Top Graphic Novels of 2010 | Steve Higgins

A wonderful book about teenage angst and not fitting in.




10. Dark Rain by Mat Johnson and Simon Gane (DC/Vertigo)
Mat Johnson wrote Incognegro, a book which topped my list of graphic novels a few years back. Simon Gane drew Paris, a book which also topped my list of best graphic novels in a previous year. Put the two creators together working on a crime thriller set against the back drop of Hurricane Katrina, and the work that results, Dark Rain, is bound to be of note.
9. Revolver by Matt Kindt (DC/Vertigo)
I wrote a review of Revolver back in June, saying, “Like the finest examples of magic realism, the real focus in Revolver isn’t on the weirdness of the plots; it’s on the compassion evoked in readers for the characters.” Matt Kindt bounces his main character back and forth between realities in this story, yet maintains that character’s core humanity throughout.
8. Crogan’s March by Chris Schweizer (Oni Press)
Each book in the Crogan series follows a member of the eponymous family through some high adventures in a different historical period. They’re an exciting way to make history come alive for younger readers, and they’re equally fun for older readers as well.
7. The Executor by Jon Evans and Andrea Mutti (DC/Vertigo Crime)
A tight crime thriller with very clean art that helps the storytelling a great deal. Fast-paced with lots of twists and turns. One of the best Vertigo Crime books yet.
6. Cats are Weird by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle Books)
Love Jeffrey Brown, love cats, love this book. It’s not so much a “story” as it is a series of funny vignettes about cats, but it’s totally accessible to anyone who doesn’t read comics but just loves felines.
5. What I Did by Jason (Fantagraphics)
In my recent review of What I Did, I stated, “Each story on its own is unquestionably superb, and readers will delight in the moods Jason evokes and the artistic techniques he employs. Together the stories in What I Did are sterling examples of Jason’s fantastic skill as both an illustrator and a storyteller that are well worth the purchase in spite of their vast differences in tone, style, and content.” And it’s still true.
4. Tumor by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon (Archaia)
A really interesting noir comic, reminiscent of Sin City or The Limey. Fialkov wrote the fantastic book Elk’s Run a few years back, and he’s proven himself a creator to watch with this thriller.
3. Market Day by James Sturm (Drawn and Quarterly)
A beautiful story both artistically and tonally, Market Day reminds me of the kind of story you would see in Dubliners, a small-scale human drama with larger metaphorical ramifications.
2. Parker: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke (IDW Publishing)
As fantastic as the first volume. Some really innovative storytelling techniques, especially in regard to the heists pulled by Parker and his friends in the middle section of the book. Darwyn Cooke was born to adapt the Parker books, and by that same token it’s like Parker was created for Cooke.
1. Smile by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic)
A wonderful book about teenage angst and not fitting in. Very clean art, very relatable characters. A great, great read for all ages. | Steve Higgins


To read an interview with Smile author Raina Telgemeier, visit

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