Ryan North’s Top 10 Go-to Comic Book and Graphic Novel List

True North Country Comics presents Ryan North’s top 10 go-to comic books and graphic novels.

Ryan is the New York Times-bestselling author of Romeo and/or Juliet and To Be or Not To Be. He’s the creator of Dinosaur Comics and the Eisner Award-winning writer of Adventure Time, Jughead, and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for Marvel Comics. He has a master’s in computational linguistics from the University of Toronto. Ryan’s most recent publication is Slaughterhouse-Five: The Graphic Novel.

Here’s the top 10 go-to comic book and graphic novel list from Ryan North:

Asterious Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
“I love me some formalism and this book has that and heart.  My book of the year the year it came out, and recommended to me out of the blue by Peter Burkemoe at The Beguiling in Toronto!”

Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson and Pat N. Lewis
“It’s rare you see a comic get so deep into characters like this: you really feel like you know them and love them.  A remarkable achievement!”

Achewood by Chris Onstad
“Grab any of the collections or just browse the website and you’ll find a comic that’s unlike any other: heartfelt, clever, hilarious, and with an influence on language that we’re still feeling.”

Goodbye Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson
“A book about long-distance relationships that I read while in a long-distance relationship, I can’t promise you it’ll have the same effect on you as it did on me.  But if you are missing someone far away – and who isn’t, these days? – then I can’t recommend a more empathic book than Goodbye Chunky Rice.”

Louis Riel by Chester Brown
“Canadian history with heart: Chester Brown somehow makes his blank-eyed characters more expressive than anything else.  Plus, Riel’s life was unique and influential.”

Tales Designed to Thrizzle (any issue or collection) by Michael Kupperman
“Michael Kupperman makes me laugh like nobody else does, and I can’t explain it.  These books are absurdist classics.

Kate Beaton’s Comics
“Visit Kate Beaton’s website harkavagrant.com or read one of her books and you’ll see the same thing: clever, funny, educational, and amazing cartooning.” 

A Softer World by Joey Comeau and Emily Home
“Another ‘read the site or read the books, they both rule’, A Softer World is one of the great webcomics, almost single-handedly responsible for a whole new genre of photocomic, and as moving as it can be funny.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll never once suspect me of including them (or Katie) on this list because we’re pals because it’s THAT GOOD.  I’m pals with a bunch of people!  It’s fine!!”

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
“As the only biography on this list, I love Fun Home for not only showing what comics can be (anything!) but for doing so in an engaging and heartfelt way.  I’m not the first to say this book is great nor will I be the last!

Sex Criminals by Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction
“With the comic wrapping up (perfectly) this year, it’s a great time to read it again, or for the first time.  It’s sexy, it’s smart, it’s emotional, and it’s one of the best books of the decade!  THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT!”

You can discover more about Ryan on Twitter @ryanqnorth and online at ryannorth.ca

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