Wednesday, September 23, 2009

500 Essential Graphic Novels

The book 500 Essential Graphic Novels: The Ultimate Guide by Gene Kannenberg is a book that reviews and gives a short commentary on 500 graphic novels. I thought it was an alright book; it did its purpose, in that it gave me an idea as to some graphic novels to look into. I also liked that it listed some suggestions for other graphic novels; if I liked the one book I might like this similar book.

It must have been difficult to decide which graphic novels to include, while I did read some of the one's listed, there are many I did not. If I were to attempt to make a list of 500 graphic novels it would be very different (though I'm not sure if I have read 500 different graphic novel series and if I did I don't know if I could recall them). I would include more manga; DNA^2, Love Hina, Azumanga Daioh, Excel Saga, Detective Conan (Case Closed), etc. There would be many different graphic novels, Dirty Pair by Adam Warren, Gold Digger by Fred Perry, Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley, Boneyard by Richard Moore, FoxTrot by Bill Amend, Essential Tales of the Zombie by assorted authors/artists, etc.

I do agree with some of the ratings but disagree with others, which pretty much is expected. I'd have probably given Ah My Goddess four stars instead of three, Uzumaki by Junko Mizano would definitely have been given five stars instead of four, and I'd probably have given The Best of the Spirit by Will Eisner three stars instead of four. I'm sure that other people would disagree with whatever ratings I would bestow as well. I'm unsure if I would agree with four stars for Ranma ½, it is my favorite series so I'd be tempted to give it five stars, particularly since it is on only volume one (which is a very good volume since it made me want to read the rest of the series). Now the series as a whole, yeah, four stars is probably what I'd rate it, though some volumes would get lower (for example; probably 2½, though half is not an option in the book, stars for the Gambling King Arc).

Here is a list of books, in the order they were in within the book, that I have not read, and am considering reading, based on the summaries given in the book:
01. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
02. Pyongyang by Guy Delisle
03. Buddha by Osamu Tezuka
04. A Cartoon History of the Universe by Larry Gonick
05. I Love Led Zeppelin by Ellen Forney
06. Laika by Nick Abadzis
07. My Troubles with Woman by Robert Crumb
08. The Playboy by Chester Brown
09. The Times of Botchan by Natsuo Sekikawa
10. 100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello
11. A History of Violence by John Wagner
12. Sin City by Frank Miller
13. The EC Archives: Crime SuspensionStories
14. Nightmare Alley by William Gresham
15. Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay
16. Promethea by Alien Moore
17. Abadazed: The Road to Inconceivable by J.M. DeMatteis
18. The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
19. The Books of Magic: Binding by John Rieber
20. Death: The High Cost of Living by Neil Gaiman
21. Lenore by Roman Dirge
22. Little Ego by Vittorio Giardino
23. Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson
24. Skeleton Key by Andi Watson
25. Three Fingers by Rich Koslowski
26. Jar of Fools by Jason Lutes
27. The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot
28. Brooklyn Dreams by J.M. DeMatteis
29. A Child's Life and Other Stories by Phoebe Gloeckner
30. Couscous Express by Brian Wood
31. Demo by Brian Wood
32. Lost Girls by Alan Moore
33. Nemi by Lise Myhre
34. Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
35. Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore
36. Summer Blonde by Andrian Tomine
37. Tricked by Alex Robinson
38. Hellspawn by Steve Niles
39. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
40. Black Hole by Charles Burns
41. Courtney Crumrin by Ted Naifeh
42. Hell Baby by Hino Hideshi
43. Museum of Terror by Junji Ito
44. Pure Trance by Junko Mizuno
45. Flaming Carrot by Bob Burden
46. Blue Monday by Chynna Clugston-Major
47. The Book of Mr. Natural by Robert Crumb
48. Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Btyan Lee O'Malley
49. Hard Boiled by Frank Miller
50. Chaos: Lone Sloane by Philippe Druillet
51. Phoenix by Osamu Tezuka
52. WE3 by Grant Morrison
53. Planetary by Warren Ellis
54. Kingdom Come by Mark Waid

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