Gerard Way, the lead singer of My Chemical Romance and the author of “The Umbrella Academy,” is our featured contributor on The Essential Shelf, and this is the second installment of his Top 10 all-time graphic novels. You can find the first installment here. Below are Nos. 5, 6 and 7 on his list:
“The Invisibles: Say You Want A Revolution,” by Grant Morrison:
I could make a Top 10 list of graphic novels of Grant Morrison’s work on its own, telling you to read “We3,” “The Filth,” “Seaguy” and others, but I realize I need to make this list more broad. I am including “The Invisibles” because of its volume, ambition and scope. Drawing upon everything from “The Prisoner” (the old British sci-fi/spy show) to the Beatles, this series contained some of the craziest concepts ever put into a comic. At times you question if you are even reading a comic and that’s why this work is so important. Visionary and wonderfully experimental.
“Blankets,” by Craig Thompson:
Moving away from breakthrough work within the mainstream, this is one of the best autobiographical comics I have ever read, being able to relate to it in a number of ways, including the wonderfully rendered relationship between Craig and his younger brother. A story about faith, love, loss and coming of age, it’s also one of the best drawn graphic novels of all time.
“Stray Bullets: The Innocence of Nihilism,” by David Lapham:
This collects the first issues of Dave Lapham’s crime/drama comics of the same name. One of the more interesting aspects of the book, aside from its all-too-human way of portraying everything from cold-hearted killers to traumatized little girls, is the fact that this comic exploded onto the scene seemingly from nowhere. Dave Lapham created a book, from the previous confines of work for hire, that was better than anything he had done and better than any other book at the time. This book will scare you and the only monsters in it are the ones you can find hanging out in the alleys of the city you live in.
— Geoff Boucher