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Find more Top 10 Graphic Novels
Moody narratives, spellbinding nonfiction, trenchant examinations of contemporary society, and—naturally—dynamic, eye-catching artwork can be found in this year’s top 10 graphic novels, reviewed in Booklist between July 2017 and June 2018.
Alone. By Chabouté. Illus. by the author. Tr. by Ivanka Hahnenberger. Gallery 13, $25 (9781501153327).
Acute detail and tactile, sensual black lines make up the artwork of this nearly silent, deeply contemplative, and strikingly poignant story about a man living a solitary existence in a lighthouse.
The American Way: Those Above and Those Below. By John Ridley. Illus. by Georges Jeanty. Vertigo, $16.99 (9781401278359).
Ridley and Jeanty revisit the world of their 2006 miniseries in this story, set in 1972. The racial dynamics are as relevant as ever, and Jeanty’s shadowy artwork masterfully depicts deep expression and superheroic action in equal measure.
The Curse of Charley Butters. By Zach Worton. Illus. by the author. Conundrum, $20 (9781772620221).
Travis’ obsession with mysterious artist Charley Butters leads him on an absurd, bridge-burning downward spiral. Worton’s cartoonish figures and contemplative scenes of nature compellingly contrast in this story, which subverts expectations at nearly every turn.
The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry. By David L. Carlson. Illus. by Landis Blair. First Second, $34.99 (9781626726765).
This arresting account of two youthful offenders, father and son, at either end of the heyday of Chicago’s Little Italy, brilliantly merges Carlson’s tangled web of character development with Blair’s heavily crosshatched artwork.
John Stanley: Giving Life to Little Lulu. By Bill Schelly. Illus. by John Stanley. Fantagraphics, $39.99 (9781606999905).
Though anonymous during his tenure as the artist behind the beloved Little Lulu strip, Stanley later gained much-deserved renown, and this lavish, oversize biography beautifully does justice to his lengthy comics career.
Pantheon: The True Story of the Egyptian Deities. By Hamish Steele. Illus. by the author. Nobrow, $22.95 (9781910620205).
History has rarely been more entertaining than in Steele’s account of ancient Egypt’s creation myth. The bawdy, irreverent tone; witty humor; and brightly colored (occasionally lewd) artwork give the dusty stories fresh new life.
Present. By Leslie Stein. Illus. by the author. Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95 (9781770462946).
Stein’s serialized, autobiographical comics are presented in a light, exuberant style—rainbow watercolors, delicate line work, expressive negative space—which invites readers to slow down and ponder each page.
Sabrina. By Nick Drnaso. Illus. by the author. Drawn & Quarterly, $27.95 (9781770463165).
In this masterful look at the dehumanizing forces of modern society, two emotionally stunted men face trauma in the wake of a strange murder. A penetrating exploration of isolation and disconnection.
Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City. By Julia Wertz. Illus. by the author. Black Dog & Leventhal, $29.99 (9780316501217).
This illustrated history of Wertz’s personal New York City landmarks, featuring full-page, side-by-side, then-and-now drawings of a variety of places, is interspersed with fascinating histories of notable NYC people, places, and events.
The Vision. By Tom King. Illus. by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Michael Walsh. Marvel, $39.99 (9781302908539).
The Vision, an android superhero, moves to the suburbs with his android family, but their human behavior, initially performative, gradually becomes deeply flawed, highly sympathetic, and incredibly moving.
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