From outer-space adventure to destructive romantic relationships, comic books in graphic novel format continued to push the medium forward. The following are the best graphic novels for 2007:
1. Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press)
Scott Pilgrim, the slacker twentysomething musician, must still battle his new girlfriend Ramona’s ex-lovers in this fourth volume of the “Scott Pilgrim” series. This pioneering “arcade logic” series is the perfect hybrid of action and romance in a post-videogame, post-manga world.
2. Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan (Drawn and Quarterly)
Israeli cab driver Koby Franco is drawn into a mystery when his father’s ex-girlfriend Nuni contacts him. She wants to search for Koby’s father, who she says may have been killed in a terrorist attack. Koby’s search for his father becomes a search for himself, as Motan examines modern
Israel in this evocative graphic novel.
3. First in Space by James Vining (Oni Press)
“First in Space” is based on the true story of Ham, a chimpanzee trained by NASA to make the first sub-orbital space flight. Well-researched and compelling, “First in Space” is suitable for all ages.
4. All-Star Superman vol. 1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC Comics)
Morrison and Quitely capture the charm of comics’ Silver Age with their take on Superman, a Man of Steel who creates Superman robots, and whose best pal Jimmy Olsen finds himself gaining strange powers. Several story tropes from the 1960s come full circle, as Morrison boils them down to their essence and represents them with modern flair.
5. The Homeless Channel by Matt Silady (AiT-Planet Lar)
Network exec Darcy Shaw thinks “The Homeless Channel” will both draw attention to the homeless plight, and be a good way to make some money, taking reality television to the next level.
Aaron Sorkin-like dialogue and art reminiscent of an early Brian Michael Bendis make “The Homeless Channel” a noteworthy debut.
6. Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine (Drawn and Quarterly)
Ben Tanaka is an abrasive
San Francisco theater owner who obsesses over white girls; this doesn’t help his relationship with his Asian-American activist girlfriend Miko. An interesting look at race and sex through the lens of an intimate graphic novel.
7. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill (DC Comics/WildStorm/ABC)
Something of a sourcebook gone mad,
Moore explores the history of his “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” concept, featuring heroes and villains from throughout literature.
8. Shazam: Monster Society of Evil by Jeff Smith (DC Comics)
Jeff Smith captures the charm and wit of the 1940s Captain Marvel stories, recaptured for modern audiences.
9. Astronaut Dad vol. 1 by David Hopkins and Brent Schoonover (Silent Devil)
David Hopkins looks at the children of astronaut reservists in the 1960s, making the space race more personal.
10. Nothing Better: No Place Like Home by Tyler Page (Dementian)Tyler Page (“Stylish Vittles”) takes his Web comic to graphic novel format in “Nothing Better,” which examines two mismatched roommates at a Lutheran college. “Nothing Better” is reminiscent of “Strangers in Paradise” and “Blankets,” with engaging characters and fresh art.