Building a Graphic Novel Library: What One Slice of The Hive Mind Suggested

Picture of a bookshelf of graphic novels.I tweeted this image recently along with the tag-line, “What’s missing? Tell me your favorite graphic novel.” I got literally hundreds of replies, and since I’m going through the list to compile one for me in order to fill out my library a bit, I figured I’d do it as a blog post and thus hit two birds with a single stone. I’m still updating and adding as more people respond to the original post. But if you’d like to know what my Twitter following recommended, here’s the list.

Color-code
Bold = multiple recommendations
Green = I have it and recommend it.
Purple = already on the shelf, but someone recced anyway
Blue = I have it in the original comic form and feel very hip accordingly

So here are the books, arranged alphabetically by author, and with my own notes where pertinent.
Jason Aaron – Thor: The Goddess of Thunder
Alex Alice – Castle in the Stars; Siegfried
Michael Allred – iZombie
Natasha Alterici – Heathen
Sarah Andersen – Fangs
Kevin J. Anderson, Brian Herbert, and Frank Herbert – Dune
Robert Asprin – Myth Adventures
Michael Avon Oeming and Bryan J. Glass – Mice Templar
Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso – 100 Bullets (4) (One person said, “Despite the ending.”)
Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon – Daytripper (3)
Carl Barks – A Christmas for Shacktown. This looks super intriguing and got added to my list.
Donna Barr – Desert Peach; Stinz
Mike Barr – Camelot 3000 (2)
Alison Bechdel – Fun Home (4) This has been on my list of TBR for ages; need to get around to it.
Brian Michael Bendis – Powers
Joe Benitez – Lady Mechanika
Marguerite Bennett – Insexts
Enki Bilal – La Trilogie Nikopol
Vaughn Frederic Bode – Cheech Wizard
Archie Bongiovanni – Grease Bats
Dan Brereton – The Nocturnals
Cullen Bunn – The Sixth Gun
Rich Burlew – Order of the Stick
Charles Burns – Black Hole
Kurt Busiek – Astro City (3)
Thierry Cailleteau – Aquablue
Bob Callahan – Perdita Durango
Sophia Campbell – Shadoweyes
Mike Carey – Lucifer; The Unwritten (2)
Emily Carroll – Through the Woods (2)
Donny Cates – God Country
Chris Claremont. God Loves, Man Kills (3)
Brian Clevinger – Atomic Robo (2)

Peter David – Aquaman
Alexis Deacon – Geis
Kelly Sue DeConnick – Bitch Planet (3), Pretty Deadly (2)
Kim Deitch – The Boulevard of Broken Dreams
J.M. DeMatteis – Greenberg the Vampire
Aaron Diaz – Dresden Codak
Juan Diaz Canales – Blacksad
Andy Diggle – Adam Strange: Planet Heist
Colleen Doran – A Distant Soil
Phillippe Druillet – Lone Sloane
Ben Edlund – The Tick
Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson – Lumberjanes (2)
Warren Ellis – The Authority; Global Frequency (2); Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.; Ocean; Planetary 2); Transmetropolitan (7) Warren Ellis has also been revealed to be problematic lately; you may or may not want to poke around to read about that before buying. I have a number of his books and I do not think one can deny he’s been a very strong influence on the field.
Garth Ennis – The Boys; John Constantine, Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits; Hellblazer; Preacher
Emil Farris – My Favorite Thing is Monsters (4) Described as “a great one about a kid investigating a murder in ‘60s Chicago drawn as if they’re sketches in a school notebook,” which I love so I’ve got it on order.
Phil Foglio – Buck Godot, Zap Gun for Hire; Girl Genius (3)
Ellen Forney – Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me (2)
Matt Fraction – Hawkeye; Sex Criminals
Pierre Gabus – District 14
Neil Gaiman – Sandman (5); Stardust
David Gemmell – Legend
Dave Gibbons and Frank Miller – Give Me Liberty
Kieron Gillen – Die; The Wicked and the Divine (7)
Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo – Asterix
Joe Haldeman – Dallas Barr
Joe Haldeman The Forever War
Dean and Shannon Hale – Rapunzel’s Revenge
Larry Hama – A Sailor’s Story
Matt Hawkins – Think Tank
Herge – Tintin
The Hernandez Brothers – Love & Rockets (3)
Jonathan Hickman – East of West
Joe Hill – Locke & Key (4). Great stuff! I don’t have these, mainly because I borrowed them from someone else to read, and I don’t like buying stuff I’ve already read.
Kohta Hirano – Hellsing
Dylan Horrocks – Hicksville
Jody Houser – Faith
Matt Howarth – Changes
Junji Ito – Uzumaki (6)
Alejandro Jodorowsky – La caste des Meta-Barons
Matt Johnson – Incognegro (2)
Nagata Kabi – My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness
Ryan Kelly and Brian Wood – Local
Stephen King and Scott Snyder – American Vampire
Tom King – The Sheriff of Babylon; Vision
Yukito Kishiro – Battle Angel Alita
Peter Kuper – Heart of Darkness
David Lapham – Stray Bullets
John Layman – Chew
Jeff Lemire – Descender; Sweet Tooth
John Lewis – March (3) Added this to my next order.
Marjorie Liu – Monstress (10)
One person called it “the only one I buy for myself.”
Jeremy Love – Bayou
David Mack – Kabuki (2)
Howard Mackie – Gambit and Rogue; Robyn Hood
Larry Marder – Tales from the Beanworld
Julie Maroh – Le bleu est une couleur chaude
Alan C. Martin – Tank Girl (2) I wrote a grad school paper on this one.
Shirow Masamune – The Ghost in the Shell
Taiyo Matsumoto – Tekkon Kinkreet
Scott McCloud – The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln; Reinventing Comics; Understanding Comics (4). I keep this on my shelf of writing books. Definitely picking up the Abraham Lincoln book.
Seanan McGuire – Spider-Gwen
Carla Speed McNeil – Finder (2)
Linda Medley – Castle Waiting
Mike Mignola – Hellboy (3)
Mark Millar – Jupiter’s Legacy
Frank Miller – Daredevil: Born Again; The Dark Knight Returns (4); Elektra: Assassin (2); Ronin (2); Sin City (3)
Peter Milligan – Red Lanterns; X-Statix
Shigeru Mizuki – Showa: A History of Japan
Alan Moore – let’s just assume I have and rec everything Moore has written, and wrote a paper in grad school involving the Watchmen.
Terry Moore – Strangers in Paradise (3)
Pepe Moreno – Batman: Digital Justice
Grant Morrison – Doom Patrol; The Invisibles (2); We3 (3)
Brennan Lee Mulligan – Strong Female Protagonist (2)
Ted Naifeh – The Crumrin Chronicles (2)
Mai K. Nguyen – Pilu of the Woods
Hope Nicholson (editor) – Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection This looks pretty cool, adding to my “next buy” list.
Marieke Nijkamp – The Oracle Code
Steve Niles – 30 Days of Night
Lee Nordling – Once Upon a Time Machine
James O’Barr – The Crow (2)
Nnedi Okarafor – LaGuardia
Bryan Lee O’Malley – Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World; Seconds
K. O’Neill – The Tea Dragon Society
Natsume Ono – not simple
Katsuhiro Otomo – Akira (2)
Kevin Panetta – Bloom
Benoit Peeters – Obscure Cities
Rosalind B. Penfold – Dragonslippers
David Petersen – Mouseguard
Richard and Wendy Pini – Elfquest (2)
Rick Remender – Fear Agent
Jamie Rich – Ladykiller
James Robinson – Starman (2)
Greg Rucka – Lazarus (2); Queen and Country (2); Wonder Woman
Mark Russell – Exit Stage Left: the Snagglepuss Chronicles. Ordered because it looked like it would hit a couple sweet spots for me.
Mary Safro – Drugs & Wires (having trouble tracking this one down online so far)
Stan Sakai – Usagi Yojimbo
Richard Sala – Peculia
Marjane Satrapi – Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (6) I loved this, and the film was lovely too. I ended up passing my copy along to a cousin because it felt like a book that should be out there educating people.
Tom Scioli – Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics
Stjepan Sejic – Sunstone (2)
Jason Shiga – Demon
Ray Simon – Habitat
Gail Simone – Birds of Prey; Red Sonja
Jeff Smith – Bone (7); Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil
Charles Soule – Curse Words
Art Spiegelman – Maus (5)
Richard Stark – The Parker Novels
Jim Starlin – The Death of Captain Marvel (2) (The first graphic novel that Marvel did)
Noelle Stevenson – Nimona (3) I have this in electronic form and wish I’d bough hardcopy.
Masayuki Taguchi and Koushun Takami – Battle Royale
Bryan Talbot – Adventures of Luther Arkwright (3); Grandville; Alice in Sunderland (2)
Mariko Tamaki – Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass; Skim
Shaun Tan – The Arrival
Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Doug TenNapei – Earthboy Jacobus (2)
Dirk I. Tiede – Paradigm Shift
James Tynion IV – Something is Killing the Children
John Upchurch – Lucy Claire
Serena Valentino – Nightmares and Fairytales
Brian K Vaughan – Ex Machina; Paper Girls (5); Saga (16); Y: The Last Man (2)
Ursula Vernon – Digger (5)
Charles Vess – Books of Magic (2)
Matt Wagner – Mage (2)
Mark Waid – Kingdom Come (3)
Tillie Walden – Are You Listening?
Jen Wang – The Prince and the Dressmaker
Gerald Way – The Umbrella Academy
Jeremy Whitley – Princeless
Kurtis J Wiebe – Rat Queens (5)
Bill Willingham – Elementals; Fables (6)
G. Willow Wilson – Cairo; Ms. Marvel (3)
Gregory A. Wilson – Icarus
Brian Wood – Channel Zero; DMZ (3); Northlanders
Gene Luen Yang – American Born Chinese
Jane Yolen – Foiled
Skottie Young – I Hate Fairyland
Jim Zubkavich – Wayward

Le Grand Pouvoir du Chninkel, which sadly has no official English release as far as I know.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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