The 101 Best Graphic Novels

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This annotated list of graphic novels includes an introduction designed to encourage readers to use these books in classrooms. Weiner's credentials for judging graphic novels extend to his own childhood when he was a reader of comic books and early graphic novels. He describes a variety of graphic novels, including biographies, retellings of stories from Nancy Drew to Kafka's stories, and general fiction; there is something here for everyone. Also described is a large collection of traditional comic book stories, particularly superheroes, as well as Japanese comics, called manga. In the latest edition of Horn Book Magazine, Robin Brenner recommends testing the waters of graphic novels by reading one in each genre: "one superhero title, ...one non-superhero title (whatever genre floats your boat), one nonfiction title and one Japanese manga. This type of survey will provide a sense of how graphic storytelling works" (p.240). This advice dovetails the list of books presented by Weiner. If you are looking for an introduction to the graphic novel, you have found the place to start. 2005, Nantier Beall Minoustchine, and Ages 14 up.
—Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo
VOYA - Kristin Fletcher-Spear
Weiner helped forge the path for future librarians who carry graphic novels in their libraries. This third edition of "best graphic novels" has a few differences from the previous two versions. Weiner only includes graphic novels-no comic strip collections or picture books. Here he also includes series graphic novels such as superheroes and manga. Each of the 101 entries includes an age range (children, younger teen, older teen, and adult), an image of the book jacket, and a brief synopsis. Peppered throughout the text is sample panel art from highlighted graphic novels. More than half of the selections are new from his previous editions. By naming graphic novels "best," Weiner admits to his own opinion and biases. He takes into consideration quality but not popularity. He emphases the splice of life and more serious titles, but also includes superheroes like Ultimate Spider-man and manga like Trigun. Perhaps the biggest negative is the title indexing, which does not correlate with the correct pages. The additional further reading selection is for those interested in continuing their graphic novel and comic book reference reading and not for librarians seeking help in their professional roles. Overall this book is an adequate annotated list of good graphic novels, but if using it for collection development, librarians will need to take into consideration the titles' popularity and appeal for their audience.
Library Journal
This is a revised second edition of a guide first published in 2001, which was itself an update of Weiner's 100 Graphic Novels for Public Libraries (1996). Along with the foreword by Neil Gaiman, it retains from the earlier editions many classics such as A Contract with God and Bone. But over half of the listings here are new, including highly acclaimed recent works like Blankets and Epileptic and also a dozen added manga, including Lone Wolf & Cub and Barefoot Gen. Other entries range from superheroes (Ultimate Spider-Man) to nonfiction (The Cartoon History of the Universe). For each book, Weiner provides a black-and-white illustration of the cover, a suggested age rating, and a brief review. The focus is on books currently available (though The Greatest Team-Up Stories Ever Told seems to have gone out of print). For this edition, Weiner has left out newspaper strip collections (except for, oddly, Classic Star Wars) and expanded his listing of recommended books about comics. This is an improvement over previous editions; no two readers would agree on the contents, but this is a recommended collection development tool for libraries and a nice guide for the general public as well. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
There are several notable differences between this book and the 2001 edition. Some of the criticisms of the earlier volume have been addressed, so now comic-strip collections and picture books are no longer included, leaving only "true" graphic novels. The young adult category has been subdivided into ages 12-15 and 16-19, which will be enormously helpful to selectors. The "best" of the title is, of course, enormously subjective, but the greats you'd expect to find (Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman) are here along with many newer authors. More than half of the recommended titles are new to this edition, and there is also a sizable representation of ever-popular manga subgenre. The black-and-white images include covers as well as interior art from several volumes. This much-improved edition is a useful tool for librarians and graphic-novel fans alike.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561634439
  • Publisher: N B M Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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