Top 10 Best Graphic Novels of All Time

Many of might’ve heard the term graphic novel but don’t know what exactly does that means. Graphic novel is similar to comic book. “a fictional story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book”, while its simplest definition is given as “cartoon drawings that tell a story and are published as a book”.

Now that we know the meaning of graphic novel, let’s count down 10 best graphic novels of all time.

10. Alice In The Sunderland

A lady reads Alice in Sunderland
Author: Bryon Talbot

Alice in the Sunderland is a very strange and unique graphical novel which is both historical and biographical. It tells the story over the course of whopping 3 million years, exploring many important historical events that took place in Sunderland. It’s a masterpiece in its genre, and proudly maintains its reputation.

9. Batman: The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke
Author: Alan Moore

Story of this graphic novel is considered one of the most controversial of all time. It shows Joker’s problematic psychology at its best. The way he tortures other characters is extremely dark and deeply effective. This was also the first time when Joker was shown as a tragic character as opposed to a ruthless villain in previous comics. He lost his family, he was tricked by bad people and an accident transformed him from a normal person to a crazy psychopath. Batman: The Killing Joke is more about Joker than it’s about Batman. According to many critics it’s one of the best Batman stories ever published.

8. The Sandman

The Sandman
Author: Neil Gaiman

This novel is a blend of various genres such as mythology, history and horror all within the DC Universe. It tells the story of a man known as Sandman, his other names include Dream, Morpheus, Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium all of his names are called seven endless. It contains deep messages and complex symbolism for readers to understand. And the transformation of sandman from a dark character to a tragic hero, makes it one of the best stories ever told in comics.

7. 300

Top 10 Graphic Novels of All Time
Author: Frank Miller

Perhaps most of you have already seen the movie “300”, which is a very good adaptation of this graphic novel. That movie is near perfect adaptation, if you’ve seen that film, you’ve read the novel.

Surprisingly the graphic novel is itself inspired by 1962 film “the 300 Spartans”. 300 is about 300 Spartans who go on a war to fight several hundred thousand Persians, who want to capture Greek land and probably make their women slaves or worse. Spartans must fight in order to protect their land. And the mare fact that it’s narrated by a Spartan makes it all over the top, and ridiculously more captivating.

6. Batman: Arkham Asylum 25th Anniversary Edition

Batman: Arkham Asylum 25th Anniversary Edition
Author: Grant Morrison

Originally released as Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth is the graphic novel that became inspiration for all the outstanding Batman games, and even some of the greatest graphic novels for the years to come.

At its time it was one of the most commercially and critically successful Batman comic. It answers many unanswered questions, such as the origin of how the asylum was established, the history of its builder Amadeus Arkham, and the supernatural and psychological mystery that has been haunting the area.

25th anniversary edition is an upgraded version of the same thing, with some additional sub-stories and a much better artwork.

5. From Hell

From Hell
Author: Alan Moore

From hell is yet another graphic novel from the legendary author Alan Moore. It is Set during the Whitechapel murders of the late Victorian era, the novel speculates upon the identity and motives of Jack the Ripper. It also depicts several true events of the murders, although some of the portions have been fictionalised, particularly the identity of the killer and the precise nature and circumstances of the murders. It was adapted into a 2001 Hollywood film with the same name.

4. Sin City

Sin City novel
Author: Frank Miller

Frank Miller has created many great graphic novels in his life time, Sin city is one of the best among them. It takes place in a fictional American town Basin City, and tells multiple interconnected stories that features many memorable characters. The stories are so good that all of them have been adapted into two Hollywood movies.

3. Watchmen

Watchmen by Alan Moore
Author: Alan Moore

Watchmen is not only one of the best graphic novels of all time, but also one of the best pieces of literature ever created. Once it was featured in Time’s list of Top 100 novels of all time, the only graphic novel to do so, and that’s saying a lot. This graphic novel is a long commentary on humanity as a whole, and often reaches very deep and dark places to do that.

2. V For Vendetta

V For Vendetta by Alan Moore
Author: Alan Moore

V for vendetta revolves around a character known as “V”. The story is set in the near future, when a government figure similar to Hitler is ruling. The government system is responsible for deaths of several illegal immigrants, Muslims and LGBTs. So, V decides to act against the system by destroying parliament.

Although the story seems to be straightforward. Its the revenge of one guy against a intoxicated system. But the way it unfolds and reveal its plot points is highly effective. It sometimes reach on dark subjects and give profound messages, it surely leaves a solid impact on readers for a long time.

1. The Dark Knight Returns

best graphic novels

Author: Frank Miller

Here we have a masterpiece from Frank Miller. It features a much older, darker and greedier version of Batman, along with a female Robin. This novel has made a tremendous impact on comic books, movies and even video games. This novel was the inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Batman v Superman and Batman: arkham video game series. The dark Knight returns is an excellent piece of art, and shows Frank Miller’s true genius.