Monday, November 07, 2011

Graphic Novel Chunksters

Yesterday I promised a post on the graphic novels section of my TBR, and I'm here to deliver! As I was looking over my GNTBR (we love an abbreviation 'round here) it's really dominated by three chunky graphic novels:
  • Watchmen
  • From Hell
  • A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories
So this post should probably be titled "The Alan Moore Show and Will Eisner". 

Will Eisner deserves better than that. If you're not familiar, Eisner also wrote The Spirit series and one of my favorite books, Comics and Sequential Art, a big influence on Scott McCloud's (and everyone else's) academic work in comics. 

SO, if you're not already familiar with these big gooey comics goodies, have some blurbs:

A Contract with GodA revolutionary novel, A Contract with God re-creates the neighborhood of Will Eisner's youth through a quartet of four interwoven stories. Expressing the joy, exuberance, tragedy, and drama of life on the mythical Dropsie Avenue of the Bronx, A Contract with God is a monumental achievement, a must in the library of any graphic novel fan.

WatchmenThis Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin. One of the most influential graphic novels of all time and a perennial bestseller, WATCHMEN has been studied on college campuses across the nation and is considered a gateway title, leading readers to other graphic novels such as V FOR VENDETTA, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE SANDMAN series.

From HellFROM HELL is the story of Jack the Ripper, perhaps the most infamous man in the annals of murder. Detailing the events leading up to the Whitechapel killings and the cover-up that followed, FROM HELL is a meditation on the mind of a madman whose savagery and violence gave birth to the 20th century. The serialized story, presented in its entirety in this volume, has garnered widespread attention from critics and scholars. Often regarded as one of the most significant graphic novels ever published, FROM HELL combines meticulous research with educated speculation, resulting in a masterpiece of historical fiction both compelling and terrifying. This new edition, which has been completely re-mastered, is certainly the finest edition of the book produced to date.

Two of the three of these were purchased for a class on graphic novels that I never got to take. While it would've been a kickass class, I had something else going on, like writing a thesis or something. Alas, they've lain on my stacks untouched for years, and it's really just not fair! I'm big on comics history, and these three are major players in comics history! I think I'll make it a goal to read them all before the conclusion of 2012. Or maybe that's giving myself too much time to procrastinate. Hmmphf. 

Have you read any of the three? Do you have any graphic novels hanging out on your TBR?


  1. I really enjoyed Watchmen. I tried to get into From Hell, but I couldn't. I might try another day.

  2. So how chunky is a GN chunkster? "Cause I always think of GNs as being skinny-minnies.

  3. I haven't read any of these. I think if I read Watchmen, I'll probably hate humanity afterwards. :-) I don't have any graphic novels hanging in my pile. I usually read them the minute I receive them.

  4. I've read all three and From Hell is probably my favourite, though also the most demanding!

  5. Amandaroo, I loved the Watchmen movie, and the book is always better than the movie. It's the law of the universe.

  6. Jill, Watchmen is 436 pages, From Hell is 500+, and Contract w/God is relatively short at 208.

  7. LOL, Natasha! It's entirely possible, though I have to say, humanity was not on my good side yesterday and I hadn't even touched Watchmen.

  8. Ana, it looks demanding. And not the size or anything, just the illustration style (all scribbly), and the text struck me as hard to read. But I'll do it!

  9. I haven't read any of these three, but I recently read Maus I and really enjoyed it. I'm dying to get my hands on Maus II. I don't typically read more than one or two graphic novels a year, but that's because I have a hard time finding the "literary" graphic novels. I know they are out there, they just don't cross my path often.

  10. These are the literary ones you've been looking for, Brenna! I would also recommend anything by Marjane Satrapi, Craig Thompson, Jessica Abel, Adrian Tomine, Daniel Clowes, and Mark Kalesniko. Whew!

  11. I have no graphic novels on my TBR, unless you think I can sneak a few out of Kiddo's room. It's conceivable. He's usually gone 5 days of the week (there are exceptions . . . like tonight, because he has a calculus test coming up and since Dad has a PhD in engineering and, therefore, mucho math under his belt they're doing math stuff together) so that gives me at least a few nights to sneak into his room, read, and tippy toe back without notice. Unless I put one back in the wrong place and then I'm totally screwed.

  12. I want to love Alan Moore about five hundred times more than I in fact do love him. I was bored all the way through V for Vendetta, and Watchmen bored me even more, to my great sorrow. I know he's seminal in the graphic novel world, and I should love him and somehow I do not. So I vote for Will Eisner!


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