You voted and now we begin 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.
50. The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire (2012)
Jack is a literal underwater welder in this graphic novel written and drawn by Jeff Lemire. His father, a diver who searched for “treasures” had drowned years earlier and now that Jack’s wife is expecting their first child, Jack is dealing with the pressures of impending fatherhood and he begins to crack when he seemingly discovers an old watch that had been one of his father’s discoveries while he is doing his underwater welding…
He becomes obsessed with the watch, and it becomes a magical sort of nexus point where Jack tries to get to the bottom of the mystery of what happened to his father and what truly led to his dad’s death. He travels to the past and the future along the way. Of course, this obsession strains his current marriage and the pressures of becoming a father make Jack want to re-visit how much he is like his own dad. He feels like he is trapped in the same small town that will inevitably turn himself into his father and, if he is not careful, he might be right.
49. Dropsie Avenue by Will Eisner (1995)
Will Eisner released Dropsie Avenue (subtitled “The Neighborhood”) in 1995. It was the final book in the “Contract With God” trilogy, which was more of a trilogy in tone than actual plot or anything like that.
The concept of the book was deceptively simple. Follow a single block in New York City through a few hundred years. The people on Dropsie Avenue change, but what stays the same is the general prejudices that define pretty much all of modern society, namely lots of fear of foreigners or the “outsiders,” even as the outsiders become the insiders themselves they, of course, distrust the next batch of immigrants.
Take, for instance, the way that the Irish residents of the area treat the German immigrants coming into the area around World War I…
Never not evocative, Eisner’s artwork really sells the character interactions beautifully. The plot is a simple one, but often universal themes ARE simple, ya know?
48. Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley (2014)
Bryan Lee O’Malley followed up his epic Scott Pilgrim series with this clever graphic novel that follows a young woman who owns a restaurant and is in the process of starting a second one. However, she has her share of troubles in her life, like when she makes out with one of her workers and it inadvertently leads to one of her servers getting severe burns on her arms. Katie tentatively recalled some half dream of a sort of troll that offered the ability to reverse “mistakes,” and Katie finally takes her up on it and changes reality…
Of course, for anyone familiar with reality alteration stories would tell you, once you change one thing, there are a whole lot of other dominos that could also fall and soon, Katie learns the terrible secret behind this whole magical reality-alteration.
It’s a heartfelt look into the regrets that we have in our lives, but with a fun and magical twist to it.
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