The 101 Best Graphic Novels


Source of the lists on this page: Stephen Weiner, The 101 Best Graphic Novels (edited by Keith R.A. DeCandido), NBM (Nantier, Beall, Minoustchine): New York (2001).

Biographical note about the author, from the back cover:

Stephen Weiner is a leading specialist in building graphic novel collections in public libraries which are embracing the form enthusiastically. He has published articles, reviews and poetry, and is the author of Bring an Author to your Library as well as 50 Community Service Projects for Teens (with Senator Edward Kennedy). He is the director of the Maynard Public Library in Maynard, MA, and holds a M.A. in Children's Literature.
Note: The list below, of "the 101 Best Graphic Novels" includes only books that are in print. This is because the list is intended as a guide for libraries, who can only purchase books which are in print. Some out-of-print suggestions are included at the end the book (and are also listed at the bottom of this page). From The 101 Best Graphic Novels, page 19:
Narrowing the tremendous field of choices to 101 was difficult enough--to rank them within that would be impossible. Therefore, the following list is in the indiscriminate form of alphabetical by creator(s)... Note well that these choices were made based on what is currently in print and available!
CreatorsTitleYear Pub.Publisher
Michael AllredMadman: The Oddity Odyssey1994Acacia PressLatter-day Saint
Sergio Aragones and Mark EvanierGroo & Rufferto2000Dark Horse
Peter BaggeHey Buddy! Volume 1 of the Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from Hate1995Fantagraphics Books
Kyle BakerWhy I Hate Saturn1990DC Comics
Alison BechdelDykes to Watch Out For1998Firebrand Books
Brian Michael BendisFortune and Glory2000Oni Press
Joyce Brabner, Harvey Pekar and Frank StackOur Cancer Year1994Four Walls, Eight Windows
Raymond BriggsEthel & Ernest1998Jonathan Cape
Raymond BriggsThe Snowman1978Random House
Chester BrownI Never Liked You1994Drawn & Quarterly
Charles BurnsBig Baby1999Fantagraphics Books
Kurt Busiek and Brent AndersonKurt Busiek's Astro City: Life in the Big City1996DC Comicsagnostic (Busiek)
Kurt Busiek and Alex RossMarvels1994Marvel Entertainment Groupagnostic (Busiek)
John ByrneMan of Steel1988DC Comics
Raymond Chandler and Michael LarkRaymond Chandler's Philip Marlow: My Little Sister1997Fireside Books
Daniel ClowesGhostworld1997Fantagraphics Books
Robert CrumbThe Complete Crumb Comics: The Death of Fritz the Cat1992Fantagraphics Books
Howard CruseStuck Rubber Baby1995DC Comics
Will EisnerA Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories1978DC ComicsJewish
Will EisnerTo The Heart of the Storm2000DC ComicsJewish
Will EisnerMinor Miracles2000DC ComicsJewish
Will EisnerThe Spirit Archives, Volume 12000DC ComicsJewish
Jules FeifferMeanwhile...1997HarperCollins
Jules FeifferTantrum!1979Fantagraphics Books
Jan Michael Friedman, Peter David and Pablo MarcosStar Trek: The Modala Imperative1992DC ComicsJewish (David)
Neil Gaiman et alThe Books of Magic1993DC ComicsJewish Scientologist (lapsed)
Neil Gaiman et alThe Sandman: The Doll's House1990DC ComicsJewish Scientologist (lapsed)
Neil Gaiman and Dave McKeanMr. Punch1994DC ComicsJewish Scientologist (lapsed)
Neil Gaiman and Dave McKeanViolent Cases1987Kitchen Sink PressJewish Scientologist (lapsed)
Rick GearyThe Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 18921997NBM ComicsLit
Rick GearyJack the Ripper: A Journal of the Whitechapel Murders 1888-18891995NBM ComicsLit
Vittorio GiardinoA Jew in Communist Prague, Volume 1: Loss of Innocence1997NBM ComicsLit
Larry GonickLarry Gonick's The Cartoon History of the Universe1982William Morrow
Archie Goodwin and Al WilliamsonClassic Star Wars1990Dark Horse
DC ComicsThe Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told1989DC Comics
DC ComicsThe Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told1987DC Comics
DC ComicsThe Greatest Team-Up Stories Ever Told1991DC Comics
Bill GriffithZippy Annual #12000Fantagraphics Books
Matt Groening et alSimpsons Comics a Go-Go2000HarperPerennialMennonite family background
HergeTintin in Tibet1975Little, Brown
Gilbert HernandezLove & Rockets: Poison River1994Fantagraphics Books
Jack JacksonLost Cause: The True Story of Famed Texas Gunslinger John Wesley Hardin1998Kitchen Sink Press
Lynn JohnstonA Look Inside... For Better or For Worse: The Tenth Anniversary Collection1989Andrews & McMeel
Franz Kafka and Peter KuperGive It Up! and Other Stories by Franz Kafka1995NBM ComicsLit
Nabiel KananLost Girl1999NBM ComicsLit
Ben KatchorJulies Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories1996Little Brown
Russell KeatonThe Aviation Art of Russell Keaton1995Kitchen Sink Press
Walt KellyPogo, Volume 112000Fantagraphics Books
Megan KelsoQueen of the Black Black1998Highwater Books
Rudyard Kipling and P. Craig RussellRudyard Kipling's Jungle Book1997NBMAnglican (Kipling)
Jack KirbyJack Kirby's New Gods1998DC ComicsJewish
Henry (Yoshitaka) KiyamaThe Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco, 1904-19241998Stone Bridge
Joe KubertFax from Sarajevo1996Dark Horse
Kazuka KudoMai the Psychic Girl: The Perfect Collection1995Viz Communications
Peter KuperThe System1997DC Comics
Roland Laird, Taneshia N. Laird and Elihu BeyStill I Rise: A Cartoon History of African Americans1997Norton
David LaphamThe Collected Stray Bullets1998El Capitan Books
Stan Lee, Chris Claremont and John ByrneThe Dark Phoenix Saga1990Marvel Entertainment GroupJewish (Lee); ? (Claremont)
Stan Lee and Steve DitkoThe Essential Spider-Man, Volume 11996Marvel Entertainment GroupJewish; Objectivist
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, et alThe Essential Avengers, Volume 11999Marvel Entertainment GroupJewish
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, et alThe Essential Fantastic Four, Volume 11998Marvel Entertainment GroupJewish
Jason LutesJar of Fools1997Black Eye
David Mairowitz and Robert CrumbIntroducing Kafka1994Totem Books
Scott McCloudScott McCloud's Zot!1998Kitchen Sink Press
Dave McKeanCages1998Kitchen Sink Press/NBM
Frank Miller3002000Dark Horseatheist
Frank Miller and Klaus JansonBatman: The Dark Knight Returns1988DC Comicsatheist
Frank Miller and David MazzucchelliBatman: Year One1988DC Comicsatheist
Alan Moore and Steve BissetteThe Saga of the Swamp Thing1987DC Comics?
Alan Moore and Brian BollandBatman: The Killing Joke1988DC Comics?
Alan Moore and Eddie CampbellFrom Hell1999Eddie Campbell?
Alan Moore and Kevin O'NeilThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen2000America's Best Comics?
Alan Moore and Dave GibbonsWatchmen1987Warner Books?
Terry MooreStrangers in Paradise: I Dream of You1996Abstract Studio
Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams et alGreen Lantern/Green Arrow: More Hard Traveling Heroes1993DC Comics
R.F. OutcaultR.F. Outcault's The Yellow Kids: A Centennial Celebration of the Kid Who Started the Comics1995Kitchen Sink Press
Wendy Pini and Richard PiniElfQuest: The Hidden Years1994Warp Graphics
Paul PopeThe Ballad of Doctor Richardson1993Horse Press
John PorcellinoPerfect Example2000Highwater Books
Charles SchulzAround the World in 45 Years: Charlie Brown's Anniversary Collection1994Andrews & McMeel
Maurice SendakIn the Night Kitchen1970HarperCollins
SethIt's a Good Life if You Don't Weaken1996Drawn & Quarterly
Dave SimJaka's Story1990Aardvark-Vanaheim
Jeff SmithOut From Boneville1995Cartoon Books
Art Spiegelman and Francoise MoulyLittle Lit: Folklore and Fairytale Funnies2000HarperCollins
Art SpiegelmanMaus: A Survivor's Tale1997Pantheon Books
James Steranko (Jim Steranko) et alNick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.2000Marvel Comics
Bryan TalbotThe Tale ofOne Bad Rat1995Dark Horse
Osamu TezukaAdolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century1996Viz Communications
Craig ThompsonGood-bye, Chunky Rice1999Top Shelf Communications
Adrian Tomine32 Stories: The Complete Optic Nerve Mini-Comics1995Drawn & Quarterly
G.B. TrudeauRead My Lips, Make My Day, Eat Quiche, and Die!1989Andrews & McMeel
Mark Waid and Fabian Nicieza, et alJustice League: A Midsummer's Nightmare1997DC Comics
Mark Waid and Alex RossKingdom Come1996DC Comics
Chris WareJimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth2000Pantheon/Fantagraphics Books
Bill WattersonThe Indispensable Calvin & Hobbes: A Calvin & Hobbes Treasury1992Andrews & McMeel
Oscar Wilde and P. Craig RussellThe Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Birthday of the Infanta1998NBMChurch of Ireland (Anglican); Catholic (Wilde)
Marv Wolfman and George PerezCrisis on Infinite Earths2001DC Comics
Jim WoodringFrank, Volume 11998Fantagraphics Books
Phil YehWinged Tiger's World Peace Party Puzzle Book1993Hawaya Inc.



Graphic Novels and Books on Comics that are Out of Print but Essential
CreatorsTitleYear Pub.Publisher
Eric DrookerFlood!1992Eight Walls, Eight Windows
Jules FeifferThe Greatest Comic Book Heroes1965 Dial Press
George HerrimanThe Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat1993World Service Books
Frank Miller and David MazzucchelliDaredevil: Born Again1990Marvel Entertainment Groupatheist
James SterankoThe Steranko History of Comics1970Supergraphics
Joseph WitekComic Books as History: The Narrative Art of Jack Jackson, Art Spiegelman, and Harvey Pekar1990University of Mississippi Press



Selected Novels Featuring Comic Book Characters
CreatorsTitleYear Pub.Publisher
Neil GaimanThe Sandman: The Dream Hunters1999DC ComicsJewish Scientologist (lapsed)
Craig Shaw GardnerSpider-Man: Wanted Dead or Alive1998Berkley Boulevard
Christopher GoldenX-Men: Codename Wolverine1998Berkley Boulevard
Stan Lee (editor)The Ultimate Silver Surfer1995Berkley BoulevardJewish
Dennis O'NeilBatman: Knightfall1994Bantam Books
Richard Pini and Wendy PiniElfQuest: Journey to Sorrow's End1993Ace Books

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Web page created 23 October 2005. Last modified 19 April 2007.
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