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Best Comic Books

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  27.9.2018

Maus

Writer/Artist: Art Spiegelman

By now most people are familiar with Art Spiegelman’s incredible Holocaust comic, Maus. But for everyone else, this isn’t just the top comic that you need to read before you die—it’s a work of art that you need to experience in your lifetime.

Based on the life of Spiegelman’s father (a Polish Jew and concentration camp survivor) during WWII, Maus gained notoriety by portraying all of the characters in the story...

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  27.9.2018

Watchmen

Writer: Alan Moore

Artist: Dave Gibbons

At this point we’re sure that almost everyone has heard of Watchmen because of the 2009 movie, but there's no way that you can embark upon a respectable comic-book-buying habit without having read the original series.

When Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons launched this 12-issue series over at DC in 1986, no...

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  27.9.2018

Sandman

Writer: Neil Gaiman

Artist: Various

Comic books haven't always been embraced by the mainstream. Back in the ‘80s, they were the horrible secret youngsters kept underneath their mattresses and away from parents. Then, as companies began experimenting with different genres and making these books more mature, comics slowly started getting noticed by a larger section of society...

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  27.9.2018

 The Dark Knight Returns

Writer/Artist: Frank Miller

Before Frank Miller unleashed The Dark Knight Returns in 1986, most of the mainstream public associated Batman with his campy 1960s TV show. Despite the fact that the comic previously returned to its darker roots in the early ‘70s, people couldn’t shake the horrific sight of Adam West doing the Batusi dance in a pair of cheap gray pajamas. Thankfully that all changed when this book debuted.

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  27.9.2018

Preacher

Writer: Garth Ennis

Artist: Steve Dillon

Vertigo has been responsible for some of the most creatively daring comics to ever hit the mainstream. None of them, however, come close to being as blasphemous and dangerous as Garth Ennis’ Preacher.

Ennis' landmark title focused on a preacher, named Jesse Custer, from the small Texas...

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  27.9.2018

Transmetropolitan

Writer: Warren Ellis

Artist: Darick Robertson

Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan debuted through DC’s now-defunct Helix line with a sardonic blend of political satire and science-fiction that skewered everything conventional readers held dear. Following the exploits of a misanthropic, drug-addicted, gonzo journalist named Spider Jerusalem, this book quickly became the manifesto to live by...

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  27.9.2018

V for Vendetta

Writer: Alan Moore

Artist: David Lloyd

Since its publishing debut in 1982, V for Vendetta has been adapted into a major motion picture (in 2005) and served as the symbol of the Occupy Wall Street movement. When the title first came out, there was nothing else like it. Bringing to mind a combination of Batman and 1984, V for Vendetta took an unflinching look at the dangers of an...

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  27.9.2018

Ghost World

Writer/Artist: Dan Clowes

Ghost World came out at the perfect time. In June 1993, America's pop culture landscape became populated by jaded teenagers listening to punk, and suddenly mainstream, music. This book perfectly epitomized that movement.

Ghost World centers on the lives of two girls, Rebecca and Enid, who spend most of the story wandering around mocking the society around them. Their indifference for others...

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  27.9.2018

American Splendor

Writer: Harvey Pekar

Artist: Robert Crumb, Gary Dumm, Kevin Brown, various

The world of underground comics is so vast that we can do another whole list on that subject alone. Anyone who's willing to dive into that small corner of the industry should definitely start with Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor. This slice-of-life comic recalls Pekar’s life as a file clerk and details his personal and professional relationships...

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  27.9.2018

Hellblazer

Writer: Various, including Jamie Delano, Garth Ennis, and Peter Milligan

Artist: Various

After his successful appearances during Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run in the ‘80s, DC finally gave John Constantine his own comic titled Hellblazer in 1988. It's the only book on this list to feature both a rotating roster of artists and writers. But no matter who's at the helm of any given issue, Hellblazer remains one of the preeminent examples...

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  27.9.2018

Marvels

Writer: Kurt Busiek

Artist: Alex Ross

Unlike what DC does with its Vertigo line, or, for that matter, what Image and Dark Horse comics do every month, Marvel rarely strays from the superhero genre. Which is fine, since the folks at the House of Ideas have become the masters of fictional, heightened heroism. The company's creative highpoint came in 1994 when Marvels hit the shelves. ...

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  27.9.2018

Essex County

Writer/Artist: Jeff Lemire

Without any superpowers or fantasy elements, Jeff Lemire’s Essex County is an honest, real world drama about a small Canadian community and the families that inhabit it. This twisting character study is more like an indie film than a typical comic book. Lemire brings a visual flare to the whole thing that reminds us why this story could have only been told in this format.

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  27.9.2018

Swamp Thing

Writer: Alan Moore

Artist: Stephen Bissette

Before Alan Moore began his run on Swamp Thing in 1983, the character was nothing more than the star of a formulaic monster book that was perpetually overlooked by DC in favor of its superhero properties. Moore put his mark on Swampy by introducing ideas that were part existential, part post-modern, and wholly unique to American mainstream...

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  27.9.2018

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

Writer: Chris Claremont

Artist: Brent Anderson

There are countless X-Men titles we could have included on this list, but if you’re looking for one that encapsulates everything that this franchise is about, you can’t do any better than God Loves, Man Kills. The story centers on a reverend named William Stryker who attempts to start a holy war against the entire mutant race, no matter how...

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  27.9.2018

All-Star Superman

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist: Frank Quitely

In an attempt to strip the Man of Steel down to his essentials and market him for a broader audience, DC hired Grant Morrison to write All-Star Superman in 2005. With a mix of poetry, nostalgia, and trademark blockbuster action, Morrison turned All-Star into a love letter to the world’s greatest superhero.

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  27.9.2018

Sin City

Writer/Artist: Frank Miller

You’ve most likely already seen the movie, but trust us, there's more to Sin City than one film. In Frank Miller’s blood-soaked, neo-noir world, violence and hookers dominate a landscape that's one of the most expansive and detailed that we've ever seen in a comic. This book is a black-and-white callback to the pulps tales of the ‘40s, and Miller pulls all of it off effortlessly.

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  27.9.2018

Daytripper

Writers: Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

Artist: Gabriel Bá

Despite the fact that Daytripper is still relatively new, it’s impossible to ignore its absolute brilliance. Every chapter in Vertigo's 10-issue series begins with the retelling of an important event from different points of the life of obituary writer Bras de Olivias Dominguez, and each one closes with his sudden death. Then the next issue...

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  27.9.2018

The Killing Joke

Writer: Alan Moore

Artist: Brian Bolland

No writer was more prolific during the ‘80s than Alan Moore. While he made a name for himself on original work like V for Vendetta and Watchmen, he also dipped his toe into the waters of DC’s established roster of superheroes, like Superman, the Green Arrow, and Vigilante. It was his work on Batman, however, that revolutionized both the character...

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  27.9.2018

Bone

Writer/Artist: Jeff Smith

What Jeff Smith accomplished the all-ages series Bone was unprecedented. With his simplistic art style and dialogue, Smith crafted an epic, Tolkien-esque fantasy tale that covers the traditional hero’s journey in a way that would make Joseph Campbell proud.

The story begins when the Bone cousins—Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone—are thrown...

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  27.9.2018

Y: The Last Man

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan

Artist: Pia Guerra, various

One of the most successful books to come out of Vertigo in its post-Sandman days was Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man. Launched in 2002, it's about a man named Yorick Brown, who is the last surviving man after a mysterious plague wipes out the world’s male population. Along with his pet monkey, Ampersand, Yorick embarks upon...

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  27.9.2018

Fables

Writer: Bill Willingham

Artists: Mark Buckingham, various

Many people were fearful that Vertigo wouldn't be able to sustain its success in the 2000s after the creative outburst of two preceding decades. Impressively, Bill Willingham’s Fables proved that when you have a publisher willing to push the envelope of what comics can be, there will always be great books ready to hit the market.

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  27.9.2018

Daredevil: Born Again

Writer: Frank Miller

Artist: Dave Mazzucchelli

In the early 1980s, Daredevil was on life support. Slumping sales and a general indifference towards the character almost caused Marvel to write him off completely. Enter artist Frank Miller, who was promoted to Daredevil's primary writer and turned the title into one of the decade's best superhero reads.

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  27.9.2018

The Invisibles

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist: Various

To truly understand what Grant Morrison was trying to accomplish in The Invisibles you have to understand that he gained most of his inspiration after, per his own claims, he was abducted by aliens in Kathmandu and given narrative ideas. Seriously.

The book itself is about a single cell working for The Invisible College, a secret organization...

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  27.9.2018

The Punisher MAX

Writer: Garth Ennis

Artist: Various

As part of the traditional Marvel Universe, The Punisher was always severely toned down as the company attempted to market him to kids as a hip action hero with a ton of cool gadgets. But when Marvel finally brought the character into its mature MAX line with writer Garth Ennis, the spandex costume and goofy sidekicks were replaced with a...

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