The Best Graphic Novels for Adults

If you like stories just as much as you like artwork then look no further than our list of the best graphic novels for adults. Whether you're looking for hard-hitting memoirs or exciting stories filled with action and suspense, we've got you covered. These graphic novels are a mix of genres and styles but all are equally fantastic so if you want to grow your graphic novel collection or you're not sure where to start with this thrilling form of literature then here are the books you need to get your hands on...

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1. The Complete Maus

Art Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman's incredible story of the Holocaust became a worldwide phenomenon after capturing the fear and paranoia of one of the most horrific events in human history in his compelling graphic novel series. The complete collection forms a biography of Art Spiegelman's father, a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust. This is an eye-opening read that is a must for all graphic novel and history fans alike.

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2. V for Vendetta

Alan Moore and David Lloyd

The classic graphic novel that inspired the hit film is set in a futuristic authoritarian England where a masked rebel stands up to the system. His acts of anarchy torment England's oppressors in this action-packed page-turner. If you loved the film then see where the idea came from, because, of course, we always think the book is better!

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3. Fun Home

Alison Bechdel

This graphic memoir sees cartoonist Alison Bechdel recall the events of her childhood and the complicated relationship she had with her father, a teacher and director of the local funeral home. It wasn't until Alison came out as a lesbian that she discovered her father was also gay, a secret he had been keeping from her all her life. This startling autobiography moves between humour and tragedy and is told through Alison's brilliantly quirky illustrations.

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4. Death Note

Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

This gripping manga series follows high school student Light Yagami into the darkness when one day he finds the Death Note. The rules state that any name written into the notebook will die. Determined to use this new-found power for good, Light starts to write down the names of every criminal he sees on the news until Japan's best detective, known only as “L”, decides to find out why the world's criminals are mysteriously dropping down dead. Get this book and become obsessed with this high-stakes thriller.

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5. This One Summer

Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Rose and her family are taking their annual trip to a lake house for the summer where she meets up with her friend Windy. This summer doesn't feel as calm as the ones before though as Rose's parents start fighting with one another and Rose gets her first crush on an older boy. This unusual graphic novel from cousin team, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, pairs gorgeous illustrations with an honest and moving story of growing up.

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6. Saga: Volume 1

Fiona Staples and Brian K Vaughan

This award-winning graphic novel is the first in a thrilling science fiction and fantasy series. As war rages across the stars so two soldiers from opposite sides of the conflict meet and fall in love. They're prepared to risk everything to bring their baby into the world and together maybe they can just about face every weird and terrifying obstacle that comes in their way...

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7. Building Stories

Chris Ware

Chris Ware's fantastic Building Stories focuses on the lives of the people that live across the three storeys of an apartment building in Chicago. In this excellent read, you'll glimpse into the lives of a couple who can't stand one another, a woman who fears she may never find the perfect partner and the elderly landlady who has never married. Emotional and insightful, this is a must-read from an expert graphic novelist.

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8. Persepolis I and II

Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novels focus on what life was like for her living in Tehran during the overthrowing of the Shah's regime, the Islamic Revolution and the war with Iraq. Eye-opening and powerful, this book really brings to light Marjane's unimaginable reality. In Persepolis II Marjane moves to Austria and joins an art college, the start of her amazing artistic career.

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Get reading these terrific graphic novels if you want to explore some brilliant stories and view some fantastic artwork. These are just some of the very best we have available but take a look through our website to see our full range of graphic novels.

  • AADHV 13 years +
    13 years +
    • £13.59
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    This is an epic and award-winning tale made highly accessible through the medium of graphic book storytelling. In two volumes, the author tackles the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons and captures the everyday reality of fear as well as exploring the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival - and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. Art Spiegelman's The Complete Maus is a contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.

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    In Chris Ware's own words, '"Building Stories" follows the inhabitants of a three-flat Chicago apartment house: a thirty-year-old woman who has yet to find someone with whom to spend the rest of her life; a couple who wonder if they can bear each other's company for another minute; and finally an elderly woman who never married and is the building's landlady...' The scope, the ambition, the artistry and emotional heft of this project are beyond anything even Chris Ware has achieved before.
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    Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects - and he's bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal...or his life? This contains the first two volumes of Death Note.
  • AACVP 13 years +
    13 years +
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    Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood is wise, funny and touching and told in an accessible graphic book form. Marjane Satrapi describes life in Tehran during the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and is guaranteed to captivate readers young and old. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return is a continuation of the story and follows the author as she moves to Austria and attends high school and art college. Bold illustrations and a moving story, simply told make this pair of graphic novels a must read!

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    Written by Alan Moore Art and cover by David Lloyd "Perhaps Moore's most powerful work." -PORTLAND MERCURY A new trade paperback edition of the graphic novel that inspired the hit movie! A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It's a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil. This new trade paperback edition of the classic series from writer Alan Moore (WATCHMEN, LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN) and artist David Lloyd (HELLBLAZER) collects the epic miniseries and features the improved production values and coloring from the 2005 hardcover. On sale January 24 - 296 pg, FC $19.99 US - MATURE READERS
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    Winner of the 2013 Hugo award for Best Graphic Story! When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults. This specially priced volume collects the first six issues of the smash-hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make." Voted one of the top graphic novels of the year by the NYT, IGN, the Examiner, and SF Weekly. Voted Best Comic of the year by MTV Geek and Best New Series by Paradox Comics. Voted a finalist in the GoodReads Best GN of 2012 contest. Named one of Time Magazine's top 10 graphic novels for 2013
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    One of the most eagerly anticipated graphic memoirs of recent years, Fun Home is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Alison Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high-school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and the family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic, and redemptive.
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    Every summer, Rose goes with her mum and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mum and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.