this second coming of Batman. And more notably, being the main inspiration for Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy.
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People who added this item 163 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Watchmen - Alan Moore_III, Dave Gibbons
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' "Watchmen" was comic's puberty. Watchmen showed superheroes in a dark, violent, and more realistic world. Watchmen was not just a milestone in the comic setting in writing and artwork but also shifted the whole industry to a more mature overall theme.
In short, without Watchmen, we'd still have an Adam West's Batman and Robin-in-tights "pow!"-ing sharks.
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Must-have graphic novels for any comic fan. Entries are highly regarded as the greatest and most influential graphic novels of all time. This list is in no specific order.

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