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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

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August 11, 2022
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Scout Board Game Review

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The Split - Review

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July 21, 2022
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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

Our own Jason Lutes makes Top 50 -

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07 May 2014 10:04 #177605 by Dr. Mabuse
Non-superhero graphic novels.

Coincidentally I just finished Berlin part 2 a couple of days ago and it was marvelous!
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07 May 2014 10:31 #177610 by Legomancer
Love Berlin. I can't wait for the next volume.

It's not a bad list, actually.
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07 May 2014 10:49 #177611 by Black Barney
I was glad to see Maus rated so highly. It blew me away.

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07 May 2014 11:15 #177616 by Columbob
Thanks for the link, great list, many I haven't read yet are available at the library so I'll have a lot to look forward to.

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07 May 2014 11:56 #177626 by Shellhead
I'm probably going to wreck my comic book cred here by saying this, but I still haven't looked into anything by Jason Lutes yet. And of that whole list of 50, I have only tried the following:

Saga (just the first volume, found it forgettable)
Preacher (just the first three volumes, found it too grotesque and immature)
FreakAngels (my favorite work by Warren Ellis, and the inspiration for my 2013 Halloween costume)
From Hell (Alan Moore writing about Jack the Ripper; the artwork is an acquired taste)

But lists tend to be arbitrary, and this one has gaping holes, like the omission of nearly every great Vertigo series, or Blacksad, or Grimjack, or Six from Sirius, or Rex Mundi, or... I could go on for quite a while.

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07 May 2014 12:45 #177635 by DukeofChutney
Good hustle, personally i'd put him a lot lot higher for Berlin. I've only read about 5 or 6 books on the list however. The ones i've read id put in this order;

1. Akira
2. The Incal
3. Berlin
4. Saga
5. Black Hole
6. Tintin

Saga has dropped massively in my view in the 3rd volume.

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07 May 2014 13:01 #177637 by Gregarius
Two complaints:
1) Is there a way I can just see the full list of titles? Please? Why does everything have to be clickbait page count crap?
2) How do they distinguish between a finite work and a compilation of an ongoing series? That seems to be a significant difference to me.

I couldn't glance at the whole list, so I don't know for sure what I've read. I liked From Hell, Maus, and Jimmy Corrigan, though. I definitely need to check out Berlin.
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07 May 2014 13:18 #177639 by Legomancer
I can only think of three things I would like to have seen on there:

City of Glass, the adaptation of the Paul Auster book by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli.

Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan

Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse

Those are what leap off my shelf at me. I was pleased to see Curses, King-Cat, and Mister X on there.

And finally, I've read him in a million anthologies and every time I just do not understand the seemingly overwhelming love for Gary Panter.
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07 May 2014 15:05 #177658 by Columbob

Gregarius wrote: 2) How do they distinguish between a finite work and a compilation of an ongoing series? That seems to be a significant difference to me.


They don't. Even the commentary make some choices seem really dubious as to position, here's the one for the Aardvaark hero, Cerebus:

"You think you write ambitious, philiosophical graphic novels? Dave Sim would beg to differ. From
1977 to 2004, over 6,000 pages spread over 300 issues, writer-artist Sim — along with his mono-monikered, occasional collaborator Gerhard, who drew the eye-poppingly elaborate backgrounds — created the Remembrance of Things Past of North American comics. It's a sprawling saga that went from a Conan parody about a barbarian aardvark to a mediation on both governmental and sexual politics, monotheism, the end of Oscar Wilde and, later, Sim's increasingly distasteful philosophy regarding gender and monotheism. The result could be unfocused, pretentious and an extremely tough read at times, yet there remains absolutely nothing like it."

And despite all of this you still put it at number 16, really?

I think I've only read The Incal and Tintin (all of them) from that list, though I've read a bunch of the other authors.

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07 May 2014 15:18 #177660 by Jason Lutes
Thanks for the shout-out, Doc! Getting on the list definitely adds fuel to the fire under me to finish the last book.

Yeah, it's a weird list. But any Top X list is weird. If it wasn't controversial it wouldn't serve its function as clickbait. I despise clickbait, but at least there's the opportunity for constructive discussion to come out of the controversy, so -- net positive?

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07 May 2014 15:31 #177663 by Columbob
The only Lutes title at the city library is the french edition of Jar of Fools (Double fond). I'll suggest they get Berlin.

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07 May 2014 15:41 - 07 May 2014 15:42 #177664 by Black Barney

Jason Lutes wrote: Thanks for the shout-out, Doc! Getting on the list definitely adds fuel to the fire under me to finish the last book.

Yeah, it's a weird list. But any Top X list is weird. If it wasn't controversial it wouldn't serve its function as clickbait. I despise clickbait, but at least there's the opportunity for constructive discussion to come out of the controversy, so -- net positive?


I can't understand a word you write unless it's in a speech balloon. Could you maybe draw your posts to this thread and upload them? Maybe even sketch a quick pic of yourself saying it in the speech bubble? That would be great and it would be easier for me.

I'm sure people already do this mentally with my posts as if there's a dialogue balloon coming out of Richard Simmons on the right.
Last edit: 07 May 2014 15:42 by Black Barney.
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07 May 2014 15:59 - 07 May 2014 20:24 #177666 by dragonstout
It's a pretty good list, at least near the top; I've read all of the top 21 and half of the rest, and of course I've got plenty of quibbles (I'd have different Clowes, Ware, & Chester Brown novels in each of those slots, for one, and the Fun Home/Persepolis/Pyongyang trifecta of comics that don't do a whole lot visually are too high, but I do still like all of the above a lot), but it's mostly great books. Sex Criminals sticks out as the biggest sore thumb. Oh yeah, and the "graphic novel" distinction is pretty arbitrary, given that there's no way Carl Barks ever intended his Uncle Scrooge stories to be collected as such and yet those are on there and no Kurtzman comics are.

Legomancer, the Gary Panter comic to read is "Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise". Far and away. It contains the only moving story he's ever done, and also has an INSANE variety of art styles. Because really, the art is 99.9% of the point of reading a Gary Panter comic. He's good, but he's REVERED because his DIY, "anyone can draw like this" aesthetic, combined with his contemporary fine art aesthetic, launched a thousand cartoonists and nearly an entire publisher's output (Picturebox). But seriously, read the horse story in that book (I think it's also in Raw #7 or 8). Dal Tokyo, that they have on this list...sorry, can't get through it.

Speaking of other ones they got "right artist, wrong book": Harvey Pekar's short stories are much better than Our Cancer Year, IMHO. Why I Hate Saturn is just *funnier* than Cowboy Wally Show. Building Stories is probably better than Jimmy Corrigan: the Smartest Kid on Earth (but if Building Stories were on the list, Jimmy Corrigan would still need to be there just one slot behind). Literally every other Chester Brown GN is better than Paying For It (though I haven't read Ed the Happy Clown). The Death-Ray and Ice Haven, and I'd even add Mr. Wonderful and David Boring, are better than Ghost World, though Death-Ray is technically a superhero comic, I guess.

But yeah, go out and read that relatively rock-solid top 20!

Edit: also, Great Outdoor Fight would be far from the first Achewood book I gave to someone to convert them; either of the other two Dark Horse books are much more typical, funny Achewood.

Edit2: a remarkable thing about the list is that I would consider there to be no HUGE holes in it, given that it looks like they wanted to stick to one book per cartoonist (outside of Eddie Campbell), given that they acknowledged that they're skipping comic strips, and given that comics not collected into a graphic novel in the artist's lifetime (like anything by Kurtzman, though I guess Jungle Book was a flat-out GN) probably shouldn't really be on a "best graphic novels" list.

Edit 3: One last "right artist, wrong book": any of the mid-80s/early 90s Lynda Barry books with Marlys and Maybonne instead of What It Is. Frustratingly, that entire era is all out of print; Drawn and Quarterly promised a complete Lynda Barry series, and then just put out one volume of her worst near-juvenilia, and then completely stalled. I have explained my frustration to Tom Devlin, the publisher, in that even as a big fan of Lynda Barry's, I had no interest in owning that first volume (read it once for curiosity, never again); he promised that further volumes are coming, I just have to be verrrrrrrrrrry patient.
Last edit: 07 May 2014 20:24 by dragonstout.
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07 May 2014 19:08 #177669 by dragonstout

Legomancer wrote: I can only think of three things I would like to have seen on there:

City of Glass, the adaptation of the Paul Auster book by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli.

Totally, one of my all-time favorites. On your blog you mentioned you haven't read Epileptic; do it now! One of my pleasant surprises seeing this list was seeing that Epileptic correctly made it in ahead of Persepolis. Epileptic is one of those books that reads as an instant Greatest Of All Time, and yet goes completely undiscussed compared to several of the other comics on that top 10.
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08 May 2014 02:51 #177681 by Ancient_of_MuMu
Good timing. On the weekend my wife was saying she wants to read graphic novels but doesn't want to read about superheroes.

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