What is the best Graphic Novel ever written?

Hello everyone,

Just discovered the wonderful world of the graphic novels.
For me the 2 Absolute editions of the Sandman were a very good introduction into graphic novels and the best thing i have read till now.
- Watchmen (Alan Moore) is also one of the best stories i have read in a long time, classic material.
- most stuff by Frank Miller, especially his Sin City creation. He is a genius. All the Sin City paperbacks are reprinted in 2005 and easy to get for a fair price.
Other books/series are (in no particular order)

- Preacher series by Garth Ennis
- Fables
- Y: the last man
- Swamp thing by Alan Moore (Vertigo) start with volume 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing
- Hell Boy by Mike Mignola
I think of Watchmen as the best graphic novel I've read (not read that many).

Maus is something else and I class it seperately, along with Joe Sacco's work, as non-fiction graphical literature. I think I found Maus more involving and more meaningful in many ways than Watchmen, after all, I rarely find a novel strikes me in the same way as real account. The author's own self doubt and evident regrets/worries/passion also put this apart from most books in general.

Both are books, along with V for Vendetta, that I think all teenagers should read.
If i would choose only one i would say the best ever is Lone Wolf and Cub or in japanese Kozure Okami by the legendary team of Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima.

No manga or any other form of fiction has captured the spirit and the age of The Samurai as well as in Kozure Okami.
Hmmm, most of the books mentioned above really are worthy of being included, but I thought I'd throw in another: Pride of Baghdad by Brian K Vaughan and Niko Henrichon. It's not been around as many as the others, but it is perhaps one, if not the best comic book/graphic novel I have ever read (And I have read more than my fair share) and it seems to hold true. I have seen it passed around between people who have never touched a graphic novel in their life, and they have read it cover to cover in one sitting! (Most reduced to tears by the ending - even hardened men!!!)
The trouble is, I think that there are so many great graphic novels out there, and they all have their merits. As just mentioned the Sandman series are stupendous; but so are The Watchmen, Preacher, Pride of Bhagdad and countless others that deserve a mention. Many of these graphic novels have won the highest awards in the comic industry and rightly deserve it. But as far as I know only one has stepped outside of the field and won a Pulitzer - and that is MAUS

I've just finished reading it, and I've been swayed. The art is very different to most comics, but it suits the story perfectly.

Best graphic novel: MAUS

If you have not read it, read it before saying no!
We have a great book store here in NYC called The Strand. This year they are celebrating 80 years and Art Spiegelman designed their t-shirts--it's got a "Maus" on it...buried under books :) It's brilliant! (<---Did I use that term in the proper context?? LOL)
Just to throw out some alternatives:

Electra: Assassin - Frank Miller with multimedia art by Bill Sienkiewicz.

Blame! - written and illustrated entirely by Tsutomu Nihei.
My favorite has always been Marvel's first graphic novel. I won't claim it's the best graphic novel but it had the most impact on me. I was working part time at Tappin's Book Mine in Jacksonville Beach (mostly handling the comics) when it came out. It made me so sad.

The Death of Captain Marvel.
A little editorial:

Part of why we like Frank Miller and Alan Moore so much, is that they are both subversives that turn the conventions upside down, while happily staying within lines of comic heros. Dark Knight and Watchmen make us feel like insiders as we witness characters with much deeper foibles than we're used to seeing, but there is a certain trick being played on the fandom. I don't know if that deserves as much credit as we like to give them, since their work stands on the backs of a long evolution of that tradition and wouldn't be nearly as meaningful if it wasn't for there being a convention to mess with.

That's why I might favor something much more out of the box than a critical reexamination of Super Friends.

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