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‘Scott Pilgrim’ tops decade’s graphic novels
/> 5. "Pride of Baghdad.” Brian K. Vaughan ("Y: The Last Man”) collaborated with Niko Henrichon on this graphic novel, inspired by the true tale of three lions that escaped from the Baghdad Zoo during an American bombing raid. Vaughan looks at the nature of freedom through these lions, which speak with each other and the other animals. While the anthropomorphized adventure may have some thinking "Lion King,” it has more in common with George Orwell’s "Animal Farm.” 6. "The Last of the Independents.” Influenced by guy movies such as "Unforgiven” and "Charley Varrick,” "Last of the Independents” features bank robber Cole Claudle, just one big score away from retirement. When that robbery is much bigger than expected, Claudle finds himself fighting the mob and trying to keep himself and his friends safe long enough to escape. 7. "Golem’s Mighty Swing.” Examining the 1920s through a Jewish baseball team, James Sturm addresses prejudice, history, baseball and America in a gem of a graphic novel. 8. "What It Is.” Part autobiography, part creative workbook, Lynda Barry’s "What It Is” features dazzling artwork with elements of collage throughout. 9. "Safe Area Goradze.” Joe Sacco’s nonfiction account of the war in Bosnia was among the best ever examples of graphic novel journalism. 10. "Top 10: The 49ers.” Alan Moore ("Watchmen”) teams with Gene Ha for this story, in which Moore tells the early history of Neopolis, the superhero city of his much-missed "Top Ten” series. Neopolis was created in the days after World War II to house the various "science heroes” who were no longer needed to fight the Nazi threat. The Neopolis Police Department must deal with superpowered entities who are no longer above the law.