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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Graphic Novel Reading List for College Students

Author Alexander Chee taught a very popular seminar on the graphic novel at my alma mater, Amherst College.  Since the moment he stopped teaching the class, he has been asked to share his thoughts on this seminar by so many friends and colleagues that he recently composed this post on his blog entitled, "On Teaching the Graphic Novel."

At the bottom of my post here, I will be re-posting his reading list; however, I highly suggest reading his thoughtful essay on his methods, theories, arguments, and experiences in teaching this class.

I was happy to see I have read most of the titles. Also many of them also appear on my very popular "Graphic Novels for Grown-Ups" list.

I think if you are an adult who is interested in the graphic novel as literature or if you are new to the format and want a list of the very best the format has to offer, read this essay.

If you are a librarian who does not have a handle on your graphic novel collection for adult readers, stop reading my post and click to Chee's right now.

If you are a library who wants to highlight the very best of graphic novels, use Chee's (or my) list to create a display. Each time we chose to highlight graphic novels at the BPL, we gain more adult readers. And once they start reading graphic novels, they become part of that readers regular rotation of books.

No matter your situation, if you are someone who wants to read the best books out there today, you are missing some great literature if you don't read graphic novels.

My only complaint here is that this class wasn't taught when I was a student.

Here's the list:
The ENGL 74 Amherst College Memorial Reading List:
American Born Chinese, Gene Yang
Shortcomings, Adrian Tomine
Mother Come Home, Paul Hornschmeier
Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware
Pyongyang, Guy Delisle
Exit Wounds, Rutu Modan
Aya, Margaret Abouet
Blankets, Craig Thompson
In the Shadow of No Towers, Art Spiegelman
Maus, Art Spiegelman
Lucky, Gabrielle Bell
Jar of Fools, Jason Lutes
Curses, Kevin Huizenga
Life Sucks, Jessica Abel
La Perdida, Jessica Abel
Drawing Words and Writing Pictures, Jessica Abel & Matt Madden
Ghost World, Daniel Clowes
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller
Ronin, by Frank Miller
Night Fisher, R. Kikuo Johnson
Watchmen, Alan Moore
Top Ten: The 49′ers, Alan Moore
Black Hole, Charles Burns
McSweeney’s 13, edited by Chris Ware
Scott Pilgrim 1, Brian Lee O’Malley
Battle Angel Alita 1, Yukito Kishiro
Banana Fish vol. 6, Akimi Yoshida (Volumes 1-19 exist)
Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 1, Kazuo Koike
Astonishing X-Men, Vol. 1, Joss Whedon
The Tale of One Bad Rat, Bryan Talbot
Blue Pills, Frederik Peeters
Ordinary Victories, Manu Larcenet
Prosopopus, Nicolas de Crécy
Dogs and Water, Anders Nilsen
Monologues for Gauging the Density of Black Holes, Anders Nilsen
Poor Sailor, Sammy Harkham
Persepolis, Marjan Satrapi
Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
Epileptic, David B.
Powr Mstrs Vol. 1
What It Is, Lynda Barry
The City, Franz Masereel
Incognegro, Mat Johnson
7 Miles A Second, by David Wojnarowicz
MOME, various issues (a quarterly journal of comics)

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