Every year, serial comics and individual graphic novels are becoming increasingly a part of the culture. Marvel and DC are theaters’ most significant box office receipts, and TV shows about “heroes in capes” have flooded the TV screens.
Although, despite fan stories, many still think picture books can only be interesting for children. But quite a few severe works for adults will make you look at the comic book industry differently. Author from wowessays – a website that writes essays for you free, advises what to read if you don’t like stories about superheroes.
The graphic masterpiece by famed author Alan Moore deservedly made it to Time magazine’s list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century. At first glance, it’s a typical story about heroes in strange costumes. But “Guardians” can be contrasted with the usual comic books.
Here, the lives of superheroes are similar to those of humans:
- A Batman-like character has erection problems.
- A villain saves the world.
- A principled vigilante can destroy it.
2. V for Vendetta
Another work of Alan Moore. This time in the genre of dystopia. A fascist government rules Great Britain; everybody tries not to stand out from the crowd. But a mad anarchist, V challenges the system.
What matters in this graphic novel is not the protagonist but the world where the action occurs. Moore wanted to describe a dystopian future in the mid-80s, but he predicted much of what has become our reality.
3. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
The only Pulitzer Prize-winning comic book in history. Its author Art Spiegelman tried to tell the story of his father, a Jewish survivor of the camps during the Holocaust. To simplify the visual presentation, he depicted all the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats.
But one should not think that this makes the work comical. It is no less creepy than the severe articles on the subject. All the more so because at the end of the book Spiegelman shows an accurate portrait of his father, forcing the reader to remember that we were talking about real people all along.
An autobiographical work by French writer Marjane Satrapi. She is originally from Iran, and this work tells how a little girl experiences the Islamic Revolution. How after the war with Iraq, she is sent abroad, and where she feels she has entered a world of freedom. And how she has to go back to her native country, where much has already changed.
5. The Sandman
Those who lack a literary edge in comics should read Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series. His writing talent and his passion for mythology have produced a great story about the Dream Lord, his sister Death, and the many other inhabitants of the netherworld. If even the first volume does not seem very exciting, then after “Dollhouse,” definitely impossible to stop.
6. Sin City
The complete opposite of the previous comic book. This is a purely visual work by Frank Miller, on which the scripts of his films of the same name are based. There is little text and bright colors but a lot of violence, passion, and other emotions.
7. From Hell
Another graphic novel by Alan Moore is a story about the nineteenth century. A depressed police inspector, addicted to opium, tries to investigate the murders of prostitutes on the streets of London. An aristocrat with a medical background is murdering the girls. The inspector attempts to discover who hides behind the frightening alias Jack the Ripper.
8. 100 Bullets
Brian Azarello, the lover of all gangster stories, suggests that you wonder: what if you were shown the man responsible for your biggest misfortunes? And not just delivered, but also given 100 untraceable bullets. Would it be justified revenge, or would it simply be murder for self-justification?
Azarello’s story is reminiscent of Tarantino movies more than the usual comic books. There are no heroes here – only scoundrels and villains. No character will remain episodic; all will be told in detail.
Children’s cartoons about anthropomorphic animals have been very popular in recent years. But a detective story where the main characters are animals. The Spanish authors of the comic book “Blackshead” take the reader into a noir world filled with lies and cruelty.
The main character, a black cat, works as a private investigator. He investigates murders, robberies, and disappearances. Each time, he has to face a world of money, temptations and lies. The pictures in this comic book are drawn elegantly and, where necessary, realistically. Just a few pages later, you can forget that the cats, bears, and rhinoceroses are in front of you: too, their behavior is similar to that of humans.
This is the comic book by Garth Ennis that was the basis for the AMC series. However, while the adaptation drags out the plot, the original is dynamic from the first issue to the last 66. Jesse Custer, a priest, is possessed by a divine essence and given power over words-the ability to control people with his voice. However, it’s more complicated. Angels are sent from heaven to bring back the essence and, with them, the immortal patron saint of murderers. Though even that can be dealt with, there is a bigger problem: God himself has escaped from heaven.
Ennis has mixed everything in this series literally: apocalypse, world conspiracies, saving the world, fights, family relationships, black humor, vampires, and voodoo. And if you’re not intimidated by the crudeness and frankness, it’s straightforward to read, even if you don’t like comic books.