Top 10 Best Graphic Novels to Read Online

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Graphic novels combine art and narrative in a unique way. In this article, we list the top 10 best graphic novels you can enjoy online.... read more...

  1. Top 1


    "Maus" by Art Spiegelman stands tall among graphic novels. Jews are depicted as mice, and Nazis as cats. This creative approach offers readers a different way to understand history's dark chapter.

    The heart of "Maus" is Vladek Spiegelman's life. Vladek, the author's father, shares his experiences from World War II. We journey with him from the ghettos to concentration camps. Alongside this historical retelling, the novel paints a picture of the present day. It highlights the tensions between Vladek and his son, Art. This juxtaposition drives home the novel's message: trauma has long-lasting effects.

    Artistically, "Maus" stands out. The black and white color scheme enhances the story's gravity. The art is simple but impactful. Every stroke and sketch serves a purpose. They capture emotions, making the story come alive on each page.

    The themes explored in "Maus" run deep. It's not just about the Holocaust. The narrative touches on survival, guilt, and generational trauma. Art's struggles with his father offer a raw, personal look at their relationship. This adds another layer to the narrative, showcasing how war impacts families for generations.

    Spiegelman's novel isn't just critically acclaimed. It has resonated with readers worldwide. "Maus" made history by bagging a Pulitzer Prize. This recognition solidified its place in literary greatness. The global sales, reaching millions, further speak to its impact. It's no surprise then that schools and colleges include it in their reading lists.

    Its influence doesn't stop with sales and awards. "Maus" challenged the perception of graphic novels. It proved that comics could be serious, poignant, and impactful. Thanks to "Maus", the door opened wider for graphic novels to be seen as legitimate literature.

    For those exploring graphic novels, "Maus" is a cornerstone. It merges history with personal narrative seamlessly. Readers not only learn about the Holocaust but also understand its lasting effects. Through its pages, "Maus" ensures that the tragedies of the past are never forgotten.

    • Author: Art Spiegelman
    • Characters: Vladek Spiegelman, Art Spiegelman, Anja Spiegelman, other family members, friends, and acquaintances.
    • Message: The enduring effects of trauma; the intricate dynamics of father-son relationships amidst historical horrors; and the importance of preserving and understanding history.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by wocomoCULTURE

  2. Top 2


    "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi offers readers a compelling glimpse into a world rarely depicted in graphic novels: a young girl's life in post-revolutionary Iran. Marjane, or Marji navigates the challenges of growing up amidst political upheaval and strict religious regimes.

    The narrative starts with Marji as a ten-year-old in 1980s Tehran. Here, she witnesses the shift from the Shah's regime to the Islamic Republic. Through her innocent eyes, we see the drastic changes: from people's attire to their daily lives. It's a world where Western music gets labeled as "counter-revolutionary," and wearing a veil becomes mandatory.

    Marji's family, progressive and educated, hopes for a better Iran after the Shah's fall. However, as the Islamic Republic's rules become stricter, their hope starts to wane. Marji's rebellious spirit doesn't conform well in such a society. She openly challenges her teachers, listens to illicit rock music, and even dabbles in black-market purchases.

    As the story unfolds, Marji's coming-of-age journey takes her to Austria. Here, she grapples with teenage angst, love, and a sense of not belonging. Upon her return to Iran, she finds herself estranged in her own homeland. It's a poignant depiction of a young woman caught between two worlds, neither of which feels entirely like home.

    One of the standout aspects of "Persepolis" is its artwork. The black and white illustrations are deceptively simple, yet they pack an emotional punch. Satrapi's drawing style makes Marji's story both relatable and profound.

    "Persepolis" isn't just a story about growing up in Iran. It touches on universal themes like family, rebellion, love, and the search for identity. Marjane Satrapi skillfully intertwines humor with gravity. Thereby the tale resonates with a broad audience.

    For those curious about life in post-revolutionary Iran, or anyone seeking a deeply personal coming-of-age tale, "Persepolis" stands tall. It's a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, even in the face of overwhelming odds.

    • Author: Marjane Satrapi
    • Characters: Marjane (Marji) Satrapi, her parents, grandmother, friends and acquaintances throughout her life in both Iran and Austria.
    • Message: The complexities of growing up during political turmoil; the struggle for identity amidst cultural clashes; and the universal trials of adolescence.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by Extra History
  3. Top 3


    "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons stands out as a revolutionary piece in the world of graphic novels. It dives deep into the psyche of superheroes. In particular, Watchmen examines their flaws, motivations, and impact on society.

    Set in an alternate 1985 America, "Watchmen" presents a world on the brink of nuclear war. Here, superheroes have been outlawed, and most have retired or gone into hiding. But when a former hero, The Comedian, meets a mysterious end. Hence it sets off a chain of events that rattles the entire superhero community.

    The narrative introduces readers to a diverse cast of characters. Rorschach, with his inkblot mask, takes the role of the relentless detective. He's driven by a strict moral code, seeing the world in black and white. Then there's Dr. Manhattan, the only character with real superpowers. His god-like abilities make him both an asset and a threat. Moreover, Silk Spectre and Nite Owl, former heroes with past romantic ties, offer a softer, more human side to the tale.

    One of the novel's central themes is the very nature of power. Who should wield it? And at what cost? It raises questions about the consequences of unchecked authority. Especially when those in power view themselves as above the system.

    The art by Dave Gibbons plays a crucial role. Each panel is meticulously crafted, with recurring symbols like the blood-stained smiley face. The nine-panel grid layout used throughout most of the book provides a steady rhythm. The feature allows for intense character exploration.

    Beyond just being a superhero tale, "Watchmen" delves into philosophy, politics, and personal demons. It challenges the conventional portrayal of heroes as morally infallible beings. Instead, it showcases them as deeply flawed individuals instead.

    • Author: Alan Moore (writer) and Dave Gibbons (illustrator)
    • Characters: Rorschach, Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, The Comedian, Ozymandias, and others.
    • Message: The ambiguity of morality; the consequences of unchecked power; and the human flaws even within superheroes.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by Warner Bros. Entertainment
  4. Top 4


    Another graphic novel, "Sandman" by Neil Gaiman is a literary mosaic of dreamscapes, myth, and mortality. The central figure is Dream, also known as Morpheus, one of the Endless. These beings exist beyond gods and mortals. And each embodying a universal concept.

    The series kicks off with Dream's capture. Held for 70 years by a sorcerer, he eventually breaks free. This initial arc paints a vivid portrait of a being who, despite his immense power, can be vulnerable. After his escape, Dream sets on a quest to reclaim his tools: a helm, a pouch of sand, and a ruby.

    While Morpheus is the constant thread throughout, the beauty of "Sandman" lies in its expansive and interconnected stories. These tales span different times, places, and even realms. From ancient mythologies to the heart of hell, Gaiman crafts narratives that are both standalone and integral to the overarching plot.

    One standout character is Death, Dream's sister. Contrary to grim depictions, she's portrayed as a goth young woman, both compassionate and wise. Their sibling dynamic, filled with mutual respect and moments of tension, adds depth to the series.

    "Sandman" isn't just about the adventures of Morpheus. It delves deep into topics like love, revenge, change, and redemption. Gaiman masterfully weaves in historical figures, fictional beings, and even Shakespearean plays.

    The art complements the writing. Each style, while unique, maintains a dream-like quality that immerses readers into the world of the Dreaming.

    For those seeking a rich tapestry of tales that challenge the boundaries of graphic novels, "Sandman" delivers. It prove that comic books can rival traditional novels in depth and narrative complexity.

    • Author: Neil Gaiman
    • Characters: Dream (Morpheus), Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destiny, Destruction, and a vast array of beings from different myths, histories, and imaginations.
    • Message: The intertwined nature of dreams and reality; the impermanence of existence; and the intricate dance of destiny, desire, and despair in the vast cosmos.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by DC
  5. Top 5


    "Saga" by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples sets itself apart in the universe of graphic novels with its genre-blending narrative and captivating artwork. At its core, it's a story of love and family set against the backdrop of a galaxy-wide war.

    Alana and Marko, the central figures, hail from opposite sides of the ongoing conflict. Alana is a winged soldier from Landfall. And Marko, a horned warrior from its moon, Wreath. Despite the enmity between their races, they fall in love. This love set in motion a tale filled with challenges and chase. Their daughter, Hazel offers a unique perspective that spans time by narrating their journey,

    The family's quest for safety brings them face-to-face with a host of intriguing characters. Izabel, a ghostly teenager from a war-torn planet, becomes Hazel's first babysitter. Then there's Prince Robot IV, a royal with a television for a head, tasked with capturing the fugitive couple. The Will, a bounty hunter with a strict moral code, further complicates their escape.

    But "Saga" isn't just about thrilling chases and cosmic battles. Vaughan injects humor, love, and tragedy in equal measure. The narrative tackles issues of race, sexuality, and the horrors of war, all wrapped in a space opera setting.

    Fiona Staples' art brings this universe to life. Her vivid illustrations capture the essence of each character. For example, from the ethereal beauty of The Stalk, a spider-bodied freelancer, to the ferocity of war-torn planets. Her use of color and panel design perfectly complements Vaughan's words. At all, it makes "Saga" a visual treat.

    • Author: Brian K. Vaughan (writer) and Fiona Staples (illustrator)
    • Characters: Alana, Marko, Hazel, Izabel, Prince Robot IV, The Will, The Stalk, and a galaxy of diverse beings.
    • Message: The enduring power of love and family amidst chaos; the complexities of war; and the challenges of bridging cultural divides.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by IGN
  6. Top 6


    Dive into the world of "Bone" by Jeff Smith, and you're met with an epic tale that blends humor, fantasy, and adventure. Center stage are the Bone cousins: Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone. These white, cartoon-like figures find themselves far from their hometown of Boneville. And what follows is a journey filled with wonders and perils.

    As they navigate the mysterious valley, they encounter Thorn, a young woman with a hidden past, and her spirited grandmother, Gran'ma Ben. The valley, however, isn't all idyllic. Shadows lurk, and the rat creatures, led by the menacing Kingdok, have their sights set on the Bone cousins. Yet, amidst these dangers lie moments of humor and camaraderie.

    Smith's narrative unfolds layers of history and lore. The valley is ancient, with tales of dragons, a lost princess, and the enigmatic Lord of the Locusts. As the Bone cousins delve deeper, they discover they're intertwined in the valley's destiny. Even more than they could've imagined.

    Phoney Bone, ever the schemer, often lands the trio in trouble. His get-rich-quick plans lead to unexpected chaos though driven by good intentions. Fone Bone, with his love for Moby Dick and a heart of gold, stands as the emotional core. Smiley Bone, with his infectious grin, lightens moments with his carefree spirit.

    The beauty of "Bone" lies not just in its expansive storyline but also in Smith's artwork. The detailed landscapes, expressive characters, and dynamic action sequences draw readers into the world he's crafted. The juxtaposition of the cartoon-like Bones against a more realistically drawn backdrop creates a unique visual experience.

    "Bone" offers readers an immersive adventure that caters to both young readers and adults. Its rich storytelling, coupled with endearing characters, ensures it holds a special place in the realm of graphic novels.

    • Author: Jeff Smith
    • Characters: Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, Smiley Bone, Thorn, Gran'ma Ben, Kingdok, and the various inhabitants of the valley.
    • Message: The strength of family bonds, the clash between innocence and greed, and the timeless battle between good and evil in a fantastical setting.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by Scholastic
  7. Top 7


    "Habibi" by Craig Thompson introduced a world rich in Middle Eastern lore, love, and hardships. At the heart of this tale are two characters: Dodola and Zam. Their lives intertwine in a harsh desert landscape. And they are bound together by their shared experiences and a deep bond of love.

    Dodola, a young girl sold into marriage, later escapes into the desert. There, she finds a baby boy, Zam. She adopts him, and they live together in a boat stranded in the sand dunes. To sustain their life, Dodola tells Zam stories from the Quran. These stories weave tales of wisdom, faith, and mythology.

    The challenges they face are manifold. Dodola resorts to prostituting herself to passing caravans to provide for their needs. As Zam grows older, he grapples with his feelings for Dodola and the reality of their situation. This leads him on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening.

    The story navigates complex themes. Thompson dives deep into subjects like love, faith, exploitation, and environmental degradation. With every page, he offers a commentary on human nature and society's constructs.

    Thompson's artwork is breathtaking. Detailed patterns inspired by Islamic artistry fill the pages. Every line, every curve, carries emotion. They transport readers into Dodola and Zam's world. The intricate designs blend seamlessly with the raw and poignant narrative.

    Another standout feature is Thompson's ability to weave the tales of the Quran into the main narrative. These stories give readers insights into the spiritual realm that guides the protagonists. They act as metaphors to resonate with the trials and tribulations of Dodola and Zam.

    In "Habibi", Thompson crafts a tale that is both heartbreaking and enlightening. It speaks to the human spirit's resilience and the lengths one goes to for love and survival. This graphic novel is a journey through culture, faith, and the rawness of human emotion.

    • Author: Craig Thompson
    • Characters: Dodola, Zam, and various figures from Middle Eastern tales and the Quran.
    • Message: A portrayal of love, sacrifice, and faith set against the backdrop of societal and environmental challenges. It emphasizes the enduring human spirit amidst adversities.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by Сliff Notes
  8. "Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth" by Chris Ware takes readers into the world of its titular character. At first glance, Jimmy appears to be a simple, awkward man. He's middle-aged, lonely, and struggles with the challenges of everyday life. But as the pages turn, layers of his life peel back. This is the reason to reveal a deep and intricate narrative.

    Jimmy's life is punctuated by his vivid imagination. Often, he slips into fantasy worlds. Here, he's a hero, unlike his everyday life where he feels insignificant. These fantasy sequences contrast starkly against his reality. It highlights his yearnings and desires.

    The central event unfolds when Jimmy meets his estranged father after several decades. This encounter stirs a mix of emotions: hope, anxiety, and despair. Their interactions are awkward, filled with pauses and unspoken words. Through their shared moments, Ware paints a heartbreaking picture of broken relationships and missed connections.

    Parallel to Jimmy's story is that of his grandfather. Chris Ware intricately ties the past with the present. As the results, it shows patterns of familial dynamics repeating over generations. This makes readers ponder the impact of family history on individual lives.

    Chris Ware's unique style sets this graphic novel apart. He employs a mix of traditional comic panels and intricate diagrams. The result? A visually rich narrative that keeps readers engaged and invested. His use of muted colors further accentuates the melancholy tone of the story.

    While the narrative revolves around Jimmy, other characters play pivotal roles. Each brings their own set of struggles, painting a holistic picture of human challenges. Whether it's the pain of loneliness, the weight of the past, or the hope for a better future, these themes resonate with readers.

    In "Jimmy Corrigan", Chris Ware does more than tell a story. He delves deep into the human psyche to explore themes of connection, loneliness, and the passage of time. With every panel, he invites readers to reflect on themselves.

    • Author: Chris Ware
    • Characters: Jimmy Corrigan, his estranged father, his grandfather, and various characters from Jimmy's imagination.
    • Message: A deep exploration of human connections, the impact of the past on the present, and the universal yearning for belonging and understanding.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by For the Love of Comics
  9. Top 9

    V for Vendetta

    "V for Vendetta," penned by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd, takes us deep into the heart of a dystopian United Kingdom. It's a world where the government has a chokehold on its citizens, suppressing them with fear and surveillance. But amidst this oppressive environment rises a mysterious figure: V.

    V is a man cloaked in a Guy Fawkes mask. This choice of disguise stands as a symbol of resistance. It's a nod to Guy Fawkes himself, a historical figure who once aimed to bring down a tyrannical rule.

    The government, led by the tyrannical Adam Susan, isn't painted as a faceless evil entity. Instead, Moore and Lloyd delve deep into its workings. They show the corruption, the power plays, and the individuals that keep the oppressive machine running. This makes the story's world feel even more real.

    V's actions aren't just about chaos. He aims to make the citizens see the chains binding them. His methods are radical. He uses both violence and psychological warfare. His targets? Symbols of the government's control. By attacking these symbols, he hopes to ignite a revolution.

    Evey Hammond, a young woman, becomes entangled with V. Her journey intertwines with his mission. Through her eyes, we see the impact of V's actions on ordinary citizens. Evey's transformation from a scared bystander to a believer in V's cause is both gripping and thought-provoking.

    David Lloyd's artwork complements Moore's storytelling perfectly. The use of dark tones and shadows creates a sense of foreboding. This enhances the feeling of oppression that permeates the story. At the same time, bursts of color, especially in V's scenes, symbolize hope.

    What makes "V for Vendetta" stand out is its relevance. The themes of government control, surveillance, and the power of a single individual to inspire change are evergreen. Readers are compelled to question their own realities. And this graphic novel is a mirror held up to society.

    • Author: Alan Moore and David Lloyd
    • Characters: V, Evey Hammond, Adam Susan
    • Message: The enduring spirit of resistance against oppressive regimes; and the ever-present need for vigilance in defense of freedoms.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by CineFix - IGN Movies and TV
  10. Top 10


    "Daytripper," a creation of Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, is a journey into the life of Bras de Oliva Domingos. Every chapter dives deep into significant moments of his life. But here's the twist: each ends with Bras' death.

    Bras is the son of a famous Brazilian writer. His father's shadow looms large and influence much of his life. Trying to find his own voice, Bras becomes an obituary writer. In a poetic twist, he writes about the end of others' lives, while we, the readers, see the many endings of his.

    The novel isn't grim. It's a celebration of life, filled with vibrant scenes of Brazil. Moon and Bá capture the country's essence with their artwork. From the lively streets of Salvador to the bustling city of São Paulo, every frame is a visual treat.

    The deaths aren't the main point. They’re tools, giving us snapshots of Bras' life. It's about the journey, not the destination. We see Bras as a child, a teenager in love, a successful writer, a husband, and a father. Each stage offers joy, pain, love, and loss.

    The story of Bras is universal. It touches on the themes of dreams, legacy, and the inevitable end we all face. But it's also uniquely Brazilian, with its local customs, folklore, and settings. The mix of the two makes "Daytripper" a unique read.

    The art by Moon and Bá is intricate. Their use of color is striking. Warm hues show the joyous moments, while cooler ones depict the somber times. Their attention to detail, especially in the Brazilian landscapes and cityscapes, adds layers to the story.

    "Daytripper" is more than a graphic novel. It's an exploration of life's fleeting moments. It encourages readers to cherish every moment, every experience. Because in the end, it's these moments that define a life well-lived.

    • Author: Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
    • Characters: Bras de Oliva Domingos, his family, and various acquaintances.
    • Message: Embrace every moment of life, acknowledging its impermanence and celebrating its richness.
    • Link to read online:
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    Video by For the Love of Comics

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