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Word Balloons: Best graphic novels of ’09 are innovators
The double-crossed small-time hood Parker is out to get revenge on those who did him wrong, and he does so with explosive consequences. Cooke is the perfect artist to adapt this 60s-era hard-boiled tale. 5. "The Big Kahn”: Writer Neil Kleid and artist Nicolas Cinquegrani create a book that explores identity and second chances. At the funeral of esteemed Rabbi David Kahn, his family discovers he was never Jewish, but an Irish con man. The rabbi’s wife and children must deal with the aftermath and find out what this deception will mean to the family’s legacy. 6. "Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe”: Slacker 24-year-old Scott Pilgrim continues to battle the evil exes of his new girlfriend, Ramona Flowers, in pitched, video-game-style battles. But he also has to face up to his own insecurities and relationship difficulties. Writer-artist Bryan O’Malley’s anime-influenced art continues to improve, and "Scott Pilgrim” maintains its humor in this penultimate volume. 7. "High Moon”: Former Oklahoma resident David Gallaher and artist Steve Ellis created this werewolf Western that was one of the first Zuda.com contest winners. Now available in print, "High Moon” Volume 1 collects the first three Web storylines. 8. "Stitches”: Children’s book illustrator David Small’s memoir covers his difficult childhood, where excessive X-rays from his radiologist father led to the young man getting cancer of the throat. 9. "A Drifting Life”: Yoshihiro Tatsumi ("Abandon the Old in Tokyo”) details his post-World War II life in this graphic novel, published for the first time in the U.S. this year, by Drawn and Quarterly. 10. "The Photographer”: This graphic novel pairs Didier Lefevre’s photography with the artwork of Emmanuel Guibert ("Alan’s War”) to tell the story of Lefevre’s journey to Afghanistan in 1986 with Doctors Without Borders.