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What are your essential graphic novels?

Sure, we've all heard of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. And Maus, American Splendor, Ghost World, and Persepolis. But what are your essential comics series and graphic novels? What are the cornerstones of your sequential storytelling library? What haven't you read that you plan on getting around to some day?

My picks are still pretty '80s-centric: In no certain order, Claremont's X-Men (with John Byrne, David Cockrum, and Paul Smith illustrating), Alan Moore's Swamp Thing and Watchmen, the Moench/Sienkiewicz Moon Knight (ironically, a Batman ripoff who ended up influencing the harder, darker Batman of today), Howard Chaykin's American Flagg!, Los Bros Hernandez's Love & Rockets, Mike Baron's Nexus (but only with Steve Rude's art), Daniel Clowes' Eightball, and Peter Bagge's Hate, with Neil Gaiman's Sandman bringing up the end of the decade. I also like Moebius' Airtight Garage, Mike Mignola's Hellboy, Paul Chadwick's Concrete, Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan, and Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Ellis's Planetary. And I also enjoy most of Adams' late '60s/early '70s work for Marvel and DC, Bernie Wrightson's horror comics, Steranko's Nick Fury, and the first 100 or so issues of the FF — though like Miller's Daredevil or the original Howard the Duck by Gerber, I still haven't gotten around to reading most of them.


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