The American Library Association’s Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table announced the final Best Graphic Novels for Adults Reading List on February 2.
This inaugural year of the reading list highlights the best graphic novels for adults published in late 2019 and throughout 2020. The GNCRT hopes it “will increase awareness of the graphic novel medium, raise voices of diverse comics creators, and aid library staff in the development of graphic novel collections.”
The complete list is at the link. The works of genre interest on the list are named below.
2020 Best Graphic Novels for Adults – Top Ten
House of X / Powers of X
Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva
12/1/2019. Marvel. 60.00. 9781302915704
House of X and Powers of X intertwine to reveal the secret past, present, and future of Mutants. It all starts when Charles Xavier reveals his new masterplan for Mutant kind, one that will bring mutants out of the shadow of humanity and into the light.
G. Willow Wilson, Christian Ward
Volume 1: 11/1/2019. Dark Horse Comics. 19.99. 9781506712277
Volume 2: 6/1/2020. Berger Books. 19.99. 9781506714943.
An unlikely pair must work together to keep the world from falling into anarchy. They must navigate keeping a secret, while trying to pick a side on how to save the world.
11/1/2019. Drawn & Quarterly. 22.95. 9781770463691
Making Comics is Barry sharing her comics-making exercises to help new comic artists overcome artist blocks and spark their creativity.
Parable of the Sower: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Damian Duffy, John Jennings
1/28/2020. Abrams Books. 24.99. 9781419731334
With the world in environmental disarray, economically, and socially, there is a chance for a brighter future and Lauren Olamina is involved in this possibility.
Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Hernandez Walta
12/1/2019. TKO Studios. 19.99. 9781732748590
After a devastating attack, a space shuttle is left with only children to survive alone. The ship’s AI, VALARIE, is their only hope at making it through to safety.
2020 Best Graphic Novels for Adults – Official List
The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya
3/1/2020. Unbound. 30.00. 9781783525775
Set in seventeenth-century Istanbul, The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya tells the story of Zeynel, an ordinary man. Exploring the intricacies of his everyday life, his eventual death, and the aftermath of his transformation into a vampire.
Garth Stein, Matthew Southworth
7/1/2020. Fantagraphics. 24.99. 9781683963103
James Tucker is a half-man, half-goat, who through turmoil of being homeless and involved in a secluded goat sacrifice in the wood by elites, continues to try to find a place of comfort.
Cosmoknights (Book One)
10/1/2019. IDW. 19.99. 9781603094542
In a universe where princesses are “won” during jousts on various planets, the protagonist Pan joins up with resistors who are determined to change the system.
11/1/2019. DC. 29.99. 9781401294403
The Anti-Life Equation is causing victims to lose their minds and attack those around them. It is up to the Earth’s greatest heroes to stop the Equation, but if they lose, humanity will be lost.
Bobby Curnow, Simon Gane, Ian Herring
12/1/2019 IDW. 15.99. 9781684055999
After his grandfather passed away, Brandt returns home. He visits the woods adjacent to his grandmother’s house and find an unusual presence there in need of help. Does Brandt stay and help, or is inserting himself where he doesn’t belong?
Killadelphia Volume 1: Sins of the Father
7/14/2020. Image Comics. 9.99. 9781534315693
A small town cop comes home to bury his father, he unravels a dark secret that makes him question the world around him, even the possibility of vampires.
The Magicians: The New Class
Lilah Sturges, Lev Grossman, Pius Bak
8/20/2020. BOOM! Studios. 19.99. 9781684155651
A historic new group of students to enroll for the first ever class of magicians and practitioners of magic. This rule-breaking class is not accepted by everyone and during this rivalry a new danger emerges.
Once & Future, Vol. 1
Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillain
3/1/2020. Boom! Studios. 16.9. 9781684154913
A villainous power is back from the dead and Bridgette McGuire and her grandson Duncan must work together to save the future.
Ed Brubaker, Jacob Phillips
8/1/2020. Image Comics. 16.99. 9781534316447
Max Winters finds himself inside a thriller. A pulp fiction writer, he must figure out if he will live it out as own books or will it be like nothing he has ever experienced.
SFSX (Safe Sex) Volume 1: Protection
7/1/2020. Image Comics. 9.99. 9781534315853
The future government of America polices sexuality and to combat this a group of queers host a safe space call ‘Dirty Minds’. Some of their friend have been jailed due to their sexuality, and now they are on a mission to save them.
Nathan W. Pyle
11/1/2019. Morrow Gift. 14.99. 9780062970701
Strange Planet is an adorable and funny comic strip that delivers witty jokes and commentary on every day, alien experiences.
Undiscovered Country, Volume 1
Charles Soule, Scott Snyder
7/1/2020. Image Comics. 9.99. 9781534315990
A journey by two small expeditions struggle to survive in a lost land that was once the United States of America.
[Based on a press release.]
I definitely recommend The Invisible Kingdom!
I know it isn’t genre, but Maximilian Uriarte’s Battle Born: Lapis Lazuli is a singularly inspired work. He wrote and drew the entire thing. There are moments that are literally breath-stopping; in turns both beautiful and horrendous.
I’m disappointed that it didn’t make it onto any of the ALA’s lists.
This tagline deleted due to lack of interest.