You voted and now we continue our countdown of your votes for the top original graphic novels of all-time! These are graphic novels that were not serialized as comic books before they were released as graphic novels.
40. Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco (2000)
During the war in Bosnia during the 1990s, the United Nations came up with the idea for "Safe Areas." These wee designated cities where the Bosnian Serbs were not meant to attack the Bosniaks, so they were ostensibly intended to be places where the Bosniaks could be free from the ethnic cleansing that went on during the Bosnian War. The problem was that the United Nations did not bother to make these "safe areas" all that safe and thus the people in them had to constantly worry that any day now they were going to be overrun and the people there massacred (it happened in Srebrenica, another "safe area" where thousands of Bosniaks were slaughtered).
Joe Sacco visited Gorazde three times during the midst of this period and he did a wonderful job in Safe Area Gorazde depicting what life was like for the people there.
A young man named Edin, who saw many of his friends slaughtered in one of the early attacks by the Serbs, became Sacco's most valued guide.
39. The Story of My Tits by Jennifer Hayden (2015)
While Jennifer Hayden's graphic novel, The Story of My Tits, is ostensibly about Hayden's breast cancer diagnosis, it is instead used as framework in which Hayden tells the story of her life and the lives of two other very important women in her journey that dealt with cancer, including Hayden's own mother, who had a mastectomy when Hayden was a girl...
It's a beautiful, character-driven tale.
38. The Golem's Mighty Swing by James Sturm (2001)
Throughout his career, James Sturm has always had a way of getting to the heart of America through looks at the odd parts of American history. This fictionalized account of a Jewish barnstorming baseball team hits beautifully on themes of assimilation, racism and Anti-Semitism that are as appropriate today as they were 17 years ago.
The concept is that a promoter makes a deal to the all-Jewish team. Let him add a Golem to their team...
The Golem, of course, is an African-American ballplayer, and thus you get directly into themes of turning a black man into a "Golem"...
It is kind of hard not to be seen as the "other" in a situation like that, and things deteriorate from there.