One Hundred Great Graphic Novels

People who know me well know that I love a good comic book movie. People who know me really well know that I love a good comic or graphic novel as well. And having read SFX Magazine’s recent special “100 Greatest Graphic Novels” I can honestly say I’ve read some absolute classics. I may also have read some absolute stinkers as well, but that does come with the territory, to be honest. And I have now been given some suggestions to look up when I get time.

I’m not sure I agree with the order though (which I suspect is the point of a special like this, to stimulate debate) and there were some glaring omissions as far as I was concerned. No J O’Barr’s The Crow (which I have always considered very special indeed)? No The Way the Wind Blows (surely this picture book by Raymond Briggs must count as a graphic)? And what I considered very surprising – no Marvel Age of Apocalypse? I suppose I’ll find them at 101, 102 and 103…

This is the trouble with any kind of “100 Greatest…” list; it’s finite, certain things really do have to be on it (there would have been a revolution if The Sandman hadn’t appeared somewhere) and this means that certain other things have to be left out. But I would have happily sacrificed Captain America: The Winter Soldier to have had The Crow, and Batman Year One could made way for Age of Apocalypse, surely…

The list struck me as being quite DC heavy, and very keen on Batman (I counted 4 dedicated stories to the Gotham universe); by contrast, there was 1 X-Men, 1 Avengers (rebooted) and 1 Captain America. No Spidey, no Iron Man and certainly not Richard Morgan’s take on Black Widow (which was epic). That said, I was delighted at how many independents (i.e. not Marvel or DC) who not only made the list, but made the TOP TEN. This is great stuff and shows that there really is more to comics than Lycra and superpowers – ironic, given what made the top spot, but there we are.

There’s life in the graphic novel yet. It’s a shame it’s still considered to be so niche.


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