Graphic Novels for Adults

Graphic Novels for Adults

Did you know the Library has a collection of comics and graphic novels available online? Hoopla even has an 'Action View' where you can read panel-by-panel, if you are using a mobile device. There are too many to recommend! Click on the link under the authors' names to check out some of these notable series and stand-alones.
 


Compiled by:
Brandon R.
Criminal

Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

A new take on noir, with its hardboiled detectives and gritty glitz of the fictional Central City, by the writer who is also known for re-energizing Captain America. See also Brubaker's similar series Fatale and The Fade Out.


The Dark Knight Returns

Frank Miller

This one could be said to have influentially changed comic books forever in its reinvention of the iconic Batman; Here a grizzled, cynical Bruce Wayne reluctantly comes out of retirement to a new generation of hyper-violent criminality. See also Miller and David Mazzucchelli's later but perhaps equally notable Batman Year One.


East of West

Jonathan Hickman & Nick Dragotta

This epic sci-fi western series is set in a dystopic America where the Civil War never ended.


From Hell

Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell

This meticulously researched piece of historical fiction dramatizes the violent and vicious story of Jack the Ripper before and after the Whitechapel killings.


Fun Home : a family tragicomic

Alison Bechdel

A humorous and heartbreaking memoir from the author (of whom the famed Bechdel Test is named for) about her relationship with her father growing up in a funeral home and coming out as lesbian. See also the follow-up about her mother.


Hellboy

Mike Mignola

A series of adventures with our half-demon title character and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense from his World War II occult origins onward.


The Incal

Alejandro Jodorowsky & Moebius

An epic space opera that expands from Jodorowsky and Jean Giraud (aka Moebius)'s initial storyboard work on a failed adaptation of Dune to create a fantastical, mystical, satirical, poetic, spiritual journey of protagonist John DiFool. See also spinoff series The Metabarons.


Kindred

Octavia Butler & John Jennings

A graphic novel adaptation of the Octavia Butler novel about a young African-American woman who is transported from 1970s California to a pre-Civil War South.


LaGuardia

Nnedi Okorafor & Tana Ford

Hugo and Nebula award-winning sci-fi novelist Okorafor turns to comics to tell a story where alien immigrants have integrated with human society.


Locke & Key

Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

This is the story of Keyhouse, a New England mansion where various magical keys cause supernatural figures to cause deadly disruptions to the Locke family. Multiple, failed attempts at adapting this is perhaps a testament to its inventiveness.


Lone Wolf & Cub

Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima

Epic tale of a samurai and his child with its kinetic images and numerous, lengthy adventures.


Love and Rockets

Jaime Hernandez & Gilbert Hernandez

A major title in the alternative comics scene of the 1980s by the Hernandez Brothers. Gilbert's magical-realist stories are set in the fictional Central-American village of Palomar, while Jaime's Locas stories center on the character of Maggie and a group of mostly Latin-American friends in Los Angeles.


March

John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell

Series of three personal autobiographies from late Georgia Congressman John Lewis chronicling his youth in Alabama, his involvement with the civil rights movement, up to his receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Art by Bloomington resident Nate Powell.


My Favorite Thing is Monsters Vol. 1

Emil Ferris

A fictional diary of a 10 year-old trying to solve the murder of her upstairs, Holocaust surviving neighbor. The author, partially paralyzed from West Nile Virus, taught herself to re-learn how to draw and spent six years working on this first volume that was influenced by her childhood love of monster movies.


Nat Turner

Kyle Baker

An historically accurate telling of the story of Nat Turner and his 1831 slave revolt in Virginia. The brutality of slavery is depicted nearly wordlessly, as is the violence of rebelling against it.


Nimona

Noelle Stevenson

Subversively humorous and witty fantasy based on the author's web comic that could, I suppose, be limitingly described to be about a girl with powers who becomes a sidekick to her town's villain.


Preacher

Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon

A disillusioned Texas preacher becomes possessed with a supernatural power to make people do whatever he wants and begins a violent and insane journey across America with his gun-toting girlfriend and an Irish vampire.


The Sandman

Neil Gaiman & Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg et al.

Gaiman's highly influential dark fantasy mixes mythology, folklore, and fairy tales with a unique vision of the Endless (seven beings older and more powerful than gods) who rule over our dreams.


Sin City

Frank Miller

This series of distinctively drawn, mostly black-and-white neo-noir intertwining stories creates an entire crime-riddled world of Basin City.


This One Summer

Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki

This coming-of-age, teen literary graphic novel focuses on two friends spending a summer reaching the end of their childhood. Though it was nominated for and won numerous awards, it has been a frequently banned book for the mature topics it confronts.


Transmetropolitan

Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson & Rodney Ramos et al.

In a world where humans become aliens through cosmetic surgery, Spider Jerusalem returns to gonzo journalism to attack the injustices of his cyberpunk-ish 23rd century. See also the more upbeat? Planetary.
 


The Walking Dead

Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn et. al

Um, if you don't know what this, it has ZOMBIES.


Watchmen

Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

This is considered by some to be the greatest graphic novel of all time. If you've seen the movie adaptation or the more recent HBO mini-series, you still haven't quite experienced the depth contained in this alternate history of the 1980s with superheroes. For other superhero alternate histories, in the DC and Marvel universes respectively, check out Kingdom Come or Earth X.


The Wicked + The Divine

Kieron Gillen & Jamie McElvie, Matthew Wilson

Author Gillen descibes this as "a superhero comic for anyone who loves Bowie as much as Batman"; a tale of kids who have been taken over by gods and given supernatural powers but they will all die within 2 years.


Y: The Last Man

Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra

One of the best-selling comic series of the outghts, this is the saga of Yorick Brown and his pet monkey who seem to be the only survivors of a global androcide. See also Vaughn & Fiona Staples possibly half-finished epic space opera series called Saga.