Graphic Novels
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As far as graphic novels go:
Maus I and II (see:
The Dark Knight Returns (see:
Sandman titles by Gaimen (see:
The Killing Joke (see:
Bone and the sequels by Jeff Smith (see:
Cerebus (and 13 sequels) by Dave Sim (see:
The Tale of One Bad Rat (see:
The Watchmen (see:
Camelot 3000 (see:
Saga of the Swamp Thing (see:
Here are some authors to consider:
Art Spiegelman
Alan Moore
Will Eisner
Neil Gaiman
Frank Miller
Scott McCloud
Grant Morrison
Charles Burns
Daniel Clowes
Kurt Busiek
Important women authors:
Donna Barr
Wendy Pini
Trina Robbins
Colleen Doran
Lee Mars
Rumiko Takahashi
Julie Doucet
Alison Bechdel
Roberta Gregory
Louise Simonson
Ann Nocenti is an excellent link that has lists created by title or subject There was also a great article in VOYA, Dec 2000 titled "Recommended Graphic Novels for Libraries." D.Aviva Rothschild's book Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to
Book-Length Comics was also very helpful to me.