1. Maus (Pantheon Books)
Art Spiegelman's telling of his father's experiences as a Jew in Nazi Germany is very revealing of the horrors of the concentration camps. Yes, the characters are depicted as talking animals but it is a serious, important book, the first graphic novel to win the Pulitizer Prize
2. Watchmen (DC Comics)
Yes, it is that good. Fans of the medium talk about the merits of Watchmen all the time and for a good reason. It is a fascinating tale of Cold War paranoia wrapped up in the guise of a superhero murder mystery.
3. Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? (DC Comics)
In 1986, as DC prepared to launch a new, modern version of Superman, they released the last story featuring the old Superman. This story celebrates everything that is good about Superman and makes you wonder why exactly things needed to be changed. If Superman or superheroes in general ever needed to be summed up, this would be the greatest example.
4. Essex County Trilogy (Top Shelf Publishing)
Canadian creator Jeff Lemire's trilogy of graphic novels about a sleepy Ontario county is one of the best expressions of Canadian culture in recent memory.
5. Kingdom Come (DC Comics)
In a future where the long-established superheroes are losing control over their world, their solution is to enforce extreme measures in order to preserve peace. As Batman teams up with former enemies and Superman builds a supervillain gulag, the world continues to tear itself apart and the common man tries to remind them of their values.
6. Marvels (Marvel Comics)
In this story, we are shown the world depicted in Marvel Comics through the eyes of an ordinary man. During the fighting between costumed demigods, there are bystanders who are affected. Marvels doesn't necessarily show us the dark side of superheroics but a harsh reality of coexisting with those with superpowers.
7. Daytripper (Vertigo)
This story focuses on segments in the life of fictional writer Bras de Oliva Domingos. Each part shows us Bras at a different age and, somewhat surprisingly, has him die at the end of every issue.
8. The Death of Captain Marvel (Marvel Comics)
Superheroes are supposed to meet their end at the hands of some ultimate enemy or while saving the universe from certain doom. Captain Marvel has been cheated of this and is dying of cancer. As death in superhero books often seems unimportant and is sometimes only a temporary inconvenience, this book has a surprising emotional weight to it.
9. Batman: The Long Halloween (DC Comics)
You could argue that The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns or Batman: Year One could each be considered the best Batman story of all-time. However, the Long Halloween's length allows it to contain all the best parts of Batman through the years for a fantastic murder mystery.
10. We3 (Vertigo)
Someone in the world of We3 had the bright idea of building robot attack suits for a dog, a rabbit and a cat. When the military declares them to be scheduled to be decommissioned, they run away to freedom and encounter a world they no longer fit into. Like Homeward Bound but more extreme.
Colin Slark is a Grade 12 student from Duchess Park secondary who has been job shadowing in the Citizen newsroom for the past month.