10 Disturbingly Brilliant Graphic Novels

Art Spiegelman’s MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic hits shelves this week, and being huge fans of Spiegelman (and particularly Maus) we couldn’t be more excited. First published twenty-five years ago, Maus has become a modern classic, though it is at times a difficult and disturbing novel. MetaMaus delves into the history of the book with hundreds of pages of answered questions and supporting information and is sure to satiate any fan — at least for a while. If you’re anything like us, you’ll need something to keep your graphic novel kick going when you come up for air, so we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite disturbingly brilliant graphic novels, including the famous Maus. Click through to see our picks, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorites in the comments.

Maus, Art Spiegelman

For many of us, Maus — a biography of the author’s father, Vladek Spiegelman, who lived through the Holocaust as a Polish Jew –was the first real graphic novel we came into contact with. His harrowing story is made both more accessible and more frightening by Spiegelman’s illustrations, which figure the Jews as mice and the Germans as Cats, a way of illuminating the absurdity of cut and dry racial distinctions. The book is deeply touching, deeply scary, and a must-read.