11 graphic novels that are just as good as literary fiction

Feb 23, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Graphic novels are as good as literary fiction, and all of them cover a specific topic while including deeper symbolism, addressing issues of morality and ethics and exploring the human condition. Their combination of written words and images contribute to the overall emotion, message and art.

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1. Watchmen

by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Image: Amazon

“No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.”

Watchmen was published in 1986 by DC Comics and created by a creative team that consists of Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins. The main protagonists get back to being superheroes after one of them gets murdered, just to find out there is a deeper goal and twisted plot. The story differs from the general superhero concept, as the story itself deconstructs it and focuses on moral struggles.

2. V for Vendetta

by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Image: Amazon

“Remember, Remember, the 5th of November, the gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.”

Thanks to Alan Moore, David Lloyd, Tony Weare and Vertigo, we can proudly exhibit this masterpiece of a graphic novel on our shelves. The focus of V for Vendetta is on the main character V, who starts the revolution against the government that created a dystopian police state. This anarchist is famous for wearing the mask of Guy Fawkes, which has become a symbol for almost every protest against tyranny in today’s world.

3. Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

by Guy Delisle and Helge Dascher

Image: Amazon

“It’s so cold… and sad.”

This black and white graphic novel was published in 2004 and is written by Canadian author Guy Delisle. Pyongyang depicts Delisle's stay in North Korea, where he met with many people such as foreign diplomats, NGO workers and his former colleagues. While visiting historical monuments, he is introduced to reverse walking, propaganda and surprised by the fact that there are no elderly or disabled people there.

4. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson

Image: Amazon

“You're beginning to get the idea, Clark. This... is the end... for both of us.”

First, it was a four-issue miniseries, but later on all four issues were combined into one volume. In this volume, Batman is an old man who has been out of business for a long time. When Gotham is terrorized by a mutant gang, Batman decides to take his cape and cowl and restore law and order. These events lead to a Batman-Superman showdown since vigilantism is strictly prohibited. Also, Caroline Keene “Carrie” Kelley becomes Robin; and later on in The Dark Knight Strikes Again she becomes Catgirl. Batman: The Dark Night Returns was published in 1986 by DC Comics.

Next: More graphic novels that are just as good as literary fiction

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