EN/SANE World

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chicago-Bound and Top 50+ List

On the 18th I'll be leaving for Chicago to be a part of the Conference on English Education Summer conference. I'll be part of a 21st century literacies strand -- not on the program, but part of the discussions, etc.

I'll be advocating for and talking about graphic novels and comics in education with anyone who wants to listen. I'll probably also see the person who wrote the review that doomed my last edited collection project, but I'll need to put that behind me. I'm looking forward to seeing some folks again and many folks for the first time.

I've been reading up so that I'm current on comics scholarship, and I've been hitting some of the standards of multimodal/new literacies, so I feel pretty excited about the trip.

I'll be missing my birthday and Father's day away from the family, but we can catch up when I return Sunday.

Anyway, if you've got anything you think the CEE strand should know about comics and literacy, feel free to leave a comment. Otherwise, I'll be back at the blog early next week, earlier if the facility has Internet access.

Also, check back in later to see if I update this post with a "Bucky's Top 50 Graphic Novels" list, something I put together in case the folks at the CEE conference requested it......

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As more and more publishers try to capitalize on the graphic novel trend and on teachers' growing interest in using them in the classroom (remember that the New London Group warned us about the consumerization of new -- or in this case "(re)new(ed)" mediums as we reconsider education in the 21st century), more and more crappy graphic novels are released.

Why do I often recommend the same titles over and over again in my publications? Because I want teachers to consider good graphic novels, great ones even, not just any graphic novel.

With that being said, here's a list of my top 50 recommended graphic novels, with some extras thrown in. If a book comes along to unseed any of these titles, I'll let you know.

The titles from below represent stand-alone graphic narratives, trade paper backs collecting multiple issues from on-going series, anthologies, and Manga. They are not ranked per se, but I did try to include representatives from multiple genres and to be representative of authors whom I think are among the most important graphic novelists of our current age.


I've tried to include titles that would be appropriate for grades 6-12 or titles which are so salient that their "graphic" nature is overshadowed by their importance.


1. The Complete Maus (Spiegelman)
2. The Complete Persepolis (Satrapi)
3. In the Shadow of No Towers (Spiegelman)
4. Chicken and Plums (Satrapi)
5. King (Anderson)
6. The Amazing True Story of a Single Teenage Mom (Arnoldi)
7. La Perdida (Abel)
8. Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1 (Bendis, et al)
9. Ghost World (Clowes)
10. A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories (Eisner)
11. New York: Life in the Big City (Eisner)
12. Fagin the Jew (Eisner)
13. American Born Chinese (Yang)
14. Last Day in Vietnam (Eisner)
15. Protocols of Zion (Eisner)
16. Planetary volumes 1-4 (Ellis, et al)
17. Locas (J.Hernandez)
18. Palomar Stories (G.Hernandez)
19. The 9/11 Report Graphic Adaptation (Colon and Jacobson)
20. Fax From Sarejevo (Kubert)
21. Palestine (Sacco)
22. Dark Knight Returns (Miller)
23. V for Vendetta (Moore)
24. Watchmen (Moore)
25. Swamp Thing (Moore)
26. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volumes 1-2 (Moore, et al)
27. Captain Britain ( Moore & Davis)
28. From Hell (Moore & Campbell)
29. Promethia (Moore)
30. Buddha (Tezuka)
31. Barefoot Gen (Nakazawa)
32. Truth: Red, White and Black (Morales & Baker)
33. American Splendor (Pekar)
34. The Quiter (Pekar)
35. Safe Area Gorazde (Sacco)
36. Bone (Smith)
37. Jimmmy Corrigan, Smartest Kid in the Universe (Ware)
38. 100 Demons (or anything by Lynda Barry)
39. Fun Home (Bechdel)
40. Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda (Stassen)
41. Big Fat Little Lit (Spiegelman and Mouly, eds.)
42. Unstable Molecules (Sturm)
43. The Golem's Mighty Swing (Sturm)
44. The Tale of One Bad Rat (Talbot)
45. Blankets (Thompson)
46. Pedro and Me (Winnick)
47. Fables (Buckingham et al)
48. Y the Last Man (Vaugh, et al)
49. Runaways (Vaught, et al)
50. Pride of Baghdad (Vaughn and Henrichon)

6 More:
Embrodieries (Satrapi)
American Widow (Torres)
JSA: The Golden Age (Robinson)
Incognegro (Johnson & Pleece)
Best American Comics 2008 (Linda Berry, ed.)
Rose (Smith)

Titles that I feel will make my list of faves after reading:
Alan's War (Guibert)
The Photographer (Guibert)
Flight (Kibuishi)
A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge (Neufeld; print version)

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